Jurgen Klopp “loses respect” for critics of Liverpool’s defensive efforts

ThisIsAnfield.com - 3 hours 30 min ago

Jurgen Klopp has reacted angrily to those who have questioned Liverpool’s defensive qualities, admitting he loses respect for those highlighting it.

The Reds won 2-1 against West Brom on Saturday, but another set-piece goal let in left many criticising that area of Liverpool’s play.

Gareth McAuley’s header was the 17th time they have conceded in such fashion since Klopp’s arrival last October.

The negative focus this aspect of Liverpool’s game has received has not gone down well with the 49-year-old, who says he is largely delighted with his side’s defensive performances.

“I heard [criticism] a few times, but I lose respect when people say this,” Klopp told the reporters at Anfield.

“That’s not important because I do not have to respect everybody and I don’t need most of the people.

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“I’m the coach of this team, I’m really close to them. I see all the games from quite a good perspective.

“We defended well against United, brilliant, and then against West Brom it was so difficult but we have no defensive problem.

“We needed to be really aggressive to defend their long balls from the first moment without making fouls. That’s quite a challenge but they did brilliantly.

“When the ball is in the air, [Salomon] Rondon wants the ball or a foul, so Dejan and Joel were outstanding.”

 Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp hugs Emre Can after the 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s fighting talk will no doubt provoke further criticism, but he believes the goals Liverpool are now conceding are not the same as they were in 2015/16.

“It’s good that people can talk about something,” he continued.

“Do you believe we work on it? Really, really work on it. Yes? But then there is another team and did you see who was in it.

“They are all my size and then they brought the set-piece specialist on (Chris Brunt) who was injured for a long time. They are brilliant at set-pieces.

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“When people say we have some issues with set-pieces, how can I say they are wrong? I think 70 percent to 80 percent of the goals we concede are set-pieces but they’re all different and we’re still working on it.

“It’s not the same problem we had last year, when whoever was scoring against us. I understand but I can promise we work on it.

“But I like it more than they all creating chances like they want to because we defend crazy.

“I’m fine with this but only for the moment. But today I don’t care they got a goal like this. We won and it was well deserved.”

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp shakes hands with West Bromwich Albion's head coach Tony Pulis before the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp also discussed Tony Pulis’ post-match comments about Liverpool having a “free run” on the title this season with no European commitments, playing it down in his normal care-free style.

“Are they involved in Europe? I played in Europe before and it never stopped us actually doing what we had to do,” he added.

“Playing good football is a big advantage, having good players is a big advantage.

“Not playing in the week can be a big advantage when you take injury worries out of it. You need to use the extra time for training.

“Where it will lead us to I have no idea. From December, January time, a few other teams will not have Europe and we will start again.

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“I’m not sure if it was nice, or a compliment or something or just to make pressure on us but thank you. I will tell the players!”

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“Time flies when you’re having fun” – Adam Lallana on reaching Liverpool century

ThisIsAnfield.com - 3 hours 46 min ago

Adam Lallana brought up his Liverpool century on Sunday and admitted “time flies when you’re having fun.”

The 2-1 win over West Brom at Anfield was Lallana’s 100th appearance for the Reds, a notable landmark for the former Southampton player.

Having initially struggled for consistency under Brendan Rodgers, the 28-year-old has become a cornerstone of the Jurgen Klopp regime.

The German’s all-energy approach has played to the England international’s strengths and he is relishing linking up with the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

“Time flies when having fun and doing what you love,” said Lallana.

“I’m just delighted to be playing in a team that’s doing well. When I first joined it was a different manager and lots of different personnel, but football clubs move on.

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“Looking at the squad we’ve got dynamic players, technical players, quick players, clever players…on another day it could have been three or four nil against West Brom.

“We work for each other and we’ve just got to be consistent.

“But we did enough to get the win and that was the main thing.”

Lallana also felt the result against Albion made good on a battling point against rivals Manchester United five days earlier.

“I thought we did well on Monday night and talking among the players we were disappointed not to win,” he said.

“So it was important to back that up and, for me, that makes the point on Monday a very good one. Three points is massive for us.”

The Reds have now taken 17 of the last 21 on offer and have established themselves among the Premier League pace-setters.

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia in action against West Bromwich Albion's captain Darren Fletcher during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But one man who knows plenty about lifting trophies, West Brom’s former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher, poured a dash of cold water on title talk.

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“I think they’ll be one of the teams…they’re doing alright,” was the low-key assessment of the former Red Devil.

“Whether they can go and win the league remains to be seen. Obviously they’ve started the season well but there’s a long way to go.

“Leagues aren’t won in October and November, they’re won March to May. There’s a long, long way to go.”

Fletcher went on to suggest there was a method to overcome Klopp’s favoured high press, and bemoaned the fact the Baggies did not adopt it earlier.

