International Champions Cup United States
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8/06/16 - Final
Wembley Stadium, London, England
Liverpool FC
4
FC Barcelona
0
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The Reds manager is hoping to see a strong display from his team as he recovers several players from injury, with Joel Matip and Marko Grujic set to feature in the ICC.

Liverpool’s penultimate match before the season begins in earnest presents them with arguably their greatest test of the summer, as meet Barcelona in their final International Champions Cup match at Wembley Stadium – and manager Jurgen Klopp refuses to treat the match lightly.

The US leg of the Reds’ ICC fixtures saw them suffer a narrow loss to Chelsea before overcoming Milan 2-0.

“My expectations for pre-season are really high. I wanted to do it perfectly but it wasn’t because of a few little injuries,” the former Dortmund coach admitted.

“We came back, trained here and now we have to fight back.”

Many of the physical niggles that the boss has lamented have started to clear. Joel Matip has been in training for three days and could play one of the games this weekend, while Marko Grujic is also in contention after shaking off the concussion sustained against Chelsea. Lucas, however, is still sidelined.

An intense weekend lies ahead for Liverpool, who will face Mainz on Sunday – 24 hours after playing Barca. Klopp is likely to use two distinct starting XIs, with the team that faces Barca likely to be similar to the one that will play Arsenal in the Premier League opener next week.

Preparations have been compromised by Euro 2016, but the German is of the opinion that this is something that they simply need to cope with.

“The players who came back from the Euros were in a different physical situation. We have to accept it,” he said.

“For a few players pre-season will go into the Premier League - but we have to do it.”

Klopp’s last visit to Wembley as a manage saw him suffer European Cup final heartbreak against Bayern Munich as his thrilling Dortmund side went down to a late Arjen Robben goal.

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Despite this near miss, the German is a figure who commands the respect of even Barcelona’s most storied players.

“The work he did in the teams he’s previously coach was very good,” Andres Iniesta said on Friday. “He took Dortmund to the top of European football. He arrived at Liverpool at a difficult moment and was able to steer them in the right direction. He is one of the best coaches of recent times.”

Although the Liga season does not start until August 20, Luis Enrique’s side are close to full capacity and have travelled to England with an almost complete squad of players available to the coach. After this encounter, they have only a home match against Sampdoria left to fine tune the squad, from which summer signings Samuel Umtiti and Andre Gomes – both still holidaying after reaching the final of Euro 2016 with France and Portugal respectively – are absent.

Barca boast a perfect record in this competition to date, despite being without Neymar, who is currently spearheading Brazil’s charge for a first Olympic gold in football. Munir El Haddadi has been their outstanding contributor, scoring once in a 3-1 win over Celtic in Dublin before adding two more in a 4-2 success over English champions Leicester in Stockholm.

Eight days before the Supercopa de Espana first leg against Sevilla, beating Liverpool would arguably be their best result yet.

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By Ben Spratt

The Premier League side strolled to victory as Sadio Mane, Divock Origi and Marko Grujic got among the goals in the International Champions Cup tie.

Liverpool dealt Barcelona a crushing 4-0 defeat in the first International Champions Cup match played at Wembley.

Jurgen Klopp's men were at their irresistible best against the floundering Liga champions, taking the lead through the brilliant Sadio Mane.

In the second half, a Javier Mascherano own goal against his old side, a Divock Origi strike and a looping stoppage-time Marko Grujic header added to a deserved scoreline that threatened to embarrass Lionel Messi and his team-mates.

By the time Barca got to grips with Liverpool's dynamic attacking play, the game - and the tournament - was beyond them, handing Paris Saint-Germain the title.

A hip issue meant Daniel Sturridge missed out for the Merseyside outfit, making way in one of three changes from the 2-1 defeat to Roma.

Sturridge's former strike partner Luis Suarez started for Barca, who also made three alterations to the side that beat Leicester City, bringing in Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Mascherano and Sergio Busquets.

This was the Spanish side's first appearance under the arch since dominating the 2011 Champions League final, but they were less commanding early on, with Georginio Wijnaldum's stab deflected wide inside the opening minute.

And, in the 15th minute, Liverpool were ahead. Adam Lallana raced onto a loose ball in his own half, played an elongated one-two with Roberto Firmino and slipped Mane in to lash high past Ter Stegen.

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Barca had to wait until halfway through the opening period for their first chance, but, when it came, Messi thumped against the far post.

With Luis Enrique's men starting to turn the screw, though, a combination of Simon Mignolet and James Milner were required to twice keep Arda Turan from finding the net, batting away his quickfire efforts.

A frantic first half continued as Philippe Coutinho fired over and Mignolet did brilliantly to block Suarez's drive.

Liverpool started the second period in fine fashion, too, quickly doubling their lead. Mane this time turned provider, squaring it for Mascherano to bundle the ball into his own net under pressure from Jordan Henderson.

Moments later, it was 3-0. Played in by Kevin Stewart, Origi's run narrowed the angle, but he coolly nutmegged Claudio Bravo.

With Klopp's side running riot, Firmino and Mane both curled wide, although a number of Barca substitutions eventually stemmed the flow of red-shirted attacks.

Barca could find no way through and Grujic looped in a stunning late header to complete the rout.

Luis Enrique's side must now hope for an improved display in the Supercopa de Espana against Sevilla, while Liverpool start their Premier League campaign at Arsenal next weekend.