Beating Maribor would be massive for our Champions League campaign. With the Reds having only picked up two points against Sevilla and Moscow, a win against Maribor would take Liverpool to five points overall with three games left.
And off we went, the long trip had begun as we were going from Luton Airport to Ljubljana, and then we had a car hired with JD driving us to Maribor.
As soon as we landed, and came off the plane, it was absolutely boiling, 23+ degrees, with the sun shining upon us.
While driving to Maribor we came across some great mountains, it’s crazy the places we all go following Liverpool—I mean who would go Maribor for any other reason?
Finally, midday and we had arrived at Maribor. We went straight to the square where all the fans were meeting up, the Maribor fans were coming to us asking for photos and offering us all pints of beer.
They gave us a very warm welcome, even inside the ground—they were chanting even after the game ended despite losing 7-0.
After chanting various songs in the square, at 7.30pm the police had arrived to escort us to the ground. The walk to the ground was great, felt like a proper away day compared to being at Moscow a few weeks ago.
We had arrived at Maribor’s ground, Stadion Ljudski vrt. The ground was really nice—had a maximum capacity of 12,994. Liverpool fans were located behind the goal/corner flag.
As soon as we got inside the ground, the first priority was putting our banner on the nets: Passion Beyond Reason. I would normally take my Sadio Mane banner, but with him being injured it gave me an opportunity to take other banners.
The concourse was weird, similar to Burton away last season. It was outside with two small stands selling alcohol, soft drinks and food.
The only issue for many people was that it was card payment only—and many people had euros in cash.
From the start to the end the atmosphere was electric, non-stop singing, chanting the lads on. With Firmino scoring four minutes in, we were already feeling positive and singing from the top of our voices.
A special mention to the Maribor fans, who were singing even after being 4-0 down.
The performance in general was a 10/10, would be wrong to fault anyone after winning 7-0 with a clean sheet. One of the best away games I’ve ever done.
The atmosphere made it a very special night for us, making club history as the biggest-ever away win in Europe. A proud feeling for us all as fans and for the club.
Firmino and Salah scoring twice, Coutinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexander-Arnold also getting involved on the scoresheet. Our next fixture in the Champions League is Maribor again, this time at Anfield. Will another record be broken?
After the game ended we went back to the square chanting, and went to find some food. Sunny, Reiss, AP, Bully, Kindi, Adeel and a few others. All following our good mate Satinder who was trying to find the closest kebab shop.
After walking for a good 20 minutes with a pint in our hands, we finally found a place to grab some food.
This trip couldn’t have been any better, from the score, to the weather, to the atmosphere…everything made the trip perfect.
Following Liverpool Football Club round Europe is a blessing and should never be taken for granted. Personally I can’t wait for Sevilla next month—should be another great trip.
It’s time to go back home, and get ready for Sunday. Another away game, a tough one against Spurs—at Wembley Stadium. Will I be there? Wouldn’t miss it for the world!
Extended highlights of Liverpool U19s' impressive UEFA Youth League win over Maribor are now available on LFCTV GO.
Steven Gerrard’s team fell behind in their third game of the group stage but produced a response the manager described as ‘emphatic’ to claim their second win in the section, by a 4-1 scoreline.
In an eventful European encounter, Kamil Grabara also saved a penalty – and you can see the best of the action in Slovenia in the package above.
But, while Maribor are far from the most distinguished of sides in Europe’s top tier this season, the No. 7’s display at the Stadion Ljudski vrt highlighted why he should be more prominently featured.Milner vs. Maribor
After vowing to attack the visitors as they pushed for an unlikely result, Maribor left themselves open from the first whistle, and this provided Milner and Wijnaldum the freedom to roam.
Milner tested Jasmin Handanovic with a low curling shot with his left foot on seven minutes, before setting Coutinho up for Liverpool’s second shortly after, following an overlapping run.
A similar interchange with Salah saw Milner come close to notching his second assist two minutes later, but Firmino squandered an easy finish in the six-yard box.
Liverpool went into half-time four goals ahead, but kept up the pressure after the break, with Milner remaining a valuable outlet surging forward from midfield into a variety of positions:
Milner touched the ball more times (120) than any other player on the night, popping up on the edge of the box, on either wing and, when required, deeper in the midfield.
His season as a left-back in 2016/17 has clearly provided Milner with a better positional sense when drifting out to the flanks, and this was one of Liverpool’s most threatening avenues on Tuesday night.
No player attempted more crosses than the 31-year-old, with seven, and encouragingly, he also found his target with four of those; only Coutinho (six) created more chances than Milner (three).
Maribor, maintaining their attacking approach throughout, still demanded focus from Klopp’s defence, and only Alberto Moreno (five) made more successful tackles than Milner (three) for the Reds.
