LFC NEWS

Henderson switch key for Liverpool

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 06:00
Adam Bate

Comment and Analysis @ghostgoal

Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield to go back to the top

Last Updated: 14/04/19 9:00pm

Jordan Henderson's role in Liverpool's midfield has changed - and it's working Jordan Henderson's role in Liverpool's midfield has changed - and it's working Jordan Henderson's role in Liverpool's midfield has changed - and it's working

Jordan Henderson is revelling in his new role in Liverpool's midfield and was superb once more in the 2-0 win over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp's decision to switch Henderson's position has given fresh impetus to Liverpool's title bid, writes Adam Bate.

It was the loss of Jordan Henderson's energy in midfield that proved a key factor in Liverpool failing to find their way over the finishing line five years ago when he was suspended for that infamous game against Chelsea.

It is the rediscovery of Jordan Henderson as a box-to-box midfielder, brilliant against the Blues on Sunday, that could prove to be decisive in the Reds ending their now 29-year wait to win the title this time around.

After producing an inspired cameo to help propel Liverpool to victory away to Southampton and then delivering another impressive performance against Porto, it was Henderson whose clever cross to the back post found Sadio Mane for the breakthrough goal just after half-time. The skipper walked away with a deserved man-of-the-match award.

1:39 Jamie Carragher praised Henderson's impact in Liverpool’s win over Chelsea Jamie Carragher praised Henderson's impact in Liverpool’s win over Chelsea

"He wanted to play in a more advanced role, there's another reason why," said Jamie Carragher of Henderson's cross on co-commentary for Sky Sports. "It's the Masters this weekend and he's just produced a golf shot. A sand wedge to the back post. There is no doubt he has revitalised Liverpool in these past few weeks."

In the press conference after the Porto game, Jurgen Klopp issued a light-hearted apology for the belated decision to free Henderson of his defensive responsibilities and give him the opportunity further forwards. "It's my fault that he has played for one-and-a-half years as a number six," he said with a smile. "Sorry about that, but we needed him there."

Verdict: Salah's super strike
Klopp hails 'amazing' players

Klopp deserves credit for his flexibility, but it was Henderson who forced his hand through the quality of his performances. There was a clue when he came on for England in a more advanced role against Montenegro last month and promptly picked out Raheem Sterling with an inch-perfect through-ball. He seemed to take that momentum back to Melwood too.

The realisation that Fabinho was beginning to establish himself as the first-choice holding midfielder will have added a sense of urgency to his thinking, but there is competition ahead of the Brazilian in those box-to-box midfield roles as well. Henderson has pushed himself to the front of the queue by making every minute that he has been given on the pitch count.

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His enthusiasm at St Mary's was impossible to miss, and the celebration of his late goal, bursting forward into the box, was laced with meaning. Against Porto, it was his measured pass that released Trent Alexander-Arnold to allow Roberto Firmino to double Liverpool's lead. He would have had an assist had Sadio Mane not been ruled offside in the second half.

Klopp was joking when he apologised for his use of his captain in that deeper role over these past two seasons, and the manager can hardly be criticised for his team selections given the results. But it is tempting to wonder whether Henderson is a player who has been misunderstood. His greatest attributes are stifled when asked to hold his position.

4:03 Henderson and Virgil van Dijk not looking too far ahead after Chelsea win Henderson and Virgil van Dijk not looking too far ahead after Chelsea win

Brendan Rodgers once said that Henderson was "born with a natural gift to run", and it is apparent that he is still at his best when adopting that all-action approach. Harrying the opposition and being the man to instigate the press, that's what suits him. He has learned to be more tactically sophisticated, providing protection, but it means curtailing his instincts.

On the right of a midfield three, he can still play a role defensively - covering for Alexander-Arnold when the full-back advances down the flank. But he can also get forward in those pockets of space himself and make use of the crossing ability that once saw him operate as a right-sided midfielder. Curiously, the role that currently exists in Liverpool's system and the one he is now playing, has always been his most natural position.

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"I don't think the manager had thought about it too much until I mentioned it to him," said Henderson of the conversation that sparked the recent shift. "I suppose when I spoke to the manager, it was that I do feel more natural in that position. I played there for a long time, I was sort of a box-to-box midfielder when the manager first came."

The realisation that Henderson can play in advance of Fabinho took some time. The two men didn't start a game together until the win at Wolves just before Christmas. Prior to Porto, the only time they had started in midfield together at Anfield was in the win over Crystal Palace in January. Putting this option on the table is a game-changer for Klopp.

Supporters had been pushing for it because they wanted Fabinho in the starting line-up, and understandably so given that the summer signing from Monaco has been superb in that holding role since the turn of the year. But the less discussed advantage of transferring that responsibility from Henderson to Fabinho is that the former has been unleashed - and at a time when Gini Wijnaldum looked in need of a rest.

"I feel as though I can do that more in a further forward position," he had said even prior to his crucial intervention against Chelsea. He is showing that now, and if Liverpool do manage to win the title this season, one of the stories that folk will tell about the triumph is the tale of how their captain rediscovered himself in the run-in to help his side over the line.

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30 years on - Never forgotten

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 00:00

Liverpool Football Club remembers the 96 supporters who died at Hillsborough, on the 30th anniversary of the disaster.

As a result of the events on April 15, 1989, at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, 96 children, women and men lost their lives.

For the past three decades, the bereaved families and survivors of the tragedy have demonstrated remarkable courage, dignity and resilience.

In April 2016, an inquest jury concluded that the 96 were unlawfully killed and that no role was played by the supporters in causing the disaster.

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the tragedy at Hillsborough and the 96 fans who will never be forgotten.

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30 years on - Never forgotten

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 04/15/2019 - 00:00
Liverpool Football Club remembers the 96 supporters who died at Hillsborough, on the 30th anniversary of the disaster.
Categories: LFC NEWS

The good, the bad & is Henderson’s switch the key? – Debating Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 21:44

Liverpool moved back to the Premier League summit with an electrifying 2-0 win over Chelsea, leaving fans with plenty to discuss.


The Reds stormed back to the top of the Premier League table on Sunday evening following a stunning 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men were the dominant side through the clash, but it was a quickfire double soon after the interval which ensured all three points remained on Merseyside.

Sadio Mane was the one to break the deadlock, before a thunderous Mohamed Salah strike doubled Liverpool’s lead and sent Anfield into a state of euphoria, as another test of the Reds’ title credentials was safely navigated.

This Is Anfield’s Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_) spoke to Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) and Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3) to break down the highs and lows from the win and discuss the effect of Jordan Henderson‘s positional switch.

The good…

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

JONATHAN: After a goalless first half, the response after the break was very pleasing.

There was an energy to the Reds’ display with the aggressive pressing back in full flow. In fact, the opening goal came as a result of that from Jordan Henderson.

Fabinho was an absolute beast, a rock in the deep-lying midfield role. His backtracking, crunching tackle on Eden Hazard on 10 minutes brought a collective roar from all sides of Anfield and really set the tone of the game.

It wasn’t just his tackling and pressing that caught the eye, he had almost an arrogance with the ball at this feet. Time and time again he was able to manipulate himself out of tight situations and orchestrate waves of pressure with his quick-tempo passing.

Mo Salah was brilliant all day, at both ends of the pitch—but what an absolutely jaw-dropping goal. I’ve no problem admitting I screamed like a teenage girl as I watched it rocket into the top corner.

In a week where unfortunately he had to endure personal attacks from the dark, backward segments of society, he answered in emphatic style.

More importantly, it rubber-stamped another crucial victory as the Reds juggernaut passed their toughest remaining league opponents with flying colours.

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

JOEL: Well, what a performance from everyone.

They all played out of their skin, and that second-half display in particular was just incredible given the pressure Liverpool were under to get the three points.

It was yet another phenomenal show of resilience and maturity and to get nine points from Spurs, Southampton and Chelsea puts Liverpool in a great position now.

Obviously, Salah’s goal was just sensational—I think that’s the best he’s scored for Liverpool.

Roberto Firmino was exceptional in the second half and once again Henderson was an inspiration in that No. 8 role, creating the opening goal with a superb cross for Mane.

Every one of them put it all on the line and ensured Chelsea couldn’t get the satisfaction of derailing our title hopes this time. It was one of the most feel-good victories of what has been an amazing season.

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

JOANNA: Just when you think this team cannot fill you with any more pride or surpass the levels of the previous week, they go out and do just that.

So much talk has surrounded the maturity and strength of character within this side and rightly so after the manner in which they have won over the last five league games.

Chelsea were out to frustrate and it would have been easy to play into their hands, but the Reds deserve a serious amount of credit for their second-half performance.

From front to back Liverpool were exceptional and they steamrolled the Blues into submission with some of the best football I’ve seen them play since the turn of the year.

