No happy return to Istanbul for Reds

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There were no Istanbul heroics from Liverpool on Thursday night, as the Reds slipped to a 3-0 defeat against Galatasaray on their return to Turkey's largest city, falling victim to a former Anfield star in the process.

A three-goal deficit would have hardly been a daunting prospect for Liverpool, having so dramatically recovered from the same scoreline on THAT night against AC Milan six years ago, but proceedings failed to follow the script at the Türk Telekom Arena.

Milan Baros - who started for the Reds in the 2005 Champions League final - proved to be their chief nemesis, netting twice before former Bolton striker Johan Elmander completed the scoring.

It was the second time Liverpool have been routed in less than a week - having lost to Hull City by the same scoreline - and serves as stark reminder of the perils of management to Kenny Dalglish.

The Reds boss, though, will take positives from the latest setback - and is determined to get his troops in order before the start of the new season. "I think they looked a bit sharper than us at the start of the game," he said.

"It was the same as at the weekend in that we played a lot better in the second half than we did in the first half.

"But the players worked hard and they'll benefit from the effort they put in. It won't do us any harm for the season ahead, but we've got to get ourselves a bit sharper, a bit more clued up and lively when we're not in possession of the ball.

"We've just got to get ourselves street-wise on the pitch and get up to speed with our thoughts when we're not in possession of the ball. August 13 is a big day for us when the season starts, and we'd like to think this will stand us in good stead getting towards that date.

"It's pre-season. We've another game on Monday and we've got to pick another team. We'll have people back who weren't eligible for this game. For the young boys who played it will have been a great experience for them, and for the players who played it will be good for fitness.

"We don't want to lose a game, but we've got two games in four days and a long trip home tonight, so we had to take that into consideration when we were picking the team - and we'll also take it into consideration when we pick the team on Monday."

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