Liverpool had a late injury scare around new centre-back Joel Matip in a comfortable 2-0 friendly win over Championship side Wigan at the DW Stadium yesterday.
The Reds eased to victory over Gary Caldwell’s side with second-half goals from Danny Ings and youngster Ben Woodburn.
But Cameroonian centre-back Matip limped off shortly before full-time, heading straight down the tunnel for treatment.
Matip underwent surgery this summer to remove a screw in his ankle from a previous injury and Jurgen Klopp confirmed the new problem was “a little problem with his ankle,” which the Liverpool boss felt was “not too serious.”
Woodburn, aged 16, now has two goals in pre-season friendlies and Klopp was delighted with the industry shown by his younger players, particularly in the second half.
“It was a wonderful second half. Maybe they (Wigan) are one week further than we could be at this moment. But second half looked really good and I enjoyed it.”
On Saturday, Manchester United began life under Jose Mourinho by also beating Wigan 2-0, the goals coming from Will Keane and Andreas Pereira.
New signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan impressed and the Armenia spoke afterwards about how is adapting following his move from Borussia Dortmund.
“I am trying, because the first days are always very difficult. You have to get to know your team-mates and their qualities, so I am trying to learn everything very quickly.
“Game by game it will be better and better. Of course we’re getting ready for the new season so we are trying to do everything the coach is asking from us.”
Mourinho liked what he saw from Mkhitaryan in his 45-minute run-out.
“Mkhitaryan is a top-class player and currently at the best stage for a footballer — 27/28 years old.
“He is magnificent the way he thinks about football, he thinks very quickly and it’s so sweet how he touches the ball.
“He can play in different positions behind the striker. He doesn’t have the sharpness yet but his performance was very positive.”
Centre-back Eric Bailly played more than 80 minutes following his move from Villarreal.
Mourinho said: “For Eric, this is the first time he will wear a shirt like the Manchester United shirt. He can’t speak English and can only communicate with the ones who are French speakers or Spanish so for him it’ll be step by step and that’s why I will give him more than 45 minutes.
“I want to give him 65 or 70 minutes because he needs to play more than others. He needs to feel it and start communicating.”
Luke Shaw made his first appearance since suffering a double leg fracture last September and Mourinho was impressed with the player’s appetite for a return.
“When I found Luke at the training ground it was a surprise because I thought he couldn’t be ready to train without any type of limitation but he did fantastically well in the summer.
“He sacrificed his holiday. He was at the training ground every day putting himself in condition.
“Of course, you lose a bit of sharpness and confidence but he is trying hard.
“He was mad to play for more but for me it is better to play 45 safe minutes than more, so let’s go step by step.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved