Minamino on target as Liverpool ‘reserves’ held to draw in secret Anfield friendly

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Takumi Minamino scored as Jurgen Klopp allowed a host of his first-team players a runout to pick up fitness, in a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield B at Anfield on Sunday.

The Reds kicked off their Premier League campaign with a 4-3 win over Leeds on Saturday evening, and the majority of those involved were given the next day off to recover.

But while Curtis Jones was visiting Kirkby to watch his former under-23s team-mates beat Everton in the Merseyside derby, Klopp’s fringe players were called upon at Anfield.

Taking on Huddersfield B in a behind-closed-doors friendly, Minamino started along with Adrian, James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Joel Matip.

The Japan international was the only scorer in the first half, before a host of changes at the break saw Loris Karius return to action, along with Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster.

Huddersfield netted an equaliser through an own goal, with the game ending at 1-1 in a useful runout for those yet to play for the senior side this term.

At this point, further details of this ‘secret’ friendly are scarce, with journalists yet to uncover specifics two days on.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Liverpools Xherdan Shaqiri during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 234th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is encouraging to see Shaqiri back from injury, having missed much of pre-season, while their inclusion suggests no decision has been made yet on either Wilson or Brewster.

Karius was called upon, with Caoimhin Kelleher starting in the U23s’ derby.

Although not yet confirmed, presumably Marko Grujic, Harvey Elliott, Nat Phillips and Ki-Jana Hoever were also involved in the match.

After the game, Huddersfield B manager Danny Schofield attested to Liverpool’s “intense press,” with the Reds unlikely to have held up despite the scoreline, with fitness and sharpness the priority in these friendlies.

Klopp is unlikely to make many changes for the next Premier League game at Chelsea on Sunday, which made this meeting with the Terriers a vital one.

Those included in the draw can be expected to start in the League Cup third-round clash with either Bradford or Lincoln, with Liverpool due to discover their opponent on Tuesday night.

That tie should be played on September 23, three days after the trip to Stamford Bridge.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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