In their final preseason friendly before the English Premier League begins, Liverpool performed brilliantly against an outclassed Borussia Dortmund side, winning 4-0.
The match displayed the frightening talent that the attacking trio of Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge possess as Coutinho and Sturridge both scored, with Sterling being a constant threat as well.
The quick movements and clever passing by the trio along with Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard and Emre Can were simply too much for Dortmund to prevent as they piled up chance after chance.
Sturridge scored the opening goal after a sublime flick by Coutinho to see him in on goal, where he coolly finished as we’ve become accustomed to seeing.
New signing Dejan Lovren scored in his Liverpool debut as he was left unmarked on a corner kick. Gerrard’s in-swinger was placed perfectly and Lovren’s low-driven header was well out of the reach of Dortmund goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak.
Coutinho tallied the third goal after a perfectly timed pass from Sterling into the box. A cutting Coutinho took one touch to free himself and fired home from a very narrow angle.
The final goal had the best build-up of the four by far as some intricate passing and movement by Sturridge, Sterling and Coutinho got Liverpool in behind Dortmund’s defense again only to have to reset a bit. Sturridge reached the end-line after beating his defender and cut the ball back for a wide-open Henderson for an easy tap-in finish.
It must be said that Dortmund was a bit undermanned in this game as they were without Mats Hummels and Marco Reus and did not play Neven Subotic, but it is the type of offensive output you would hope to see from a Liverpool side that has been fielding questions constantly about how they would score without Luis Suarez.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has to feel good about his team’s performance heading into the season as they will return to UEFA Champions League play and hope to contend for a league title as well.
The performances of Sturridge, Sterling and Coutinho have to minimize the concerns about how the team would score without Suarez, at least for now. What will be interesting is if the trio can keep up this remarkably high level of play during the early slate of games which are not very forgiving. If they can, then Liverpool may be capable of contending for a league title again this season, even without Suarez, which some have deemed impossible.
There is a youth movement at Anfield and the team has fully bought in to Rodgers’ attack-minded system that has brought out the best in players like Coutinho, Sterling and Sturridge. If the trio can find a higher level of consistency they have not displayed yet, then the rest of the league should be wary of the Reds.