Reds sign off tour in five-star style

Singapore 0 Liverpool 5
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The Independent Online

Liverpool completed their south-east Asian tour with a 5-0 friendly victory over Singapore yesterday, ending the two-leg trip on a high note with an emphatic performance in front of 50,000 supporters.

Coach Rafael Benitez rested a majority of regular starters for the first half of the match, played at the city-state's National Stadium, and Andrei Voronin's injury-time strike was the only positive of a lacklustre opening period.

Buoyed by the introduction of the squad's bigger names in the second half, Liverpool, held to a 1-1 draw by Thailand on Wednesday, eventually picked up their tempo with reserve striker Krisztian Nemeth (twice), Albert Riera and Fernando Torres all scoring.

Benitez compared the bristling atmosphere to home ground Anfield as Singaporeans belted out regular renditions of club anthem You'll Never Walk Alone and the team will now return to Europe for three more friendlies before the start of the season.

"The tour has been a success, especially in terms of support," the Spaniard said. "When you plan tours like this it feels like a week is a long time to be away. But when you see the faces of the fans, it makes it all worth it. I am really pleased."

Liverpool open their Premier League campaign away at Tottenham Hotspur on 16 August, but Benitez refused to be drawn on whether he was planning to add any more players or sell any of his squad before the end of the transfer window on 1 September.

"I am really pleased with the squad and, as professionals, we tend not to talk about our targets," he said. "But we do have some but we will keep them to ourselves."

Seeking their first pre-season victory after draws with Thailand and Swiss side St Gallen and a 1-0 loss to Rapid Vienna, the Reds gave a disjointed appearance in the first half but took the lead with the final kick before half-time when Voronin's long-range effort found the net.

Riera extended the advantage early in the second half before Nemeth struck twice in the final 17 minutes with a Torres effort wedged in between.

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