LFC NEWS

Klopp on Brentford win, confidence, Minamino form and more

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 17:31
Jürgen Klopp declared himself 'so happy' with the way his Liverpool side handled and overcame the challenge of Brentford in Sunday's 3-0 victory.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Trent declares “the future is bright” after Kaide Gordon leapfrogs Raheem Sterling

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 17:30

Kaide Gordon became the fourth-youngest league debutant Liverpool’s history coming on against Brentford, with Trent Alexander-Arnold proclaiming “the future is bright.”

The Reds were coasting at 3-0 up when Jurgen Klopp turned to his No. 49, with Gordon replacing Diogo Jota in the 82nd minute at Anfield.

At 17 years, three months and 11 days, Gordon took over from Raheem Sterling as the fourth-youngest player to debut for Liverpool in a league game.

Only Jack Robinson, Harvey Elliott and Ben Woodburn did so at a younger age, with Max Thompson pushed out of the top five; Gordon is the third player to make it onto the list during Klopp’s reign.

The teenager is already the club’s fifth-youngest debutant in all competitions, and his latest distinction came a week after he secured his place as the Reds’ youngest-ever FA Cup goalscorer.

? Kaide Gordon is the fourth-youngest league debutant in #LFC's history, behind only Jack Robinson, Harvey Elliott and Ben Woodburn (17 years, 3 months, 11 days).

Jumps ahead of Raheem Sterling. pic.twitter.com/c0f1CQrOXd

— Jack Lusby (@LusbyJack) January 16, 2022

That it comes three weeks before the one-year anniversary of his £3.4 million from Derby is a testament to not only his quality and potential as a young player, but also the belief in his ability within the Liverpool first team.

One of Gordon’s biggest advocates is Alexander-Arnold, a player who has risen from the academy to make 202 appearances for Liverpool already at 23.

Taking to Twitter after the 3-0 victory over Brentford – which could have been 4-0 had Gordon finished a one-on-one late on – the right-back praised his young team-mate:

The future is bright ? pic.twitter.com/hkJY3LloV7

Trent Alexander-Arnold (@TrentAA) January 16, 2022

It was a simple statement from Alexander-Arnold but one that carries considerable weight, with hopes very high for Gordon.

Klopp will remain patient with his young talent, despite the absence of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at present, though there is a chance he features again on Thursday night.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain facing time on the sidelines with an ankle injury, Klopp could have lost his latest stand-in on the right flank, increasing Gordon’s chances of more game time.

While it can often be that senior players show less trust in youth on the pitch, that clearly would not be the case if their history-maker was given another start.

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Outside noise & Ox injury – 3 key things from Klopp’s post-Brentford press conference

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 17:18

Jurgen Klopp knew what his side had to do from the outset against Brentford and he was left a happy boss by full-time, but for an injury cloud over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

[embedded content]

Here are three key points from the boss after the Reds’ win over Brentford:

No need to listen to outside noise!

 Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Much of the talk after Liverpool’s stalemate with Arsenal pertained to the absence of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, noise that Klopp and his team didn’t need to acknowledge.

“Winning is good for confidence, definitely. I don’t think we struggle confidence-wise so we can cut off the public noise,” Klopp said.

“We knew against Arsenal what was not right but what the world out there makes of it just points a finger at the obvious thing, that world-class players are not here.

“We knew that so we didn’t have to read it and that’s what we did.”

Now to make it two from two on Thursday!

‘A shadow on the game’

 Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goes down injured during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Just minutes after creating a valuable buffer, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was forced from the field with an ankle injury leaving Liverpool to sweat over the severity.

“This is the life of a footballer, no one did anything wrong – it just happened,” Klopp said. Let’s wait for it, we don’t know anything about it yet.

“It’s a shadow on the game. He was really good. We don’t know yet. We hope it’s nothing serious but we will get more information earliest tomorrow.”

Fingers crossed!

Words for Taki

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

It has not been the smoothest of times at Liverpool for Takumi Minamino but six goals in 16 appearances is a welcome development from recent seasons.

And on his 27th birthday no less he made the most of his 16-minute cameo.

“So Taki got the boost before the game with some nice birthday songs in all the languages.

“Coming on and being that much in the game and scoring that really nice goal is absolutely helpful, for him and us. Taki is in a good moment.

“Thursday-Sunday is not easy after coming back from injury is why he didn’t start today.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injury

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 16:56

Liverpool are waiting to discover the extent of an ankle injury Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sustained during Sunday’s 3-0 win over Brentford.

The midfielder was forced from the pitch in the 74th minute after seemingly picking up the issue when making a run into the penalty area.

Asked for an update on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s condition, Jürgen Klopp told his post-match press conference: “He was really good, but that’s a shadow on the game [and] we don’t know yet.

“He rolled his ankle and now we hope it's nothing serious but we will get the further – or final – information [at the] earliest tomorrow, that’s how it is these situations.

“It’s absolutely too early [to say], I have no idea. I don't know.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain had earlier netted Liverpool’s second goal of the afternoon, glancing in a header from Andy Robertson’s cross, to cap a lively performance.

