Match Preview: Liverpool v Sevilla

The Reds will return to Champions League action on Wednesday when they face Sevilla at Anfield.

Liverpool held by Sevilla in Champions League opener

Liverpool began their Champions League group stage campaign with a 2-2 draw with Sevilla at Anfield on Wednesday.

Match Day: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

Liverpool endured a frustrating afternoon at Anfield as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley on Saturday.

Goal Highlights: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

Liverpool is keen to make up for the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Liverpool eliminated from Carabao Cup at Leicester

Liverpool suffered elimination from the Carabao Cup at the third-round stage on Tuesday night as they were beaten 2-0 by Leicester City.

Shinji Okazaki came on as a second-half substitute to put the Foxes into the lead against the run of play after the Reds had dominated the opening period at the King Power Stadium.

The strike served to galvanise the home side – and they made certain of their place in the next round when Islam Slimani powered an unstoppable effort into the top corner as the clash ticked towards its finale, ending Jürgen Klopp’s side’s tournament hopes in the process.

Liverpool return to the same venue on Saturday tea-time for a Premier League encounter with Leicester, in which they’ll hope to end a run of four matches without a win.

The key points…

  • Okazaki comes off bench to put home tem in front on 64 minutes.
  • Slimani powers in second for Leicester on 78.
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain makes full debut for Liverpool.
  • Ings comes on for first appearance in 11 months after injury.

The team news…

Liverpool made eight changes to their starting line-up for the cup tie, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handed a full debut.

Elsewhere, Danny Ward, Dominic Solanke, Jon Flanagan and Marko Grujic also began, as did Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and Philippe Coutinho.

Danny Ings was named on the bench for the first time since October 2016.

The first half…

Despite the changes, Liverpool set about taking the game to their opponents from the off – and were almost ahead after just five minutes had elapsed.

Winning the ball back high up the pitch, Coutinho slid a pass into the path of Andy Robertson’s run into the area. The Scot steered it back into the centre, where Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived primed to turn it into the net; however, he was denied by an outstanding block by Ben Chilwell.

From the resulting corner, the Reds threatened again as Solanke made a nuisance of himself among a crowd of blue shirts, winning possession and drilling agonisingly across the face of goal from a tight angle.

Next, Coutinho bamboozled his way beyond three defenders and into the box, where a drive towards the near post was beaten away by Ben Hamer.

The Brazilian then had another attempt thwarted by the hosts’ goalkeeper before Solanke stabbed over the bar on the stretch when attempting to reach Robertson's latest centre.

The chances were being created frequently – even into first-half stoppage time, when a Coutinho prod presented Solanke with a chance, but he scooped over under pressure from Hamer.

Indeed, as the teams headed back to the dressing rooms, Liverpool’s attempts tally at goal stood at 13 to Leicester’s two.

The second half…

Ben Woodburn replaced Coutinho at the break and while the Reds maintained their first-half pressure in the early exchanges, the Foxes fashioned their best chance of the evening so far nine minutes after the restart when Demarai Gray’s low drive across goal had Ward momentarily worried.

And as the contest progressed, Craig Shakespeare’s side visably grew into it – and duly took the lead on 64 minutes.

A cleared corner was hoisted back into the danger zone, where Wes Morgan headed across into the path of Vicente Iborra. He nudged it back towards Okazaki, who diverted the ball low into the bottom corner.

Liverpool’s response saw Woodburn skim the roof of the net with a curler from the left-hand side of the box, while Ings was introduced for Wijnaldum.

The striker was close to an equaliser when he attempted to glance Woodburn’s cross around Hamer, but he couldn’t make the necessary connection.

However, Leicester’s influence on the game had continued to grow since making the breakthrough - and with 12 minutes left to play, they helped themselves to a second when Silmani cut in from the right and arrowed a powerful effort into the top corner, ending the Reds' hopes of progress in the competition.

Source: Official Liverpool FC

Monday, September 18, 2017

Goal Highlights: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

Liverpool is keen to make up for the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley.

||||||| by Ball-Control

Liverpool held to Burnley draw

Liverpool endured a frustrating afternoon at Anfield as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley on Saturday.

The Reds responded quickly to going behind to an early Scott Arfield strike, with Mohamed Salah clinically scoring at the Kop end within three minutes.

But the hosts were unable to find another goal in the remainder of the first half or the entirety of the second as the visitors held on for a point.

Key points

  • Arfield gives Burnley the lead
  • Reds equalise through Salah
  • Clarets' dogged defending frustrates

Team news

With the Reds coming into the game off the back of midweek Champions League commitments, Jürgen Klopp opted to shuffle his pack significantly.

The boss made seven changes to his starting XI, with Philippe Coutinho earning his first start of the season and Dejan Lovren missing out due to a sore back.

First half

Despite the reshuffle, the hosts started well, with Daniel Sturridge testing Tom Heaton's replacement Nick Pope with a low effort early before Salah had a penalty appeal waved away by referee Roger East.

But Burnley provided a response and, moments after a brilliant Andy Robertson challenge had denied Chris Wood, they were ahead.

The visitors won two successive headers before the ball dropped to Arfield, who had time and space in the centre of the box to bury his shot in the bottom corner.

Thankfully, Liverpool did not allow the concession of the goal to disrupt their rhythm, and it was for that reason they were quickly level.

Salah's diagonal run was brilliantly found by Emre Can, and the Egyptian showed coolness in chesting the ball down before slamming home.

The hosts continued to push as the break neared but saw efforts from Sturridge and Salah hit the side-netting and the goalkeeper respectively as Burnley held on.

Second half

The Clarets again struggled to get out of their own half when the second period resumed, with Sturridge and Coutinho taking advantage of the space in front of the box to take shots that went narrowly over.

Can then tested the 'keeper with an attempt from a similar area, before Sturridge followed suit after working space on his left foot.

Try as they might, though, the Reds couldn't break the deadlock - leading Klopp to call for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dominic Solanke with 78 minutes gone.

In the aftermath of those changes, an intricate move that ended in Trent Alexander-Arnold shooting at Pope looked to be the nearest they would come.

However, there was still time for Solanke to push a Salah cross onto the bar from close range, putting the seal on a day of frustration for the hosts.

Source: Official Liverpool FC

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Goal Highlights: Liverpool 2-2 Sevilla

Liverpool began their Champions League group stage campaign with a 2-2 draw with Sevilla at Anfield on Wednesday.

Goal highlights

Liverpool held by Sevilla in Champions League opener

Liverpool began their Champions League group stage campaign with a 2-2 draw with Sevilla at Anfield on Wednesday.

Goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, which came in reply to Wissam Ben Yedder’s early opener, ensured the Reds went in 2-1 to the good after a breathless first half that also featured a missed penalty by Firmino.

It appeared that Jürgen Klopp’s side were on their way to a win on matchday one, but Joaquin Correa’s 72nd-minute strike snatched a point for Sevilla.

Key points

  • Ben Yedder put Sevilla ahead in the fifth minute
  • Firmino equalised 16 minutes later
  • Salah’s deflected shot gave Liverpool the lead before the break
  • Firmino missed a penalty late in the first half
  • Correa levelled with 18 minutes left to play
  • Philippe Coutinho came on as a substitute soon after
  • Joe Gomez dismissed for second bookable offence in injury time

Team news

Klopp made three changes to his starting line-up, with Loris Karius, Dejan Lovren and Gomez coming into his team. Coutinho came off the bench in the 76th minute for his first appearance of the season.

