Saturday, 19 July 2014

Reds Suffer Last Gasp Defeat

After the excitement and also disappointment for players at the World Cup, Liverpool began their pre-season programme with a 2-1 defeat against a Brondby side who concluded their pre-season schedule with the victory.

Liverpool started well with Coutinho looking to find Borini only to have the chance spoiled by a crowded defence but Brondby also had a good chance as Durmisi curled a free-kick to the near post that was dealt with well by Jones.

Suso tested the Brondby defence with a strong left-footed chance that forced a fingertip save from Hradecky and Liverpool were forced into a change when Ilori went off injured and new academy signing Stewart came on for his debut.

However, Stewart did not have the best start as a bad clearance by Suso found its way to Norgaard who sent a superb shot that sailed past Jones and gave the Danish side the lead. A strong response from Liverpool was inevitable and after Borini's shot was blocked by Albrechtsen, Smith tested Hradecky with a powerful hit and the follow up from Coutinho was also denied by a fine save.

The visitors had two good chances just before the break as Lucas tested Hradecky with a low shot but alike the earlier chances the Brondby stopper was on fine form again as he also denied Borini's chance from the rebound.

Traditionally with friendlies, there are sweeping changes at half-time and Rodgers made 10 changes which led to an instant pay-off as just four minutes into the second half, Liverpool were level as a superb run from Ibe saw him race into the box and pick out Peterson who finished from close range.

Brondby could have regained the lead from a superbly hit free-kick from Kahlenberg but his effort drifted wide of the post. Liverpool responded with the biggest threat coming from Ibe as the young winger drifted inside and sashayed his way through the defence before aiming for goal but only finding Hradecky.

After coming close with his earlier effort, Durmisi tried his luck with another set-piece and saw his chance cannon against the crossbar after a superbly curled shot and it was clear that neither side were happy to settle for a draw. Ibe tested Hradecky and came so close to putting Liverpool in front before lightning struck twice from a Brondby set-piece as Hasani aimed for goal and saw the ball ping back off the crossbar.

Hasani's luck soon changed as he collected the ball and dribbled unchallenged through the Liverpool defence before he fired the ball into the roof of the net to secure a last-gasp win for Brondby who as a result end their pre-season with an unbeaten record.