Sheyi Ojo was the star of the show as Liverpool continued their pre-season campaign against Tranmere Rovers, running out 3-2 winners at Prenton Park.
As Liverpool’s bid to sign Xherdan Shaqiri moves closer, much has been made regarding whether any of their young wide talents will be kept on this season rather than loaned out.
Ojo sparkles as Liverpool take comfortable lead
After Harry Wilson’s brace against Chester on Saturday, it was the turn of Ojo to put a statement to Jurgen Klopp, picking up a goal and an assist in the first half.
Doing well down the right for the first goal, he beat his man before showing good vision to play the underlapping Rafa Camacho in for a right footed shot that rolled across goal into the bottom left corner.
He’d add a goal around 20 minutes later, showing his finishing abilities to rocket an effort again into the bottom left corner, leaving his marker in the dust to do so.
Adam Lallana, captaining Liverpool in the first half, did well to set up Dominic Solanke for a headed attempt just before Ojo’s goal, and would strike himself to make it 3-0 after 33 minutes.
Tranmere captain Stephen McNulty looked to have done the hard work as he carried the ball away from a precarious position in the area, but took things a step too far as he tried to beat Ryan Kent, the ball then flicking Lallana’s way to allow him to finish well on his left foot.
The hosts’ chance of the half came in the immediacy of that goal, rushing down the left from kick-off and forcing a good save from Danny Ward as Ollie Banks’ cross was met by a solid James Norwood strike.
Slack second-half performance nearly costs Reds
Liverpool’s second-half side, headlined by Daniel Sturridge, failed to show the effectiveness that those starting the game had, struggling to extend the Reds’ lead.
Nathaniel Clyne should have scored after good play from Harry Wilson set him up inside the area, whilst Joe Gomez headed over a James Milner cross just past the hour mark.
It was Tranmere who would get the fourth goal of the game, Loris Karius’ catching abilities flagged up again as he spilt a powerful Kai Tonga free-kick into the path of Jonny Smith who scrambled the ball in.
That wasn't to be a consolation goal, but the start of an attempted Tranmere comeback as Amadou Soukouna pulled another back ten minutes from time.
James Milner gave the ball away dangerously in front of his own goal after picking up possession, Soukouna making no mistake as he nipped in to fire past Karius.
Liverpool first half XI (4-3-3): Ward; Camacho, Phillips, Klavan, Robertson; Fabinho, Keita, Lallana; Ojo, Kent, Solanke.
Liverpool second-half XI (4-4-2): Karius; Clyne, Gomez, Chirivella, Moreno; Milner, Woodburn, Jones, Wilson; Origi, Sturridge.
Tranmere (4-5-1): Davies; Monthe, McNulty, Cole, Ellis; Kennings, Caprice, Harris, Norwood, Banks; Mullin.