New recruit James Milner scored the winner as Liverpool recovered from an early goal down to beat Australia’s Brisbane Roar 2-1 in a pre-season game in Brisbane on Friday.

England midfielder Milner, who joined Liverpool from Premier League rivals Manchester City on a free transfer last month, finished well surrounded by Roar defenders to claim his first goal for his new club in the 75th minute.

The Roar, in their first match under new coach and former Socceroo striker John Aloisi, looked on par with a rusty Liverpool outfit before the English giants got the upper hand.

Milner, capped 53 times by his country, slid the ball through the legs of Roar captain Jade North before beating goalkeeper Jamie Young with a deflected shot.

“It’s nice to get off the mark (for Liverpool), it’s important that we put in a performance early in our pre-season,” Milner said.

“It was a good test for us tonight, they’re a good team and they gave us exactly what we needed at this stage of the pre-season.

“The amount of time spent together on tour, 24 hours a day, especially for myself and the other new boys to get to know the rest of the lads and the more we play together we can build those relationships on and off the field.”    

Young made a string of strong saves and had plenty of reason to perform in his reunion with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who recruited him as a teenager into Reading’s academy.

Unperturbed by the huge support for Liverpool, the Roar took a surprise lead after 17 minutes when Dimi Petratos stepped past Martin Skrtel and then unleashed from near the penalty spot to beat Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

But Brisbane’s lead didn’t last long and 11 minutes later it was all square, with an Adam Lallana equaliser.

Lallana threw off the advances of Roar defender Jack Hingert, and then found the top corner with a perfectly-weighted curling shot.

Liverpool’s far greater depth showed as they closed out the match in style in the second half.

Liverpool opened their tour with a 4-0 win over the Thai All Stars in Bangkok on Tuesday and they remain in Australia to play Adelaide United in Adelaide on Monday. – Agence France-Presse

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