Liverpool completed their final pre-season fixture against Spanish side Valencia with a 2-0 victory – goals coming at either end of the game.
Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson all tasted Anfield for the first time as a member of the home side.
Reina, Johnson (Kelly 10), Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Henderson, Spearing, Adam, Downing, Aquilani, Carroll
Fabio Aurelio returned to the Liverpool side for the first time this pre-season.
Downing started the half as he meant to go on – putting in a number of fine crosses and getting to the touchline throughout the half.
The reds got off to the perfect start when Andy Carroll scored in the 7th minute to put the reds into the lead.
Moments later and Glen Johnson was taken off as a precautionary measure, Martin Kelly coming on to replace him.
Fabio Aurelio and Stewart Downing were combining well on the left hand side – whilst Henderson on the right having to get used to the arrival of Kelly.
Carroll found himself in a promising position later in the half but elected to shoot early instead of powering forward – giving the keeper an easy save. Moments later he found himself in the referee’s book after a poor challenge. In the Premier League it could easily have been a red card. The Valencia captain then handed Andy the revenge and also got a yellow card.
Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Robinson, Henderson (Kuyt 58), Leiva, Adam (Flanagan 74), Downing (Cole 58), Aquilani (Rodriguez 58), Carroll (Ngog 58)
The reds welcomed back Lucas Leiva to the Liverpool side at the start of the half, with Aurelio also making way for Jack Robinson.
The second half struggled to settle as both sides continued to make wholesale changes throughout the half.
By the time Downing and Mata were replaced by their respective clubs, many Liverpool fans will have come to the conclusion that we didn’t do too badly with our choice of winger.
Cole, Kuyt, Rodriguez and Ngog all combined straight away as the reds nearly doubled their lead. Maxi firing in a shot and the rebound almost falling to Ngog.
A number of other players got brief cameo’s in the game, but the second half lacked the cohesion of the first. Liverpool will take heart of their improved defensive display against a good Valencia side. Agger, who departed late on to a round of applause, will be one player who Liverpool fans will be praying stays fit during the season.
Late in the game Valencia turned up the pressure, with Soldado taking the ball past Reina, only for the reds keeper to recover and force a corner.
The reds secured the game in the 89th minute. Joe Cole took a free kick from a wide position, and Kyrgiakos got the final touch in a 6 yard box scramble to ensure the reds won through on the day.
In the end the reds held their own and will take the positives from a victory and clean sheet.
All eyes now on next Saturday, when the reds will return to Anfield. But then – 3 points will be at stake.