Liverpool defeat Indonesia XI to start pre-season tour on positive note
• Indonesia XI 0-2 Liverpool (Coutinho 10, Sterling 88)
• Steven Gerrard returns following shoulder operation
Liverpool got their pre-season tour off to a good start as goals from Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling handed them a comfortable 2-0 win over an Indonesia XI in Jakarta, as Steven Gerrard made his return after a shoulder operation.
Coutinho got the Reds going with a 10th-minute opener and Sterling sealed the win two minutes from time as Brendan Rodgers' men prepared to go to Australia to face Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.
They will then round off their tour with a game in Thailand on 28 July before beginning their Barclays Premier League campaign against Stoke on 17 August.
Coutinho opened the scoring as he attempted to find new signing Luis Alberto but the ball ended up back at his feet, allowing the Brazilian to slot home underneath goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga.
Stewart Downing then brought a save out of the stopper before Alberto hit the post.
And he was not to be the only newcomer to trouble the woodwork as Iago Aspas hit the bar before the break.
Simon Mignolet did well to save a long-range effort from Sergio Van Dijk but the Reds should have gone two up as Coutinho put a great chance over the bar.
Multiple substitutions came in the last half-hour and Sterling hit the bar twice soon after being introduced.
But he was not to be denied in the 88th minute as he side-footed into an empty net after some good work from Oussama Assaidi and Jordon Ibe.
Gerrard told the club's website: "My shoulder felt fantastic, so it was nice to get the first 45 minutes under my belt and hopefully I'll get slightly more time in Australia.
"It's been feeling fine now for a few weeks in training, there have been absolutely no problems. The surgeon gave me the go-ahead to play tonight and the manager was sensible in giving me 45 minutes. I'm really happy with how I feel.
"It was a difficult game. There's no air out there to breathe and recover after long runs and the training has been very tough, so the legs are heavy. But we won the game and we got the fitness in.
"At the moment, it's all about the fitness and getting the physical condition back. The results are not really too important, but we're happy with the win and we move on to the next game. Hopefully we'll feel better physically."
Filed under: Euro 2012
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