Liverpool 3-1 Lyon: Reds recover from Alisson blunder to return to winning ways
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Liverpool beat Lyon 3-1 in their final friendly game of the summer despite an early howler for returning goalkeeper Alisson.

The Brazilian failed to gather a backpass and then fouled Moussa Dembele in the area, with Memphis Depay converting from the penalty spot on four minutes.

But Jurgen Klopp's side turned in a significantly better performance than they had against Napoli on Sunday and ended a four-game winless run thanks to a Roberto Firmino strike, an own-goal from Joachim Andersen and a magnificent long-range effort from Harry Wilson.

Story of the game

Liverpool suffered the worst possible start in their bid to recover from their 3-0 drubbing last time out as Alisson made a rare error.

The ball was played back towards the Brazilian 'keeper, who joined up with his team-mates on Tuesday following his break, but he misjudged its path and failed to gather, with Dembele able to prod goalwards before going down under challenge.

The referee awarded a penalty, and Alisson could not make amends as Depay dispatched the ball into the top-left corner.

Wilson saw a shot deflected onto the post after being slid through by a fit-again Yasser Larouci, but it was a Lyon second which looked more likely as Depay and Dembele both had opportunities from outside the area with the Liverpool defence looking exposed to the counter. 

But the Reds were able to grab an equaliser on 17 minutes after the impressive Naby Keita regained possession and found Xherdan Shaqiri, whose cut-back broke for Firmino. It was a confident half-volleyed finish from a tight angle on his weaker left foot, rounding-off a move put together by three returnees.

Liverpool took control of the game and completed the turnaround only four minutes later, albeit with a healthy dose of fortune. Shaqiri worked the ball out wide to Ki-Jana Hoever, who saw his swinging delivery diverted high into his own net by Andersen.

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Mohamed Salah's first 45 minutes of the summer were eventful, with three opportunities falling to the Egyptian shortly before the break. He fired the first well wide, but then hit the side netting before miscontrol scuppered his chance of beating Jason Denayer in a one-against-one situation. 

Wilson also tested Anthony Lopes prior to the interval, but Liverpool went in only narrowly ahead.

Of the five players who had returned on Tuesday, only Alisson started the second period.

However, the youngsters brought on in place of the stars were looking very lively, and prolific striker Bobby Duncan could have found the net on 52 minutes when Larouci intercepted a clearance and played him through, but Lyon 'keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu got his body in the way of it.

Duncan was able to turn provider shortly afterwards, though, teeing-up Wilson for Liverpool's best goal of the summer. The man who produced some spectacular efforts at Derby County was at it again, this time finding the top-left corner from more than 25 yards out with the outside of his boot. 

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Bertrand Traore had a rare chance for Lyon on the hour mark but he could only force Alisson into a simple stop down to his right.

Klopp introduced an entirely different XI for the final half-hour but there was no drop in intensity.

His side went close to a fourth on multiple occasions, with new arrival Harvey Elliott, who oozed confidence, testing Tatarusanu from range, Jordan Henderson sidefooting just past the far post at the end of a fantastic piece of play and Trent Alexander-Arnold skimming the side-netting with a free-kick.

It was, overall, a dominant display from the European champions. 

Takeaways

Reds improve in every department

Klopp admitted after his side's frankly dreadful performance against Napoli that they had to do virtually everything better, and they responded to that call. 

Lorenzo Insigne put a vulnerable defence to the sword in Edinburgh, but after some early wobbles, Liverpool were much more solid, with Joe Gomez growing into the game nicely.

The Reds also became more threatening as the game progressed, emboldened as the neat link-up play which had deserted them on Sunday started to come off once again.

And, perhaps most pleasingly for Klopp, the intensity and the pressure applied to the opposition in their own half also went up a few notches.

Liverpool should now take to the field against Manchester City at the weekend with a good bit of confidence.

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Hoever justifies club's faith

Having just been rewarded with a new contract, right-back Hoever demonstrated just why he is so highly-rated at Anfield with an excellent first-half display.

Much like Alexander-Arnold, he strove to be a constant outlet down the right flank and linked-up nicely with Salah. He carries the ball with a certain swagger which fans will really enjoy.

Klopp will be already considering whether Hoever, after only one competitive appearance, is good enough to serve as Alexander-Arnold's direct understudy this season.

Keita hits the ground running

Though Firmino scored, it was Keita who looked the sharpest of the players making their first appearance of pre-season.

The Guinean, who saw his AFCON campaign cut short by injury, was integral to the aforementioned increase in intensity. It was thanks to his industry that Liverpool won the ball back prior to Firmino's goal.

Keita will be determined to truly announce himself in English football this season after a steady start. 

Elliott shines again

Liverpool fans were told when Elliott signed at the weekend that he was full of self-belief, and they have seen plenty of evidence of that in his two cameos thus far.

His lively display against Napoli was one of the game's few positives, and here he went up a gear, causing Lyon problems by drifting inside from the right-wing and effortlessly combining with his new team-mates. All that was missing was a deserved goal.

The 16-year-old could get plenty of minutes this season with Liverpool playing more football than ever.

Man of the match

Given that his preparation for the new campaign only began in earnest little over 24 hours before kick-off, the fired-up Keita probably merits the accolade. 

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What next?

Liverpool will look to lay down a marker by beating Manchester City in the curtain-raiser for the new season at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. Kick-off is at 15.00. 

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