First half

Roared on by a vociferous home crowd, the Reds began on the front foot and Emre Can tested Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico inside the first minute with a long-range curler.

However, the visitors’ first foray forward towards the Kop ended with them taking the lead through Ben Yedder, who converted Sergio Escudero’s low cross from close range.

Liverpool responded positively to that early setback, though.

Within four minutes of the opening goal, Georginio Wijnaldum had seen a shot deflected wide, Rico had got down well to deny Sadio Mane and Firmino had planted a header onto the roof of the net.

That initial wave of pressure subsided, but a moment of real quality drew Klopp’s team level in the 21st minute.

Alberto Moreno played a sharp one-two with Jordan Henderson and fed Firmino with an excellent delivery from the byline, with the Brazilian nonchalantly side-footing home from no more than six yards.

Anfield reverberated with noise and Can went so close to making it 2-1 almost immediately, the German dragging a shot wide following the kind of lightning-quick counter-attack that is fast becoming a hallmark of this Liverpool team.

But, shortly before the interval, the Reds were in front.

After losing possession, Salah quickly won the ball back from Steven N’Nonzi and tried his luck from distance, with his effort looping up off Simon Kjaer and over the stranded Rico.

It could have been even better for Liverpool before half-time, too, but Firmino struck the outside of the post with his penalty after Nicolas Pareja had felled Mane in the area before Rico palmed away Moreno’s attempt after another rapid break.

Second half

Understandably, the frantic tempo of the first period abated a little in the early stages of the second half.

Nevertheless, it was the hosts who still looked the most likely scorers and Rico had to be alert to tip Salah’s ambitious volley wide before Mane curled a left-footed attempt over the bar.

Wijnaldum then tested Rico with a stinging 20-yard drive, but Sevilla drew level 18 minutes from time when Correa finished smartly after collecting Luis Muriel’s pass.

That was Klopp’s cue to call for Coutinho, and the Brazilian came on to a loud welcome from the home faithful.

Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were also introduced as Klopp went in search of a late winner, but the Reds - who were reduced to 10 men in stoppage time when Gomez received a second booking - were forced to settle for a point in their Group E opener.

Source: Official Liverpool FC

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Match Preview: Liverpool v Sevilla

The Reds will return to Champions League action on Wednesday when they face Sevilla at Anfield.

We have a score to settle with the Spanish side after they beat us in the Europa League Final in 2016.

We started well that night, were 1-0 ahead at half time before we capitulated in the second half and lost the game 3-1. Ever Banega ran the show in midfield and Kevin Gameiro scored the important goals which won them the trophy.

There have been a few changes at Sevilla since then though. They have changed manager after Unai Emery moved to PSG. Gameiro has also moved to pastures new, whilst defender Adil Rami has moved to Marseille.

Banega has returned though, and he partners the impressive Steven N’Zonzi in the middle of the park. They’ve replaced Rami with Danish centre back Simon Kjaer and they still have the creativity of Pablo Sarabia and Joaquín Correa.

The additions of the ex-Manchester City duo Nolito and Jesus Navas gives them a few more options and in attack, they have the fantastic Wissam Ben Yedder and Luis Muriel, a player Liverpool were linked with a few years back.

Sevilla have started the season well in La Liga and currently sit third in the table, behind Barcelona and Real Sociedad. They are a dangerous side and I’m expecting a tough encounter this week.

From a Liverpool point of view, the game provides the perfect opportunity for us to redeem ourselves after the horror show at Man City… the least said about that the better!

It is important that we bounce back. Sadio Mane will want to do that and although I’m expecting a few changes for this game, Mane is sure to start due to his upcoming suspension in domestic games.

I think Jurgen Klopp will go with the same trio in the forward areas with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino joining Mane once again.

The dilemmas come defensively and in midfield. It’s expected that Loris Karius will replace Simon Mignolet between the sticks for the Champions League games. I don’t agree with it but it seems that’s what will happen.

I’d bring Joe Gomez in at right back as I feel Trent Alexander-Arnold has struggled a bit recently, against both Hoffenheim and City.

Dejan Lovren should return in place of Ragnar Klavan and I think maybe Andy Robertson will get a go at left back over Alberto Moreno.

The midfield will probably remain the same as it has been recently, with a healthy substitutes bench of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Philippe Coutinho and James Milner awaiting their chance.

Red's Fury™ Prediction:

Liverpool 2-1 Sevilla

Source: Read LiverpoolFC

Mane sees red, Liverpool suffered crushing defeat

10-man Liverpool suffered a first Premier League loss of the season as they went down 5-0 at Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime.

The Reds began the contest brightly at Etihad Stadium, but Sadio Mane’s sending-off for a high foot on goalkeeper Ederson just after the half-hour dealt their plans a decisive blow.

Sergio Aguero had earlier put City in the lead, while Gabriel Jesus grabbed a goal either side of half-time to add emphasis to their advantage.

Substitute Leroy Sane then added a further two as the contest edged towards its conclusion on a day to firmly forget for Jürgen Klopp’s side.

The key points…

  • Aguero gave City lead on 24 minutes after rounding Simon Mignolet
  • Mane sent off before half-time for challenge on Ederson
  • Jesus and Sane with a brace apiece also on target for hosts
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on at break for LFC debut

The team news…

Klopp made three changes for the contest from the line-up deployed last time out, with Mignolet, Ragnar Klavan and Trent Alexander-Arnold coming in for Loris Karius, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez. New signing Oxlade-Chamberlain was named on the bench.

The first half…

As the heavy rain made way for sunshine at the Etihad, the contest got off to a lively opening between two of the most attack-minded teams in the Premier League.

Both sides threatened in the early exchanges, with the hosts required to defend a series of testing set plays from the visitors, while Kevin De Bruyne’s run and low shot brought a save out of Mignolet.

The Liverpool goalkeeper was called into action again shortly after, this time turning Fernandinho’s skimming strike around the post.

At the other end, Roberto Firmino couldn’t connect properly with a brilliant centre from Jordan Henderson, while Emre Can’s long-ranger was padded down by Ederson.

Next, Mohamed Salah’s burst of speed saw him completely leave Nicolas Otamendi for dust on the right; however, his attempt to deceive and net at the near post was read by City’s stopper.

A goal at either end appeared inevitable – and it duly arrived in the 24th minute, though it was Pep Guardiola’s men who were to profit.

De Bruyne slid a pass between Joel Matip and Klavan for Aguero to run onto, and he made no mistake in rounding Mignolet and slotting into the empty net.

Liverpool’s attempt to muster an instant riposte saw Can strike a free-kick from inside the ‘D’ the wrong side of the upright.

Nevertheless, Klopp’s side should have restored parity on the half-hour when they sprung forward at pace once more and Mane slid Salah through on goal after a brilliant turn in the centre of the park. But the No.11’s attempt to steer around Ederson was too close to the ‘keeper, who was able to save.

