Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino made their Liverpool debuts yesterday during our 2-1 pre-season friendly victory over Swindon, and did enough to excite fans greatly with the Premier League opener now under a week away.
Benteke stole the headlines by scoring an astonishing volleyed strike from outside of the area early in the second half. The goal gave us a lead before Shei Ojo grabbed a winner following a Swindon equaliser against the run of play.
Benteke linked up well with the midfielders, had a goal ruled out for offside and should have scored again following a Roberto Firmino pull-back, and his new manager was quick to praise the Belgian’s contribution.
“Christian’s goal was incredible, whether it was a pre-season friendly or in a league or cup game. It was wonderful technique from the big guy,” Rodgers told the official website.
Brazilian attacker Firmino was arguably more impressive than Benteke though, ignoring the brilliant goal. He managed to control our attacks, should have won a penalty and played a number of clever passes in the final third, which highlighted his vision.
“You see his quality. He is really bright on the ball, has got wonderful technique and has got the ability to want to get forward and score a goal,” Rodgers continued.
“For those players it was just getting them into that game situation, which is never easy as they have only been back a week or so. But they adapted and coped very well.”
After watching Firmino for just over an hour, fans can’t wait to see him alongside Coutinho, who shone the previous day against HJK.
The pair have the genius to tear opposition defences to shreds if deployed properly, and Rodgers is over the moon with the creative options now at his disposal.
“You can see the creativity we wanted to bring back into the squad,” he said. “Those players, along with the likes of Adam Lallana and Jordon Ibe, makes it very exciting for us.
“The players have been brilliant, they have travelled all around the world and never complained once, just got on with their work. Today, on a really hot day, they adapted very well.”