Singapore (AFP) – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was ruing an untimely injury suffered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after his side’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in Singapore on Friday.
Goals by Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah sealed victory in front of a packed National Stadium, but the Reds will be concerned about injuries to key players as they head towards the regular season.
Goalkeeper Alisson and forward Diogo Jota were ruled out of the game, and midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain went off shortly before half-time with a suspected hamstring problem.
“It’s really disappointing for us because he has been training really well for us since we started,” said Klopp.
“We’ve had worse situations but he’s obviously a top-class player who can help us.”
Despite the injury blow, Klopp would have been encouraged by the performance of his side as they bounced back from a 4-0 loss to archrivals Manchester United in Bangkok earlier this week.
Liverpool broke the deadlock after 12 minutes when a long pass from midfield by James Milner found Harvey Elliott, who cut the ball back for Henderson to fire a right-footed effort across goalkeeper Vincente Guaita into the far corner of the net.
The Reds dominated possession and they could have had a second midway through the half when Kostas Tsimikas made a run down the left before crossing to Roberto Firmino, who saw his header deflected wide.
They changed their entire starting line-up at half-time and their new-look eleven took just a minute after the restart to grab a second, as Salah’s effort deflected off Joachim Andersen and left Guaita wrong-footed, squirming past the Palace keeper into the net.
While Guaita was unfortunate with Salah’s strike, he did well to keep his side in the game.
He saved well from Darwin Nunez after a fine run down the byeline by Salah and then kept out a low shot by Fabio Carvalho and a header by Virgil Van Dijk as the Reds maintained the pressure.
Palace’s best opportunity to cut the deficit fell to Jordan Ayew, whose goal-bound effort was charged down by Andy Robertson for a corner.
While Liverpool return to Europe for further warm-up matches in Germany and Austria, Palace will travel on to Australia to meet Manchester United in Melbourne and Leeds United in Perth next week.
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