LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'line up Raphael Varane transfer'

HEAD NEWS - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 15:06

Liverpool will aim to capitalise on Raphael Varane's stalling contract talks at Real Madrid by signing him this summer, according to reports from Spain.

Varane has entered the final 17 months of his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu and has increasingly been linked with a move away from Spain in recent seasons.

The Frenchman is considered one of the finest centre-backs in Europe and made his 350th appearance for Los Blancos in their 1-0 victory against Atalanta in midweek.

Full story: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Liverpool 'line up Raphael Varane transfer'

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 15:06

Liverpool will aim to capitalise on Raphael Varane's stalling contract talks at Real Madrid by signing him this summer, according to reports from Spain.

Varane has entered the final 17 months of his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu and has increasingly been linked with a move away from Spain in recent seasons.

The Frenchman is considered one of the finest centre-backs in Europe and made his 350th appearance for Los Blancos in their 1-0 victory against Atalanta in midweek.

Full story: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'line up Raphael Varane transfer'

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 15:06
Liverpool will aim to capitalise on Raphael Varane's stalling contract talks at Real Madrid by signing him this summer, according to reports from Spain.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Andy Robertson admits injury crisis has left him worrying “am I going to be next?”

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 14:53

As injuries continue to plague his team-mates, Andy Robertson has hinted that there is a mental challenge for the Liverpool squad as they look to avoid becoming next out.

Robertson is the only Liverpool player to start every Premier League game so far this season, and has clocked the most minutes on the pitch in all competitions (2,908).

Having been part of the top flight’s best defence last term, the Scot has seen all three of his regular colleagues at the back struck down with injury this time out.

Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are both expected to miss the rest of the season, while Trent Alexander-Arnold has suffered with a calf problem along with a bout of COVID-19.

Joel Matip, Thiago, Diogo Jota, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, James Milner, Fabinho and Kostas Tsimikas are among those to have also struggled for fitness, with Jordan Henderson the latest long-term absentee.

This has left doubt in the back of Robertson’s mind which he admits he and his team-mates “need to try to get away from,” instead of worrying who will join the injury list.

“It’s probably part luck and everything that goes along with it,” he told the club’s official website of his consistency.

“With all the injuries round about me, it has obviously been tough in terms of, mentally, you need to try to get out of your head that ‘am I going to be next?’ or ‘who is going to be next?’.

“That’s the attitude we need to try to get away from because it looks like every game or every couple of games we’re losing somebody; it’s not been a nice season on that front.

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson goes down injured during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 238th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Obviously we have lost a lot of key players in key positions, and it has really been tough to adapt.

“But we get paid to play and paid to do what we do, and we need to get back to doing it to the highest level possible.

“I’m determined to do that and so are the rest of the lads that are fit and still able to play.”

Even though he has remained an ever-present for Jurgen Klopp so far this season, it is clear that Robertson has suffered with fatigue of late, with issues at centre-back ensuring a start for Tsimikas is more of a gamble.

But his admission that he and his team-mates have concerns over picking up injuries is an indictment of the demand on players in this ridiculous season.

At this point, Robertson can only hope that he does not join the likes of Gomez, Henderson and Van Dijk on the treatment table, and on a broader scale, the hope will be that these fears do not further impact on Liverpool’s form.

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Late drama sees Liverpool U18s win Merseyside derby in the last minute

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 13:28

The Liverpool under-18s scored in the first and last minute of the game as they earned a 2-1 win at Everton, surviving a stoppage-time scare to take Merseyside derby glory.

Liverpool U18s 2-1 Everton U18s

U18 Premier League, Kirkby
February 27, 2021

Goals: Frauendorf 1′, Musialowski 90+4′; Cannon 90+2′

Following their six-goal thrashing of Sunderland last weekend, the U18s welcomed Everton to the Kirkby sunshine on Saturday morning looking to put together consecutive wins for the first time since December.

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson made just one change from his side at the Academy of Light, with Lee Jonas replacing the injured Terence Miles at centre-back, with the young Reds’ manager looking for consistency.

The game got off to the perfect start as Melkamu Frauendorf weaved through the Everton defence and saw his shot deflect off Reece Welch and in for a first-minute opener.

A close-fought first half played out following Frauendorf’s fortunate strike, with the Blues having more chances on goal throughout despite Liverpool edging the possession.

Everton midfielder Charlie Whittaker struck the bar with a free-kick after Fabian Mrozek brought down Tom Cannon outside the box, but the young Reds remained in front heading into the break.

