It took a bit of doing, but in the Hong Kong heat, Liverpool bagged two second half goals to set up a clash with Leicester City in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy tournament.
“It was an all-round good performance, I have to say. It was the most difficult circumstances for both teams because it was really hard training. It’s pre-season, we have to train hard,” explained Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to the press following the final whistle. “We played good football as a team, the passing and movement was good, and the runs in behind were good,” continued the German manager. “And then we scored – nice, very nice from Dominic. It was individual but was already kind of team play with one individual performance,” enthused Klopp. “The second goal was team play, we were in the box with a lot of players and then we could finish the situation. It was nice, really nice.”
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After a goalless first half saw both sides miss a number of chances, Solanke broke the deadlock — and his own Liverpool duck — with a powerful low drive that snuck past the Eagles ‘keeper. With one foot still firmly on the gas, the Reds struck again with just over 10-minutes left to play when Origi turned home to double the lead following a bit of ping-pong in the box.
“I’m not confident about this, but I hope so – why shouldn’t I be? We have now three days to train and that’s what we will do, then we come here on Saturday again,” said Klopp, looking ahead to the meeting with the Foxes. “The atmosphere was really nice when we came in and the other game was still running. We could hear it [the atmosphere] and then when the boys had a look in the stadium before the game, they were really impressed. It was really nice so thank you for this nice performance from the stands. We’re already looking forward to Saturday’s final. If you are part of a tournament, you want to be in the final,” stressed the German. “We will be there and we will try everything. That’s the most important thing. It was a nice stadium with a fantastic atmosphere.”