Skip to main content

Pre-Season Friendly: Melbourne Victory 0 Liverpool 2

The Uruguayan - reportedly the subject of a failed £40million bid from Arsenal overnight - came off the bench for the final 20 minutes to set up the visitors' second late on as the Premier League club continued their warm-up for the new season with a win.

Liverpool's other talisman, Steven Gerrard, started the game and scored the opener to once again underline his value to the club.

Although Victory failed to get on the scoresheet, the hosts were far from disgraced and gave their illustrious opponents plenty to think about throughout the 90 minutes.

The crowd of 95,446, a record attendance for a football match in Australia, provided one of the highlights of the night with a spine-tingling rendition of Liverpool's famous anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' before the match.

And with the vast majority at the MCG wearing red, the roar for Gerrard's goal may have been heard as far as Flinders St Station in the centre of Melbourne.

Ironically, Melbourne had one of their best periods in the lead-up to the opening goal as they dominated possession for almost five minutes, but once they lost the ball, the visitors pounced.

Gerrard produced a step over in the middle of the park and let it run to Joe Allen, which shifted Liverpool's attack up a gear. The Welsh midfielder burst forward, before sending a diagonal pass to his captain, and Gerrard struck a first-time shot into the top corner of the net.

The goal gave Liverpool the lead at half-time but Victory head coach Ange Postecoglou would have been pleased with his team's performance.

Despite missing key players Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan, plus new signing Mitch Nichols - all away on international duty with Australia at the East Asian Cup - Victory opened up Liverpool's defence on a number of occasions.

Andrew Nabbout was Melbourne's most dangerous attacking threat in the first half, with the 20-year-old skipping past Jose Enrique in the 20th minute and forcing Liverpool's Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones into a sharp save down low.

Most of Liverpool's shots in the first half came from outside the area but Allen would have been disappointed with his effort when he weaved his way through the box only to shoot tamely at Victory's Nathan Coe, while Gerrard wasted an opportunity for his second goal just before half-time, stabbing the ball over the crossbar.

Liverpool almost doubled their lead just after the break but Coe tipped Martin Skrtel's header over the top, while on the hour mark, Connor Pain, who was lively all night, got in behind Glen Johnson and hit a shot, which Jones could only palm away.

As the half wore on, the crowd started to chant for Suarez to be given a run-out - and they got their wish in the 72nd minute with Brendan Rodgers substituting 10 players at once.

Suarez - whose future with Liverpool is in doubt as Real Madrid continue to monitor his situation along with Arsenal - produced a couple of moments of brilliance, including a smart turn before crossing for Iago Aspas to tap home.

The Uruguayan was subdued and did not celebrate the goal, however, adding to speculation of a potential exit.