HT: Liverpool U18s 1-0 Everton U18s

 Liverpool's Melkamu Frauendorf is fouled during the Under-18 Premier League match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Everton FC Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Both Mrozek and his Everton counterpart Zan-Luk Leban were busy after half-time, with the latter required to make a save as Isaac Mabaya found Kaide Gordon in the box in a smart move.

Leban later stopped a free-kick from Dominic Corness, who was then forced off through injury, as under-16s Ethan Ennis and Tommy Piling were given a chance to make their mark.

Everton looked to have halted celebrations in stoppage time, however, as Jonas brought down Rafael Ferreira in the box to allow Cannon to step up and send it past Mrozek for a late equaliser.

But Mateusz Musialowski, who was culpable in the buildup to the Blues’ opener, emerged as the derby hero two minutes later, finishing well with his left foot to take the victory in the last minute of the game.

It was a dramatic clash at Kirkby, which sees Liverpool return to the top of the U18 Premier League, though both Man City and Man United have three games in hand.

Liverpool U18s: Mrozek; Wilson (Ennis 67′), Quansah, Jonas, Norris; Corness (Piling 84′), Mabaya, Frauendorf; Gordon, Woltman, Musialowski

Subs not used: Hewitson, Hayes-Green

Next match: Man United (H) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, March 6, 11am (GMT)

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U18s match report: Reds win dramatic derby in last minute

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 13:15

Goals in the first and last minutes earned Liverpool U18s a dramatic 2-1 victory over their Everton counterparts on Saturday.

Melkamu Frauendorf’s rapid breakthrough at the Academy gave the Reds a lead that they held for much of the remainder of an U18 Premier League North contest that was evenly matched.

A frantic passage of action then ensued in the closing stages, with the Blues levelling the score in stoppage time via Tom Cannon’s penalty.

Liverpool were not done, however, and beat the final whistle to grab a stunning winner – Mateusz Musialowski the hero with a fine finish to snatch all three points.

The result strengthened the Reds’ position as they jostle with Manchester United and Manchester City at the summit of the division; they face the former next weekend.

The home team landed the first blow of the mini-derby with only 28 seconds on the clock.

Frauendorf’s driving run down the left-hand side was followed by a strike that Everton goalkeeper Zan-Luk Leban repelled – but the Reds midfielder forced the rebound in off his head for an incredibly quick 1-0.

In front of the watching Sir Kenny Dalglish in Kirkby, the hosts pressed on to embellish their advantage, with Dominic Corness’ free-kick deflected just over the crossbar.

They were saved by the woodwork midway through the half, however.

When Blues striker Cannon raced onto a ball in behind, he was felled by the outrushing Liverpool stopper Fabian Mrozek, who – with two recovering defenders at hand – was shown a yellow card.

Charlie Whitaker’s effort from the resulting set-piece curled against Mrozek’s bar and, to the Reds’ relief, away to safety.

Jarell Quansah then thwarted Cannon as he broke into the penalty area with an outstanding challenge having covered the danger intelligently.

Liverpool turned the tide, though, and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side twice went close to extending their lead before the half-time break.

Kaide Gordon whipped a free-kick narrowly wide from the edge of the box and James Norris’ superb cross was then headed off target by Musialowski when left unmarked.

Clear-cut chances were harder to come by during a calmer second half that did not hint at the remarkable scenes set to unfold in stoppage time.

Everton gained an opportunity to equalise in the last minutes when Roman Quintyne was released through the middle and brought down in the box by Lee Jonas.

Cannon stepped up to the spot and dispatched his kick past Mrozek.

But the Reds refused to yield to that setback and swiftly produced a response at the other end to secure a memorable win.

Norris fed substitute Tommy Pilling along the left flank and his delivery into the middle found Musialowski, who created space with his footwork and fired home to settle the derby in brilliant fashion.

Liverpool U18s: Mrozek, Wilson (Ennis, 74), Quansah, Jonas, Norris, Corness (Pilling, 84), Gordon, Mabaya, Woltman, Frauendorf, Musialowski.

Unused substitutes: Hewitson, Hayes-Green.

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U18s match report: Reds win dramatic derby in last minute

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 13:15
Goals in the first and last minutes earned Liverpool U18s a dramatic 2-1 victory over their Everton counterparts on Saturday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Time for Davies’ debut? – Predicting the Liverpool lineup vs. Sheffield United

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 13:00

Jurgen Klopp has another big decision to make at centre-back as Liverpool head to Sheffield United, and he could be required to make a change between the sticks too.

