5 talking points as Diaz stars but Liverpool lose after Mac Allister worry

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5 talking points as Diaz stars but Liverpool lose after Mac Allister worry
5 talking points as Diaz stars but Liverpool lose after Mac Allister worry

Liverpool rounded off their Asian tour with a narrow defeat against Bayern Munich in Singapore.

Cody Gakpo fired the Reds into a very early lead as Jurgen Klopp's side looked to pick up where they left off against Leicester in their previous pre-season friendly. They were fortunate to stay in front, with Benjamin Pavard missing a golden chance from point-blank range.

Virgil van Dijk doubled the Premier League side's advantage shortly before the half-hour mark, heading home from a corner, but Serge Gnabry beat the offside trap to pull one back soon after. It was 2-2 before the break, with Leroy Sane rounding off a quick break to slot past Alisson.

Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and Ibrahima Konate were introduced at the break, with Bayern making changes of their own. There were also run-outs for Harvey Elliott, Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas, all of whom entered around the hour mark, and half-time arrival Diaz restored Liverpool's lead with a tidy first touch and emphatic finish.

After both sides made more changes, Bayern levelled again through Josip Stanisic. Neither team was willing to settle for a draw, despite the promise of a penalty shoot-out if things ended all-square, and Frans Kartzig lashed a late effort beyond Alisson to hand the Bundesliga champions victory.

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There was plenty for Jurgen Klopp to consider, with Liverpool's Premier League opener against Chelsea less than a fortnight away, while his opposite number Thomas Tuchel also has decisions to make. Here, Mirror Football picks out five talking points

1. Mac Allister injury worry

What stood out for you in Liverpool's performance? Have your say in the comments section

5 talking points as Diaz stars but Liverpool lose after Mac Allister worryAlexis Mac Allister received treatment late in the first half (David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The loss of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho means new signings Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister will be doing a lot of heavy lifting this season. The pair started together for the first time against Bayern, giving a glimpse of what we can expect this term.

It largely looked like the pair were tasked with recycling the ball quickly to help the Reds break at will, while helping push the opponents back. This worked well when the Reds opened up their lead, but they got a taste of their own medicine for Bayern's second.

There was an injury worry late in the first half, with Mac Allister going down after a knock to the knee. He didn't re-emerge for the second period, and Klopp will hope it's nothing serious after briefly being without Szoboszlai earlier in the pre-season programme.

2. Jones the holder

When Fabinho joined Al Ittihad, Klopp praised the Brazilian's willingness to do the dirty work. There have been questions over whether the Reds will need to dip into the transfer market to replace those qualities, but for now it was Curtis Jones taking up the role in the opening period.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has been used in a deeper midfield role during pre-season, with Klopp suggesting the England international is capable of playing as a six. He was back at full-back this time, though, and may feel he should have been better placed to deny Gnabry for Bayern's opener.

3. Van Dijk leading by example

The game was the first to feature Virgil van Dijk as Liverpool's official club captain, though he has worn the armband before. The Dutch skipper took over on a permanent basis following Jordan Henderson's departure, describing it as a "huge honour", and was heavily involved against Bayern.

5 talking points as Diaz stars but Liverpool lose after Mac Allister worryLiverpool's Dutch duo Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo were both on target (Getty Images)

First came some important defensive work, nipping in to deny Alphonso Davies as the Bayern star made a late burst forward. Then came the goal, a confident header after rising highest to meet a corner from the right.

Defensively, though, there were still some issues. The changes to Alexander-Arnold's role might mean Liverpool take more chances defensively this term, and that will put greater pressure on Van Dijk's organisational qualities, but competitive football will be the real test of that.

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4. Selection headache up front

5 talking points as Diaz stars but Liverpool lose after Mac Allister worryGakpo needed just a couple of minutes to get on the scoresheet (AFP via Getty Images)

Darwin Nunez's display against Leicester served as a reminder he's not ready to be written off as a flop. The Uruguayan dropped to the bench for the Bayern game, though, and Cody Gakpo wasted little time showing his own quality with an emphatic finish for Liverpool's opener.

Nunez got the second 45 minutes, almost netting immediately but putting a header wide from close range. Instead, it was Diaz - who some have seen as a bit of an odd man out - who provided a reminder of his attacking quality.

With no Champions League football this season, the need for fierce competition isn't necessarily that pressing. It's a good problem for Jurgen Klopp to have, though.

5. Bayern's Kane dilemma

5 talking points as Diaz stars but Liverpool lose after Mac Allister worrySerge Gnabry and Leroy Sane both netted in the first half (Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Bayern continue to push for a striker, and Thomas Tuchel remains a fan of Harry Kane. While the Bavarians had little trouble finding the net in Singapore, it was also easy to see why they could use a focal point.

Tuchel's side were a threat from the wide positions, as evidenced by Gnabry and Sane finding the net. Central forward Mathys Tel looked isolated at times, though, and Kane would undoubtedly be an upgrade.

Kane has suggested he would not be willing to leave Spurs after the start of the Premier League season and leave them in trouble. With that in mind, and in the light of this display, Bayern may find themselves looking to hurry up in their push for the England captain.

Tom Victor

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