Reds finish US jaunt with Lisbon draw; Marseille thrash DC United - GulfToday

Reds finish US jaunt with Lisbon draw; Marseille thrash DC United


Liverpool and Sporting CP players in action during their friendly match. Agence France-Presse

Liverpool wrapped up their US tour with a 2-2 draw Wednesday against Sporting CP as the English Premier side failed to win a game in their first trip abroad since being crowned European champs.

Liverpool finished with no victories to show from their three-match stateside tour but did manage to salvage a tie against the reigning Portuguese champions at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Marcus Wendel tied the game at 2-2 in the 53rd minute with a right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner after being set up by midfield star Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes and Wendel also combined on the first goal of the game in the fourth minute for the 18-time Portuguese champs. Fernandes right footed a seemingly harmless long shot that Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet mishandled before it went into the net.

Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum scored goals for the Reds who played all three exhibition contests in iconic American sports venues.

Jurgen Klopp’s side was missing several of their top players, including forwards Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who were taking a break after competing in COPA America and African Cup of Nations. Goalkeeper Alisson also decided not to make the trip.

Liverpool came into the contest wondering how they managed to drop their first two games. They lost a 2-1 decision to Spanish club Sevilla on Sunday at Boston’s Fenway Park, following a 3-2 defeat to Germany’s Borussia Dortmund at Notre Dame Stadium on Friday.

Sporting’s Luciano Vietto had one of the best scoring chances of Wednesday’s game but was stopped twice in a row from point-blank range by Mignolet just before the half.

Teen sensation Sepp van den Berg made his exhibition debut for Liverpool in the Yankee Stadium showdown, as the 17-year-old Dutch defender came on in the 89th minute. Liverpool signed the teen over the summer from Eredivisie side PEC Zwolle.

Liverpool will now head home to Merseyside before facing Napoli in Edinburgh this weekend and then depart for a training camp in Evian.

Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.

Clyne suffered the injury in Liverpool’s friendly with Borussia Dortmund in Indiana on Friday. The 28-year-old right-back, who spent most of last season on loan at fellow Premier League side Bournemouth, was sidelined for most of the 2017/18 season with a back injury.

He has not travelled with his teammates to New York for the final stop on the club’s US tour and has instead returned to the club’s Melwood training ground to begin his rehabilitation programme.

“What can I say other than how gutted we all are for Clyney,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool’s website. “He was training and playing so well -- he was in outstanding shape.

“Clearly an injury of this nature isn’t a happy moment for any player, but the silver lining for him is that, according to the medical guys, it’s a straightforward ACL injury.”

Although Clyne is facing a prolonged period out of action, Liverpool’s medical team believe the nature of the injury should allow him a straightforward rehabilitation process.

Meanwhile, It was a rough night at the office for DC United, who fell 8-1 to Olympique Marseille at Audi Field. Maxime Lopez had a brace for the visitors, who scored four goals in one nine-minute span, and then had three in a separate six-minute spell at the end of the match.

With an eye on resting his regulars, Ben Olsen fielded an entirely changed lineup from the weekend’s loss at Atlanta. That included a debut for new signing Gordon Wild, playing the no. 10 role in a 4231, and a start for Loudoun call-up Collin Verfurth.

Both teams were intent early on using possession to try and generate openings, though Marseille looked slightly the more dangerous side.

A 24th minute attack was perhaps their best, as a quick combination allowed them to cut through the congestion at the top of the box. Morgan Sanson’s deep run was rewarded, and while he managed to round captain for the night Chris Seitz, he couldn’t quite convert, sending his no-angle shot off the post.

The letoff was a warning of things to come. Within a minute of that shot hitting the post, a backheeled corner for the French giants beat Seitz but hit the post. The rebound fell to Marley Ake in front of a wide-open net, but he somehow contrived to send his shot from 2 yards sideways.

Ake would make up for it seconds later. United couldn’t put a stop to the unrelenting pressure, and Chris Durkin was called for a foul after clipping Ake’s foot in the box. Dutch international Kevin Strootman made no mistake from the spot, handing Marseille a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute.


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