On paper, the Reds face the perfect opportunity to get back on track this weekend with a visit to the Premier League‘s bottom-placed side.

Sheffield United have endured a miserable campaign so far, and are one of few sides to have experienced a similar injury nightmare to Liverpool, with six defenders sidelined among others.

But there is no guarantee for the champions as they arrive at Bramall Lane, with absences ensuring no fixture is a formality.

The big talking point for Klopp ahead of every game revolves around his centre-back options, and it is no different this time around, with Jordan Henderson now expected to be out for the majority of the remaining fixtures with an adductor problem.

This could see the manager name another new pairing at the back, with a possible debut.

Another season-ender?

[embedded content]

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp said that he “hopes there’s a possibility” that Henderson can “play a few games this season,” which cast a negative view on the captain’s injury.

Initial reports suggested Henderson would be back after the March international break, but the manager’s doubtful stance hints that he may well be out for the rest of the campaign.

He joins Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip among the long-term absentees, and with Fabinho not yet back in full training, there are few available options at centre-back.

James Milner is in a similar position to Fabinho, with it highly unlikely the pair will make the squad in Sheffield, but Klopp is more optimistic over the inclusion of Diogo Jota.

“The way he came back in training is very positive,” the manager said.

“So we just have to make a decision about what makes sense for him, when does it make sense for him and all these kind of things.”

It remains to be seen whether Alisson will feature following the tragic death of his father in midweek, and with Caoimhin Kelleher short of fitness, this could see Adrian fill in.

Liverpool’s XI vs. Sheffield United

 Liverpool’s Naby Keita during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Aston Villa won 7-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Though there are doubts over the involvement of Alisson, Klopp revealed on Friday that no decision had been made on whether the Brazilian will make the trip to South Yorkshire.

If the No. 1 opts to play on, he will start, but further up the pitch there is uncertainty over who will take Henderson’s place at centre-back.

Ozan Kabak is a shoo-in, as are Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at full-back, and following his introduction in the Merseyside derby last time out, Nat Phillips may be the most likely candidate to come in.

In midfield, Gini Wijnaldum, Thiago and Curtis Jones should keep their places.

With Jota expected to only be passed fit for the bench, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are almost guaranteed to start as the front three:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Jones; Salah, Mane, Firmino

However, the possible absence of Alisson and the prospect of changes elsewhere on the pitch could see an alternate XI take to the field.

If Alisson is out, and Kelleher is still absent, Adrian will make his first appearance since October – and only his sixth of the season – having lost his place as second choice to the Irishman.

In defence, this fixture could be seen as the best opportunity to give Ben Davies his debut, given it is against the Premier League‘s bottom-dwellers who are likely to sit back.

As a left-sided centre-back, the winter signing could be a more natural partner to the right-sided Kabak, but their lack of experience – and lack of chemistry as a duo – may be a red flag.

Meanwhile, Klopp could shake up his midfield ranks with the introduction of Naby Keita, who is now back fit following an extended rehabilitation, having returned to the matchday squad after two months out last weekend.

The Guinean could provide more thrust and creativity against a busy, deep-sitting defence, in support of Salah, Mane and Firmino:

Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Davies, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Mane, Firmino

Given the circumstances surrounding Alisson‘s possible absence, the player coming in to take his place is of little significance – the Brazilian should be provided as much time as he needs.

But with the Premier League champions coming up against the favourites for the drop, there should be enough quality elsewhere on the pitch to ensure a return to winning ways regardless.

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'I've got a real selection headache now - exactly how it should be'

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 12:00

Liverpool FC Women interim manager Amber Whiteley welcomes the selection headache she faces for this weekend's clash with London Bees.

The Reds are raring to go at Prenton Park on Sunday, after their previously scheduled game against Coventry United Ladies a fortnight ago was postponed due to weather conditions.

LFC Women have therefore only played two competitive fixtures so far in 2021 - but that enforced break has enabled the likes of Rachel Furness, Jade Bailey, Becky Jane and Ashley Hodson to get back to full fitness after injury.

Melissa Lawley is also available again after serving a one-match ban, while recent recruit Ceri Holland is pushing for a start having come off the bench to score against Charlton Athletic on her debut earlier this month.

"It's fantastic to get them back, and credit to the sports science and medical team and the players who have put the work in to get themselves back to full fitness," Whiteley told Liverpoolfc.com ahead of the FA Women's Championship meeting with the Bees.

