Liverpool finished their pre-season campaign emphatically, after defeating Darmstadt 3-1 in convincing style.
The Reds have started strong in every game they’ve played this season, and it was no different against Darmstadt. Liverpool’s exceptionally attacking line-up was hungry for goals, ready to run, and eager to impress for the final time before the real season begins.
Early goals from Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota gave Jurgen Klopp’s team an early lead, before Mathias Honsak instantly pulled one back down the other end from kick-off.
However, Luis Diaz’ acrobatic finish in the second-half ultimately secured the 3-1 victory, as Liverpool’s dominance went up several gears.
With our goal scorers in remarkable form, there’s plenty to look forward to now the season is right around the corner. Here are the three main talking points from Liverpool’s final pre-season game.
If there was one thing fans learned from Liverpool’s final pre-season game, it’s that this season is going to be absolutely jam-packed with goals at both ends of the pitch.
Liverpool’s attacking talent is off the charts. Sharp, clinical, full of energy – and that’s just describing Diogo Jota.
Every one of Liverpool’s forwards is up the challenge this season, and whether they are starting, or coming off the bench, everyone from Mohamed Salah to Ben Doak is dangerous and could score at any moment.
However, it’s clear that there won’t just be goals to cheer about.
The Reds may have been dominant today, but every counter-attack left the defence looking shaky, and despite scoring a staggering 18 goals in 5 pre-season games, Liverpool have also conceded 11.
If Jurgen Klopp is to stick with his new system, the team have to find a way to become more defensively secure and stop leaking countless easy goals.
The acquisition of Romeo Lavia and further defensive reinforcement would certainly help this cause, but they are not out-and-out solutions, and until Liverpool find one, expect lots of high scoring games.
Mac Allister as a 6
Liverpool’s new number 10 has massively impressed in pre-season so far – he’s registered his first assist, played countless beautiful through balls, and his ability to control the ball and turn in tight spaces makes for truly exciting viewing.
After a stellar season with Brighton and a triumphant World Cup win with Argentina, one thing that stood out in particular was the 24-year-old’s incredible versatility. Mac Allister is a player that can quite literally play in any position across the midfield, and he does so to a very high standard.
Despite how exciting it’s been to watch him pulling the strings further up the pitch, it was certainly interesting to see this versatility put to the test on Monday night, as our new signing occupied the defensive midfield position against Darmstadt.
With Curtis Jones missing out with a very minor knock (nobody panic – he made the bench and came on in the second half), the Argentine took to his slightly more defensive role like a duck to water. Liverpool are incredibly lucky to have him.
While every Reds fan in the world is collectively praying the club signs a specialist defensive midfielder like Romeo Lavia this summer, it will provide at least some comfort that Curtis Jones and Alexis Mac Allister both have the ability to play the role – even though most would, admittedly, rather see the former influencing the game higher up the pitch.
Attacking pecking order?
With Liverpool now just six days away from their Premier League opener against Chelsea, perhaps Jurgen Klopp has shown his hand in regard to what he considers to be the pecking order for his plentiful attack?
It’s hard to consider the line-ups of previous pre-season games as much of an indication into Liverpool’s best starting XI going into the season, as they have mainly been about regaining fitness and match sharpness – but the final friendly before the season begins is often a good benchmark.
Despite Darwin Nunez’ fine goalscoring form so far, he was the only one of Liverpool’s illustrious five attackers to be named on the bench Monday night, with Mo Salah, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz forming the front three, and the versatile Cody Gakpo performing brilliantly dropped into the midfield just behind.
This decision certainly paid off, with all three of Liverpool’s starting forwards registering a goal. You can’t help but feel sorry for Darwin Nunez, but someone had to miss out.
While this forward line isn’t guaranteed to start against Chelsea at the weekend, if it is the case, having an in-form Darwin Nunez coming off the bench full of energy and hungry to impress can only be a good thing.