Emre Can suffered a calf injury on his Liverpool debut as the Germany midfielder limped off during his side’s 2-1 friendly win at Preston North End on Saturday. Can, who moved to Anfield from Bayer Leverkusen for £10m earlier this month, started for the first time at Deepdale, but the 20-year-old’s maiden appearance did not last long as he was taken off after just 20 minutes due to tightness in his calf.
He had already missed the midweek friendly against Danish side Brondby with a minor ankle complaint, but was cleared to feature against Simon Grayson’s League One outfit. However, after getting a knock early on he was substituted with Jordon Ibe sent on in his place.
Can will now be assessed to see if he is fit to fly to the United States for the next stage of Liverpool’s pre-season preparations. That injury blow overshadowed the Reds debut of England striker Rickie Lambert, who helped Brendan Rodgers’ side come from behind to win.
Lambert, who supported the Reds as a boy, made his dream move to Anfield from Southampton in June and played 45 minutes at Deepdale before being replaced at half-time. Philippe Coutinho, Fabio Borini, Joe Allen, Martin Skrtel and Jon Flanagan were included in a strong Liverpool line-up, but it was Preston who took the lead through Josh Brownhill.
Liverpool, however, scored twice in three minutes in the second half as Suso applied a curling finish in the 74th minute before Kristoffer Peterson side-footed home the winner.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Chelsea staged a late fightback to beat League Two minnows AFC Wimbledon 3-2 thanks to two goals from captain John Terry. Nemanja Matic, Mohamed Salah and Kurt Zouma were all named in a young Chelsea line-up that fell 2-0 behind before half-time courtesy of Alan Bennett’s opener after 38 seconds and Matt Tubbs’ penalty.
Terry was introduced at the interval and the centre-back scored two goals either side of Salah’s equaliser to seal a second pre-season victory for Jose Mourinho’s men.
FA Cup holders Arsenal eased to a 2-0 win at non-league Boreham Wood. Aaron Ramsey started for the Gunners alongside Carl Jenkinson, Nacho Monreal and Wojciech Szczesny but it wasn’t until the 68th minute that Kristoffer Olson gave Arsene Wenger’s side the lead.
Benik Afobe then made sure of the victory with a penalty late on. Sunderland beat Darlington 5-1 and West Bromwich Albion drew 0-0 with Wycombe.