"I've got a real headache now in terms of selection. It has been so competitive in training and I'm going to have to have some tough conversations this week, and I'll also be letting players down who have worked incredibly hard and done absolutely everything that we've asked them to do.

"But that is exactly how it should be when you are competing for a shirt in the starting XI."

Sunday's game against London Bees kicks off at 2pm GMT and will be shown live and for free on LFCTV GOYouTube and the LFC Women Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Read the rest of our pre-match interview with Whiteley on the great spirit in the camp and why she remains confident the future can be really bright for the Reds...

On a return to action this weekend against London Bees...

Everyone is really looking forward to Sunday. It feels like a lifetime ago since the Charlton game and we can't wait to get back at it. We've worked hard over the last couple of weekends we've been in. We've been training and we are ready to go for Sunday.

On what she has learned about the squad since taking on the interim manager role…

I've just learned that we've got a really good group of people. They are hard workers, resilient and I tell you what, they have had some challenges thrown their way. But every time they've had a setback they have got back up, they've worked harder and got back at it. I think you definitely learn more about the group when there are challenges. It's all about how you respond to those challenges and setbacks, and every single time the girls have just tried harder and put the work in to get better and improve - and that's all you can ask.

On the hard work that has been going on during training to ease the frustrations of a few games being called off due to the weather…

I think if you want to be the best and looking ahead to next season, too, and laying those foundations it is absolutely about putting the work in. That's why we have used this time wisely. It's not just about preparing for London Bees at the weekend, it's about getting us ready for the future.

On the importance of trying to get back to winning ways on Sunday…

Definitely, it's very important. We want to win every game we play. We are expecting a tough challenge against London Bees. They are a hard-working and resilient side but we've put the work in since the Charlton game and we should be in a good place for Sunday. You do need a bit of luck but at the same time we need to create our own luck. That's exactly why when we've had a free weekend, and I think we've had four or five of them since January, but we've been in training hard every single weekend, putting the work in and making sure that the preparation is as good as it can be and not leaving anything to chance. But we do need that little break, that would be nice.

On the challenge the Reds face against the Bees…

London Bees are a real hard-working side and very resilient. They never, ever give up and we do expect them to sit behind the ball and put a block on and we are prepared for that challenge. We've got to match their efforts and go beyond.

On how Holland has settled into the group…

Ceri is doing great. It feels like she's been here a lot longer than three or four weeks. She has settled in really, really well. She made a great impact against Charlton, scoring that great goal. I'm sure if you asked Ceri could she have chosen between scoring and the three points she absolutely would have chosen the victory. But I've got no doubt that there is more to come from Ceri. It was also great to see her get her first senior call-up for Wales last week and again, I'm sure there's going to be many more call-ups to come.

On how important the senior players are in helping LFC Women finish this season as strongly as possible, with seven games left to play in the FA Women's Championship…

That is something I expect from the entire squad and the playing staff as well. When you play for Liverpool Football Club it is not a choice putting in the work, the time, making sure you do absolutely everything you can to put your best foot forward. I expect that on the training ground, away from the training ground, on matchday, because that is part of what it means to play for this club. That's what this badge expects and deserves. We've got a brilliant group of players here and it's a pleasure to work with them every day. They are talented, hard-working, bright and they want to learn every day and want to get better. Most importantly, we've got a great group of human beings. It's a pleasure to work with them every single day and I've no doubt that the new manager will feel exactly the same way.

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'I've got a real selection headache now - exactly how it should be'

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 12:00
Liverpool FC Women interim manager Amber Whiteley welcomes the selection headache she faces for this weekend's clash with London Bees.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Wilder has “nothing but admiration” for Jurgen Klopp despite ‘five subs’ spat

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 11:49

Chris Wilder insists he has nothing but admiration for the “incredibly talented” Jurgen Klopp following the public spat between the two managers earlier this season.

Wilder said the Liverpool boss was being selfish when he advocated a return of the five substitutes rule, believing it would give those with much bigger squads and resources an advantage, and later described the German as a “world-class politician”.

Klopp then responded with several jibes at Wilder in his media interviews, including pointing out that the Blades only had one point on the board at the time.

The pair will meet for the first time since that war of words in November when Liverpool travel to Bramall Lane on Sunday evening.

Ahead of the Premier League clash, Wilder insisted: “The relationship is absolutely fine.

“I’ve got nothing but admiration for Jurgen, he’s a top-class manager. That’s what happens, people talk and things get said. If I was precious about things being said I wouldn’t be doing this job.

“If I took notice of people in the media and what the majority have said through my time as a manager I don’t think I would be sat here and I think that’s the same for the manager at Liverpool.