“Unfortunately, that's his life and especially the life of a footballer,” continued Klopp. “He did absolutely nothing wrong, it just happened.

“This is nothing to do with Alex, it could have happened to anyone. It would have been really average for everybody, so let's wait for it.

“We don't know anything about it [yet], so we have to wait and so you have to wait.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injury

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 16:56
Liverpool are waiting to discover the extent of an ankle injury Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sustained during Sunday’s 3-0 win over Brentford.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Match report: Reds go second with Anfield win over Brentford

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 16:04
Liverpool moved up to second in the Premier League table after beating Brentford 3-0 at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool beat Brentford to go second

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 15:55

Liverpool moved up to second place in the Premier League table with a routine 3-0 win over Brentford at Anfield on Sunday, thanks to goals from Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino.  

Manchester City's win over now third-placed Chelsea on Saturday underlined the defending champions' dominance in the title race but Liverpool ensured they finished the weekend how they started it, 11 points behind City with a game in hand and a trip to the Etihad still to come.

Their faint hopes of catching Pep Guardiola's side continue thanks to a first win in four games in the Premier League, with Fabinho's back-post header from a corner a minute before half-time, Oxlade-Chamberlain's diving effort in front of The Kop on 69 minutes and a gift for birthday boy Minamino (77) sealing the points.

Bryan Mbeumo had almost bent in an equaliser for Brentford on 58 minutes but was just falling away as he hit his shot after turning Joel Matip and, after Diogo Jota had hit the post and been denied by a super save from Alvaro Fernandez, Liverpool finally finished off the contest.

"I knew before that the game Brentford would be a tough one," said Jurgen Klopp afterwards. "It was a tough one and that's why I'm so happy we did well. We have to find ways to break opponents down and today we did that particularly well and I'm really happy about that."

Team news
  • Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came into the Liverpool team in place of James Milner and Takumi Minamino, with Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane still away at AFCON.
  • Brentford made one change, with Rico Henry replacing Sergi Canos at left wing-back.

Fabinho's opener was nothing less than the home side deserved after putting Brentford under sustained pressure for most of the first half and forcing Fernandez into a brilliant stop from Virgil van Dijk after Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold sent efforts over the bar early on.

Fabinho salutes the fans after giving Liverpool the lead against Brentford Image: Fabinho salutes the fans after giving Liverpool the lead against Brentford

The visitors appeared to have weathered the storm well and, with the help of some loose passes from Alexander-Arnold and Matip, caused some problems of their own as the half wore on, with Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney shooting off target.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Alisson (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Van Dijk (7), Matip (7), Robertson (7), Jones (7), Fabinho (8), Henderson (7), Jota (7), Firmino (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (8).

Subs: Minamino (7), Milner (6), Gordon (N/A)

Brentford: Fernandez (6), Ajer (6), Jansson (7), Pinnock (6), Roerslev (5), Baptiste (5), Norgaard (6), Janelt (5), Henry (5), Mbeumo (6), Toney (6).

Subs: Canos (5), Wissa (5), Jensen (5)

Man of the match: Fabino (Liverpool)

But Brentford's first league game away at Liverpool since 1946 was destined to end in defeat when Oxlade-Chamberlain met Andy Robertson's superb cross.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring in front of The Kop - AP Photo-Jon Super Image: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring in front of The Kop

Frustratingly for the midfielder, he was forced off with an injury soon after but a poor pass out from Fernandez allowed Roberto Firmino to pounce and tee up Minamino - 27 today - for a simple third meaning that, despite the absences of key men Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, Liverpool just about keep City in sight.

As for Brentford, who finally recorded a shot on target in second-half stoppage time, this was their fourth defeat in five league games - and could have been heavier had Minamino finished a late chance - but they remain 10 points clear of the relegation zone, sitting in 14th place.

No Salah, no Mane, no problem: Klopp pleased with attacking play in 350th game in charge

Jurgen Klopp had repeatedly been asked about the absence of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, away at the Africa Cup of Nations along with Naby Keita, in the wake of Liverpool's failure to break down the 10 men of Arsenal in Thursday's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. He was more comfortable discussing the issue after seeing his side put three past Brentford without two of their star attackers.

"[The 3-0 win] is really helpful, to calm these discussions down," he said. "I understand the question and thoughts behind it but for us it makes no sense because they're not here - like others with injuries - and we don't want to talk constantly about the boys who aren't in.

"We have to find ways to break opponents down. Today we did that particularly well and I'm really happy about that."

Liverpool among the goals again

Liverpool are the top scorers in this season’s Premier League, netting 55 goals – the most they have ever scored in their first 21 league matches from the start of a top-flight campaign.

Klopp also described himself as "happy" to have reached the milestone of 350 games in charge of Liverpool.

In that time he has won the Premier League and the Champions League - but he insisted he still has plenty more to achieve at Anfield.

"When I look back at the pictures [of when I joined in October, 2015] I look completely different so obviously it was quite an intense time since then! You invest a lot here," he laughed.

