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  1. Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti believes Virgil Van Dijk should have received a red card for his challenge on Belgian forward Dries Mertens early in the first half of the crucial Group C Champions League clash at Anfield on Wednesday evening.A Mo Salah goal was all what separated the teams in a night of high drama where only a win was acceptable for the Reds to progress, meanwhile a draw would have been good enough to see the Italians through.The veteran manager believes the towering Dutchman should have received his marching orders when he caught Mertens on the follow through after initially making a clean ball winning tackle. Four Four Two reported Ancelotti as saying:"I've seen it on the video, I think it was a red card." There were a lot of questions about VAR. "When VAR comes in to the Champions League, it's too late."Van Dijk did receive a booking for the challenge which will see him miss the first leg of the Round of 16 clash in February.The 1-0 defeat was Napoli's only loss of the group stage and will see the Italians consigned to the Europa League. It was clear that Liverpool played right into their hands when the two teams met on Matchday Two, and Jurgen Klopp was determined that his men upped their tempo for this vital encounter.It was something that the wily manager was prepared for."We knew that Liverpool would put us under a lot more pressure, they were very aggressive."It was something we planned for, we knew the intensity was going to be a lot different from the first game we played. That was something we had to try and cope with.You can't expect to come to a place like Liverpool and expect to create 10 really good chances, we created one or two and didn't have the luck that we needed."Alisson was the hero for the Reds in the final stages when he made a point blank save at the feet of Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik who would have thought the vital goal was there for the taking.However the save was just another magical moment in Liverpool's illustrious European history.While Ancelotti and his players will take time to get offer this disappointment, they will be formidable oopponents for any team in the Europa League. View full article
  2. Quite the weekend this one. For weeks we’d been playing catch up but we’d somehow found ways to get the results we needed to keep the gap at the top to two points. It must have been driving City mad, but this week the roles were reversed. We took care of business early and said to them “ok, now let’s see what YOU’VE got”. The answer was ‘not much’. There’s no shame in losing at Chelsea, but it was the way City reacted to going a goal down that should have the rest of the league sitting up and taking notice. This team is not invincible, and the sooner people realise it the better it will be for us. It took Chelsea 45 minutes to realise it as their first half display reeked of cowardice. City looked great but they always will if the opposition just hands them the initiative like that. I don’t know what the fuck Chelsea were doing. They could barely get out of their own half and they approached the game like you’d expect Burnley or Huddersfield to do. Chelsea have some of the best players in the world in their side, why the fuck were they playing like that? Hazard was used at centre forward, which is a waste of his talent as it plays to his weaknesses rather than his strengths. He was fuming at the lack of service for most of the first half, understandably so. The one time they got him the ball to his feet he set up the opening goal. Kante’s finish was quality and from that moment on City didn’t look the same. You could even see it in their faces as they made their way back for the kick off. Shock and frustration. They aren’t used to not having things their own way and they don’t like it up ‘em as they say. Chelsea took great confidence from the goal and were a completely different side in the second half. They deservedly extended their lead courtesy of a brilliant David Luiz header, and he was fantastic all game actually. Whisper it, but he’s actually a fucking good defender these days. And he’s always been a magnificent footballer. This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article Please note that PL Round Ups are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  3. Report by Dave Usher We knew what we had to do beforehand; either win 1-0 or by at least two clear goals if Napoli scored. Anything else and we were out. Given our track record and the long history of crazy Anfield European nights though, a 1-0 win seemed just about the least likely scenario. 3-1, 4-2 or 5-3 I could see. Hell, I’d have even gone for 6-4 before I’d have put any money on a 1-0. It wasn't a 1-0 game yet that's how it ended on another wild Anfield night that had Klopp gushing afterwards that he doubts any manager has ever been prouder of his team than he was after this. Napoli played well but we were brilliant and it should have been 6-1 as we wasted chance after chance. That profligacy kept Napoli alive and we all knew they would get one big chance before the night was out. The only question was whether they’d be able to take it. Thankfully they didn’t. We’ve got Alisson to thank for that. The big imposing bastard came to the rescue in stoppage time when a goal looked certain. That’s the difference between a good keeper (the Mig) and a great one. I was always of the opinion that we could win with a decent keeper as long as the rest of the side was top notch, but it’s only now that we have a keeper who is a real difference maker that I can see how wrong I was. At the very top level it’s the fine margins that make all the difference. Without Alisson we wouldn’t be top of the table and we’d now be facing up to the depressing reality of life in the Europa League. And that would have been a complete season wrecker. Going out of the Champions League would have been massively deflating, but not because we would no longer be in the Champions League (we’d get over that pretty quickly), but because it would have meant Thursday / Sunday football and constantly having to play catch up to City who would then be playing before us most weeks. Psychologically it would have been damaging seeing our rivals taking on Real, Barca, Juve etc while we’d be preparing to play Celtic or Braga or some other Slapdick FC outfit on a fucking Thursday. I don’t want to go all footy snob here (I am aware we need to win something, ANYTHING, as it's been too long), but fuck that noise. Getting through the group and losing in the next round would have been infinitely preferable to dropping into the Europa (although now we’re through hopefully that doesn’t happen!), so it was vital we found a way to get past Napoli. It should have been a rout but we don’t do things like that. It’s never easy. This is a team that led 5-0 against Roma and ended up going through 7-6 on aggregate remember. Of course, the referee played a big part in the outcome of that tie, and it was the same fuckwit in charge of this one. This was one of the worst displays of refereeing I’ve ever seen. He is completely out of his depth and shouldn’t be officiating at this level. He’s so bad he could referee in the Premier League. The Slovenian Jon Moss. This is just a teaser, click to view the full article Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  4. Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti believes Virgil Van Dijk should have received a red card for his challenge on Belgian forward Dries Mertens early in the first half of the crucial Group C Champions League clash at Anfield on Wednesday evening.A Mo Salah goal was all that separated the teams in a night of high drama where only a win was acceptable for the Reds to progress, whereas a draw would have been good enough to see the Italians through.The veteran manager believes the towering Dutchman should have received his marching orders when he caught Mertens on the follow through after initially making a clean ball winning tackle. Four Four Two reported Ancelotti as saying:"I've seen it on the video, I think it was a red card. There were a lot of questions about VAR. When VAR comes in to the Champions League, it's too late."Van Dijk did receive a booking for the challenge which will see him miss the first leg of the Round of 16 clash in February.The 1-0 defeat was Napoli's only loss of the group stage and will see the Italians consigned to the Europa League. It was clear that Liverpool played right into their hands when the two teams met on Matchday Two, and Jurgen Klopp was determined that his men upped their tempo for this vital encounter.It was something that the wily manager was prepared for."We knew that Liverpool would put us under a lot more pressure, they were very aggressive."It was something we planned for, we knew the intensity was going to be a lot different from the first game we played. That was something we had to try and cope with."You can't expect to come to a place like Liverpool and expect to create 10 really good chances, we created one or two and didn't have the luck that we needed."Alisson was the hero for the Reds in the final stages when he made a point blank save at the feet of Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik who would have thought the vital goal was there for the taking.However the save was just another magical moment in Liverpool's illustrious European history.While Ancelotti and his players will take time to get offer this disappointment, they will be formidable opponents for any team in the Europa League.