“[The press] is hard but you know it’s coming. You can get success if you can play out and miss that press,” said the Scot.

“Once you play it square two or three times it’s suicidal because as soon as they lose it they bunch together in fives and sixes.

“Can you get to break the line? If you do you almost bypass five or six of them.

“We did that better in the second half. From 2-0 down, some teams might roll over here but we stuck to the task.”

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Steven Gerrard in talks with Liverpool over return in coaching role

ThisIsAnfield.com - 3 hours 52 min ago

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard could be set for a return to the club in a coaching capacity, according to reports on Sunday.

Paul Joyce of the Express reports that “Jurgen Klopp has paved the way for the former captain to rejoin the club he served with such distinction when he is ready.”

Gerrard is currently plying his trade at LA Galaxy in the United States, but his relatively short stay there will end once the MLS season is done and dusted.

Although the 36-year-old has not officially announcement his retirement from playing football, it is believed he will not move to another club once his Galaxy contract ends.

Gerrard’s potential new role at Liverpool is reportedly still being discussed within the club, but he has already started his UEFA coaching badges.

Should his rumoured return to Anfield come to fruition, it would be another major moment in the midfielder’s unrivalled relationship with the Reds.

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He made his debut in 1998, having shone throughout the youth teams, and went on to establish himself as arguably the greatest player in the club’s history.

 Liverpool's Steven Gerrard lifts the European Cup after beating AC Milan on penalties during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gerrard captained Liverpool for 12 years, between 2003 and 2015, and inspired the Reds to Champions League glory in 2005.

In total, he made 710 appearances and scored 186 goals, and the service he gave to the club means a return should always have been on offer.

Klopp is not one to simply cave in in situations such as these, however, so he clearly feels a Gerrard return can only be beneficial.

The German recently echoed that sentiment, saying “nobody should be worried that we don’t have space for Steven Gerrard. Everything will be fine, 100 percent.”

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Kevin Stewart, Ben Woodburn & Trent Alexander-Arnold in line for new Liverpool contracts

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 19:43

Liverpool youth trio Kevin Stewart, Ben Woodburn & Trent Alexander-Arnold are all set to sign new contracts with the club.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has proved his faith in youth throughout his 12 months on Merseyside so far, and each of Stewart, Woodburn and Alexander-Arnold all played a key role for the first team during pre-season.

While they are yet to break through into the senior side on a regular basis, Klopp looks to have acknowledged their importance to the club’s future, with a slew of new contracts in the offing.

According to the Mail‘s Joe Bernstein, Stewart, Woodburn and Alexander-Arnold will all be confirmed to have signed new deals in the near future.

This comes despite Stewart only extending his terms in February, but his strong performances in the second half of 2015/16, and the positive signs shown against the likes of Barcelona over the summer and on the training ground this season, have clearly spurred another renewal.

Stewart is said to have agreed a deal that will keep him at Anfield until 2021, adding a further year onto his current contract.

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Meanwhile, 17-year-old Woodburn is due to put pen to paper on his first professional contract with the club, which the Liverpool Echo have previously reported to be a three-year deal—the longest possible for a player his age.

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in action against Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Broadhall. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alexander-Arnold, 18, signed his first professional deal this time last year, but his rapid rise through the ranks has prompted an improved offer from the club.

Both Woodburn and Alexander-Arnold have been promoted to the Liverpool Under-23s on a permanent basis this season, while the latter featured on the substitutes’ bench for the Reds’ opening-day victory over Arsenal in the Premier League in August.

Speaking to This is Anfield in September, Alexander-Arnold highlighted his ambition to break through to the senior squad under Klopp.

“[I need to] keep working hard, keep trying to learn and do the right things and try and do the things in training [Klopp] wants me to do,” he explained.

“With time I’ll mature and then I should be fighting for places.”

This new contract could be the next step towards doing so, as Liverpool look to tie down their most promising young players and secure the future of the club for the long term.

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Celta Vigo 4-1 Deportivo La Coruna

BBC Sport - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 18:49
Iago Aspas scored one goal - against Oldham in the FA Cup - in 15 appearances for Liverpool

Iago Aspas scored twice as Celta Vigo beat La Liga rivals Deportivo La Coruna 4-1 in the Galician derby.

Former Liverpool striker Aspas scored from the penalty spot on the hour to put Celta 2-1 up after Raul Albentosa had cancelled out Hugo Mallo's opener.

Fabian Orellana added a third for Celta in the 78th minute before Aspas, 29, sealed the win with his second of the match seven minutes from time.

Aspas scored once in 15 appearances for Liverpool in the 2013-14 season.

Liverpool signed Aspas from Celta for £7m in June 2013 but he struggled to make an impact and was sold to Sevilla.

He rejoined Celta for a second spell in June 2015 and scored 14 goals in 35 appearances in La Liga last season.

