Pulisic Takes Down the Reds in Charlotte

Liverpool took their first loss of pre-season at the hands of Borussia Dortmund, here’s The Anfield Talk’s Logan (@kidd9logan) with a report and player ratings.

55,000 American football fans packed into the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina to witness the Reds take on Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup.
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The Reds came out struggling to retain possession in the midfield for the first 20 minutes. Too much space in the central midfield cost the Reds, giving Dortmund golden opportunities in which they failed to convert.

The Reds slowly started to close the gaps and found their way into the match. Diagonal balls that were in between the centre-backs and the full-backs started giving Dortmund trouble. One through ball that led to a corner proved to be instrumental for the Reds. The corner was played short to Andy Robertson, who sent in a teasing cross for Van Dijk to finish, in which he did.

The Reds started to control the tide of play for the rest of the half and took a 1:0 lead into the half.

After plenty of changes at the start of the second half, the match started to open up.

Naby Keita and James Milner took control of the central midfield while Dortmund started to find success on the wings. A beautiful through ball from Daniel Sturridge, sent Sheyi Ojo clear through on goal, but he failed to beat the keeper and the crossbar.
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A few moments later, the American wonder boy, Christian Pulisic, took advantage of a failed clearance and got brought down in the box for a penalty, in which he converted. In the 89th minute, a very quick counter-attack from Dortmund down the left flank, was forced in by Pulisic to given Dortmund the win at the death. Another late goal scored by Jacob Bruun Larsen after questionable positioning from Karius.

Player Ratings:

Loris Karius: 3/10

His head has absolutely gone. His decision-making was poor once again. Every touch that he had looked like it could have ended up in the back of the net. His positioning was also very questionable. The best option for the young ‘keeper is to go out on loan and regain his confidence.

Nathaniel Clyne: 6/10

Clyne tracked back very well, but his technical ability to generate space on the flanks was absent. When he was able to generate space, his service into the box could have been better,

Virgil van Dijk: 9/10

Another brilliant performance from the Dutchman. His ability to control play from the back and his calmness on the ball while under pressure was superb. He was able to win almost every aerial duel. His heading power was also on display as he powered a ball pass the Dortmund keeper.

Joel Matip: 4/10

His horrible injury record continues once again. He limped off in the 20th minute with an apparent thigh injury. Klopp provided an update after the match and said that it is a small tear, but they will know the severity of the injury in the coming days.

Andrew Robertson: 8/10

Andy was once again very good defencively and going forward. His service into the box was superb once again. His assist on van Dijk’s goal exemplified just that.

Fabinho: 7/10 Fabinho was decent in filling in at centre-back while Matip was on the sideline getting medical attention. When he moved back into the midfield, his ability to win every loose ball and to regain possession was superb. His coverage of the two central defenders was decent.

Adam Lallana: 6/10

Lallana was very average in the centre of the pitch. He showed glimpses of brilliance, but could not remain at that level throughout.

Rafa Camacho: 6/10

Rafa lost possession way too easily. He was bullied off of the ball more times than not. His service into the box however, was decent.

Curtis Jones: 7/10

The young man was absolutely brilliant once again. He was very good at holding up the play and with playing balls forward. He was also pivotal in intercepting to start a quick counter attack. He definitely deserves a crack at the first team this season.

Lazar Markovic: 6/10

His runs in behind were decent, but his desire to get on the loose balls was not there.

Divock Origi: 4/10

The Belgian was dreadful once again.  He had the ball taken off of him way too easily and was bullied in the air. He lacked pace and gave up on balls that were not straight to him.

Joe Gomez: 5/10

He was decent when he came on for Matip at centre-back, but when he moved onto the right, he was beaten way too easily. He over committed going forward and struggled to keep up with the overlapping wing back.

Ragnar Klavan: 6/10

The Estonian did not have too much to do, but was decent when called upon.

Nathaniel Phillips: 6/10

The young defender did not have much to do, but when he did he was decent.

Alberto Moreno: 6/10

The Spaniard was decent getting forward, but struggled to get back. His service into the box could have been a lot better.

James Milner: 6/10

Milner was decent at regaining possession and working the ball out from the back. He surprisingly hit an effort from outside of the box that just went wide; I could get used to seeing more of that. He did give away the soft penalty for clipping Pulisic.

Ben Woodburn; 5/10

He was very hard to notice at times as he would seemingly get lost in the middle of the pitch. When he did have the ball, he was bullied off of it very easily.

Naby Keita: 8/10

Keita was an absolute machine in the midfield. He won every loose ball that was in his vicinity and his through balls were superb. His explosiveness to easily get around defenders was very impressive.

Sheyi Ojo: 6/10

His runs in behind generated some chances and opened up some space for Sturridge to make a run, but his finishing needs to improve if he wants to have a crack at the first team.

Daniel Sturridge: 8/10

Flashes of the sharp and fit Daniel Sturridge came out. His flashy skill moves and impressive passing caused real trouble for Dortmund’s defence. He did not have many looks at goal, but his movement was crucial for others to get looks.

A Sturridge comeback season incoming. #YearoftheStudge

Dominic Solanke: 5/10

He missed an absolute sitter in front of goal and had a crucial give away at the top of the box which led to Dortmund’s second goal.

Liverpool are in action again on Wednesday against Manchester City at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The match can be seen live on LFCTV. Kickoff is scheduled for 01:05 BST.

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