MX23RW : Friday, September 25 10:14:02| >> :60:333:333:
Jul 13, 2013 at 3pm UK at Deepdale
PrestonPreston North End
FT(HT: 0-2)
Coutinho (14' pen.), Ibe (37'), Sterling (64'), Aspas (75')

Live Commentary: Preston North End 0-4 Liverpool - as it happened

Live coverage of the pre-season friendly between Liverpool and Preston North End at Deepdale.
Live Commentary: Preston 0-4 Liverpool - as it happened
© PA Photos

Liverpool secured a comfortable 4-0 win in their first pre-season friendly against Preston North End at Deepdale this afternoon.

The match, which was commemorating what would have been the 100th birthday of Bill Shankly, was controlled by the visitors from the start.

Philippe Coutinho netted from the penalty spot early on, before efforts from Jordan Ibe, Raheem Sterling and Iago Aspas added to the score.

Read how all the action unfolded below:

Good afternoon. Liverpool get their pre-season underway with a trip to Deepdale this afternoon. The Anfield side have just announced their team news, so let's take a look at the lineup...

LIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Mignolet, Agger, Toure, Flanagan, Henderson, Spearing, Allen, Assaidi, Borini, Ibe, Coutinho

SUBS: Ward, Johnson, Skrtel, Wisdom, Robinson, Lucas, Alberto, Pacheco, Aspas, Sterling, Downing, Kelly

So the big news for the visitors is that two of their four new signings will start against Preston, with former Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet making his debut between the posts, while Kolo Toure lines up in defence. Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto both start of the bench, but it's likely that they'll be involved within the 90 minutes.

Ahead of today's match, Brendan Rodgers told Liverpool's official website: "Joe Allen had an operation and Raheem was out injured for the latter part of the season. Raheem has looked great. These are players that are coming back and have looked very good in the early parts of training. With Martin Kelly, we just need to assess to see how and where Martin is at. He has obviously worked very hard to get back fit. He has been involved in a lot of the sessions so far."

We're still waiting to see who will start the game for Preston, but there are a few new names for Simon Grayson to chose from. Kevin Davies and Tom Clarke have joined the club since the end of last season, while Bailey Wright, Thorsten Stuckmann and Will Hayhurst have all penned new deals with the team.

PRESTON STARTING XI: Rudd, Laird, Huntington, Clarke, Wright, Humphrey, Beavon, Garner, Buchanan, Welsh, Mousinho

SUBS: Stuckmann, Wroe, Holmes, Byrom, Cummins, Cansdell-Sherrif, B Davies, Croasdale, Hume, Beardsley

Grayson decides not to include Kevin Davies, who has spent just two days training with his new team. However, former Huddersfield Town defender Tom Clarke will make his debut for the Lilywhites.

It's expected to be a full house at Deepdale this afternoon, with Preston announcing on Twitter that only 1,000 tickets remained for the game this morning. The League One side's ground has a capacity of 24,500.

Today would have been the 100th birthday of Bill Shankly. The Scot spent 16 years playing for Preston, making just under 300 appearances for the club. He later took charge of Liverpool, guiding the club to three league titles, two FA Cups, and a UEFA Cup over a 15-year period. The club marked his achievements by erecting a statue of Shankly outside Anfield in 1997. His granddaughter will present the Shankly Shield to the winning side at the end of today's match.

The two sides have played 69 league and cup matches in the past, with Liverpool winning an 28 occasions, and Preston taking victory 22 times. They last met in 2009 in the third round of the FA Cup. On that occasion, the Premier League side beat their opponents 2-0, with Riera and Torres netting for the Reds.

One of the players to watch for Preston this afternoon will be Scott Laird. The defender will play for the first time since sustaining a broken leg last November. The club claim that the 25-year-old is back to full fitness, but match time will be keen as he prepares for the new season.

This will be Liverpool's last friendly on British soil for a few weeks. They head out to the Far East next week for matches against Indonesia XI, Melbourne Victory and Thailand. On August 3, the Reds have their only home friendly of the pre-season against Olympiacos, before visiting Valerenga and Celtic.

