Liverpool has ended their two-match tour of Australia with a 2-0 win over Adelaide United in front of a sell out crowd at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.
Two second half goals by new signing James Milner, his second goal in as many games, and Danny Ings were enough for Liverpool to claim the win, ensuring they leave their tour of Australia with two wins from as many games.
Earlier in the evening Adelaide turned into a sea of red in the hours leading up to the match as Liverpool fans descended on the picturesque stadium on the banks of the River Torrens in Adelaide’s CBD.
Local and traveling Liverpool fans were in full voice as the players walked out, belting out a spine tingling rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Liverpool’s attacking intent was on full display early as Divock Origi and Joseph Gomez attacked down the flanks and put pressure on the Adelaide defence. Origi created the first real chance of the match after 10 minutes but blasted his shot over the bar and provided a constant threat throughout the opening half, also spurning a chance when played through 10 minutes later when he had just the keeper to beat.
While Liverpool’s attacks were fast and direct, Adelaide laboured in attack, characterised by their slow ball movement which allowed Liverpool’s defence to get organised and force Adelaide into moving the ball sideways and backwards.
They weren’t without their chances however, with Isaias blasting over from outside the box midway through the first half, while central defender Dylan McGowan’s poor first touch killed his chance when Bruce Djite looked to play him in.
Strangely the closest any side came to a goal was just after the half hour mark when full back Craig Goodwin’s corner almost embarrassed Simon Mignolet in Liverpool’s goal, with the keeper scrambling as the ball looked as though it might go in directly before landing on the roof of the net.
It was Adelaide’s best period of the first half, which was controlled throughout by the English visitors who had the final chance of the half when Milner blasted a shot from the edge of the box, however it was easily saved by Adelaide custodian Eugene Galekovic.
The second half started in much the same fashion as the first, with Liverpool on the front foot and Dejan Lovren should have given the visitors the lead when he was found unmarked from the corner but he could only direct his header into the ground.
As the clock ticked near 60 minutes Jordan Ibe’s shot flashed across the box and inches wide of the post, while just a minute later Adam Lallana was denied by an acrobatic save from Galekovic as Adelaide continued to frustrate their more fancied opponents.
They weren’t to be denied just over five minutes later when a quick break saw Liverpool break with numbers, Ibe whipping in a dangerous ball across the box which Milner duly poked home to the delight of the 53,000 in attendance. The goal wasn’t without controversy as replays showed Milner was in an offside position when the ball was played, but no one in the crowd was complaining.
As Liverpool’s grip on the contest grew stronger, Socceroo Tarek Elrich almost gave the home side a lifeline but his shot from the edge of the box grazed the post while Cirio’s cross-cum-shot almost found it’s way into the net.
Liverpool put the match out of reach two minutes from time when Nathaniel Clyne played through Danny Ings, who rounded Galekovic before calmly slotting the ball into an open net.