Xherdan Shaqiri scored a stunning overhead kick on his Liverpool debut to hand Jurgen Klopp’s side an emphatic win.
Shaqiri, a £13million summer signing from Stoke, came on as a second-half substitute and marked his debut with a stunning bicycle kick in the 82nd minute.
In front of a crowd of 101,254 at Michigan’s Big House, Klopp’s side humbled Jose Mourinho’s side, with the new Premier League campaign just a fortnight away.
Sadio Mane gave Liverpool the lead from the penalty spot, with Andres Pereira equalising for United with a superbly-dispatched free-kick.
Liverpool scored three times thereafter, through Daniel Sturridge and Sheyi Ojo – from the penelty spot – before Shaqiris’s acrobatic effort.
Here are five talking points from the game…
1. GRANT GETS THE NOD BUT HAS A MIXED GAME
Lee Grant has insisted he did not join United from Stoke to be third-choice behind David De Gea and Sergio Romero, and the new signing continued to impress on tour, producing a fine fingertip save after eight minutes to keep out a goalbound header from Mo Salah. That aside, Grant coceded a first-half penalty from Sadio Mane, and insisted on hoofing the ball long whenever he had a free-kick, a bizarre tactic given United had the diminutive duo of Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez up front.
Manchester City won the title last season building from the back, but United – on this evidence at least – are firmly rooted in the old-school approach, which was not at all effective. Grant was replaced at half-time by Joel Pereira, with De Ge not used after only joining up with the squad earlier this week.
2. TIME FOR ANREAS PEREIRA TO GET HIS CHANCE
After two loan spells at Granada and Valencia, Andreas Pereira has returned to United for the latest attempt to prove himself worthy of a run in the side. With Pau Pogba yet to return from his extended post-World Cup break, Nemanja Matic injured and new £52million signing Fred having just joined up with his new team-mates, the start of the season may afford Pereira the chance he craves.
The 22-year-old, currently playing as a No.6, is certainly doing all he can to impress boss Jose Mourinho, dispatching an exquisite free-kick to make it 1-1 after 31 minutes and playing with assurance throughout.
3. INJURIES MOUNTING UP FOR MOURINHO
Luke Shaw became the latest defender to join the growing list unavailable to Mourinho, with Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling and new signing Diogo Dalot also enduring enforced absences, with Ashley Young still on holiday following his extended post-World Cup break.
Mourinho can ill-afford to grant Matteo Darmian – who wants to leave United – his wish to go, with so many defenders – particularly full-backs – unavailable for selection. Mourinho has targeted Leicetser and England star Harry Maguire, as well as Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, but full-backs are his most pressing concern, with his personnel decimated in those positions.
4. LALLANA RETURN A HUGE BOOST FOR LIVERPOOL
Adam Lallana endured a tough season last season, injuries restricting him to just 15 appearances and a mere 236 minutes in the Premier League. Lallana’s thigh and hamstring problems ultimately cost him his England World Cup place, in what amounted to a testing campaign for the midfielder.
But Lallana’s return from injury is a huge boost for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp, the midfielder adding an extra dimension and versatility to the squad with what he can bring. Fitness-wise, Lallana looked sharp, even though his passing was awry at times in his restricted outing as he looks to get back to his very best.
5. UNITED AND LIVERPOOL SHOWCASE THIRD KITS
There were more than 100,000 fans sporting the red of United and Liverpool in Michigan’s Big House stadium, while on the pitch their teams eschewed their traditional colours.
It was surely not asking too much for one of the teams to sport their traditional colour, but in keeping with the commercial and marketing ethos that drives these money-spinning pre-season tours around the world, both decided to showcase their third-choice kits – United in the blue strip inspired by their 1968 European Cup win, while Liverpool played in grey, the bland kits summing up what was a drab encounter.
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