Neco Williams won his second cap for Wales on Sunday—and scored the winning goal in dream fashion, deep into stoppage time.
There had been some within the Welsh FA ranks who were keen to get Williams on board and featuring in an official senior game to essentially tie him down to the national team, fearing he’d switch to England.
But that never really looked in danger of being the case, even with Williams’ breakthrough at Liverpool, particularly as the man ahead of him at club level is Trent Alexander-Arnold—the right-back for England for the next decade, too.
As such, Williams has been fast-tracked to the senior squad under Ryan Giggs and made his debut three days ago as sub against Finland in the Nations League.
That settled his international allegiance—and a second appearance on Sunday against Bulgaria showed that he’s firmly in the picture going forward.
Giggs brought on the 19-year-old with 25 minutes left to play and the scores tied at 0-0.
And Wales earned a second 1-0 victory for the week, with Williams stealing in at the back post to head home a 94th-minute winner for the Dragons.
Speaking after the match, Williams explained his justifiable pride, as he became the eighth Red to net for Wales.
“To be honest, I can’t really sum it up at the minute. Before the goal, we must have made about 25 passes before the goal actually went in, so the build-up to it was the main thing.
“And to finish it off, and especially to get my first goal for my country, is just a proud moment for me and my family. It’ll be a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
“Making my debut, then scoring my first goal for my country… obviously when you’re a kid, you always dream of playing for your country. To get the opportunity and to do what I’m doing now is just a surreal moment.
“If I keep working hard and keep showing the gaffer what I can do, then hopefully I’ll keep getting my chances and hopefully like today I’ll get some more goals.”
Wales boss Giggs was equally impressed with William’s impact and revealed he was close to actually giving the teenager his full debut.
“Neco came on the other night and was fantastic and it was the same tonight,” he said.
“He’s got loads of quality, he has confidence in his ability and he’s a great lad, he has brought new energy to the group.
“He’s showed that in both cameos and I was [torn] over whether to start him today. But to come on and not just his goal but his overall performance, I’m delighted.”
Wales’ next game is actually against England, a friendly in October, so there’s every chance that both Liverpool’s right-backs could start the match at opposite ends of the pitch.
WHAT A FEELING!!! Buzzing to have scored the winner on my home debut for my country ???????? doing my family proud. Gutted the fans weren’t there to be in the moment. @FAWales #getinneco pic.twitter.com/lwDZonXdR4
— Neco Williams (@necowilliams01) September 6, 2020
Woodburn might serve as a cautionary tale for Williams, despite the massive positive of today; the young attacker had a similarly quick impact for the national team after making his breakthrough with the Reds, but injury and inconsistency has since seen his career stall somewhat.
Caoimhin Kelleher was named as sub for Ireland in their Nations League match against Finland in the same group as Wales and Bulgaria.
Greece are in action later on Sunday, but Kostas Tsimikas has already left the squad after reportedly testing positive for coronavirus.
It has been relatively quiet transfer window so far for Liverpool, but one or two more moves are still expected before 5 October. They probably won’t be the ones, or the terms suggested, in the weekend gossip columns.
It’s inevitable that a few more players might depart the squad.
In particular there are media inches constantly written about an element of midfield turnover—and both the players involved feature in this weekend’s rumour roundup.
So do one or two other, rather more incredulous, suggestions.Gini Wijnaldum
The latest on our own midfielder, Gini Wijnaldum, continues to point to an exit – though very little about the media stories tallies up with what’s currently going on in terms of the Reds’ matchday lineups.
Domestically, the Mirror claims an exclusive, reporting that the Reds have “lost the battle” to keep Wijnaldum and have “told Barcelona it will cost them £15m” to sign him.
That’s a lower fee than has previously been discussed, plus it’s at-odds with the Reds’ previous insistence that they either get the fee they want, or else hold the player for the term of his contract.
Over in Spain, meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo report that the Catalan club are still fighting it out in the boardroom over whether to sign Wijnaldum or a certain Thiago Alcantara.Thiago Alcantara
Meanwhile, the Reds’ own interest in Thiago continues according to most reports…but the player himself isn’t playing the game for the media.