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Photos: Liverpool U23s beat Everton in mini-derby

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 18:45
Liverpool U23s came out on top in the mini-derby against Everton this afternoon, with the young Reds winning 2-0 at Prenton Park.
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Photos: Liverpool U23s beat Everton in mini-derby

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 18:45

Liverpool U23s came out on top in the mini-derby against Everton this afternoon, with the young Reds winning 2-0 at Prenton Park.

Brooks Lennon and Harry Wilson struck in the second half to earn all three points for Michael Beale's team, who now sit second in the Premier League 2 table.

Our full match report is available here, while you can also relive the action from an entertaining contest with our photo gallery below.

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Match report: Lennon and Wilson on target as U23s win mini-derby

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 17:55
Second-half goals from Brooks Lennon and Harry Wilson earned Liverpool U23s a 2-0 victory over Everton in a hard-fought mini-derby this afternoon.
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Match report: Lennon and Wilson on target as U23s win mini-derby

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 17:55

Second-half goals from Brooks Lennon and Harry Wilson earned Liverpool U23s a 2-0 victory over Everton in a hard-fought mini-derby this afternoon.

Michael Beale’s side went into the Premier League 2 clash at Prenton Park five points behind David Unsworth’s table-topping Blues, but an excellent performance reduced that gap and moved the young Reds up to second in the standings.

Beale made five changes from Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Manchester United, with the likes of Danny Ings, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria training at Melwood ahead of the first team’s EFL Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur this week.

And, after an evenly-matched first half, it was Lennon, one of the players brought into the starting line-up, who gave Liverpool the lead a minute into the second period with a towering header from Joe Maguire’s inch-perfect cross.

Wilson then continued his fine goalscoring form this season with a superb low drive from the edge of the area with 14 minutes remaining to seal an impressive win for Beale’s team, who are back in action against Manchester City on Friday.

Both sides traded attempts on goal in an entertaining, high-tempo opening to the game. 

A rapid early Liverpool counter involving Ben Woodburn and Lennon ended with Wilson curling over the bar, before Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin nodded wide at the other end.

Blues defender Jonjo Kenny had to be alert to block Woodburn’s drilled effort in the 20th minute, and Everton should have taken the lead a little over 60 seconds later when Gethin Jones shot wide from close range.

Liverpool captain Wilson forced Everton goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt into an excellent save after a sharp one-two with Cameron Brannagan five minutes before half-time, but the Reds were ahead almost immediately after the break. 

Maguire sent in a devilish outswinging cross from the left and Lennon climbed highest to power an unstoppable header beyond Hewelt.

Liverpool dealt well with Everton’s strong response to falling behind, but Beale had Kamil Grabara to thank for maintaining his team’s advantage when he reacted quickly to deny Kenny with 20 minutes left.

And Wilson duly doubled the Reds’ advantage in some style, as Pedro Chirivella’s free-kick was only half cleared and the 19-year-old Welshman fired home a perfectly-executed half-volley from 20 yards.

Brannagan almost added a third late on following another lightning break, but Liverpool were left to settle for a 2-0 win as the midfielder’s shot crashed off the crossbar.

Liverpool U23s: Grabara, Randall, Maguire, Ilori, Sakho, Virtue, Chirivella, Brannagan (Paulo Alves), Wilson, Lennon (Juanma), Woodburn (Gomes).
Unused substitutes: Whelan, Firth

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Liverpool U23s 2-0 Everton U23s: Lennon & Wilson fuel Merseyside derby victory

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 17:52

Goals from Brooks Lennon and Harry Wilson sealed a 2-0 victory for the Liverpool U23s over city rivals Everton U23s on Sunday.

Liverpool U23s 2-0 Everton U23s

Premier League 2, Prenton Park
October 23, 2016

Goals: Lennon 49′, Wilson 77′

After the first team and Under-18s both enjoyed success over West Bromwich Albion and Derby County respectively on Saturday, Michael Beale‘s U23s took to Tranmere on Sunday afternoon.

Beale fielded a strong starting lineup, with Mamadou Sakho, Tiago Ilori, Pedro Chirivella, Cameron Brannagan and Ben Woodburn among those to feature.

On a run of five Premier League 2 games unbeaten, the U23s will have been desperate to keep it going against their bitter rivals, and they did so emphatically.

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 Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho in action against Everton during the Mini-Derby FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Sakho, Ilori, Chirivella, Brannagan and Woodburn all involved
  • Young Reds dominate first half but fail to score
  • Lennon puts Liverpool 1-0 up with great header after break
  • Wilson adds to tally with fine volley from range
  • Grabara in strong form between the sticks to keep clean sheet

Liverpool made a bright start at Prenton Park, with Woodburn, Lennon and captain Wilson all combining to create an opening in the early stages, but the latter missed the target.

With Connor Randall providing great support down the right flank, the 21-year-old sent a number low crosses into the box, most notably when played in by a great ball from Matty Virtue, but he couldn’t find a team-mate.

