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Reds kick off pre-season campaign with draws

Liverpool kicked off their pre-season campaign with a pair of 1-1 draws in mini-games against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart in Salzburg. 

The Reds are currently based in Austria for a training camp and they stepped up preparations with two 30-minute friendlies. The XIs for the games were a mix of youth of experience. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold continued his recovery from the injury that ruled him out of Euro 2020, while new signing Ibrahim Konate tasted his first action for Liverpool. Joel Matip, James Milner, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were also among the first team players that played.

In the Reds’ first game against Innsbruck Divock Origi put them 1-0 up from the penalty spot, only for Ronivaldo to level things up before the end. Meanwhile, Liverpool had to come from behind against Stuttgart with Philipp Forster’s goal putting the Bundesliga side ahead. Mane saved the Reds’ blushes, tapping home near the end to level things up. 

After the game, Konate, who played against Innsbruck, said making his Reds debut was an “unforgettable” moment. 

“Yes, I am very happy,” he told the club’s website. “It’s an unforgettable moment for me. Yes, without our fans – but I am very, very happy. Just a little bit sad – very sad – because we didn’t win. But it’s OK, I’m happy.”

Jurgen Klopp was also pleased with his players’ efforts, saying: “It was a workout and it was good. Physically it was all that we wanted to see, we had to do it and it was an important test for that. 

“From a football point of view, obviously a lot of space for improvement; I saw a lot of wild pressing. We wanted a wild press, we had a little competition between the two teams to see who wins the ball back more and how many counter-presses we have.”

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