Liverpool beat Swindon Town 2-1 at the County Ground on Sunday, and Henry Jackson rates each Reds player on the day.
Swindon Town 1-2 Liverpool
Friendly – County Ground – Sunday, 2nd August 2015
Watch the goals: Benteke (48), Ojo (87); Obika (63)
Adam Bogdan: 6
The Hungarian had a quiet afternoon against the League 1 outfit, and could do nothing about Jonathan Obika’s well-taken goal.
The ex-Bolton man didn’t look great with the ball at his feet, however.
The 16-year-old will be pleased with the way he performed, producing a solid, if spectacular, display at right-back on his debut.
His use of the ball wasn’t always the best, but that’s to be expected for a player of his age.
Kolo Toure: 6
Toure wasn’t tested much throughout the contest, but whenever he was called upon, he dealt with the danger well. Slightly erratic at times, and doesn’t bring much calm to proceedings.
Mamadou Sakho: 6.5
The Frenchman was similarly reliable when called into action, and his quality on the ball was typically incisive and classy. One sublime piece of skill in the second-half outlined his talent.
Alberto Moreno: 5.5
The 23-year-old was one of Liverpool’s less impressive players, although he did make a number of good attacking bursts down the left.
He gave away needless fouls, as is the norm with Moreno, and he will feel he should have done better defensively for Obika’s goal.
Does he merit a start against Stoke City next Sunday?
Lucas Leiva: 6.5
Lucas produced a dependable performance on the whole, playing with calm and authority in the middle of the park. He even had a few goalscoring opportunities, which is almost unheard of.
Joe Allen: n/a
The Welshman lasted just over 10 minutes before limping off with a suspected hamstring injury. Nearly scored just minutes before leaving the pitch.
Emre Can: 8
Can was fantastic at times on his return to the side after an extended break, bringing pace, power and all-round quality to the Reds’ midfield.
The 21-year-old is a superb footballer when in full flow, and on this evidence, he has start against Stoke. Man of the Match.
Lazar Markovic: 5.5
An unconvincing display from the talented Serb, who struggled to get into the game.
His decision-making let him down a number of times, and a couple of finishes were poor. One even went off for a throw-in.
Roberto Firmino: 6.5
Liverpool have clearly signed a very talented footballer in Firmino, and despite not being at his best, he showed plenty of quality.
The former Hoffenheim star linked up well with fellow new signing Christian Benteke, and oozed class with the ball at his feet. Faded as the match went on; unsurprising considering it was his first game back.
Christian Benteke: 7
Benteke marked his Liverpool debut with a magnificent strike, on an afternoon where he will surely have silenced a few of his doubters.
His pace, strength and movement were impressive throughout, although he did miss one glorious chance in either half. Promising.
Joao Carlos Teixeira (on for Allen ’13): 7
Teixeira did well when he replaced Allen early on, looking silky and creative on the ball.
Dan Cleary (on for Alexander-Arnold ’57): 6
The young defender was not really noticed much, but did nothing wrong in his right-back role.
Ryan Fulton (on for Bogdan ’67): 6
The goalkeeper was only really called into action once, and dealt well with the situation.
Sheyi Ojo (on for Benteke ’67): 7
Ojo looked lively during his cameo, having a goal disallowed and firing home Liverpool’s late winner. He is a player who could feature more than some think in 2015/16.
Ryan Kent (on for Firmino ’67): 7.5
The youngster was again very impressive, as has been this case a few times this summer, and could easily have won a penalty when clean-through on goal.
Pedro Chirivella (on for Can ’76): n/a
No time to really make an impact, and left the pitch injured in the dying moments.