Questioned ahead of Spain’s Nations League game, the Bayern Munich man said it was largely of the media’s own invention that he had asked to depart the Allianz Arena.
“I have not told anyone that I’m leaving,” he said.
“Every year, the media puts me in a different club. For me, my future is tomorrow’s game (against Ukraine) and there is nothing more to say.
“I neither care nor am I interested. What interests me is tomorrow.”
While that’s no doubt technically true, in that he hasn’t specifically stated he wants to depart, it’s certainly not the word coming out of Bayern.
CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has multiple times said Thiago looked like he was saying goodbye, or similar, as well as suggesting he’ll only leave if they get a bid they like.
All part of the fun and games as everybody bides their time for the right package.Antoine Griezmann
Could at least make it believable, couldn’t they?
The Mail tried to suggest on Saturday that “Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal on red alert to sign Antoine Griezmann from Barcelona… with striker’s Nou Camp future in doubt after Lionel Messi’s stunning U-turn.”
That’s not a title built purely for SEO reasons at all, is it?
So what’s in the actual story?
Messi’s forced decision, plus Ronald Koeman wanting to look at Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, leaves Antoine Griezmann “vulnerable” and he has “previously been linked with Liverpool whose pressing style under Jurgen Klopp mirrors the success he had at Atletico for Diego Simeone.”
That’s it, that’s the link.
So, to clarify: we didn’t sign Timo Werner because of finances, but we’re definitely interested in signing €800k-a-week Griezmann. Right, then.Harry Wilson
Still not much clarity on this one, largely because the source is about as reliable as, well, the last story on Griezmann.
Leeds United are thought by several reporters to be keeping tabs on Harry Wilson, in interest dating back to last season at least.
But the Star say the Reds “may wait until after their clash” and won’t consider selling him to the Elland Road club until after the opening day of the season, to ensure he doesn’t have a quick impact against them.
In fairness, this one makes more sense than the others, but it’s still a non-story.
The new season starts in a week, Wilson hasn’t played for the Reds in pre-season and he’s away on internationals until midweek – what would the chances be of getting a deal done in two or three days anyway?!Rhian Brewster
Finally, a story of the sort the papers love: the ultimate get-out clause, the “keep us informed” angle.
The Magpies are on the verge of signing Callum Wilson anyway, so striker isn’t exactly the No. 1 priority of the coming days after that, and the Reds have little need to let him go before the League Cup third round, for example, with the extended transfer window.
Keep you updated? Sure thing, Steve Bruce. Just check the gossip columns every morning.
Liverpool FC Women began their FA Women's Championship season with a 1-1 draw against Durham on Sunday.
Rachel Furness gave Vicky Jepson’s side a half-time lead at Prenton Park with a smartly-taken finish in the 39th minute.
But Durham denied the Reds a winning start to the 2020-21 campaign as Beth Hepple beat Rachael Laws three minutes from time to force a share of the points.
Three of the Reds’ summer signings were in the XI; Taylor Hinds, Laws – for a second time – and Amalie Thestrup making their competitive debuts for the club.
There was also a 100th Liverpool appearance for Ashley Hodson.
Chances were at a premium in the early stages, with back-to-back short corner moves presenting Rinsola Babajide openings to shoot, though both were off target.
Jepson’s team enjoyed plenty of possession but it was the visitors who threatened to break the deadlock twice midway through the half.
First, on 22 minutes, Nicki Gears’ deep cross from the right-hand side drifted towards goal and demanded the attention of Laws, who tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Then, a corner on the same flank found Becky Salicki with space and time in the area to guide a header at goal – but her effort was too high.
Instead, Liverpool opened the scoring – and their account for 2020-21 – six minutes before the interval.
Babajide’s lofted pass over the top reached Furness in the left channel of the Durham area and the Reds vice-captain showed composure and quality to clip a finish across the goalkeeper into the opposite corner of the net.
Into the second half, Hepple drew a save from Laws with a strike from the edge of the box, while Babajide sent a decent chance straight at the goalkeeper at the other end.
