Liverpool sealed a 3-1 victory over League Two outfit Bradford City on Sunday, but there was a clear disparity between the performances in either half.
Bradford 1-3 Liverpool
Pre-Season Friendly (2), Valley Parade
July 14, 2019
Milner 13′ (assist – Kent)
Milner pen 14′ (assist – Kent)
Brewster 41′ (assist – Oxlade-Chamberlain)
Doyle pen 81′ (assist – Donaldson)
Following a comprehensive 6-0 win at Tranmere on Thursday night, the Reds made another short trip to Bradford for their second friendly of pre-season.
The game, in aid of the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, was played in a bright atmosphere in a packed-out Valley Parade, with Jurgen Klopp fielding largely the same side from midweek.
Dejan Lovren was the only player to come into the starting lineup, with Joe Gomez shifting into the second-half XI to accommodate the returning Croatian, while injury to Vitezslav Jaros saw Simon Mignolet play 81 minutes.
After a back-and-forth start, Liverpool truly got going just before the quarter-hour, as James Milner got his name on the scoresheet twice in a minute.
- Valley Parade packed out in support of Darby Rimmer MND Foundation
- Milner scores twice in a minute as Liverpool start strongly
- Brewster nets third of pre-season to end first half at 3-0
- Millar makes first outing for Liverpool first team among 10 half-time changes
- Doyle grabs one for Bradford as Reds concede only goal of pre-season so far
- Liverpool run out 3-1 winners on routine afternoon in West Yorkshire
His first came following a corner, picking the ball up outside the box and bending it in, via a Bradford head, before Ryan Kent was brought down in the box soon after, with Milner stepping up to make it 2-0 from the spot.
Kent, Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster all combined excellently throughout the first half, and the latter almost teed up Liverpool’s Welsh winger on 28 minutes only for Richard O’Donnell to make a great save.
Bradford grew into the game as the half wore on, and Ben Richards-Everton had the ball in the back of the net only to be ruled out for offside.
Just as the first half looked set to fizzle out, a swift break saw Kent cut back for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose shot was blocked only for Brewster to hammer home from the tightest of angles for his third goal of pre-season.
As previously announced, Klopp made 10 changes at the break as Mignolet kept his place but the likes of Fabinho, Divock Origi and Bobby Duncan came on, with Liam Millar making his first appearance at senior level.
Jones was the spark in a largely uneventful opening 15 minutes of the second half, as a young Liverpool side looked to break down a more rigid Bantams defence.
Origi curled a series of hopeless efforts well wide as the tempo remained slow, with Klopp looking decidedly frustrated in his discussions with Joel Matip on the touchline.
It got ‘worse’ for Liverpool with 10 minutes left to play, as a rash challenge from Adam Lewis gave Bradford a penalty, which Eoin Doyle duly dispatched to make it 3-1.
That proved to be the most interesting moment of the second half, with the game ending in a comfortable win for the Reds, who now head to the United States on the back of two victories.
But the landscape of the second half suggests some will need to step up a gear against Borussia Dortmund in Notre Dame.
Liverpool first-half XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Phillips, Lovren, Larouci; Lallana, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Wilson, Kent, Brewster
Liverpool second-half XI: Mignolet (Atherton 81′); Hoever, Matip, Gomez, Lewis; Fabinho, Woodburn, Jones; Millar, Origi, Duncan
Subs not used: Johnston
Next Match: Borussia Dortmund (N) – Pre-Season Friendly (3) – Saturday, July 20, 1am (BST)