LFC NEWS

Mohamed Salah laughably comes 7th in Ballon d’Or – behind Ronaldo!

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 20:57

He’s widely regarded as the best player in the world at the moment, but Mo Salah was laughably named in seventh place in the Ballon d’Or results on Monday night.

Let’s be honest, the Ballon d’Or isn’t exactly the most genuine of awards, but somehow it is regarded as a prestigious one, voted for by journalists, national team coaches and captains.

Monday night saw Salah come in seventh place, one behind Cristiano Ronaldo, with Lionel Messi scooping his seventh title.

The top five was made up of Chelsea midfield duo N’Golo Kante (5th) and Jorginho (3rd), and forwards Karim Benzema (4th), Robert Lewandowski (2nd) and Messi (1st).

Salah finished fifth in 2019, sixth in 2018, while last year’s Ballon d’Or was cancelled amidst the pandemic.

Messi also won the 2019 award, when he beat Virgil van Dijk by just two votes.

Those 2019 awards saw three Liverpool players in the top five, with Van Dijk second, Sadio Mane fourth and Salah in fifth. Alisson was in seventh, with Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Gini Wijnaldum all inside the top 30.

The last Liverpool player to win the award was Michael Owen in 2001. Steven Gerrard finished third in 2005.

2021 Ballon d’Or Top 10

 Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (R) and FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

10. Gianluigi Donnarumma
9. Kylian Mbappe
8. Kevin de Bruyne
7. Mo Salah
6. Cristiano Ronaldo
5. N’Golo Kante
4. Karim Benzema
3. Jorginho
2. Robert Lewandowski
1. Lionel Messi

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Mohamed Salah finishes seventh in 2021 Ballon d'Or

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 20:46
Mohamed Salah finished in seventh place in the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Rafa, Gerrard, Rodgers and 9 games in 28 days – Liverpool FC in December

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 18:00

Liverpool head into another busy December with three high-profile reunions to look forward to, along with a trip to the San Siro and a Champions League knockout draw.

The Reds finished November with a resounding victory over Southampton that, following Chelsea‘s 1-1 draw with Man United, pushed them to within a point of the Premier League summit.

Jurgen Klopp has managed his squad well throughout the campaign so far, particularly given the hangover from last season’s centre-back crisis and the ongoing injuries throughout midfield.

But December will be an even bigger challenge, with nine first-team games to come before the end of the year – all in the space of 28 days.

Here are Liverpool‘s key dates for the diary in November, including fixtures for the under-23s, under-19s, under-18s and women’s sides.

December 1 – Everton (A)

 Liverpool players wearing warm-up jackets line-up before the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 237th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

What a way to start the month!

Liverpool head to Goodison Park for a strange reunion with Rafa Benitez, who finds himself under increasing pressure in his role as Everton manager.

Everton are without a win in seven, losing five of those, sitting 14th in the Premier League, and it is not out of the realms of possibility that a Liverpool win could get Rafa the sack.

December 4 – Wolves (A)

 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raúl Jiménez after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Everton FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The second of three consecutive away games, Liverpool head to Molineux three days after the derby and Klopp will no doubt have rotation in mind.

Wolves have improved of late, with five wins in their last eight and only one defeat in that run, with a return to form for Raul Jimenez – who has scored three and assisted two in his last seven starts – key to that.

Liverpool have won all three of their Premier League trips to Molineux under Klopp, and have won their last five home and away.

December 6 – FA Cup Third Round draw

 The FA Cup trophy on display before the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup is set for the evening of December 6, taking place prior to the second-round clash between Boreham Wood and St Albans City on ITV4.

Liverpool have faced Premier League opposition in the FA Cup third round in each of the past four seasons, including two clashes with Everton.

December 7 – AC Milan (A)

 AC Milan's Alexis Saelemaekers and Liverpool's Divock Origi during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at Anfield. (Pic by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

Liverpool will conclude their successful Champions League group stage with a trip to the San Siro, already having booked their place in the last 16 as winners of Group B.

