19 July 2014 18:04
Suso and Kristoffer Peterson came off the bench to give Liverpool an unconvincing 2-1 friendly win at Preston North End on Saturday.
Josh Brownhill’s goal on the stroke of half-time gave the League One side a lead they fully deserved.
But their hopes of a shock win were ended by two goals in the space of four second-half minutes from Spanish striker Suso and young midfielder Peterson.
Rickie Lambert and Emre Can made disappointing debuts for the Premier League side, with the former failing to catch the eye before coming off at the break and midfielder Can exiting due to an injury after 20 minutes.
Recent signing Lazar Markovic looked on from the stands, but was not given his first Liverpool outing.
The visitors looked disjointed and vulnerable at the back as Preston made a bright start.
Joe Garner called Brad Jones into action just five minutes in, then Can’s debut came to a premature end when he limped off after contributing little.
Brownhill somehow headed wide from close range and Jones palmed away Garner’s strike as Preston continued to threaten.
Ibe fired wide at the other end after his touch had let him down and he was made to pay when Brownhill opened the scoring just before the break.
Liverpool’s defending left a lot to be desired as Brownhill pounced from close range after a corner from the right was not dealt with and Jones had no chance after keeping out an initial strike.
Ibe almost levelled with a right-foot effort that deflected just past the post after he had cut in from the right.
Jose Enrique made his return after a lay-off with a knee injury before Suso levelled 17 minutes from time.
The Spaniard showed great composure to pick his spot with a fine left-foot finish, a moment of class in an otherwise disappointing display from Brendan Rodgers’ men.
And Peterson was on hand to score the winner five minutes later, when Ibe got to the byline and cut the ball back into his path and he applied a right-foot finish that deflected in.
Defeat was harsh on Preston, who were more than a match for the Merseysiders.