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Roma vs. Liverpool: Pre-Season Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

AS Roma midfielder Alessandro Florenzi (24) goes up for the ball against Liverpool FC midfielder Philippe Coutinho, below, during a friendly soccer match at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo)
Uncredited/Associated Press
Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2014

Roma defeated Liverpool, 1-0, in a match where both sides continued to find their legs during their respective pre-season campaigns. 

The goal came from Marco Borriello in the 90th minute, as he deflected the ball off of Liverpool defender Daniel Agger. 

The strike came just seconds after Roma forced Brad Jones into his first save of the match. Jones had to dive to his right to present the Italian side with a corner kick. 

At the home of the Boston Red Sox, the game resembled a pitcher's duel with few moments of excitement throughout the full 90 minutes. 

Liverpool's best chance of the night came in the 57th minute, when Rickie Lambert struck a shot on goal that was saved by a leaping Lukasz Skorupski. 

Stars like Lambert, Francesco Totti and Ashley Cole exited the pitch around the 60-minute mark to make way for a slew of youngsters and reserves, including Borriello and 16-year-old Adam Phillips for Liverpool.

Fast-paced action came at a premium in the first half, as only one legitimate chance was had by either side. 

In the 33rd minute, Roma legend Totti made a cunning run through the box to connect to a cross from left-back Cole. 

The shot flew off to the left of Jones' goal and was the only threat put forward by the Serie A side, despite three corners. 

The biggest news surrounding Liverpool in the first half came in the 12th minute, when Fabio Borini was taken off with a shoulder injury after a collision with Seydou Keita in the attacking third. 

The main offensive threat from the Reds came a few minutes later, when Philippe Coutinho soared a free-kick attempt from left to right and out of play. 

When the second half began in Boston, the pace did pick up with a few early attacking runs made by both teams, but the final touch avoided both for most of the match. 

 

Key Player Grades 

Ashley Cole, D, Roma: B- 

The former Chelsea defender was lively moving forward for Roma throughout most of the first half. 

RIETI, ITALY - JULY 18:  Ashley Cole of Roma in action during the friendly match between AS Roma and Indonesia U23 at Stadio Centro d'Italia - Manlio Scopigno on July 18, 2014 in Rieti, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

His cross in the 33rd minute connected with the dangerous Totti, who almost scored for the Italian side. 

Before exiting, along with eight of his teammates, in the 61st minute, Cole showed he still has the pace to make plenty of darting runs down the wing. 

 

Philippe Coutinho, M, Liverpool: B

Coutinho was easily the best player on the pitch for the Reds all night long, as he was a constant force in the attacking third in a game that saw a plethora of changes. 

PRESTON, LANCASHIRE - JULY 19:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool in action during the pre season friendly match between Preston North End and Liverpool at Deepdale on July 19, 2014 in Preston, Lancashire.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

The Brazilian took a few free-kicks that came close to challenging Skorupski in the Roma net, but none of his chances caused a ton of danger. 

 

Rickie Lambert, F, Liverpool: B

Lambert was the player that came the closest to scoring with two chances early on in the second half. 

PRESTON, LANCASHIRE - JULY 19:  Rickie Lambert of Liverpool in action during the pre season friendly match between Preston North End and Liverpool at Deepdale on July 19, 2014 in Preston, Lancashire.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

His shot in the 57th minute forced the lone save by a Roma keeper during the 90 minutes of regulation, while his attempt just a few minutes earlier was blocked in the box before it reached the net. 

 

Post-Match Reaction

Roma manager Rudi Garcia commented on the grueling schedule that his side will have while in America, as they will play at least three games over the next two weeks in the International Champions Cup.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praised Coutinho by saying he was the brains of the team. 

He also provided an update on Borini, who should only miss a few days of training. 

Rodgers also commented that the team's venture into the Champions League hasn't affected the team's preparations for the new campaign. 

 

 

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. 

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