Though this tie will be a dead-rubber, Klopp is still likely to field a strong side in Milan, with their opponents in with a chance of sneaking into the knockout stages ahead of Porto and Atletico Madrid with a win.

If Liverpool take the three points, they will become the first-ever English side to win all six group games in the Champions League.

December 11 – Aston Villa (H)

 Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp reacts with former players Steven Gerrard during a training session at the NSC Olimpiyskiy ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

After a meeting with Rafa to start the month, the Reds will then welcome Steven Gerrard back to Anfield for his first-ever game against Liverpool.

Gerrard has made an impressive start to life with Villa, with a 2-0 win over Brighton and a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace, but faces home clashes with Man City and Leicester between now and then.

It will be a surreal day on Merseyside, but there will be no concessions for the legendary midfielder.

December 13 – Champions League Last 16 draw

 Special guest Stéphane Chapuisat draws out Liverpool FC during the UEFA Champions League 2020/21 Round of 16 draw at the UEFA Headquarters, the House of European Football. (Photo Handout/UEFA)

Regardless of the result against Milan, Liverpool will enter the draw for the Champions League last 16 as one of eight seeded sides.

That means they will avoid Ajax and Bayern Munich in the next round, but Paris Saint-Germain and Sporting CP are both possible opponents having guaranteed second place in their groups.

The draw will begin after 11am on December 13.

December 16 – Newcastle (H)

 Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin (L) and Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool stay at Anfield for their next game, with more narrative in the buildup as Eddie Howe faces his first title contender since taking the tainted money at St James’ Park.

Newcastle have drawn one and lost one since he took over, though the 3-3 draw with Brentford came with Howe absent due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

The 44-year-old has only won one of his 10 meetings with Klopp, losing each of his last six, while Newcastle have not won at Anfield since 1995.

December 19 – Tottenham (A)

 Chelsea Manager Antonio Conte ahead of the FA Premier League match against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

Then it’s a clash of the heavyweight managers as Klopp takes on Antonio Conte for the first time since 2018, with their record evens after four meetings so far – a win each and two draws.

Conte has had a mixed start with Spurs, with victories over Vitesse and Leeds, a draw with Everton and, remarkably, a defeat to Slovenian side NS Mura in the Europa Conference League.

But things may have improved since then, and it could be a tough trip to north London for Liverpool.

December 22 – Leicester (H), League Cup

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp embraces Elijah Dixon-Bonner after the English Football League Cup 4th Round match between Preston North End FC and Liverpool FC at Deepdale. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The focus shifts in the last game before Christmas, with Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester visitors in the quarter-finals of the League Cup, bringing the third managerial meeting with a former Liverpool player or coach in December.

If a mixed Liverpool side makes it through to the next stage, the draw for the semi-finals is likely to take place shortly after full-time.

December 26 – Leeds (H)

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Boxing Day brings the traditional schedule of Premier League fixtures, with Liverpool’s a home clash with Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds.

The two sides have already met this season, that being a comfortable 3-0 win at Elland Road, a day soured by Harvey Elliott‘s serious ankle injury.

December 28 – Leicester (A)

 Liverpool's Sadio Mané during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by Propaganda)

The last of nine games in December is a reverse fixture against Leicester, this time in the Premier League, with a much different lineup likely at the King Power.

Leicester have been distinctly average this season, but there have been signs that they are capable of going on winning runs, which Klopp and his side will be wary of.

