Liverpool impress in thumping win over Borussia Dortmund

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Life after Luis Suarez. It was never going to be easy was it? Take a £75 million, 30-goal-a-season striker out of any team and they will miss him, no matter what their other qualities are.

Some could be forgiven then, for thinking that Liverpool might struggle to adjust to playing without their star man. However, if Sunday's 4-0 dismantling of Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund is anything to go by, Liverpool may well be about to continue where they left off last season, the disappointing results against Chelsea and Palace aside.

Stronger Liverpool

Granted, one cannot read too much into a pre-season friendly, even the last one before the season starts, but Liverpool looked back to their fluid, attacking best, even without their Uruguayan maestro orchestrating the attacks.

They looked stronger, fitter and faster than their opponents, though this could be more to do with their relatively more demanding pre-season than their German counterparts. Still, Liverpool look ready and raring to go for the start of the new season in terms of their fitness levels.

Sturridge, Sterling and Coutinho were all fantastic against the German side, with Coutinho and Sterling particularly standing head and shoulders above everyone on the pitch in an attacking sense.

Impressive Coutinho

Coutinho appears to have taken on the role of creator-in-chief in Suarez's absence, providing two assists and a goal as he bamboozled the Dortmund defence -admittedly lacking both Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic - time and time again.

Coutinho's creativity, combined with Sterling's pace, vision and deceptive strength will give defences plenty to think about this season. Indeed, they have been so good this pre-season that they have effectively cemented their places in the starting 11, meaning Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana will be ruing the chance to impress Rodgers by missing out through injury and will have to work all the harder to reclaim roles in the first team.

Rodgers will be pleased with more than just the first team, however. New signings Dejan Lovren and Javi Manquillo made their bows in this match and, while both impressed, Lovren in particular had an outstanding game, clearing up potentially dangerous situations with apparent ease and even marking the occasion with a goal.

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Lovren organisation

What was particularly pleasing to the coach, no doubt, was the organisation he brought to Liverpool's defensive line, as he ordered Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson around as if they were playing their first professional game for the club, always making sure they were in just the right position. Rodgers may just have found the man who finally gives his defence a spine.

So, the main man is gone, but the ethos still remains. Liverpool were playing that same brand of attacking football that inspired so much adulation last season and based on the evidence of this game, look ready to mount a serious title challenge again, the only difference being this time they will have a bigger squad to help with the issues of maintaining a consistent challenge.

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