Jepson opted for a double change shortly before the hour mark, introducing Jade Bailey and Jess Clarke for Rhiannon Roberts and Thestrup respectively.
Molly Sharpe almost fashioned an equaliser for Durham with a neat turn in the area but Laws collected her shot, and Liverpool substitute Clarke was denied by a Kathryn Hill block in response.
The away side were forced to see out the closing stages with 10 players after an injury to Iris Achterhof and Furness hit the outside of the goalframe with a hit on the stretch from Hinds’ deep free-kick left to right.
But Durham produced a leveller with 87 on the clock; they turned over possession near the Liverpool box and Hepple ran in to dink a finish over Laws and make it 1-1 as time ticked away.
A succession of corners saw Liverpool mount stoppage-time pressure – and a looping header was cleared away from the goalline – but Jepson’s charges had to settle for a point on the opening day.
Liverpool FC Women: Laws, Hodson, Fahey, Robe, Hinds, Roberts (Bailey, 57), Rodgers, Furness, Lawley, Babajide, Thestrup (Clarke, 57).
Unused substitutes: Foster, Heeps, Kearns, Linnett, Ross, Parry.
Liverpool will face either Bradford City or Lincoln City away from home in the third round of this season's Carabao Cup.
Sunday afternoon’s draw paired the Reds with the clubs from League Two and League One respectively, who will face off in the next stage.
The second-round ties will be played across September 15/16 and Jürgen Klopp’s side will then take on the winners of the meeting between Bradford and Lincoln on either September 22 or 23.
Further fixture details will be released on Liverpoolfc.com in due course.
Last Updated: 06/09/20 9:47pmPep Guardiola and Manchester City have won three successive Carabao Cups
Manchester City will begin their quest for a record-equalling eighth Carabao Cup with a third-round tie against Bournemouth or Crystal Palace, while Leicester City face Arsenal at the same stage.
Pep Guardiola's side, who won this trophy for the third successive year last March, enter at the third-round due to their European commitments.
Last season's runners-up Aston Villa are away to Burton in the second round, while Burnley host Sheffield United in an all-Premier League tie.
There is a West Midlands derby between Wolves and Stoke City, West Ham host London rivals Charlton, while Brighton take on Portsmouth in an eye-catching South Coast clash.
EFL newcomers Harrogate face a dream trip to Premier League West Brom while fellow Sky Bet League Two side Salford also have a Premier League challenge against Everton at Goodison Park.
In the third round, Premier League champions Liverpool will travel to Bradford City or Lincoln, while Manchester United are away to Reading or Luton.
The only confirmed all-Premier League tie in the third round sees Leicester host Arsenal, with Tottenham away to Leyton Orient or Plymouth.
Second-round ties are to be played the week commencing September 14 with third-round matches the following week.Carabao Cup second round
Another year, another £50,000 jackpot on the line. Sky Sports Fantasy Football makes its return for the 2020/21 season.
Last Updated: 06/09/20 5:42pmThiago Alcantara has been linked with Liverpool, but what would he bring to the team?
Thiago Alcantara would give the Liverpool midfield a creative spark, Melissa Reddy told the latest Transfer Talk podcast as she makes the case for his signing.
The Bayern Munich midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield after shining for the Bundesliga club in another successful season and is expected to move this summer.
But does Jurgen Klopp need another body in midfield? Reddy, senior football correspondent for The Independent, believes Thiago offers something different to the current options but admits a space would need to open up for him.
She told the Transfer Talk podcast: "Part of the job when you are at the top is to stay there and one of the ways to do that is to make sure you're evolving, reinventing yourself in certain respects while staying true to the fundamentals that got you to the pinnacle in the first place - and Thiago would do that. He is the anthesis of everything they have at the moment, which I think is the entire point.
"He's so progressive on the ball, pressure resistant and against deep defences especially, he would open them, with his incredible range of passing with both feet. While it's true that Liverpool largely funnel all their play through their full-backs, who are the creative heartbeat of the side, they know that clubs are trying to deny them that avenue. They're working really hard to put pressure on the full-backs to funnel all their play inside.
