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Liverpool 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen: Sterling, Lucas and Carroll seal perfect end to preseason on Hyypia's Anfield return

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Gerrard: Liverpool not far off challenging for the title
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Gerrard: Liverpool not far off challenging for the title

Liverpool ended its preseason campaign in style by cantering to a 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on an emotional return to Anfield for opposition manager Sami Hyypia.

The host made four changes from the Europa League victory over FC Gomel, with Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel dropping out in defence to be replaced by Martin Kelly, Sebastian Coates and Jamie Carragher. Fabio Borini failed to make the squad despite his goalscoring heroics in midweek. Latest signing Joe Allen missed out on making his Liverpool debut due to his participation in an upcoming Wales friendly.

Former Red Hyypia, meanwhile, named a strong lineup with the Bundesliga kickoff imminent, with the likes of Germany internationals Stefan Kiessling and Lars Bender handed starting berths.

Teenage prospect Raheem Sterling opened the scoring with just seconds on the clock, jinking inside his man to curl in, before Lucas doubled that lead before half-time from close range.

A flurry of substitutions took place at the interval including the arrival of Andy Carroll, who made his mark with a drilled finish midway through the second period.

But it was to be the Bundesliga side which finished up the scoring as Sidney Sam fired in brilliantly late on to put a respectable gloss on the scoreline for his team.

The send off for Hyypia which followed the full time whistle certainly proved that the club's fans are in fine voice ahead of a return to domestic action.

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