Minamino, Keita score as Liverpool destroy Blackburn in friendly

Takumi Minamino

Liverpool stepped up plans for the resumption of the Premier League season with a barnstorming 6-0 destruction of Blackburn in a friendly at Anfield on Thursday afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp’s side need just two wins to guarantee themselves title glory for the first time since 1990.

And having enjoyed a tremendous season to date, the Reds showed no sign that the break had dampened their spirits with the thumping win.

Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Takumi Minamino and Joel Matip all netted for Liverpool, with youngsters Ki-Jana Hoever and Leighton Clarkson also weighing in with goals.

Klopp’s troops are back in action on Sunday week when they make the short journey across Stanley Park to face Everton – and could even win the title should Man City lose to Arsenal on Wednesday.

The German will certainly be happy with what he saw on Thursday, with his players showing no sign that the break had stopped their momentum.

The Reds were ahead after just 10 minutes when Mane reacted fastest after Christian Walton parried Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s drive.



January signing Minamino almost doubled the lead shortly after but he did claim an assist when squaring for Keita to score not long after.

The Japanese player did notch, however, when Mane set him before the break to sweep home from close range.


Liverpool make friendly changes at half-time

Neco Williams

Liverpool made seven changes at the interval and one of the new arrivals, Neco Williams, saw an early effort strike the post.

But two goals in quick succession put the game beyond Blackburn as first Matip converted, before Hoever smashed a left-footed drive into top bins.

The rout was completed in the closing stages by Clarkson; the youngster firing in from inside the box.

The win was especially welcome for Klopp, who will hope the goals will give both Minamino and Keita some confidence.

The pair have struggled to find their best form so far since joining the club, but supporters will hope to see them gain confidence from their goalscoring contributions on Thursday.

The Reds, meanwhile, are reportedly listening to offers as a new suitor comes in for unwanted Loris Karius.