  5. Liverpool survived a evening full of nerves and frustration with a crucial 1-0 win against Napoli which secures their path through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.A piece of Mo Salah individual brilliance was the difference when he broke away from the close checking of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly to slot the ball past David Ospina (who is on loan to the Italian side from Arsenal) in the 34th minute. While the goal was obviously a key moment, without the point blank save by Alisson from Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik in injury time, the Reds would be plying their trade on Thursday nights in the Europa League come the second half of the season.The Brazillian was naturally the main talking point after the game, winning a great deal of praise from manager and teammates alike.Sky Sports reported Jurgen Klopp as saying:"The goalie made the save of the season. I have no clue how he made that save. " Thank God we have him. If I'd known how good he was, I'd have paid double ... I think nobody expected a save in that situation. It's a goal, no?" It was unbelievable, what the boys they did tonight, it was so special. They created such an incredible atmosphere I am still full of adrenaline about it, just unbelievable“I'm not sure a manager was ever more proud of a team than I am at the moment." Meanwhile Virgil Van Dijk who formed a great partnership with Joel Matip on the evening, was also glowing of the performance by the gloveman.Speaking to the Official site after the game Van Dijk said:" He’s been fantastic for Liverpool and for us.“[He’s a] great character, a great guy and he helps us all. He gives confidence to everyone. That’s how it is and how it should be as well, for the whole team."While one goal was enough to see the Reds, in truth they should have been out of sight with a number of wasted chances.Sadio Mane one of the main offenders as the Senegalise star missed two guilt-edged chances in the last ten minutes.Van Dijk said the win should have been more comfortable, but was proud of the way the team defended all over the pitch.“We should’ve made it a bit easier I think, but the job is done and we’re through to the knockout stages."We could’ve made it a bit easier if we’d scored two more, but in the end, especially for us at the back and in the midfield [it’s about] keeping it tight, win your headers, and we did it." In the end, [we’re] very pleased. That Ali needs to make the fantastic save is something that wasn’t really necessary if we’d scored all the goals - including myself. But like I said, we’re through.”While it is true that the margin should have been bigger, Van Dijk has a extremely valid point that we are through and that is all that matters at the end of the day.Despite the play in the attacking third being patchy at best throughout the season, there are bound to be some nervous teams seeing the name of Liverpool in the hat on Monday when the draw for the round of 16 is made.
  6. Liverpool survived a evening full of nerves and frustration with a crucial 1-0 win against Napoli which secures their path through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.A piece of Mo Salah individual brilliance was the difference when he broke away from the close checking of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly to slot the ball past David Ospina (who is on loan to the Italian side from Arsenal) in the 34th minute. While the goal was obviously a key moment, without the point blank save by Alisson from Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik in injury time, the Reds would be plying their trade on Thursday nights in the Europa League come the second half of the season.The Brazillian was naturally the main talking point after the game, winning a great deal of praise from manager and teammates alike.Sky Sports reported Jurgen Klopp as saying:"The goalie made the save of the season. I have no clue how he made that save. " Thank God we have him. If I'd known how good he was, I'd have paid double ... I think nobody expected a save in that situation. It's a goal, no?" It was unbelievable, what the boys they did tonight, it was so special. They created such an incredible atmosphere I am still full of adrenaline about it, just unbelievable“I'm not sure a manager was ever more proud of a team than I am at the moment." Meanwhile Virgil Van Dijk who formed a great partnership with Joel Matip on the evening, was also glowing of the performance by the gloveman.Speaking to the Official site after the game Van Dijk said:" He’s been fantastic for Liverpool and for us.“[He’s a] great character, a great guy and he helps us all. He gives confidence to everyone. That’s how it is and how it should be as well, for the whole team."While one goal was enough to see the Reds, in truth they should have been out of sight with a number of wasted chances.Sadio Mane one of the main offenders as the Senegalise star missed two guilt-edged chances in the last ten minutes.Van Dijk said the win should have been more comfortable, but was proud of the way the team defended all over the pitch.“We should’ve made it a bit easier I think, but the job is done and we’re through to the knockout stages."We could’ve made it a bit easier if we’d scored two more, but in the end, especially for us at the back and in the midfield [it’s about] keeping it tight, win your headers, and we did it." In the end, [we’re] very pleased. That Ali needs to make the fantastic save is something that wasn’t really necessary if we’d scored all the goals - including myself. But like I said, we’re through.”While it is true that the margin should have been bigger, Van Dijk has a extremely valid point that we are through and that is all that matters at the end of the day.Despite the play in the attacking third being patchy at best throughout the season, there are bound to be some nervous teams seeing the name of Liverpool in the hat on Monday when the draw for the round of 16 is made. View full article
  7. Report by Dave Usher Well well well. After weeks of dogged, relentless pursuit, we’ve not only caught Man City but we’ve edged ahead of them. The importance of some of those late goals we’ve scored is now even more in focus. City have been blowing everyone away but you don’t get any more points for that than you do for a stoppage time winner after a below par performance. By hook or by crook, the Reds have been matching City result for result. In fact, the two point gap going into this weekend can largely be put down to us having had to play Chelsea away. We’ve had a slightly tougher fixture list than City but it’s evened out now they've been to Chelsea too, and guess what? We’re top, pretty much as a result of Daniel Sturridge’s worldy at the Bridge. That’s the difference right now. One point, earned by that wonderful goal away at Chelsea. Of course City’s goal difference is significantly better but I had written that off as a lost cause weeks ago. I may have been a little premature on that as there was a six goal swing this weekend and it’s now only an eight goal difference. If we click against one of the shite teams we could wipe that out in one week. There’s no guarantee we will ‘click’ in the way we did at times last season, because we’re a different side this year. Not as spectacular, but much more efficient. We were really good at Bournemouth though. It was mostly efficient but with a dash or two of spectacular. The first goal was marginally offside and I’m surprised the linesman didn’t spot that as his view wasn’t impeded and it was a fairly straightforward one to get right. Eddie Howe doesn’t usually make much of the numerous decisions that go against his side, but he was having a good old moan about this one. I don’t blame him for being pissed off, but he’s kidding himself if he thinks that was the reason his team lost. He reckons they were comfortable prior to that and we hadn’t troubled them. I’d agree that we hadn’t exactly peppered their goal, but I thought we looked lively from early on and it was only a matter of time before we put something together and scored. Firmino looked sharper than he has of late and Salah was causing them all sorts of problems running in behind. The goal shouldn’t have stood, but I felt as though it had been coming. It was a nice one-two between Bobby and Mo, and although the shot by Firmino was well struck, it was a little speculative and Begovic should have dealt with it better. Mo was on it like a flash and buried it, before turning to give the stink eye to our bench. This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  8. It has been a pretty impressive last seven days for the Reds. Nine points out of nine in the league, making the most of a extremely rare slip up by Man City and a number of key players playing their best football of the season. The only negative was losing defender Joe Gomez for around six weeks with a fractured leg suffered against Burnley last Wednesday night. However it was all smiles for the youngster on Monday as he became the latest first-team member to sign a long term deal with the club. The Liverpool Echo reports that the 21 year-old former Charlton Athletic junior has signed on the dotted line until the end of the 2023/24 season. Gomez has certainly had his ups and downs at the club, seeing his first two seasons at the Reds wrecked by long-term knee and Achilles injuries. He responded strongly last season to become a first team regular for Jurgen Klopp win his first senior English cap. Gomez looked set to be part of Gareth Southgate's 23-man World Cup squad until a ankle injury saw him miss the key part of Liverpool's and crush his dreams of playing at the centerpiece of international football. Putting another summer of frustration behind him, Gomez started the new campaign in his preferred position at the heart of the back four, alongside the colossus that is Vigil Van Dijk. Steady without being spectacular at right-back in 2017/8, he took his move to the more central defensive position like a duck to water, in the process becoming one of the most consistent Liverpool players in the first few months of the season. Gomez and Van Dijk formed the best central defensive pairing in the league, and in tandem played a major role in resurrecting a highly troublesome area of the pitch for a number of years. Speaking to the official site, Gomez said: “I’ve been at the club a few years now and have had the pleasure to play for Liverpool and experience what that means, so I am delighted to get the chance to extend my contract here. "I love the club, I love playing and learning here, and I am happy for that to continue. "There have been a lot of highs and lows, it’s my fourth season now (59 first-team appearances) and every one has been different. "Obviously I would like to have had a few less setbacks along the way, but it has all been part of my journey – one that I have loved and embraced. I have learned so much. Having missed his fair share of big games since his arrival at the club, Gomez is determined to play a major role in the upcoming years. “All the signs show where the club is heading, where our team is heading. “We got so close last year in the European competition and in the league this year, we’ve shown such good character in the start to the season so far. “[It’s] our best start ever as a club, so that shows if there is ever a time to have belief in the club and where we’re going it is now.” To be successful as a player and as a squad in general, you need to have a level of confidence to reach the next level. It is clear over the past 12-18 months that kind of element has been steadily growing. After experiencing the bitter taste of defeat on the big stage in recent seasons, you get a sense this squad is on a mission to right those wrongs. View full article