350 up for Klopp

In Jurgen Klopp's 350 games in charge of Liverpool, he has won 210, drawn 81 and lost 59. That gives him a win percentage of 60%.

"But each little thing you do is really worth it because of the size of this club and how emotional the club is and how big the club is and how close we are to each other. It becomes family. You don't get an opportunity very often [to stay at a club a long time as a manager], I'm lucky I've had that happen a couple of times.

"I'm really happy about the story we're writing but in my opinion we're far away from finishing the book so we have to keep writing."

On the title race, he added: "We don't have to convince anybody outside. If they want to believe, they can believe. I think people are with us; they want to enjoy the ride and go for it as much as we can. We will try otherwise we have nothing to do."

Frank proud of Brentford display; rues conceding set-piece goal

Brentford boss Thomas Frank was pleased with his side's performance at Liverpool and says the display gives them encouragement for the second half of their campaign.

"I think we were unbelievable first half," he said. "We kept Liverpool very quiet. Of course they're one of the best teams in the world, one of the best teams in the Premier League competing for the title, but in open play we gave nothing away.

"It was in corners they were dangerous from and we had these opportunities you need to take if you're playing at Anfield. If we go to half-time 0-0 it's a different story. We knew if we wanted to get points here we can't compete on a set-piece.

"Second half, still brave, still front-footed, good chance for Mbeumo but what a cross, what a finish [for Liverpool's second goal]. That finished the game off.

"What I will take from this is the first half performance, that will give us a lot of hope for the rest of the season."

Man of the match: Fabinho finds the net again Fabinho celebrates scoring Liverpool's opener against Brentford Image: Fabinho celebrates scoring Liverpool's opener against Brentford

Another goal for Fabinho! He's now scored three goals across his last three appearances - and that's as many goals as he had scored in his previous 127 games for Liverpool.

It's some purple patch by his standards and his close-range header got his side up and running on Sunday, eventually giving Liverpool the breakthrough at the end of a dominant first half.

But it wasn't just about his goal - this was a fine all-round performance from Fabinho in the centre of the park. He led Liverpool's stats for passing accuracy among starters, chances created, duels won, aerial duels won and interceptions.

Basically, this was a performance which demonstrated why he's so important to this team. He may not always grab the headlines - although he will do if he keeps up this scoring run...

Analysis: Liverpool find the goals to keep City in sight

It may have been the weekend when Chelsea's Premier League title hopes were ended but Liverpool - despite the absences of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane - are still just about hanging in there after finding the goals without their star forwards to see off Brentford.

Fabinho headed in "helpfully", as Jurgen Klopp put it, from a set-piece at the end of a first half Liverpool had dominated before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's diving header and a gift of a goal for Takumi Minamino saw them home.

That win means they finish the weekend how they started it: 11 points behind City with a game in hand and a trip to the Etihad to come, although they are up to second in the table now.

It's a distant second and it is still going to take a remarkable swing for City to throw it away from here. But the point stands that if Liverpool win their game in hand and then beat City away from home at the start of April, theoretically Pep Guardiola's side will have to defend a five-point gap through to the final day.

That would give City relatively little room for error. But of course, that scenario depends on Liverpool being perfect from here on in themselves.

With the demands of this season - injuries, illnesses, absences - and the fixture congestion compounded by cup competitions to come, that will surely be too tall a task. But Liverpool at least showed on Sunday they can win well without two of their main men. It's kept them in the hunt… for now.

What's next?

Liverpool are back in action on Thursday in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final with Arsenal, live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm; kick-off 7.45pm. Brentford host Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday at 8pm.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Confirmed Liverpool line-up v Brentford

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 12:59

Liverpool make two changes for this afternoon’s Premier League clash with Brentford at Anfield.

Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are recalled to the starting XI, replacing James Milner and Takumi Minamino from the draw with Arsenal on Thursday.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jota, Firmino.

Subs: Kelleher, Konate, Milner, Gomez, Minamino, Tsimikas, Gordon, Williams, Morton.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Confirmed Liverpool line-up v Brentford

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 12:59
Liverpool make two changes for this afternoon’s Premier League clash with Brentford at Anfield.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Hits and misses: Leeds show rivals how show can go on

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 10:30
Note to Arsenal: Leeds have got talent

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leeds' win over West Ham

With the North London derby called off, it has been another weekend in the Premier League soured by last-minute postponements to disrupt plans for supporters invested in attending matches - but Leeds are getting on with it.

During Sunday's 3-2 win at West Ham, Marcelo Bielsa named 15-year-old Archie Gray on the bench. His first appearance was during the 4-1 home defeat to Arsenal last month, a game which perhaps ought not to have gone ahead when you consider the cancellations that have taken place since.

But a sign of Leeds' resilience and acceptance of the current landscape was that Gray was back among the nine substitutes to be part of a victory not only for Leeds but for football. Hat-trick hero Jack Harrison highlighted how Leeds had once more shown immense character to ensure their threadbare squad would not be used as an excuse.

"We have been really unfortunate with injuries but against adversity, we always work hard," he said. "The young lads have done that coming in and shown their talent. It has been good to come through a tough period."

