Liverpool vs Olympiakos match report: Raheem Sterling gives Liverpool victory over Olympiacos as Lazar Markovic stars
Reds get used to life without Suarez in the United States with comfortable win
Monday 28 July 2014
Liverpool continued to adjust to life without Luis Suarez with a 1-0 victory over Olympiacos in Chicago courtesy of Raheem Sterling's early strike.
Last season's Premier League runners-up lost £75m Suarez to Barcelona earlier in the summer but have since strengthened with the likes of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic.
Brendan Rodgers, the Reds boss, has called for his side to continue playing with the attacking urgency which saw them hit the back of the net on 101 occasions last term.
Markovic, signed from Benfica for £22m, showed reassuring signs of promise as Liverpool eased to a comfortable victory in the United States.
Rodgers' men made a breathless start to the match after being buoyed by the news that £20m Dejan Lovren was set to become the latest recruit to arrive from Southampton.
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Sterling, who impressed during the tail end of last season, opened the scoring after just five minutes after dashing into the Greek side's box and converting following an almost comical passage of play involving his England teammate Daniel Sturridge.
Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring in the fifth minute The former Chelsea and Manchester City forward watched on as his mistimed effort deflected off Eric Abidal and fell straight into Sterling's path.
While a few more goals could, and probably should, have followed for the Reds, Rodgers will have been enthused by the trickery shown by his attacking players.
Playing in 28 degrees, the Anfield club pressed relentlessly as Markovic showcased his abilities down either flank.
Olympiakos, on the other hand, offered little menace and were lucky to only concede a solitary goal.
While Gevorg Ghazaryan's crossbar-shaking drive in the 50th minute had the Premier League side worried momentarily, it cannoned to safety.
The 36,170-strong crowd had come to see Liverpool, though, and there were enough positives for them to take away from this pre-season clash.
After the game, Rodgers said: "I'm evaluating the fitness of the players but I was delighted with the team.
"We will get sharper but at the minute we are building up the resistance. Our passing was crisp and precise and I was also pleased with how we defended. Overall I was delighted."
The Reds boss also praised Sturridge, who has a larger burden to carry this season, and was excited by the impact Markovic had made on the game.
"I have seen a difference in Dan and I think he's ready to be the main man,' he added. 'He has come back from the World Cup looking really sharp. Markovic looked exciting and Sterling was a joy to watch."
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