Pre-season friendlies are often languid affairs, but thankfully anyone who stayed up late enough to watch the Premier League’s top two of last season in action stateside, would have been pleasantly surprised.
Liverpool ended up winning the match on penalties following an entertaining 2-2 draw with Manchester City at Yankee Stadium in New York.
The result may not have much impact on the season which is about to unfold, but for 10/1 title shots Liverpool, getting one over on the 15/8 joint favourites will mean more to last year’s runner-ups.
Here’s five pointers to pull from the action in NYC:
Stevan Jovetic can be a force to reckon with this season
Having spent the vast majority of last season on the physio table, it’s been difficult to judge Jovetic in sky blue, until now that is. The Montenegrin bagged his second successive brace in pre-season, displaying predatory instincts to be in the right place at the right time as the main striker.
Raheem Sterling is more dangerous in a central position
Another man who increased his tally in pre-season after notching the winner against Olympiacos, the England man scored the goal of the match, showing an exquisite touch and sharp finish. It was a message to Brendan Rodgers that Sterling may well be best deployed centrally.
Jesus Navas is the best winger in the Premier League
In the era of the ‘wide-forward’ City’s Spanish winger is simply a delight to watch. Unlike so many wider players, Navas is not afraid to hug the touchline and in a flash he’s around the outside of his full-back and the cross is in the box. He took his tally of assists to six already in warm-up games.
Fernando looks a shrewd acquisition
Although Manuel Pellegrini already has one Brazilian spoiler with a similar-sounding name in his ranks it’s become immediately obvious why they’ve pursued the former Porto player. Fernando marshalled City’s back-four expertly, breaking up play and showed panache in possession.
Liverpool need a new left-back
Poor Jack Robinson was up against the dazzling feet of Navas, but the man who was on-loan at Blackpool last season looked a tad out of his depth at this level. Jose Enrique will no doubt be ahead of him in the pecking order but this is a position crying out for a world class option for Liverpool.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.