The Reds were then on the receiving end of their own good fortune when Klavan conceded possession to Jesus near his own area. Mignolet denied the Brazilian’s eventual effort and, indeed, John Stones’ clear strike at goal from the resulting corner.

Seven minutes before the break, Liverpool’s hopes of taking something from the game were dealt a huge blow as they were reduced to 10 men. Mane’s challenge when attempting to beat Ederson to a ball over the top was deemed dangerous by referee Jonathan Moss, who issued a red card. After lengthy treatment, the Blues replaced their goalkeeper with Claudio Bravo.

And further disappointment was to be heaped upon the visitors before the break when Jesus headed in a close-range second for City.

The second half…

Klopp elected to bring on Oxlade-Chamberlain for his club debut at the interval, replacing Salah.

But any faint hopes of staging a comeback were dashed when Jesus hooked in a third goal for the hosts after Fernandinho put Aguero through on goal and he elected to square for his fellow frontman to net.

With a Champions League game in midweek to come, Liverpool introduced James Milner and Dominic Solanke to the action to replace the tiring legs of Georginio Wijnaldum and Firmino, with the pattern of play now having taken on an entirely different complexion to the first third.

And their disappointment was compounded by Sane adding a fourth and fifth towards the end for the home team.

Goal highlights...

Source: Official Liverpool FC

Friday, September 1, 2017

Mamadou Sakho completes transfer to Crystal Palace

Mamadou Sakho has completed a permanent transfer to Crystal Palace.

The France international moves to Selhurst Park after four years with Liverpool and having made 80 appearances for the club since signing from Paris Saint-Germain in September 2013.

Sakho’s first Reds game came against Swansea City later that month and he was involved on 17 more occasions during a debut campaign that ended with a second-place finish in the Premier League.

The centre-back, who scored three times for Liverpool in total, marked his final appearance with a goal in the Merseyside derby at Anfield in April 2016.

Sakho spent the second half of last term on loan with Palace, featuring in eight league matches to help the Eagles avoid relegation before sustaining an injury.

Liverpool FC wishes Mamadou the best of luck in his future career.

Source: Official Liverpool FC

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Juventus testing Liverpool with £23million deadline day bid for midfielder

The 23-year-old has entered the final year of his contract at Anfield but Liverpool have yet to secure a new deal for the midfielder, with negotiations currently at an impasse.

Juventus will make a final bid to sign Emre Can from Liverpool for £23million today.

Can has just over 10 months remaining on his Liverpool contract and is refusing to sign a new deal.

The Reds could lose him on a free transfer next summer, with Juventus his likely destination.

Juve have been public in their interest of Can, with director Beppe Marotta expressing his desire to snap up the German.

The Serie A giants are willing to wait until January to discuss a free transfer with the midfielder at the end of the season.

But Italian newspaper La Stampa claim a final move to sign Can on a permanent deal this summer will be lodged before today’s 11pm transfer deadline.

The reasoning behind this is Claudio Marchisio’s recent injury, which rules the Italian out for a month and leaves a space in Juve’s midfield.

Furthermore, the defending Serie A champions yesterday had a loan offer for Barcelona’s Andre Gomes knocked back by the Catalan club.

Can has started the season in fine form and scored twice in the Champions League playoff second leg defeat of Hoffenheim.

The 23-year-old remains in talks over a new contract at Anfield, but Liverpool could be tempted to cash in, aware that he could walk away for nothing next summer.

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club or Red's Fury™ blog.

Liverpool facing competition from Arsenal for French star

Arsenal have reportedly reignited their interest in Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, as rumours continue to gather pace about their forward Alexis Sanchez leaving the club.

Lemar has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool this week, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger suggesting a deal was "dead" for the France international, per Jack Austin of The Independent.

However, according to Sky Sports' Kaveh Sohekol, Arsenal are ready to make another effort to get the midfielder, with Manchester City chasing Sanchez:

It's been reported by Sky Sports' Guillem Balague there is hope from Arsenal's perspective that a deal for Lemar can be done:

It had previously been reported by Solhekol that Monaco were seeking to earn around €100 million (£92 million) from any potential sale of Lemar. According to Sami Mokbel (h/t Adam Shergold of the MailOnline), the Gunners have made an offer in the region of £90 million for the 21-year-old.

It's an amount that'd far outstrip the £60 million that'd potentially be picked up from the sale of Sanchez.

But according to Sky Sports News, Arsenal would not be willing to accept a straight cash offer for their star forward.

As noted in the piece, Raheem Sterling has previously been tipped as a potential makeweight in the deal. Balague suggested those stories are wide of the mark, though, with City boss Pep Guardiola keen to keep Sterling at the club:

If the Gunners were able to do a deal for Lemar at this late stage of the window then perhaps they would consider letting Sanchez leave.

After all, the Monaco man also operates off the left flank, too. Lemar is much more of a midfielder in style compared to Sanchez, though.

Convincing the French champions to sell at this point in the campaign will be a massive challenge for the Gunners, especially given they have already lost key men this summer in the form of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva. Additionally, Lemar is on international duty with France, who have a game on Thursday.

Sanchez's departure would leave a huge void at the Emirates Stadium and supporters disappointed. Lemar's arrival would help fill that gap to a degree and give the fans a bright future to look forward to if their attacking talisman was sold.

You sense a deal will need to be agreed for the latter before the former gets the switch he's seemingly keen on.

Source: Bleacher Report

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club or Red's Fury™ blog.

Divock Origi joins Wolfsburg on season-long loan

Liverpool FC can confirm that Divock Origi has completed a season-long loan move to Wolfsburg.

The Belgium international striker will spend the 2017-18 campaign with the Bundesliga outfit after a temporary switch was agreed between the clubs on transfer deadline day.

Origi made one appearance for the Reds this term, as a substitute in the opening-day meeting with Watford.

The 22-year-old, who signed for Liverpool from Lille in 2014 before spending a further year on loan with the French club, has scored 21 goals in 77 appearances for the Reds.

Source: Official Liverpool FC

Liverpool need to up their bid for Thomas Lemar

MONACO concede they could sell Thomas Lemar if a bid of £92million is tabled, according to Kaveh Solhekol.

Jurgen Klopp is eager to embark on a spending spree before the transfer window closes tonight (11pm).

Liverpool have been trying to fend off Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho and they have already rejected three bids.

While repeatedly suggesting Coutinho is not for sale, Klopp is desperate to ensure the Reds are not left flat-footed should the Brazilian leave.

Lemar has been strongly linked with a move to Anfield and reports emerged yesterday indicating the club had sent out a medical team in an effort to push through a deal.

Divock Origi has reportedly been offered to Monaco in a loan deal and the Anfield outfit are prepared to pay £74.4m for Lemar’s services.

But Sky Sports reporter Solhekol admits Monaco would struggle to reject a bid of £92m if it were tabled.

“Monaco say Liverpool target Thomas Lemar not for sale,” he tweeted.

“Every player has his price.

“Told Monaco would find it hard to turn down €100m (£92m).”

Liverpool made a statement signing when they clinched a deal for Naby Keita earlier this week from Red Bull Leipzig, although he won’t officially join until next summer.

The Reds meanwhile, are expected to confirm a deal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

A fee of £35m was agreed between them and Arsenal for the winger yesterday.

