Liverpool’s second pre-season friendly of the summer ended in a 3-1 win over Bradford as the Reds raised awareness for Stephen Darby’s MND Foundation.
The Reds got their summer off to a great start in midweek against Tranmere and it was a similar theme on Sunday.
Of course, while Jurgen Klopp and his men were utilising the 90 minutes as a further fitness exercise, the day was also about raising awareness for ex-Red Stephen Darby’s charity, the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.
While most of the squad remained the same from that first fixture at Prenton Park, the one senior who did return to action was centre-back Dejan Lovren after a few days in training.
As would be expected against a lower-league side, the Reds were dominant in possession and enjoyed plenty of opportunities to press high upfield.
It wasn’t long before the chances started to fall Liverpool’s way as a result, though the opening goal was perhaps a surprise in that it came from a long-range James Milner strike, deflected in off a Bradford head.
Milner immediately got the chance to double the lead, after Rhian Brewster‘s fantastic wall-pass set free Ryan Kent, who was fouled.
The No. 7 dispatched the spot-kick clinically, for 2-0 and two goals within a minute.
The Reds remained in charge throughout the half and a few big chances were created—often with the clever footwork of Brewster at the centre of the moves.
A one-two with Harry Wilson was particularly impressive to watch, but the Welshman was denied by a fine save on that occasion—before Brewster made it 3-0 just before the break.
Meanwhile, the left-back battle continued in the absence of Andy Robertson; Yasser Larouci wasn’t quite as effective as in the first match, but another 45 minutes at senior level will benefit him.
Once more, Klopp opted to change all 10 outfielders for the second half and Adam Lewis impressed after the break in the same position, linking well with Liam Millar—called up to the squad after Paul Glatzel‘s unfortunate injury.
The Canadian was frequently involved and the duo combined well down that channel, but Millar had one fine curling effort saved.
Curtis Jones was a stand-out for the Reds in the second 45 minutes, which was considerably more low-key than the first.
Bradford found the back of the net via a penalty to leave the score at 3-1 for full-time, but the post-match lap of honour featuring Stephen Darby and his family was the closing image for many.
The day will have been a success in terms of raising money for the foundation, and the importance of the day goes well beyond the 90 minutes on this occasion.
Liverpool will now head back to Melwood to continue training, before flying out to the United States on Tuesday.