On paper, this should be Preston's toughest pre-season match. In 10 days they host Blackburn Rovers, before travelling to Rochdale one week before the start of the new season.

Despite there being a trophy on offer this afternoon, there won't be extra time in the event of a draw. Should the scores be level after 90 minutes, the two clubs will share the Shankly Shield.

Another Premier League side getting their pre-season underway this afternoon is Manchester United. David Moyes is taking charge of the side for the first time as they play the first match of their Far East and Australia tour. You can also follow live updates from that match with Sports Mole this afternoon.

Kickoff is just over five minutes away at Deepdale, where both sets of players have been warming up. Kolo Toure looked energetic as he prepares to make his Liverpool debut, having spent plenty of time practicing headers with the club's head of fitness.

Just time for a quick prediction before kickoff. Although Liverpool have to be the favourites, I can't see them running riot this afternoon, with so many new and inexperienced faces in the side. However, Mignolet will be keen to impress in goal, as he looks to compete with Jose Reina. I'm going to go for a 1-0 Liverpool win.

The players are heading out onto the pitch, which bears a tartan pattern this afternoon, which is surely a nod to Shankly. It's a glorious day in Preston this afternoon, and the crowd are in good voice.

Preston get the first half underway.

It's a bright start for Liverpool, as Jordan Ibe looks to break into the box early on, but Preston new boy Tom Clarke is on hand to block the move. The hosts go on the counter, but Flanagan is back for Liverpool and puts the ball out.

Ibe is causing more problems for the hosts down the left-hand side, bearing down on the Preston goal again. The ball is cleared as far as Flanagan, who looks for a way to press forward again, but Preston clear the danger.

Assaidi threads the ball through to Borini inside the penalty area, but Preston have numbers back, leaving no way through for the Italian. Under pressure, he puts the ball out for a Preston goal kick.

Laird gets the ball in midfield for Preston, but he's quickly dispossessed by Agger. Ibe gets the ball again, but the hosts are more organised at the back this time around, and quickly shut down the move. The 17-year-old has been lively at the start of this match though.

Coutinho has the ball in midfield, and tries to blast it forward for Allen, but Huntington manages to get a foot to the ball first and make the clearance. Liverpool have been doing all the attacking in the opening 10 minutes, but are yet to have a shot

SAVE! Declan Rudd is called into action for the first time, as Agger blasts the ball into the box, but the Preston keeper makes a comfortable stop. Borini gets a chance just moments later, but Rudd comes off his line to take the ball before the Italian gets his shot away.

PENALTY! Coutinho is brought down by his shirt, giving the visitors a spot kick.

GOAL! Preston 0-1 Liverpool (Coutinho)

It's a clinical conversion from the spot by Coutinho. The foul leading to the penalty was incredibly clumsy. Captain John Welsh, who is an ex-Liverpool man, picked Coutinho up too late and desperately grabbed at his shirt.

CHANCE! Assaidi feeds a beautifully waited cross in towards Ibe, who manages to force his way in front of Clarke to get a head to the ball, but he doesn't get enough power behind the header, and the effort goes out for a goal kick.

Preston make a rare break into Liverpool's penalty area, but Agger keeps a cool head, comfortably clearing the ball from Buchanan, and Brendan Rodgers' side are immediately back in Preston's half. Liverpool's back four have spent much of the opening 20 minutes at the half-way line, as the visitors continue to dictate the play

Preston win a free kick just inside their attacking half, but Agger rises high on the edge of the penalty area to get the ball away. Coutinho is immediately pressing up the other end of the pitch with Flanagan also heading up front, looking for a rare sight of goal.

Coutinho brilliantly chips the ball forward from the edge of the box looking for Borini. The Liverpool player tangles with Huntington, but goes down a little too easily, and the referee waves away his penalty appeals. Borini stays down for a moment or two, having seemingly taken a boot to the ribs after hitting the deck.

Mousinho and Garner look to move Preston further up the pitch, but a loose pass gives Spearing an easy clearance. His clearance goes deep, with Assaidi looking to get on the ball at the edge of the Preston box, but Rudd is able to collect the ball before Liverpool can get support forward.

