Valerenga 1-4 Liverpool: Reds romp to comfortble win in Norway

Liverpool continued their preperations for the new season with a convincing win over Valerenga in Norway, thanks to goals from Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Martin Kelly and Raheem Sterling.

Luis Alberto rammed home an accurate volley before Aspas tapped in a Stewart Downing cross just before half time.

Valerenga had briefly been level courtesy of Ricardo Gonzalez’s thunderous header, but Martin Kelly bundled home a corner before Raheem Sterling slotted home in the final moments.

Brendan Rodgers named a youthful line-up who predictably took the game to their Norwegian hosts in Oslo.

The early stages saw Joe Allen and the bright Jordon Ibe fire early sighters at goal in an otherwise even opening 15 minutes.

A loose ball in midfield gave the Reds their first clear-cut opening as Downing broke from midfield, sliding Aspas in on goal. The Spaniard, however, was denied by the trailing leg of goalkeeper Gudmund Kongshavn.

Rodgers’ side maintained the pressure though and the lively Ibe tormented his marker, driving into the box and squaring to Aspas, who saw his goal-bound shot deflected just wide.

Valerenga showed little attacking threat and Kongshavn was again called into action as Downing and Luis Alberto tested him with low drives, before the Norwegian sprawled to deny Ibe from close range.

Kongshavn saved his best for the 30th minute as he somehow got across his goal to deny Downing from close range after Jon Flanagan delivered from the left.

But Valerenga’s resistance buckled moments later as Luis Alberto volleyed past Kongshavn from 20 yards, after Aspas saw his finish rebound back off the crossbar.

Surprisingly though, the Norwegians immediately hit back as Gonzalez escaped Flanagan and Jordan Henderson from a corner and planted his header beyond Brad Jones.

If conceding a sloppy goal is meant to be a setback, it did not show as the Reds again piled forward. In this instance, only a bizarre refereeing decision denied the Premier League side a penalty as Jan Lecjaks tripped Aspas in the box.

But that did not deter Aspas, who converted Downing’s ball into the six-yard box to give the visitors the lead.

After making 10 changes for the second half, Liverpool could be forgiven for lacking fluidity, but just minutes after the break Sterling and Oussama Assaidi combined well to almost hand Fabio Borini a tap-in.

Their third goal came in more agricultural fashion though as Kelly met Steven Gerrard’s corner and, via a deflection, bundled into Kongshavn’s net.

Kolo Toure came within inches of adding a fourth, striking the bar from yet another Gerrard corner, before Borini rounded Kongshavn only to place his finish from the byline past the far post.

The Italian went closer to grabbing the Reds’ fourth of the night but watched as his first time effort clipped the top of the bar with 15 minutes to play.

Marcel Wawrzynkiewicz had the hosts’ most notable chance of the second period, somehow skying his close-range effort when it seemed easier to score.

At the other end Gerrard almost added his name to the scoresheet after a well worked one-two with Phillipe Coutinho in the box but his rasping drive rose just over the Valerenga goal with five minutes remaining.

Sterling capped a dominant display turning Assaidi’s clever backheel into the bottom left-hand corner.

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