Preston 0-4 Liverpool: Aspas and Coutinho on target for Reds

The Brazilian playmaker played a starring role in the Reds' routine win, while there were also goals for the Spanish debutant, Jordan Ibe and Raheem Sterling
Liverpool sealed a comfortable win over League One outfit Preston as the Reds lifted the Bill Shankly Shield in a pre-season clash.

The match, which marked the 100th anniversary of the legendary manager's birth, began in typical close-season fashion as both sides looked to establish a foothold of possession with little fight.

It wouldn't be long, though, before Liverpool's superiority in possession would tell and the lively Philippe Coutinho was the architect.

The Brazilian nipped in ahead of the dithering former Reds midfielder John Welsh, who could only trip the 21-year-old in the area. Coutinho dusted himself down and stroked the ball home nonchalantly from 12 yards to give his side a deserved advantage.

The Reds wanted another penalty soon after as Fabio Borini tumbled under a challenge in the area following more good work from Coutinho, but the referee waved away the protests.

Preston were struggling to mount any sort of response and the visitors soon doubled their lead. Youngster Jordan Ibe notched his first-ever goal for the first team with a well-placed effort from 20 yards inside Declan Rudd's near post.

A raft of substitutions at the interval resulted in a slightly disjointed start to the second period but one of those half-time replacements - Dani Pacheco - tested fellow substitute Thorsten Stuckmann with a speculative effort before Raheem Sterling tried his luck; once again forcing Stuckmann into a smart stop.

And it was Sterling who put the contest to bed with an accomplished finish. The 18-year-old linked up well with debutant Iago Aspas and strode through on goal, before rounding the keeper and calmly rolling the ball home as Liverpool underlined their dominance.

And Brendan Rodgers' side were not finished as Aspas rounded off the win in style with a sumptuous finish.

More patient build-up from the Reds resulted in Glen Johnson teeing up the former Celta Vigo striker to rifle into the roof of the net past the stunned Stuckmann as Liverpool started their pre-season with an emphatic win.