CHANCE! Laird goes for goal from 25 yards out. It's a thunderous effort, but Mignolet read the ball well to back his first meaningful contribution to the game, diving to his left to push the ball clear.

CHANCE! Borini looks to be through to double Liverpool's lead, but he slices his shot just wide. He looks to make amends from just outside the box moments later, but the finish is poor, failing to trouble Rudd.

GOAL! Preston 0-2 Liverpool (Ibe)

Jordan Ibe has looked dangerous throughout the opening half, and produces a wonderful solo goal with some speedy footwork from the edge of the penalty area, before drilling the ball in with a low, right-footed strike.

Preston look to get themselves back into the game before half time, with Welsh trying to curl the ball in towards his teammates waiting in Liverpool's penalty area, but his delivery misses them all, heading out for a goal kick.

Beavon breaks into the box, but he has no support up front. He tries to pull the ball back for Laird, but Spearing breaks up the pass, before Henderson fires the ball away. Borini immediately gets a chance up the other end, but Preston put the ball out for a corner.

Preston win a free kick inside Liverpool's half, which Laird takes quickly to Clarke. The debutant curls the ball in with three teammates waiting in the box, but Mignolet comes from his line to make the catch.

HALF TIME: Preston 0-2 Liverpool

There's no injury time at the end of the first 45 minutes, as Liverpool head into the break with a 2-0 lead over Preston North End.

Liverpool looked the more likely to score from the outset, with Jordan Ibe, Philippe Coutinho and Fabio Borini all causing problems for the Preston defence. Coutinho's 14th-minute effort from the spot broke the deadlock, while Ibe doubled the visitors' lead shortly before half time.

Borini believed that he had won a second penalty for the Reds, but his rather theatrical fall didn't fool the referee. The Italian had several further chances, but has failed to find the target so far.

Preston's best chance came from a rather unlikely source. Scott Laird's dipping 25-yard drive provided a stern test for new Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet, but the ex-Sunderland man was just able to push the defender's shot wide. Laird is playing his first match since breaking his leg last November.

It's likely that both sides will make a host of changes at the start of the second half, with several players in need of match fitness on both benches.

CHANGES! Preston have made eight changes for the second half. Wroe, Holmes, Byrom, Cummins, Cansdell-Sherriff, Davies and Hume all come on, with Wrights, Clarke and Mousinho continuing from the first half.

CHANGES! It's a whopping 10 changes for Liverpool, with only Mignolet continuing from the first half. Alberto and Aspas both make their debuts.

Liverpool kick off the second half.

Aspas is immediately on the attack for his new club, looking to break down the left-hand wing, but Hume marks him closely, preventing him from breaking into the Preston box.

Just to confirm, the full Liverpool team for the second half is: Mignolet, Johnson, Robinson, Skrtel, Wisdom, Alberto, Lucas, Pacheco, Sterling, Downing, Aspas.

Sterling, complete with some impressively tall hair, looks to gt into the game early on, but is flagged offside. Preston try to get down the other end of the pitch, but Skrtel and Wisdom quickly get into formation at the back to block the danger.

Sterling crosses the ball in for Downing, but he's at an awkward angle so heads to Aspas, but the new signing can't control the ball in time to have a shot. It may be a very different Liverpool team this half, but they've started with the same aggressive style that helped the visitors dominate the first half.

Skrtel heads up front for Liverpool in preparation for a free kick, and appeals for a penalty, as a clash with Wright leaves his spread-eagled behind the goal, but once again the referee isn't interested.

CHANCE! Some wonderful build-up play from Alberto sets up Pacheco for an effort at the Preston goal. His shot is low and powerful, but Stuckmann gets down quickly to block the strike.

CHANCE! A long ball forward from Wisdom finds Downing, who passes to Sterling. Sterling manages to break free from Clarke but faces a tricky finish. He makes the angle, but Stuckmann manages to get a hand to the ball to force it off-target. This has been a very strong spell from the visitors.

