Fleetwood Town 0-5 Liverpool: Marko Grujic, Lucas and Roberto Firmino score as Danny Ings misses first-half penalty

Marko Grujic

Marko Grujic

Marko Grujic launched his Liverpool career in the best possible manner as he marked his debut with a goal in a facile win at Fleetwood.

The Serbia Under-21 international, whom Liverpool signed from Red Star Belgrade, could not make his first start at Tranmere last Friday as he waited for the paperwork following his successful work permit application to clear.

Jurgen Klopp has been looking forward to working with Grujic, who has been touted as one of the best young talents in Europe, and he showed why in his 45-minute cameo, as he scored the opener in a 5-0 success.

But it was not just the goal which so impressed about Grujic’s performance.

In an eight minute spell, he hit the post with one shot, scored and was brought down for a penalty, which Danny Ings saw saved by Fleetwood keeper Chris Neal.

Klopp was impressed with Grujic’s debut and the passion of his celebrations, something the Liverpool boss is familiar with.

‘He is still a young lad, 20 years old. He scored a goal on his debut and you can say it is a dream, Klopp said after the game.

‘Have you ever seen anyone celebrate a goal like that in a friendly? He did well and all these young boys will improve.’

Though Klopp is only using these friendlies as extensions of training and is paying no attention to the scoreline, he will have at least noticed the difference in the sharpness of Liverpool’s play compared to how it was at Prenton Park on Friday night.

‘The first half I was not too happy. I wanted to see more team play,’ said the Liverpool manager.

‘If you are relying on individual moments to score goals then it means there is something wrong with the team.
‘But we used the information and we made a good job in the second half. We scored some nice goals.
‘I like pre-season because you learn a lot. You have to fight against the intensity of training in the matches.’
His competitive streak was also evident as he exchanged a few choice words with Fleetwood boss Steven Pressley before the interval, as he expressed his displeasure over a few robust challenges on his players.

Sadio Mane, Liverpool’s £30million signing from Southampton, showed dash down the left, Joel Matip looked more assured in his second game and Ings will have benefitted from another start as he continues to re-gather his sharpness after knee surgery.
Klopp made wholesale changes again for the second half and Liverpool went through the gears, with Ben Woodburn – an Academy graduate with significant potential – doubling the lead in the 52nd minute before the Brazilians Lucas and Roberto Firmino doubled the lead again in a two-minutes spell.
Firmino completed the rout in the final minute following more good work by Woodburn, a young man who looks to have a bright future.