I have to say Fabinho, Salah, and Trent Alexander-Arnold were my personal standouts on the day, but on the whole it’s a result which sets the Reds on course for one hell of a finish to an already historic season.

Oh, and it would be rude not to echo the guys’ sentiments on Salah’s goal, what a thing of beauty it was!

The bad…

 Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (L) and Eden Hazard during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

JONATHAN: The Chelsea purple patch after Liverpool took a two-goal lead was a little worrying. Eden Hazard missed two huge opportunities during that crazy spell. On another day Liverpool may not have been as lucky.

Liverpool played into Chelsea’s hands during this period by continuing to bomb forward and not slowing down the tempo of the game.

Klopp reacted by introducing Gini Wijnaldum, and no doubt he will be making sure that the players aware of the improvements required between now and the end of the season.

Similarly, in the first half especially, it was far too easy for Chelsea to counter-attack.

Liverpool dominated possession and were camped in the Chelsea half but were vulnerable to Chelsea‘s rapid speed on the break.

JOEL: The only negative on a fantastic afternoon was Jordan Henderson going off with what looked like a nasty ankle injury at the time, although Klopp played it down after the match and said it isn’t too serious.

He’s been superb in recent weeks so Liverpool will need him fit and available for the final few games.

Liverpool did ride their luck a little defensively on a few occasions, but it’s about time Eden Hazard had an off-day at Anfield—and that might well be the last we see of him for a while!

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

JOANNA: After a victory like that there are not a lot of negatives to pick out.

But what I would say is that it does feel as though we are giving the opposition more space and chances on goal than we did earlier in the season.

Like Jonathan mentioned, part of that comes down to the Reds’ failing to take the sting out of the game during Chelsea‘s period of pressure, with Wijnaldum’s introduction no doubt an indicator of Klopp’s desire to regain control.

Similar to that against Porto, we were vulnerable on the counter in the first-half and, like Joel said, in the second term we were fortunate that Hazard had an off day in front of goal as he slipped through our defence a little too easy for my liking.

…and will Henderson’s positional switch prove to be the game-changer in Liverpool’s title bid?

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates his side's first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

JONATHAN: It’s certainly looking like that.

After a poor showing in the Tottenham game and people’s desperation for Fabinho’s involvement, it looked like uncertain times for the skipper.

There’s no doubt his introduction in the Southampton game turned the match back in Liverpool’s favour. I’d even go as far to suggest his goal and celebration got a lot of supporters back in his side and reminded everyone of his qualities.

He followed this up with an impressive midweek performance midweek and a man of the match display today.

Liverpool’s midfield has been rightly criticised this season, but his involvement in the opening goal today highlights again the improvement at such a crucial stage of the game.

Maybe it’s the missing spark we needed. Time will tell, but no one can doubt the boost it has given the team.

JOEL: I think it could quite possibly be a defining factor in Liverpool’s run-in.

That cameo off the bench against Southampton was outstanding and he really helped drag his team over the line when it looked like they might drop crucial points.

I’ve always said he can contribute plenty in the final third and he showed that with both his through ball against Porto for Firmino’s goal and his excellent cross for Mane’s goal here against Chelsea.

Out of possession, he must be a nightmare for opponents as his work rate and ability to cover ground is phenomenal.

He’s every inch what you want from your captain when he’s in this kind of form, and you can see exactly why he asked Klopp about tweaking his role in the team.

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates his side's first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

JOANNA: After struggling to settle on a midfield contingent for a large part of the season, for me, Henderson’s move has already proven to be an inspired one.

Having the shackles unleashed allows the skipper to move further upfield where his energy and presence creates goalscoring opportunities, or forces the opposition into mistakes, with the former having been a key issue in the middle of the park for Liverpool all season long.

It doesn’t come as much of a shock that he’s had the high level of impact that both Joel and Jonathan mentioned as it’s a position he thrives in, and you only have to think back to the 2013/14 season for proof.

It says a lot about him that he took on the No. 6 role for the team, but now with Fabinho taking that position he has the opportunity to influence the game in both defence and attack, and against the Blues he was simply phenomenal.

Earlier in the campaign I would have questioned if he was in Liverpool’s best starting XI, but now I have no doubt that he is the player and a leader that the team needs to successfully push them through the remaining four games.

