Liverpool Jurgen Klopp side storm to emphatic victory against Spanish champions at Wembley.
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona
Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp sat on a drinks cooler, legs crossed, chin resting on his hands. He showed little emotion, other than giving one of his players the thumbs up.
Liverpool’s manager usually tends to be attuned to the mood of a stadium . But on this occasion, his laid-back nature was juxtaposed to the celebrations that were going on all around him.
Wembley, bedecked in red and white, was bouncing as a remarkable afternoon took another twist.
Given some of the issues Liverpool have had to contend with over the past fortnight. From injuries to the jet lag that accompanies travelling 11,000 miles to a well publicised disciplinary problem. Not much was expected at Wembley against the might of Barcelona. But as Klopp looked on from his vantage point early in the second half . The vast majority of a sell-out crowd were on the feet after Divock Origi had surged clear of Barcelona’s defence to emphatically put Liverpool three goals up. The stadium clock had only just ticked over to the 50th minute.
This was only a friendly
Realise that this was only a friendly . So Klopp’s decision not to assume his role of main cheerleader was understandable . Yet beneath the cool exterior, surely Liverpool’s manager had to be glowing inside after his team produced their most emphatic pre-season performance. It owed nothing to luck.
From the first minute, when the outstanding Sadio Mane scuttled down . The right and created the first big opportunity for Georginio Wijnaldum . Liverpool ran all over Barcelona in front of a bumper crowd of 89,845 – the second highest crowd at the stadium . And provided a tantalising glimpse of what they may become under Klopp.
Mane, in the 15th minute, set the ball rolling . Scoring his first goal since his £30million arrival from Southampton . While an own goal from former Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano and Origi’s thumping effort . Ensured they had the luxury of cruising through the game’s final third.
For good measure, Marko Grujic’s injury-time header completed the most unforeseen routs.