Speaking after this thrilling victory, Graeme Souness told Sky Sports: "When you asked about Arsenal and if the game should have been called off, what does that say about Leeds? Look at their bench. Look at their age. What a message that sends out to the rest of the Premier League."

Leeds players celebrate Jack Harrison's second goal against West Ham Image: Leeds players celebrate Jack Harrison's second goal against West Ham

Leeds became the first team in Premier League history to hand eight teenagers their debuts in a single season - Crysencio Summerville, Charlie Cresswell, Joe Gelhardt, Cody Drameh, Stuart McKinstry, Sam Greenwood, Lewis Bate and Leo Hjelde.

Bate was one of the first-half substitutes at the London Stadium, with the 19-year-old subsequently replaced in the second period as Leeds looked to see out the win.

"Brave is the word that best defines the team today," Bielsa said. "There is a rule to ask for the cancellation of a game, and we didn't meet the criteria sufficiently for the suspension of the game."

"It was a triumph for the players - each one of them did things that indicated a big desire to win. The three forwards complimented themselves in a very harmonious way.

15-year-old Archie Gray was named on the Leeds bench Image: 15-year-old Archie Gray was named on the Leeds bench

"Raphinha improved James and Harrison with his balls, and Harrison scored three goals which exempts me from having to further comment. It gets complicated because players come back and then we lose others. We will see how we can solve it. Patrick Bamford could be an option [for the next game], but also after a long period of inactivity and slightly less chance Jamie Shackleton and Tyler Roberts."

Leeds have constantly had to adapt to adversity this season, and they are doing it within games now. In that sense, they have created an advantage over their counterparts, knowing how to absorb the blows to emerge victorious.

It is certainly something other clubs could learn from.
Ben Grounds

No Salah, no Mane but Liverpool find the goals to keep City just about in sight

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Brentford

It may have been the weekend when Chelsea's Premier League title hopes were ended but Liverpool - despite the absences of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane - are still just about hanging in there after finding the goals without their star forwards to see off Brentford.

Fabinho headed in "helpfully", as Jurgen Klopp put it, from a set-piece at the end of a first half Liverpool had dominated before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's diving header and a gift of a goal for Takumi Minamino saw them home.

That win means they finish the weekend how they started it: 11 points behind City with a game in hand and a trip to the Etihad to come, although they are up to second in the table now.

It's a distant second and it is still going to take a remarkable swing for City to throw it away from here. But the point stands that if Liverpool win their game in hand and then beat City away from home at the start of April, theoretically Pep Guardiola's side will have to defend a five-point gap through to the final day.

That would give City relatively little room for error. But of course, that scenario depends on Liverpool being perfect from here on in themselves.

With the demands of this season - injuries, illnesses, absences - and the fixture congestion compounded by cup competitions to come, that will surely be too tall a task. But Liverpool at least showed on Sunday they can win well without two of their main men. It's kept them in the hunt… for now.

Why can't Newcastle see out a victory?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Newcastle's draw with Watford

Ahead of Saturday's crucial relegation battle with Watford, there was a buzz of anticipation around St James' Park. Chris Wood was making his debut - a £25m replacement for the injured Callum Wilson - and this was a must-win game. Banners and flags were flown in an impressive pre-match showing.

And for an hour, Newcastle responded in kind. They dominated the first half, and four minutes after the break, a superb strike from Allan Saint-Maximin saw Newcastle ahead.

Perhaps it was nerves, anxiety or the need to protect a lead, but the hosts began to sit back and invite the pressure. Watford's best chances all came after the 60th minute - including the vital equaliser with mere minutes to play that made a draw feel like a defeat for Newcastle.

Eddie Howe's side have now dropped a huge 21 points from winning positions this season and conceded 11 goals in the final 15 minutes of Premier League games. Newcastle continue to find themselves in this cycle, and it promoted loud booing from the home fans at full-time.

It all begs the question - just why can't Newcastle see out a victory?

Eddie Howe gave his thoughts: "I think it's psychological. There was a thought to protect what we had. It was early in the game, we lost our attacking threat in the match and that should never be the case with so long to go.

"I think that's linked to confidence and now having won as many games as we would have liked in a long period of time. The only way to build that is to get over the line and win. We did that against Burnley recently and I hoped that would have been an improvement in that phase of our play.

"But today, we didn't get over the line and I hope it doesn't lead to mental scars for the players. I'm sure it won't because we will go into the game and analyse it and review and do some work to try and change it."

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Eddie Howe was clearly disappointed Newcastle conceded a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Watford and he feels they have missed a huge opportunity to gain points against a relegation rival

Whatever the case may be, it's a worryingly frequent trend. Alongside this, Newcastle only had one shot on target over the entire 90 minutes - Saint-Maximin's goal - and only two in the second half overall.

Newcastle remain with just one Premier League victory this season, and joint-second league-high of nine draws. Each game gets bigger as the season continues, but when there could be only a few points or even goal difference in it, they need to start improving both tallies to stand a chance.