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Jurgen Klopp on Mo Salah’s stunner, bulls*** opinions and ‘closing the slipping book’

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 21:02

Jurgen Klopp hailed his players after title-chasing Liverpool regained top spot in the Premier League with a crucial victory over Chelsea.


Second-half goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah secured a 2-0 win at Anfield that took the Reds back above Manchester City, who beat Crystal Palace earlier on Sunday.

Liverpool, in pursuit of a first title since 1990, lead by two points with four to play, although City do have a game in hand.

Manager Klopp said: “We controlled and dominated the game for 80 minutes, which is the best you can say about a game against Chelsea.

“In those 10 minutes they could have changed the game completely—a post and two saves from [Alisson]—but then we controlled the game again.

“It was a fantastic performance, an even better atmosphere and a very important result, obviously.”

Mane broke the deadlock with a 51st-minute header before Salah doubled the lead with a stunning long-range strike two minutes later.

Asked about Salah’s goal, Klopp said: “It blew me away. It was a really, really outstanding finish. I don’t want to minimise that but I [also] loved the first goal—good team play, good cross, good header.

“The performance was really good but you need the goals, and we got them.”

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

Klopp insisted his side were only focused on the job ahead of them and were not looking back.

The German said: “What we want to do is collect as many points as possible. That’s 85 points now, so with four games to play that means [we can get] 97.

“Let’s try that and if that’s enough, perfect. If it’s not we cannot change it. We didn’t lose it here or there.

“Very smart people say ‘if you’d won at Leicester you’d be champions’ and stuff like this but it’s all bullshit. Only weak people and idiots bring something like this up.”

Klopp also hoped the result would draw a line under reminders of Steven Gerrard’s slip against Chelsea last time Liverpool were chasing the title in 2014. That incident featured in a number of previews for the game.

Coincidentally former captain Gerrard, who is now Rangers manager, visited Liverpool’s training ground on Friday.

“And by the way, we can finally close the slipping book,” said Klopp. “Robbo slipped and nothing happened, so it’s not a Liverpool thing. Done.”

 Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp (L) embraces Chelsea's manager Maurizio Sarri before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri, whose side hit the woodwork through Eden Hazard in the second half, felt the visitors were unlucky not to get something out of the game.

Sarri said: “Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe at this moment. They played very well for 90 minutes but I think we stayed in the match very well.

“We were a little bit unlucky for the timing of the second goal, and then a little bit unlucky because in three minutes we had three goal opportunities—two with Hazard and one with Higuain. We hit the post number 35 of our season.

“But I am really happy with the performance because we stayed in the match. Two or three months ago we would not have done.”

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Video: Jurgen Klopp post-match press conference – Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 20:51

Jurgen Klopp was left delighted after his Liverpool side sealed a vital 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday, restoring their place at the top of the Premier League.

[embedded content]

The Reds arguably rode their luck in the first half, but turned on the style soon after the break at Anfield, with Sadio Mane opening the scoring with a far-post header.

Significantly more impressive, however, was Mohamed Salah‘s strike to double the lead, arrowing a phenomenal effort from outside the box into the top corner, far beyond a sprawling Kepa Arrizabalaga.

With Man City winning at Crystal Palace earlier in the day, a win was essential for Liverpool.

And having seen his side move back to the top, Klopp emphasised its significance in his post-match press conference.

“Apart from the 10 minutes when Chelsea changed system and had their chances, when Ally saved our life, we controlled and dominated the game for 80 minutes, which is probably the best you can say about a game against Chelsea,” he said.

“But in these 10 minutes, if they were 10 minutes, they could have changed the game completely—[hitting the] post and two saves from Ally.

“That was a bit dangerous, of course, but then we controlled the game again.

“It was a fantastic performance, an even better atmosphere and a very, very important result.”

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

Salah’s goal was sensational, and will be considered among the candidates for Goal of the Season, and the manager reflected on his perfect view from the touchline.

“It blew me away. I was really happy. I saw it really well; maybe I saw it first the ball would go in,” he said.

“It was a really, really outstanding finish. And I don’t want to minimise that but I loved the first goal exactly the same.

“It immediately reminded me of the 4-3 against Borussia Dortmund, only Hendo instead of Milly and Sadio instead of Dejan, but a similar situation with this wonderful cross in that area and really good team play.

“The performance was really good but to really make it happen you need the goals and we got them, all good.”

Klopp also provided a welcome update on Jordan Henderson‘s fitness after the captain came off with a knock in the second half, saying that it was “not a problem.”

