Between 19 and 22 of July 2017 in Honk Kong was organised the edition number eight of the Premier League Asia Trophy. This preseason biennial competition started in Kuala Lumpur in 2003 brought this year in China Liverpool, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and West Brom. Jurgen Klop’s player nailed the victory in this competition after beating Crystal Palace 2-0 and Craig Shakespeare’s Leicester City 2-1. With this victory Merseysiders joined Chelsea(2), Bolton Wanderers, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Arsenal on the winners list of this tournament.
Preseason transfer news and rumors:
Liverpool: This summer Jurgen Klopp have a busy transfer schedule in order to prepare his team for a difficult battle home and in Europe for silverware. First arrival in the summer was Mohamed Salah for £39 million from Roma, intelligent move to add more creativity, pase and speed in the wide attacking area in the similar role that is playing Sadio Mane. New left back Andy Roberston joined for £8 million from Hull City. Until the end of the transfer window German is planing to strengthen the squad by adding Leipsig’s Naby Keita and Southampton Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool longest serving player in the current squad Lucas Leiva, joined Lazio for £5 million. Spanish giants Barcelona, the gossips are saying a ready to offer up to £100 million for Merseyside playmaker Phillipe Coutinho, who just signed in the begining of the year a new contract for 5 years. Spaniards are looking for a replacement for their Brazilian striker Neymar in case the deal with PSG will be signed.
Crystal Palace: Frank de Boer is the Eagles new boss. This summer in order to secure not just the survival in Premier League but to fight for a position in European football, the dutch technician is forced to make as many acquisition are possible with a limited budget. First, goalkeeper Steve Mandanda is keen to force a move to France, who will be replaced most probably with Barcelona keeper Jasper Cillesen, who played on load at Ajax. Thomas Vermaelen, former Arsenal and now out-of favor Barcelona 31 years defender, who spent last season on loan to Roma is a another target of the manager this transfer season. If there are talented players available on loan Crystal Palace is motivated to go for their services: Ruben Loftus-Cheek joined on season loan from Chelsea, being the first deal. Defender Jairo Reidewald was signed for £7.9 million and new target for defence consolidation is Arsenal’s 22-years old Calum Chambers.
Leicester City: The replacement of Claudio Ranieri, just half year after the Italian manager bought the Premier League title to Leicester, brought a powerful blow for the champions and a tough mission for Frank Shakespeare, to save the team from the free falling on the League Table and reorganize the squad. Leicester City remains in the Premier League, on transfer market they brought midfielder Vincente Ibora from Sevilla for £12.5 million, defender Harry Maguire from Hull City for £17 million and Edin Jakupovic for undisclosed transfer fee. Algerian Riyad Mahrez is the target of the Arsenal and Roma, the last bid of £20 million was refused.
West Brom(West Bromwich Albion): Tony Pulis is planing to bring more new players to West Brom before the start of the new campaign. On 3rd of July striker of Southampton Jay Rodriguez was transferred for £12 million, followed by another striker Zhang Yuning who’s immediate loan destination was set Werder Bremen. Just before the start of the Premier League Asia Trophy, Egyptian Ahmed Hegazi joined for a season-loan from Al Ahly, with the possibility of final transfer after the loan expiration. The transfer of Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs was rulled out after the Londoners rejected the initial bid of £10 million.
Premier League Asia Trophy
Leicester City beats West Brom in the opening game on 19th of July after the penalty shoot-out, final result 7-6.
West Brom opened the score though new signing Jay Rodriguez on the 10th minute with a strong shoot from 25 meters. Foxes equalized soon after with Riyad Mahrez after the “want-away”Leicester City star, dribbled the West Brom defense and finished clinically with a low shoot in the goal of Ben Foster.
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Second game of the day was Liverpool against Crystal Palace. It will take some time for Frank de Boer to implement his football philosophy in Crystal Palace game, this was clear as his opponents was playing like under Jurgen Klopp’s notes. Merseysiders dominated the biggest part of the game, displaying in front of thousands of their supporters the mastery of passes and combination. The opening goal of the game came late on 60th minute, when summer signing Dominic Solanke made it 1-0 with a strong shoot out of the box. The game was put to the end after Divoc Origi transfer the deflected ball from Phillipe Coutinho’s shoot in he goal of Waynne Hannessey. Final score Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace.
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Premier League Asian Trophy Final, 22.07.2017
The final game of the Premier League Asia Trophy brought together Liverpool and Leicester City. At the last meeting the Frank Shakespeare’s team demolished Liverpool 3-1, sending a clear message to the rest of the teams that despite managerial changes(Shakespeare replaced Ranieri), Leicester City were motivated to stay in the Premier League and give the fight to all title contenders. Four months latter Liverpool meet Leicester in Hong Kong and after the header of Foxes’ Islam Slimani the deja-vu was coming in the memory of Liverpool supporters. Klopp’s players replied with another header equalizing though Mohamed Salah and Phillipe Coutihno strike outside of the box minutes latter brought the first silverware of the season to Liverpool.
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Crystal Palace got the third place after beating 2-0 Tony Pulis West Brom thanks to goals Luka Milivojevic and Bakary Sako. West Brom have the chance to reduce the handicap through Ahmed Hegazi and Matt Phillips, but unfortunately the final score remained unchanged till the end on 90 minutes. Crystal Palace 2-0 West Brom.
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The end of the preseason is closer and closer and the end of July and beginning of August promise to be very exited with the rest of preseason friendly games and the Champions and Europa League qualifications.
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