Otherwise, a return to the Championship increasingly beckons.
Charlotte Marsh

Man City have raised the bar

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City's win over Chelsea

It was first versus second but it didn't really look like that. Chelsea defended well and limited Manchester City to only a handful of chances but City were dominant throughout, barely gave their visitors a look-in at the other end, and won through some individual brilliance from Kevin De Bruyne.

It was almost a repeat of their victory at Stamford Bridge in September and, after completing the double over Chelsea, the 13-point gap between City and their nearest challengers is huge. It's only January, after all.

Liverpool could close that chasm if they win their games in hand, and they still have to go to the Etihad themselves, but a turnaround now looks highly unlikely.

City are setting incredible standards right now - and it's no surprise others are struggling to keep up. They have the best attacking numbers and the best defensive record, too.

The 15-game winning streak they put together over the winter period last season took them to the title and seemed unrepeatable but they're up to 12 wins on the spin now and motoring away from their rivals again.

Manchester City Image: Manchester City are in unstoppable form and are cantering towards the Premier League title

When other teams have faltered during this busy festive period, City have just kept on winning. Pep Guardiola said his side were facing an "emergency" of injuries, illness and suspensions at the start of December. Fast forward a month and a half and they're on course to finish the season with over 95 points.

No striker? No problem. A disrupted pre-season - City were the last Premier League club to return to the training ground - may have affected some performances earlier in the campaign, but they're in their groove now.

Of course, the resources and depth of quality Guardiola can call on is substantial. But the relentless nature of this City team, and the way they've adapted to challenges they've faced, is down to mentality and coaching.

A fourth Premier League title in five seasons seems a near-certainty now for a team and manager who have raised the bar.
Peter Smith

Toothless Chelsea surrender title chances Romelu Lukaku's effort is saved by Ederson Image: Romelu Lukaku's effort is saved by Ederson

It was only ever the faintest of chances, but Chelsea kissed goodbye to it at the Etihad Stadium.

Nothing other than a victory would suffice if the prospect of the European champions reeling the runaway leaders, and champions of England, Manchester City back into a title race was to materialise.

The foundation was there for Chelsea to resurrect their title challenge. A steely and resilient defensive display, marshalled by the evergreen Thiago Silva, weathered the constant Manchester City bombardment, but Thomas Tuchel's side were found woefully wanting at the business end of the pitch.

For the first time in the German's reign at the club, Chelsea failed to register an attempt on goal in the first half of a Premier League game, as a front three of Romelu Lukaku, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic failed to gel. By the end of the 90 minutes, Ederson would only be called into action once in the City goal.

Tuchel believed his side's defensive efforts merited a point but the same could not be said of his attackers.

"We had zero touches in the box [in the first half]. That was a big problem, the performance of the front players," he conceded. "That was down to a lack of precision, timing, and composure. We can do much, much better and we need to do better."

Tuchel's brutal assessment was followed by a similarly blunt response to whether Chelsea could still win the Premier League. "We will never give up, but if City keeps on winning every game, nobody can catch them."

On Saturday's showing, Chelsea don't have the firepower to capitalise on a slip-up from City, however unlikely that might be.
Jack Wilkinson

Where does the blame lie at Everton? Abdoulaye Doucoure and Jordan Pickford at full time Image: Abdoulaye Doucoure and Jordan Pickford at full time

It is a question that remains hard to pinpoint, but for many of those who headed back to Merseyside having made their longest away trip of the season, it is clear where the buck stops.

Everton are in freefall and this unhappy marriage with under-fire former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez reached its nadir at Carrow Road.

This was the club's first away defeat against a team starting the day bottom of the Premier League table since May 2004, having been unbeaten in 17 such occasions coming into the game.

Benitez is running out of time and excuses. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was back in the side following his most recent relapse while Richarlison did have an impact off the bench, but the damage had already been done.

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After losing at Norwich, Rafa Benitez said he was confident he could turn Everton's season around - but he was sacked on Sunday

As has so often been the case during this miserable run of one win in 13 league games.

The 2-1 loss to Norwich continued an abysmal record for Everton of conceding the first goal in 16 of their 22 games in all competitions this season, including each of their last nine games.

Against the league's bottom side, who had conceded the first goal in 16 games themselves this term, Benitez watched his players ship twice before they staged any form of response. For Evertonians, and for Benitez, it feels like Groundhog Day.

He may never be quite as irate as the club's supporters at the current situation, but the players must also take accountability.

Everton fans express their feelings towards Benitez Image: Everton fans express their feelings towards Benitez

After all, both of Norwich's goals were of Everton's own making, with Michael Keane's own goal coming 92 seconds before Ben Godfrey's poor pass contributed to Adam Idah making it two.

Benitez said: "We didn't start the game badly in terms of control, but afterwards we made the same mistakes. We made a couple of mistakes in a few minutes, we conceded two goals and gave ourselves a mountain to climb again."