However, when Wilson drifted wide to benefit from some perseverance from the experienced right-back, the Reds created their best opening.

Receiving the ball, Brannagan played the Welshman through on 41 minutes, but Toffees goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt got across to make the stop.

Everton midfielder Kieran Dowell had a great chance to put his side 1-0 up before half-time after Sakho conceded a foul on the edge of the box, but his free-kick sailed over and referee Thomas Bramall blew for the interval.

 Liverpool's captain Harry Wilson celebrates scoring the second goal against Everton during the Mini-Derby FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Beale will have been full of praise for his side at half-time, and the U23s manager enjoyed the fruits of the Reds’ dominance early into the second half, with Lennon rising to head home a cross from left-back Joe Maguire.

Another smart pass from Maguire opened up the Everton defence after the hour mark, but despite finding Woodburn in the penalty area, the youngster’s cutback was easily cleared.

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Polish goalkeeper Kamil Grabara was forced to make a smart save shortly after, diving to thwart Jonjoe Kenny after the ball fell to the Everton youngster in the penalty area following a corner.

But it wasn’t long before the Reds were 2-0 up, with Wilson producing another moment of pure brilliance, firing a 20-yard volley low and beyond Hewelt.

Grabara, a clear star of the future, made another great stop after the ball deflected off Ilori in the penalty area, with the Pole inspiring Liverpool to hold on for a priceless derby victory.

 Liverpool's captain Harry Wilson celebrates scoring the second goal against Everton during the Mini-Derby FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

TIA Man of the Match: Harry Wilson

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Liverpool U23s: Grabara; Randall, Ilori, Sakho, Maguire; Virtue, Chirivella; Wilson, Brannagan (Alves 88′), Woodburn (Gomes 86′); Lennon (Juanma 90+3′)

Subs not used: Firth, Whelan

Everton U23s: Hewelt; Kenny, Robinson (Dyson 61′), Holgate, Connolly; Davies, Walsh, Dowell, Charsley (Duffus 71′), Jones; Calvert-Lewin

Subs not used: Renshaw, Varney, Sambou

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Next Match: Manchester City U23s (A) – Premier League 2 – October 28

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Jurgen Klopp considering rotation for League Cup clash with Tottenham Hotspur

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 17:16

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is considering whether to rotate his side for Tuesday night’s League Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds welcome Mauricio Pochettino’s side to Anfield for their round-of-16 clash, and coming just three days after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion, Klopp could make changes.

That is according to the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce, who suggests the German is contemplating handing a handful of young stars and peripheral figures an opportunity.

This comes after Trent Alexander-Arnold, Marko Grujic, Kevin Stewart, Ovie Ejaria and Danny Ings were all left out of the Liverpool Under-23s’ squad to take on Everton on Sunday afternoon.

Mamadou Sakho, Tiago Ilori, Connor Randall, Pedro Chirivella, Cameron Brannagan and Ben Woodburn all featured against the Toffees, however, suggesting they won’t be considered for Tuesday night.

Speaking before Saturday’s clash, Klopp noted the absence of Grujic, Stewart and Ings from his matchday squad against the Baggies as a testament to the quality in his squad.

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Tuesday provides him with the chance to utilise this depth, with Pearce also reporting that Ragnar Klavan, Lucas Leiva, Alberto Moreno, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge could also be included.

Klopp has made few changes to his sides between the Premier League and the League Cup so far, but with Pochettino set to field some of his youth players on Merseyside, he could follow suit.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino before the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“For me, they are not kids or boys—they are players, [who can] show and prove that they can compete and have the quality to stay in the first team,” Pochettino said at the beginning of October.

“It is the same to play against Gillingham at White Hart Lane and against Liverpool at Anfield.

“They need to show. We believe in them and if my team is the same as against Gillingham or some changes, they need to prove they have quality.

“You know, always the big, big players start their career and they need to make their debut sometimes in a difficult place like Anfield.”

Nevertheless, Klopp will be eager to seal victory, and will still name a strong starting lineup against Spurs.

But the ability to rotate showcases both his positive work in the transfer market, and the swathes of quality on the rise within the club’s academy.

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Jurgen Klopp ‘not satisfied’ despite Liverpool’s domination of West Brom

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 16:16

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists it takes more than an easy-on-the-eye victory over West Brom to leave him fully satisfied.

The German saw his side dominate the Baggies at Anfield, with man-of-the-match Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane giving the hosts a deserved 2-0 lead at half-time.

But they failed to add to their tally in the second period and a late Gareth McAuley goal resulted in an unexpectedly tense finish.

Three points places the Reds firmly among the Premier League pace-setters but Klopp is not easily contented.

“My problem is I don’t know when I was last time satisfied, maybe 2012 after we won the double with [Borussia] Dortmund…for five seconds,” he told BBC Sport.

