Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah on target as Liverpool clinch Premier League Asia Trophy

Hong Kong: A moment of Philippe Coutinho magic lifted Liverpool to a 2-1 victory over Leicester City in the final of the pre-season Premier League Asia Trophy on Saturday.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho controls the ball against Leicester City during the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy football tournament. AFP

Philippe Coutinho against Leicester City during the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy football tournament. AFP

With Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp rejecting a big-money offer from Spanish giants Barcelona for Coutinho earlier this week, the mercurial Brazilian underlined his important to the Reds with a flash of individual brilliance in Hong Kong.

The 25-year-old picked the ball up on the left of the area on the stroke of halftime, jinked his way inside and let fly with a superb right-foot strike that proved to be the game-winner.

Coutinho had earlier played the role of provider for new signing Mohamed Salah, dinking the ball on to the Egyptian's head to cancel out Islam Slimani's 12th-minute nodded opener.

Salah had already demonstrated during the pre-season that the club record $45 million Klopp paid Roma for his services looks money well spent.

His pace adding another dimension to Liverpool's attack, the former Chelsea winger gave Leicester's Christian Fuchs a torrid time until he was substituted on 65 minutes.

Klopp, whose side beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in midweek to reach the final, is still hoping to bring in Leipzig midfielder Nabi Keita, with Liverpool set to return with a final offer of around $97 million for the Guinea international.

Palace won the third-place playoff earlier on Saturday, seeing off West Brom 2-0 in a testy affair that saw a heated exchange between players as they entered the tunnel at halftime.

The match was settled by Luka Milivojevic's sweetly struck free kick on 11 minutes and a deflected Bakary Sako shot that found the net with three minutes left in the first-half.


Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 20:44 PM

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