It was a performance of all-round quality, and undoubtedly puts pressure on the man he replaced.Milner or Henderson?
Few Liverpool players have come under more intense scrutiny than Henderson this season, with the captain struggling for consistency in his role at the base of the midfield.
Henderson has produced a handful of stellar displays, most notably in August’s 4-0 win at home to Arsenal, but his campaign has been peppered with frustrating outings.
His positioning has come into question, as a key factor behind the Reds’ poor defensive efforts, while his lack of creativity in possession has arguably led to a staid midfield setup.
After Saturday’s draw with United, Jose Mourinho questioned whether Klopp had sacrificed the chance at securing all three points by keeping Henderson, Can and Wijnaldum on the field throughout.
Such a convincing victory over Maribor is undoubtedly due to the PrvaLiga side’s relative lack of quality, but the introduction of Milner does uncover a host of positives.
Allowing Can to take up his best role as the No. 6, Milner operated with more versatility than Henderson, and in doing so proved himself a more inventive option.
Milner has already created seven chances this season, in just 332 minutes, compared Henderson’s 11 in 810—over 90 minutes, this averages at 2.6 for the vice-captain and 1.9 for the captain.
Last season, with Milner operating as left-back and Henderson as No. 6, the former averaged 1.6 key passes per 90, compared to the latter’s 1.4.
The caveat there is, of course, that Henderson’s role is less progressive, but in Can’s three starts as a No. 6 this season—twice for Liverpool and once for Germany—he has scored one and assisted one.
Milner is certainly less injury prone than his counterpart, while his decorated career has fostered a winning mentality and, crucially, vital experience.
The ex-Man City midfielder knows when to time-waste, when to challenge the referee and when to commit a tactical foul; though perceived as a dry character, he is a strong leader, too.
It can be argued that Milner’s only disadvantage when compared to Henderson is his age, at 31, though he is only four-and-a-half years older, with six years more senior experience.
However there is room for both, and there is no need to rule out either Henderson or Milner, as on form they are both strong midfield options.Long-Term Plan
Milner’s performance at Maribor served as a reminder of his ability when deployed as a midfielder, and will challenge Klopp when he plans his lineup for Sunday’s clash with Tottenham.
Retaining the veteran would reward him for a shining performance in midweek, and test his ability to replicate that on a bigger stage.
Tuesday night’s midfield arguably gave the Reds more balance, with Milner presenting himself as an alternative to Lallana, whose relentless industry off the ball has been missing this season.
When Lallana returns, he will be earmarked for a starting role, while Mane’s return would allow Coutinho to shift back from the left wing to his long-term position in the middle of the park.
Liverpool will be considerably improved when these two key players make their comeback in November, but with four games to come between now and the next international break, Milner’s presence is invaluable.
And against Spurs (Oct 22), Huddersfield (Oct 28), Maribor (Nov 1) and West Ham (Nov 4), there is a case to suggest he is a better option than Henderson.
If you have yet to experience the new LFC Stadium Tour, make the most of your visit and join us for a Legends Q&A this month.
Sit back and relax in one of the Main Stand’s hospitality lounges and listen to personal memories and dressing-room tales from Phil Thompson, John Aldridge or Terry McDermott.
McDermott scored one of the best goals ever seen at Anfield during the 7-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in 1978, while Aldridge scored 63 goals for the Reds – 26 of them during the 1987-88 championship success – and lifelong Red Thompson lifted the European Cup in Paris in 1981.
See the European Cup for yourself plus all the other silverware in the club’s museum, the Liverpool FC Story, as part of your visit.
You will have the opportunity to ask your legend more about their incredible career with the Reds, and of course there is time for photos and autographs.
The new LFC Stadium Tour features many highlights, including: epic city views from the highest level of the Main Stand; the new home and away team dressing rooms; the new press room; This Is Anfield sign; the new players’ tunnel, manager’s dugout and the famous Kop.
Tickets are priced at £40 for adults, £30 for students or seniors, and £20 for children under 16 (must be accompanied by a paying adult).
Your ticket includes entry to the Liverpool FC Story, the club’s interactive museum, and the Steven Gerrard Collection exhibition. The Q&A lasts approximately 60 minutes.
How to book
To book, simply click here and find your chosen legend from the list of dates and times available.
- John Aldridge – Saturday October 21 at 10.45am or 12.15pm
- Phil Thompson – Thursday October 26 at 10.45am or 12.15pm
- Terry McDermott – Sunday October 29 at 10.45am or 12.15pm
The behind-the-scenes story of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Manchester United can now be seen via our official YouTube channel.
Saturday’s 199th competitive meeting between the fierce rivals did not yield a goal and so both sides were left with a point from what was a typically hard-fought occasion, on the day the renamed Kenny Dalglish Stand was celebrated in the presence of the legend himself.