“He’s an incredibly talented manager, he’s a winner and we all try to win. He has done that in incredible fashion. Heat of the moment, or whatever.

“If it was personal, I didn’t take it personal, and I have moved on and for me to worry about stuff like that is way down the pecking order.”

 Sheffield United's Rhian Brewster during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Sheffield United FC at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Indeed, the Blades, bottom of the table with just three league wins this campaign, head into the weekend’s round of fixtures 14 points from safety, with only 13 matches left to bridge the gap.

It has been a season of struggle for United, who finished ninth last term on their return to the Premier League, and Wilder admits there have been times when he has felt more like a counsellor than a football manager.

“These players have swum the channel to get in the position they are,” said Wilder, who has shared winning the League One title and promotion from the Championship with many of the players in his current squad over the past five years.

“I’m not going to smash them over the head. I support them. Sometimes, what they have done in such a short period of time, is overlooked a bit. We want more.

“Am I being a counsellor as much as a manager? Yes, it seems that way, because we are trying to keep spirits high and positive.

“It’s one of the hardest periods I’ve been through in my managerial career, because of my connection to this club. We just want to get through it.”

 Sheffield United's manager Chris Wilder during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jayden Bogle (shin) has joined the Blades’ lengthy injury list after he was injured by a tackle from Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola last weekend, becoming one of six defenders now unavailable to Wilder.

Chris Basham (hamstring) is also out having been injured at Craven Cottage, while Jack Robinson (foot), Jack Rodwell, John Egan (toe) and Lys Mousset are still out.

Jack O’Connell (knee) and Sander Berge (hamstring) remain long-term absentees.

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"My own 'I was there' moment" - remembering the 2001 League Cup final

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 11:23

To mark this week's 20th anniversary of Liverpool's League Cup final triumph against Birmingham City – the first trophy of what would become an historic 2000-01 treble under Gerard Houllier – Reds fan Joel Richards relives the elation and relief experienced in Cardiff.

Do you remember the first time?

Having longed for it to happen for what felt like an eternity, the desperation to experience what many others had long before grew each year, exacerbated by the second-hand tales of what it was like. Although intrigued, a sense of torture grabbed you with every story you heard; with every near-miss or opportunity blown, that first time seemed to drift further away from your grasp. Patience was never a virtue as far as you were concerned.

All of a sudden, though, your moment comes. For me, it was on Sunday February 25, 2001.

In the fabulous surroundings of what was then known as the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, I was there to witness my first cup final as Liverpool took on second-tier Birmingham with the League Cup at stake. For a club that collected trophies almost with ease in previous decades, the 1990s was a comparatively fallow period, yielding three major pieces of silverware, of which the 1995 triumph over Bolton Wanderers in the same competition was the most recent.

Kopites of my generation were left to feast on tales of yesteryear from our parents and grandparents, glory that had felt second nature for them back in the day. Add in Manchester United’s success and the emerging Arsenal side under Arsene Wenger, and the outlook appeared pretty bleak.

But under the guidance of Houllier, a revival was in motion at Anfield as the Frenchman steadily reinvigorated a team that had fallen out of contention towards the end of the 20th century. A host of local talent was blended with experienced foreign recruits to produce a squad that was capable of challenging on all fronts ahead of a 2000-01 season that promised so much.

The journey to south Wales was all the more exciting for Reds of all ages because the final was to be held in new surroundings, as construction continued on the new Wembley stadium. Would Cardiff become the new Anfield South?

I was only nine years old at the time but I was already hooked on all things Liverpool. Having started to attend matches in the years prior, anticipation reached fever pitch when my dad surprised me with tickets for both of us in the weeks leading up to the final. Sleep was at a premium, as all I could think of was the thought of finally seeing my team win a trophy.

Come Sunday morning, a convoy of cars carrying family members, my dad and I began the journey to Cardiff and, later, as we slowly crept towards the magnificent venue, a giant sea of red greeted my wide-eyed younger self and confirmed to me for the first time just how big this club of ours is.

As kick-off inched ever closer, however, excitement soon turned to nerves and as we took our seats in the North Stand high above the goal I didn’t know where to look as the vast array of banners and flags fought for my attention. So, this was what being at a cup final looked and felt like…

Once battle commenced with Birmingham, a mixed opening saw the underdogs enjoy plenty of possession but they failed to create any clear-cut opportunities. After half an hour, though, a long punt forward by Sander Westerveld was headed on by the towering Emile Heskey into the path of Robbie Fowler, whose spectacular instant finish from 25 yards looped over goalkeeper Ian Bennett to give the overwhelming favourites the lead.