Source: Daily Express

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club or Red's Fury™ blog.

Liverpool complete signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Liverpool FC have completed the signing of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal.

The England international penned a long-term contract with the Reds after a medical was conducted at St George’s Park, where the 24-year-old is currently on duty with his country.

Oxlade-Chamberlain made 132 Premier League appearances for the Gunners during his six years in north London, and has 27 caps for the Three Lions to date.

The midfielder, the club’s fourth signing of the summer, bolsters Jürgen Klopp’s squad as Liverpool prepare to compete in three domestic competitions and the Champions League.

In a message to Reds fans after sealing the move, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “I’m currently away with England, so I’m at St George’s Park. Firstly, I’m delighted to have signed for Liverpool and a big thank-you to everyone here at the FA that has made this possible, using the facilities. It has been a massive help.

“I’m not going to say too much today; I’m here with England and we’ve got two big games coming up, so I want to focus on them. But I can’t wait to get to Melwood and you’ll hear first from me on LFCTV.”

Source: Official Liverpool FC

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Poll: Who will be joining Liverpool FC on transfer deadline day?

Thomas Lemar
Liverpool have seen two bids rejected for Lemar, including a club-record offer of £65million.

Monaco do not want to sell the winger after seeing a number of their top players leave the club this summer.

However, Solhekol claims he has been told “every player has his price” with regards to Lemar.

“They’ve made two bids for Thomas Lemar, both have been rejected by Monaco,” Solhekol said on Sky Sports.

“The second was a club-record £65million.

“Monaco under no pressure to sell, after all they are on course to raise over £300million from sales.

“Monaco want him to say but we are told every player has his price.

“Lemar wants a move but he’s not kicking up a fuss."

“He played all 90 minutes as Monaco beat Marseille 6-1 on Sunday. He’s currently with the France squad just outside Paris.”

Lemar has also been linked with Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Arsenal this summer.

Last week Gunners boss Arsene Wenger claimed a deal for Lemar was “dead” as Monaco were refusing to sell.

But that has not put off Liverpool, who remain keen on the 21-year-old.

Reports now claim Liverpool have offered Monaco £74.4million plus striker Divock Origi for Lemar.

Kerem Demirbay
KEREM DEMIRBAY could sign for Liverpool in the next 48 hours, according to Bundesliga expert Lee Price.

Price believes central midfielder Demirbay, 24, is on Jurgen Klopp's radar and a late move could be on the cards.

Demirbay made his Germany debut earlier this year after snubbing an offer to play for Turkey instead.

He grew up playing for the Borussia Dortmund youth sides when boss Klopp was in charge before progressing to represent Dortmund B.

Spells at Hamburg, Kaiserslautern and Fortuna Dusseldorf followed before he moved to Hoffenheim last summer, where he shone.

Price, who has written books the Bundesliga and Liverpool boss Klopp, understands Spurs, Chelsea and Bournemouth are all keen too.

He told Express Sport: "Demirbay is a player I've known of for a while but it's only the last couple of years he's really shown what he can do.

"The young midfielder impressed for Hoffenheim against Liverpool in the Champions League qualifier, and was seen chatting to Klopp at the end of the game.

"Spurs are thought to be leading the chase, as Liverpool have been concluding a deal for Naby Keita, while Chelsea have prioritised Danny Drinkwater of Leicester.

"But his links to Klopp, having spent two years at Dortmund as a youth, means Liverpool is an option.

"There's a long way to go before any deal is done but there's a genuine chance he could sign in the next couple of days to bolster the Reds' midfield choices.

"Bournemouth could offer first team football, invaluable in a World Cup year for a player on the fringes of the German national team, but who was a part of the successful Confederations Cup squad.

"Don't be surprised if he's a late mover."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
LIVERPOOL are prepared to hijack Chelsea’s deal to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to reports.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has made it clear to Arsenal he wants to leave before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

Liverpool and Chelsea both interested in signing the versatile midfielder.

But Express Sport understands Chelsea have stolen a march Liverpool by agreeing a £35m fee with Arsenal for his signature.

The 24-year-old is said to prefer a switch to Anfield but Antonio Conte is keen to bolster his midfield options with Oxlade-Chamberlain able to occupy the wing-back positions.

But the Irish Independent claim Liverpool could return with a bid of their own should they fail to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco.

The Reds have already had two bids rejected for the France international.

Monaco have repeatedly insisted Lemar is not for sale all summer with Aesene Wenger confirmed last week Arsenal had ended their interest in the left-sided winger.

However, Liverpool have stepped in to test Monaco’s resolve and are expected to return with a third bid.

Should they be knocked back once more, it is said the Reds will switch their attention back to Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Liverpool kicked off the week with a bang after sealing a club record deal of £48million to sign Naby Keita, who will move to Anfield next summer.

Virgil van Dijk
THE future of Virgil van Dijk took a turn with the bookies today in a dramatic few hours in the betting markets.

The market opened today at odds of 4/7 for Van Dijk to leave Southampton to join Liverpool.

Then, by 5.30pm this afternoon, traders at Sky Bet were spo convinced the Dutchman was on his way to Anfield they priced a move up at odds of 1/8.

That means punters would need to put £8 on the market to win just £1 back - and in layman's terms it's a dead cert.

But the price was then dramatically cut in as Sky Bet U-turned on their decision.

The odds rapidly lengthened from 1/8 to 2/5 in the space of less than two hours - suggesting bookies now think there's a fair chance Van Dijk is staying put.

The Southampton defender is desperate to leave Saints and is not short of offers.

But Mauricio Pellegrino’s side are publicly saying he won’t be sold before Thursday’s 11pm deadline despite him being exiled from the Argentine’s training regime.

Liverpool remain long-term admirers of Van Dijk and are thought to be prepared to smash their club-record transfer fee to sign him.

And according to the Independent, Van Dijk believes he still has a chance of joining Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

However, Southampton are refusing to do business with the Reds after the Merseyside outfit were accused of making an illegal approach to sign him earlier in the transfer window.

Van Dijk hasn't featured in any of Southampton's opening matches of the new season and has been training with the under-23 side.

But he hit back at claims he was refusing to train for the club after handing in a transfer request to force through a move away from St Mary's.

Since 2014, five players have left Southampton to join Liverpool.

Sadio Mane is the most recent former Saint to make the move up north to Anfield and he has since been a revelation in Klopp's side.

Possible transfer deadline target(s) for Liverpool FC

Thomas Lemar
Kerem Demirbay
Virgil Van Dijk
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
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Liverpool agree deal to sign Naby Keita

Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with RB Leipzig for the future transfer of Naby Keita.

The Reds have agreed a deal with the German club and the midfielder that will see the 22-year-old move to Anfield on July 1, 2018 following the conclusion of the current season.

Keita, a Guinea international, joined Leipzig from Red Bull Salzburg in 2016 and scored eight goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances last term to help them to a second-place finish.

“I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will allow me to join Liverpool Football Club next summer, when I will become part of a project that excites me greatly,” he said.

“My commitment to RBL remains absolute for the remainder of my time at the club. I have given my all every time I have worn the shirt – that will be the case until the final whistle, in my final appearance.

