Red Bull Salzburg defeat Liverpool in pre-season friendly

(Football news) Liverpool succumbed to their second loss in pre-season as Red Bull Salzburg secured a 1-0 win over the Reds. Jurgen Klopp fielded a second string side in what is his team’s last match before facing Manchester City in the Community Shield but the German manager gave Darwin Nunez his first start after his four goals against RB Leipzig last week. It was a frustrating first half for the Reds with Nunez’s attempt hitting the post while RB Salzburg took the lead through Benjamin Sesko in the 31st minute. 

With Liverpool losing, Nunez was taken off at half-time and Klopp introduced a full strength squad on the 60th minute mark. The Reds improved dramatically after that, creating more chances with the best opportunity falling to Luis Diaz with the Colombian playing a one-two with Jordan Henderson before forcing Salzburg keeper Nico Mantl into a good save. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah also had opportunities while Diaz found the back of the net, only for the attempt to be disallowed for offside. The Austrian side defended resolutely to hold off attempts from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson to secure an inspiring victory.

Speaking after the match, Jurgen Klopp said “First half, we made too many mistakes which they could use. We had good moments in the game as well, we could have scored four, five goals at least. We didn't do that. Darwin was alone too much, everybody dropped off and everyone was then too wide and Darwin was alone in the box. He had his chances but he needs more support around him to keep other players busy so they don't focus on him. 

"It doesn't feel great but we take it and go from here. In the first half, we were too open, too wide and weren't connected enough. When we lost the ball, it was like a motorway with their speed – especially when you lose simple passes where nobody can react. The last half an hour was like a thunderstorm. We were like a truck but we didn't finish them off. It will be fine. We had to make a lot of changes but I take that. It didn't feel like a friendly, for Salzburg and us as well. Salzburg had these rough challenges but they did really well. All respect to them, sometimes I didn't like their challenges but nothing happened there I think."

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