Liverpool Academy and Women’s Fixtures

 Liverpool's Stefan Bajcetic Maquieira (C) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the second goal during the UEFA Youth League Group B Matchday 4 game between Liverpool FC Under 19's and FC Porto Under 19's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

U23s

Brighton (A) – Premier League 2 – Fri, Dec 3, 1pm
West Ham (H) – Premier League 2 – Sun, Dec 19, 2pm

U18s

Newcastle (H) – U18 Premier League – Sat, Dec 4, 1pm
AC Milan (A) – UEFA Youth League – Tues, Dec 7, 1.30pm
Burnley (A) – U18 Premier League – Sat, Dec 18, 11am

Women

Burnley (A) – FA Cup – Sun, Dec 12, TBC
Sunderland (A) – Championship – Wed, Dec 15, 7.30pm
Charlton (H) – Championship – Sun, Dec 19, 2pm

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2 new CB rumours and Salah’s Ballon d’Or bid – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 17:57

Liverpool are straight back into preparation mode after another weekend win, as we face Everton in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night. Transfer rumours today, too!

Reds linked with Barcelona defender and Gomez rumours start

There’s barely a transfer window goes by when a surprise Liverpool name is linked with an exit, usually because they’ve gone through one of those spells when they are out of the team.

For Joe Gomez that has been because he has been recovering from injury and then sidelined again – but the media have him heading out this winter regardless. Apparently Aston Villa want him – didn’t take long for the Steven Gerrard links to become transfer related, did it?!

In addition, we’re among the reportedly interested parties scouting Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo.

The Uruguayan has been largely excellent in a rather shabby team, combining great athleticism with fine ability on the ball this term. Still raw and in and out the side at times, but the best they’ve got – and his contract is running down. Still unlikely, but an approving link nonetheless.

Managers old and new

 Real Liverpoolís Daniel Agger in action against Real Madrid during a Legends friendly match at Anfield. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

Latest Liverpool FC news

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Mohamed Salah is on the Ballon d’Or shortlist for tonight’s award; at the time of writing he’s in the top 10 but not yet revealed where. We’ll update this when his finishing spot is announced; if you’re reading on the newsletter click here to find where Salah finishes!
Latest Premier League chat

 Manchester City FC)

  • Luka Modric wants to move to Man United, which should help them renew the team and add high-energy pressing to the attack
  • Raheem Sterling is wanted by Arsenal. Are they not bored of players turning them down yet? You’re not there, lads!
  • Ferran Torres will cost Barcelona €70m. They don’t even have money to register free transfers. What a fun rumour.
Tweet of the day and match of the night

When we say Trent is on form, it means other teams are conceding goals.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has ???? assists and a goal in his last six games for Liverpool and England ? pic.twitter.com/c0okiYXk29

— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 27, 2021

Tonight is the Ballon d’Or, watch that!

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Inside Anfield | The unseen story of Reds' 4-0 win over Southampton

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 16:45

Enjoy fresh footage of Liverpool's 4-0 win over Southampton with the latest edition of Inside Anfield.

A Diogo Jota double was added to by goals from Thiago Alcantara and Virgil van Dijk as the Reds recorded another comprehensive home victory on Saturday afternoon.

Watch the behind-the-scenes story of the game in the video below now.

[embedded content]

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Inside Anfield | The unseen story of Reds' 4-0 win over Southampton

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 16:45
Enjoy fresh footage of Liverpool's 4-0 win over Southampton with the latest edition of Inside Anfield.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool expect wider interest in loan deal as youngster prepares to return

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 13:55

Liverpool goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros is set to return to the club next month following the end of his loan spell with St Patrick’s Athletic, but he may not be staying long.

Jaros was one of the standouts as St Pat’s sealed a penalty shootout victory over Bohemians in the FAI Cup final on Sunday night, having already been named Player of the Season.

In his first spell away from Liverpool, the 20-year-old goalkeeper excelled, and he looks to have grown in stature throughout his time in Dublin.

The end of his loan, which began in February due to the Irish campaign kicking off in March and running to November, will see him now return to Merseyside.

According to Goal‘s Neil Jones, Jaros is set for a two-week break before reporting back for training at Kirkby, with it likely that he rejoins the under-23s for the time being.

There is a chance he links up with the first team instead, with Loris Karius currently training with Jurgen Klopp‘s squad but expected to depart in January, while Marcelo Pitaluga could even be considered for a loan move.

