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Liverpool smash Barcelona 4-0; shut out Messi, Suarez

Liverpool smash Barcelona 4-0; shut out Messi, Suarez

LONDON: Liverpool thrashed Barcelona 4-0 Saturday in the International Champions Cup (ICC) friendly, providing a boost for manager Jurgen Klopp as he focuses on domestic success in his first full season in charge.With little at stake for either side, Liverpool dominated despite Barcelona fielding Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, who was facing his former club for the first time.

In front of almost 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, Liverpool went ahead after a well-worked move in the 15th minute saw Sadio Mane score his first goal after his transfer from Southampton in June. Divock Origi scored two goals after the break, with one from young midfielder Marko Grujic.

Klopp already has some injury concerns, however. Striker Daniel Sturridge (hip) was missing from the starting line-up, while James Milner (heel) limped off injured before half-time.

“I’m happy with the result and with a lot of the game,” said Klopp, who remained modest despite the scoreline.

“I don’t want to over-estimate this game, but it’s still good for us. We didn’t think that we were lower than Barcelona before the game and we don’t think that we’re higher than them after the game.”

Barcelona’s defeat meant that Paris Saint-Germain won the ICC friendly tournament for the second year running.

“From the beginning we saw two teams with completely different rhythms,” said Luis Enrique. “It was definitely not our best day. But there’s enough days for us to prepare and there’s no doubt we’ll be competitive.”

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was missing Neymar, who is on duty with Brazil at the Olympics.

Barca play Sampdoria at the Camp Nou in their final pre-season friendly on Wednesday before facing Sevilla in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on August 14.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2016

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