AS far as first impressions go, Brendan Rodgers could hardly have wished for
A flying start to life at Anfield as Belarus whipping boys FC Gomel were
despatched at a hugely impressive canter.
And the perfect welcome mat laid down for the soon-to-be Red Joe Allen,
watching from the directors’ box and all set to become a Liverpool player
within the next 24 hours.
Swansea’s Allen has a medical at Melwood today and his £15million move will be
completed once that last hurdle is overcome.
Boss Rodgers said: “It is imminent, although I haven’t heard the latest.
“But Joe’s here and that means there is good communication with Swansea. We
hope to conclude it within the next 24 hours and that’s as much as I can
From the minute Fabio Borini — another new boy making his bow in front of the
Kop — volleyed the hosts ahead midway through the first half, this was an
absolute stroll for the new-look Reds.
Skipper Steven Gerrard rolled home the second minutes before the break,
tapping into an empty net after great work from the outstanding Luis Suarez.
KOP boss happy as his side cruised past Belarus minnows FC Gomel in the Europa League at Anfield
And Glen Johnson capped the show with a late third, firing in from 20 yards
with Gomel all over the place again.
Yet although he did not get on the scoresheet, the true star of the show was
Suarez, fresh from signing his new four-year deal and looking livelier than
Northern Irishman Rodgers has made no secret of the fact the team will always
be the star of the show, rather than any individual.
But even he was blown away so much that he had to single out the Uruguay
striker for a special mention.
He said: “Luis is an incredible player — his imagination and creativity around
the box was amazing.
“It’s the type of player I love, this is a player who is in love with
“You see his brightness and combinations with Steven and, with Fabio coming
inside, they made us a real potent attacking force.”
For all it was hardly the toughest introduction for Rodgers, as Liverpool
cruised into the Europa League play-off round, some of their one-touch
attacking football would have blown away far stronger opponents than this.
They will soon get the chance to prove it.
And not too many at Anfield would back against them managing it.
REDS manager Brendan Rodgers confirms Welsh midfielder is on his way to Anfield