This is a big boost given Henderson’s upturn in form, and he may start again as Liverpool head on the road in the Champions League, to play Porto on Wednesday night.

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Souness: Henderson is off the leash

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 20:22
Graeme Souness

Football Expert & Columnist

Jamie Carragher: "He doesn't get enough credit at times for his quality. "

Last Updated: 14/04/19 9:01pm

Jordan Henderson produced a fantastic display against Chelsea Jordan Henderson produced a fantastic display against Chelsea Jordan Henderson produced a fantastic display against Chelsea

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson received plenty of plaudits for his display in the middle of the park in the 2-0 win over Chelsea.

Henderson came off the bench to play in a more advanced role against Southampton, scored and has subsequently started in that role against Porto in the Champions League and Chelsea.

Former Liverpool players and Sky Sports pundits Graeme Souness and Jamie Carragher both feel that Henderson is more suited to that position, where he set up Sadio Mane's opener, and will thrive as a result.

4:03 Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson say they must not get ahead of themselves and take each game as it comes, following Liverpool's 2-0 win against Chelsea. Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson say they must not get ahead of themselves and take each game as it comes, following Liverpool's 2-0 win against Chelsea. Graeme Souness

"To play as an anchor man you have to be extremely disciplined and a lot of the time you're attracted to the ball but can't go there because if you don't get there or it breaks down there is a whole. I think he's not suited to that role at this moment in time, maybe in another year.

"He's got great energy, he's box-to-box and he can go 90 minutes no problem. Now he's off the leash and he'll be better for it. With Fabinho it's definitely his best position. He's happy not to be involved. Jordan wants to be on the ball, involved and he's got that athleticism to be sliding back, clearing your line and two or three seconds later be up the other end.

"I've been critical of the midfield, saying there aren't enough goals there. When he plays further forward he gets goals and maybe sets up a few more."

Henderson set up Sadio Mane's opener Henderson set up Sadio Mane's opener Henderson set up Sadio Mane's opener Jamie Carragher

"I think if we're being honest, Jordan Henderson will want to play in that role more because it looks like Fabinho has the position nailed down. In some ways the position he's played for two or three years under Jurgen Klopp isn't there as often as Jordan would like. He feels he can bring something else to the team.

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"It seems that he spoke to the manager about it. But it's not a case of Jurgen Klopp bowing to his manager and saying wherever you want to play I'll put you in. Henderson was on the bench at Southampton and he was given his opportunity and took his opportunity and changed the game. He was Liverpool's best player midweek against Porto and he was always going to be one of the first on the team-sheet today.

Henderson (right) has hit top form at just the right time Henderson (right) has hit top form at just the right time Henderson (right) has hit top form at just the right time

"He's always had great energy and I think his actually ability with what we saw for the goal today. In the inside right channel he can put a great cross in. It was interesting that Jurgen Klopp mentioned trying to find him in the No.10 position a lot today, between the lines and that's where he finds himself for the goal.

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"He doesn't get enough credit at times for his quality. That is a unbelievable ball in front of the Kop, with players flying in and you have to get the sand wedge to the back post. It's a simple header but without Jordan Henderson quality in the box it's still 0-0."

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Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 20:02
Jürgen Klopp hailed a 'fantastic performance, even better atmosphere' after Liverpool roared to a 2-0 victory against Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 20:02

Jürgen Klopp hailed a 'fantastic performance, even better atmosphere' after Liverpool roared to a 2-0 victory against Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Reds maintained their two-point lead over Manchester City courtesy of a blitz at the beginning of the second half at Anfield, with Sadio Mane’s header followed by a Mohamed Salah screamer.

Post-match, Klopp reflected on the tactical changes that led to Liverpool’s breakthrough after the interval, Salah’s incredible strike, Fabinho’s performance and more.

Read a summary of his press conference below…

On what Liverpool changed for the second half…

Just to be a bit more flexible. We speak at half-time, we show a few pictures. A lot of things were really good in the first half already. Little problem – I do it again, I speak about the wind – but in the first half we played against the wind and in the second half we had it at our back and it’s a big plus. You saw it in the second half, Chelsea struggled with the build-up, the balls going high and coming down, it’s just difficult. It was in our favour in the second half and we used that. And we needed to be a bit more flexible on the right flank. In the first half we were a bit left-dominant, we had too many balls there. It was good on the right side, we had moments as well but not as flexible as we wanted.

