• Pre-season friendlies

Liverpool, Palace win; Newcastle, West Ham lose

ESPN staff
July 20, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Steven Gerrard salutes the crowd after Liverpool's win against an Indonesia XI © Getty Images
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Liverpool got their pre-season tour off to a winning start as goals from Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling handed them a comfortable 2-0 win over an Indonesia XI in Jakarta.

Brendan Rodgers' men go to Australia to face Melbourne Victory on Wednesday and they will then round off their tour with a game in Thailand on July 28 before playing a series of European friendlies.

Coutinho opened the scoring as he attempted to find new signing Luis Alberto but the ball ended up back at his feet, allowing the Brazilian to slot home underneath goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga.

Stewart Downing then brought a save out of the stopper before Alberto hit the post. And he was not to be the only newcomer to trouble the woodwork as Iago Aspas hit the bar before the break.

Simon Mignolet did well to save a long-range effort from Sergio Van Dijk but the Reds should have gone two up as Coutinho put a great chance over the bar.

Multiple substitutions came in the last half-hour and Sterling hit the bar twice soon after being introduced. But he was not to be denied in the 88th minute as he side-footed into an empty net after some good work from Oussama Assaidi and Jordon Ibe.

Elsewhere, Newcastle United suffered their first defeat of pre-season with a 3-1 reverse at Portuguese side Rio Ave.

The Magpies found themselves three down with just 26 minutes played thanks to a quick-fire brace from Hassan a strike from midfielder Braga. Shola Ameobi notched a consolation for the visitors.

Aston Villa twice had to come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at Wycombe Wanderers.

Matt Lowton, who signed a new four-year contract with Villa on Friday, headed his side back on level terms from Leandro Bacuna's cross midway through the first half. Wycombe went ahead for a second time just after the half-hour mark through Leon Johnson's header, but Ashley Westwood had the last word with a curling free-kick seven minutes into the second half.

Premier League new boys Crystal Palace edged Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 at Victoria Road in their pre-season opener. Trialist Atdhe Nuhiu put the Eagles ahead 11 minutes before half-time before Owen Garvan doubled their advantage with a penalty. Medy Elito halved the deficit, also from the spot.

West Ham suffered their first defeat of the pre-season programme, going down 4-1 against Mainz at the Stadion am Bruchweg.

The Hammers trailed 2-0 at half-time through goals from Dani Schahin and Nicolai Muller and, although Joe Cole volleyed the visitors back into contention at the start of the second period, Shawn Parker re-established the Bundesliga side's two-goal cushion by converting a controversial 74th-minute penalty and Sebastian Polter sealed matters four minutes later.

Celtic showed continued signs of improvement as they registered their first pre-season victory with a 2-1 win over League One side Brentford. Amido Balde and Callum McGregor were on target for the Hoops after Adam Forshaw had given the hosts an early advantage.

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