Mane on target as Liverpool crush Blackburn in friendly

Liverpool recorded a comfortable 6-0 win over Blackburn in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Anfield on Thursday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side stepped up their preparations for the Premier League’s return with a full match against the Championship side.

Sadio Mane scored Liverpool’s opener, with Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino also on target before the break.

Joel Matip made it four after 67 minutes, with Ki-Jana Hoever scoring a minute later before Leighton Clarkson wrapped up a comprehensive victory.

Liverpool return to Premier League actions at Merseyside rivals Everton on Sunday, June 21.

The Reds could win the title at Goodison Park if Manchester City lose their June 17 match at home to Arsenal.

Arsenal lost 3-2 to Championship side Brentford in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Wednesday, exactly one week before the Gunners head to Manchester City in the Premier League.

The friendly took place at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, with Joe Willock and Alexandre Lacazette scoring for the hosts, while Shandon Baptiste, Halil Dervisoglu and Tariqe Fosu were on target for Brentford.

Ahead of the match, Arsenal players showed their support for Black Lives Matter, taking a knee before kick-off and wearing t-shirts with a variety of messages, including ‘Silence is violence’, ‘I’m not black but I stand with you’, and ‘We stand in solidarity’.

Arsenal’s first match since the coronavirus pandemic halted the Premier League will be against City on June 17, and they are then in action away to Brighton on June 20.

Brentford’s push for promotion will resume on June 20, with the club – currently fourth in the Championship table – travelling to local rivals Fulham, who are third.

Elsehwere, N’Golo Kante was in action for Chelsea as they beat Reading 1-0 in a friendly on Wednesday.

Pedro’s first-half goal proved decisive, with the Blues boosted by Kante’s return after the midfielder initially opted out of contact training amid concerns due to coronavirus. – Eurosport

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