Everton have won just 19 points from their 19 league games this season - only twice previously have they had fewer at this stage of a Premier League campaign. Senior members of the squad must come forward and lead by example, but calls for Benitez to be relieved of his duties will now intensify.
Ben Grounds

Elanga shows what Man Utd have been missing

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Aston Villa's draw with Manchester United in the Premier League

"Manchester United have always had wingers that can sprint in behind defenders," noted Jamie Redknapp in the aftermath of United's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa. He was speaking regarding the performance of 19-year-old Antony Elanga, who was given a surprise start by Ralf Rangnick at Villa Park.

Elanga was preferred to £73m signing Jadon Sancho and put in a performance full of pace, direct running and unwavering enthusiasm - all attributes we have yet to see from Sancho in a Manchester United. His first start of the season in the Premier League coincided with United's best performance under Rangnick - for 80 minutes anyway.

United were given a boost by the impact of Anthony Elanga Image: United were given a boost by the impact of Anthony Elanga

Of course, Sancho is a completely different type of player who likes the ball to feet and when at his best can cause havoc with his creative play. But with his confidence at rock bottom, giving a start to someone like Elanga who likes to run, run and run some more was a smart move by the new United manager. His ability to stretch the game gave United a fantastic platform to build from and Bruno Fernandes' opening goal stemmed from an attack down Elanga's side.

"He did well and had two great opportunities to score but he showed what I expected of him and why I decided to play him from the start," said Rangnick.

He may have cost the club £73m but Sancho has a massive challenge in front of him now to convince the manager to give him the starting shirt. It's Elanga's for the time being.
Lewis Jones

Idah gives Norwich extra dimension

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Norwich City's win over Everton

Norwich manager Dean Smith said he hoped his side have "turned a corner" following this hard-fought third Premier League victory over the season. Everton always had the look of a side that were there for the taking, but the Canaries had only scored eight goals in their opening 20 league games.

To put that into context, it was the joint fewest goals by any side after 20 games of a top-flight season, alongside the Leicester team of the 1977/78 campaign. Just as in their previous term in the Premier League two years ago, there has been an over-reliance on Teemu Pukki to provide the ammunition, but Smith was rewarded for his bold approach on Saturday.

Josh Sargent was recalled and forced Keane's mistake for the opener while Adam Idah showed fine composure to notch his first Premier League on his 27th appearance in the competition to double Norwich's lead in what proved to be the match-winner.

Smith said: "I wanted him to follow up his positive performance on Wednesday [in the 2-0 defeat to West Ham] with another positive one today and he did that. We've got a few players who have potential like Adam, and it's our job to help them fulfil that potential."

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Dean Smith says the togetherness was there within the team as Norwich beat Everton to record their first Premier League victory since November

Overall, it was Idah's first league goal since May 2021, when he scored in Norwich's final game of their promotion season in the Championship against Barnsley.

"Ourselves and Adam are still finding out what type of player he is. He's a lad who has got an awful lot of potential, he's physically strong and he's just starting to learn how to use his body but I thought he did really well using it. He's got a great touch, he can finish. His first Premier League goal was certainly deserved."

Norwich are yet to strengthen their squad this window but in Idah, they may just have the necessary firepower to help stage an unlikely escape when many critics had already written them off.
Ben Grounds

Ward-Prowse closing in on Beckham free-kick record

Southampton may have seen their five-match unbeaten run come to an end at Molineux on Saturday afternoon after a 3-1 loss to Wolves, however, the visitors did score the best goal of the game after yet another in the now long list of sensational James Ward-Prowse direct free kicks.

With the scoreline 2-0 to the hosts and Southampton seemingly beaten, up stepped Ward-Prowse to curl a sumptuous free-kick up and over the wall and into the top righthand corner of the net from fully 35 yards out, with Wolves' previously unbeatable goalkeeper Jose Sa rooted to his line.

No 'keeper in the world would have got near Ward-Prowse's effort, given the shot's accuracy and speed, although we should no longer be surprised at the Saints skipper's prowess from dead-ball situations.

In fact, Saturday was the England international's 12th direct free-kick goal in the Premier League, a haul bettered only by David Beckham (18), with his manager Ralph Hasenhuttl even claiming it was the best he had ever seen from the player, which is quite some statement given his body of work.
Richard Morgan

Time for Brighton to move on a striker?

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Free to watch: Highlights from Brighton's 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace

If only it was a game of xG. Yet again, Brighton have dominated a game without winning it. They have started showing signs they can find the back of the net this season, and their new-found Midas touch launched them into the European places earlier in the season.

But they still have not grasped how to routinely turn territorial dominance into goals. Neal Maupay, often criticised for his wasteful finishing, barely had a chance to prove that wrong and instead it was Jakub Moder, Leandro Trossard and Danny Welbeck who shared the burden of creating another evening of near misses.

It was almost in the script that Palace should score from their first shot on target, showing Brighton exactly how it is done as teams have been doing to Graham Potter's side ever since he walked into the door.

They have such great control over 80 per cent of the pitch, but the final 20 per cent, the clincher, is still beyond them. The January window is almost midway through, and if the Seagulls are serious about turning their nice play into points for the rest of the season, it is time to act.

