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PNE 0 Liverpool 4: With Gallery

13 July 2013

Liverpool took the honours in the Bill Shankly Shield in front of a sell out crowd at Deepdale to start the 2013/14 pre-season campaign.

First half goals from Philippe Coutinho and youngster Jordan Ibe gave the Reds a half-time lead before multiple changes at the break.

One of those changes, Raheem Sterling looked in sparkiling form and he added a third on 64 minutes after racing through the middle and sliding the ball home, before debutant and former La Liga hit man Iago Aspas fired home a fine strike from 25 yards.

The opening goal came on 13 minutes from the penalty spot as the Brazilian No.10 was brought down by John Welsh and got up to stroke the ball home from 12 yards out.

Winger Ibe doubled the lead eight minutes before the interval with a low drive into the bottom left hand corner.

North End gave debuts to Tom Clarke and Chris Humphrey and it was the new No.7 who got the home crowd excited early on with a powerful and pacy run down the right hand side; his delivery just flicked away by Liverpool debutant Kolo Toure, with Joe Garner waiting to pounce before the Ivorian.

The first attempt from the visitors came from first half skipper Daniel Agger, whose 25 yard strike was palmed away by returning England U21 stopper Declan Rudd, now on a season long loan from Norwich City.

The penalty was awarded by Premier League official Neil Swarbrick 13 minutes in. John Welsh was put under pressure in his own box and bag of tricks Countinho robbed him, with the North End captain pulling him back, the referee immediately pointing to the spot.

The winter signing from Inter Milan dusted himself down and slid the ball coolly into the bottom right hand corner.

Just after the half hour mark, in the blazing Deepdale heat, Humphrey again showed why manager Simon Grayson had been so keen to sign him from Motherwell, winning the ball on the right and setting up the returning Scott Laird – making his first appearance since breaking his leg in November – who hit a pile driver from 25 yards that Belgian debutant Simon Mignolet had to palm away.

Two minutes later Fabio Borini, the Italian U21 striker went through one-on-one, but Declan Rudd did enough to force him to shoot wide with only the loanee stopper to beat,

However, the Anfield side doubled their lead on 37 minutes. Jordan Ibe picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, cut inside and fired low into the bottom left hand corner, with Rudd having no chance.

The Preston custodian was required to make a final fine save with four minutes left in the half, using his feet to deny Assaidi from narrow angle in left hand corner of six yard box.

At the break, both sides made changes, eight for North End and ten for Liverpool.

Raheem Sterling showed what he was about 12 minutes into the half, his blistering pace making hit deifficult for Tom Clarke, but German stopper Thorsten Stuckmann made a fine save to deny the young winger.

But the No.31 wasn't to be denied and he added a third just after the hour mark when he breached the offside trap, running 40 yards before rounding Stuckmann and calmly stroking the ball into the empty net.

With a quarter of an hour remaining former Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas announced himself to the visiting fans with a curling effort from 25 yards that powered into the middle of the goal.

In the final minute Shane Cansdell-Sherriff had an opportunity from Lee Holmes' left wing free kick, but he couldn't get enough power on his header and the game ended 4-0 to Liverpool.

At the end of the game a poignant moment as Bill Shankly's granddaughter Karen Gill presented the Reds' second half skipper Lucas with the Shankly Shield, with both sets of fans celebrating the contribution the Scot made to their clubs.

: Rudd, Laird, Huntington, Clarke, Wright, Humphrey, Beavon, Garner, Buchanan, Welsh(c), Mousinho.PNE line-up (First half)

: Mignolet, Toure, Agger(c), Coutinho, Assaidi, Henderson, Spearing, Allen, Borini, Flanagan, Ibe.Liverpool line-up (First half)

: Stuckmann, Clarke, Wright, Wroe, Holmes, Byrom, Cummins (Beardsley, 78), Cansdell-Sherriff, B Davies, Mousinho (c) (Croasdale, 71), Hume.PNE line-up (Second half)

: Mignolet (Ward, 78), Johnson, Alberto, Aspas, Pacheco, Downing, Lucas (c), Sterling, Kelly, Skrtel, Wisdom, Robinson (Kelly, 81).Liverpool line-up (Second half)

: Mr Neil SwarbrickReferee

: 21,119 (4,986 away following)Attendance

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