Liverpool win Premier League Asia Trophy

Reds show their class as they defeat Leicester City 2-1 in an entertaining final at Hong Kong Stadium

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 July, 2017, 10:36pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 July, 2017, 12:32am

Liverpool secured the 2017 Premier League Asia Trophy at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday night after completing a convincing 2-1 win over Leicester City in an entertaining final.

A second pre-season goal from record signing Mohamed Salah and a superb effort from man-of-the-match Philippe Coutinho helped the Reds fire back from 1-0 down to claim the trophy after Islam Slimani had put the Foxes ahead against the run of play after 11 minutes.

Coutinho lit up a thrilling night of action in front of 39,498 at So Kon Po claiming the assist for Salah’s equaliser before rifling in his own unstoppable effort just before half-time.

After drifting in from the left in an almost trademark fashion, the Brazilian, the subject of a 70-million pound bid from Barcelona this week, unleashed a terrific swerving effort beyond the outstretched arms of Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel and into the top right corner to the delight of the largely pro-Liverpool Hong Kong crowd.

The Brazilian’s performance underlined his worth to a Liverpool team with Premier League title aspirations this term, and showed why manager Juergen Klopp appears steadfast in his determination to rebuff Barca’s advances.

Leicester toiled but after taking off the tireless Jamie Vardy on 70 minutes, they never looked like getting back into the game. The England striker was a constant thorn in the side of Liverpool’s centre-back pairing of Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren, especially in the first half, and could have had a hat-trick but for a couple of marginal offside calls and some fine goalkeeping from Liverpool No 1 Loris Karius.

In the earlier third-place play-off, Crystal Palace defeated West Bromwich Albion 2-0 with goals from Luka Milivojevic and Bakary Sako.

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum was pleased with his team’s performance.

“We came in the preseason to do good things in the game. You’re happy if everything goes well. They told me I could play in any position in midfield. I just focus in midfield when he [Klopp} needs me,” said the Dutchman.

“We didn’t see much of the city to be honest because we were training and after training we went back to the hotel to rest. We rested a lot so we didn’t see a lot [of the city] but we visited the city centre and saw a lot of fans. The people are happy that we are here and you can see how many fans at the stadium attended the game.”