"Liverpool's midfield is incredibly industrious, tactically astute and their job really is to cover the areas when the full-backs go and are left vacant to make sure they're offering protection, but if you can have somebody in the midfield as well who can function in that creative capacity, it makes sense to do it.
"Thiago is an incredible thinker of the game as well, when he talks about the art of passing. He was schooled at two clubs [Barcelona and Bayern] where the pressure and expectation is so much, so moving to a club where that's also the case wouldn't really hamper him too much.1:47 Here's a look at some of the long-range passing skills Liverpool fans could enjoy if Thiago were to join the club Here's a look at some of the long-range passing skills Liverpool fans could enjoy if Thiago were to join the club
"But in essence, when you look at Liverpool's midfield, they're already struggling to give everyone a fair crack at appearances and it is their most well-stocked area. For Jurgen, the biggest thing is squad harmony. He thinks a big reason they are where they are is, yes the evolution of the team and being able to win in different ways, but that's possible because of the squad harmony, the way the group get along and he's very conscious of keeping that, adding to the group but not destabilising that harmony.
"Interestingly with Thiago, Georginio Wijnaldum is in the exact same position in terms of having a year left on his contract to run and Barcelona under Ronald Koeman want Wijanldum. There has been no secret of that.
"I don't think it is impossible to imagine a scenario where Barcelona move for Wijanldum, freeing up Liverpool to move for Thiago or if both clubs think 'the window ends in October, that's not too far from January' where a pre-contract can be agreed and both clubs go down that route. At the moment, Liverpool are comfortable, patient and relaxed to see what happens.1:07 Jamie Redknapp believes Thiago would add a different dimension to Liverpool's midfield if he was to join from Bayern Munich Jamie Redknapp believes Thiago would add a different dimension to Liverpool's midfield if he was to join from Bayern Munich
"When you speak to the club, they say he's a spectacular player, the club likes him a lot but look at the places in midfield, they have to try and keep everyone happy. If a vacancy opens up, I'm sure they'll go for Thiago. I know there is a lot of anxiety among the fanbase as the club have done so little but there's a long way to go in the window still."Sheth: Wijnaldum has interesting decision to make Ronald Koeman and Gini Wijnaldum already know each other well
Another transfer eye is being kept on Wijnaldum, with new Barcelona boss Koeman - who coached the midfielder with the Netherlands - wanting him to play pivotal role in his rebuilding project at the Nou Camp.
But with plenty of turmoil at Barcelona in recent weeks, Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth says Wijnaldum must be wary of the upcoming elections at the club.
He told the Transfer Talk podcast: "Obviously there is a match with the connections to the Dutch squad, but one thing I think Wijnaldum would have to think about, if he was to go to Barcelona, is those presidential elections.
"If he is joining because Koeman is there, there's no guarantee the manager will be there for the entire season. If (Josep Maria) Bartomeu loses those presidential elections and Victor Font is the favourite to win, Xavi is straight in and Koeman's out. Where does that then leave Wijanldum? Unless Xavi likes him.
"It's a real interesting decision that Wijnaldum will have to make and Liverpool as well because there's nothing stopping Wijnaldum saying 'I'm happy here, if you're not going to give me a new contract, I'll assess my options next summer when I can go for free'."Liverpool vs Leeds
September 12, 2020, 5:00pm
Reddy added: "I don't think Liverpool would mind losing Wijnaldum on a free if that's the case, we've seen it before. They will think for the outlay they've spent on him to get him from Newcastle and for what he's delivered to the club in terms of tactical dexterity, he's played pretty much everywhere apart from in goal for Liverpool.
"They've secured trophies with him and he's been part of the senior players committee so a real leader in the dressing room. I think they say 'he's given us great service, it doesn't matter if we don't get a transfer fee for him'."What else do Liverpool need? 2:25 Senior football writer Melissa Ruddy explains Liverpool's long-term transfer plan under Jurgen Klopp Senior football writer Melissa Ruddy explains Liverpool's long-term transfer plan under Jurgen Klopp
There are a few potential transfers bubbling under the surface this summer, but Reddy believes Liverpool's transfer plans are also focused on the long term.