That was one of the things we spoke about at half-time and it was wonderful that we scored a goal from that situation, Hendo in the box chipping the ball – a fantastic goal. The second goal was a nice strike from Mo obviously, a fantastic goal as well. Apart from the 10 minutes when Chelsea changed system and had their chances, when Ali saved our life, we controlled and dominated the game for 80 minutes, which is probably the best you can say about a game against Chelsea. But in these 10 minutes, if they were 10 minutes, they could have changed the game completely – [hitting the] post and two saves from Ali. That was a bit dangerous, of course, but then we controlled the game again. It was a fantastic performance, an even better atmosphere and a very, very important result.

On how he wanted the team to be more flexible…

It’s about the right side, positioning. You have three players on the right side – Trent, Hendo and Mo. They have to be flexible if the opponent reacts to different things, like movements. Mo can stretch the formation and keep them back, then there’s space for the other two. It’s not too complicated actually.

But if you speak about the left and right flank, I have to say what Bobby, Fabinho and the two centre-halves did against this centre – their two centre-halves, Jorginho and Eden Hazard – was some of the best I ever saw in my life because it is just so difficult. We expected a little bit they would bring Hazard on the No.9 position but still it’s difficult to work that through in training because there are not a lot of players like Eden Hazard and how they do it exactly.

But we denied a lot of situations. If you think about how dangerous it could have been if Eden can control the ball in the centre and then on the right and left wing, Willian and Hudson-Odoi are on their bikes, that would have been really dangerous and difficult to deal with, actually. That was really some of the best. Football-wise, we dominated for long parts of the game. Passing was really good, you need to be patient but direct. I like that game a lot, to be honest.

On Fabinho’s performance…

You have these days when you see from the first second that it’s clicking. Football-wise, we were really in a good moment today, all three midfielders. It was the plan that Hendo is slightly higher and we have this in between the lines, it then gives Fabinho and Naby a bit of different space. It’s not always exactly the same idea, today it was a little bit the idea. From the first moment he was there, football-playing.

And of course, defending this centre – Sarri-ball is not a coincidence, it’s really difficult to play against and there are some good reasons for it. We did it in a really good manner. We didn’t say, Bobby plays against Jorginho, for example. We gave the boys a lot of responsibility in these moments and they dealt with it sensationally.

On Salah’s goal…

It blew me away. I was really happy. I saw it really well; maybe I saw it first the ball would go in. It was a really, really outstanding finish. And I don’t want to minimise that but I loved the first goal exactly the same. It immediately reminded me of the 4-3 against Borussia Dortmund, only Hendo instead of Millie and Sadio instead of Dejan, but a similar situation with this wonderful cross in that area and really good team play. The performance was really good but to really make it happen you need the goals and we got them, all good.

On Liverpool’s big players stepping up…

I said it before when you asked me about any concerns about shape and form, the answer in football – not only for us, for all football players – is always work-rate. The work-rate today, again, of all three up front was outstanding. Chelsea are a top, top, top team. We treat these games and deal with these games like Champions League games and you cannot defend on this level without the offensive wing. It doesn’t work. Everybody uses it, we use it – if somebody plays against us and the wingers are up front, OK, we take that risk. Each top team takes that risk. How the boys worked today was unbelievable and you get the reward for that. You can make an easy goal from a yard or you need to shoot from, what was it, quite a distance and score this thunderbolt.

On Liverpool’s prospects of winning the title…

We see it game by game. We go to Porto now, which will be a tough one, and we will play there as good as possible. We know they get at least two players back – fixed line-up players, very important, Pepe and Herrera coming back makes it a different side. It will be an interesting and difficult challenge. Then we play Cardiff and everybody knows they fight for [staying in] the league, everybody knows it is a tough place to go. We go there and we will try everything to win there. The biggest challenge for us is always facing the world outside – you [journalists] and other people – because we don’t think like that.

Today, they [City] win and [did it] ask a question for us? If we think about them, yes, and if we don’t think about them, no. We play our game. If, for example, City lose today and we know it five minutes before our game, somebody tells us, ‘City lost’, that’s not a help. Then you lose your focus in that moment. What we want to do is collect as many points as possible, really. 85 points, four games to play, that means [we can get] 97. Good, let’s try. Let’s try that. If that’s enough, perfect, and if not, we cannot change it.

We didn’t lose it here or there or in this or that game. Very smart people will come out and say, ‘Yeah, but if you would have won against Leicester then you would be champions now’ and stuff like this. Only weak people bring something like this up. By the way, at this point we can finally close the slipping book – Robbo slipped and nothing happened, so it’s not a Liverpool thing. Done. All good.

