Date: 13th August 2014 at 5:13pm
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Reds fans will be licking their lips ahead of the new season after an entertaining victory at Anfield on Sunday.

Borussia Dortmund were the latest in a string of high profile opposition that the Reds have faced after taking on potential Champions League rivals Roma, Olympiakos and Man City on their tour to the US.

Fallen giants AC Milan and Man United completed a competitive pre – season schedule.

Before kick off Reds fans mingled with their German counterparts contributing to a friendly atmosphere around the ground.

Dortmund’s goodwill even extended to them joining in the singing when ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ played before the game began.

Any Reds hoping to move on from Luis Suarez may have found it difficult since the Uruguayan is still pictured outside the ground with Steven Gerrard to his left and #DEMAND to his right.

If it stays up much longer surely it won’t be long before an Evertonian scrawls ‘A TRANSFER’ underneath the unfortunate hashtag.

But on the pitch the players showed there certainly is life after Suarez as they raced into a two goal lead.

After the initial opening burst the action on the pitch settled down into the sort of tempo you’d expect from a friendly and the fans followed suit preferring to indulge in only light singing rather than the guttural screams we will be bound to hear throughout the season.

On paper it looked as though the Reds would line up in a familiar 4-3-3 formation but instead opted for a 4-2-3-1 with Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling out wide and Philippe Coutinho just behind Daniel Sturridge.

There is more than a shade of Dirk Kuyt about the way Henderson plays on the right wing, plenty of industry and a real willingness to get up and down the flank, but not as much quality when in wide areas as you get from a typical winger.

Both Kuyt and Henderson are the sort of players managers love, but will always have their share of detractors in the stands, Henderson looked eager to get into the box and thoroughly deserved his goal.

However you can’t please all of the people all of the time and after Henderson scored somebody a few rows back piped up: “I bet that’s the last goal he’ll score this season!” If that was a genuine offer I’m sure the gentleman will be out of pocket before long.

Coutinho pulled the strings magnificently in the number ten role. He made the first with a superb instinctive flick for Sturridge and scored the third to cap a man of the match performance.

With Suarez’s departure much of the creative burden will fall to his fellow South American and it looks like Coutinho is ready to take on the extra responsibility this season.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first, two early goals before Liverpool eased off understandably showing no desire to humiliate their under strength opponents.

The defence wasn’t tested much but Dejan Lovren still impressed on his debut.

After an early goal from a Gerrard corner Lovren dealt comfortably with everything a poor Borussia Dortmund attack could muster.

He was most impressive with the ball at his feet, playing both short and long range passes comfortably, in short a perfect fit for Brendan’s philosophy.

At right back Javier Manquillo was another debutant who impressed, most attacks were focused down the left but despite limited involvement the young Spaniard looked comfortable going forward and back.

Compared to some of the pedestrian displays we’ve endured from Glen Johnson over the past couple of seasons it was great to see a full back not neglecting his defensive duty.

Most fans seem to be cautiously optimistic ahead of the new season, it’s hard to argue that the Reds’ first team is not as strong as top teams but nobody gave us a hope last season so with our improved squad depth why can’t we challenge again?

Whether the Reds will go one better this time out remains to be seen, but if this match is anything to go by we will certainly be richly entertained.


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