Reds rise to the occasion

SETTLING SCORES: Liverpool's Raheem Sterling (centre) celebrating his equaliser against Manchester City during the English clubs' pre-season friendly at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday.


    Aug 01, 2014

    Reds rise to the occasion


    LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers was delighted with his side's positive response to tactical changes after they twice rallied against Manchester City to edge out the Premier League champions in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday.

    Stevan Jovetic gave City, who finished two points ahead of Liverpool last season, the lead twice in the second half but the Reds responded with goals from Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling before winning the penalty shootout 3-1.

    Rodgers was "pleased" with the victory, which kept Liverpool on course for a possible final against Manchester United in Miami next week, provided they beat AC Milan in their last group game of the eight-team tournament tomorrow.

    "It was a great game for us. Manchester City are a wonderful team and will go close in the Premier League again this year," the Northern Irishman told reporters after the match at the Yankee Stadium.

    "What has been the trademark of this team over the past 18 months has been the character. We showed it again tonight to keep going and get ourselves back in the game.

    "We played with a number of different formations. Pre-season is about the fitness of the players and re-introducing that tactical element of the game.

    "Credit to the players for coping with those changes in tactics and systems."

    The manager had special praise for Henderson, who netted five times for Liverpool last season, and said he expected more goals from the 24-year-old Englishman.

    Rodgers said: "He has the qualities as he showed with the finish for the equaliser... I expect him to get upwards of 10 goals this season."

    City boss Manuel Pellegrini was also satisfied with his side's performance in front of a capacity crowd of more than 49,000.

    "I'm very happy because it was a good, competitive game and useful for both teams," the Chilean said.

    He tipped Montenegrin forward Jovetic, who has scored four goals in two matches on the tour, for a stellar season.

    "Stevan is a very important player for us and he proved again what an asset he can be," the manager said.

    "He had a number of different injuries last season but now he is fully fit. If he's fit all year, he will be a very important player for us."