However, Jones writes that Liverpool anticipate “plenty of suitors,” and while the young Czech is open to another temporary switch, Jaros insists only the “right move” would tempt him.

“I guess it depends what offers come in and what the club needs,” he explained.

“But I’m cool with it. I don’t want to just go on loan for the sake of it, it has to be the right move.”

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros during the EFL Trophy Northern Group D match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Prenton Park. Tranmere Rovers won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Likely, the next step for Jaros would be half a season in the Championship, though at 20, it could be a tough task joining a second-tier side in the fragile situation of requiring a new No. 1 mid-season.

There is every chance those within the club decide he is better off spending the rest of the campaign in Liverpool, training and travelling with the first team and playing for the U23s.

It is a tricky scenario to weigh up, with academy director Alex Inglethorpe and director of loan management David Woodfine likely to hold talks with Jaros next month.

For St Pat’s manager Stephen O’Donnell, however, it is “plain to see that he will play at a higher level.”

“I’ve played with a few good keepers across channel who had come on loan to Scotland, he’s the best 20-year-old I’ve ever come across or been involved with regards football, as a goalkeeper,” he added.

This is high praise considering O’Donnell played alongside a 19-year-old Kasper Schmeichel at Falkirk, with the former Arsenal youngster saying: “If you didn’t know his age you would think he was 27 or 28.”

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The last time Jurgen Klopp met Ralf Rangnick – with Joel Matip playing in midfield

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 12:15

Jurgen Klopp and Ralf Rangnick will face off for the first time in over a decade next year, with the German now officially appointed as Man United‘s interim manager.

Though Rangnick is only nine years older than Klopp, the 63-year-old has 14 more years of managerial experience than the man in the dugout at Anfield.

Now in place as United manager until the end of the season, however, this is in fact his first such role outside of his native Germany, having previously led the likes of Stuttgart, Hannover, Schalke, Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig.

More recently, Rangnick’s work has come off the pitch, having vacated his position as manager of sports and development with Lokomotiv Moscow to take over at Old Trafford.

His work as a manager has been on and off since he left Hoffenheim in 2011, with one such short stint coming as replacement for Felix Magath at Schalke that same year.

Having been fired by the club he took to second in the Bundesliga six years previous, Rangnick stepped back into the breach at the Veltins-Arena and produced a successful run of form.

That included triumph in the DFB-Pokal, the German version of the FA Cup, which booked a place in the DFL-Supercup against Klopp’s title-winning Dortmund.

19.11.2011, Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, GER, 1. FBL, FC Schalke 04 vs 1. FC Nuernberg, im Bild Joel Matip (#32 Schalke) // during FC Schalke 04 vs. 1. FC Nuernberg at Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, GER, 2011-11-19. EXPA Pictures © 2011, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ nph/ Kurth..***** ATTENTION - OUT OF GER, CRO *****

Schalke had finished 14th the previous campaign, but strengthened with the signings of goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann, left-back Christian Fuchs and right-back Marco Hoger, who all started in the equivalent of the Community Shield.

A 19-year-old Joel Matip took his place in midfield alongside Lewis Holtby, with a 17-year-old Julian Draxler supporting Raul and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in attack.

Klopp fielded the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Ilkay Gundogan, Shinji Kagawa and Mats Hummels.

The game was a tight one, with Lewandowski hitting the post early on while Benedikt Howedes headed over for Schalke, while Fahrmann, who arrived to replace Manuel Neuer, made strong saves to deny Lewandowski, Gundogan and Chris Lowe.

Lewandowski remained a threat throughout the second half, but ultimately the game went to a penalty shootout, where Fahrmann stepped up again.

DAP2PA Head coach of the Bundesliga team BVB Borussia Dortmund Juergen Klopp (L) and Ralf Rangnick (Image; dpa picture alliance archive / Alamy Stock Photo)

Dortmund’s Kevin Grosskreutz and Ivan Perisic both saw their spot-kicks saved, with Holtby, Edu, Howedes and Jose Manuel Jurado all converting to seal a 4-3 victory for Schalke.

