Liverpool consolidated their position as clubhouse leaders in the pre-season-excitement stakes on Tuesday night, dishing out a thrashing to Bayern Munich in the semi-final of the Audi Cup, Germany’s existentially pointless but no doubt monetarily useful answer to the Emirates Cup.
Jürgen Klopp’s side rarely looked troubled in the Xabi Alonso Clásico™, taking the lead through Sadio Mané early on (below, improved significantly by the commentator’s utterance of: “Don’t leave the door open for this mob!”) and moving clear through Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian already has four goals in five friendlies, which probably has you very excited if you’re 12.
Result aside, this match served to confirm just how varied Liverpool’s riches in the final third are. Salah, Mané and Roberto Firmino – whose industry created the opener – formed a dynamic attacking trident. Philippe Coutinho prompted from deeper. Adam Lallana, perhaps their most consistent attacking force last season, was only on the bench. Ditto Dominic Solanke.
The final say went to yet another forward. Daniel Sturridge came on midway through the second half and, with one whoosh of his left boot, provided a timely reminder that he remains the best pure finisher in Klopp’s squad.
Unfortunately for him, he also provided a timely reminder that his body is now made of tinder sticks and Blu Tac, limping off with what Klopp subsequently confirmed is a thigh issue. That’s one fewer option for the German to worry about, at least.