I am so proud of what the boys did today, and I loved, loved, loved the atmosphere – it was outstanding what the people did today. You could feel it, they are all on their toes, so let’s try to do that seven more times and then we see what we get for it.

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Salah on his screamer: 'My instinct took over'

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 19:45
Mohamed Salah's goalscoring instinct took over right before he unleashed a rocket to score Liverpool's second in the 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Salah on his screamer: 'My instinct took over'

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 19:45

Mohamed Salah's goalscoring instinct took over right before he unleashed a rocket to score Liverpool's second in the 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.

Just 142 seconds after Sadio Mane's opener, the Egyptian doubled the Reds' lead with a spectacular long-range effort that sent Anfield into raptures.

It took Salah's Premier League goal tally for the season to 19 - pulling him level with Manchester City's Sergio Aguero in the Golden Boot race.

"I don't think, I just feel!" the No.11 told Sky Sports.

"Normally I shoot [with the] inside of the foot but this one - because it's far [out] - I just hit it with power.

"I was a bit lucky that the ball hit the net like that."

Despite being a certain contender for goal of the season, Salah doesn't even rank it as the best of his Liverpool career.

Instead, the curling effort in last season's Anfield Merseyside derby - which won the 2018 FIFA Puskas Award - remains the forward's most beloved.

"I will always chose [the Everton] one," he added. "This is my favourite because it's my first derby.

"I think I used everything good - the strength, the technique and the skills."

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Jürgen Klopp offers update on Jordan Henderson fitness

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 19:26
Jürgen Klopp allayed concerns Jordan Henderson sustained an injury during Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.
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Jürgen Klopp offers update on Jordan Henderson fitness

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 19:26

Jürgen Klopp allayed concerns Jordan Henderson sustained an injury during Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.

The captain was substituted and replaced by James Milner after 77 minutes of the contest after picking up a knock to his ankle.

However, Klopp told his post-match press conference he is confident there is no lasting damage for Henderson.

“He got a knock on his ankle, that’s pretty much all," the manager said. "He was fine after the game.

"A bit of pain, no problem, [he] didn’t twist [it]. It’s only painful, not a problem.”

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Salah: Four more wins will secure title

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 18:52
Liverpool face Cardiff (A), Huddersfield (H), Newcastle (A) and Wolves (H) in remaining games

Last Updated: 15/04/19 11:49am

5:27 Mo Salah joined Jamie Redknapp to look back on his sensational goal in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday Mo Salah joined Jamie Redknapp to look back on his sensational goal in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday

Mohamed Salah thinks Liverpool will be Premier League champions if they win their remaining four matches of the season.

Salah scored a stunning goal to help secure a 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Super Sunday and move Liverpool back to the top of the table.

Liverpool are two points clear of Manchester City, who won 3-1 against Crystal Palace on Sunday and have a game in hand.

2:09 We take a look at Salah's five best Premier League goals after his superb strike on Sunday We take a look at Salah's five best Premier League goals after his superb strike on Sunday

City boss Pep Guardiola says he trusts his City players to win each remaining game, but Salah thinks Liverpool will finish top if they beat Cardiff (A), Huddersfield (H), Newcastle (A), and Wolves (H).

Easier opposition for Reds?

The average league position of Man City's remaining opponents is 9.2, while Liverpool's is 15.3

"In my opinion, yes," Salah told Sky Sports.

"We just need to focus on our game and hope Manchester City will lose points.

2:47 Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

"I did follow Man City to see the result, it can help us but also it can push us to perform better. You need to score, you can't lose any points, I knew the result of Manchester City's game."

Salah's goal against Chelsea was his 21st of the season in the Premier League, moving him joint-top of the scoring charts with Sergio Aguero.

Salah's form has been questioned at times over the last few months, but he said: "It's different when other teams have two or three players on me. [Sadio] Mane is having a very good season, so is [Roberto] Firmino, they are scoring more goals than last season, because the attention on me is giving them more freedom, and I am very happy for them.

"It helps the team to score more goals, when they focus on my side the other side is free, we are a team and we focus on the team.

