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July 24, 2013 3:30 PM IST
 
 
 
Iago Aspas 90+2′
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Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool
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Melbourne 0-2 Liverpool: Arsenal target Suarez sets up new boy Aspas

The Uruguay star emerged from the bench to a standing ovation before creating the Reds' second goal after Steven Gerrard had opened the scoring at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

By Oliver Platt

 Luis Suarez, Melbourne Victory v Liverpool
Getty
Luis Suarez emerged from the bench to create Liverpool's second goal as the Reds secured a 2-0 victory over Melbourne Victory in the second game of their three-match tour of Southeast Asia and Oceania.

Steven Gerrard converted from inside the box on the half-hour mark to give Brendan Rodgers' side a first-half lead before Suarez emerged to a standing ovation and laid on a tap-in for Iago Aspas.

The Uruguayan dazzled the Australian crowd with some trademark touches and spins during his short cameo but cannot be described as displaying the body language of a man excited to be involved in the Merseyside club's build-up to the new season.

Citing tiredness, Rodgers left Suarez on the bench following a new bid from Arsenal for the Uruguay striker, so Fabio Borini led the line between Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe.

With Pepe Reina reportedly set to join Napoli, Brad Jones started in goal in his home country and Reina's likely replacement, Simon Mignolet, joined Suarez among the substitutes.

The distance between the pitch and the crowd at the 95,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground did not prevent the considerable number of Reds fans present from performing a rousing rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone before kick-off, but Rodgers' players were somewhat slower off the mark.

Liverpool quickly took hold of possession against the under-strength hosts but Melbourne defended well and began to construct some promising attacks of their own.

Sterling missed the target with two speculative efforts either side of confident work from Victory left winger Connor Pain, who narrowly missed an unmarked team-mate with a cut-back into the box.

Jones and his opposite number Nathan Coe were tested for the first time around the 20-minute mark by Andrew Nabbout and Gerrard, whose respective 20-yard efforts were saved comfortably.

The Liverpool captain made no mistake with his next chance. After tenacious work from Borini, Allen was allowed to run at the home defence and looked to pick out the Italian on the edge of the box.

Instead, his curved pass drifted through to Gerrard, who had continued his run from deep after a clever dummy earlier in the move. He swept a first-time shot from 12 yards into the bottom corner.

The second half was a more subdued affair. Coe tipped Martin Skrtel's near-post header from a Gerrard corner over the bar before the centre-back was called into action in his own box, sliding to clear Pain's low cross with Nabbout lurking.

His team-mates appeared to be tiring but Pain remained lively, forcing Jones to awkwardly parry one vicious left-footed drive, while Borini was enjoying his most productive spell of the game and saw an overhead kick loop just wide of the post.

Suarez was finally introduced with less than 20 minutes to go and, apparently unaffected by a summer of speculation and controversial interviews, was awarded a standing ovation by the Liverpool supporters.

He and nine other substitutes - the 11th, Lucas Leiva, had replaced Gerrard slightly earlier - saw out the final stages and Aspas added a second after Suarez had snaked into the box from a short corner.


Melbourne Victory

-
Nathan Coe
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Nicholas Ansell
Defender
 - 
23
Adrian Leijer
Defender
 - 
-
Scott Galloway
Defender
 - 
-
Jason Garey
Midfielder
 - 
-
Blagoja Celeski
Midfielder
 - 
-
Andrew Nabbout
Midfielder
83′
 - 
6
Leigh Broxham
Midfielder
 - 
17
James Jeggo
Striker
 - 
-
Connor Pain
Striker
 - 
-
 - 

Liverpool

 - 
1
Bradley Jones
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
 - 
37
 - 
47
 - 
3
José Enrique
Midfielder
 - 
8
Steven Gerrard
Midfielder
31′ 64′
 - 
24
Joe Allen
Midfielder
 - 
14
 - 
33
Jordon Ibe
Striker
 - 
31
 - 
31

Substitutes

20
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
41
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
5
 - 
6
 - 
7
 - 
9
Iago Aspas
Striker
92′
 - 
24
 - 
19
 - 
19
 - 
20
Jay Spearing
Midfielder
 - 
21
Lucas Leiva
Midfielder
64′
 - 
22
Simon Mignolet
Goalkeeper
 - 
34
 - 
49

Coach/Manager

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Jonathan Jonathan
Striker
Salzburg
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Marco Reus Marco Reus
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Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
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Borussia Dortmund
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Midfielder
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