  9. Saturday Dec 1: Interesting Klopp quotes on the different style of play this year. Basically confirming what we thought, that the new more patient approach is deliberate and that the team needed to evolve. He put it down to how opponents play against us, saying that they won’t play football in their own half because they don’t want to fall victim to our press. Not entirely sure it's just that though. To me there's definitely an element of us just not playing that well and individual players not hitting the heights they did last season. We aren't at full throttle but I think that's also deliberate, and the team is geared up to hit it's stride in the new year. If that happens and we're still in the position we're in right now then we really will have a great chance to win the bloody thing. Meanwhile, Bobby Duncan scores four and makes two for the u18s as they won 6-5. I watched the highlights, and one of the assists was a mis-hit shot that Paul Glatzel turned in at the back post, but Bobby still claimed it as an assist. Kids eh? He’s got 16 goals so far this season and is getting better by the week. Really want this kid to be boss. Not only that, I want him to win titles, not just for us but for his cousin Stevie. Not only that, I want him to win a title by scoring an Anfield winner against Chelsea to deny City the title. In fact, I want him to do it after slipping over, getting up and beating half their team before scoring in front of their fans in the Anny Road and then doing a post match interview like this…. Sunday Dec 2: L 1 Everton 0 Hahahahahahahahahaha. Oh man, fucking hell. Hahahahahaha. It’s going to take an awfully long time for me to stop buzzing off this one. The only thing more satisfying than winning a derby by being boss and embarrassing the Blues, is not being boss but beating them anyway, in stoppage time. We’ve done that a few times, but this was the best of the lot just because of how comical the winning goal was, and also the perfect comedy timing of it. “Murderers” was belting out from the away end, and literally two seconds before the goal one of them lashed some purple pyro on the pitch because they thought Van Dijk’s shot had gone in the Kop and they’d clinched a famous draw. You just can’t make this shit up. Everton - Being funnier than fiction since 1878. Pleased for Origi, it’s probably his final swan song for us barring an unlikely return to the fleeting, blistering form of spring 2016, but if it is then what a way to go out. He’ll forever be remembered by Kopites now and tales of his heroics will be handed down from generation to generation. The icing on the cake was Klopp running onto the pitch like a madman. I didn’t even see it at the time as I was watching the lads celebrate. It was only when I got in the car afterwards and checked my phone that I saw the magnificence of it all. It was so out of order and he deserves all the criticism he’ll get for it, and if the FA hit him with a touchline ban he can have no complaints. It’s ok to love it and buzz off it, as it was funny as fuck and an all time derby moment. But you can’t defend it, and if you are defending it then ask yourself what your reaction would be if Mourinho did that after United beat us with a 97th minute fluke. If you say you’d be ok with it, then you’re a big fat liar. What Klopp did today was not ok, it was out of line and there’s no excuse for it. It was also one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article Please note that 'The Week that Was' is only available to TLW website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first, registration is FREE) and can be purchased here.
  10. Report by Dave Usher Great comedy is all about timing. That explains why this was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. In fact, can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. I'm laughing now as I type. We’ve had more than our fair share of last gasp derby winners to leave the Blues devastated and heart broken and usually my reaction to them is just to celebrate and go nuts. This was different. For a couple of seconds I went mad, euphorically jumping around in jubilation as you do. Then I just stood there laughing. Uncontrollably. To the point that my stomach began to hurt. I’m still laughing now and will be for a good while yet. It doesn’t get much better than that, and I doubt we’ll ever see an ending that funny ever again. This was an all timer, make no mistake. It's all about the timing, you see. A chant of “Murderers” echoed out from the away end. Purple smoke billowed out too, from flares that had been let off by Evertonians to celebrate what they thought was a famous draw. Trent played a hopeful ball into the box, Everton cleared it and the game looked to be over when Van Dijk tried a ridiculously ambitious volley that ballooned straight up into the air towards the Kop. Virgil turned away in disgust and my frustration spilled over as I yelled “what the fuck was that!”. And then it happened. Perhaps the best moment in Merseyside Derby history. If not the best, certainly the funniest. The ball began dropping down out of orbit and it became apparent that maybe it might just stay in play. Yep, it’s going to drop on the bar so we could get a corner out of this. Wait, what the fuck? It’s bouncing on the bar! There’s Divock, could he…. YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! Un-fuckin-believable. No wonder they hate us. Imagine having to deal with what they’ve had to deal with. No wins at Anfield since 1999 and so many last gasp goals home and away to leave them broken hearted. I almost feel sorry for them. Almost. I heard that “Murderers” chant and saw them throwing stuff at Trent. That Richarlison cunt (I was first on that bandwagon, I hated him even when he was at Watford) had tried to start a scuffle with Gomez to waste more time, and it gave the rabid Blue hordes the opportunity to spew their bile. “Come on Reds, one last chance here. Fucking shut these pricks up” I held out little hope, but that was the thought I had when Trent prepared to take the free-kick. Little could I have imagined what was to follow. A freak winning goal in the time added on after added time because of all the time they had wasted. Poetic that. This is just a teaser, click to view full article Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  11. It has been a pretty impressive last seven days for the Reds. Nine points out of nine in the league, making the most of a extremely rare slip up by Man City and a number of key players playing their best football of the season. The only negative was losing defender Joe Gomez for around six weeks with a fractured leg suffered against Burnley last Wednesday night. Gomez's absence won't impact on 888 sport betting odds for Liverpool vs Man. United this weekend in the way that an injury to Mo Salah or Virgil Van Dijk perhaps would. The Reds have experienced cover in Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren but this setback is the latest cruel blow for a young man who has been plagued by bad luck. However it was all smiles for the youngster on Monday as he became the latest first-team member to sign a long term deal with the club. The Liverpool Echo reports that the 21 year-old former Charlton Athletic junior has signed on the dotted line until the end of the 2023/24 season. Gomez has certainly had his ups and downs at the club, seeing his first two seasons at the Reds wrecked by long-term knee and Achilles injuries. He responded strongly last season to become a first team regular for Jurgen Klopp win his first senior England cap. Gomez looked set to be part of Gareth Southgate's 23-man World Cup squad until a ankle injury saw him miss the key part of Liverpool's and crush his dreams of playing at the showpiece of international football. Putting another summer of frustration behind him, Gomez started the new campaign in his preferred position at the heart of the back four, alongside the colossus that is Vigil Van Dijk. Steady without being spectacular at right-back in 2017/18, he took his move to the more central defensive position like a duck to water, in the process becoming one of the most consistent Liverpool players in the first few months of the season. Gomez and Van Dijk formed the best central defensive pairing in the league, and in tandem played a major role in resurrecting a highly troublesome area of the pitch for a number of years. Speaking to the official site, Gomez said: “I’ve been at the club a few years now and have had the pleasure to play for Liverpool and experience what that means, so I am delighted to get the chance to extend my contract here. "I love the club, I love playing and learning here, and I am happy for that to continue. "There have been a lot of highs and lows, it’s my fourth season now (59 first-team appearances) and every one has been different. "Obviously I would like to have had a few less setbacks along the way, but it has all been part of my journey – one that I have loved and embraced. I have learned so much. Having missed his fair share of big games since his arrival at the club, Gomez is determined to play a major role in the upcoming years. “All the signs show where the club is heading, where our team is heading. “We got so close last year in the European competition and in the league this year, we’ve shown such good character in the start to the season so far. “[It’s] our best start ever as a club, so that shows if there is ever a time to have belief in the club and where we’re going it is now.” To be successful as a player and as a squad in general, you need to have a level of confidence to reach the next level. It is clear over the past 12-18 months that kind of element has been steadily growing. After experiencing the bitter taste of defeat on the big stage in recent seasons, you get a sense this squad is on a mission to right those wrongs.