“That’s a real problem. Being satisfied is nothing I need.

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“I want only to see that we do what we have to do. As long as we do this it’s okay, but that’s our job.”

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the supporters after the 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s high standards will surely serve his side well as the season progresses but they did not stop him taking any pleasure from a display that could easily have yielded a more handsome result.

“I was pleased with the performance, pleased with the result and nobody was injured,” he said.

“It was a really good game from my side. It’s what we have to do, that’s how life is, you have to use your skills or it is a waste of time.

“But this kind of football is not a guarantee of something, there’s different things in different games and you need to be ready all the time.

“In other games we will be more under pressure and we need a plan for this, the work never stops.”

Defeat left Albion three points above the relegation places and manager Tony Pulis, who was frustrated by the club’s summer transfer work, is already looking forward to the January window.

“I think it’s a better group than what it was when I first came in and next window it’s important we improve again,” he said.

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“We know where we want players and we know where the team needs players. We’ve got to focus on that and get them in.”

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Philippe Coutinho magic catches the eye – Fans’ Man of the Match vs. West Brom

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 16:10

Philippe Coutinho produced the pick of the performances in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Goals from Coutinho and Sadio Mane sealed another win for Jurgen Klopp‘s freewheeling Reds, extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine games.

In the league, Liverpool have not lost since August 20, taking 20 points from nine games to impose themselves on the top-four battle.

Saturday’s performance was littered with individual brilliance, and with Liverpool supporters rating their contributions after the game, Coutinho stood out as Man of the Match.

The 24-year-old was rated at 8.8 out of 10, in line with This is Anfield’s rating of 9.

Coutinho’s compatriot, Roberto Firmino, was also highly favoured, receiving a rating of 8.4, while Mane, their attacking cohort, was given an 8.1.

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Mane’s fellow summer signing, Joel Matip, and Adam Lallana, one of the standout players of the season, were both rated at 7.8, with Dejan Lovren (7.3), Jordan Henderson (7.3), Nathaniel Clyne (7.2), James Milner (7.2 and Emre Can (7.1) also well received.

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius during the FA Premier League match against Manchester United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goalkeeper Loris Karius was the only player to start the game to be handed a rating lower than 7, and while the German looks to be improved, he was deemed a mere 5.9.

Substitutes Lucas Leiva (5.9) and Divock Origi (5.8) also failed to breach the 6 mark, though their combined seven minutes on the field is an indicator of their muted rating.

However, Georginio Wijnaldum, who replaced Lallana with 11 minutes to play, was given a rating of 6.7.

Overall, Klopp’s starting lineup were rated at an average of 7.54, marking a significant improvement on Monday night’s average of 6.07, following Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United.

After an excellent display from his side against the Baggies, Klopp will now turn his attention towards a League Cup round-of-16 clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night, looking to seal passage to the quarter-finals.

Whether the German opts to rotate his squad or not remains to be seen, but he will demand a similar level of performance at Anfield once again.

Note: Ratings correct at time of writing, read ours and let us know yours here.

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Roberto Firmino & Philippe Coutinho named in Brazil squad for November

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 14:30

Liverpool duo Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho have been called up to Tite’s Brazil squad for their upcoming clashes in November.

Brazil take on Argentina (November 10) and Peru (November 16) as they look to seal their place in the World Cup in 2018.

Tite, who took over from Dunga in June, has overseen four victories in his first four games as manager, most recently against Bolivia and Venezuela in the October international break.

Firmino and Coutinho both scored in a 5-0 win over the former, and this has clearly established them as regular fixtures under the 55-year-old.

Both have been included in Tite’s latest squad, marking a second consecutive call-up for Firmino, who was previously overlooked by both Dunga and his successor.

Manchester City’s Fernandinho and Chelsea’s Willian are the only other representatives from the Premier League, though Gabriel Jesus, Brazil’s new star striker, will officially join City in January.

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Firmino and Coutinho will also be joined by the likes of Dani Alves, Marcelo, Thiago Silva, Douglas Costa and Neymar, as well as former Chelsea left-back Filipe Luis and ex-Tottenham Hotspur man Paulinho.

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the first equalising goal against Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With both Firmino and Coutinho set to depart for duty next month, Jurgen Klopp will be left without two of his key men as he continues training throughout the break.

The German was able to call upon the likes of Loris Karius, Joel Matip, Lucas Leiva, James Milner, Alberto Moreno, Emre Can and Danny Ings at Melwood during the last interval.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel Clyne, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren were also present, undergoing treatment for injuries.

Firmino and Coutinho both returned fully fit after their time with Tite’s squad, and both started in the Reds’ 0-0 draw with Manchester United, before going on to star in Saturday’s 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.

Klopp will be hoping for a similarly positive break for his key men, with Liverpool set to take on Southampton away after the break on November 19.

