Luis Alberto
Luis Alberto in action for Liverpool during pre-season. [Reuters]

Luis Alberto gave manager Brendan Rodgers a timely reminder of the quality he possesses as the Spanish forward struck a second-half hat-trick to help the Liverpool Under-21 side claim a 5-2 victory over Sunderland.

Liverpool also handed a first competitive start to deadline day acquisition Tiago Ilori who steadily improved throughout the game after a difficult start as Sunderland raced into a two goal lead.

Rodgers was in attendance as he keeps a close eye on his young players and it was an extremely impressive showing from Alberto who was signed for £6.8m from Sevilla after impressing while on loan at Barcelona B last season.

The 20 year old played the last seven minutes against Manchester United but will be hoping to push for more regular opportunities in the first team after his impressive display at Anfield.

Having fallen behind to goals from Alejandro Rodriguez-Gorrin and David Moberg Karlsson, Liverpool would respond well, with Alberto, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Ibe particularly impressing in the final third.

Young striker Jack Dunn and Sterling would both get their names on the scoresheet but it was the performance of Alberto that is sure to have caught the eye of Rodgers.

The Spain U21 international's first of the night saw him exchange passes with Sterling before calmly side footing the ball past Joel Dixon. His second came with just 20 minutes remaining as he latched on to a long ball before his initial effort was parried by the Sunderland keeper, but he kept his composure to calmly nod the ball in the empty net.

Alberto then completed his treble by converting from the penalty spot after Sterling's electric pace had proved too much for the Sunderland defence and Dixon was forced to bring the winger down.

With Liverpool's senior side remaining unbeaten this season, Rodgers will certainly want to make use of his squad in order to make sure the first team remain sharp.

Alberto and Sterling particularly impressed and will undoubtedly be hoping to get an opportunity in the Premier League in the coming weeks as the Reds look to maintain their impressive start to the season.