Liverpool hopes bloom after brushing aside bumbling Barcelona 4-0

• Sadio Mané impresses in 4-0 friendly win at Wembley
• Jürgen Klopp’s high-energy style pays off against Spanish champions

It is always a risk to read too much into friendlies but the intensity shown by Liverpool here suggested that, after a mixed pre-season, they are almost ready for the real business. Sadio Mané looked blisteringly sharp on the right, while there was a defensive resilience to a centre-half partnership of Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan. But arguably the most promising aspect was that the first three goals came from pressing high up the pitch. Jürgen Klopp’s style is beginning to take hold and it will be fascinating to see how effective it is over the coming weeks.

A word of caution, though. Barcelona were some way off full strength, showing all the signs of a team that remain in the embryonic stage of their preparations. La Liga does not kick off for another week and numerous key figures, including Ivan Rakitic, Gérard Piqué and Andrés Iniesta, only returned to training in recent days. All three were introduced an hour in with the game already put to bed and the influence of Luis Suárez, making his first appearance against his former club here, and Lionel Messi was minimal.

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