Liverpool cruised to a 3-0 victory against German side Stuttgart in their first friendly match of pre-season in Austria as Jurgen Klopp’s champions picked up where they left off in 2019-20.
Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita and Rhian Brewster got on the scoresheet as the Reds got their double-header of matches off to a winning start before their RB Leipzig friendly on Tuesday.
Klopp named a strong starting XI for the first half of the match, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk in action as part of an almost full strength line-up.
And it was the third member of their feared front three Roberto Firmino that struck first for the Reds after 16 minutes. However, the Brazilian had the easiest of jobs with the tap-in after some great footwork from Curtis Jones to set him up.
The academy graduate stood out during the first 45 minutes as part of a fairly senior side – a huge positive for his hopes for minutes ahead of the 2020-21 season.
The Premier League champions continued to apply their dominance throughout the first period despite the horrendous conditions as Van Dijk came close to doubling their lead from a set-piece only to see his effort glanced wide.
The two-goal cushion came before the break as midfielder Naby Keita cooly slotted home after Firmino pulled off a delightful back-heel to put him in behind the German’s defence.
In the second half, Klopp called upon a completely new XI to take the field in the wet, blustery conditions in Austria.
The second half continued in very similar fashion to the first, with the Reds pushing on for another goal as the youngsters were awarded the chance to prove themselves.
Harvey Elliott came close to adding a third for the Reds from a free-kick, but his goal-bound effort was deflected wide by a Liverpool player.
Striker Takumi Minamino was also bright in the early stages of the second half as new signing Kostas Tsimikas made a vital clearance on a Stuttgart attack as he looked to settle in well with his new team-mates.
Rhian Brewster, who has impressed massively during a loan spell with Swansea last season, kept his goalscoring form up as he fired home from close range as Liverpool eventually did make it 3-0.
Goalkeeper Adrian was called into late action despite Klopp’s side dominating the match and he answered the call with great aplomb, making two impressive saves.