Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Sunday July 28 2013
Liverpool's summer tour ended today with another victory, this time over the Thailand national team in Bangkok...
The Reds made it four wins from four in pre-season to date with a comfortable 3-0 win over Thailand this afternoon.
Both sides started in a positive frame of mind but unsurprisingly it was the visitors who looked the most dangerous.
The club's new Spanish forward Iago Aspas went close to opening the scoring within the opening 10minutes but his goal-bound effort deflected off Joe Allen and subsequently flew inches over the bar.
A period of Liverpool pressure then followed, both Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho had brief sights of goal, before Thai goalkeeper, Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool, advanced well to thwart Fabio Borini.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the 17th minute when Coutinho robbed an opponent and dribbled towards goal, evading a number of backtracking defenders, before calmly slotting into the bottom corner.
Credit to Thailand though who responded to falling behind by enjoying their best period of the game.
Teerasil Dangda, who has a good international goalscoring record of 28 goals in 56 caps, went within inches of equalising 10minutes later but his impressive long-range effort curled fractionally the wrong side of the post.
Simon Mignolet was again at full stretch a few minutes later but this time he was forced into making a save to keep out a fierce drive from distance.
With half-time approaching Gerrard went close from a tight angle but in truth the Premier League outfit were nowhere near their best; the hot and humid conditions no doubt playing a part.
The sides emerged for the second 45minutes without any changes and within four minutes Aspas had doubled the Merseysiders' lead following a pinpoint through-ball by Coutinho.
Coutinho was again at the heart of the next major Liverpool attack which ended with Borini going to ground and, despite a delayed reaction to the contact, the Italian was perhaps a little unlucky not to be awarded a penalty.
On the hour mark, a flowing counter-attack involving Allen and Aspas ended with a deft dink into the back of the net by Gerrard to put his side three goals to the good.
The strike instigated a series of substitutions with Luis Suarez and Jordan Ibe the first to enter the fray from the Reds' bench, for Aspas and Borini respectively.
The mercurial Suarez was soon in the thick of things, heading a Gerrard free-kick against the bar. Given his proximity to goal and a complete lack of any markers, Liverpool's No.7 will feel he should have scored.
Up the other end, Thailand had an increasingly rare forray forward but a hopeful attempt bounced harmlessly into Mignolet's midriff.
With time beginning to run out, Hathairattanakool made a decent low stop to keep out Jordan Henderson, Gerrard fired over and Ibe hit the side netting as the Reds looked for a fourth.
Henderson was then tugged back when clean through, the culprit escaping a red card only because of the friendly nature of the contest. Suarez took the resultant free-kick but fired it straight at the Thailand wall.
Gerrard should have put the icing on the cake in the dying seconds but his tame effort went straight at the keeper. The rebound fell back to the Liverpool skipper but this time the woodwork denied him.
Four wins, four clean sheets and a mixture of different goal scorers adds up to a successful pre-season campaign so far. The reception the club has received during the three-match tour of Indonesia, Australia and Thailand has been incredible and the commercial side of the operation will no doubt be richly rewarded financially. Coutinho was again probably the pick of the players today but the opposition will improve significantly once the Reds return to Europe for games against the likes of Olympiakos and Celtic.
Mignolet, Enrique, Agger, Toure (Skrtel 69'), Johnson, Lucas, Allen (Alberto 80'), Gerrard, Coutinho (Henderson 69'), Aspas (Suarez 62'), Borini (Ibe 62').
Jones, Kelly, Flanagan, Spearing, Wisdom, Robinson, Downing, Sterling, Coates, Assaidi, Ward.
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Date:Sunday July 28 2013
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