Liverpool beat Crystal Palace in Singapore
Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in Singapore as Jurgen Klopp’s side continue to click through the gears in preseason but there are some injury concerns.
Following their 4-0 defeat to Manchester United in Bangkok earlier this week, Liverpool looked sharper and slicker as Jordan Henderson scored in the first half and Mohamed Salah grabbed a trademark goal in the second.
Fabio Carvalho went close to adding a third and Liverpool were too strong for an understrength Palace, as Patrick Vieira had to leave several of his key players (Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze, Christian Benteke and Marc Guehi among them) at home due to fitness issues and that they ‘did not meet the entry requirements when travel arrangements were made.’
Liverpool now head to Germany and Austria to play against RB Leizpig and RB Salzburg respectively, while Crystal Palace will fly to Australia to play against Manchester United in Melbourne and Leeds in Perth.
Reaction from Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was very happy with the outing from his side, as he continues to rotate the lineup but the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez were all given longer runs out this time.
“We were much more compact today. We still played really good football – which we did against United as well. We scored twice, which we didn’t do. It was a clear step in the right direction and that makes me really happy,” Klopp said.
“It’s our second game and we have to work a lot in the next four weeks, I would say especially, to prepare the rest of the season. There are already Premier League games but anyway we have to use the time because from mid-September on we will not have time to train anymore because we just play then every three days.”
“That’s why it’s so important that we get through these kind of things; that some players had 45 minutes, it was right for them, others 30 minutes. They might have been able to play a little bit longer as well but I really wanted to give the young boys an opportunity as well to play in this incredible atmosphere because they do everything with us, they are constantly with us and then in the moment like this where it’s really enjoyable to play football, we would leave them out? I didn’t want to have that, that’s why they came on. So far, so OK.”
However, there are a few injury concerns to key players as Diogo Jota, Joe Gomez and Alisson were all missing for the victory against Palace, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came off with an injury in the first half.
“Diogo is a concern. With Diogo it’s a muscle again,” Klopp told LFC TV in Singapore. “Joe, no. Joe is just a precaution and not any kind of risk-taking is worth it. He is really good in the pre-season so far; he felt a little bit here and there so we said, ‘OK, then he is out.’ Ali is not cool as well; it will not be too long but each day Ali is not involved is already too long, to be honest.”
After the game Klopp added the following update.
“Of course it’s very disappointing for us because Oxlade trained all the time really well since the pre-season started,” Klopp said. “It happened obviously with Ox in the past when it gets more intense and something can happen. Now this is just a muscle thing and that’s OK. We had worse situations, so I’m OK with it. I don’t know exactly how long it will take but he will be back and then it’s all fine. He is obviously a top-class player and he can help us.”
“Ali, he feels a muscle, abdominal. It’s nothing serious but, again, we prepare a full season. So he can train but just not like before, so he should not play in the moment. Not normal goalie training but he has a pre-season, so he doesn’t lose time,” Klopp said. “But yeah, these kind of things happen. The boys have to travel a lot and train and you never know exactly. It’s only little things, nothing serious but we have to be careful because the rest of the season is much longer than the start.”
The issues to Jota and Alisson are a little worrying for Liverpool and Klopp will be keen to wrap his stars in cotton wool over the coming weeks as they prepare for another title push both in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League in 2022-23.