Reds reign in the rain

Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho (2nd from right) rising to the occasion to plant a header into the net in a game watched by 35,000 fans, many of whom were dressed in red. Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi also scored in the 4-0 victory.
Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho (2nd from right) rising to the occasion to plant a header into the net in a game watched by 35,000 fans, many of whom were dressed in red. Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi also scored in the 4-0 victory.PHOTO: REUTERS

They weather difficult conditions in second half to chalk up a 4-0 win against Thai side

Despite the athleticism of True Thai All Stars goalkeeper Warut Mekmusic against Liverpool last night, there were few musical moments in the performance of the home side as they went down 0-4 at the Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok.

It was Lazar Markovic who called the tune against Mekmusic, finding some redemption after a lacklustre first season with the Reds to score in just the third minute of the game in front of 35,000 raucous fans.

All but a handful were dressed in red to emphasise their well-documented devotion to the English Premier League visitors.

Markovic's goal, the first of the Reds' 2015 Asian tour, came after he adroitly manoeuvred around Mekmusic to slot home decisively.

In keeping with the overwhelming support for the visitors, the accompanying roar from the stands would not have been out of place at the Reds' own Anfield grounds.

In 1892, the year that the Liverpool Football Club was founded, King Rama V, the monarch of Thailand (then Siam), introduced his famous 1892 Declaration to establish a full-fledged education ministry.

Last night, 123 years later in the Thai capital, where the first government school was established, it was the Reds who provided lessons in football efficiency.

Before the first half ended, Mamadou Sakho made it 2-0, heading home a corner kick before kneeling almost reverently on the turf with his head bowed.

He beat the goalkeeper and a goal-line defender after he rose fractionally higher than team-mate Rickie Lambert, who was just inches away from his left shoulder.

The weather conditions took a dramatic turn shortly afterwards, with the second half beginning amid a tropical downpour.

And the metaphorical floodgates opened in the 52nd minute when Adam Lallana picked up a pass from Jordan Henderson to deftly place a left-footer low and wide of the diving goalkeeper's outstretched left hand.

Divock Origi scored the fourth goal for the visitors, making amends for an earlier athletic attempt that hit the post.

Liverpool, keen to play down the drama of Raheem Sterling's departure to Manchester City as they head to Brisbane, Australia, for the next game, showed efficiency in difficult conditions.

Despite the heavy rain and lightning, Brendan Rodgers' men stole the Thai team's thunder.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2015, with the headline 'REDS REIGN IN THE RAIN'. Print Edition | Subscribe