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Sunday, August 7

[PHOTOS//VIDEOS] Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona: Jurgen Klopp's side storm to emphatic victory against Spanish champions at Wembley

The Liverpool players celebrate after scoring against the Spanish champions in their latest pre-season friendly 
The Liverpool players celebrate after scoring against the Spanish champions in their latest pre-season friendly



  • Sadio Mane put Liverpool in front after slick counter-attacking move involving Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho 
  • Former Liverpool man Javier Mascherano scored an own-goal after half-time to double advantage for Reds 
  • Divock Origi added a third with cool finish between legs of Claudio Bravo to delight of Liverpool fans at Wembley 
  • Marko Grujic looped a header into the top corner to make it four in the International Champions Cup match 
  • This was the second largest crowd at Wembley for the match with 89,845 fans packed inside England's home 






Jurgen Klopp sat on a drinks cooler, legs crossed, chin resting on his hands. He showed little emotion, other than giving one of his players the thumbs up.
Liverpool’s manager usually tends to be attuned to the mood of a stadium but, on this occasion, his laid-back nature was juxtaposed to the celebrations that were going on all around him.
Wembley, bedecked in red and white, was bouncing as a remarkable afternoon took another twist.
Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Liverpool after a slick counter attacking move with an emphatic finish 
Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Liverpool after a slick counter attacking move with an emphatic finish


The former Southampton man took a touch to get it out of his feet in the box before hammering home
The former Southampton man took a touch to get it out of his feet in the box before hammering home

The Liverpool players celebrate after scoring against the Spanish champions in their latest pre-season friendly 
The Liverpool players celebrate after scoring against the Spanish champions in their latest pre-season friendly

Liverpool doubled their advantage when Javier Mascherano scored an own goal under pressure from Jordan Henderson
Liverpool doubled their advantage when Javier Mascherano scored an own goal under pressure from Jordan Henderson

Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez (left) and Lionel Messi cut dejected figures as they suffered defeat at on Saturday night
Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez (left) and Lionel Messi cut dejected figures as they suffered defeat at on Saturday night
Given some of the issues Liverpool have had to contend with over the past fortnight, from injuries to the jet lag that accompanies travelling 11,000 miles to a well-publicised disciplinary problem, not much was expected at Wembley against the might of Barcelona.

But as Klopp looked on from his vantage point early in the second half, the vast majority of a sell-out crowd were on the feet after Divock Origi had surged clear of Barcelona’s defence to emphatically put Liverpool three goals up. The stadium clock had only just ticked over to the 50th minute.
This was only a friendly, so Klopp’s decision not to assume his role of main cheerleader was understandable; yet beneath the cool exterior, surely Liverpool’s manager had to be glowing inside after his team produced their most emphatic pre-season performance. It owed nothing to luck.

From the first minute, when the outstanding Sadio Mane scuttled down the right and created the first big opportunity for Georginio Wijnaldum, Liverpool ran all over Barcelona in front of a bumper crowd of 89,845 - the second highest crowd at the stadium - and provided a tantalising glimpse of what they may become under Klopp.
Mane, in the 15th minute, set the ball rolling, scoring his first goal since his £30million arrival from Southampton, while an own goal from former Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano and Origi’s thumping effort ensured they had the luxury of cruising through the game’s final third. 
For good measure, Marko Grujic’s injury-time header completed the most unforeseen routs. 

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson celebrates his team's second as Claudio Bravo looks on with disappointment
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson celebrates his team's second as Claudio Bravo looks on with disappointment
Divock Origi made it three with a calm finish between the legs of Bravo putting Liverpool in cruise control
Divock Origi made it three with a calm finish between the legs of Bravo putting Liverpool in cruise control


Marko Grujic came off the bench to score Liverpool's fourth and round off an incredible victory against one of Europe's elite
Marko Grujic came off the bench to score Liverpool's fourth and round off an incredible victory against one of Europe's elite

The Reds celebrate as a team and Jurgen Klopp will be delighted with the performance of his side at England's home
The Reds celebrate as a team and Jurgen Klopp will be delighted with the performance of his side at England's home

Henderson and Mane run to congratulate the young Belgian striker after he got on the scoresheet
Henderson and Mane run to congratulate the young Belgian striker after he got on the scoresheet

Origi has put himself at the front of Klopp's mind with another goal in pre-season, this time against Barcelona
Origi has put himself at the front of Klopp's mind with another goal in pre-season, this time against Barcelona

A downcast looking Messi is not used to being on the other end of a dominant performance
A downcast looking Messi is not used to being on the other end of a dominant performance

Adam Lallana (right) and Arda Turan try to get to a loose ball on the pristine Wembley turf
Adam Lallana (right) and Arda Turan try to get to a loose ball on the pristine Wembley turf
True, Barcelona had their chances. Lionel Messi hit the inside of Simon Mignolet’s post from six yards, Arda Turan was thwarted by a magnificent tackle from James Milner and Mignolet kept out a blockbuster from Luis Suarez but they could have no issue with the final outcome.
Some of Liverpool’s recent displays have been patchy – the one against Roma in St Louis on Monday was especially poor – but they took a huge step forward here. Not even a hip injury that ruled Daniel Sturridge out of this match and Sunday's in Mainz could check their momentum.

