Liverpool end pre-season with disappointing defeat to Celtic

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Saturday 10 August 2013 - 5:00 pm
Aviva Stadium
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Liverpool ended their pre-season fixtures with a 1-0 defeat against Celtic at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

LFC v Celtic in Dublin

Despite the transfer rumours swirling around Stewart Downing (some had suggested he had already signed for West Ham), the winger was named in the starting eleven for this clash.

The Aviva Stadium in Dublin was bedecked in red and green - reflecting the popular nature of both clubs in Ireland.

LFC - Celtic fans before the game in Dublin

Liverpool started brightly, with Downing looking like a player in particular with a point to prove.

Joe Allen also started well - and he raced down the line but sadly his cross failed to find a man.

In the 12th minute Celtic took the lead.  Baldé powered past Kolo Toure, before unleashing a shot at Mignolet who was rushing out to meet him.  The ball hit the keeper and looped high in the air before bouncing into the net.

Celtic's keeper was in fine form.  First to deny a great run by Coutinho into the box, and then to tip away a good curling effort from Stewart Downing from the edge of the box.

Glen Johnson made a forceful run into the box, earning himself a one-on-one, but he fired straight at Zaluska.

The reds did have another scare when Baldé was involved in a goalmouth scramble. But Toure managed to launch the ball to safety, and the reds went in to the half time break 1-0 down.

The reds welcomed Daniel Sturridge back in to the side at the start of the second half. He was making his first appearance since suffering an injury with England at the end of the season.

Daniel Sturridge returns to action for Liverpool against Celtic

Despite Sturridge's return, the second half was a far more scrappy affair - with the constant changes and substitutions from both sides hampering the flow of the game.

Liverpool did put the ball in the back of the net once - Gerrard whipped in a vicious free kick and Kolo Toure headed the ball in before the linesman declared Toure offside.

Coutinho and Sturridge also combined on a couple of occasions but Celtic's defending was more than up to the task, as the reds lacked that certain spark up front.

But in the final 10 minutes, Liverpool sensed an equaliser could be possible and upped their game.

A great through ball from Coutinho found Sturridge who quickly attempted a lob over the oncoming keeper - the ball went narrowly wide.

Then in the next minute, Sturridge unleashed a powerful left footed strike from 22 yards out - the ball rippling the wrong side of the net.

A disappointing result and overall a tepid performance against what wasn't even a full strength Celtic side.  Liverpool still look like they need that extra bit of attacking quality to help unlock teams who are going to be stronger than the Scottish Champions B team.  But all will be forgotten when the reds head to Anfield next week.

LFC Teamsheet v Celtic

Starting XI: Mignolet, Johnson, Toure, Wisdom, Enrique, Lucas, Gerrard, Allen , Downing, Aspas, Coutinho

Bench: Jones, Alberto, Assaidi, Henderson, Sturridge, Coates, Borini, Sterling, Kelly, Flanagan, Ibe

Next up for Liverpool FC - the opening game of the Premier League - a home game against Stoke City next Saturday lunchtime.

What do you think? Are we ready for the start of the Premier League season? Do we need reinforcements?

6 comments on “Liverpool end pre-season with disappointing defeat to Celtic

  1. Good result for liverpool, a wake up call, we were bullied out of it just like so many games last season. still missing the ruthless streak.
    John D Convoy

  2. I’ll start with the positives. I thought we did actually control the game for long periods in the match. I think the fluidity of our mid-field is there to be seen. Players popping up in all kinds of positions. Special mention has to go to Coutinho though, had we won the game i think that traitor on BT sport would have voted for the young guy as MOTM. Kept the ball well all afternoon, and threaded in some killer passes, which probably would have been converted by a match-fit Sturridge and beat a countless number of players.

    Now for the negatives. We are in desperate need of a LB who can attack and defend. Being able to do one is not enough. With Jose, its almost like you don’t know which one he is going to do on the day, whether its defend well or attack well. But he rarely does both, and today was another example of that. His crosses on attack were awful. Surely thats something you can work on in training? Anyway we need a more consistent/reliable left back. We clearly need a CB, Wisdom is the classic example of a raw young talent playing in a vital position at a higher level than he was used to in the Youth Team. In time he will learn and improve, but he can’t be our first option if Agger gets injured, which seems to occur at least once in a season. Downing was alright had some good spells in the match but you just feel a club like Liverpool need someone more threatening in that position, e.g. skill level of Coutinho. It’s now a case of me expecting Coutinho to do something effective and being surprised when Downing does something effective. This should not be the case especially if we are going to effectively breakdown stubborn teams looking to play counter-attack against our predominantly possession football. This was the case today and for some reason Stevie had a poor second half, giving the ball away too often. Alas pre-season football is only a taster, what will count is our performances against the likes of Stokes. Celtic were probably a good taster of what we could expect from Stoke City. So please Mr Henry, SANCTION THE SIGNINGS OF A LB, CB, WINGER, and HOLDING MIDFIELDER.

  3. What do we make of Downing starting + playing for so long? If he was off to West Ham then why would Liverpool have chosen him ahead of giving Ibe some more game-time?

  4. results apart, this game was one of the best in terms of our passing and creativity. Probably needed to be more clinical but the signs are there that the boys are ready. Good to see nobody injured and Coutinho + Sturridge seems to be telepathically linked. Those runs we in the box and the passing were really good and the defence looked physically strong as well (wonder what happened to Agger). Overall, this game would sum up our preparation of the pre-season. Also the boys would be disappointed but they would work extra hard now to face Stoke at home.

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