Klopp and Rangnick shook hands after the game, as Matip joined a pile-on on Fahrmann to celebrate the second trophy of his young career.

That was the last time Klopp and Rangnick met as managers, with Klopp only successful in two of their 13 clashes so far, losing six and drawing five.

Much has changed since then, of course, and Liverpool should head into their next meeting at Anfield in March with Klopp hoping to steer his side to another Premier League title.

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Important travel guidance for AC Milan fixture

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 12:10

Liverpool FC is strongly advising all supporters who have purchased a ticket for the Champions League away fixture against AC Milan to ensure they keep up to date with the latest official travel guidance.

Given the challenging COVID-19 pandemic status across Europe, the current advice could be subject to change before this fixture, which could impact travel restrictions or further reductions of stadium capacities.

All fans intending to travel to Milan for the fixture on Tuesday December 7 should check the latest travel requirements on the government website ahead of leaving for Italy and returning to the UK to ensure you meet the current health and vaccination requirements.

There may also be additional costs incurred for COVID tests, pre-travel and when you return home.

At the time of publication, LFC cannot confirm if further restrictions from the Italian government will be imposed at any point in the lead-up to the game.

The club would, however, like to make it clear that if for any reason the restrictions change, preventing supporters from attending the game, LFC will refund the cost of the ticket only and not any travel costs.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Important travel guidance for AC Milan fixture

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 12:10
Liverpool FC is strongly advising all supporters who have purchased a ticket for the Champions League away fixture against AC Milan to ensure they keep up to date with the latest official travel guidance.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Man United’s new manager loves Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool: “This shows you what is possible”

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 11:33

With Ralf Rangnick now confirmed as Man United‘s new interim manager, the 63-year-old will almost certainly be taking inspiration from Jurgen Klopp‘s work at Liverpool.

In the days prior to Rangnick’s appointment at Old Trafford, it has been widely circulated that he is a direct influence on Klopp’s career.

But while Klopp may have taken elements from his meetings with his fellow German, who has worked in a variety of roles for a number of prominent clubs, his mentor was, in fact, Wolfgang Frank.

Instead, Klopp and Rangnick share ideals as managers, with this shining through as the latter gave a seminar to coaches for The Coaches’ Voice in London in September.

“Let us have a look again at Liverpool, and Jurgen Klopp, if you look at their development,” he said.

“Let’s just have a close look at their three strikers. They have Mo Salah, they have Roberto Firmino and they have Sadio Mane.

[embedded content]

“Three foreign players, from three different countries – two of them I had myself; Roberto Firmino was my last signing at Hoffenheim.

“I can tell you all, all those three players, including Mo Salah, when they came to Europe, or now to Liverpool, were not natural-born ball-winners. None of them.

“They were not kind of players where everybody said ‘wow, they are pressing machines’. No.

“So all those things that happened at Liverpool was the job of the coach and his coaching staff.

“The way they played in the last three or four years, on that high level, this intense kind of football, was the job of the coach.

“This shows you what is possible and what can happen if a coach has a mindset and a clear idea of how his team should play.”

 EXPA/ nph/  Mueller       ****** out of GER / SWE / CRO  / BEL ******

While it is impossible to believe Rangnick will adapt Cristiano Ronaldo’s game to a high-pressing system at United, there is a clear belief in his approach.

Using Klopp as a prime example, the United manager explained how having a clear identity is the most important aspect of the job, with “heavy metal band players” fitting into the Liverpool vision.

“If we are very honest, as football coaches, what is the job of a head coach or manager? To have a clear idea of how my team should play,” he continued.

“This can be more the Pep Guardiola style, or the Diego Simeone style, or the Hansi Flick style, or the Julian Nagelsmann style, or the Jurgen Klopp style.

