Football Features

Winners & losers as Liverpool recover from Alisson howler to beat Lyon

By Steve Jennings

Published: 20:01, 31 July 2019

Liverpool warmed up for this weekend’s Community Shield final against Manchester City with a 3-1 win over Lyon in Switzerland.

An early howler from Alisson Becker handed Lyon a penalty, which was dispatched by former Manchester United winger Memphis Depay.

But Jurgen Klopp’s men quickly turned things around through Roberto Firmino and a Joachim Andersen own goal. Harry Wilson added a third in the second half.

Here are three winners and three losers from Liverpool’s final pre-season friendly.

Winner: Adam Lallana

There’s no denying Adam Lallana faces a last chance saloon season with Liverpool. Last term the former Southampton midfielder suffered with injuries and there have been suggestions he will struggle for minutes in the coming campaign.

But Lallana seems determined to not let his Liverpool career peter out. Against Lyon he put in a modestly first-rate performance, linking the midfield and attack. Starting in a midfield three with Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri, Lallana stood out with his quick feet and purposeful passing.

The 31-year-old will be hoping he has done enough to earn a start in this weekend’s Community Shield final against Manchester City. If he impresses in that game, who knows how big a role he might play for Liverpool this season? If he can stay fit, that is.

Loser: Alisson

Alisson couldn’t have imagined making a worse start to the match. In the fourth minute he came to collect an ambitious cross from the left. It looked simple enough, but the Liverpool goalkeeper ended up spilling the ball at the feet of Moussa Dembele, who made the most of Alisson’s attempt to claw the ball back.

Dembele flopped to the floor and the referee pointed to the spot. Alisson was booked, and to add insult to injury replays seemed to show it was hardly a foul. Memphies Depay smashed in the penalty to compound Alisson’s disastrous start.

He’ll be thankful there wasn’t much else to do bar a comfortable second half stop. Liverpool were totally dominant, giving Alisson some much need respite after his early mistake. The Brazilian won’t let his error bother him. Arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League last season, Alisson will be aiming for a second successive Golden Glove.

Winner: Ki-Jana Hoever

Liverpool starlet Ki-Jana Hoever enjoyed quite the day in Switzerland. After agreeing terms on a new long-term contract with the club, the 17-year-old provided the assist for the Reds’ second goal, his whipped cross inadvertently turned in by Lyon defender Joachim Andersen.

It was as if Hoever was proving why he had just been awarded a new deal. A regular for the under-23s side last season, the Netherlands under-17 international might get a few minutes here and there for the first-team this term. He certainly did his chances no harm against Lyon.

Hoever wasn’t the only Liverpool youngster to stake his claim. Bobby Duncan, 18, nearly scored when he came off the bench, while 16-year-old new signing Harvey Elliott looked full of confidence in his cameo. The future looks bright at Anfield.

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Loser: Joachim Andersen

Not do be outdone by Alisson, Lyon centre-back Joachim Andersen scored a clanger of an own goal to help Liverpool complete an early comeback. The Dane, who joined Lyon from Sampdoria this summer, shinned the ball into his own net after misjudging the bounce while trying to make a clearance.

Previously linked with Arsenal and Tottenham, Andersen clearly has plenty of potential, but this is a day he’ll want to put behind him quickly. The 23-year-old is yet to make his senior debut for Denmark, which could be attributed to his relative lack of experience in the top European leagues.

Last season was the first campaign in which he made more than 22 league appearances. Lyon will hope Andersen can adjust to Ligue 1 quickly; his 32 outings in Serie A last season will help, but the pace is slightly different in France.

Winner: Harry Wilson

After spending last season on loan at Derby County, for whom he scored 15 league goals including some stunning free-kicks, Harry Wilson is now back at Liverpool fighting for his place in the first-team. Promisingly, the 22-year-old showcased the unique trait he can bring to the side.

Midway through the second half, Wilson lined up a shot from distance and smashed the ball past the goalkeeper, who had no chance of reaching the swerving shot. The Wales international is lethal from outside the box, and Klopp might consider him as an option when Liverpool are struggling to break down deep-lying opponents this term.

Whether he can translate his Championship consistency into regular performances in the Premier League and Champions League remains to be seen, but Wilson gave Liverpool fans something to get excited about in Switzerland.

Loser: Sylvinho

New Lyon manager Sylvinho has quite a job on his hands. Having lost Tanguy Ndombele to Tottenham and Nabil Fekir to Real Betis, the former Arsenal, Barcelona and Manchester City defender may find it difficult to seal another top-three finish this season.

Lyon didn’t look up to scratch against Liverpool. They were slower to every second ball and susceptible to the press. What’s more, they failed to produce any meaningful chances after Depay’s opener from the penalty spot. Sylvinho must increase the intensity quickly or risk a slow start to the new campaign.