You saw what happened on the pitch during the 90 minutes but now there is a chance to glimpse the goings-on in the tunnel and around the ground before and after the football.
Simply click play below…
Senegal manager Aliou Cisse is adamant Sadio Mane will be “100 percent fit” for November’s clashes with South Africa, despite his recent injury.
Mane was ruled out for six weeks after picking up a hamstring problem in Senegal’s 2-0 loss away to Cape Verde this month, in theory keeping him out for nine games.
Given the six-week timeframe, it is feasible that he could be absent for the Reds’ top-four meeting with Chelsea (Nov 25), too.
However, Cisse is clearly convinced this won’t be the case, naming Mane in his 25-man squad for next month’s double-header World Cup qualifier against South Africa on November 10 and 14.
And speaking on announcing his selection Cisse explained how he believes Mane will be “100 percent fit.”
“In my mind, there is no doubt he will be us for the double-header against South Africa and that he will be 100 percent fit,” he said.
“Until now, he has just been doing some individual training—running in straight lines.
“But from next week, he is going to train harder and start working with the ball.”
This will undoubtedly provoke anger from Merseyside, particularly given Mane was already injured on international duty, with Cisse seemingly overplaying him in their win at Cape Verde.
The Reds have continually struggled with Mane’s commitments to Senegal, with his absence during the Africa Cup of Nations in January leading to the collapse of their Premier League title challenge.
He has already scored three goals and set up a further two in nine appearances for Liverpool this season, adding to his 13 goals and eight assists in 29 outings in 2016/17.
It is highly unlikely that he will be fit for Senegal’s qualifiers, with his inclusion surely due to his importance to Cisse’s side and the precarious nature of their World Cup bid.
More: Internationals, Sadio Mane
More from This Is Anfield Fan Comments
Liverpool's U18 squad recently paid a special visit to the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool city centre to mark Black History Month.
Steven Gerrard’s side visited the museum for an extended tour, as well as being educated on the links between slavery and the city of Liverpool.
The visit to the International Slavery Museum was one of many activities the club has planned to recognise Black History Month.
U18s defender Adam Lewis said: "It was really interesting and thought-provoking to learn about slavery and to gain a better understanding of black history in general.
"Some of the lads didn’t realise the part the city of Liverpool played in the slavery movement so it was brilliant to get a better appreciation of the history of the city."
Liverpool’s 7-0 annihilation of Maribor on Tuesday night saw plenty of positives, with Roberto Firmino getting a couple of much-needed goals and the Reds keeping a second clean sheet in four days.
Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the victory was Oxlade-Chamberlain’s second-half cameo, which saw him score his first goal for his new club.
It has been a hard beginning to life at Anfield for the England international, with just one start to his name, but there are definite signs that things are improving.
He admits that he is still getting used to Klopp’s playing style, but will give his best every time he takes to the field.
“It’s a competitive team that I’ve come in to”, Oxlade-Chamberlain told BT Sport.
“We’re in an important part of the season where we want to get off to a good start and we’ve got a few results that haven’t gone our way.
“Everyone’s fighting for their place and I’m just ready for when I get the opportunity.
“I need to keep developing and learning a new style of play here and get used to that and then whenever I get my opportunities, try to do as well as I can.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain also spoke about the win over Maribor—just his second victory for Liverpool—saying an improved ruthlessness in front of goal was key to the result.
“We were more clinical today, putting away all our chances, or near enough all of them,” he added.
“Every week it feels like we’ve got a lot of goals in us and it’s just not clicking right at the final moment.
“I think we create a lot of opportunities and I hear people saying the stats are always Liverpool have 20 shots a game.
“So if we keep doing those things—that’s the important thing, that we keep creating chances and keep trying and hopefully it’ll come off for us and tonight they did.”
There has been so much negativity surrounding Oxlade-Chamberlain, with his form undeniably poor for both club and country.
He arrived lacking in confidence, though, and once he properly settles in to life on Merseyside, his performances will go from strength to strength.
Klopp knows a talented attack-minded player when he sees one, and there is a reason why he was willing to spend £35 million for his services.
More: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
More from This Is Anfield Fan Comments
A suite in the newly renamed Kenny Dalglish Stand has been donated to Liverpool FC's Red Neighbours programme for use within the local community.
The Reds legend handed the keys to the Kenny Dalglish Community Suite over to the Red Neighbours team as part of the official unveiling of the stand last week, which honours his incredible contribution to the club in the past four decades.
The room will be used to hold community events and activities that support the programme’s key focus areas.
With charity work close to their hearts, Dalglish and his wife, Marina, were keen to give something back to the local Anfield community and the opening of the suite will allow even more residents to access the stadium and take part in Red Neighbours’ various programmes and activities.
Red Neighbours focuses on four priority areas within the Anfield community: food poverty and education; support for the elderly community; encouraging a physically active community; and creating memorable experiences for young people.
