Liverpool complete impressive pre-season with victory over Torino

• Klopp’s side score 26 goals during their warm-up matches
• Defensive concerns after injury before the game to Gomez

Liverpool completed their productive pre-season with a seventh win in nine friendlies, taking their goals tally to 26 in the process, as Jürgen Klopp’s team defeated Torino 3-1 at Anfield.

There was even a rousing reception for Loris Karius on his return to Anfield following that Champions League final against Real Madrid. Torino provided tougher opposition than Napoli and Manchester United in Liverpool’s two previous outings but the range of options available to Klopp was again in evidence as Roberto Firmino, Georginio Wijnaldum and Daniel Sturridge all found a way past Salvatore Sirigu in the Italians’ goal. His squad looks deep, sharp and impressive five days before a league season carrying high expectation.

The Liverpool manager could have a problem in central defence for the Premier League opener against West Ham United on Sunday, however. With Joel Matip injured and Dejan Lovren starting pre-season training only on Monday after his World Cup final exploits, Joe Gomez was primed to line up alongside Virgil van Dijk on Sunday. But the 21-year-old missed the match with a tight muscle, though he should be fit for the weekend. Klopp said: “I think Joe should be ok for Sunday, it’s nothing serious, but Raggi [Ragnar Klavan] and Joel will not be fit.” Nat Phillips, a 21-year-old from Bolton, filled the role against Torino and enjoyed an assured display against the team led by the former Watford manager Walter Mazzarri.

It was Phillips’ long pass out of defence that instigated Liverpool’s second goal of the night. Mohamed Salah, who was at his creative best, found Firmino and the Brazilian released Wijnaldum behind the Italian defence for an emphatic finish.

The same three players were involved in the opener. Wijnaldum and Salah combined to set up Firmino for a shot that deflected into the top corner off Lorenzo De Silvestri.

Liverpool should have taken the lead moments earlier when gifted a hugely generous penalty by the referee Michael Oliver. The summer signing Fabinho, who scored all 16 penalties he took for Monaco in Ligue 1, dragged the spot-kick wide. Torino, with their former defender Matteo Darmian looking on from the main stand‚ pulled a goal back through Andrea Belotti’s fine header.

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Sturridge extended the lead with a glancing header from Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross late on. Jordan Henderson also played the last 20 minutes having only started his pre-season on Sunday. The important business comes next.


Andy Hunter at Anfield

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