Salah, Mane on target as Liverpool down City
- Sixty days after his last Liverpool appearance was brought to an abrupt, painful and tearful halt in the Champions League final, Mohamed Salah returned seamlessly to his role as tormentor-in-chief for Jürgen Klopp’s team
- Manchester City were again made to suffer, succumbing to their fourth consecutive defeat in seven months to Liverpool courtesy of Sadio Mané’s stoppage-time penalty
Sixty days after his last Liverpool appearance was brought to an abrupt, painful and tearful halt in the Champions League final, Mohamed Salah returned seamlessly to his role as tormentor-in-chief for Jürgen Klopp’s team.
Manchester City were again made to suffer, succumbing to their fourth consecutive defeat in seven months to Liverpool courtesy of Sadio Mané’s stoppage-time penalty.
Salah transformed a pre-season friendly in which a youthful City side held the edge, and the lead through Leroy Sané’s fine finish, before succumbing to the greater energy and quality that the Egypt international and Mané brought to the Liverpool attack.
The scorer of 44 goals for Liverpool last season equalised 70 seconds after his introduction at the MetLife Stadium.
He could have finished with a hat-trick but had to settle for a pivotal role in the penalty that gave Liverpool victory instead.
“Mo has no problems, he just has to get used to what we do,” said Klopp, who welcomed Salah back for the first time since the shoulder injury that contributed to Liverpool’s loss to Real Madrid in Kiev.
“We have done a lot to strengthen the muscles in his shoulder. If I had concerns he wouldn’t have played. He came in and scored after maybe 35 seconds and had a big impact along with Sadio and Dom [Solanke]. It was a nice second half. It is still there, it is all good, but we need to keep on working.”
Preparations for the International Champions Cup fixture were far from ideal for both teams.
The pitch was a problem too, sodden following a day’s downpour and patchy having been relaid at 5am on Tuesday after a series of Taylor Swift concerts. City had 16 members of their first team squad missing due to post-World Cup holidays and injuries.
A youthful, inexperienced starting XI was the inevitable consequence although £60m record signing Riyad Mahrez made his second appearance in City colours.
Liverpool’s selection issues were less dramatic, with Georginio Wijnaldum returning for his first game of pre-season and Klopp’s team far more recognisable, but they only arrived at their hotel in New Jersey at 2am on the day of the game.
Technical issues with their plane and an electrical storm delayed their flight from Charlotte by almost eight hours.
Summer signing Naby Keïta suffered a sore neck on the journey and was omitted from the match-day squad as a result.
-Report by theguardiansport
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