Just before half-time, Vladimir Smicer wasted a golden opportunity to double Liverpool’s advantage after another Heskey header gifted the Czech midfielder a chance he could only steer agonisingly wide. At this point in my naïve mind, it was only a matter of time before our name was carved on the trophy.

The second half brought more of the same as Houllier’s charges created further chances that were squandered. A Smicer cross midway through found an unmarked Heskey, who blazed over the bar – before the No.7 himself was denied by a smart save from Bennett following a clever flick by Fowler.

Yet Trevor Francis’ side were not out of the fight. The First Division outfit still posed a threat from set-pieces, especially after Blues defender Darren Purse headed wide when unmarked at a corner. Anxiety soon crept in all around as I, and every other Red inside that stadium, begged for the final whistle to pierce the air.

But before that happened, Birmingham were thrown the unlikeliest of lifelines as a reckless Stephane Henchoz slid in to foul Martin O’Connor and leave referee David Elleray no choice but to point to the penalty spot. All of a sudden, time stood still as a lengthy delay compounded the misfortune that suddenly befell us all. Eventually, Purse stepped forward to calmly dispatch his spot-kick past Westerveld, force extra-time and hand me a crucial lesson: Liverpool seldom tend to do things the easy way.

After a few tears were shed during the interval (come on, I was nine) a pep talk from my dad briefly lifted morale before an additional 30 minutes of torture and near-misses ensued.

Buoyed by their 90th-minute rescue act, Birmingham had chances to take a shock lead, firstly through Bryan Hughes, whose audacious chip from 30 yards drew an equally fantastic stop from Westerveld. Then Lady Luck perhaps shone on Liverpool for the first time that afternoon as Henchoz miraculously avoided conceding another penalty when he hauled down Blues forward Andrew Johnson. Much to the anger of Francis and his charges, referee Elleray waved away their appeals.

Still, there were further opportunities for the Reds as Fowler and Sami Hyypia both saw headers expertly tipped away by Bennett before Dietmar Hamann crashed an effort off the woodwork from 30 yards. Alas, no winner came – and the dreaded lottery of penalties awaited.

Nerves were slightly eased as Gary McAllister and Nick Barmby each converted their respective penalties, either side of a Martin Grainger attempt that was pushed away by Westerveld. Purse successfully scored from the spot again before Christian Ziege and Marcelo each followed suit to make it 3-2.

Hamann’s penalty was matched with a fine save by Bennett, allowing Stan Lazaridis to level the score for Birmingham. Fowler briefly allayed any fears – although not with his stuttering run-up – with a calmly dispatched penalty, and after Hughes made it 4-4 Jamie Carragher successfully found the top corner to make it 5-4 in sudden death.

Our wait was about to end.

Westerveld proved to be the hero, producing another splendid save from Johnson’s kick to clinch glory and send the fans behind him into unbridled joy. In among it all, as I was almost thrown into the air by my dad, I finally had my own “I was there” moment that I could talk of for years to come.

Little did we know that the League Cup would be just the beginning of an extraordinary climax to that 2000-01 campaign.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

"My own 'I was there' moment" - remembering the 2001 League Cup final

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 11:23
To mark this week's 20th anniversary of Liverpool's League Cup final triumph against Birmingham City – the first trophy of what would become an historic 2000-01 treble under Gerard Houllier – Reds fan Joel Richards relives the elation and relief experienced in Cardiff.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Wilder: Relationship with Klopp absolutely fine

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 11:20

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder insists he has nothing but admiration for the "incredibly talented" Jurgen Klopp following the public spat between the two managers earlier this season.

Wilder said the Liverpool boss was being selfish when he advocated a return of the five substitutes rule, believing it would give those with much bigger squads and resources an advantage, and later described the German as a "world-class politician".

Klopp then responded with several jibes at Wilder in his media interviews, including pointing out that the Blades only had one point on the board at the time.

The pair will meet for the first time since that war of words in November when Liverpool travel to Bramall Lane on Sunday evening.

Ahead of the Premier League clash, Wilder insisted: "The relationship is absolutely fine.

preview image 0:40 Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder's side are bottom of the Premier League ahead of their game with Liverpool and admits his team has missed having the support of their fans at Bramall Lane this season

"I've got nothing but admiration for Jurgen, he's a top-class manager. That's what happens, people talk and things get said. If I was precious about things being said I wouldn't be doing this job.

