Benitez explains Alonso absence

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso was not involved in today’s 1-1 draw with Thailand in Bangkok due to an ankle injury, Reds boss Rafa Benitez has confirmed.

Some reports suggest Alonso had withdrawn himself from today’s game in a way to signal his intentions to move to Real Madrid, but Benitez has rubbished the suggestions.

Alonso could make his first appearance for the Reds this pre-season in Sunday’s friendly in Singapore.

Ryan Babel scored Liverpool’s only goal of the game against Thailand, with the Reds conceding late on and being held to a draw.

Benitez told reporters after the game, “We are disappointed at giving the lead away because we want to win every game we play but the first three or four games are about fitness and getting the match practice in.

“Then the games start getting to a higher level and you’ll hopefully see a bit more flow. At the moment you’re seeing two different teams in each half.

“But the conditions we are playing in here and in Singapore will help us once the new season gets underway.”