She said: "I know one of the key directives for Liverpool and their recruitment staff, they don't want a squad who has aged together. Development and shared experiences is important, but they don't want to find themselves in the same situation that Barcelona are in, for example, where you're leaving yourself with your whole spine to replace with nothing coming through and no advancement.
"So getting that balance right of having those players who have been so pivotal to their silverware haul while also thinking of the future, that's very big for them.0:45 Harvey Elliott scores as Liverpool come from behind to beat Blackpool 7-2 in a pre-season friendly. (Pictures from LFCTV. Full match highlights available on LFCTV) Harvey Elliott scores as Liverpool come from behind to beat Blackpool 7-2 in a pre-season friendly. (Pictures from LFCTV. Full match highlights available on LFCTV)
"The club have a lot of exciting young talent coming through, of which Harvey Elliott is probably the biggest. So it's making sure those youngsters are so well immersed in the culture and the demands that they can step up while also looking at the market, finding the next Sadio Mane, the next Mohamed Salah and they're already working on that.
"What is also huge for Liverpool is the front three. Given their ages, if one of them wants to look for a new challenge, Liverpool will wish them well, and get big fees for them because none of them have release clauses in their contracts, and will be very confident of replacing them.Liverpool successfully reinvested the money they received for Philippe Coutinho
"If we look at the Philippe Coutinho example, they let him go when he was Liverpool's talisman and their best player. He went for £142m and they took that money, reinvested it in Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho and they've gone and won trophies.
"I think there will be a lot of confidence that if any of their big hitters do walk out, eventually, that they're fully capable of replacing them."Transfer Centre LIVE!
All the latest news, analysis and rumours from the window in one place.
The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.
A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday, October 16 at 5pm.
Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back!
Another year, another £50,000 jackpot on the line. Sky Sports Fantasy Football makes its return for the 2020/21 season.
On the face of it, the match may appear to be a largely insignificant one. But Liverpool's 1-1 First Division draw away to newly-promoted Birmingham City on September 6, 1980 marked a unique point in the club's history.
Kenny Dalglish’s second-half opener was cancelled out by Frank Worthington to leave defending champions Liverpool fifth in the table after five games played of the 1980-81 campaign.
But that doesn’t tell the real history of the fixture. A record that stands even now, and will possibly remain forever, was set that day 40 years ago.
Liverpool’s starting XI for the match was named together for the 48th and final time in all competitions – the most any combination of 11 players in the club’s history has ever lined up collectively.
Ray Clemence in goal. A back four of Phil Neal, Alan Hansen, Phil Thompson and Alan Kennedy. Graeme Souness and Terry McDermott in central midfield, flanked by two wingers, Jimmy Case on the right and Ray Kennedy on the left. And to complete the set, a front two of Dalglish and David Johnson.
An iconic side led by manager Bob Paisley, that exact starting XI was named together in four competitions (the First Division, Charity Shield, League Cup and FA Cup) across three separate seasons from 1978-79 to 1980-81. The group won 37, drew seven and lost just four of their 48 games alongside one another, also keeping 29 clean sheets.
For some context to this, the most that current manager Jürgen Klopp has named a single starting line-up in his 266 matches in charge of Liverpool is five times.
Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Naby Keita, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. This side started together in four of Liverpool’s first five league games of the 2018-19 season and then for a fifth and most recent time in a Champions League defeat at Napoli in October 2018.
This is because football has changed. In the Premier League era, the most any club has named any single starting XI is on 19 occasions (a Manchester United XI over a 364-day spell from 1992 to 1993), with Liverpool’s most in the competition being 11 times in the club’s 1,076 Premier League matches.
Any exact side lining up together 48 times is simply unfathomable nowadays. But that’s exactly what one of Paisley’s XIs did from 1979 to 1980.
