Late strikes from French midfielder Paul Pogba and substitute Simone Pepe handed Italian champions Juventus a come-from-behind 3-2 win against an Australian A-League All Star side in Sydney. The All Stars, led by former Italy and Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero, took the lead twice with the Italians, who brought a full-strength squad to Australia, having to dig deep for the win at ANZ Stadium.
The local side took a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute after Argentinian midfielder Marcelo Carrusca clinically drilled home a pass from Thomas Broich, the A-League player of last season. His strike was cancelled out just before the hour when towering Spanish international Fernando Llorente powerfully headed home a cross from new Juventus recruit, ex-Manchester United star Patrice Evra.
When Socceroos striker Tomi Juric smacked in a left-foot shot from 15 metres in the 77th minute it looked like the All Stars were heading for a famous victory. But Pogba, winner of the Hyundai Young Player Award the 2914 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, chested the ball down and blasted a superb equaliser with two minutes of regular time left. Pepe then snatched a stoppage-time winner with a fierce first time drive after the All Stars failed to clear a corner.
In the northern hemisphere Liverpool warmed up for the start of their English Premier League campaign with a Philippe Coutinho-inspired 4-0 friendly win over Borussia Dortmund at Anfield. Brendan Rodgers's side dominated their final pre-season match with Brazilian playmaker Coutinho the most impressive performer as he scored one goal and had a hand in another.
Coutinho, who will be expected to carry much of Liverpool's creative burden following the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, was a constant menace throughout as Daniel Sturridge, Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson also got their names on the scoresheet against German club Dortmund.
Coutinho was instrumental in Liverpool's opening goal in the tenth minute when he played a first-time pass which sent Sturridge clear and he angled a shot past Langerak into the corner of the net. Dortmund looked rusty and were punished for a lack of concentration from a Steven Gerrard corner five minutes later, with the unmarked Lovren allowed time and space to head home from inside the six-yard box.
Shortly after the interval the home side put the result beyond doubt. Sterling seized upon a misplaced pass and found the unmarked Coutinho who swivelled and then placed it into the net past the hapless Langerak to get the goal his performance deserved. Henderson, who had been full of endeavour and energy throughout, tapped home Liverpool's fourth from close range just after the hour mark.