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Aug 10, 2014

Coutinho stars in Reds' rout

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol reacts to Brendan Rodgers' praise of Philippe Coutinho's preseason form and performance against Borussia Dortmund.

Liverpool made a statement of intent with six days before the start of the Premier League season as they put in a wonderful attacking display to beat German side Borussia Dortmund 4-0 on Sunday.

Philippe Coutinho was the star as he laid on the first goal for Daniel Sturridge and added one himself, in between a header from Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson's fourth after good play from Sturridge.

Manager Brendan Rodgers was very pleased with how his new signings played, with some glowing postmatch quotes.

"Dejan was perfect -- he's what I've been looking for since Jamie Carragher left," said the Northern Irishman. "He's a dominant centre-half who goes and attacks the ball and reads the game incredibly well.

Liverpool celebrate after a fine performance at Anfield.

"[We also saw] his quality with the pass. Both sides, left foot, right foot. As we found out last year [Lovren scored the winner for Southampton at Anfield in September 2013], he's dominant in both boxes with the way he attacks it. And young Javi Manquillo was outstanding.

"He's the type of full-back I like -- he gets tight to people, can stop crosses but also has the energy to go and attack and get forward. "I thought he was very, very good."

Liverpool take on Southampton in the first game of their league season next Sunday.

PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEWS

As we count down to kickoff on Aug. 16, ESPN FC previews all 20 teams in this season's competition. Can Burnley, QPR and Leicester stay up? Will the new signings of Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Adam Lallana help usurp Man City's crown? Will Manchester United get back on track under Louis van Gaal?

Chelsea came from behind to record a 2-1 victory over Ferencvaros in Budapest -- but saw Didier Drogba substituted through injury.

Zoltan Gera had volleyed home to put the Hungarian side ahead on 17 minutes, and 10 minutes later Drogba had to be taken off after appearing to injure his ankle.

The Blues hit back in the second half, with Ramires levelling on 51 minutes before Cesc Fabregas scored a fine solo effort on 81 minutes.

"Preseason has been difficult," Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said after the match, according to the club's official Twitter account. "We started with seven players and after that they arrived step by step [following the World Cup].

"Ferencvaros compete and we needed that. This is a historical day with the opening of a huge stadium, and they fought for a result."

He added: "My opinion is that Fabregas is the right player to occupy the central position in midfield."

Newcastle United claimed a late 1-0 victory at home to Real Sociedad.

Newcastle were without Cheikh Tiote and Siem de Jong due to injury but claimed the victory when Moussa Sissoko drilled home a Gabriel Obertan cut-back in the 88th minute.

Hull City recorded a 2-1 victory over Stuttgart in Germany.

David Meyler and summer signing Andy Robertson got the goals for the Tigers, with Vedad Ibisevic getting the consolation for their hosts.

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