Indeed, from April 7, 1979 to the draw with Birmingham in September 1980, Liverpool played 80 matches in all competitions, naming that same side for 48 of those games.
Liverpool's top five most-used starting XIs
The first of the 48 was a 3-0 win over Arsenal, with goals from Case, Dalglish and McDermott. In fact, this side won each of the first 10 matches they played together, including the 1979 Charity Shield final, again against Arsenal. Bolton Wanderers were the first to at least stop this superb side from winning on the opening day of the 1979-80 league campaign, holding Liverpool to a 0-0 draw.
The Reds went on to win the league title for a second consecutive season that term, with the side in question being named for 24 of the 42 matches en route to what was the 12th of Liverpool’s 19 top-flight crowns. Indeed, across the 42 title-winning matches in 1979-80, Paisley made just 24 changes to his starting XIs.
By contrast, Klopp made 82 in leading Liverpool to the club’s latest championship last season. Football has become a squad game, and while Paisley was limited to a maximum of one substitution per league match during his tenure, Premier League sides were allowed as many as five each game at the tail end of last season. But consistency was key for Paisley’s charge.
The captain of the most-used team for each of their 48 games together was Thompson, who as of the game against Birmingham in September 1980 had played 362 times for Liverpool. Thompson was a veteran of the side despite only being 26 years of age. Of the other 10 players in the XI, only goalkeeper Clemence, at 32 years old, had played more times for the Reds at this stage (610).
On the morning of their final game together against Birmingham, the XI in question had made a combined 2,778 appearances for the Reds in all competitions.
The last time Liverpool deployed an XI with that many appearances to its name heading into a match was way back in February 1994 against Southampton in a Premier League clash, when Roy Evans selected a side that had experienced 2,833 previous games.
Cut to the current era for context, and Klopp has yet to field a side within a thousand Liverpool appearances of this. His most experienced line-up – named against Manchester City in July 2020, the game after the Reds had confirmed their latest league title – added up to 1,704 Liverpool outings, by comparison.
Perhaps most remarkable about the all-time most-used XI was the fact all 10 of the outfield players scored at least one goal in their 48 games alongside each other. Four of the side managed to bag 10 goals in the 48 outings, while forward pairing Dalglish (25) and Johnson (21) netted 46 of the 103 goals Liverpool scored in these fixtures.
Indeed, Johnson scored his only Reds hat-trick in one of these 48 matches, a 5-0 FA Cup third-round win over Grimsby Town in January 1980, in what was the 28th of the 48 times that starting XI was used.
At home, this great team was truly imperious. Of their 48 matches as an XI, 26 were at Anfield. They lost none of those fixtures, conceding just six goals in all. While their last match together overall was the aforementioned draw at Birmingham, their final Anfield outing was much more in keeping with the record of such a great side.
That was a 4-0 win over Bradford City in the second leg of a League Cup second-round meeting – overturning a 1-0 deficit from the first leg. Dalglish bagged a brace, with Ray Kennedy and Johnson completing the scoring. It was Liverpool’s first tie of that season’s competition and they would go on to win the trophy. All started by this brilliant side.
This team was built to succeed. An XI crafted during Liverpool’s most successful period under Paisley. Now, 40 years on, every one of the 11 players involved is a huge part of the history of Liverpool Football Club. Great players in a great team marking a great era for the Reds.
Jürgen Klopp will aim to extend his impressive record with Liverpool in opening games of a Premier League season when they host Leeds United next Saturday.
The German has chalked up three victories and a draw in four top-flight curtain-raisers since taking charge of the Reds back in 2015, with his side scoring at least three goals on each occasion.
And Klopp’s form in first matches is the subject of our latest preview to the forthcoming term as we examine a series of themes and subplots ahead of 2020-21.
Having taken the reins partway through a season, Klopp’s introduction to the opening day in England came in August 2016 in the shape of a trip to Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.
Little over an hour into the contest, debutant Sadio Mane was sprinting over to the boss for a touchline celebration after a scintillating solo goal made it 4-1 to his team, who had earlier trailed.