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Yan Dhanda & Bobby Adekanye score in Liverpool U18s’ 5-1 win over Derby County

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 13:20

Promising duo Yan Dhanda and Bobby Adekanye were among the scorers as the Liverpool Under-18s thrashed Derby County 5-1 on Saturday morning.

Kicking off the action for the weekend, the young Reds travelled to Derby’s Training Centre to take on a Rams side who were yet to be beaten at home this season.

U18s manager Neil Critchley was able to field a strong starting lineup, while he was also boosted by a return to the bench for Adekanye, following the Dutch winger’s hernia operation.

Starting in goal was Caoimhin Kelleher, highlighted in first-team captain Jordan Henderson‘s programme notes ahead of Liverpool’s Saturday evening clash with West Bromwich Albion as one of the academy‘s most impressive talents.

The Irishman operated behind a back four of Adam Lewis, Kris Owens, Conor Masterson and George Johnston, with a strong trio of Liam Coyle, Jordan Hunter and Herbie Kane stationed in midfield.

Glen McAuley and Rafael Camacho joined Dhanda in attack, with Liverpool fighting back after an early setback to seal an emphatic win.

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Derby forward Jahvan Davidson-Miller struck within the first 10 minutes to give the home side the lead, but McAuley and Dhanda were both on target to make it 2-1 before half-time.

Kane was forced off with a hip injury at the halfway mark, but this gave Critchley the opportunity to introduce Adekanye.

 Liverpool's Bobby Adekanye in action against Blackburn Rovers during the Under-18 FA Premier League match at the Kirkby Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The former Barcelona star scored the Reds’ third following a corner, before Rams midfielder Joe Bateman turned in an own goal and Camacho made it 5-1 with the pick of the strikes.

The Portuguese picked the ball up in the middle of the park, before beating two men and hammering the ball past Matt Yates.

This rubber-stamped an excellent performance by Critchley’s side, with ex-Reds right-back Rob Jones among those impressed in the stands:

Excellent team performance that from the 18s we outplayed Derby 5-1 .. well done Critch ?????? #LFC

— Rob Jones (@RobjonesLFC2) October 22, 2016

Speaking after the game, Critchley hailed Adkanye’s return, but equally bemoaned the loss of Kane to injury.

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“It was a good all-round performance by the boys and we played some really good stuff,” he reflected.

“We went a goal down after just seven minutes but we grew into the game and soon went 2-1 up.

“It was great to see Bobby return from injury and score, and we scored some excellent goals.

“The only downside was losing Herbie Kane with a hip problem. Herbie was only just returning back from injury, and we are hoping he will be okay.”

Derby U18s: Yates, Bogle, Bateman, Thorne, Mills, Magno, Bird, Edwards, Jibodu, Mitchell-Lawson, Davidson-Miller

Liverpool U18s: Kelleher; Lewis (Lattie 80′), Owens, Masterson, Johnston; Coyle, Kane (Adekanye 45′), Hunter; McAuley (Simmonds 80′), Camacho, Dhanda

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Categories: LFC NEWS

“Hard to beat and hard to better” – How the media assessed Liverpool 2-1 West Brom

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 12:59

The media felt Liverpool were worthy winners but bemoaned the Reds’ poor finishing and questionable game management as Jurgen Klopp’s side saw off West Brom with a 2-1 win.

The Reds kicked off a favourable run of fixtures as they mean to go on by claiming maximum points against Tony Pulis’ side at Anfield.

Sadio Mane finished a delightful cross from Roberto Firmino at the back post to put the Reds ahead, and an excellent strike from Philippe Coutinho deservedly doubled Liverpool’s lead in a dominant first half.

Klopp’s side continued to control proceedings but passed up numerous chances to kill the game off once and for all, and when Gareth McAuley pulled one back for the visitors it ensured a nervy ending—but the Reds held on to claim victory.

It was an impressive display for the vast majority of Klopp’s side, and though conceding from a corner and making it harder than needed was frustrating, it was pleasing to see the team dig in for a big three points and take advantage of rivals dropping points.

Here is how the media saw the 2-1 win.

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 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren applaud the supporters after the 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Reporters felt it was a case of job done for Liverpool on a day it was vital they capitalised on rivals dropping points, and those watching praised the dominance of the performance in a potentially tricky contest.

Goal’s Melissa Reddy summarised:

“The scoreline may not suggest as much but this was no battle, no bruiser—it was one supremely talented and tireless side completely dominating another until one jammy corner late on.


“Make no mistake though, Liverpool have made it quite clear they’re hard to beat and hard to better.”

ESPN’s Steven Kelly was pleased to see the Reds’ “exciting football” return:

“Some fast, fluid play was a blessing after they were effectively halted by Manchester United in a 0-0 draw last Monday. Some expected the same on Saturday, but once the Reds went in front they played the exciting football that fans have come to expect.”

The Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe felt Liverpool’s midfield energy proved too much for their opponents:

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“Everyone knew how West Brom would line up and Klopp cheekily suggested Monday’s dour draw against Manchester United was the ideal preparation for his side, but the Baggies did not have the same ability to repel the midfield running.”

Interestingly, ESPN’s Nick Miller felt Liverpool were “too confident” at times and nearly paid the price for it:

“At points after that, they occasionally seemed too confident, sometimes showboating and recalling Klopp’s irritation after the first game of the season against Arsenal, when he bemoaned them giving the impression that the game was already won.”

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino in action against West Bromwich Albion during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Reporters bemoaned Liverpool’s inability to finish their chances and the contest once for all at Anfield, and also were left frustrated by the Reds’ continued struggles with defending set-pieces.

Kelly was frustrated by Liverpool’s poor game management, which he feels needs significant improvement:

“Liverpool have learned almost nothing about game management and though their willingness to go forward is admirable and ultimately what thrills the fans, some games simply have to be put to bed.”

Reddy felt that although Klopp’s men dominated, they must be more clinical in front of goal and “less charitable” down the other end:

“Before and after McAuley’s effort, there was only ever one team in the encounter and if Klopp’s men want to continue their unbeaten spell in all competitions—stretching back to August 23—they must learn to be more ruthless and less charitable.”

However, the Mirror‘s David Maddock drew positives from the amount of chances Klopp’s side created against a deep-sitting defence:

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“It is that game-changing quality of the likes of Coutinho and Firmino that suggests Liverpool are beginning to work out how to overcome the challenge set by sides like West Brom.

“The key is patience, and an ability to work openings where their creative players can overload, and that happened consistently during this match.”

Meanwhile, the Independent‘s Simon Hughes thought Klopp’s men sent a message to opponents planning simply to frustrate them that they know how to overcome such tactical set-ups now:

“This, indeed, was an important win for Liverpool because it sends out a warning that parking whichever armour-plated vehicle you choose to call it in front of whichever goal Liverpool are attacking will not always be enough to achieve the desired result.”

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the supporters after the 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With the three points taking Liverpool to second place in the league table, level on points with leaders, Arsenal, certain reporters discussed the Reds’ title credentials.

The Mail‘s Joe Bernstein thinks Liverpool will be right up there come the business end of the season:

“Liverpool blew the chance to be top in October. But Klopp’s men may be there right at the end.”

The BBC’s Michael Emons feels the lack of clinical finishing and inability to keep clean sheets could prevent a title challenge:

“One major concern for Klopp would be their inability to kill off this game, and the late goal they conceded means they have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League games.”

Miller echoed those sentiments but feels the fact the Reds are being talked about as challengers shows the level of progress made under Klopp:

“That lapse, along with moments of profligacy that will frustrate Jurgen Klopp, perhaps provide the biggest questions over whether Liverpool are genuine title contenders this season.

“Still, to even be in the conversation is an indication of the progress made under the German in the past year.”

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the second goal against West Bromwich Albion during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The watching media gave their verdicts on who the star performers were at Anfield, and there was plenty of praise for Coutinho and, pleasingly, Joel Matip.

The Brazilian magician is the best player in the Premier League currently in the view of Bernstein:

“The little Brazilian is arguably the best player in the Premier League right now. His swivel to score Liverpool’s second goal left two West Brom defenders on their backsides. He set up fantastic chances for Firmino and Dejan Lovren and gave Albion’s defenders, particularly makeshift left-back Allan Nyom, nightmares.

Dominic King of the Mail heaped praise on Cameroon centre-back Matip:

“He has settled seamlessly into this team and shown why Klopp gave him such a big build-up. With West Brom looking to cause problems, this was another performance where little fault could be found.


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“Whenever West Brom went forward, Matip was there. Alert yet calm, elegant yet powerful, he would put his foot or head in the way just when it was needed.”

 Liverpool's Joel Matip in action against Manchester United during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Bascombe hailed the signing of Matip, a sensational piece of business on a free transfer:

“Matip, lest we forget, was a free transfer from the Bundlesliga. Compare his early performances to those of John Stones at Manchester City and consider if the differential is £48 million?


“The next time Klopp—and his employers—are accused of not spending enough, Matip’s free transfer will serve as another point of vindication that transfer fees are not everything.”

The Liverpool Echo‘s Andy Kelly centred on another influential display from Adam Lallana:

“He got on the ball, started combinations round the West Brom box, had the ball under control miles better than most.

“Liverpool are quite simply a much better team when Adam Lallana is in the team.”

For JOE.co.uk, Tony Barrett praised Roberto Firmino for a typically influential and intelligent display:

“If the Brazilian’s ability to score and create goals is glaringly obvious, less so is his intelligent movement which allows him to create space for others either by dropping deep and dragging defenders out of position or venturing out wide to open gaps up for his team-mates to fill.”

 Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp hugs Emre Can after the 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Echo‘s James Pearce felt Emre Can turned in a much-improved performance:

“Horribly rusty against United, Can was much improved here. His touch was more assured and he pinged passes around with a swagger. All that was lacking from his performance was his finishing.”

And Echo colleague Kelly praised Klopp for sticking with Can and felt the German’s display vindicated his decision:

“While most of us saw a player who was lacking fitness and precision in his play, Klopp saw a man who was rusty but ready to go again.

“He tends to be right about these things the German. We like that about him.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Igor Biscan: LFC made me who I am, it was all worthwhile

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 12:00
There are periods in every person's life that fundamentally change their character.
Categories: LFC NEWS

12.30pm BST: Watch LFC U23s v Everton live on LFCTV

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 12:00
Liverpool U23s host Everton in the mini-derby at Prenton Park in Premier League 2 on Sunday afternoon - and you can watch the whole game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 12.30pm BST.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Igor Biscan: LFC made me who I am, it was all worthwhile

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 12:00

There are periods in every person's life that fundamentally change their character.

A dramatic event, an unexpected incident or a bold decision may be the catalyst.

Or it may be an opportunity to learn from others – to understand different methods, cultures and ways of thinking, and to receive wisdom.

For Igor Biscan, four-and-a-half years with Liverpool made such an imprint that his experiences at Anfield continue to shape a post-playing career which has led the Croatian to a management role in the second division of his home country.

Understandably, too.

Signed by Gerard Houllier in December 2000, the midfielder’s stay with the club spanned an historic treble-winning season, the arrival of Rafael Benitez and the fairytale of Champions League glory.

“The club made me the person I am today,” Biscan confirms in the second episode of new LFCTV series ‘Added Time’.

“Even more so as time passes by, I feel as though I was really happy to be there at that moment, playing with some great players at such a great club.

“I have so many beautiful memories from that time.

“I didn’t really know how big the club was when I arrived, but you realise very quickly that it’s a special place, a special club and of course you feel proud that you were a part of it.”

LFCTV GO: Watch a trailer of Monday's 'Added Time'

Where Biscan was once the student, attempting to utilise the advice of those around him at Anfield, he is now the teacher.

Having retired in 2012, the 38-year-old secured his first management opportunity at the beginning of the season, taking the reins of NK Rudes in Zagreb.

So far, so good for the boss.

His youthful team with an average age of 22 holds a three-point advantage at the top of the table after 12 games, forging hope of promotion.

“I’m quite relaxed,” Biscan says. “I rarely shout or lose my temper. I try to be fair and honest with the players – I think that is very important.

“We have a lot of young players here at the club and I’m going to be working very closely with them throughout the season to help them develop properly.

“As everyone knows, it’s a complex job and I’m still learning, but it’s an interesting one and it’s a challenge. I knew that before I took the job but I’m enjoying it and I’m looking forward to the future.”

Biscan’s own experiences as a young player undoubtedly inform his approach to getting the best out of footballers in the earlier stages of their career.

Aged 22 when he signed for the Reds from Dinamo Zagreb, the transition to England and the Premier League proved tough.

“I know it wasn’t always positives with the way I played and the way I contributed, I’m realistic about that,” is his honest assessment.

“It wasn’t easy coming to a new country at a young age and being on your own. But I always tried to give my best and I always had so much respect for those fans.”

And Biscan was ultimately rewarded for his perseverance and spirit.

Few, if any, supporters would have predicted Liverpool’s charge to Champions League success during the 2004-05 campaign – Benitez’s first following his appointment.

But there were heroes throughout that team and Biscan played no small part himself, featuring in the knockout meetings with Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea en route to that unfathomable night in Istanbul.

He reflects: “It was a happy ending to my time at Liverpool.

“Having played so many games in that Champions League campaign, winning the competition not only made me very happy but also made me realise that the sacrifices I made and the things I had to do to remain at Liverpool all seem worthwhile.

“There are perhaps bigger clubs in the world, but I’m not sure any are as special as Liverpool.”

Episode two of ‘Added Time’ premieres on LFCTV at 7.30pm BST on Monday. Watch the programme throughout the week on our official channel and LFCTV GO. Click here for more details.

Categories: LFC NEWS

12.30pm BST: Watch LFC U23s v Everton live on LFCTV

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 10/23/2016 - 12:00

Liverpool U23s host Everton in the mini-derby at Prenton Park in Premier League 2 on Sunday afternoon - and you can watch the whole game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 12.30pm BST.

Kick-off is at 1pm but for the best build-up join Mark Benstead alongside former Red Neil Mellor.

Michael Beale's side will hope to get back to winning ways against David Unsworth's team after the midweek 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

Click here for more information on our coverage on LFCTV and LFCTV GO.

Categories: LFC NEWS