Liverpool’s pre-season preparations were dealt a blow after they were beaten 3-2 by Borussia Dortmund in the first match of their US tour.
In stifling conditions at the Notre Dame Stadium in Indiana, the European champions faced the Bundesliga runners-up in what Reds boss Jurgen Klopp had called “the first proper test” of his side’s pre-season programme.
Missing Roberto Firmino, Alisson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane due to the Copa America and Africa Cup of Nations, Liverpool fell behind after just three minutes through a close-range strike from Paco Alcacer.
Harry Wilson drew Liverpool level after 35 minutes but Dortmund scored two quick-fire goals after the break.
Thomas Delaney made it 2-1 eight minutes into the second half with a simple tap-in and Jacob Bruun Larsen extended their lead with a fine finish into the bottom corner in the 58th minute.
Rhian Brewster scored from the penalty spot in the 75th minute after Ben Woodburn was brought down in the box but the Reds could not find an equaliser in the closing stages in front of a 40,361-strong crowd.
Klopp named a number of youngsters in his starting line-up but handed Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum their first match action after making 10 changes on the hour mark.
He remained upbeat despite the defeat but blamed Dortmund’s goals on a “lack of organisation”.
“When you change a lot in the team then it’s quite difficult to have the perfect organisation,” he told Liverpool’s website. “That will be better later in the pre-season and in the season of course, it has to and it will be.
“Apart from that, all good. There were a lot of good things, some things which I didn’t like, that’s normal in pre-season.”
Liverpool continue their pre-season tour with a game against LaLiga side Sevilla at Boston’s Fenway Park on Sunday.
Liverpool full-back Andrew Robertson explained that the club’s hunger for trophies will be driven by the ‘winning feeling’ that has accompanied their Champions League success.
The 25-year-old feels that last season the players used the disappointment and heartbreak as motivators to avoid finding themselves in the same position.
But the club is now motivated by their own success and will look to replicate it in the Community Shield tie against Manchester City and the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea next month.
“We have got massive games from the off: Manchester City at Wembley in the Community Shield,” Robertson told Liverpool’s official website.
“Of course it’s the game just before the season starts but you’re still playing in a massive stadium against one of your biggest rivals. Then we’ve got Chelsea in the Super Cup.
“The biggest one is Norwich for getting the Premier League off to a good start in front of our home fans for the first time since we won the Champions League. That’s what we’ve got to use as motivation now – the winning feeling we had.
“Last season was completely different, we used the disappointment and heartbreak of losing as motivation to not be in that position again. That’s probably why we had so many last-minute winners, big comebacks and things like that.
“This season we need to use that feeling of being on that bus and lifting that trophy to drive us forward. We want more of that feeling. That’ll be in all our minds for the season ahead.”
Jurgen Klopp insisted he is happy with his Liverpool squad even if the club do not make any big summer signings.
The only newcomer in the Reds’ squad during the transfer window has been 17-year-old Dutch defender Sepp Van Den Berg, and Klopp does not expect that situation to change significantly.
He said on liverpoolfc.com: “We are pretty relaxed in that, we will see what’s coming up.
“How I said, it will not be the biggest transfer window of LFC; we invested a lot in the team in the last two years, I would say. We cannot spend every year in the same manner.
“People talk about it like, ‘now another £300 million or £200 million’. There are maybe only two clubs in the world – it looks in the moment like Barcelona and (Real) Madrid can do the same – (Manchester) City and PSG that can do it every year.
“But we are fine. I’m happy with the team, we are really happy. We have to see if we find maybe one position, if we find something for it, but there’s no real pressure because it’s not about signing a player. We have solutions for all the situations.
“I’m really looking forward to the season, it will be really exciting again.”
The European champions will continue their preparations for the new campaign with a match against Klopp’s former team Borussia Dortmund in Indiana on Saturday.
Star trio Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Alisson Becker will begin pre-season training ahead of Liverpool’s summer camp in Evian later this month after being given extra time off because of international commitments.
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