“Those are variations, different areas. Pep Guardiola is more of the kind of coach who likes technical players, whereas Jurgen Klopp more likes the heavy metal band players.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) speaks with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“But what they all have in common is they know exactly how this kind of football they want to play looks like, they have in their brains the video of the perfect game, they have it in their minds or on their minds.

“And the job of a football manager is to transform this idea of football into the heads, hearts, veins, brains of your players.”

Klopp and Rangnick have faced off 13 times before as managers, and incredibly, the Liverpool boss has only emerged with two victories from those – their next meeting comes at Anfield in March.

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LFC Retail launches Cyber Monday Mega Sale

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 09:30

Save up to 30 per cent on ALL official merchandise for a limited time only in LFC Retail's Cyber Monday Mega Sale.

There's 20 per cent off everything in-store and online, while season ticket holders and official Members get a 30 per cent discount.

You can also receive free worldwide delivery for orders over £80.

But act fast – the Cyber Monday Mega Sale ends at midnight GMT on Tuesday November 30. Visit store.liverpoolfc.com now to save.

Terms and conditions apply.

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LFC Retail launches Cyber Monday Mega Sale

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 09:30
Save up to 30 per cent on ALL official merchandise for a limited time only in LFC Retail's Cyber Monday Mega Sale.
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TAA tops form chart | James slips into second

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 11/29/2021 - 09:00

Who is red-hot in the Premier League right now? Sky Sports ranks every player over the last five matchdays...

The battle of the full-backs rages on with Trent Alexander-Arnold leapfrogging Reece James atop the Power Rankings form chart after registering his seventh assist this term as Liverpool cruised to a 4-0 win over Southampton.

TAA

Team-mate Diogo Jota soared into third spot after scoring twice at Anfield, having also got on the scoresheet in the 4-0 over Arsenal last weekend.

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A round-up of all the Premier League games from matchweek 13 as Chelsea hosted Manchester United, West Ham travelled to Man City and Liverpool hosted Southampton.

Aaron Ramsdale (No 4) maintained his standing as the league's most in-form stopper after making five saves in the 2-0 win against Newcastle to keep his sixth clean sheet in the Premier League this term.

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A selection of some of the best saves from matchweek 13 in the Premier League, featuring super stops from Aaron Ramsdale, David de Gea and more!

Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo (No 5) retained his place among the elite following his side's 2-1 win over West Ham in a snowstorm at the Etihad, ahead of team-mates Rodri (No 9), Bernardo Silva (No 10) and Ilkay Gundogan (No 11).

How are the Power Rankings calculated?

The Power Rankings are based on points awarded to players for 35 different statistics - from goals and assists, to blocks and tackles. The standings take into account the number of points a player has earned up to the previous five matchdays of a season, with each previous game worth 20 per cent fewer points in incremental deductions.

Maxwel Cornet (No 6) kept his place among the top performers after Burnley's fixture with Tottenham was postponed due to snow, while Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn (No 7) and Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis (No 8) entered the top 10.

You can check the top form player at each club in the chart below...

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Liverpool’s fab three is now a fab four and console king Jota is sparkling on and off the pitch

the Athletic - Sun, 11/28/2021 - 19:30
Diogo Jota is the undisputed champion in the Liverpool squad when it comes to playing the video game FIFA.

Shortly before moving to Anfield last year, he won the inaugural ePremier League invitational tournament after beating Trent Alexander-Arnold in the final.

In fact, he’s so good with a controller in his hands that in February he was ranked No 1 in the world on the FIFA Ultimate Team Champions leaderboard after securing 30 successive wins.

It’s his passion away from the AXA Training Centre and he has set up his own esports team. It’s no publicity stunt, it’s a serious business and Jota is genuinely elite. On Saturday, he was scheduled to compete in the fourth round of the qualifiers for the FIFA 22 Global Series but he had to message his opponent and politely withdraw.

The Portugal international had a decent excuse. Jurgen Klopp needed him to lead the line against Southampton at Anfield.