The Gunners mounted a late comeback but Klopp’s men edged the thriller, one that would have ramifications at the very end of 2016-17 as the Reds claimed fourth place – and qualification for the Champions League – at their opponents’ expense.
A year on, another goalfest ensued, with new signing Mohamed Salah on target when a topsy-turvy tie with Watford at Vicarage Road ended 3-3, to date the only time the Reds have not won their Premier League opener under the current boss.
The Hornets actually required a last-minute leveller from Miguel Britos to thwart their visitors and deny Klopp what would be an unblemished record in this category.
In each of the past two campaigns, Liverpool have laid a marker for their ambitions with emphatic results to begin the schedule, beating West Ham United 4-0 in 2018 and Norwich City 4-1 the following year – both at Anfield.
Those two results set the Reds on course for successive club-record points tallies, with 97 and 99 amassed respectively, the latter making Klopp’s men champions.
However, Leeds will journey to the home of the title-holders this year boasting an unbeaten record in their previous 12 opening fixtures of a Premier League season.
Indeed, the Yorkshire club have played more Premier League games on matchday one without losing than any other team in the competition’s history, with five wins and seven draws.
Did you know?
Liverpool roared back to score seven without reply in the final 50 minutes of Saturday’s friendly, but only after they’d conceded twice themselves against Blackpool.
That has become something of a theme in pre-season; the Reds conceded two early strikes against RB Salzburg in Austria and another to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arsenal at Wembley.
The Tangerines did the same at Anfield over the weekend, giving supporters a few moments to at least furrow the brow ahead of the new season, if not cause outright concern.
It’s not just the fact of conceding goals, but that they have mostly come from lapses in concentration and errors in possession, gifting chances to the opposition.
Those same issues have cropped up more than once in the Reds’ shortened pre-season and after the game Klopp acknowledged those now have to be cut out as the Premier League season starts.
“It was because of a lack of aggression from our side, a lack of desire a little bit for this game – that’s how it is, playing around,” he told the club site.
“The goals we conceded, yeah, that’s mistakes – it’s typical for pre-season games. But so far I think we conceded pretty much all the goals in similar situations; losing the ball in the build-up, then it’s a counter-attack, it’s a free chance pretty much.
“We know that and it’s clear we cannot do it like this. We have to improve that.
“But we have another week to get the legs fresher, again an intense week. We have to use the weeks, we cannot change that. I would love to have always fresh boys with super fresh legs in the games, but that only can work over the year when you do the hard work in the pre-season.”
The first of those goals came after young centre-back Billy Koumetio was dispossessed, allowing Blackpool to race through and score.
While Koumetio might have done better with his initial touch and the challenge which came his way, there were other parts of the move which weren’t great, including the pass over to him and the lack of cover in place around him.
Klopp therefore wasn’t pointing the finger at his teenage defender, and says it’s part of Koumetio’s learning curve—while also noting most of the rest of his performance was strong.
“We had some problems in the first half. [The opening goal] was a pressed ball against a very experienced player, who was stronger in that moment.
“Billy played super balls, super passes and was there. Our last line played [for the] first time together like this, it is completely fine, but we were just not high enough.
“There were many situations where I though it must be offside, but it wasn’t offside. For one reason at least, it was not offside because we were not really in line.
“All these things, little things to learn, but 17 years old, the whole life in front of him, which is really nice. [He is a] big talent and, as I said, he had a few really, really good situations, but in this press ball, it was not so nice.”
As it stands, Koumetio looks a likely fourth-choice for the Reds when the season starts, after Dejan Lovren‘s exit.
Whether that will translate in practice remains to be seen, as Nat Phillips could realistically be pushed onto the bench if needed for competitive matches.
There does, though, remain speculation over Phillips’ immediate future, and after Ben White signed a new contract with Brighton there have been few rumours about the Reds going after another central defender.
If that’s the case, there could be more senior games ahead where Koumetio is involved—and he’ll get the chance to show he has learned the lessons of this particular encounter.
In the meantime, against Leeds and beyond, Klopp will be hoping that the senior players who have made goal-costing errors get those mistakes out of their performances in double-quick time.