  12. Report by Dave Usher That’s a great win. I know it was only Burnley and they’re shite, but this was a big boy second half performance from the lads and it’s a huge three points. Seven changes and playing three days after a physically and emotionally draining Derby win, this was always going to be a grind. The first half was predictably gash and when we fell behind early in the second there’s no doubt we were in trouble. We’ve seen games like this before. Hell, we’ve seen them at this ground. I wasn't exactly panicking, but I was seriously concerned. Two years ago we completely dominated the game, fell behind, couldn’t get back into it and then conceded another. This is a massively different team these days though. They’re battle hardened, know how to get results and don’t need to be at their best to do it. That said, I thought the second half display was really, really good. I had no issue whatsoever with the team selection. I’ve said this before, but if we accept that players can’t play in every single game (which I think we all do, don’t we?), then we can’t complain when they’re left out, surely? Ok, seven changes seems a little excessive, but Klopp doesn’t just do this on a whim. We’ve had a busy time of it and the fixture load gets even more hectic over the next couple of weeks. Mane and Robbo were injured, while leaving out Firmino was a no brainer. It made sense to freshen up the midfield too with Hendo, Milner and Keita. Maybe Salah could have started considering Sadio and Bobby weren’t, but we’ve got some big games coming up and Klopp has to manage it as he sees fit. Some may call it arrogance, believing Klopp has thought “it’s only Burnley”, but I don’t see it that way. If he’d played his strongest eleven in this game he’d have had to leave a few out at the weekend when we go to Bournemouth. What’s the tougher looking game? Burnley might be more of a battle, but Bournemouth is the tougher fixture. Besides, the line up that we put out should have been good enough to take care of Burnley. It wasn’t though and Klopp had to send for the cavalry in the second half. Most of the players who came in didn’t exactly enhance their hopes of a more regular start. Moreno was ineffective, Origi never really got into the game, Sturridge took a long time to get going (he was good when he eventually did) and Matip was ok but had some problems dealing with the awkward Ashley Barnes, who’s the master of backing into defenders and winning free-kicks. He’s a right bastard to play against him, such a crafty fucker. He’s great at what he does and for me he represents the only chance Burnley have of staying up. If he doesn’t start scoring goals they’ve had it, as he’s their most important player. He found the net in spectacular style in the first half but was rightly ruled offside. Great finish though. He’s a handful. He robbed Van Dijk at one point and for a second it looked like trouble, but Virgil had caught up with him within about five yards and just shrugged him off like he was a little kid. Not many are going to do that to the powerful Barnes, but that’s Virgil for you, he’s a one off. This is just a teaser, click to view the full article Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  13. Continuing the series looking at the Liverpool youngsters who are aiming to become household names in the years ahead, we look at Doncaster Rovers loanee Herbie Kane. It is fair to say that the 19yo midfielder has made quite an impression on the Rovers faithful with a number of their passionate supporters stating he is already one of the top players in League One. Doncaster season ticket holders Mark Railton, Scott Hibbett, George Kefali and James Carlyle shared their views on the encouraging progress that the youngster has made at their club so far. TLW’s Jason Harris asks the questions… What were your first impressions of Herbie Kane when he arrived at the club? MR- I wasn't sure if (Doncaster manager) Grant McCann had done the right thing in taking a chance on a young midfielder for such a tough division, especially when a lot of teams go for big strong central midfielders. I was pleasantly surprised by how easily he slotted in and for me he would now be the first name on the team sheet every week. He has been outstanding since arriving and if he could add goals to his game he would be the best player in the division. Have you seen steady improvements in his game from the early part of the season to now, and if so what are they? MR- His ability to hang onto the ball in tight situations. He never flaps and always seems to wriggle free and release his pass. Think since he has come in, he has grown in stature and confidence and has now got the belief that he can do anything he wants when in possession of the ball. He’s also not shy at putting his foot in either. What is the one key part of Herbie's game that you really like? SH - He always seems to have so much time, he is always wanting the ball in tight spaces or with the opposition on his back and for someone at such a young age, that is impressive. He rarely gives the ball away and is not afraid to put his foot in and win back possession for the team. So far this season he is the leading player in that category in League One. GK- I just love how technical he is. He’s a standout player in this league for how quickly he can make a decision to pass or dribble on, his quick feet and determination really don’t get the credit they deserve. MR- His calmness in possession of the ball. Herbie never panics and 90% of the time makes the right decision. In your opinion, what is the one main improvement he can make? SH- Herbie is not fully-grown yet so he has the opportunity to grow a few more inches in the next year. Like most players who make it at the top level, it's pace that they need. While Herbie is certainly not you would define as slow, if he can add an extra yard, it will be very handy. What he lacks in pure speed, he makes up for with his ability to shield the ball which was very similar to (former Man Utd junior) Richie Wellens when we had him in a couple of stints a few years back. I think those players who are nurtured at top clubs learn to do that well - learn to use it and shield the ball under pressure. Those qualities really stand out with players who drop down from the Premier League into the Championship or League 1. JC- The one improvement he can make is probably scoring more goals. He just needs to keep doing what he is doing. Keep progressing and working hard because it is showing in his performances that he is working hard on the training field. I have no doubt at all if he continues this he will make it into Liverpool’s first team. Is there a performance by Herbie that stands out for you so far this season? JC- I think the first few performances took everyone by surprise as we weren’t expecting him to be that good and now the performances he puts in are fantastic. However, even though we lost to Sunderland 1-0, he controlled the game for me. We all know what Lee Cattermole is like, and Herbie had him in his pocket all game. You would have thought Herbie was the experienced pro and not Lee. GK- His standout performance this season has to be Chorley away in the FA Cup 1st round. Bagging the only 2 goals of the game, including a peach from outside the box to save our managers arse in all fairness. That and he drew a very nasty foul which led to an opposition red card which I still can’t believe wasn’t given as a penalty but a free kick. Who does he link up well with in the Rovers team, and do you think his presence has made you a better team this season? GK- I think there’s no doubt that Kane’s presence has sparked something in everyone else and as a central playmaker he’s at the heart of most of our play. With being so technically gifted, he’s exactly what we need to play possession football. He links up well with both (Thomas) Rowe and (Ben) Whiteman beside him in the midfield in passing and movement along the pitch. How do you think Grant McCann has worked with Herbie so far this season? GK- Grant McCann seems to praise him a lot and I believe he would be interested in a season long loan extension for Herbie too. Taking the first step into professional ranks can be difficult for any youngster, so what do you think makes Doncaster a good club for players from Premier League youth academies to spend time at. JC- I think if you look at other professionals who have been here in their younger days and you look at them now, they have all gone on to play at a higher level. Jordan Mutch, he was on loan here and he ended up playing for Crystal Palace and QPR in the Premier League. The majority of the time when people leave our club, it is for better things. Richie Wellens, he left to join Leicester, George Friend left to join Middlesbrough, James Husband came through our youth team, he went to Norwich. So I think it does show we treat our younger players well and hopefully put them in good stead for their careers. View full article
