Roma stepped up their preparations for the new season with a 2-1 win over Liverpool in St. Louis on Monday evening, as Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah both got on the scoresheet.
Dzeko notched his sixth goal in three pre-season games with a low strike in the first half at Busch Stadium, before Sheyi Ojo grabbed an equaliser for the Premier League side on the stroke of half-time.
But Luciano Spalletti's side would not be denied, as Salah turned the ball home after good work from Dzeko and Alessandro Florenzi early in the second half to clinch victory on a balmy night in Missouri.
"It was a big pleasure to play in this stadium," Spalletti said. "We were definitely excited to play [here].
"In the first half in my opinion my team did not show enough personality, we could have moved the ball quickly. Because a team like Liverpool can hurt you quickly if you do not take your chances."
Coach Spalletti sprung few real surprises with his team selection, with Florenzi captaining an XI that featured Leandro Paredes at the base of midfield and Salah, Dzeko and Stephan El Shaarawy in attack.
The Giallorossi started brightly and created three clear-cut chances in the opening 12 minutes. First El Shaarawy forced a good save from Alex Manninger low to his right, before a minute later Dzeko narrowly failed to steer a close-range chance on target. Then the striker had another look at goal - curling narrowly wide after cutting inside Dejan Lovren.
It was a game of shifts in momentum, however, and Liverpool soon had their chances - Alisson doing well to deflect Daniel Sturridge's attempted lob, before denying Roberto Firmino and the Englishman again in more straightforward fashion.
Amid that excitement El Shaarawy finished off a mazy run with a tame shot, but soon after Spalletti's side who would take the lead. Dzeko provided it: lashing home from the edge of the box after a slick passing move found him in space.
Liverpool then began to push forward, with Sturridge again denied by Alisson, but just before half-time they had their equaliser.
There were complaints of offside from the defenders but the officials were not interested in the claims, as Sheyi Ojo steered home unmarked at the far post after Dejan Lovren had won the first ball at a corner.
It was a vastly different Liverpool side that returned to the pitch for the second half, but Spalletti opted to stick with the same XI, at least to start with. And his belief in continuity was rewarded as the GIallorossi soon restored their advantage.
Dzeko was once again at the heart of the matter, this time as provider: the tall forward meeting a Florenzi cross with a powerful header that Simon Mignolet could only parry into the path of Salah, who bundled the ball home.
That was then the cue for Spalletti to change things, as an array of new faces - including Francesco Totti, Gerson and Juan Iturbe - all came on.
As is often the case, such a vast number of changes from both sides changed the dynamic of the game, and obvious goalscoring chances became more infrequent. Two fell at once in the final 10 minutes for Roma: Federico Ricci forcing a good save from Mignolet after Totti had held the ball up in the box, before Iturbe lashed the rebound over the crossbar.
As the final five minutes arrived it was about protecting the lead and Alisson showed he was up to the task - making a point blank save to deny Danny Ings.
“I am sure they will play a part [in Serie A this season]," Klopp said of Roma afterwards. "They have an experienced team and very experienced coach.”
Roma now move on to Canada, where they will face the Montreal Impact on Wednesday.
Roma starting XI: Alisson, Florenzi, Manolas, Jesus, Emerson, Paredes, Nainggolan, Strootman, Salah, Dzeko, El Shaarawy.
Substitutes used: Totti, Iturbe, Gerson, Torosidis, Ricci, Perotti, Gyomber, Seck
Liverpool starting XI: Manninger, Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Ojo, Mane, Firmino, Sturridge.