Liverpool continued their preparations for the new season as Mo Salah scored a debut goal in an entertaining 1-1 draw against Wigan at the DW Stadium on Friday night.
Salah tapped home in first-half stoppage time after Philippe Coutinho had pick-pocketed the Wigan defence and released Roberto Firmino to play a clinical square ball.
The goal cancelled out Alex Gilbey’s fine drive midway through the half, which came after Liverpool had failed to deal with a Wigan free-kick.
Jurgen Klopp’s side showed flashes of the attacking flair that gave them such an explosive start to last season but their threat diminished following 11 half-time changes, and Liverpool were limited to late efforts from Daniel Sturridge and James Milner as they spurned the chance to win it.
Salah had waited two weeks for his Reds debut but was nearly on the scoresheet within a minute, racing away from Reece James and slashing a fierce drive over the angle of post and crossbar.
Wigan went close on 15 minutes with a low strike from Gilbey which an unmarked Omar Bogle just failed to connect with, and the hosts made Liverpool pay for lax defending minutes later when Gilbey lashed home from the edge of the box after the Reds failed to clear a free kick.
Firmino wasted a golden chance to level things up for Liverpool when he chose to feed Adam Lallana rather than shoot from close range after being set up by the England midfielder.
Max Power went close to doubling Wigan’s lead with a sharp free-kick which was gathered by Simon Mignolet before Trent Alexander-Arnold fed Firmino, who pulled a cross back for Lallana to head straight at on-loan goalkeeper Christian Walton.
Liverpool’s equaliser came on the stroke of half-time when Coutinho pick-pocketed the Wigan defence and teed up Firmino, whose simple ball across goal was gratefully tapped home by the debutant Salah.
Milner and the disappointing Sturridge went close to winning it for the visitors at the end of a dour second half, and Liverpool now depart for Hong Kong, where they will continue preparations for the new season in the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Liverpool’s opening clash in the tournament is against Crystal Palace at the Hong Kong Stadium and will be shown live on Sky Sports from 1pm on Wednesday.