  14. While eyes are focused on the fortunes of the first team, it is also worthwhile looking at how our stars of the future are faring in their time away from the club. Rather than just looking at the statistics, we will be giving the readers a clear insight courtesy of fans who observe their progress on a game to game basis. In the first of a new series, TLW's Jason Harris caught up with Ollie Wright from @derbycountyblog to check on the progress of the Reds' Welsh Wizard, Harry Wilson... What was your first impressions of Harry Wilson when he arrived at the club? He was a really exciting signing for Derby, arriving on a season-long loan at the same time as the Chelsea starlet Mason Mount. We knew that there had been serious competition for his signature, with anyone who was anyone in the Championship bidding for him, so getting him felt like a coup and boosted feelings of optimism for the season ahead, after the arrival of new manager Frank Lampard. Have you seen steady improvements in his game from the early part of the season to now and if so what are they? Early in the season, he suffered an injury and that clearly set him back, but he's fit again and the key moment in his season so far came midway through our home game against Sheffield United. After Craig Bryson was injured, Lampard decided to bring on the attacker Tom Lawrence and shift Wilson from a wide forward role to an advanced central midfield role, alongside Mount. This allowed Wilson to exhibit his energy and willingness to press, as well as his technique. The Mount-Wilson duo, backed up by the sturdy Tom Huddlestone, was the hub of a Derby side which marched through October in deeply impressive fashion, beating then-leaders Sheffield United, whipping West Brom at the Hawthorns and outclassing Middlesbrough for long spells at the Riverside, before running Chelsea extremely close at Stamford Bridge. What is the one key aspect of Harry's game that really stands out for you? The eye-catching thing is clearly his technical quality. You'll know all about his mind-blowing free kick at Old Trafford - his ability to strike a ball is beyond question. He also scored a brilliant goal from range at West Brom and almost bagged a brace of free kicks against Birmingham, netting with one cheeky strike from an implausible angle and then rattling the post with a more straightforward strike. In your opinion, what is the one main improvement he can make? I just think for Harry, it's a case of playing as many games as possible. At the moment, he's playing centre midfield, which may not have been where he expected to play, but he is adapting well to the challenge. His ability is not in question, now it's a case of proving that he has the resilience to do it consistently throughout what will be a gruelling season. Is there a performance by Harry that stands out for you so far this season? The Manchester United goal will live long in the memory, but I think his performance as part of an outstanding team display at the Hawthorns should be picked out as the highlight to date. This was the game in which the Rams bared their teeth and demonstrated to the Championship that they have what it takes to challenge for promotion - and Wilson was key to the victory, not only scoring a rip-snorter, but also by acting as part of a devilish, high-pressing swarm which harangued the Baggies defence to death. What (if anything) has he brought to the team that wasn't noticeable to your eye last season? He's been part of a major overhaul of the squad conducted by Frank Lampard, which has brought considerably more energy, speed and technical quality. Who does he link up well with in the Derby team? His partnership in midfield with Mount has been eye-catching on and off the ball, with the duo providing the bullets for striker Jack Marriott and a rotating cast of wide forwards. What are your thoughts on how Frank Lampard has worked with Harry so far this season? I think Liverpool will be delighted with how it's going. The ideal situation, for me at least, would be for the Rams to go up and then do a fresh loan to keep Wilson at Pride Park for another season! The Championship is widely recognised one of the toughest leagues in World Football due to its competitive and attritional nature, do you think the league is perfect for academy graduates to hone their game? Without question. Last season, Wilson showed he could cut it in the Championship with Hull City, so a move to a club aiming to get promoted to the top flight was the perfect challenge for him this year and he is gaining a hell of a lot from this experience. View full article
  15. Lots to get through with it being a double round of fixtures, so I'll get straight down to it. “Useless” got the old heave ho at last as Southampton finally saw sense and sent his fraudulent arse down the road. The final straw was failing to beat Manchester United. Fair enough I'd say. They went 2-0 up but then blew it. Armstrong fired in the opener and Cedric’s superb free-kick doubled their lead, but they got nervous and let United get back on level terms before the break. Now usually you’d expect United to go on and win the game, but this is Mourinho’s United and…well… they’re fucking shit aren't they? It ended 2-2 and the Saints board had clearly seen enough. “We can accept you losing to Fulham, but drawing with this United team is humiliating. We’re gonna have to let you go”. As for Mourinho, I can’t even keep up with his antics now. I know he’s now dropped Lukaku and Pogba for being shit, and I know he’s been ripping into his players all week. What I don’t know is what he actually needs to do before they sack him. Hopefully we’ll never find out, because this is great and long may it continue. I heard this week that Pogba has given the ball away more than any other player in the Premier League this season. Not surprising, the Southampton game alone would probably have him in the top ten. One of the worst performances you’ll ever see from a so called top player. Fucking fraud him. Mourinho didn’t specifically call him out by name, but he said “we need to lose less ball in midfield” and then dropped Pogba for the Arsenal game in midweek, so that tells its own story. There were also reports that he called Pogba a "virus" in front of the rest of the team afterwards. Mourinho is right of course, but then Pogba could hit back with "takes one to know one". It's all gone a bit playgroundish at United this season, and it's great. This is just a teaser, click here to view the full article Please note that PL Round Ups are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here.
  16. Jurgen Klopp has sent a shudder down the spine of Liverpool's opponents by confirming Mo Salah is fit and firing at 100%. After a sluggish start to the new season due to a number of factors, the Egyptian goal-scoring maestro has scored six goals in his last seven games to put any discussion to bed that he was a 'one season wonder.' Speaking ahead of the crunch Champions League clash with Paris St Germain, which Liverpool are heavy underdogs for as shown by a review of unibet, Klopp described the process it took for him to reach this level. The Mirror reported the manager as saying. "The body is back, 100% - his physical things he can rely on. Of all the teams, we had the longest season – two weeks longer than the rest. After that, they went to a very long World Cup. "Egypt went out a little earlier but Mo played 94-95% fit because of the shoulder (injury). It was not that it hurt, but being healthy does not mean you are 100%. “Then, the pre-season starts again and he always tried everything. The only thing was his body needed time to adapt. "Still a world class player, still a threat in a game, but in scoring situations not the same calmness, coolness. Klopp more than most managers, displays a level of patience when it comes to his players. He deals with new signings in a very fair fashion, not putting them into the firing line until they are entirely comfortable and fully aware of what their role is. The same method applies for those who are returning from an injury or have had to deal with a heavy workload in recent times. The German knew there would major expectations for Salah to back up his outstanding success in 2017/8, but internally it was never a issue. "For the first time in his life it was clear that after scoring more than 40 goals, how do we deal with that?” "You cannot score 40 goals in the first three games and as human beings how can he be convinced 100% that he scores 40 goals again?" Is it even important to score 40 goals again? "Of course not. It is just a personal situation - do we talk about it or not? Do we leave it? It was never a problem actually. The manager is spot on in this regard. While it was a magnificent overall feat what Mo achieved, the fact is that we walked away empty-handed in a team sense last season. To clear the final hurdle, we need everyone to chip in and play their part as we look to improve across the board. So far, so good in that regard this season, and if Mo continues to chip in with his share of goals and assists, then the sky is the limit.
