Liverpool suffered the first loss of their pre-season as they fell to a 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund at the Notre Dame Stadium in Indiana.
Some sloppy Liverpool defending gave Dortmund an early lead with Paco Alcacer firing home from close range.
The Reds created a few chances and eventually took one when Ryan Kent’s dummy left Harry Wilson in acres of space and the Welshman finished well.
After the break, Dortmund scored twice in five minutes with Thomas Delaney and Bruun Larsen both scoring relative tap ins after some good attacking play and some rather questionable defending.
Jurgen Klopp changed his entire outfield squad on the hour mark and the new team got a goal back 15 minutes later when Ben Woodburn was pushed by Mateu Morey in the penalty box. Rhian Brewster continued his goalscoring form by expertly putting away the resulting spot-kick.
Here’s what we learned from the match.
Impressive performance from Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance was probably the biggest highlight for Liverpool. He looked fresh and sharp, as displayed by his lung-busting run on the counter-attack. He ran half the length of the pitch in extra-quick time before putting in a pinpoint cross to Kent, who was denied by a good save from Marwin Hitz. In the build-up to Wilson’s goal, it was Oxlade-Chamberlain who won the ball back with some great pressing. He wasn’t perfect but this was a really encouraging performance from the former Arsenal man.
Questions about Larouci
Yasser Larouci started the game at left-back and for the most part, he did well up against the dangerous Jadon Sancho. However, Larouci is still very inexperienced at left-back and whilst he looked good in attack, his defensive performance was a bit of a worry. He wasn’t great for any of the Dortmund goals, especially the third, and questions must be asked about Liverpool’s plans at left-back. Andrew Robertson is obviously the first-choice but going in with a youngster as his backup is a risk. James Milner can do a job there, of course, but if Liverpool want an out-and-out backup, they will need to go into the transfer market.
If you looked at the scoreline and saw that Liverpool had conceded three goals, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Simon Mignolet had not played well, but that’s not the case. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Belgian making some very good saves, Liverpool may have lost by an even heavier score. It looks like Mignolet will be the backup goalkeeper and whilst he’s not in Alisson Becker’s class, the Belgian has proven that he’s a good second option.
Liverpool might decide to let bot Kent and Wilson leave on loan or even decide to sell the pair, but if Klopp wants to keep one of the wingers at the club, Wilson is starting to look like the favourite to remain at Anfield. Both have played well in pre-season, and both looked good against Dortmund, but there’s no doubt that Wilson is more the comfortable of the duo in front of goal. His composed finished proved just that, whilst Kent looked a bit hurried when he had his chances to score.