"If I took notice of people in the media and what the majority have said through my time as a manager I don't think I would be sat here and I think that's the same for the manager at Liverpool.

"He's an incredibly talented manager, he's a winner and we all try to win. He has done that in incredible fashion. Heat of the moment, or whatever.

preview image 2:50 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Fulham's win over Sheffield United in the Premier League

"I didn't take it personal, and I have moved on and for me to worry about stuff like that is way down the pecking order."

The Blades, bottom of the table with just three league wins this campaign, head into the weekend's round of fixtures 14 points from safety, with only 13 matches left to bridge the gap.

Wilder: One of the hardest periods I've been through

It has been a season of struggle for Wilder's side, who finished ninth last term on their return to the Premier League, and he admits there have been times when he has felt more like a counsellor than a football manager.

"These players have swum the channel to get in the position they are," said Wilder, who has shared winning the League One title and promotion from the Championship with many of the players in his current squad over the past five years.

Fulham's Ruben Loftus-Cheek (right) gets away from Sheffield United's John Lundstram Image: Sheffield United are now 11 points behind Fulham following defeat at Craven Cottage

"I'm not going to smash them over the head. I support them. Sometimes, what they have done in such a short period of time, is overlooked a bit. We want more.

"Am I being a counsellor as much as a manager? Yes, it seems that way, because we are trying to keep spirits high and positive.

"It's one of the hardest periods I've been through in my managerial career, because of my connection to this club. We just want to get through it."

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Liverpool ‘consider’ £35m deal for Florian Neuhaus, with player ‘asking’ for move

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 11:16

Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus is available this summer for £34.7 million, and it is claimed that Liverpool are interested in the 23-year-old.

The Reds face an important summer ahead in the transfer market, following a frustrating title defence and the likely departure of a number of senior players.

Gini Wijnaldum is chief among those expected to depart, with the Dutchman’s contract due to expire, and given his status as a first-choice starter, identifying his replacement is paramount.

Liverpool have been linked with a number of midfielders in recent months, and Neuhaus is one of the latest to have been touted with a move to Merseyside.

German journalist Christian Falk has told BILD that the club have been “watching the player for a while,” and with the No. 32 available due to a £34.7 million release clause in his contract, he “asks to play” at Liverpool.

“It’s true that they’ve been watching the player for a while,” Falk said, according to Sport Witness.

“The whole thing is not yet concrete according to our information, but it can, of course, become concrete, and he asks to play there.”

Falk went on to rule out both Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich as destinations, with the upcoming move of manager Marco Rose from Gladbach to Dortmund ensuring the club has “distanced itself” from Neuhaus.

“Dortmund has distanced itself after the Rose transfer and will not take any player from its team,” he explained.

“Bayern has to save money after the €42.5 million transfer of Upamecano; it is currently rather unlikely that they will put another €40 million on the table.

“That means it must be another league if Neuhaus wants to change, and there is the Premier League and Liverpool, of course.”

 Florian Neuhaus of Germany, Mikel Oyarzabal of Spain during the UEFA Nations League match between Spain and Germany at Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla on november 17, 2020 in Seville, Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Orange Pictures)

At 23, Neuhaus has played 83 times in the Bundesliga, with further experience in the Champions League and Europa League, along with three senior caps so far for Germany.

Whether he would serve as a like-for-like replacement for Wijnaldum is questionable, however, with Neuhaus better in more advanced positions, which has helped him score six and assist six in 31 games for Gladbach already this season.

But at £34.7 million, he could be seen as a valuable addition to the squad, particularly as there are doubts over the futures of both Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

It is likely that, as with his Gladbach team-mate Denis Zakaria, Liverpool are just monitoring the situation with Neuhaus at present – with Wijnaldum yet to even confirm his intention to leave – but it is one to keep an eye on.

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Sheffield United v Liverpool: TV channels and live coverage details

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 10:00

Liverpool visit Sheffield United on Sunday night - read on to find out how you can watch or follow the Premier League match.

The game at Bramall Lane is set for a 7.15pm GMT kick-off and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK.

Two minutes of highlights will be available to watch on LFCTV GO two hours after the full-time whistle and extended match action can be viewed from midnight.

Make sure you don’t miss a kick by using the code 2021GOFREE to start a free one-month trial of LFCTV GO now – this can be cancelled at any time.

Our live Match Centre will begin on Sunday morning on Liverpoolfc.com and the official LFC app, bringing you all the build-up to the game, minute-by-minute updates, audio commentary, interactive features and much more.