Star of the show, without question, was Mane. It would not be wrong to say that some of what he has produced to this point has been underwhelming, with his displays in a 2-0 win over Wigan and during the 1-0 loss to Chelsea in Pasadena suggesting his price tag may be a burden.
If he continues to produce this type of form, though, he will make the investment look a bargain. The Senegalese forward never gave Barcelona’s defence a moment to rest during the time he was on the pitch, his pace and energy keeping Liverpool on the front foot.

The Grujic header was the icing on the cake and he was congratulated by Alberto Moreno (right) and Lazar Markovic (left)
The Grujic header was the icing on the cake and he was congratulated by Alberto Moreno (right) and Lazar Markovic (left)
Brazilian attacker Roberto Firmino tries to get in on the act as Liverpool search for their fourth goal
Brazilian attacker Roberto Firmino tries to get in on the act as Liverpool search for their fourth goal

A delighted Klopp will hope his team can carry this kind of form into the Premier League next season
A delighted Klopp will hope his team can carry this kind of form into the Premier League next season
It was fitting, then, that he scored the opening goal in the 15th minute, placing his shot high to the left of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen from 12 yards before wheeling away in delight; he would, nonetheless, be quick to recognise the role Adam Lallana played in creating it, his pressing and passing carrying Liverpool 40 yards forward in the blink of an eye.
Barcelona, with Messi and Suarez spearheading their attack, responded and they had their best spel not long after but, to Klopp’s satisfaction, his defenders stood firm. Milner really caught the eye and the only blight on the day was the injury which forced him off before the break.
As has been the case in all of Liverpool’s warm-up games, Klopp made wholesale changes at the break but they did not dilute the quality of the performance and within five minutes of the re-start, the game was over as a contest.
New man Georginio Wijnaldum (behind) and Philippe Coutinho (front) challenge Messi for possession
New man Georginio Wijnaldum (behind) and Philippe Coutinho (front) challenge Messi for possession

The Barcelona man struggled to make an impact on the International Champions cup game at Wembley 
The Barcelona man struggled to make an impact on the International Champions cup game at Wembley 
The second goal arrived after Origi’s back heel sent Mane to the byline and he zipped in a cross that Mascherano bundled into his own net under pressure from Jordan Henderson, who had just been introduced.
Two quickly became three when Kevin Stewart, another substitute, split Barcelona’s defence in half and Origi scooted away, holding his composure to thrash in from 18 yards. A big season beckons for the Belgium international and he is doing nothing to say Liverpool fans should not be excited by him.

While the ground erupted, Klopp remained reserved and was intent to take in all he had seen on a productive afternoon. There was, however, time for one final flourish and in the final minute, another quick counter-attack finished with Lazar Markovic teeing up Grujic to head in from 12 yards.
Again, it must be stressed this was a friendly and they embarked on a lap of appreciation around Wembley without any silverware. But, should these standards be maintained, that could change come next May. 
A casual-looking Luis Enrique instructs his team from the sidelines with Klopp in the background 
A casual-looking Luis Enrique instructs his team from the sidelines with Klopp in the background

After the game Luis Suarez embraced his former team-mate and Liverpool midfielder Henderson 
After the game Luis Suarez embraced his former team-mate and Liverpool midfielder Henderson

Klopp applauded the Liverpool support who will take great heart from this victory with the season about to begin
Klopp applauded the Liverpool support who will take great heart from this victory with the season about to begin

 This was the second largest crowd at Wembley for the match with 89,845 spectators on the day
 This was the second largest crowd at Wembley for the match with 89,845 spectators on the day

MATCH FACTS 

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Klavan. Milner (Moreno 42), Lallana (Henderson 45), Can (Stewart 45), Wijnaldum (Grujic 73), Mane (Markovic 72), Firmino (Ings 73), Coutinho (Origi 45)

Subs not used: Manninger, Brannagan, Matip, Wisdom, Randall, Alex-Arnold

Goals: Mane 15, Mascherano og 46, Origi 50, Grujic 90

BARCELONA: Ter Stegen (Bravo 45), Vidal (Roberto 45), Mascherano (Pique 60), Mathieu, Camara (Digne 60), Suarez (Ligero 75), Busquets (Iniesta 60), Turan (60), Messi (Mujica 75), Suarez (Samper 75), Munir

Subs not used: Douglas, Vermaelen, Masip 

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