RB Salzburg 2-2 Liverpool: Winners and losers as Reds end Austrian trip with lethargic display

Liverpool prepared for the Community Shield with a testing clash against the Austrian champions. OLIVER LAWRENSON picks out the Reds’ winners and losers from the game.

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Jürgen Klopp will be looking for a far better performance on Saturday as his side prepared for the Community Shield against Arsenal with a flat performance in Salzburg. After being defeated twice by the Reds in last season’s Champions League, Jesse Marsch’s team came out with a point to prove against a Liverpool side who were unable to perform at their customary lofty level. 

The German made one change from the side that started the win over VfB Stuttgart on Saturday, with Georginio Wijnaldum replacing Curtis Jones who had excelled in the previous fixture. Several fans were in attendance as the Austrian side put in several social distancing measures to ensure some form of normality could return to the game. 

Here are the winners and losers from the game:

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Winners

Rhian Brewster

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After an extremely successful loan spell at Swansea last season, the 20-year-old has returned to his parent club with a new-found confidence. His decisive finishing – a highlight of his time in Wales – was once again on show as he produced two clinical finishes to drag the Merseyside club level. 

The Englishman was the stand out player for the Reds’ amongst several mediocre performances from his colleagues. After coming on with 30 minutes remaining, he displayed a calm and composed demeanour throughout his game time, with both of his finishes delighting the coaching staff on the side line. 

His first goal was reactive and deadly as he dispatched the ball past Walke into the roof of the Salzburg goal after some great work from James Milner. The second finish was a thing of beauty. After being fed the ball by Curtis Jones, Brewster found himself obstructed by a single RB Salzburg defender. He would calmly loft the ball over this advancing opponent and into the empty net with complete ease. This finish alone shows how much he has advanced in the last year. 

The teenager’s performances on this pre-season trip have pushed his name firmly into the managers first team plans. With several decisive displays now under his belt, it would be surprising if he was sent out on loan once again considering the Reds are crying out for a backup striker to Roberto Firmino.

Losers

Fabinho

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After a solid performance on Saturday the Brazilian struggled with the upturn in intensity during his 45-minute stint. His slow start proved costly, with the No.3 clearly at fault for the first goal. This mistake set the tone for a difficult outing for the midfielder, who was guilty of sloppy passes and missed tackles throughout his display. Mercifully, Klopp pulled the midfielder at half time for Curtis Jones.

Fabinho has struggled initially for form when he has had a prolonged period of time off during his Liverpool career. With this being a short three-week layoff, it was thought that the Brazilian would be able to carry on where he had left off at the end of last season. Unfortunately, it seems it will take him a few games to get back to his best.

Once Fabinho does return to his imperious best, only injury will prevent Liverpool enjoying his reliably dominant presence in midfield throughout the season. Hopefully this Saturday’s outing against the Gunners will kickstart the Brazilian’s form.


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Neco Williams

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On the day of his first senior international call up for Wales, the young teenager failed to produce the form that got him selected as he struggled during his time on the pitch. The Welshman was nullified throughout by Bernede, as the Salzburg winger expertly tracked the youngster’s forward runs, alongside exposing any space vacated by the full-back. 

He improved in the second half but was pulled off for Ki-Jana Hoever just after the hour mark. Even after he was taken off the Dutchman showed it wasn’t plain sailing, also struggling to adapt to the press of the Frenchman. 

It was a tough afternoon for the 19-year-old who, after signing his new long-term contract, is now an important part of the Liverpool team for seasons to come. This season’s congested schedule has made it all the more important that Williams can seamlessly step up, and slot in, when called upon.

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