“Having my future resolved means I can now focus on helping RBL achieve great things this season. Until I join my new club, next summer, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance.”

Source: Official Liverpool FC

Dominant Reds put four past Arsenal

Liverpool produced another scintillating attacking display to defeat Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

Four days on from their dominant performance versus Hoffenheim, the Reds were arguably even more impressive against the Gunners as their irrepressible front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah all got on the scoresheet.

Firmino’s header and an outstanding effort from Mane ensured they went in two goals to the good at the interval, with Salah adding a breakaway third early in the second half before Daniel Sturridge came off the bench to nod in a fourth.

Seven points from their opening three Premier League games of the season mean Jürgen Klopp’s side head into the international break second in the table.

Key points

  • Firmino headed Liverpool into a 17th-minute lead.
  • Mane made it 2-0 shortly before the break.
  • Salah increased the Reds' advantage soon after half-time.
  • Sturridge came on as a sub to score a late fourth.

Team news

With Simon Mignolet rested, Loris Karius started in Liverpool’s goal, while Joe Gomez replaced Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back as Klopp made two changes to his starting line-up.

First half

Emre Can and Danny Welbeck exchanged early attempts on goal, with the Liverpool midfielder heading Alberto Moreno’s cross wide before the Arsenal forward miscued a shot over the crossbar after a dangerous central burst from Alexis Sanchez.

The decibel level increased around Anfield and the Reds responded by creating their first clear-cut chance in the 10th minute.

A slick one-two between Can and Firmino on the edge of the visitors’ penalty area put the former in position to aim a low cross into the path of Mohamed Salah, but Petr Cech somehow scrambled across his six-yard box to deny the No.11.

But Liverpool didn’t have to wait much longer for their opener.

Gomez won the ball back high up the pitch, traded passes with Can and swung in a left-footed delivery, which an unmarked Firmino nodded home with ease.

It was very nearly 2-0 two minutes later. Jordan Henderson swarmed over Mesut Ozil and won possession, but then lifted the ball over Cech and off target after being played in by Firmino.

Mane volleyed Georginio Wijnaldum’s knockdown around the half-hour mark, but made no mistake when rounding off a devastating Liverpool counter five minutes before the break.

A lightning-quick transition from defence to attack - which saw Wijnaldum, Can and Firmino work the ball up the pitch to Mane - ended with the Senegalese cutting inside Rob Holding and curling a low, right-footed effort beyond Cech for his third Premier League goal in as many games this season.

Second half

There was to be no let up after the interval, and it was the willingness of Klopp’s front three to press high that resulted in Liverpool’s third goal in the 57th minute.

Salah pounced on a loose touch from Hector Bellerin - who was left alone at the back as Arsenal took a corner - just inside the Reds’ half, surged away towards the Kop and coolly slotted past Cech from 12 yards.

Mane was within a yard of making it four when he slid an effort past Cech, but the Gunners cleared off the line.

That was the No.19’s final contribution before being withdrawn, to a fully deserved standing ovation, for Sturridge.

Sturridge made an immediate impact, too, as he nodded Salah’s cross in from close range following yet another brilliant team move from Liverpool, who have now won four consecutive matches in all competitions.

Goal highlights

Liverpool's Champions League fixture schedule

Liverpool's Champions League fixture schedule has been confirmed.

The Reds will kick off the group stage with a home tie against Sevilla on Wednesday September 13.

Jürgen Klopp’s side are then set to travel to Spartak Moscow and Maribor on Tuesday September 26 and Tuesday October 17 respectively.

The return meeting with Maribor at Anfield will take place on Wednesday November 1.

Liverpool will journey to Sevilla on Tuesday November 21 before wrapping up their Group E commitments at home to Spartak on Wednesday December 6.

Source: Official Liverpool FC

Thursday, August 24, 2017

UCL Play-off: Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim

Liverpool secured a place in the Champions League group stages with a 4-2 (6-3 agg) victory over Hoffenheim in the second leg of the sides' qualifier on Wednesday evening.

Emre Can netted either side of a Mohamed Salah strike as the Reds made a blistering start to proceedings on the long-awaited return of European nights at Anfield.

The Germans reduced the deficit shortly before the break when early substitute Mark Uth produced a clinical finish from what was a rare chance for the visitors in a one-sided 45 minutes.

But a less frantic second half saw Roberto Firmino tap in following good work from Jordan Henderson and effectively put the seal on Liverpool's return to Europe's elite cup competition despite Sandro Wagner's late header.

The key points…

  • Reds race into three-goal lead
  • Can (two) and Salah net in first 20 minutes
  • Uth pulls one back before half-time
  • Firmino goal in second half seals it
  • Wagner heads in late consolation

The team news…

Having made five changes for the weekend win over Crystal Palace, Jürgen Klopp reverted to the starting XI that had previously earned victory at Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

However, unlike in Germany, Andy Robertson and Daniel Sturridge took up two of the places on the substitutes' bench.

The first half…

The Reds wasted little time in signalling their intent, going close in the opening moments through a Salah header and a Sadio Mane one-on-one that was well saved.

As such, it was little surprise to see the opener come after just 11 minutes - and not until after Serge Gnabry had already seen a goal for the visitors ruled out for offside.

It came courtesy of Can, whose overlap was rewarded with a well-timed tee-up from Mane and a slight deflection on his side-footed finish.

The midfielder's intricate link-up with Alberto Moreno and Firmino was also key to the second, and resulted in the latter teeing up Gini Wijnaldum for a shot onto the post that was touched in by Salah.

And it was dreamland for the Reds in the 21st minute as Firmino's stand-up to the back post was met emphatically by Can to make it 3-0.

Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann responded to the onslaught by sending on attacker Uth - a move that was justified by the substitute's clinical finish from just inside the box moments later.

But Liverpool retaliated by crafting another big chance before the break, Firmino seeing a close-range effort from Salah's low cross saved well.

The second half…

The hosts' significant cushion set the tone for the start of the second period, with Klopp's men happy to sit deep and hit on the break.

And, as is so often the case, when the Reds did get the chance to spring, they did so at frightening pace.

One such counter ended in Wijnaldum blasting over after a one-two with Salah, while Mane saw a left-foot strike well parried in similar circumstances shortly after.

The Reds got it right eventually, though, with Henderson capitalising on a loose backpass to pinch the ball and teeing up Firmino for a pass into the net.

Hoffenheim refused to go down without a fight, and grabbed a consolation when Wagner rose highest to head in a deep cross in front of the visiting fans at the Anfield Road end.

But that could not take the shine off a comfortable victory for the Reds that put them back among Europe's elite.

Goal highlights…

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

UCL Play-off: Hoffenheim 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool took a step towards the Champions League group stages with a 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim in the first leg of the tournament play-offs on Tuesday night.

After a lively start, achtzehn99 spurned the chance to open the scoring when Simon Mignolet saved Andrej Kramaric’s penalty at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

And it was the Reds who did the break the deadlock when Trent Alexander-Arnold grabbed his first-ever goal for the club with a sensational long-range free-kick on 35 minutes.

In a keenly-fought contest, James Milner came off the bench to net Liverpool’s second, finding the top corner via a deflection off Havard Nordtveit.

