Sport Football Liverpool edges Brisbane Roar 2-1

Liverpool edges Brisbane Roar 2-1

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Liverpool recruit James Milner fired his side to a 2-1 comeback win over an unlucky Brisbane Roar in Friday night’s glamour friendly at Suncorp Stadium.

It was the result the vast majority of the 50,000-plus supporters on hand had come to see, but the A-League outfit would have won themselves plenty of admirers for their smooth performance in their first match under new coach John Aloisi.

The Roar looked on par with a rusty Liverpool outfit for most of the night but grew visibly tired as the match wore on, and Milner took full advantage by putting his side ahead 15 minutes from time with his first goal for the club.

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Surrounded by Brisbane defenders, Milner kept his cool, slid the ball through the legs of acting Roar captain Jade North and then scuffed a shot that found a deflection on its way past goalkeeper Jamie Young, who battled all night to keep the visitors at bay and showed his strong form at the back end of last season was no flash in the pan.

Milner (C) is mobbed by team-mates after scoring the winner. Photo: Getty
Milner (C) is mobbed by team-mates after scoring the winner. Photo: Getty

Young made a string of strong saves and had plenty of reason to perform in his reunion with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who recruited him as a teenager into Reading’s academy.

There were only a spattering of orange shirts in the crowd as Brisbane, just for a night, were made to feel like outsiders at their own ground.

Stands at Suncorp Stadium were renamed for those at Anfield and you would have been forgiven for thinking you were there had you closed your eyes during the pre-match rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

Unperturbed by the type, the Roar took a shock lead 17 minutes in, when Brandon Borrello spotted Dimi Petratos loose in the box with plenty of space.

Petratos jinked past Martin Skrtel and then unleashed from near the penalty spot, his shot flashing past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

But their lead didn’t last long and nine minutes later, it was all square, as Adam Lallana showcased the gulf between the English top flight and the A-League with just a swivel of his hips.

All too easily, Lallana threw off the advances of Roar defender Jack Hingert, and then found the top corner with a perfectly-weighted curling shot on goal.

Play in the second half was disjointed as both sides rung the changes but Liverpool’s far greater depth showed as they closed out the match in style.