  17. After going behind to Burnley it looked like Liverpool were once again going to lose to a team they should comfortably beat. Losing to lower opposition is the biggest thing has held the team back since their last league title, but this time around Klopp was determined not to let it happen again. The win proves to the rest of the top clubs that Liverpool are serious title contenders this campaign but even though they are now only two points off the top, Manchester City are looking formidable this season and will be hard to overtake for the title. After going down a goal in the 54th minute to a Jack Cork goal, the manager had it all to do in order to turn things around. James Milner was able to pull one back and thanks to key substitute decisions made by Klopp, the team was able to win comfortably in the end. He brought on both Mohamed Salah (who bagged an assist) and Roberto Firmino (who scored with his first touch) as the Reds stretched their unbeaten run to 15 games. After the result, new UK betting sites have slashed the odds of them winning the EPL title and Klopp's men are second behind favourites Manchester City to achieve it. Since arriving at Liverpool Klopp has managed to put his stamp on the team and they are now playing in his image with a high press game. He has turned an average team into one of the best in Liverpool's history if you look at the stats. So far his team has the highest points total for any Liverpool team with 39 points from 15 matches. Previous to that the highest was 38 points which you have to go all the way back to 1990/91, 1978/79 and 1904/05 campaigns. One of the key decisions made by Klopp was to bring back into the team Naby Keita who was rested for the Sunday game against Everton which the Reds won 1-0. The manager was greatly rewarded for this as the Guinean control the midfield and his box to box running caused problems for Burnley all night. He completed the whole 90 minutes and had the most impressive stats for both teams. He managed to gain possession back 10 times along with 6 shots with 4 on target. On top of this, he was able to have a passing accuracy rate of 93.2% which was the best on the night. Since arriving at Anfield Klopp has put a lot of trust in James Milner and so far he has not let the manager down. Even at 32 years old the former England man is able to have a huge impact on the game and thanks to his fantastic placed shot in the 62 minutes the Reds were able to get the momentum they needed to go on and win. When Milner scores the team always goes on to win with the player having an unbelievable record of his team not losing in 50 games that he has scored in which is the best in the EPL. All of the substitutions that Klopp made paid off big time with them all been involved in the goals. Salah who was left on the substitute bench for the start of the match was impressive when coming on as he provided 3 goal scoring chance and the Shaqiri assist in the 30 minutes of game time he played. If Liverpool can keep up this type of form until the end of the season they will have a chance to pip Manchester City to the title. Klopp will have to keep on making vital decisions that will need to pay off, but if anyone can do it the charismatic German manager can.
  18. It has been a week where Jurgen Klopp has made his fair share of the headlines.Fresh from the 'outrage' surrounding his unbridled passion in running on the pitch to celebrate with Allison after Divock Origi turned home the winner in the 96th minute of the Derby, he now has come under fire from Clarets manager Sean Dyche. The two managers greeted each other with a big smile and warm handshake before kickoff, but by the end of the ninety minutes, the relationship was as frosty as the weather on a cold Wednesday night in Lancashire.Klopp and Dyche exchanged words at the final whistle with the German saying he was unhappy with some of the tackles that the Burnley players were putting in.In response, Dyche was unapologetic about how his team went about it and actually pointed the finger at a Liverpool player for an incident on the evening.The Express reported Dyche as saying:He [Klopp] didn’t reference Daniel Sturridge’s cheating when he went down, nothing near him, and he got a free-kick for it.“I watched Liverpool as a kid, I was a Liverpool fan growing up in the 70s and they had a fantastic side, one with skill, will and a physical edge."Now if that has gone and been replaced by cheating, I’m absolutely happy to be old-fashioned."There’s no way I’d want to see good proper professionals challenging in the manner that ours did and replace it with cheating.”In responding to Klopp's accusation about the tackling, Dyche did concede there was one tackle which was questionable, however he was more than happy with the one which has seen Joe Gomez sidelined for six weeks with a lower leg fracture. "What I would say is this, and it’s important to register: there were some excellent tackles in the game.“The only one that was questionable was Bardo’s (Phil Bardsley on Alberto Moreno). Ben Mee’s was a fantastic tackle (on Gomez).“I imagine a player who seems to be an honest player, in Gomez, realised that. That was the message we got after and we send him our best.”These squabbles are commonplace in the world of football management and Klopp will by and large brush off the response as every manager worth his salt is going to fight the cause for his own players.However the cheating reference regarding Sturridge will grate somewhat for the manager and player concerned as it is something you never want to be known as.Just like teams managed by the likes of Sam Allardyce, Neil Warnock and Tony Pulis, you know exactly what you are going to get when coming up against Burnley.That is plenty of physicality, long balls and set pieces to deal with.If you come out the other side with a victory, you have certainly earned it as Liverpool did on Wednesday night.Now they will put this behind them as the team have much bigger fish to fry in the upcoming months. However you suspect Dyche will be sure to receive a interesting reception when the Clarets come to town in early March.
