It was the performance that all Liverpool fans have been hoping for. With all the comings and goings this summer at Anfield many people were wondering wether the fast flowing, dynamic football that had pushed the reds to 2nd in the Premier League last season would be repeated this time around. Preseason had offered little answers as new players bedded in and others returned late from the World Cup. Then there was a disappointing 3-1 loss to rivals Manchester Utd in the USA. But all of the stress and strain has been put to bed by an amazing 4-0 win over German giants, Borussia Dortmund.
Both teams are just one week out from the start of the new season and were keen to impress, but it was Liverpool who looked sharper. Brazilian midfielder, Coutinho, took control of the game early on linking so well with Raheem Sterling that the Anfield crowd would have been drooling at the prospect of the new year. Only last week Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers, praised the 22 year old former Inter Milan player as the key to the Liverpool engine and once agin he couldn’t hide his delight with little Coutinho.
“He’s so gifted as a player,” said Rodgers in his post-match press conference.
“He’s just magical. His ability to get out of tight situations and his view of the game is incredible.
“And that’s his best position – playing between the lines, he doesn’t get marked. He drops to the back of midfield, he draws defenders out, and the weight of his passes is phenomenal.
“He was outstanding, and what he’s added to his game is that relentless pressing. He’s very strong under pressure on the ball, and puts pressure on the opposition when he’s not on the ball.”
“He’s come into this country and league, and lit it up with his quality. It’s now about doing that on the big stage – the Champions League, and he’s got the chance to go and do that,” added the Reds boss.
“I think that even at that level, he will show what great qualities he has. I really see him over the next four or five years, being a big force in world football, both for Brazil and Liverpool.
New Southampton manager, Ronald Koeman, watched from the stands and looked a little forlorn as he saw next weeks opponents in top gear with former Saints player, Dejan Lovren, scoring his first goal for his new club while Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson shared the love giving football fans a good look at Liverpool post Luis Suarez.
“I felt we played very well throughout the game,” said England midfielder Henderson.
“It was a good way to end pre-season and get ready for next week.
“Everybody is happy and hopefully we can continue that going into the game against Southampton. Most of our games in pre-season have been against top opposition, Champions League teams.
“Now we’re ready for the real test next week. We’re improving all the time. We continue to work hard and work on different things.
“We’ve got a young team that is developing very well and we’ve got a lot of experience despite being so young. Hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the season.”
The most pleasing thing for me about the match was that we shared the goals around. It is something that has happened all summer and shows that we wont be relying on just one player to replace last season’s top scorer, Luis Suarez.
BRING ON THE NEW SEASON.