Liverpool’s third pre-season match ended in a 0-0 stalemate at League Two side Bury and there were more disappointing performances than positives.
Having won back-to-back fixtures and scored 10 goals in the process in their opening two games, the hope would have been for the Reds to showcase their attacking prowess once more—especially against a side who had conceded 10 in two themselves.
But it didn’t transpire that way as Jurgen Klopp‘s team put in a sluggish and sloppy display, and indeed Bury went closest to scoring.
The 0-0 draw will be a frustration to some—including the fans who watched, in fairness—but there were still a handful of good displays to point to.
And, of course, it’s a pre-season match: fitness-building is the more important issue at hand.Staking a claim
Once again there were a couple of younger players who showed Klopp what they have to offer, with Curtis Jones the pick of the bunch.
An inventive and positive first-half display from the teenager saw him roam the left channel, between attacking midfield and wider when in possession.
Most of the Reds’ good work came when he was involved and looked to either go one-on-one with his man, or else quickly combine with his fellow attackers.
Tactically and technically, Jones has impressed this pre-season, lowly though the opposition has been.
Elsewhere it was reasonably slim pickings, but Naby Keita showed a handful of good moments in the second half.
His ability to win the ball, switch gears and quickly run at the opposition defence caused problems more than once and he looked most likely to provide a route to goal after the break.
Joe Gomez was also a decent performer, this time taking to the field at right-back.
Several times he opened space down the flank with an overlap and driving run, while defensively he was untested.Shockers from the seniors
Unfortunately that was about it for the genuinely good displays, and there were far more who seemed either tired, lacking a first touch or simply didn’t have the toolkit to break down the fourth-tier side.
Divock Origi, once again, was a passenger in the game. He was stationed wide left for much of the first 45, but came central as the half went on and the Reds dominated the ball.
His one big chance saw him go one-on-one with the keeper, but a shot was easily saved when a square pass might have yielded a tap-in for a team-mate.
Fellow striker Dominic Solanke was also relatively anonymous after the break, seeing one shot blocked on the line and offering little threat or link-up play otherwise.
Several of the Reds’ senior squad have been labelled ‘inconsistent’ in the past, perhaps few more so than Alberto Moreno.
The left-back has had a pretty good last 12 months, rarely letting the team down when he was first-choice at the start of last season and playing a squad role thereafter.
Against Bury, however, his touch was well off, his passing was woeful and he almost cost a goal when he sold Loris Karius short with a backpass.
Outside of the seniors, Ben Woodburn had the least-encouraging half of football: misplaced passes all over and one great chance to score spurned.Mixed bag
It’s pre-season, though, so all performances have to weighed in that regard, both the positives and negatives.
Tiredness, rustiness, lacking match sharpness: whatever the reason, the displays simply won’t be as polished as in-season and that has to be accepted.
As such, it was no surprise to see a few of the more talented players in the team put in games which were encouraging one moment, frustrating the next.
Virgil van Dijk‘s first game back followed this pattern as he read the game well and looked in good shape, but was ponderous in possession more than once and missed a couple of challenges when stepping out of the back line.
Daniel Sturridge looked a cut above with his touch and vision early on, but spurned a couple of opportunities to quickly pass and create shooting chances.
A note, too, for goalkeeper Kamil Grabara: he played the final half-hour of the match and made a couple of commanding aerial claims, showing good confidence and reading of the match.
That was about all he had to do, but it will do his confidence good regardless.
Overall it was certainly 90 minutes of more negatives than positives for the Reds on the pitch, but no injuries, a couple of returning faces and another step toward full fitness made it a worthwhile endeavour nonetheless.
Last Updated: 14/07/18 6:46pmVirgil van Dijk started for Liverpool
Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip made their first appearances of pre-season as Liverpool drew 0-0 with Bury on Saturday.
The Reds went closest to breaking the deadlock but Sheyi Ojo and Dominic Solanke saw efforts blocked on the line.