  19. It has been a week where Jurgen Klopp has made his fair share of the headlines.Fresh from the 'outrage' surrounding his unbridled passion in running on the pitch to celebrate with Allison after Divock Origi turned home the winner in the 96th minute of the Derby, he now has come under fire from Clarets manager Sean Dyche. The two managers greeted each other with a big smile and warm handshake before kickoff, but by the end of the ninety minutes, the relationship was as frosty as the weather on a cold Wednesday night in Lancashire.Klopp and Dyche exchanged words at the final whistle with the German saying he was unhappy with some of the tackles that the Burnley players were putting in.In response, Dyche was unapologetic about how his team went about it and actually pointed the finger at a Liverpool player for an incident on the evening.The Express reported Dyche as saying:He [Klopp] didn’t reference Daniel Sturridge’s cheating when he went down, nothing near him, and he got a free-kick for it.“I watched Liverpool as a kid, I was a Liverpool fan growing up in the 70s and they had a fantastic side, one with skill, will and a physical edge."Now if that has gone and been replaced by cheating, I’m absolutely happy to be old-fashioned."There’s no way I’d want to see good proper professionals challenging in the manner that ours did and replace it with cheating.”In responding to Klopp's accusation about the tackling, Dyche did concede there was one tackle which was questionable, however he was more than happy with the one which has seen Joe Gomez sidelined for six weeks with a lower leg fracture. "What I would say is this, and it’s important to register: there were some excellent tackles in the game.“The only one that was questionable was Bardo’s (Phil Bardsley on Alberto Moreno). Ben Mee’s was a fantastic tackle (on Gomez).“I imagine a player who seems to be an honest player, in Gomez, realised that. That was the message we got after and we send him our best.”These squabbles are commonplace in the world of football management and Klopp will by and large brush off the response as every manager worth his salt is going to fight the cause for his own players.However the cheating reference regarding Sturridge will grate somewhat for the manager and player concerned as it is something you never want to be known as.Just like teams managed by the likes of Sam Allardyce, Neil Warnock and Tony Pulis, you know exactly what you are going to get when coming up against Burnley.That is plenty of physicality, long balls and set pieces to deal with.If you come out the other side with a victory, you have certainly earned it as Liverpool did on Wednesday night.Now they will put this behind them as the team have much bigger fish to fry in the upcoming months. However you suspect Dyche will be sure to receive a interesting reception when the Clarets come to town in early March. View full article
  20. Liverpool emerged with a precious three points after a searching test of their title credentials from a physical Burnley side at Turf Moor on Wednesday night.It was clear from the kickoff that the Clarets were up for the contest and would have fancied their chances further when they saw they were coming up against a much changed Reds lineup.It was the first time since the end of the 2016/7 season that none of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino were in the starting lineup.Daniel Sturridge and the rejuvenated Divock Origi fresh from his winner against Everton, led the line for the visitors.Alberto Moreno also made a rare start at left-back replacing the injured Andy Robertson.Liverpool suffered a major setback midway through the first half and quite possibly for the foreseeable future when one of the stars of the campaign so far Joe Gomez, was helped off on a stretcher with a ankle injury after a challenge from Burnley defender Ben Mee. Burnley's tactics of making their presence felt in a physical sense all over the pitch was certainly on Klopp's mind after the 3-1 win.ESPN reported Klopp as saying: "I'm pretty sure I don't make a lot of friends, but that's not my job."I said after the first challenge, I don't know who did it, sliding tackle from six, seven yards, getting the ball, everybody likes it. "I said to the ref: 'It's no foul, but please tell them you cannot do that. Nobody can judge that. You get the ball, nice, but it's like bowling because you get the player as well.Klopp understood the tactics of the home side but said a line had to be drawn somewhere."They wanted to be aggressive, aggression is a part of football. You try something, and you need someone to say: 'Be careful.'" There were a lot of situations, challenges. There was nothing to say. They were normal challenges, but with six or seven yards and then [slide], these times are over. They are over." Don't go five yards before the player because the grass is wet and take any risk. It's not intentional, but these are the situations." I think the referee has to make sure that things like this don't happen constantly. It's not how it should be. Let's play football.On a happier note, the German was thrilled with the composure to turn it all around in the last 30 minutes after trailing 1-0 courtesy of a close-range Jack Cork finish nine minutes after the interval.James Milner, Roberto Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri were on the scoresheet for the visitors.Reacting like we did at a tough place like Turf Moor, that's special."We controlled the game in a lot of moments, but in the moments where we allowed Burnley to make proper tackles, it didn't look that cool. Second half, perfect reaction and really happy with three points.Milner was also delighted with the resolute nature of the victory."It was really tough but we showed the character of this team and these are performances you need." The 3-1 win saw Liverpool off to their best top-flight start in their 126-year history, an achievement that is certainly noteworthy. While Liverpool still sit two points behind Man City, a positive is that they feature in early-kickoff game on Saturday at home to Bournemouth, therefore putting some pressure on City if they were to claim the three points. Another massive week looms on the horizon for the Reds in this fascinating season.
  21. Liverpool emerged with a precious three points after a searching test of their title credentials from a physical Burnley side at Turf Moor on Wednesday night.It was clear from the kickoff that the Clarets were up for the contest and would have fancied their chances further when they saw they were coming up against a much changed Reds lineup.It was the first time since the end of the 2016/7 season that none of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino were in the starting lineup.Daniel Sturridge and the rejuvenated Divock Origi fresh from his winner against Everton, led the line for the visitors.Alberto Moreno also made a rare start at left-back replacing the injured Andy Robertson.Liverpool suffered a major setback midway through the first half and quite possibly for the foreseeable future when one of the stars of the campaign so far Joe Gomez, was helped off on a stretcher with a ankle injury after a challenge from Burnley defender Ben Mee. Burnley's tactics of making their presence felt in a physical sense all over the pitch was certainly on Klopp's mind after the 3-1 win.ESPN reported Klopp as saying: "I'm pretty sure I don't make a lot of friends, but that's not my job."I said after the first challenge, I don't know who did it, sliding tackle from six, seven yards, getting the ball, everybody likes it. "I said to the ref: 'It's no foul, but please tell them you cannot do that. Nobody can judge that. You get the ball, nice, but it's like bowling because you get the player as well.Klopp understood the tactics of the home side but said a line had to be drawn somewhere."They wanted to be aggressive, aggression is a part of football. You try something, and you need someone to say: 'Be careful.'" There were a lot of situations, challenges. There was nothing to say. They were normal challenges, but with six or seven yards and then [slide], these times are over. They are over." Don't go five yards before the player because the grass is wet and take any risk. It's not intentional, but these are the situations." I think the referee has to make sure that things like this don't happen constantly. It's not how it should be. Let's play football.On a happier note, the German was thrilled with the composure to turn it all around in the last 30 minutes after trailing 1-0 courtesy of a close-range Jack Cork finish nine minutes after the interval.James Milner, Roberto Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri were on the scoresheet for the visitors.Reacting like we did at a tough place like Turf Moor, that's special."We controlled the game in a lot of moments, but in the moments where we allowed Burnley to make proper tackles, it didn't look that cool. Second half, perfect reaction and really happy with three points.Milner was also delighted with the resolute nature of the victory."It was really tough but we showed the character of this team and these are performances you need." The 3-1 win saw Liverpool off to their best top-flight start in their 126-year history, an achievement that is certainly noteworthy. While Liverpool still sit two points behind Man City, a positive is that they feature in early-kickoff game on Saturday at home to Bournemouth, therefore putting some pressure on City if they were to claim the three points. Another massive week looms on the horizon for the Reds in this fascinating season. View full article
