(Bleacher Report) Liverpool came out swinging last week as they claimed a 4-3 victory in their first preseason match against Guangdong during the first leg of their 2011 South East Asian tour. Andy Carroll, Conor Coady, Christian Poulsen and David N’Gog all notched goals for the Reds.
Early Saturday morning the Reds played their second preseason game in front of 80,000 fans in a sold-out stadium against an All-Star Malaysian XI. The Reds played two different teams during the match as they subbed in a new starting XI after half time.
The first half lineup consisted of: Brad Jones; Jack Robinson, Daniel Agger, Jamie Carragher(c), John Flanagan; Charlie Adam, Conor Coady, Jay Spearing, Raul Meireles; Joe Cole, Andy Carroll.
Liverpool’s first XI enjoyed a great experience on the pitch as Charlie Adam opening the scoring for Liverpool on the 25th minute, getting his first ever goal for the Reds from the spot. The penalty was the result of Andy Carroll being hauled down in the box while going for a long over the top cross.
Malaysia would bring the match level and it would be in the second half that the Reds second team would get it back.
The Reds second team came on after halftime and consisted of: Peter Gulacsi; Emiliano Insua, Danny Wilson, Sotirious Kyrgiakos, Martin Kelly, Christian Poulsen, Jonjo Shelvey, Alberto Aquilani, Maxi Roriguez; David N’Gog, Dirk Kuyt.
After the round of substitutions the Reds went goal crazy as David N’Gog took the Reds back on top 2-1 after knocking home a gift thanks to poor defensive play by Malaysia.
N’Gog again got on the goal train as he would score a belter of a shot into the top right corner thanks to a beautiful threaded pass from Alberto Aquilani. Why there is still talk of getting rid of the Italian I do not know.
Alberto Aquilani again proved his passing ability as did Emiliano Insua as the two players combined to gift Mazi Rodriguez his first goal of preseason as he took the Reds 4-1 up. The lead would be knocked down to 4-3 in the next little bit as the Reds broke down defensively for a lull, but it would not last.
Maxi Rodriguez scored again as he headed home a cross from Dirk Kuyt that was set up by none other than Alberto Aquilani as, “El Principo,” is making believers that he may still be the man for Liverpool in the middle when called upon.
Dirk Kuyt would finish the night off with a blast from the top of the box after a give and go with Aquilani that originated when the Dutchman showed some great pace from the half way line. The goal insured the game ended 6-3 in favor of the visiting Reds.
Man of the Match: There is no doubt Alberto Aquilani was the man of the match as his creative touch in the midfield sparked or had a hand in the last four goals of the night for Liverpool. His performance should turn the heads of doubters that he is not a key figure that the Reds could use this coming season.
While the Reds midfield seems over crowded, it could be a blessing as Liverpool possibly posses a midfield collective to rival the best in the English Premier League.
The Reds are set to return home to Merseyside this week as they will face Hull City in their next preseason match, and they look to see Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina, and new man Stewart Downing join them on the second leg of their tour.
Kenny Dalglish looks to have a much improved squad for next season as I cant remember a preseason starting this brightly in years.