The day job took precedence and he delivered in style. His celebration after he had tucked away Andrew Robertson’s cross inside two minutes involved sitting on the turf and pretending he was playing on his Playstation before he was mobbed by his team-mates.

There was another close-range finish after Mohamed Salah put one on a plate for him. Jota was a menace throughout.

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Liverpool goalkeeper ends loan with silverware after penalty heroics

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 11/28/2021 - 19:05

Liverpool goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros saw his loan spell with St Patrick’s Athletic come to a triumphant end, with the youngster tasting FAI Cup final glory.

Jaros, the 20-year-old Czech, joined St Pat’s on a season-long loan in February, and since then has settled as the bedrock of the Irish side.

He was named Senior Player of the Year during the final home game of the league campaign, though he was absent for that 2-2 draw with Finn Harps due to international duty.

Returning for the dead-rubber closer against Waterford, the youngster kept his 11th clean sheet of the season in a useful warmup for the FAI Cup final.

That clash came against Bohemians on Sunday, with the two Dublin sides meeting at the Aviva Stadium for a tense tie that went all the way to penalties.

As normal time played out to a 0-0 draw, the onlooking commentators described Jaros as the “coolest man on the pitch,” with the Liverpool loanee rarely fazed by Bhos attacks.

St Pat’s went ahead halfway into extra time through Chris Forrester’s solo goal, only to see Rory Feely peg them back within two minutes of the restart.

Jaros was required to make a strong point-blank save at the death and a diving stop soon after to help St Pat’s hold on for a shootout.

He dived the right way for four out of five spot-kicks, and looked like he got a hand on one, as St Pat’s emerged victorious with Bohemians missing two.

The shootout ended in a 4-3 win for St Pat’s, with Jaros enjoying a jubilant end to his time in Ireland, ready to return to Merseyside with an FAI Cup winner’s medal.

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Andy Robertson’s show-stealing display as part of Liverpool’s first line of attack

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 11/28/2021 - 18:00
While Diogo Jota scored a double and Thiago added another brilliant goal, it was Andy Robertson whose performance deserves the most credit after Liverpool’s win over Southampton

One of the biggest dangers in following this Liverpool of ours is the concept of failing to give credit where it is due.

There are so many beautiful distractions that brilliance can go unacknowledged sometimes.

For instance, I can remember writing an article one time, loosely covering a game in which Mohamed Salah had torn the opposing defence asunder, scoring multiple goals, making multiple assists, and not even making mention of him.

You see, there had been this plastic bag that was caught within an almost perpetual updraft, constantly swirling around the Anfield air.

It had been quite hypnotic, and I dedicated approximately 1,000 words in its honour.

Magnificence can evoke awe, but it can also breed the contempt of assumption. We can all be guilty of taking something that is perfect for granted, and occasionally forget to give it the praise it deserves.

 Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Within the blizzard of attacking football Jurgen Klopp’s team are currently producing, the work of Liverpool’s defence can easily fall under the radar.

On Saturday, against a Southampton side who were entirely complicit in its own downfall, Diogo Jota and Thiago quite rightly absorbed much light and hoovered up vast quantities of the applause, while Sadio Mane put in a performance that suggests he’s completely and utterly back to his best.

Mo, while seeing his goalscoring run come to an end, put in another fine shift too, and added to this, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho were imperious in their orbiting of Thiago.

As mad as it sounds on a day when Liverpool scored four without reply, it was their defence that impressed me the most. Southampton had their chances in this one, yet Alisson and his defence were equal to them all.

There is a wonderful choreographed nature to Liverpool’s defence.

It would often be said of the Liverpool that I grew up on, the one that was the product of Bob Paisley, that their attack was the first line of their defence.

 Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara embraces manager Jürgen Klopp after being substituted during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is a mantra that still exists today, in the form of the pressing game that Klopp has tattooed to the DNA of the club, but it comes with a gravity-defying footballing balance, in which he has made Liverpool’s defence the first line of our attack.

