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Rodgers hails ´incredible´ Benteke strike

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers heaped praise on Christian Benteke, who marked his debut for the club with a stunning strike in Sunday’s friendly against Swindon Town.

On his maiden appearance since joining from Aston Villa, Benteke controlled Joao Teixeira’s flick on his chest before swivelling and thumping an unstoppable volley into the top-left corner from 20 yards.

The Belgium international was withdrawn midway through the second half, as was fellow debutant Roberto Firmino, before Liverpool snatched a 2-1 victory thanks to Sheyi Ojo’s goal three minutes from time.

“Always nice to start with a win and a goal looking forward to the season thank you for your welcome #YNWA,” Benteke posted on his Twitter account afterwards, while Rodgers lauded the quality of the strike.

“Christian’s goal was incredible, whether it was a pre-season friendly or in a league or cup game. It was wonderful technique from the big guy,” he told the club’s official website.

“The other guys started to get some minutes under their belt; Firmino, Emre Can, boys that have come back a bit later. It was pleasing all round.

“It finished off our pre-season preparations – a number of guys needed a game today. It was a really good exercise.”

Rodgers was pleased with the contribution of Firmino, adding: “You see his quality. He is really bright on the ball, has got wonderful technique and has got the ability to want to get forward and score a goal.

“For those players it was just getting them into that game situation, which is never easy as they have only been back a week or so. But they adapted and coped very well.”

The only sour note for Liverpool was an early injury to Joe Allen, who had to be replaced inside quarter of an hour at the County Ground.

“I think Joe was his hamstring, unfortunately, so that doesn’t look so good for us,” Rodgers said. “But we’ll see how that is tomorrow [Monday] when he has a scan.”

Sun 2 Aug, 2015
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