Liverpool fall to Roma in Boston

Liverpool’s stuttering pre-season campaign continued as Brendan Rodgers’s side went down 2-1 to Italian giants Roma in Boston.

Eurosport

A youthful line-up worked hard for their chances, but was unable to make up the gulf in class between them and a side packed full of established international players.

A goal from Michael Bradley – the only American on the pitch – set Roma on their way on the hour mark, and Alessandro Florenzi doubled his side’s advantage six minutes later.

Despite a consolation goal from Charlie Adam, Liverpool were unable to threaten during the closing stages, and must now hope their captain Steven Gerrard does, as expected, return in time for their Europa League qualifier against eastern European opposition next week.

The scoreline was perhaps harsh on Liverpool. After all, a youthful forward line of Raheem Sterling and Nathan Eccleston was hardly likely to intimidate Zdenek Zeman’s men in the same manner as one containing Olympics-bound Luis Suarez, or Andy Carroll.

After being made to pay for their narrow passage of play, thanks to the expertise of Rodrigo Taddei, Francesco Totti and Miralem Pjanic, Liverpool finally got themselves into the game after half an hour, at which point Alberto Aquilani and Joe Cole – two men desperate to resurrect their Liverpool careers under the new boss – combined, with Cole chipping his shot over the head of Bogdan Lobont and onto the bar.

Liverpool had Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi to thank for keeping them in the game as he saved from Pablo Osvaldo, Nico Lopez and Panagiotis Tachtsidis, but his replacement Brad Jones was less fortunate after coming on at half-time.

With only Daniel Agger, Lucas and Adam adding first-team experience to Jones’s after the break, it was little surprise that Liverpool’s youthful side was gradually beaten down.

Erik Lamela, the standout player in the second half for Roma, threaded a neat through-ball to Bradley, and the US international, who flattered to deceive during a loan spell with Aston Villa 18 months ago, angled his low drive across the body of substitute goalkeeper Brad Jones.

And Lamela was again instrumental in Roma’s second as the Argentinian latched onto a pass from Aleandro Rosi and deftly flicked the ball to his right to set up youngster Alessandro Florenzi’s finish from 10 yards.

Liverpool’s response, especially after the lively Jonjo Shelvey departed the play, was not swift, but came after 10 minutes of progressively keeping the ball with greater confidence. Robbie Flanagan overhit a cross that was carefully controlled by Daniel Pacheco and laid off for Adam, who blasted his shot low and hard into the far corner.

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