As Liverpool FC Women prepare to kick off the new 2020-21 season against Durham today, we continue our series on Liverpoolfc.com getting to know the squad even more.
Each member of Vicky Jepson’s team is telling us their footballing background, inspirations, what it’s like to represent the club and more.
Next up is forward Jess Clarke...
Which year did you sign for Liverpool FC Women?
What made you choose to be a footballer?
I just fell in love with the game.
Who is your footballing idol?
Rachel Yankey and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
What is the best football match you’ve watched to date?
2012 Olympics, Women’s Great Britain v Brazil.
What’s the best thing about representing LFC?
Making my family proud.
Describe yourself in three words?
Adventurous, clumsy, gullible.
Favourite TV show?
Any crime programme.
If you weren’t a footballer, what would you want to be?
Dancer or singer.
Best singer in the squad?
LFC Women begin their FA Women’s Championship campaign on Sunday against Durham, with fans reminded that this is a behind-closed-doors game due to the continuing restrictions regarding COVID-19. Kick-off at Prenton Park is at 2pm BST and fans can watch the game live on The FA Player.
Last Updated: 05/09/20 9:18pmJurgen Klopp's Liverpool beat Blackpool 7-2 at Anfield on Saturday
Liverpool fought back from 2-0 down to beat Blackpool 7-2 in a friendly at Anfield on Saturday.
In Liverpool's final pre-season clash, League One side Blackpool were ahead after 15 minutes through CJ Hamilton, before Jerry Yates doubled their lead from the spot.
Liverpool halved the deficit through Joel Matip's glancing header just before the break, and the champions hit two in two minutes after half-time through Sadio Mane's tap-in and Roberto Firmino, who got a clever touch on Takumi Minamino's effort.
Harvey Elliott came off the bench to score his first goal for the club, before Minamino netted a fifth for Liverpool, who were now in total control.
Divock Origi converted Curtis Jones' assist before Sepp van den Berg turned home from close-range from Elliott's cross to complete the rout.
Liverpool: Alisson, Hoever, Matip, Koumetio, Milner, Fabinho, Keita, Minamino, Mane, Salah, Firmino - Subs: Adrian, Karius, Jones, Origi, Phillips, Clarkson, Elliott, Van den Berg.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa beat Arsenal 3-2 at the Emirates thanks to goals from Douglas Luiz and Jacob Murphy (2), with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice for the Gunners.0:31 Highlights of Everton's 2-0 victory against Preston in a pre-season friendly at Goodison Park. Highlights of Everton's 2-0 victory against Preston in a pre-season friendly at Goodison Park.
Everton were 2-0 winners over Preston at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jonjoe Kenny.
Tottenham were beaten 2-1 at Watford, with Heung-Min Son scoring Spurs' only goal from the spot, while West Ham were beaten 5-3 by relegated Bournemouth at the London Stadium; Felipe Anderson and Jarrod Bowen (2) were scorers.
Crystal Palace drew 1-1 with Brondby at Selhurst Park, with Wilfried Zaha scoring, while Newcastle lost 1-0 at home to Stoke.
Burnley fielded two separate sides as they beat Hearts 4-1 and Mansfield Town 4-2, Leeds beat Pacos Ferreira 3-1, Leicester drew 1-1 with Blackburn, and Brighton drew 0-0 with West Brom at the Amex.Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back!
Another year, another £50,000 jackpot on the line. Sky Sports Fantasy Football makes its return for the 2020/21 season.
Liverpool came from two goals down to beat Blackpool 7-2 in their final pre-season friendly - and the full match is available to watch on LFCTV GO now.
The Reds had seven different scorers - Joel Matip, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Harvey Elliott, Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi and Sepp van den Berg - after the visitors raced into a 2-0 lead at Anfield.
If you missed our live coverage of the friendly, or would like to watch it again, see the full 90 minutes above.
App users should tap here to watch the video.
Use code 2021GOFREE to start a one-month free trial of LFCTV GO now - this can be cancelled at any time.