Liverpool FC v Barcelona
6 Aug 2016 - 5:15 PM
Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0
International Champions Cup
6 August 2016
The second largest crowd in the new Wembley’s history was treated a fabulous spectacle as Liverpool rounded off their pre-season in some style comprehensively beating Spanish champions Barcelona.
Pre-game all the buzz was about Messi and Suarez yet it was another striker, one in red, who stole the show.
Saidio Mane, Liverpool’s £36m summer acquisition from Southampton, looked money well spent on this display scoring one, creating another and being a constant threat throughout.
And when it comes to making friends on Merseyside it doesn’t hurt to have well over 80,000 Reds fans looking on as you turn in a man of the match display.
The International Champions Cup fixture attendance may have fallen an agonising 40 people short of the breaking the record for an attendance at the new Wembley but there has certainly never been more supporters from one club side under the arch at any one time before.
Those Reds fans were served up a treat.
Liverpool were on the front foot from the off as Can’s incredible cross field ball picked out Clyne after just four minutes and the England full-back fizzed a dangerous ball across the Barcelona box. It was a warning shot which would not be heeded.
Just seven minutes later tenacious work from Lallana won the ball back on half-way before the England man set Firmino racing away.
Lallana kept pace with the Brazilian and duly received the ball back and fed Mane inside the penalty area and the new signing made no mistake emphatically crashing the ball past Ter Stegen.
That prompted a response from Barcelona and Lionel Messi really should have equalised for the five time European Champions.
On 23 minutes the ball broke to the World Player Of The Year 10-yards out and the outcome seemed inevitable but, to everyone’s surprise, Messi’s shot thumped back off a post.
Liverpool went into the break ahead but largely thanks to the heroics of their goalkeeper who denied first Arda Turan and then Luis Suarez, Mignolet showing the same form he showed in last season’s Capital One Cup Final at Wembley when he was the scourge of Sergio Aguero.
After the interval however it was all Liverpool as The Reds killed the game off within three minutes.
Mane surged down the right and squared for Milner who bundled the ball home with a little help from Javier Mascherano and virtually from the restart a ball over the top put Divock Origi in the clear and the Belgian finished confidently.
After that hammer blow Barcelona offered very little in terms of response and Liverpool really should have further extended their lead as Firmino missed a one on one before Mane weaved his way through the Barca defence and shot wide.
However they did get the icing on their cake in injury time as Marko Grujic, a January signing from Red Star Belgrade who spent the end of last season back on-loan with the Serbian club, looped in a wonderful header to put the seal on a spectacular win.
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