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Liverpool 3-1 Lyon: 5 Talking Points

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
01 Aug 2019, 07:26 IST

Firmino celebrates with Salah after his equaliser set the tone in Liverpool
Firmino celebrates with Salah after his equaliser set the tone in Liverpool's final pre-season friendly of 2019

Goals from Roberto Firmino, a Joachim Andersen own goal and Harry Wilson's wonder-strike proved enough for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool as they recovered from an early deficit to finish their pre-season travels with a win in Switzerland against Ligue 1 side Lyon.

It was far from an impressive start though, as first-choice goalkeeper Alisson made a succession of errors before the deadlock was broken after just four minutes.

He made a mess of a backpass, completely fumbling the ball which allowed Moussa Dembele a goalscoring chance in the area unchallenged. Panicking, he hauled down the forward and gave away a spot-kick - which Memphis Depay dispatched with aplomb.

That was as good as it got for Lyon though, as the Reds responded quickly despite an early period of nervy defensive moments. Firmino equalised after 17 minutes with a clever finish from a tight angle after promising work from Xherdan Shaqiri in the box saw the loose ball trickle into the Brazilian's path.

Just four minutes later, Ki-Jana However earned an assist after drilling a teasing inswinging delivery from the right. Joachim Andersen got his angles all wrong and led with the wrong foot, slicing an attempted clearance into the far corner.

Both sides made substitutions aplenty at different stages over the 90 minutes but Harry Wilson doubled Liverpool's lead after letting fly with a fantastic strike from 25 yards out on 53 minutes. It was one of his final moments of the evening and proved a decisive one, as a new-look Reds team took to the field for the final half-hour, holding out for a comfortable 3-1 win.

With league champions, Manchester City to come in Saturday's Community Shield, their display would have given Klopp plenty of thought ahead of the traditional curtain-raiser this weekend. With all of that in mind, here's a look at five talking points from Liverpool's latest win:


#5 Last-chance for Lallana? Is there a future in the No. 6 role...

Utility man? Lallana has enjoyed an encouraging pre-season and needed to, given his uncertain future
Utility man? Lallana has enjoyed an encouraging pre-season and needed to, given his uncertain future

If there's anyone that needs an excellent 2019/20 campaign, it's Adam Lallana. Now 31, the injury-prone Englishman has struggled to justify the high expectations placed on his shoulders after a £25m Southampton move. That was five years ago.

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With just under a year left on his existing Liverpool deal, Lallana remains eager to fight for regular minutes under Klopp. Pre-season performances suggest his versatility will be tested, not least given the ever-increasing squad depth in midfield at the German's disposal.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's return to full fitness adds extra competition for places, while Naby Keïta is said to have finally shrugged off persistent injury issues and will be targeting a breakthrough campaign at Anfield this coming season.

On this occasion, he delivered an encouraging display and looked comfortable operating between the lines of a No. 6 and an No. 8. Linking the midfield and attack well, he stood out with purposeful passing and an infectious work rate that many haven't usually seen from him.

But given the aforementioned factors, some supporters and journalists alike are ignoring one crucial thing: it's still only pre-season. Too early to judge player development, Lallana hasn't just suddenly made significant strides to progress in more of a holding-midfield role like Fabinho because of an eye-catching performance during a low-pressure environment vs. Lyon.

Recency bias is a recurring theme here too, as those same fans and critics seem to have forgotten all the criticism left at Lallana's door after sub-par performances in the past.

Determination to stand out is one thing, but he hasn't transformed into a world-class player overnight - even if LFCTV commentators try to convince you otherwise. 

I get it, this is potentially his final chance to cement a Liverpool future and everyone wants him to do well. None more so than me, to prove me wrong. But temper your expectations, is all.

Also check out:Premier League  Premier League Table Champions League Schedule

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