Preston vs Liverpool match report: Rickie Lambert enjoys Liverpool debut with £8m Loic Remy set to join him
Reds come from behind to win pre-season friendly as move for new striker inches closer
Saturday 19 July 2014
Rickie Lambert made his first appearance in a Liverpool shirt yesterday as Brendan Rodgers began life after Luis Suarez. The Premier League runners-up came from behind to beat Preston 2-1 in a pre-season friendly.
Lambert was the first of Liverpool’s summer signings as the club strengthen their squad in an attempt to go one better this season by winning the League, while also coping with the added burden of Champions’ League fixtures.
Lambert, who supported the Reds as a boy, made his dream move to Anfield from Southampton earlier this summer in a £4 million deal and played 45 minutes at Deepdale before being replaced at half-time.
Rodgers is still restructuring the squad and has recently been busy trying to secure another goalscorer to try to make up for the loss of Suarez’s strike power, and yesterday Liverpool were reported to have agreed a £8.5m fee for Queens Park Rangers’ France striker Loïc Rémy, who spent last season on loan at Newcastle United.
The bid activated a release clause in the 27-year-old’s contract and he is expected to discuss personal terms and have a medical before completing the move. Rémy was part of the France squad that reached the quarter- finals of the World Cup in Brazil and made two appearances as a substitute.
He moved to Newcastle on loan after QPR’s relegation from the Premier League in 2013 and scored 14 League goals for the Magpies.
Rémy’s arrival is likely to see the departure of Fabio Borini who was included in a strong Liverpool line-up yesterday despite reports that the club had accepted a £14m offer from Sunderland for the striker, who was on loan at the Stadium of Light last season.
One player who Liverpool have recently signed, Emre Can, has hit an early problem He started yesterday’s match but the young midfielder, bought for £9.8m, was taken off after just 20 minutes due to tightness in his calf.
Emre Can hobbles off midway through the first half Philippe Coutinho, Joe Allen, Martin Skrtel and Jon Flanagan were included in a strong Liverpool line-up but it was Preston who took the lead through Josh Brownhill.
Liverpool, however, scored twice in three minutes in the second half as Suso applied a curling finish in the 74th minute before Kristoffer Peterson side-footed home a winner.
Arsenal’s afternoon was more comfortable as they eased to a 2-0 win in their friendly at Borehamwood.
Aaron Ramsey started for the Gunners alongside Carl Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal and Wojciech Szczesny but it wasn’t until the 68th minute that Kristoffer Olson gave the FA Cup winners the lead. Benik Afobe then made sure of the victory with a penalty late on.
Gus Poyet’s Sunderland did their confidence no harm with an emphatic 5-1 win over non-League Darlington.
New arrivals Billy Jones, Costel Pantilimon and Jordi Gomez all played a part in the victory but it was the experienced centre forward Steven Fletcher who did the most damage.
Fletcher, who was making his first appearance since March, marked his return from injury with two goals before being taken off at half-time.
Emanuele Giaccherini, Connor Wickham and Gomez added three more in the second period while Gary Brown scored Darlington’s consolation.
West Bromwich Albion’s much-criticised new manager Alan Irvine was denied a pre-season victory against League Two Wycombe Wanderers as the two sides played out a 0-0 draw behind closed doors.
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