I mean, admittedly, the concept of this, at Anfield, isn’t entirely unique, as Liverpool have leant towards attacking full-backs since the 1960s and ball-playing central defenders since at the very least 1973.

Yet, in the past, it has usually meant one of the two full-backs being attack-minded and the other one being more circumspect.

It has usually meant one central defender is a frustrated midfield playmaker and the other suffers nosebleeds in the opposing half of the pitch, apart from maybe the occasional foray forward for a corner or a set-piece.

Yin vs. Yang. Expansion, offset by exaggerated discipline.

Sami Hyypia and Daniel Agger loved an attacking mission, while Jamie Carragher mockingly refers to himself as being a former Liverpool ‘yard dog’ for instance, and Martin Skrtel could never be described as a ball-playing central defender.

 Liverpool's defenders Jamie Carragher (C), Sami Hyypia and Daniel Agger in action against Watford during the Premiership match at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Going back to the yardsticks of Shankly and Paisley, and onward through Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish, we would always have that roving central defender, be it Emlyn Hughes or Alan Hansen, sat alongside a partner who would be comfortable on the ball but also handed the duty to generally stay put, be it Phil Thompson, Mark Lawrenson or Gary Gillespie.

Once Paisley introduced the idea of wide midfielders who tucked in, as opposed to out-and-out wingers, this gave his full-backs increased licence to go forward, yet it was never in unison. One would go, the other would stay.

Klopp has taken these blueprints and put his own spin on them. There is a stunning fluidity to the contemporary version of Liverpool’s defence.

Detractors will say that attacking full-backs aren’t a new invention, and they are correct, but what they miss is the panoramic picture.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Andy Robertson linking as a partnership is truly groundbreaking, as is both central defenders being given carte blanche to advance forward.

They all operate within an air of Totaalvoetbal. We could perhaps term it as Totaaldefending.

 Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté (L) and Southampton's Armando Broja during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Liverpool defence makes the most beautiful patterns. If you watch Liverpool in person, pick a random game and dedicate your viewing to them one day.

A back four in name, they rarely are such a thing in the reality of a game in motion.

Alexander-Arnold often occupies an unofficial midfield role, so often running parallel to Henderson, from where he counterpunches, while Robertson balances this by either keeping to the defensive line or placing himself higher than Alexander-Arnold, in the final third.

It is complex yet simple, and it is devastatingly effective.

Whenever Alexander-Arnold vacates the right-back position, the right-sided central defender – Ibrahima Konate on this occasion – covers him and Fabinho drops back to play as a protrusive centre-back, positioned around 10 yards ahead of Virgil van Dijk.

 Liverpool's Andy Robertson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Whenever Robertson is off down the left, causing havoc with Mane within a faithful reenactment of the peak-1987 John Barnes and Steve Nicol, then Van Dijk drifts left and Fabinho pairs with Konate – or Joel Matip as the case may well be this coming Wednesday.

Whenever both Alexander-Arnold and Robertson are on manoeuvres, then we morph into a three-man central defence, and an extra midfielder drops into Fabinho’s position. On Saturday, Thiago would sit in when required.

It is a simplicity which means each defender and each midfielder goes onto the pitch with just two or three fluid roles to cover, reacting to the ever-altering pattern of the game.

It is a wondrous thing, which is entirely based within simplicity and flexibility. At times, it is like Subbuteo players come to life, and it is the freedom everyone is given which makes this Liverpool what it is.

 Liverpool's Andy Robertson applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Van Dijk might have got himself a goal against his former employers on Saturday, but it was Robertson who stole the nominally defensive show.

He was everywhere, and everything. The speed of movement, the presence of mind, the composure in restricted space, his constant availability. He must be an utter nightmare to play against.

The best image on Saturday, for me, was Robertson’s reaction to the opening goal.

Now to take this magical ethos to Goodison Park, for what will likely be a disorientating and uneasy reunion with Rafa.

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