Loris Karius, who made an error in Tuesday's win at Tranmere, played an hour in goal with Danny Ward training at Melwood as he is likely to start at Blackburn on Thursday.
Liverpool first half team: Karius, Clyne, Van Dijk, Matip, Moreno, Milner, Fabinho, Jones, Ojo, Origi, Sturridge
Second half team: Karius (Grabara), Gomez, Phillips, Klavan, Robertson, Chirivella, Woodburn, Keita, Camacho, Lallana, Solanke
Harry Wilson, after an impressive start to pre-season, was not involved as he looks set to leave on loan.
New signing Xherdan Shaqiri, who joined from Stoke for on Friday, will be part of the squad for next week's International Champions Cup in the United States.Get LFCTV for only £7 a month
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Liverpool made 10 changes at half-time and Ben Woodburn was denied a winner in the second half by a brilliant save.
"We could have scored five or six times with a little bit more in the last," said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. "But these were the good moments and the rest was really a lot of intensity in the body, with all the tired bones and stuff like this.Naby Keita got another run out for his new side
"I saw a little bit more in the first half than in the second half, but both [Liverpool] teams struggled and that's OK.
"If you want, it's my fault because we did a lot in the last two days. I wanted us to score, I don't like the a few situations; first half with Divock [Origi] when maybe he can pass the ball for an easy goal.
"It's the part of the season when players try to impress me, but I've told them already: 'You impress me not by scoring any goal; if you see someone in a better position then that impresses me much more.' Making the right decisions when you are really tired, when it is really warm and the ball is not really rolling is very difficult. I knew that before, and that's what we saw today."
LFCTV is the only place to watch all of Liverpool's pre-season matches live, and hear first on new signings. Go to www.sky.com/lfctv to find out more, or go to Sky channel 425 and press red.Fantasy Six-a-Side
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Last Updated: 14/07/18 6:46pmDaniel Sturridge has been linked with a move away from Liverpool
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists the door remains open for striker Daniel Sturridge despite doubts remaining over his future.
The England international fell down the pecking order last season after injuries impacted on his availability and he has been linked with a move to Sevilla and Besiktas.Get LFCTV for only £7 a month
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The 28-year-old still has plenty to prove to Klopp, considering his fitness record, but he has looked one of the sharpest performers in pre-season - although he failed to break the deadlock in a goalless draw at Sky Bet League Two side Bury on Saturday.
"It's funny, this is my third pre-season and every year we talk about the same things," said the Reds boss.
"It's no problem. I always said there is a future, it's about what we do in the moment.Sturridge has fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool
"At the moment it's all good and we don't have to make decisions. I don't think about my players like this - like, maybe he's in or out.
"With the young ones we make these decisions but not with the other guys. They show up, and it should be easy for me in the end.
"The window is still open, right? Is it closing tomorrow? Good."Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Bury in their third pre-season game
The game saw Loris Karius, who made another error in Tuesday's win at Tranmere, given an hour in goal with Danny Ward training at Melwood as he is likely to start at Blackburn on Thursday.
Harry Wilson, after an impressive start to pre-season, was not involved with the likelihood he will go out on loan to a Sky Bet Championship club in the near future with Stoke, Derby and Swansea all interested.
New signing Xherdan Shaqiri, who joined from Stoke for £13million on Friday, will be part of the squad for next week's International Champions Cup in the United States.
There were first pre-season appearances for Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip with the Dutchman looking particularly composed in a 45-minute first-half run-out.Fantasy Six-a-Side
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Jurgen Klopp wasn’t too worried by a 0-0 scoreline against Bury, but discussed three of his attacking players after the match.
The Reds toiled in the sun at League Two side Bury and couldn’t find a route to goal, seeing a couple of efforts cleared off the line.
At the other end, Bury hit the woodwork and had a goal disallowed for offside as the Reds’ third pre-season game ended goalless.
