Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Xherdan Shaqiri’s debut was “not normal” after the new signing scored a stunning bicycle kick in the 4-1 rout of Manchester United.Shaqiri completed the scoring in breathtaking fashion in Michigan, where Liverpool ended their International Champions Cup campaign with a resounding victory on Saturday.A summer arrival from relegated Premier League side Stoke City, Switzerland star Shaqiri came off the bench and netted a sensational overhead kick from 12 yards after Sheyi Ojo and Daniel Sturridge put the Reds ahead. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Liverpool were pegged back by United in the first half – Sadio Mane’s 28th-minute penalty cancelled out by Andreas Pereira.Reflecting on Shaqiri’s Liverpool bow, Klopp told reporters: “It was good obviously. That’s not normal after four days in the club – adapting that well to the style of play.”We wanted to help him a little bit with the position [so] that it’s not too complicated, gave him a lot of freedom, offensively playing natural, plus offering runs in behind, which is what he did especially around the Sturridge goal. “It was better than I would have expected, to be honest. I think today it was a game where it was quite easy to come in for pretty much all of them because we played over 90 minutes of really good football on a very difficult pitch for both teams. We still played simple and quick, kept them moving. That was good.”After the [Borussia] Dortmund game, I didn’t feel really good but I knew I don’t have to make it bigger than it is. It’s a preseason game so if you make mistakes you should lose – that’s OK and if you learn from it that’s OK. Today we don’t make it bigger of course. “For Shaq, in the moment he signed he wanted to stay immediately at Liverpool and train with us. I think it was a week after he finished the World Cup, so I said: ‘No, no, no. Go’. “He came back a few days ago and he was really excited. For him it was very good moment in his career, having already had a real experience at Bayern [Munich], at Stoke at Inter. Those were important moments in his career and now we have him and he can now play together with a few really nice football players.”A debut to remember. @XS_11official’s overhead kick from all angles is now on @LFCTV GO: https://t.co/TBB3wWXgx7 pic.twitter.com/xygdgiafnn— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 29, 2018Shaqiri is one four new signings at Liverpool following the arrivals of Alisson, Naby Keita and Fabinho, and Klopp does not plan to add any defenders before the transfer window closes.”No, I am happy with our players, to be honest, so I don’t see the need,” Klopp added. “When you see Joe Gomez playing in that role tonight as a central defender, he combines a lot of things you don’t find in the transfer market, to be honest. I can’t see in the moment the need, but there are 12 days to go and a lot of things can happen.”You ask me now and I say no, but maybe if you ask me tomorrow I will say something different.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Attack-minded Italy and Belgium won in style while Germany made it two wins from two games in 2020 European Championship qualifiers on Saturday.But Saturday was not an entirely good night for European powerhouses. In the biggest upset, Turkey contained France’s offensive power to hand the world champion a shock 2-0 defeat.World Cup finalist Croatia put its campaign back on track with a 2-1 victory over Wales, and Northern Ireland rallied late for its third straight victory.Russia thrashed San Marino 9-0 for its biggest win since the Soviet era. That surpassed the previous post-Soviet marks of 7-0 against Liechtenstein and San Marino.FRANCE UPSETStar-studded France scored four goals in each of its first two wins in Group H, with its intimidating forward line of Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe grabbing a goal each in both games.It didn’t work against Turkey.The three started in Konya but finished empty-handed in the first victory for Turkey against France after four losses.France coach Didier Deschamps was scathing about his side’s performance.“When you play like that on a collective level there’s nothing positive to take from the game,” he told broadcaster TF1. “We didn’t play the way we should have against a team which played the way it likes to.”The Turkish side proved highly effective, converting the first chance in the 30th. Kaan Ayhan headed in the first goal and, 10 minutes later, Cengiz Under stunned France with the second.With three wins in three games, Turkey leads Group H with nine points. France is three points behind in second, along with Iceland which beat Albania 1-0. Moldova beat Andorra 1-0 for its first win in this group.BELGIUM CRUISESLed by captain Eden Hazard a day after he completed a highly anticipated transfer from Chelsea to Real Madrid, Belgium applied pressure against Kazakhstan in Brussels from the start which quickly paid off in a 3-0 win.Dries Mertens put the hosts ahead with a deflected shot 11 minutes into the game with Hazard providing a key pass. Four minutes later, Mertens turned into a supplier with a cross for Timothy Castagne to make it 2-0.Five minutes into the second half, forward Romelu Lukaku was in the right place for an easy tap in after Mertens’ shot bounced off the post.“If you lead 2-0 after 15 minutes, then that is excellent,” said Belgium coach Roberto Martinez. “In the second half we also started well, so the mentality of this team was very good.”Artyom Dzyuba led the Russians with four goals in Saransk.Belgium stays perfect, leading Group I with nine points. Russia and Scotland, which beat Cyprus 2-1, have six points.ITALY ATTACKSItaly’s new attack-minded approach under coach Roberto Mancini is looking like an effective remedy after the disappointment of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.Facing unbeaten Greece in Athens, Italy needed just over half an hour to put the result beyond doubt with the goals coming in a 10-minute span for a 3-0 win.Nicolo Barella opened the scoring in the 23rd with Andrea Belotti setting the goal up in his first game for Italy since September 2018. Lorenzo Insigne made it two in the 30th and Leonardo Bonucci headed home the third in the 33rd.Mancini wasn’t entirely happy.“No, it wasn’t our best performance but we were good at controlling the match from the first minute,” Mancini said. “But we should have pushed more, we sat back too much … in the second half we should have scored more goals. That needs to be improved.”Italy tops Group J with nine points from three games. It hosts Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday.Finland grabbed a 2-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina and is three points behind Italy in second. Armenia got the first three points in the same group after beating Liechtenstein 3-0.CROATIA REBOUNDSJames Lawrence scored an own-goal to give Croatia an early boost after diverting a cross from Ivan Perisic in the 17th minute in Osijek.Croatia looked to be the better side anyway as it moved on from recent inconsistent results.Perisic doubled the advantage early in the second half for Croatia to rebound from a 2-1 loss to Hungary in Budapest. Substitute David Brooks cut the deficit for Wales with a deflected shot in the 77th.Hungary kept momentum with a 3-1 win in Azerbaijan to share the Group E lead with Croatia on six points, with Wales and Slovakia trailing by three points but with a game in hand.NORTHERN IRELAND LEADSNorthern Ireland beat Estonia 2-1 and is a surprising early leader of Group C that includes Germany and the Netherlands.Substitutes Conor Washington and Josh Magennis scored in the 77th and 80th minutes respectively to overturn Estonia’s early lead from a free kick by veteran Konstantin Vassiljev.After a confidence boosting 3-2 victory over the Netherlands, it was only a question of time for a dominant German side to score against Belarus in a 2-0 win.Leroy Sane fooled a marker inside the area before a curling finish for the opening goal early in the first half. Marco Reus half-volleyed the second goal in the second half as Germany looked confident as a team that is putting a disastrous World Cup campaign behind it. Germany next plays Estonia on Tuesday.Northern Ireland has nine points, three more than Germany which has a game in hand.___By KAREL JANICEK Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shares
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