Premier League Asia trophy – Liverpool 2 (Solanke 61, Origi 79) Crystal Palace 0
New-boy Dominic Solanke was on target as Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 2-0 to clinch a place in the final of the Premier League Asia trophy in Hong Kong.
The 19-year-old recruit from Chelsea was one of 10 early second-half changes for Jurgen Klopp’s side – and needed just 11 minutes to make his mark with a superb turn and shot that arrowed into the far corner from 20 yards.
Divock Origi then made sure of victory when he fired home from close range after Philippe Coutinho’s attempt had deflected into his path 11 minutes from time.
It capped a dominant display from the Merseysiders, who bossed it for long periods without truly extending Eagles stopper Wayne Hennessey.
The Reds’ most expensive summer signing, Mohamed Salah curled just wide as he shone in the first half, while Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge also had openings.
Palace’s new boss, Frank De Boer opted for three at the back and while Wilfried Zaha showed glimpses of his talent, the Dutchman will feel they have much work to do to adapt to his style ahead of the new campaign.
Liverpool will now meet Leicester in Saturday’s final with Palace meeting West Brom in the third-place play-off.
NEW BOYS SHINE FOR LFC
Liverpool’s most high profile summer recruit, Salah provided a 50-minute cameo of what he will offer this season. The Egyptian started on the right side of a front three and was a real menace, showing a clean pair of heels to Damien Delaney and following a fine solo run with a shot just wide. He produced some delightful touches and got Scott Dann booked with a clever nutmeg. The ex-Roma forward’s speed and directness will add another dimension to the Merseysiders’ attack, something that they lacked when Sadio Mane did not feature last term.
Solanke started on the bench, but wasted little time in announcing himself on the game with a clinical drive from distance. The forward starred as England won the U20 World Cup this summer and looks hungry to stake a claim for regular football after struggling to make an impact at Chelsea.
HENDERSON LOOKS SHARP
The Liverpool captain has not played a competitive match since the 2-0 league win over Tottenham on February 11, following a foot injury. However, there were very few signs of rust as his exquisite range of passing was a real plus-point in Liverpool’s first half showing. There’s no doubt his impressive outing will be a big boost for Klopp and Co heading into the new campaign.
AS IT HAPPENED
– LIVERPOOL 0-0 PALACE (13′).
Alexander-Arnold pulls a lovely low cross back into the path of Sturridge who sees his goalbound shot deflect wide off Dann.
LIVERPOOL 0-0 PALACE (17′).
Henderson will another superb ball from deep. He picks out Sturridge on the right of the box, who immediately flicks it into the run of Lallana but the midfielder can only blaze over the bar.
LIVERPOOL 0-0 PALACE (23′).
Henderson arrows another pinpoint long-range pass to the right for Salah. The Egyptian jinks in beyond three challenges before flashing a 25-yard drive a few yards wide.
LIVERPOOL 0-0 PALACE (26′).Anderson combines well with Andros Townsend but sees his low effort well saved by Mignolet.
LIVERPOOL 0-0 PALACE (43′).
Sturridge slaloms in from the left and fires in a low shot that Hennessey is forced to palm away.
LIVERPOOL 0-0 PALACE (47′). Early chance for Sturridge on the left side of the area, but he scuffs his left-foot shot and it’s no trouble for Hennessey.
LIVERPOOL 1-0 PALACE (61′). – GOAL! SOLANKE.
The Reds new boy makes an almost immediate impact with a nice turn and a rasping right-foot 25-yard drive into the far corner.
LIVERPOOL 1-0 PALACE (74′).
Grujic with another shot from distance but this time it has Hennessey worried as it whistles just past the far post from all of 35 yards out.
LIVERPOOL 2-0 PALACE (79′). – GOAL! ORIGI.
Milner’s run and cross from the left is met by Coutinho, who sees his shot deflect into Origi’s path for the Belgian to prod home from close range.