Klopp blamed the slight lethargy in his side on the pitch condition and on an intensive training schedule, suggesting the workload given to them by him played a big part.
“I wanted us to score, I don’t like the a few situations; first half with Divock when maybe he can pass the ball for an easy goal.
“It’s the part of the season when players try to impress me, but I’ve told them already: ‘You impress me not by scoring any goal; if you see someone in a better position then that impresses me much more.’
“Making the right decisions when you are really tired, when it is really warm and the ball is not really rolling is very difficult. I knew that before, and that’s what we saw today.”
Strike partner Daniel Sturridge was much more heavily involved than Origi, and impressed on the ball without ever going close to scoring.
Sturridge, indeed, has been one of the early stand-outs for the Reds this summer and Klopp has refuted suggestions that a departure for the No. 15 is imminent.
“That’s funny – it’s my third pre-season here and every year we talk about the same things, and [Sturridge] always had a future, not a problem!
“I always said there’s always a future, it’s about what we do in the moment. In this moment, all good, but we don’t have to make decisions now in this situation, that’s how it is. In this moment, I don’t think like this about my players.
“It’s not that I think ‘maybe he’s in or he’s not in’ with these guys.
“With the young ones, yes we have to make these decisions, but not with the others. They show up and then it’s for me it should be easy at the end [to make a decision].
“Until then [the end of the transfer window], we have to make decisions but it’s still wide open, right? It’s closing tomorrow? No, good.”
Finally, Klopp had words of praise for Curtis Jones, with the attacking midfielder having made a big impression in pre-season so far.
The manager alluded to a patient approach still being required with Jones, but there’s clearly plenty of talent which the manager appreciates.
“It’s not about showing up once or twice, it’s about making the right decisions. Physically, he seems to be ahead of the others because he is taller, but there is a lot of his body he can still change with muscles.
“There is enough there, it is good for the moment and all these boys are good footballers. But you see it, it is difficult – one year older and everyone thinks you need to make the next step because the next young boy is coming.
“We don’t expect anything, we are only happy we have another one. It’s a long wait and we are calm enough.”
As more of the youngsters head out on loan this summer, Jones may well be one of the few left to continue his development training with the seniors.
And if he keeps impressing when surrounded by his more experienced team-mates, a competitive first-team debut might not be too far off at some point this season.
Dominic Solanke preferred to focus on the positives after Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw by Bury on Saturday afternoon, talking up the importance of another game in the legs for Jürgen Klopp's players.
The Reds dominated the third fixture of their pre-season schedule but couldn't find a breakthrough against obstinate opposition at Gigg Lane.
However, Solanke, who went as close as anyone in seeing an effort cleared off the line in the second half, insisted the result is a secondary concern at this stage of the season.
"We always know that coming to places like this is going to be difficult for us and I think that showed today," he told Liverpoolfc.com.
"But all the boys got another good run-out and it's important to focus on that as well.
"Sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get into games if you're changing teams, it can happen again in the second half.
"It's unlucky that we didn't get the win today but it's always positive getting minutes."
Solanke is heading into his second season at Anfield and is aiming to take a step forward in terms of both appearances and goal return.
He added: "I've got my first goal now so obviously [I want to] build on that, get as many as I can this season and keep improving and help the team as much as I can."
The striker is also excited by the potential uplift provided by club's new signings, such as midfield duo Fabinho and Naby Keita.
He continued: "It always gives you a boost, bringing news players in to help the squad. We had a really good run last year so hopefully they can help us a lot this year."
Jürgen Klopp feels the intensity of training in the last few days meant Liverpool were not able to muster a performance worthy of a victory in Saturday’s 0-0 friendly draw with Bury.
The Reds’ third match of the summer ended goalless at a sun-drenched Energy Check Stadium, with Klopp’s team unable to add to the 10 goals they scored in their first two pre-season games, against Chester FC and Tranmere Rovers respectively.
