Liverpool’s first 60-minute friendly vs. Bologna ended in a comfortable win for the Reds, with Virgil van Dijk playing 40 minutes.
Liverpool 2-0 Bolgona
60-minute Pre-Season Friendly; Evian, France
Thursday, 5 August 2021
It was Liverpool in action, but not as we’re used to seeing them! The Reds looked more like rivals Man United, lining up in a bizarre combo of the home shirt with the away kit shorts and socks.
On the pitch, there was the welcome return of Virgil van Dijk to the starting lineup for the first time in 10 months, the Dutchman alongside Joel Matip in defence.
Up front Diogo Jota started centrally between Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, with Jota getting himself on the scoresheet after just six minutes by capitalising on some sloppy Bologna defending to waltz past two defenders and tuck away for a very simple finish.
Five minutes later and after more poor defending from the Italian side, Mane skipped around the keeper and tucked the ball home for 2-0.
Liverpool barely needed to break a sweat, in stark contrast to the intensity of the last friendly vs. Hertha Berlin. Bologna were not exactly impressive.
Half time: Liverpool 2-0 Bologna
- Van Dijk plays 40 minutes
- Jota and Mane with early goals
- Next friendly vs. Athletic at Anfield on Sunday
Half time saw Van Dijk remain on the pitch, playing 42 minutes in total in what is a significant step in his return from injury.
Harvey Elliott was one of the standouts, again in his ‘new’ midfield role, the youngster playing 50 minutes before being replaced by Ben Woodburn for the final 10 minutes of the hour.
After the early couple of goals, the score remained 2-0, with Bologna slightly better in the second half.
Liverpool looked composed and had some nice play, plenty of positives for pre-season.
Attendance: Behind closed doors
Liverpool: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk (R. Williams 42′), Robertson; Milner, Elliott (Woodburn 50′), Keita; Salah, Mane, Jota
Subs not used: Karius, Pitaluga, Beck
Next Match: Athletic Bilbao – Sunday, 8 August, 4pm (BST)