For global broadcast listings, click here.

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Sheffield United v Liverpool: TV channels and live coverage details

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 10:00
Liverpool visit Sheffield United on Sunday night - read on to find out how you can watch or follow the Premier League match.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool FC launches new LGBT staff network

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 09:18

This LGBT History Month will see Liverpool FC introduce its first ever LGBT staff network.

The new LGBT staff network, which forms part of the club’s Red Together inclusion strategy, was created to maintain a safe, inclusive and fair environment at the club where everyone can be their true authentic selves.

We caught up with Mark Armario, a senior manager at LFC and member of the LGBT staff network, to find out more about why its work is so important, its ambitions and upcoming activities, as well as the club’s wider equality, diversity and inclusion work as part of its Red Together strategy.

Mark, can you explain how the LGBT staff network first came about?

The creation of the group is part of the club’s Red Together strategy, which promotes and encourages diversity across the football club to make it as inclusive and welcoming as possible for everyone. One of Red Together’s commitments was to create several new colleague networks to allow people to connect across the club, create an internal community and enhance engagement with the wider community and supporter groups. 

The network will be actively involved in a number of internal and external events celebrating the LGBT community, including LCR Pride in Liverpool, Rainbow Laces, Pride Month and LGBT History Month to build on the great work that the club has been doing. 

I’m personally delighted and feel empowered to be a part of it and I’m looking forward to what we can achieve as a network of like-minded individuals. 

What activities does the LGBT staff network have coming up?

Although we are a new group, we have already set up a programme of events for our staff. Firstly, we will be joined by Flight Lieutenant Caroline Paige, who made history as the first transgender officer to serve openly in the UK armed forces. This event with Caroline will complement other educational resources we have curated for our colleagues across the club to increase LFC’s staff understanding and awareness of the challenges that continue to be faced by the LGBT community. 

We will also begin planning our support of Pride Month 2021 as well as our involvement in this year’s LCR Pride in Liverpool, which is always a highlight in the club’s calendar and one which we are proud to be a part of. There will be more details on this in the months to come. LFC will also have a presence at London Pride for the first time ever in the club’s history to demonstrate support for all our London-based colleagues, which is a really exciting addition to our calendar. 

Other events that we will also be supporting and celebrating include IDAHOBIT in May, and Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign and Trans Day of Remembrance later in the year.

Aside from a busy calendar of events, what is the next for the LGBT staff network and the club’s commitment to the LGBT community as part of its Red Together strategy? 

In consultation with LFC’s LGBT supporters’ group, Kop Outs, we will be forming an LGBTQ+ independent advisory group to help us to continue to develop this area of work and inform what we do as an LGBT inclusive football club. 

It’s fantastic that we already have members of the LGBTQ+ community who have agreed to be part of the group and provide their support, including Steve MacFarlane from the Michael Causer Foundation, Liverpool’s LGBT charity set up in Michael’s memory; Linda Riley of Diva Mag, Europe’s largest magazine for lesbian and bisexual women; and Flight Lieutenant Caroline Paige, who made history as the first transgender officer to serve openly in the UK armed forces. This is another exciting and important project for the club and more members will be announced soon. 

For supporters who may not be aware of Red Together, it provides a recognisable platform for all the club’s work on and commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion across everything it does.

Some recent highlights include: 

  • In September, LFC maintained its Advanced Level of the Premier League’s Equality Standard after being the first Premier League club to achieve the Advanced Level Equality Standard in 2017.
  • In October, LFC became a founding signatory of the FA’s new Football Leadership Diversity Code to help champion equality and diversity across the wider football community to help tackle and address inequalities in the game.
  • In November 2020, LFC adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism alongside several other Premier League clubs.

For more information on Red Together, please visit https://www.liverpoolfc.com/redtogether.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool FC launches new LGBT staff network

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 09:18
This LGBT History Month will see Liverpool FC introduce its first ever LGBT staff network.
Categories: LFC NEWS

2.55pm GMT: Watch Liverpool U23s v Arsenal live

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 08:41

Liverpool U23s host Arsenal in Premier League 2 this afternoon - watch the game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 2.55pm GMT.

After a 3-2 win at Chelsea last week, the young Reds are back in action at the Kirkby Academy, with kick-off at 3pm.

And you can enjoy all the action as it happens with our live coverage of the contest.

Click here to watch the match live>>

Start a free one-month trial of LFCTV GO now using the code 2021GOFREE at checkout - this can be cancelled at any time.

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