Solanke shines as Liver­pool beat Palace

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

New sign­ing Do­minic Solanke came off the bench to score as Liver­pool beat Crys­tal Palace 2-0 in a pre­sea­son game in Hong Kong yes­ter­day­day.

The 19-year-old sug­gested he could prove a sum­mer bar­gain at just $4 mil­lion as he linked up well with fel­low striker Divock Origi, who also got on the score­sheet in the Premier League Asia Tro­phy win. “It’s been a smart move for him and for us,” Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp said of Solanke’s trans­fer from Chelsea.

“He saw the op­por­tu­nity and we could see it also. You could see im­me­di­ately he is a smart player. He’s a skilled boy and we are happy about this. We will help him all we can.” Origi set up the first goal for Liver­pool on the hour mark with a clever back-heel that found Solanke un­marked and the teenager made no mis­take, fin­ish­ing coolly in the sti­fling Hong Kong heat.

Origi then ri­fled home Liver­pool’s sec­ond in the 79th minute, to the de­light of a crowd of 40,000. Klopp’s new-look front line proved a wel­come dis­trac­tion for the Ger­man coach fol­low­ing re­ports that Leipzig had re­jected a huge bid of $86 mil­lion for star mid­fielder Naby Keita.

Klopp bris­tled when asked about the Keita sit­u­a­tion as ru­mours cir­cled that the Guinea in­ter­na­tional’s agent had been spot­ted in Hong Kong. “Are we in Ma­cau?” asked Klopp in ref­er­ence to the world’s largest gam­bling hub, si­t­u­ated just across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. “What do you know? Sixty-six mil­lion (pounds) turned down to­day? I don’t think about this. “To­day both teams played good foot­ball,” added Klopp, turn­ing his at­ten­tion back to events on the pitch. “In the sec­ond half we made some changes and we scored­nice. We changed the for­ma­tion and it was nice to watch.”

Liver­pool will face Le­ices­ter City in the Asia Tro­phy fi­nal on Satur­day af­ter the Foxes won the ear­lier match 7-6 on penal­ties over West Bromwich Al­bion fol­low­ing a 1-1 stale­mate in nor­mal time. New sign­ing Jay Ro­driguez gave West Brom the lead with a stun­ning fin­ish af­ter nine min­utes, only for Riyad Mahrez to squeeze the ball past Ben Fos­ter to level things up mid­way through the first half. “Jay’s strike was fan­tas­tic,” said West Brom boss Tony Pulis. — AFP

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