Liverpool concluded their preparations for the new season with a victory over Italian side Torino at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were too clever, quick and powerful for their opponents throughout the game, despite making numerous changes at the break and further substitutions throughout the second half.
Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum were on target in the first half for a strong-starting Reds XI that featured three summer signings – goalkeeper Alisson and midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho, the latter of whom missed the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot after Sadio Mane had been fouled in the box.
The visitors rarely threatened but pulled a goal back through Andrea Belotti’s powerful close-range header.
With West Ham visiting Anfield for the Premier League opener on Sunday, Klopp withdrew most of his first string, giving run-outs to the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana, Danny Ings and Marko Grujic, along with another off-season recruit, Xherdan Shaqiri.
It was Sturridge who rounded off the scoring, steering in a header from Shaqiri’s neat chipped cross late in the match.
Despite the restricted game-time for most, there was enough quality to demonstrate Liverpool’s readiness for the coming campaign.
Firmino’s deflected opener from inside the box came from the eagerness and awareness of Mohamed Salah, who harried and picked up the loose ball before supplying a neat pass to his fellow forward.
The second goal was better, with Wijnaldum driving into the box and receiving Firmino’s pinpoint pass in his stride before stroking in a low shot.
And while Sturridge and Shaqiri may not start Sunday’s game, they have the predatory instinct and creative ability to make a significant impact from the bench if required.
There was also another promising display from 21-year-old Nathaniel Phillips, who played almost the full 90 minutes at centre-back, and a nice moment midway through the second half when Loris Karius, whose errors contributed to Liverpool’s defeat in last season’s Champions League final, replaced Alisson to huge cheers from the home crowd.