This was the sixth time this season they have had an xG of more than double their opponents' - but on the scoreline, six is also the amount of games they have managed to win all season.

Despite a tough night for Crystal Palace, the teamsheet may be the real winner for them. At an average age of 25 years and 31 days, their 11 starters represented the Eagles' youngest Premier League line-up since Iain Dowie managed them to a 2-2 draw against West Brom in February 2005.

Andy Johnson was one of the scorers that day - and he turns 41 next month. Steve Parish's vision to rejuvenate one of the Premier League's eldest squads is going swimmingly.
Ron Walker

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Match Centre: Follow Liverpool v Brentford live

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 10:00

Follow live and interactive coverage of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Brentford in our Match Centre now.

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Match Centre: Follow Liverpool v Brentford live

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 10:00
Follow live and interactive coverage of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Brentford in our Match Centre now.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Other clubs could afford Salah. Liverpool need to sort out his future soon

the Athletic - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 05:14
Agents call it “crunch time”. It is the point in a contract negotiation when an agreement feels reasonably close, but nothing like close enough as the clock keeps ticking and the power dynamic threatens to shift dramatically.

Jurgen Klopp said this week that he feels “very positive” about Liverpool’s contract talks with Mohammed Salah. “There are, I think, enough reasons for being pretty positive,” he said. “‘Good conversations’ — that’s what I could say. These things take time. Nobody has to worry. It’s just the situation.”

That mention of “good conversations” is encouraging. It is not like, for example, the situation between Paul Pogba and Manchester United, where contract talks have taken place against a backdrop of dissatisfaction on both sides. It is not like the situation Klopp encountered at Borussia Dortmund when relations with Robert Lewandowski’s agents collapsed in the final year of his deal as it became clear they were lining up a move to Bayern Munich.

There have been a few escalations over the course of Salah’s contract negotiations with Liverpool — a flirtatious and seemingly strategically placed interview with a Madrid-based newspaper, a few indiscreet tweets from his lawyer and advisor, the interview GQ published this week with Salah, in which he said, “It’s in their hands”, “They know what I want,” and “I’m not asking for crazy stuff” — but nothing damaging.

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‘We had a long talk’ – Jurgen Klopp wants Curtis Jones to “show how good he can be”

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 01/15/2022 - 22:30

Jurgen Klopp has revealed he had a “long talk” with Curtis Jones over his situation at Liverpool this month, urging the midfielder to “show how good he can actually be.”

Tipped to be a breakthrough campaign for Jones, so far, 2021/22 has been a frustrating one for the 20-year-old midfielder.

Harvey Elliott began the season as de facto Gini Wijnaldum replacement – a spot expected to have been filled by Jones – while injury and COVID-19 have furthered impacted the No. 17.

This term, Jones has only played 12 times, with seven of those being as a starter, averaging just 61 minutes on the pitch per outing.

But he is likely to return to the lineup as Liverpool host Brentford on Sunday, following a “long talk” with Klopp over his form and his lack of opportunities.

“First and foremost, I had a long talk last week with Curtis,” Klopp told reporters.

 Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I love the boy, I love the potential he has, but we have to come now to where we really make the next steps and that he fulfils the potential he has on the pitch very often.

“We have these kind of conversations when you are not 100 percent happy with the moment.

“He’s young, very young, but how I see, his potential is incredible.

“That’s where we both together have to find a way to show that much more often. We are there really in this development, let me say it like this.”

Klopp added: “It’s an ongoing process with Curtis and me.

“I know he had a tricky time with the eye, [he was] long out, and then after that with Covid.

“So it’s not helpful, but now we try to make sure that he gets rhythm and can show how good he can actually be.”

 Liverpool's Curtis Jones sees his shot saved during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jones came off the bench and impressed despite Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Thursday night, having also caught the eye in the 4-1 victory over Shrewsbury in the FA Cup.

That win at Anfield saw Jones start on the left wing and end in midfield, with Klopp hailing the versatility of a player who clearly needs to find consistency to push on.

“Yes, he can play different positions in different ways,” the manager continued.

“[Against Arsenal] we just wanted him to really dribble, to be there in these tight areas to just change the way they had to defend us.

“Because [before] we passed the ball out to Robbo and he could cross or not, if not then we passed the ball back and crossed from there.

“So we needed a different dynamic and dimension in the game, and that’s why we brought him exactly in that way.

“But he cannot only play that, he can of course play as No. 8 as well, he did already really well for us. That’s it.”

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Mo Salah opens AFCON account as Liverpool dominate Man of the Match awards

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 01/15/2022 - 22:15

Mohamed Salah got his first goal of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations as Egypt picked up their first points of the tournament in a close-fought victory over Guinea-Bissau.

It was a tough start to the AFCON for Salah as Egypt fell to a 1-0 defeat to Nigeria on Tuesday, and for much of the night, it seemed to be going that way in their second outing.

Guinea-Bissau held firm despite Egypt dominating much of their encounter in Garoua, with Carlos Queiroz’s side boasting considerably more possession, shots and successful passes.

