Liverpool headed back to winning ways in the pre-season campaign with a 2-0 victory over Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in the Port of Rotterdam Tournament.
Fernando Torres scored his first goal in a Liverpool shirt, an instinctive poachers goal on the 12 minute mark as he beat the offside trap and fired past the advancing Shanghai keeper.
It was a game in which Dirk Kuyt received a rapturous welcome as he arrived on the field while new red Ryan Babel (formerly of Ajax of Amsterdam) was treated to a hostile welcome – booed every time he touched the ball.
A relatively inexperienced side began the game for Liverpool with the likes of Insua, Lucas Leiva and David Martin in goal but Liverpool had a decent amount of possession and crafted a number of half chances.
By the time Liverpool’s more senior players began arriving early in the second half the reds upped the ante and captain Steven Gerrard scored a superb goal in the 62nd minute after only 90 minutes on the pitch. Just outside the Shanghai penalty area he controlled the ball and hit a perfect dipping and curling shot – the amount of time he had created for himself it may well have been a free kick. It is clear that despite all the new arrivals, Gerrard is clearly still the talismanic Liverpool force that every other player should aspire to be.
Liverpool looked sharp and hopefully their fitness will continue as they face a stronger test against Feyenoord on Sunday.
Martin; Finnan (Arbeloa), Hyypia, Paletta, Insua; Leto, Leiva (Kuyt 73), Sissoko (Gerrard 61) Benayoun, Torres (Mascherano 73), Crouch (Babel 61)
Unused subs: Reina, Alonso, Carragher, Agger