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Friday, August 19, 2022

Liverpool beat Crystal Palace as Harvey Elliott and Mohamed Salah Impress

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Liverpool took the next step forwards in their pre-season preparations with a comfortable 1-0 win against Crystal Palace in Singapore.

Jordan Henderson scored the first goal of the match and was excellent at setting the tempo, with most players getting a half of football. After Liverpool made 11 changes at half-time, Mohamed Salah added a second goal, assisted by a big goalkeeping error.

The main thing is fitness and match sharpness for Jürgen Klopp’s players, but Liverpool looked a lot more cohesive here than they did against Manchester United earlier in the week.

All of them have been in training for longer than those who only joined up with their teammates upon arriving in Asia, or were deemed fit enough to last that long anyway after their holidays.

It was a completely new team in the second half, with 11 changes. Leighton Clarkson, who came on for the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just before half-time, only had a couple of minutes on the field and was taken off again, showing his standing in the pecking order.

Eight players, including Darwin Núñez and Virgil van Dijk, got around half an hour with Bobby Clark, Tyler Morton and other youngsters getting some time on the pitch after that. Of the team that started the second half, only Salah, Fábio Carvalho and Harvey Davies stayed on (Carvalho moving back into midfield again for the final 12 minutes).

Injury update

Oxlade-Chamberlain lasted almost a half before coming off with an injury, which Liverpool took no risks with. Clarkson came on for him immediately. Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared to have tweaked his hamstring while taking a shot at goal and knew straight away that it was a concern.

For his future at Anfield, he needed to stay injury-free and take his chances. In the forward line, where he was playing today, with Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi gone, is the best hope for minutes, but he must now hope this injury is not a long setback.

Heading into the match, Liverpool had already lost Diogo Jota to a recurring problem carried into pre-season from international duty and now worsened, while Alisson Becker, Joe Gomez, Tom Hill and Melkamu Frauendorf all sat the game out with minor knocks.

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