  22. It certainly was not pretty, but Liverpool claimed another three points with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield to stay level with reigning champions Man City atop the Premier League table after nine games. While it was a game lacking in memorable moments, there were a couple of noteworthy factors to come out of the contest. In terms of the team as a whole, Liverpool registered a sixth clean sheet which sees the Reds set a club record for fewest goals conceded to start a league campaign (three in nine games). While in terms of individual performances, there was pleasing news for Mo Salah and Adam Lallana, albeit for differing reasons. The Egyptian maestro scored the winning goal in the 24th minute, which was only his second goal in six league games. For most players, that is a pretty handy ratio, but for someone who seemingly scored in every game in 2017/8 it felt like a "form slump." as he did not look his normal self in and around the attacking third. However the 25 year-old who registered 50th goal in English football with his strike against the Terriers' was not concerned in the slightest. "It's a good feeling but I wasn't worried, I don't worry, in the end we got the three points" the Liverpool Echo reported. The other player with plenty to smile about after the hard-fought contest was Adam Lallana. The English international has had a wretched time in the past 12 months due to thigh, hamstring and groin injuries. The midfielder only made 12 appearances in 2017/8 with his last start before yesterday coming on New Years Day against Burnley. Lallana started in place of the injured Sadio Mane against Huddersfield and admitted it had been a tough journey to full fitness. "It's been tough" the Echo reported. "The first injury I had was probably the easiest to get back from. It's just been the constant setbacks that I've had since." "At times you doubt yourself and you doubt your body, but I feel I'm in a really good place now and it was good to be out there. "As a footballer, it's what you want to do, you want to play games and feel like you're contributing.” Lallana played 69 minutes in an energetic display and his performance bodes well for more opportunities in the games ahead. "It's a long season, it was only a few weeks ago where I was thinking: 'Where's my next game going to come from when I'm back fit?' "You work hard over the international break and unfortunately, a few of the lads came back injured. That's when you need your squad. "Throughout the course of the season, everyone is going to contribute if you want to achieve something special.” Liverpool are looking to mount strong challenges domestically and in Europe this season. With that in mind, it is imperative that experienced players like the 30-year-old and Daniel Sturridge stay fit and motivated, as Jurgen Klopp will certainly call upon them to play an important role for the side. View full article
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    Origi: That was unbelievable

    Football never manages to disappoint with its ability to surprise during the course of 90 minutes, just ask Divock Origi. After spending last year on loan at Wolfsburg, you could be excused for forgetting the Belgian striker had returned to the club, as the opportunities have been few and far between for the 23-year-old this season. Origi has seen just 11 minutes of first-team action for the Reds to be exact be exact which came in the disappointing 2-0 defeat to Red Star Belgrade in Matchday four of the Champions League. So when Jurgen Klopp called his number to replace Roberto Firmino with six minutes remaining and the scores locked at 0-0 in a tight and tense Merseyside Derby, there undoubtedly would have been a raised eyebrow or two amongst the Anfield faithful. As a striker, you can toil for 90 minutes of action and fail to get a decent chance at goal but Origi made his presence known from the moment he arrived on the pitch. After a strong run and cross which set up a corner, he had a clear-cut opportunity when Virgil Van Dijk headed down into the path of the striker. Origi was in the perfect spot, but somehow managed to hit the post from a few yards out with only Jordan Pickford to beat. With the clock ticking down, it appeared to be one of the final chances and two crucial points dropped in the title race. However, the old adage of playing till the final whistle was never more apt in this clash, and in the 96th minute a speculative looping shot by Van Dijk was completely misjudged by Pickford. The English international palmed the ball back into play and after bouncing along the crossbar, Origi was in the vicinity again. Unlike a few minutes prior, this time he made no mistake, nodding home his third Derby goal for the club, sparking euphoria amongst the Liverpool players, fans and coaching staff alike. It was a fine time for Origi to score his first league goal in over 18 months (May 2017 vs West Ham to be exact). Speaking to the Official site after the game, he still seemed to be in a sense of disbelief about what occurred. "It’s unbelievable. Derbies are always special, I’ve played in a couple of them and I’ve scored in a couple of them but this one was the most crucial one, so it is very, very special for me.” When you are on the fringes of a side who is playing well, it would be easy to get downhearted and drop your head. It was testament to the character of Origi that he wanted to play an impactful role when he came on. “I had the first chance and it was Virg, so I knew there was an open ball. Then I just played on my instinct, I was so hungry to help the team and give whatever I could. I had a good action before down the side but I wanted to be in [the box]. "Thank God, it came in front of me.” It is these moments which help you win titles. While the disappointment would have been palpable in the Blue side of Merseyside on Sunday evening, Pep Guardiola would have had a wry grin wiped off his face once Origi nodded home. For Divock Origi and the fortunes of the Reds this season, the second of December 2018 could certainly be a defining date to look back upon. View full article
  24. tlw content

    Origi: That was unbelievable

    Football never manages to disappoint with its ability to surprise during the course of 90 minutes, just ask Divock Origi. After spending last year on loan at Wolfsburg, you could be excused for forgetting the Belgian striker had returned to the club, as the opportunities have been few and far between for the 23-year-old this season. Origi has seen just 11 minutes of first-team action for the Reds to be exact be exact which came in the disappointing 2-0 defeat to Red Star Belgrade in Matchday four of the Champions League. So when Jurgen Klopp called his number to replace Roberto Firmino with six minutes remaining and the scores locked at 0-0 in a tight and tense Merseyside Derby, there undoubtedly would have been a raised eyebrow or two amongst the Anfield faithful. As a striker, you can toil for 90 minutes of action and fail to get a decent chance at goal but Origi made his presence known from the moment he arrived on the pitch. After a strong run and cross which set up a corner, he had a clear-cut opportunity when Virgil Van Dijk headed down into the path of the striker. Origi was in the perfect spot, but somehow managed to hit the post from a few yards out with only Jordan Pickford to beat. With the clock ticking down, it appeared to be one of the final chances and two crucial points dropped in the title race. However, the old adage of playing till the final whistle was never more apt in this clash, and in the 96th minute a speculative looping shot by Van Dijk was completely misjudged by Pickford. The English international palmed the ball back into play and after bouncing along the crossbar, Origi was in the vicinity again. Unlike a few minutes prior, this time he made no mistake, nodding home his third Derby goal for the club, sparking euphoria amongst the Liverpool players, fans and coaching staff alike. It was a fine time for Origi to score his first league goal in over 18 months (May 2017 vs West Ham to be exact). Speaking to the Official site after the game, he still seemed to be in a sense of disbelief about what occurred. "It’s unbelievable. Derbies are always special, I’ve played in a couple of them and I’ve scored in a couple of them but this one was the most crucial one, so it is very, very special for me.” When you are on the fringes of a side who is playing well, it would be easy to get downhearted and drop your head. It was testament to the character of Origi that he wanted to play an impactful role when he came on. “I had the first chance and it was Virg, so I knew there was an open ball. Then I just played on my instinct, I was so hungry to help the team and give whatever I could. I had a good action before down the side but I wanted to be in [the box]. "Thank God, it came in front of me.” It is these moments which help you win titles. While the disappointment would have been palpable in the Blue side of Merseyside on Sunday evening, Pep Guardiola would have had a wry grin wiped off his face once Origi nodded home. For Divock Origi and the fortunes of the Reds this season, the second of December 2018 could certainly be a defining date to look back upon.
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    Why Shaqiri is a Klopp masterstroke

    When Xherdan Shaqiri joined Liverpool for only €15 million this season, nobody was expecting that he would play much of a role in a front three which already consisted of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino. The only thing which was expected from the Swiss international was to serve as a backup if any one of those three was to be injured or to play in second rate matches in the Carabao or FA Cup. And in all honesty, Shaqiri's stay in Liverpool started in pretty much the same way as it was expected. He was a late substitute for one of the three main men upfront or filled in during cup games. However, as time went on, Shaqiri started getting more and more minutes next to his name and he also started pitching in with goals and assists. A player who was only considered as a squad player involved only in the standard squad rotation, now started being an integral part of a well oiled machine operated by a German mastermind. In fact, it seems like Klopp knew right from the start that Shaqiri will be a success, but wanted to give him time to adapt to the Reds' style of play. This certainly isn't easy, and all you have to do is to just look at Fabinho and see his struggles. The German knew that Xherdan will be a success and he knew it because the Swiss international had 3 things going for him right from the start. Acquired on the Cheap Acquiring Shaqiri on the cheap paid off to Liverpool in more ways than one. First Liverpool acquired a player of world class quality for literally next to nothing, a deal which you would struggle to find even at some very generous casinos listed at feedback casino. Getting him for less than €15 million was equal to an out-of-this-world jackpot. The second advantage to acquiring Shaqiri cheaply was that there was no pressure on him to justify that price tag. Players such as Fernando Torres, and recently Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, and Alvaro Morata have felt immense pressure to repay the money that the club invested in them which only hurt their performances. Played for Europe's Elite Shaqiri is still only 27, but has played for renowned clubs such as Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Basel in his illustrious career. He must have picked up only positive things at such highly competitive environments and Klopp must have felt like he won at the Slots Million when he found out that there was no competition from other big clubs to acquire the services of a player who played for some of Europe's top clubs. Point to Prove The fact that Shaqiri is still only 27 means that he will be in his prime during his Liverpool tenure. However, there's an additional factor which should make Liverpool fans confident that he will succeed - he is a player with a point to prove as he has never been given an adequate shot at the big stage in his career.
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