Aspas picks up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and looks to feed it through to Sterling, but can't find a way though. Pacheco picks up the ball from a backwards pass, and breaks into the penalty area, but runs out of room as he looks to get a shot away, taking the ball behind for a Preston goal kick.

GOAL! Preston 0-3 Liverpool (Sterling)

Preston go on the attack, with Nicky Wroe and Ben Davies bearing down on the Liverpool goal. However, the visitors make the clearance, and Raheem Sterling manages to keep himself onside before out-pacing his marker, leaving him one-on-one with Stuckmann, who is left stranded as the teenager skips past him to slot the ball into an opening goal. That was a stunning display of pace from the England international.

With the match probably out of Preston's reach now, the home fans turn their attention to the man who today's match is being played in honour of, as a chant of "Shankly" fills Deepdale.

SUB! John Mousinho is taken off with Ryan Croasdale coming on for the home side. Mousinho was one of just three players on the Preston side to have played in the first half.

CHANCE! Johnson has an effort from a couple of yards outside the box, but it takes a deflection from Holmes. It looked like the effort would have gone wide, but Stuckmann takes no chances, stretching out wide to gather the ball.

Johnson and Downing link up down the right-hand wing. Downing goes for a cross, but his effort is deflected out for a corner. From the set piece, Aspas gets the ball on the edge of the area, and nutmegs his way past two Preston defenders, but Stuckmann rushes out to snatch the ball from his feet. It's been a promising start to life at Liverpool for Aspas.

GOAL! Preston 0-4 Liverpool (Aspas)

Now it's an even better debut for Aspas! Johnson has the ball out wide and taps it in towards Aspas, who is waiting on the edge of the penalty area. He strikes it first time with his left foot, completely deceiving Stuckmann to make it four for the visitors.

SUBS! Liverpool take off Simon Mignolet, bringing on Wales Under-21 international Danny Ward. Meanwhile, Graham Cummins heads off for Preston in place of Chris Beardsley.

CHANCE! Pacheco hits the ball on the half-volley from the edge of the penalty area, leaving Stuckmann rooted to the spot, but the ball goes inches wide of the post.

Lee Holmes launches Preston on the counter attack, but his curling effort into the box is comfortably gathered by Ward, making his first touch since replacing Mignolet.

SUB! Martin Kelly comes on for the final 10 minutes, replacing Jack Robinson. It's Kelly's first appearances since rupturing a knee ligament against Manchester United last season.

Johnson forces a corner, with Liverpool pressing for a fifth in the final minutes of this game. Preston clear the immediate danger, but Downing looks to feed the ball back in for Aspas, but the Spaniard mis-reads the ball, and it rolls harmlessly to Stuckmann.

CHANCE! Downing picks out Luis Alberto out wide. The new signing breaks into the box looking to mark his debut with a goal, but can only fire the ball straight at Stuckmann.

Preston are pushing hard as they look for a late consolation goal, but the home side are struggling to find gaps in the Liverpool defence. Holmes battles well with Skrtel, and ultimately wins a free kick near the corner flag in the final seconds.

Wright gets a head to the ball from the free kick, but Ward manages to make the save, and that should be about it at Deepdale.

FULL TIME: Preston 0-4 Liverpool

That was a clinical performance from a young Liverpool side, beating Preston North End 4-0 to secure the Shankly Shield. Brendan Rodgers looks happy with his side as they head off the pitch.

Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto both looked impressive on their Liverpool debuts, with Aspas getting on the goal sheet. Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet both saw little action, with Preston rarely testing Liverpool at the back.

Rodgers will also, no doubt, be delighted to see two teenager on the scoreboard, with wonder-goals from both Jordan Ibe and Raheem Sterling.

Simon Grayson will be able to take some positives from today's match. Despite the scoreline, Preston did defend well, and could have easily been looking at a heavier defeat. Declan Rudd had a strong performance in goal in the first half, while Scott Laird showed few signs that he was playing his first match after an eight-month layoff.

That's all from Deepdale this afternoon, but stick around for reports and reaction to all of today's pre-season friendlies. Thanks for joining me this afternoon, goodbye.

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