A very pre-season feel match saw Liverpool eventually record a 1-0 win against German side Mainz in Austria on Friday night.
Liverpool 1-0 Mainz 05
Pre-Season Friendly, Untersberg-Arena, Grodig, Austria
Friday, 23 July 2021
Killian (OG) 86′ (assist: Beck)
Liverpool’s second pre-season game of the summer – their first over a full 90 minutes – saw the strongest possible XI named, with Harvey Elliott continuing in midfield and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the No.9.
The game also marked the first of the summer with supporters in attendance, with 3,500 in the picturesque setting in the mountains of Austria.
Ibrahima Konate started alongside Joel Matip in defence, with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk still not deemed available for playing time.
It was an extremely ‘pre-season feel’ to the match, with very very few clear chances or major talking points.
The best chance of the half fell for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but he curled his shot wide of the far post – not exactly the best audition for his supposed new role as a centre-forward.
Naby Keita was the most lively and impressive player… just don’t say he’s like a new signing (again)!
The only actual new signing of the summer so far, Ibrahima Konate, did catch the eye on occasion too, certainly showing his pace in making recovery runs.
Half time: Liverpool 0-0 Mainz
- Elliot in midfield and Ox Up front again
- Jones and Phillips return
- Own goal the only goal of the match
- Next friendly is vs. Hertha Berlin next Thursday
Wholesale changes at half-time saw a much more fringe XI in the second half, with more opportunity for youngsters like Kaide Gordon, Leighton Clarkson, Tyler Morton and Owen Beck.
Curtis Jones, Neco Williams and Nat Phillips made their first appearances of pre-season, while Diogo Jota was among the unused subs.
Again, there was little of note and few talking points, with Liverpool’s front three of Gordon, Divock Origi and Taki Minamo barely threatening the Mainz defence.
Until a late goal for the Reds, the ‘highlight’ of the half was a good save from Adrian from a volley off a corner.
But there was a goal to note when young left-back Beck did well down the left and fired in a cross that was turned into his own net by defender Luca Killian.
It was a good test for so early in pre-season, with these early games usually against a much lower standard of opposition than a Bundesliga side like Mainz.
Another 45 minutes ‘in the tank’ for many players as they work their way to full fitness and now almost a week until the next friendly – when Jota, Andy Robertson and, hopefully, Van Dijk and Gomez will be involved.
Liverpool first half: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Matip, Tsimikas; Milner, Keita, Elliott; Mane, Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Liverpool second half: Adrian; N.Williams, Phillips, Koumetio, Beck; Clarkson, Jones, Morton (Cain 79′); Gordon, Minamino, Origi
Subs not used: Karius, H. Davies, Bradley, Jota
Next Match: Hertha Berlin – Thursday, 29 July, 7.20pm (BST)