From no win after the first two group games to top spot in the blink of an eye. Win the home games against Maribor and Spartak, and that should be enough to take us into the knockout stages.
It’s quite a change-around from the concerns of failing to win either of our first two games.
The story going into this one was all about our profligacy in front of goal, and the lack of confidence in Loris Karius.
While Karius had little to do, and obviously has much to prove, it’s refreshing that he isn’t central to conversations about a Champions League evening for once.
Three games to go, two of them at home.
If we can overcome Maribor once again, at Anfield, in a fortnight’s time, and Sevilla bite back against Spartak, then we’ll be going to Spain with the sort of advantage that looked highly unlikely when we rolled away from Moscow with only one point to show for all our unrewarded endeavour.Unexpected Conductor
Milner was reassuringly excellent. You kind of forget how he can be reassuringly excellent.
He has largely remained redundant so far this season. A year as a makeshift left-back, and the concept of Coutinho playing a deeper role when Sadio Mane is fit and able, had left him a bit of a non-option in midfield, up until now.
I tend to be in the pro-Jordan Henderson camp. That’s always been the case, and I believe he will eventually reclaim his all-too-missing mojo.
There’s nothing quite like a Liverpool player rising, phoenix-like, from the scrapheap. Milner could be classed as having done so in Maribor.
Henderson will do likewise at some point. The trick here is not to fall for the idea that you must side with one player or another. It would, instead, be very pleasing to have a resurgent Milner and an in-form Henderson before too long.
On top of this, you can’t fail to be soothed by Oxlade-Chamberlain’s latest two cameo performances.
Yes, Maribor have to go down as one of the worst opponents we’ve had the good fortune to face in European competition in a very long time.
However, we’ve come unstuck against more than our fair share of European and domestic cannon-fodder over the years.
You must be professional and clinical in these circumstances, and we were. It’s OK to enjoy and rejoice in this victory.Dance-Off
Firmino, Coutinho and Salah contested an attacking dance-off of sorts, to the point that both Firmino and Salah seemed to score the fourth goal.
The fifth goal was a faithful recreation of Delfi Geli’s winning goal for us in the 2001 UEFA Cup final. This was a feel-good win.
You can’t help but smile when everything clicks as it did against Maribor. It does, however, make the days when we can’t come up with the finishing touches all the more frustrating.
When you see what we are capable of, then it leaves you wanting more, and simply confused when we can’t deliver. From here, we need to use this win as a springboard to greater consistency.
Coutinho, again the subject of rumours over another approach from Barcelona in January, is enjoying his football once more. His finish for the second goal was borderline outrageous.
If we progress to the knockout stages, then who wouldn’t want to be part of at least one last Anfield European odyssey?
It’s a nice dilemma to be left with, but when Mane returns, it will be a shame to move Coutinho back to a deeper role.Where To Now?
In the immediacy, it’s off to Spurs we go. Many visitors to Wembley have taken advantage of the ‘home side’ so far this season.
It might be a little different for us, as we openly go to play football.
It might be a game with an odd chemistry, accentuated by the fact that Spurs return from their own Champions League sojourn with a point from Real Madrid.
In fact, there lies the possibility that Spurs will feel even more full of themselves in gaining a draw as we will in winning 7-0.
I’ve mentioned before how the concept of playing football just one game at a time is, in the main, a thing of the past. Football, at least until the run-in, is contested in clusters of games.
We are four games away from the next international break. Spurs away, the ‘Bill Shankly derby’ at home to Huddersfield Town, the return against Maribor.
And then another London trip, for a game in an oddity of a home ground, when we face West Ham, in their home that isn’t quite a home.
The scene is set for us to play ourselves into form. Maribor away has the chance to act as a pivotal marker in a season that has, mostly, been waiting permission to take off.
Liverpool can be satisfied with the way they set about claiming a 7-0 success over Maribor – but Philippe Coutinho stressed that the result has to be the basis for more victories to follow.
Jürgen Klopp’s charges were in the kind of clinical form that has eluded them in recent weeks to secure a handsome Group E win at the Ljudski vrt stadium that set a new record for the club’s biggest away triumph in European competition.
Coutinho clipped in the second goal of the night, becoming the first Reds man since Steven Gerrard in March 2014 to net in four consecutive matches on the road.
A positive evening in Slovenia all round, then, although the Brazilian quickly called for Liverpool to continue that ruthless streak once the job was done.
“The team were very focused right from the first minute,” Coutinho told UEFA.com.
“It’s been a while since we picked up a good win. We’ve been creating scoring chances without managing to turn them into goals. But in the game things went right for us and we did a good job.
“We need to keep working hard and training hard in order to keep this going. We have another game against them at home, a difficult game, where we hope to play another good match.”