Liverpool’s three standout performers v Mainz as Reds secure first pre-season victory

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Empire of the Kop

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There was an element of fortune in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory against Mainz, with the Reds benefitting from a late own goal by Luca Kilian, courtesy of an Owen Beck cross.

There were a number of positive performances from across the squad available, with a handful of senior stars particularly catching the eye yesterday evening in Austria.

Playing the full 45 minutes of the first-half, Ibrahima Konate’s recovery pace was absolutely integral in holding Jurgen Klopp’s high-line together.

The Frenchman looked far from out of place in the German’s favoured system and seemed to enjoy his partnership with Joel Matip in the centre of defence.

There was one notable error to speak of when the former RB Leipzig star was dispossessed near the halfway line, though he demonstrated remarkable recovery pace to retrieve the ball and bring it back out into the opposition half.

Should either one of Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez not be available in time for our opening clash against Norwich in August, you’d be more than tempted to trust in the summer signing given how comfortable he’s looking in pre-season.

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Jurgen Klopp ruled out risking either Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez for the Reds’ next pre-season clash with Hertha Berlin

Kostas Tsimikas is another defender who makes the list, following up on his impressive outing against Stuttgart with a solid performance against Klopp’s former club.

The Greece international looked a genuine threat on the left-hand side, bombing up the pitch to contribute to forward play, notably winning the ball back after a Sadio Mane pass fell short of its intended target and keeping the attack alive.

If the fullback can take his pre-season form into the season, we could finally have some proper backup for Andy Robertson this coming season.

Further up the pitch, Naby Keita wowed fans on the Twittersphere with his midfield display, with one dribble past three Mainz players catching everyone’s attention.

The Guinea international looked at home connecting with the forward line in the final third, terrorising the opposition backline with his quick feet.

Should these three manage to continue their positive performances throughout the remainder of pre-season, it could very well leave Klopp with much food for thought ahead of the impending campaign.

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