Liverpool suffered a narrow defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Friday night in the third game of the Reds’ pre-season. Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster scored for Jürgen Klopp’s side at the Notre Dame Stadium, and it was another useful run-out for the Liverpool squad in a fast-paced affair. In the sweltering heat it was seemingly the Reds who started the opening exchanges the better, but a lapse of concertation in just the third minute from Nathaniel Clyne saw Giovanni Reyna run across the right-back, before further sloppy defending from the Englishman allowed the ball to fall to Paco Alcacer who smashed home from close range. Liverpool were determined not to let the early goal phase them, and they soon went close when Joel Matip headed over from a corner. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain impressed in the first half and a powerful run from the midfielder ended with him crossing to the back post for Ryan Kent, but the winger’s shot was saved on the line by Marwin Hitz. Hitz was again called into action after James Milner’s excellent through ball was latched onto by Harry Wilson – the Welshman’s attempted lob parried away by the Swiss goalkeeper. The tempo of the match was at a much higher rate compared to the Reds’ first two matches of pre-season, and Dortmund provided a stern and energetic test. Jadon Sancho’s battle with Yasser Larouci was particularly entertaining while Joe Gomez was impressive once again. Thankfully there was nothing Hitz could do about Wilson’s next opportunity as he found the bottom-left corner to net the equaliser. Oxlade-Chamberlain pressed to win the ball back, allowing Fabinho to play in Wilson after Kent superbly dummied the pass. The German outfit made plenty of changes at the break which allowed them to start the second half the stronger side. Simon Mignolet was called into action on numerous occasions as the match progressed, but after he saved from Marius Wolf, Mignolet’s teammates were asleep from the resulting corner and failed to deal with the second ball – allowing for an attack that ended with Thomas Delaney having a simple tap-in to make it 2-1. Things quickly got worse for Liverpool after Larouci was dispossessed and Dortmund worked the ball for Jacob Bruun Larsen to control the ball and finish neatly. Klopp rung the changes around the hour-mark, giving Virgil Van Dijk, Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Gini Wijnaldum their first minutes of pre-season. The changes helped the Reds regain a foothold in the game, and when Ben Woodburn was brought down in the penalty area it was Rhian Brewster who confidently stepped up to slam the penalty into the top-right corner to notch his fourth goal of pre-season. Klopp’s team pushed for an equaliser, particularly down Robertson’s side, but a cross from the Scotsman that just missed Curtis Jones at the far post was Liverpool’s last chance of the evening. It was pleasing to see the Reds cope fairly well with a dramatic increase in tempo from the wins over Tranmere and Bradford, and it was probably the first-half group of Mignolet, Gomez, Fabinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain who impressed the most despite the defeat. Liverpool Starting XI – Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Gomez, Larouci, Fabinho, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilson, Kent, Origi. Liverpool XI after substitutes – Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lewis, Jones, Woodburn, Brewster.
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