Leagues

SINGAPORE — At the second time of asking, Liverpool are up and running in their preparations for the upcoming campaign as they cruised to a 2-0 friendly victory over Crystal Palace at Singapore’s National Stadium on Friday evening.

Three days after opening their preseason with a 4-0 loss to Manchester United in Thailand, Jurgen Klopp’s men produced a far more cohesive display against fellow Premier League outfit Palace to the delight of the majority of the 50,270 in attendance — with goals from Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah securing the win.

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Although Klopp was without the services of injured duo Alisson Becker and Diogo Jota, and opted against beginning the tie with the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Salah, he was still able to send out a formidable starting lineup boasting names such as Henderson, Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino.

It took them just 12 minutes to open the scoring when a searching diagonal ball by James Milner found Harvey Elliott down the right and the youngster in turn perfectly weighted an equally-inventive cutback to the edge of the box, paving the way for Henderson to expertly curl a first-time effort into the far corner.

As he did against United, Klopp was not averse to making wholesale changes to his team in a bid to get minutes in his entire squad, sending out a completely different team for the second half.

Within a minute of coming on at the restart, Salah drew the loudest roar of the evening when he added a second for Liverpool — playing a clever one-two with Trent Alexander-Arnold and skipping inside a challenge before firing away a shot that looked to have taken a slight deflection on its way past a confounded Vicente Guaita.

Now cruising to victory, the icing on the cake would have been a goal for summer signing Darwin Nunez, who did receive his fair share of flak from opposition fans for a glaring miss against United.

Twice he found openings inside the area, only to be denied by Guaita, while fellow new boy Fabio Carvalho also came close with an effort that was destined for the bottom corner until a timely fingertip save from the Palace custodian.

Still, Liverpool’s failure to add more goals to their tally failed to take away the shine from an improved performance as they continue to build towards the start of the new season.

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