Henderson, Salah score as Liverpool beat Crystal Palace in Singapore
They clamoured for him, and Mohamed Salah obliged - mere minutes after taking to the pitch at the National Stadium.
Liverpool's Egyptian superstar scored the second goal in the Reds' comfortable 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy exhibition match at the National Stadium on Friday (July 15) night.
Salah's goal took a deflection which deceived Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, but that mattered little to the 50,217 fans in attendance, almost all of whom were Liverpool supporters and decked out in red.
The turnout was a sight for sore eyes - it was by far the biggest one at a sports event in Singapore since the pandemic began, even though the Sports Hub had welcomed crowds of between 10,000 and 12,000 for the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup (December 2021), HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens (April) and mixed martial arts showcase UFC 275 (June).
The last time the 55,000-capacity National Stadium was almost filled was when Harry Kane led Tottenham Hotspur to a 3-2 win over Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus in July 2019 in front of 50,433 fans.
And star power was what the fans wanted again on Friday night.
After skipper Jordan Henderson put Liverpool in front with a cool finish in the 12th minute, many expected a goal rush for the 19-time English champions, given Palace had brought with them a depleted squad without stars like Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke.
But that never happened, as the tropical heat and humidity got to the players and the game slowed down.
With the match crying out for some inspiration, the fans made themselves heard by roaring when an image of Salah, sat on the substitute's bench with a bib on, flashed on the stadium's two giant screens, and again when he warmed up.
The fans even rose out of their seats and gave him a standing ovation when he nipped down the tunnel and to the dressing room for a toilet break.
They got their wish to see their star man when Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp introduced Salah, as well as a host of other first team players like Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, on at half-time.
And Salah wasted no time in delivering, finding the target even as the stadium announcer was still reeling off the half-time substitutions over the public announcement system.
But while the forward was bright and energetic and showed glimpses of the quality that has earned him a reputation as one of the best attackers in the world, he and his teammates could not break down a resolute Palace side further.
The fans, however, no doubt left the stadium happy after watching their side lift the pre-season trophy - the first of what they hope will be many in the new season, which kicks off in August.