Sheyi Ojo and Dominic Solanke both saw goal-bound shots cleared off the line either side of half-time, while Ben Woodburn was denied a winner in the second period by a brilliant save.
However, it finished all square - a result Klopp, who handed Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip their first appearances of pre-season, was happy to accept responsibility for when he spoke to the media afterwards.
Read on for a summary of what the manager had to say…
On his verdict on the game…
The mix-up of intensity in training, a lot of information in training, very warm weather and a very dry pitch is not the best preparation for a football game. I think we all saw it, we could have scored five or six times with a little bit more in the last [stages of attack], but these were the good moments and the rest was really a lot of intensity in the body, with all the tired bones and stuff like this. I saw a little bit more in the first half than in the second half, but both [Liverpool] teams struggled and that’s OK.
If you want, it’s my fault because we did a lot in the last two days. I wanted us to score, I don’t like the a few situations; first half with Divock when maybe he can pass the ball for an easy goal. It’s the part of the season when players try to impress me, but I’ve told them already: ‘You impress me not by scoring any goal; if you see someone in a better position then that impresses me much more.’ Making the right decisions when you are really tired, when it is really warm and the ball is not really rolling is very difficult. I knew that before, and that’s what we saw today.
On Curtis Jones’ display…
He is like the others, like Ben Woodburn was a year before or Trent Alexander-Arnold. It’s good, very good for us. It’s not about showing up once or twice, it’s about making the right decisions. Physically, he seems to be ahead of the others because he is taller, but there is a lot of his body he can still change with muscles. There is enough there, it is good for the moment and all these boys are good footballers. But you see it, it is difficult - one year older and everyone thinks you need to make the next step because the next young boy is coming. We don’t expect anything, we are only happy we have another one. It’s a long wait and we are calm enough.
On Adam Lallana’s pre-season campaign…
For him, it is nice he could do pretty much [a full pre-season so far]. In the beginning there was a little problem when he was ill, but since then he has been in all sessions, which is really good for him and you can see it with all the things he is doing. What an exceptional footballer he is, but he needs the pre-season most if you want because it was a long time that he couldn’t train, then he had this really quick ‘pre-season’ to help us as quickly as possible. Now we are really building again a proper basis and that’s what is happening in the moment. That he is able to play football is not a big surprise.
On Daniel Sturridge…
“That’s funny - it’s my third pre-season here and every year we talk about the same things, and he always had a future, not a problem! I always said there’s always a future, it’s about what we do in the moment. In this moment, all good, but we don’t have to make decisions now in this situation, that’s how it is. In this moment, I don’t think like this about my players. It’s not that I think ‘maybe he’s in or he’s not in’ with these guys. With the young ones, yes we have to make these decisions, but not with the others. They show up and then it’s for me it should be easy at the end [to make a decision]. Until then [the end of the transfer window], we have to make decisions but it’s still wide open, right? It’s closing tomorrow? No, good.
On Dejan Lovren’s form ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final…
He was a few weeks ago with us in the Champions League final, he was three years ago with us in the Europa League final. He didn’t win that but that makes only 11 players better and in his position then maybe only two. Same in the Champions League game - I didn’t see him play too bad in the Champions League final. For me it’s not a surprise, he played a really good World Cup but doing it more consistently is important. Dejan and me, we will work together for a long time so I have the opportunity to help him in that way.
[unable to retrieve full-text content]Liverpool and Bury played out a goalless draw on Saturday afternoon - and LFCTV GO subscribers can now watch action and reaction on demand.
Liverpool failed to find a breakthrough against a spirited Bury outfit as they played out a 0-0 draw, but fans remained optimistic over the showing of one particular youngster.
The Reds’ third pre-season outing failed to reap its rewards on the scoreboard but their League Two opponents provided yet another stage for Jurgen Klopp‘s youngsters to impress and his senior charges to gear up for the season opener.