However, with full-time approaching, Mark Uth’s drive pulled a goal back for Hoffenheim to give the Bundesliga side something to cheer ahead of the return meeting at Anfield next week.

The key points…

Mignolet saved Kramaric penalty after 12 minutes
Alexander-Arnold opened scoring with stunning free-kick
Milner grabbed second in final stages via deflection
Uth reduced arrears in 87th minute with clinical finish
Reds hold one-goal lead ahead of next week’s Anfield return
The team news…

Jürgen Klopp elected to select the same line-up as the one deployed at Watford in Saturday’s Premier League opener, meaning Alberto Moreno retained his place at left-back ahead of Milner, while Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah led the three-man attack.

The first half…

Spurred on by their vocal support, Hoffenheim started brightly at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

Indeed, just six minutes had elapsed when Joel Matip was required to produce an excellent defensive header to deny Serge Gnabry the chance to open the scoring after Kramaric had escaped into space down the right and crossed dangerously into the centre.

Soon after, a delivery from the left at a free-kick required a combination of Dejan Lovren and Mignolet to scramble it to safety.

But on 11 minutes, Hoffenheim were awarded a penalty after Lovren was deemed to have brought down Gnabry. Kramaric stepped up to do the honours, but his kick was repelled by Mignolet, much to the delight of the away contingent housed in the corner.

The contest was being played at frenetic speed – and the Reds fashioned their first chance soon after when Salah was sent clean through from a Firmino pass after Kevin Vogt had conceded possession; however, the No.11 slid wide of the post under pressure from recovering defenders.

Liverpool were slowly growing into the game – and 10 minutes before the break, they opened the scoring in quite magnificent fashion.

A trip on Mane 30 yards out in a central position presented an opportunity to strike towards goal, and it was Alexander-Arnold who took control, curling the ball around the wall and into the bottom corner for his first ever for the club.

It was some way to mark his European debut on what was only a 14th senior appearance for the 18-year-old Scouser.

Hoffenheim threatened to level just before the break, but Mignolet reacted well to block Gnabry’s turn-and-drive before Sandro Wagner scooped the rebound wide.

Then, in stoppage-time, Lovren headed a Moreno corner inches wide of the far post as a fast-paced opening 45 minutes came to a close.

The second half…

Liverpool should have added a second goal to their tally within just 90 seconds of the re-start, but Firmino was left holding his head in his hands after his close-range swipe from Mane’s run and pass was kept out by Oliver Baumann.

Soon after, the home team’s goalkeeper was needed to repel a low drive from Mane as the Senegal forward’s pace continued to trouble Hoffenheim.

As the half progressed, the German side began to exert pressure on their guests in an attempt to restore parity; Gnabry hooked a half-volley wide on 66 minutes following a flurry of corners.

But Klopp’s men responded with Salah having a low shot turned away by the boot of Baumann before the custodian saved from a Lovren header at a corner.

The Reds had earlier replaced Jordan Henderson with Milner – and with 14 minutes left, the vice-captain struck a potentially decisive goal in the tie.

The Merseysiders broke forward at pace from a quickly-taken free-kick and Firmino spread possession wide to the No.7 in space on the left side of the area. His ball towards the back post struck Nordtveit and looped into the top corner.

With the game edging towards its conclusion, Mignolet did well to keep out Uth’s snap-shot inside the box, while Mane skewed wide when played in by Salah at the other end.

But, with just three minutes left of normal time, Uth did give Hoffenheim hope when he chested down a ball over the top and drilled low across goal beyond Mignolet to reduce the deficit.

Liverpool were required to see out some nervy moments before the full-time whistle, not least when Kramaric headed over the bar in injury-time from a free-kick, but they did enough to ensure they hold the advantage going into next Wednesday’s Anfield second leg.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Match Day: Watford 3-3 Liverpool

Liverpool were held to a 3-3 draw by Watford in their opening game of the Premier League season on Saturday.

The visitors twice fell behind at Vicarage Road, but goals from each of Jürgen Klopp’s front three - Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah - appeared to have been enough to earn a hard-fought victory for the Reds.

However, Miguel Britos netted in injury time to ensure Watford claimed a share of the spoils.

Mane’s fine strike equalised Stefano Okaka’s early opener, but Watford regained their lead before half-time through Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Two goals in the space of two minutes shortly after the restart - the first a Firmino penalty and the second a poacher’s effort from competitive debutant Salah - turned the match on its head, only for Britos to level deep into stoppage time.

Team news

Alberto Moreno started at left-back for the Reds, while Salah, Mane and Firmino were deployed in Klopp’s forward line.

First half

Having enjoyed the majority of possession early on, the Reds fell behind in the eighth minute.

Dejan Lovren did well to divert Roberto Pereyra’s shot wide but the resulting corner led to the opening goal, as Okaka powered home Jose Holebas’ inswinging corner with his head.

Little of note occurred in the following 20 minutes, but the game burst into life around the half-hour mark.

Mane finished off some slick interplay after he’d stepped over Moreno’s pass and been played in by a clever Emre Can ball. The No.19 darted in from the left and classily side-footed into the far top corner.

Liverpool’s parity lasted just two minutes, though. Tom Cleverley’s low cross was half-cleared by Trent Alexander-Arnold and Doucoure was on hand to lash in the loose ball from eight yards.

Mane went close to levelling again in stoppage time - the forward nodded Firmino’s corner narrowly wide with Heurelho Gomes beaten - but Klopp’s side went in at the interval behind.

Second half

A strong start to the second period felt crucial if Liverpool were going to get back into the game - and that’s exactly what they got.

Indeed, by the 57th minute, the Reds were in front.

First, Firmino sent Gomes the wrong way from the spot after the Watford goalkeeper had felled Salah as he raced onto the Brazilian’s perfectly-weighted pass.

Then, Firmino latched on to Lovren’s over-the-top pass and lifted the ball over the advancing Gomes for Salah to bundle home in front of a raucous away end.

Watford were rocking and the hosts had the woodwork to thank for keeping their deficit at one goal when Alexander-Arnold’s 65th-minute corner was flicked onto the crossbar by Joel Matip.

Gomes then denied Lovren with a fine reaction save from another dangerous corner from Alexander-Arnold and Salah fired a half-volley over the bar after excellent work from Moreno.

The Hornets regained something of a foothold, but Liverpool were a constant threat on the counter and Salah shot into the side-netting in the 77th minute after he’d been fed by Mane.

It looked like the lack of a fourth goal would matter not for the Reds, but Britos’ late, late header meant the Hornets snatched a point.

Source: Liverpool FC Official

Match Preview: Hoffenheim v Liverpool (Champions League play-off first leg)

Tuesday's Champions League play-off first leg will be the first time Hoffenheim and Liverpool have met in the history of the two clubs, with a place in the group stages at stake for the winner of the tie.

To get the inside track on the story of Achtzehn99’s rise to prominence in Germany, spoke to Lutz Pfannenstiel, head of scouting and international relations for Hoffenheim and also the only player ever to play club football on all six continents.

At the turn of the century, Hoffenheim were a local amateur club playing in the fifth tier of German football and will now feature in the Champions League play-off stage for the first time after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga.

When asked to describe their remarkable journey, Pfannenstiel outlines the core philosophy which underpins Hoffenheim’s recent success.

