A second string Royals side, demolished League Two newcomers Burton Albion thanks to goals from David Mooney (2), Nicholas Bignall (2) and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Jimmy Phillips grabbed a consolation for the visitors.
Brendan Rodgers decided to make 9 changes from the side which drew 0-0 on the opening day against Nottingham Forest, many of which were inforced due to international call ups, giving first starts to Gylfi Sigurdsson and David Mooney with Ben Hamer, Matt Mills and Nicholas Bignall making full debuts.
A crowd of just less than 6,000 had only just finished taking their seats when Burton had the first chance, a Liam Rosenior cock up forcing Ben Hamer into a decent save after the defender failed to complete a routine chest back.
We took the lead and it was Mooney who scored when he fired into the roof of the net from a tight angle past 46 year old goalkeeper Kevin Poole.
There was more to come in the opening moments and by the 10th minute we were 3-0 up, thanks to two goals from debutant Bignall. First he latched onto Marek Matejovsky’s through ball to calmly finish one on one with the keeper, then the same two players linked again and Bignall rounded the keeper before sliding into an empty net.
The visitors were out of the game and being totally outclassed by a very young Royals side but we did need to call on goalkeeper Hamer to deny Burton again when Pearson hit a low shot that had to be well saved.
However it wasn’t long before the it was four, and this was easily the goal of the game. Sigurdsson picked the ball up about 30 yards from goal before unleashing a great effort that clipped the inside of the post on its way into the back of the net. The Icelandic midfielder was delighted with his first Royals goal.
On the hour Burton had a consolation after sub Phillips effort took a wicked deflection and went in. Following that Noel Hunt was introduced in place of Bignall, denying him a chance of his hat trick, and in the closing stages his shot was well saved before Mooney was on hand to tap in for his second of the night.
Despite how poor the opposition where, it will be a pleasing night for Brendan Rodgers who saw a number of his young players perform well but we can’t judge, on this performance, if they are ready for the first team.
Two excellent saves in the first half, and unlucky with the goal. Apart from that a virtual spectator.
Poor pass back almost saw us concede in the first few minutes
An solid display,including an assist, in his first team return
Solid at the back and lead by example once more
Will be happy with his debut but will have much tougher tests than this
Good debut and great goal
Added experience to the midfield and put in his usual professional display
Another to make his return to the team and laid on both Bignall’s goals in the first half
Did ok on the right but final ball lacking at times
Has pace to burn and will be pleased to score twice
Lead the line well and did himself no harm with 2 goals
N. Hunt (For Bignall 61) 6
Will be pleased to get minutes under his belt on his return from injury