Liverpool made it three preseason victories on the bounce with a convincing 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic on Sunday afternoon.
It was a day for positives as goals from Danny Ings and 16-year-old Ben Woodburn saw Jurgen Klopp’s side run out deserved winners at the DW Stadium — with Woodburn continuing to startle at such a young age and Philippe Coutinho returning to Liverpool action in encouraging fashion
The Reds’ starting forwards looked intimidating for their Championship opposition, with Coutinho — making his first preseason appearance of 2016-17 since returning from international duty — and Sadio Mane often interchanging with Roberto Firmino, who was operating as a false nine.
Liverpool only listed eight substitutes due to injuries, so Joel Matip, Loris Karius and Connor Randall appeared for more than the usual 45-minute stint that has been required in the previous two friendlies.
Coutinho made a welcome arrival to preseason action by testing the woodwork twice in the opening quarter of an hour. The Brazilian hit the crossbar from a free kick four minutes in before striking the post after displaying some exquisite, trademark footwork.
But the visitors were given a scare in a tight first half when new goalkeeper Karius had a lapse in concentration almost let Wigan in — which will have come about given Liverpool’s total dominance.
Jurgen Klopp’s side continued to control proceedings after the break. However, their struggle to break down an entrenched Wigan side continued. Following his return from long-term injury, Ings looked his usual, energetic self and he opened the scoring 19 minutes from time with a collected finish over the goalkeeper.
Liverpool quickly doubled their lead when Woodburn — fresh from his goal against Fleetwood Town earlier in the week — displayed the poise of a veteran to calmly roll the ball into the back of the net and make it 2-0.