“The club started to rise through the divisions from the year 2000 onwards,” he begins.

“In 2008 we finally reached the big goal to play in the highest tier of German professional football. The club’s philosophy is based on very strong youth development. The aim is to develop our own players from our academy to break into the first team.

“The recent years I would describe as learning how to be consistent and working hard to establish ourselves as a respected team in the Bundesliga.

“Last season we achieved our highest finish in club history and everybody in the club is excited to finally play European football.”

With the likes of Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund leading the way, the competition in Germany is intense.

So how does a relatively smaller club such as Hoffenheim compete with these teams? The answer lies in youth and developing from within.

“We have completely different financial possibilities [to these other clubs]. We need to keep on investing in our youth structure and we clearly see ourselves as a development club,” Pfannenstiel continues.

“It is normal that the big clubs will buy some of our top players, like a few months ago when we lost the two German internationals, Rudy and Sule, to Bayern Munich.

“However, we have enough talent in our academy and with Alexander Rosen, a very smart sporting director who will find more young talents ready to make the next step.”

One of the players to have moved on from Hoffenheim in recent years is, of course, Roberto Firmino.

Since joining Liverpool in the summer of 2015, the Brazilian has established himself as a key part of Jürgen Klopp’s side and took on the iconic No.9 jersey for the new season.

Having worked with the forward since his early days at Hoffenheim, Pfannenstiel reveals what it is that makes him such a special player.

“Roberto is a typical example for our philosophy. We found him in Brazil as a youngster when not many people knew about him,” he recalls.

“Firmino put a lot of extra work in, the coaches developed him into a top player and it was normal for us that he moved to a huge club like Liverpool.

“Firmino is not a typical Brazilian player – he took on a lot of the German mentality and I believe that his way of playing football fits perfectly with Jürgen Klopp’s style.”

Despite impressing since his arrival in England, Pfannenstiel believes we have yet to see everything Firmino has to offer, with plenty more still to come.

“I believe Roberto has already proved that he is a top player – but trust me, he will get even better,” he adds.

With Hoffenheim having lost only four Bundesliga games in 2016-17, the challenge awaiting Klopp and his players in their Champions League play-off is clear.

But what has been the reaction to the draw from the other side?

“The first reaction was, of course, ‘Why Liverpool?’, but looking at it realistically, I think it is a special draw,” says Pfannenstiel.

“Every player must be burning to play at Anfield. It is the biggest game in our club’s young history. Most experts see the Reds as the big favourites, but at the end of the day we are not travelling to Liverpool just to listen to You’ll Never Walk Alone. If you reach this point in the competition then you want to go all the way.

“Jürgen Klopp is a legend in Germany and is already on his way to becoming a legend in England. But at the end of the day, it is not Klopp versus a German club – it is Liverpool against Hoffenheim.

“It’s impossible to pick a single player who stands out – the whole squad is brilliant.”

While Klopp is a renowned figure in Germany following his time at Dortmund, Hoffenheim’s own German manager is forging a reputation as one of the leading young coaches in Europe.

Upon taking over in February 2016, Julian Nagelsmann became the youngest manager in Bundesliga history.

With Hoffenheim struggling and in danger of relegation, he led the team to seven wins in their final 14 matches to avoid the drop, and built on that momentum with a fourth-place finish last term.

Pfannenstiel emphasises just how pivotal the manager has been in turning the club’s fortunes around.

“Julian Nagelsmann is an outstanding coach. He has the unique talent to make every single player better,” he says.

“Since he took over we didn’t just start to win games, but we also started playing very attractive football. To play European football just underlines what an impact Julian Nagelsmann has had.”

The evolution of Hoffenheim has seen the club cemented as a fixture in the top tier of German football, with the next aim being to break into Europe.

Having risen through the divisions in such a short space of time, how do Achtzehn99 take that step?

For Pfannenstiel, it’s a case of staying true to the trusted methods which have worked so far – and to ensure that last season’s achievement becomes a regularity, not just a one-off.

“It is very difficult to top last season, but I think it is important that we continue to play the same kind of football and then the results will come naturally,” he concludes.

“It is vital to establish ourselves as a top-half side in the Bundesliga – but there is no point in creating unnecessary pressure by setting too many expectations.”

Source: Liverpool FC Official

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Premier League Asia Trophy: Liverpool beats Leicester City for the trophy

Liverpool rounded off their tour of Hong Kong by winning the Premier League Asia Trophy with a 2-1 victory over Leicester City on Saturday.

Islam Slimani headed the Foxes into an early lead from close range; however, Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah combined magnificently to enable the former to nod in an equaliser soon after.

Coutinho then got himself on the scoresheet with a stunning finish prior to the break, cutting in from the left and drilling into the far corner to ensure it was the Reds clinched the pre-season friendly tournament trophy.

In front of a near-40,000 crowd, a sizeable majority of which there in support of Jürgen Klopp’s side, Liverpool began strongly.

The zip of the Reds’ attacking play was raising decibel levels and causing Leicester problems, and Coutinho had Kasper Schmeichel worried with a trademark curler after just three minutes on the clock.

However, firmly against the run of play, the Foxes grabbed an early lead; after opening up their opponents down the left, Christian Fuchs delivered to the back post, where Slimani powered a header into the net from point-blank range.

Nevertheless, Liverpool didn’t waste any time restoring parity – and they did so via a goal of outstanding quality.

Initially collecting the ball wide right, Salah swapped passes with Trent Alexander-Arnold before moving inside. He then laid it square to Coutinho and continued to dart into the box.

The Brazilian took a touch before scooping a pass into the path of his teammate’s run, and Salah did the rest by heading beyond Schmeichel.

Then, 10 minutes before half-time, the Reds went close to taking the lead. Kasper Schmeichel’s punch under pressure at a Coutinho free-kick dropped invitingly for Georginio Wijnaldum, but his hook back towards goal bounced just wide of the upright.

Klopp was forced into a change just before the interval, with Alberto Moreno taking the place of James Milner due to a knock, but Coutinho gave cause for cheer when he struck a second with a trademark piece of quality.

Picking up possession on the left, the No.10 ducked and weaved his way beyond Leicester challenges before arrowing an unerring effort across goal and into the far corner.

However, that advantage could have been wiped out twice inside the opening three minutes of restart.

First, Jamie Vardy moved into space inside the box and steered his shot across goal but wide of the post, before he was thwarted in a one-on-one situation by Loris Karius on the edge of the area soon after.

At the other end, substitute Marko Grujic hooked a half-volley over the crossbar with an acrobatic effort, while Liverpool required another new introduction to the contest – Ragnar Klavan – to pull off a saving challenge to prevent Vardy from steering home a leveller after he’d again wriggled into a dangerous position.

There were to be no further opportunities of note for either team as the game edged towards its conclusion in sweltering conditions, meaning the Reds were the team lifting the Premier League Asia Trophy before heading back to Merseyside.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Premier League Asia Trophy: Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace

Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi scored as Liverpool booked a place in the Premier League Asia Trophy final with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in Hong Kong.

The second-half substitutes found the target with a sweetly-struck low drive on the turn and a close-range finish late on respectively to secure the result.

