The best photos from Liverpool’s friendly at Blackburn as Keita & Sturridge impress

20 July 2018

Liverpool’s final north-west friendly saw them 2-0 victors over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Thursday evening, with Naby Keita and Daniel Sturridge impressing.


Jurgen Klopp fielded two different XIs in each half again, with the second lineup proving far the more impressive than the first.

First-half XI: Karius; Clyne, Matip, Klavan, Moreno; Milner, Lallana, Woodburn; Ojo, Origi, Solanke

Second-half XI: Karius; Gomez, Phillips, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Keita, Jones; Camacho, Markovic, Sturridge

The first half was an extremely dull affair, with the main talking point Adam Lallana‘s very 00s haircut.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's Adam Lallana during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Halftime saw Keita, Sturridge and – remarkably – Lazar Markovic among the new XI.

Markovic hadn’t appeared in any of the friendlies so far, but with Harry Wilson loaned to Derby, and Ryan Kent not involved as he nears a loan move, the Serbian was given a rare appearance.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's Lazar Markovic during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Markovic was lively on the left side of attack and linked up well with Sturridge in particular. Arguably he was more impressive than either of Divock Origi or Dominic Solanke have been this pre-season.

It was Markovic who opened the scoring, finishing well after a lovely through ball from Sturridge – who continued to impress.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the second goal during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Sturridge grabbed the second himself with a lovely little finish after some brilliant work by Keita. The Guinean midfielder won the ball high up the pitch then played a delightful ball through, showing Reds fans exactly the qualities they can look forward to this season.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: A young Liverpool supporter waves his scarf as he celebrates the second goal during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's new signing Naby Keita during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Keita really was the standout performer and those who perhaps weren’t yet aware of his talent will be realising it soon.

Direct running from deep in midfield and at speed is something that isn’t often seen but Keita delivers it in abudance, plus plenty more.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the second goal during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The other impressive performer was 17-year-old midfielder Curtis Jones. The local lad has really taken his opportunity this summer and arguably has impressed more than Ben Woodburn.

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

All in all, it was a good match to end the Reds’ mini tour of the north-west, and the squad will now be joined by Mo Salah and Sadio Mane as they depart for the east coast of America on Friday night.

The Reds’ first game in the States is against Klopp’s former side, Borussia Dortmund, in North Carolina on Sunday evening (9pm UK).

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