The Run In - Remaining fixtures Date Liverpool fixtures Date Man City fixtures April 21 Cardiff (A) - SSPL April 20 Spurs (H) - SSPL April 24 Man Utd (A) - SSPL April 26 Huddersfield (H) - SSPL April 28 Burnley (A) - SSPL May 5 Newcastle (A) - SSPL May 4 Leicester (H) - SSPL May 12 Wolves (H) May 12 Brighton (A)

"I am not complaining, I am happy with the result, we are first now so that's the most important thing. The Premier League is the most important thing for me."

Pep warns: It's in our hands

City face Spurs (H), Manchester United (A), Burnley (A), Leicester (H) and Brighton (A), knowing a win in all five mean they retain the title.

"We have done two seasons, 183 points, with five games left, two seasons, why should I doubt what these players have done? I never doubt my players," Guardiola said.

4:19 Pep Guardiola says the Premier League title is in Manchester City's hands Pep Guardiola says the Premier League title is in Manchester City's hands

"We think Liverpool will win all the games. We have to win all the games. Tough games - but it's in our hands."

Where will title be won and lost?

Speaking on Super Sunday, Jamie Carragher, Graeme Souness, and Ashley Cole gave their verdict on the title race and where points might be dropped over the final month...

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Video and photos: Anfield pays respects to the 96

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 18:52
Respects were paid to the 96 supporters who lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy, before Liverpool's match with Chelsea on Sunday.
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Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea: Five talking points

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 18:45
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah scored second-half goals to give Liverpool a 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Report: Mane and Salah strike to keep Reds top with Chelsea win

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 18:20

Liverpool maintained their position at the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.

After a goalless first half, Sadio Mane headed the Reds into the lead six minutes after the re-start from Jordan Henderson’s excellent stand-up towards the back post.

Mohamed Salah added a second moments later, finding the top corner with a sensational long-range strike that arrowed across goal and into the net.

The result means Liverpool again end the weekend at the summit of the division, leading by two points albeit having played a game more than Manchester City.

Team news

The teamsheet showed two changes from the midweek victory over FC Porto for Liverpool, with Andy Robertson and Joel Matip replacing James Milner and Dejan Lovren in defence.

First half

Ahead of kick off, Anfield paid its respects to both Tommy Smith, who sadly passed away on Friday, and -  on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the disaster - the 96 children, women and men who lost their lives at Hillsborough.

With Jürgen Klopp taking charge for the 200th time in all competitions, Liverpool got the game under way knowing only a victory would return them to the summit of the Premier League table after Manchester City’s 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace earlier in the day.

And the Reds set about making a positive start to the contest, with Salah having his snap-volley from Mane’s cross saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga after six minutes.

The hosts had seized early control, though Eden Hazard showed a glimpse of his considerable threat when he wriggled into space and had a low effort saved by Alisson Becker at the near post.

Next, Henderson’s goal-bound strike from just outside the area deflected off the boot of David Luiz and behind, while Willian cracked wide of the post for the visitors after a surge forward on the break.

On 38 minutes, Liverpool fashioned an opening for Mane when Salah sped down the right and pulled it back for the No.10; however, his first-time swipe curled wide of the upright.

The Blues lost Antonio Rudiger to injury shortly after, with Andreas Christensen replacing the defender.

In the final moment of the half, Kepa denied Roberto Firmino’s touch from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s in-swinging free-kick with his foot, though the Brazilian was deemed offside by the referee’s assistant as the half concluded without a goal.

Second half

Any sense of frustration at not breaking the deadlock in the first period were blown away at the start of the second half in 142 seconds as Liverpool established a two-goal advantage.

It was Mane who opened the scoring, heading in at the back post after Henderson and Salah had combined in the area, allowing the former to stand a ball up over Kepa.

Then, Salah had Anfield in raptures when he took aim from 20 yards and found the top corner with an arrow of an effort from the right.

Chelsea went close to forcing their way back into the game when Hazard collected a pass over the top from Luiz and rolled an effort beyond Alisson, though thankfully it struck the base of the post.

The Blues No.10 then brought a smart stop out of the home goalkeeper, hooking goalwards from a cross to the near post.

Liverpool were forced to replace Henderson with 15 minutes remaining after he sustained a knock. James Milner was dispatched from the bench, with Georginio Wijnaldum having earlier taken the place of Keita.

But the Reds had already done enough to claim the points as their dreams of clinching Premier League glory remain firmly alive with just four games now remaining.

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Report: Mane and Salah strike to keep Reds top with Chelsea win

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 18:20
Liverpool maintained their position at the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.
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Listen live: Free commentary on Liverpool v Chelsea

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 04/14/2019 - 16:20
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