Jürgen Klopp’s side were in the supremacy for the majority of the contest at Hong Kong Stadium and fully merited progression to a meeting with Leicester City on Saturday.

Liverpool took authority from the off, using possession neatly as the Eagles adopted a deep backline and invited pressure.

And the first real chance was created in the 13th minute courtesy of a well-worked passing exchange between Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right edge of the box.

Daniel Sturridge’s clever movement fooled Scott Dann into allowing space for a strike that the Palace defender quickly recovered to block.

The Reds No.15 tried to lay on a goal three minutes later, drawing cheers from the crowd for an impudent flick back into Adam Lallana’s path from Jordan Henderson’s diagonal pass, but his teammate shot off target.

And the sold-out crowd – almost exclusively Liverpool fans – showed their class when the clock reached 21 minutes – paying tribute to Lucas Leiva with huge applause after the Brazilian left the club on Tuesday.

Mohamed Salah’s ability to burst past defenders was a regular feature of the half and the summer signing sent an effort swerving wide after cutting in to shooting territory.

For all of their dominance, though, Liverpool were indebted to Simon Mignolet’s reactions on 27 minutes as Andros Townsend slipped in Keshi Anderson, free inside the box, and his hit on the turn found the goalkeeper an obstacle.

Salah might have had a tap-in having knocked the ball around Dann with space to attack in behind but the centre-back committed a blatant foul to stop the Egypt international.

Sturridge then drew a diving save with a low prod from the left of the area towards the far corner and the half-time whistle was blown with the score still goalless.

There were a host of changes made in three stages by Klopp in the early minutes of the second half, with Mignolet the only player to continue on.

Among those introduced was Philippe Coutinho and it wasn’t long before the No.10 had combined at pace with James Milner to open up a trademark step infield and shot – only, his drive flew too high on this occasion.

Solanke, on the other hand, was clinical in the 61st minute.

Coutinho prompted the move with a pass into Origi outside the box and though the Belgian’s clip to his fellow forward presented a shooting chance, there was plenty still to do.

Yet Solanke made the conclusion look simple, his subtle turn and touch preceding a thumped finish on the angle across the face of goal – his first strike for the club.

Marko Grujic was inches away from doubling Liverpool’s lead with a typically fierce blast from around 25 yards, but Origi soon did from close range on 79 minutes to ensure his team’s place in Saturday’s final.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Midfielder wants to leave Leipzig for Liverpool

Liverpool target Naby Keita may have dropped a huge hint he sees his future at Anfield.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has pinpointed RB Leipzig midfielder Keita as a key element of his summer squad strengthening plans as he prepares for a return to the Champions League.

Liverpool are prepared to spend £70million on the Guinea international, who was voted the second-best player in the Bundesliga last season after helping his side finish runners-up to champions Bayern Munich.

While Keita has reportedly informed Leipzig of his desire to move to Liverpool, his club have been consistent in their public pronouncements the 22-year-old is not for sale at any price.

But the player has reignited speculation over his preferred route by 'liking' an Instagram post that includes him being mocked up in a Liverpool shirt.

Keita was congratulated by the guineebuzz account on being named the African player of the season following a vote on website StarAfrica's Orange Football Club, sponsored by the mobile phone operator.

Included in the montage was a photo of Keita in a Liverpool shirt along with his inclusion playing for the Reds in the FIFA 17 video game.

New Liverpool signing Mohamed Salah was among the players Keita beat to the award.

Source: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club or Red's Fury™ blog.

Pre-season friendly: Tranmere 0-4 Liverpool

Jürgen Klopp declared himself satisfied with his side's workout and performance as Liverpool recorded a 4-0 win at Tranmere Rovers in their first pre-season friendly of the summer.

The Reds struck twice in each half to secure victory at Prenton Park on Wednesday night, with goals coming from James Milner, Marko Grujic, Pedro Chirivella and Ben Woodburn.

Klopp elected to give 22 players a runout as his men took to the field for the first time in 2017-18 – and afterwards, spoke of his contentment with the display.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Liverpool ready to compete for Mbappe

Liverpool will go head-to-head with Arsenal in an attempt to pull off the most spectacular and unexpected transfer in their history should Kylian Mbappe decide to move to England rather than Real Madrid.

The French teenager is now the most wanted footballer on the planet and Jurgen Klopp is determined to be part of the conversation should Monaco agree to sell their star striker before the start of the season.

Liverpool have reportedly seen a staggering €100million offer for Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe rejected as they step up their pursuit of the youngster.

There’s no denying that the 18-year-old is the most in-demand player in Europe this summer, as after his exploits last season, he has stolen the attention of every top club around the major leagues.

With 26 goals and 14 assists in 44 outings in all competitions, Mbappe was crucial in helping Monaco win the Ligue 1 title as well as reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

There is a broad expectation 18-year-old Mbappe will go to Real Madrid, who have the finances to outbid any competitors. It is rare for any player to reject the overtures of the Bernabeu club once they have been identified as the number one target. It is difficult for any player to say no when Madrid call and French media have today reported meetings between Mbappe and Real coach Zinedine Zidane in which he has been assured of a starting place.

But Liverpool, like Arsenal, have investigated whether Mbappe would prefer a move to the Premier League at a club where he can be guaranteed game time and patience. It is felt career progress rather an immediate desire to become a Galactico is Mbappe’s priority, even if Madrid remain clear favourites and the most likely winners of the pursuit.

Should Mbappe decide it is too soon to move to the Spanish giants, Liverpool are prepared to spend big to get him. Unlike Arsenal, they could be playing Champions League football this season, although they also know Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea would make rival offers if what currently seems like a fantasy evolved into reality.

The Reds are monitoring the situation and have registered their interest in the player.

Source: The Telegraph

Image credits to AFP.

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club or Red's Fury™ blog.

Liverpool to spend £70million on a Guinea international midfielder

Every player has their price. But sometimes that price is very high. Very high indeed.

According to German newspaper BILD this morning, Naby Keita could cost Liverpool around £70million to prise from RB Leipzig.

The Bundesliga club are determined not to sell, and the price-tag reflects their stance.

Jurgen Klopp has made Keita a priority target as he looks to add to his options in the centre of midfield this summer.

The Bundesliga ace has put in a series of impressive performances this season, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists in just 29 league starts.

His fine performances have helped Leipzig qualify for the Champions League after finishing as runners-up to title winners Bayern Munich.

Jürgen Klopp has identified the 22-year-old central midfielder as a key target after completing the £39million club record signing of the Egypt international Mohamed Salah from Roma last week.

Despite Leipzig’s sporting director, Ralf Rangnick, and chief executive, Oliver Mintzlaff, publicly insisting that neither Keïta nor the Sweden forward Emil Forsberg will be sold, Leipzig are believed to be demanding £70million for Keïta, who joined for around £10million last year.

“It would be negligent to give away one of our key players now,” Mintzlaff said last week. “Emil and Naby are both extremely talented players with a lot of potential. We are delighted that we as a club can keep up with their development and that we can prove ourselves in Champions League in the upcoming season.”

That sort of figure is likely to price the Reds out of a move but it remains to be seen if Liverpool can negotiate that figure down.

Image credits to Jens Meyer/AP.

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club or Red's Fury™ blog.

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