A poor opening half saw Liverpool’s attack struggle to effectively link up, and while sweeping changes at half-time saw an increase in tempo, a breakthrough failed to arrive at Gigg Lane.
Here is how supporters reacted to Liverpool’s goalless draw on Twitter and our forums.In a quiet opening period, Curtis Jones continued to impress and look at home within the senior setup…
I really like this Curtis Jones kid. Looks very composed considering he’s surrounded by first team players
— Kopite Corner (@Kopite_Corner) July 14, 2018
If Nabil Fekir is even half as good as Curtis Jones we need to sign him up.
— Ben Might Say (@BenMightSay) July 14, 2018
Curtis Jones off target from distance. He's been bright and busy, backs himself on the ball which is great to see in one so young. Pretty low-key half generally from #LFC
— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) July 14, 2018
Curtis Jones’ body feints should be illegal. Kid is one hell of a player.
— Paddy (@AnfieldPyro) July 14, 2018
“Curtis Jones also looking very handy so far in pre-season. Could definitely be one to watch.”
Cynicaloldgit on the forums.
Been super impressed with Curtis Jones so far this pre season, definitely one to watch for next season!! #LFC
— Jack (@Jackr_21) July 14, 2018
Enjoyable watching Curtis Jones. Always scanning, positionally aware, good passing range, intelligent movement, wants the ball, defensively diligent, has the proclivity to make the right decision rather than the one that looks most flash. #LFC
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) July 14, 2018
— The Normal One (@Shai_lfc) July 14, 2018Divock Origi on the other hand, didn’t impress…
Divock Origi doesn’t even look like a footballer at the moment. He’s regressed dramatically over the last 18 months.
— Ben D'Arcy (@ben_darcy) July 14, 2018
Abject half, but it happens. No need to worry, unless you're Divock Origi – this pre-season is probably his last chance to impress, and he's doing the exact opposite of that against teams he should be bullying.
— James Martin (@JamesMartin013) July 14, 2018
Poor half from LFC. Origi couldn't cross his legs at the moment..
— Macers (@Macers2000) July 14, 2018
A goalless first 45 minutes arguably as poor as the second half against Tranmere midweek. Origi not comfortable wide left & looks low on confidence after squandering a one-on-one, @LFC's best chance
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) July 14, 2018
Pedestrian half from LFC. For someone who’s suppose to have a point to prove, Origi doesn’t look arsed one bit
— Baby Keith (@PatMacauley) July 14, 2018
Divock Origi is not LFC standard. Not too sure how many times we need to say that.
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) July 14, 2018There were mixed reactions to the performance and result and the hope will be for improvements in future games.
I know it's preseason and all that jazz….. but I was expecting at least a goal from Liverpool against a team that's shipped 10 in their last two games.
— Stuart2Caven™© (@Stuart2Caven) July 14, 2018
“A good run-out for the players, a magnified training session. But credit to Bury for defending well all through the match.”
Hope in Your Heart on the forums.
Another run out under the belts for the lads didn't get the win today but plenty of positives from the game some of the youngsters are looking great. #LFC #YNWA #Reds #TheKop #Liverpool… https://t.co/XhzqAnKNcz
— Chris Kelly (@BigChrisLFC34) July 14, 2018
— Rob (@Koppite4004) July 14, 2018
“I wouldn’t call it dull it was a good run out for our new signings and younger players; also Lallana looked great and full of energy. It would have been nice to have got a couple of goals but it wasn’t to be. Overall though there was some great link-up play and we created some fine chances and it gives us reason to be excited for the new season #YNWA”
Chris Parker on Facebook.
Liverpool lacking any real pace of play today and we're all too predictable. Only pre season but Klopp will likely be unhappy with today's outing. Bury, however put in a terrific shift, held a good shape throughout and could play football at the right times.
— JayB1892 (@JayB1892) July 14, 2018