Salah nearly produced the perfect start as he fired an effort on goal in the second minute, only to see his strike hit the post, with Jonas Mendes saving his deflected volley later on.

But Liverpool’s No. 11 found the back of the net in the 69th minute, pulling off a smart volley after a flowing move that saw Amr El Soleya loft it up for the finish and a 1-0 win.

"The Egyptian king!" ?

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah opens the scoring as Egypt take the lead against Guinea-Bissau ??

? Watch #AFCON live on Sky Sports Football pic.twitter.com/vrw9dM7DMo

— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 15, 2022

Egypt had further opportunities to extend their lead but squandered them, while Guinea-Bissau were unlucky to see a stunning equaliser from Mama Balde ruled out due to a slight foul in the buildup.

It was Egypt who took the three points, then, moving up to second in Group D, with a win or draw against Sudan in their final group game on Wednesday almost certainly sealing progress to the last 16.

For Salah, the win brought a fifth goal in 12 appearances at the AFCON, and his performance earned him the Man of the Match award.

That means all three of Liverpool’s African internationals have now been named Man of the Match at this year’s tournament, with Sadio Mane winning the prize in Senegal’s opening group game and Naby Keita honoured in each of Guinea’s two games so far.

Liverpool's stars continue to shine at #AFCON2021 where Mohamed Salah has become the latest player to win a Man of the Match award.

He scored the only goal of the game in Egypt's win over Guinea-Bissau this evening. #LFC pic.twitter.com/H0e63Z0Aie

— Liam Bekker (@LiamBekker) January 15, 2022

“The tournament is difficult,” Salah told beIN SPORTS after the game.

“All the teams in Africa are playing well and most teams have more professional players than the Egyptian national team.”

The Premier League and Champions League winner added: “The African Nations Cup would be the most precious title for me.”

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10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Brentford

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 01/15/2022 - 18:00

Liverpool host Brentford in the Premier League this weekend, with Man City 14 points clear ahead of kickoff but Chelsea falling short with a two-game cushion.

The Reds were below-par in their stalemate against Arsenal in the League Cup on Thursday, failing to break down 10 men at Anfield.

It’s now back to league action for Jurgen Klopp‘s side, with a well-drilled Brentford team heading north to Merseyside on Sunday afternoon.

Though City pulled further ahead in the title race with a 1-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday, a win for Liverpool would at least see them jump two points ahead of the Blues in second, with a game still in hand.

Here are 10 key things to know ahead of the game.

1. Brentford enjoying solid Premier League season

 Brentford's manager Thomas Frank (R) with Sergi Canós (L) after the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. The game ended in a 3-3 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Bees secured promotion to the Premier League last May, and while many tipped them to swiftly return to the Championship, they have been a breath of fresh air.

With just over half the season gone, Thomas Frank’s side sit 13th in the table and a distance clear of the relegation zone, suggesting safety is on the cards.

That being said, Brentford will know that long, winless runs are possible in the top-flight and they still have work to do to get to that magical 40-point mark.

The 3-3 draw at home to Liverpool last September showed what the west Londoners are capable of, however, and they will pose a threat this weekend.

2. Possible Bees starting XI

 Liverpool's Sadio Mané (R) and Brentford's Ivan Toney during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Brentford were beaten 4-1 away to Southampton on Tuesday night, so it will be interesting to see if Frank shuffles his pack.

The Bees have injury problems, though, with David Raya, Mathias Jorgensen, Charlie Goode and Josh Dasilva all missing out this weekend. Frank Onyeka is on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Nigeria.

Left-back Rico Henry may return, having not featured since December 22 against Chelsea, and former Liverpool man Sergi Canos could start, too.

Ivan Toney gave Liverpool’s defence a torrid time in the reverse fixture and he is expected to lead the line, along with Bryan Mbeumo.

Predicted Brentford XI (3-5-2): Lossl; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Bidstrup, Janelt, Norgaard, Baptiste, Canos; Mbeumo, Toney

3. Who’s out for Liverpool?

 Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The most high-profile absentees are Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, as the pair continue to perform at AFCON, along with Naby Keita.

Away from the African players, Thiago is still unavailable due to a hip problem, while Nat Phillips, Harvey Elliott and Divock Origi are out, too.

Liverpool’s COVID issues have now eased, thankfully, with no new positive cases emerging since the Arsenal game.

Klopp has confirmed that there are no new injuries to worry about after the midweek action.

4. Predicted Reds’ starting lineup

Diogo Jota celebrates vs Leicester, League Cup penalties (Alamy Photo)

With Salah and Mane both away, there is now a huge amount of onus on Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino to perform in January.

The pair look highly likely to start on Sunday, meaning Jota could adopt more of a wide role to accommodate Firmino centrally.

Meanwhile, Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson is the expected back line.

In midfield, Fabinho looks a certainty to start, while out-of-form pair Jordan Henderson and James Milner will battle with Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the two remaining spots.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Jones; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jota, Firmino

5. Klopp reaches latest milestone

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp is interviewed by LFC.TV after the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sunday will see Klopp take charge of his 350th game as Liverpool manager – where on earth does the time go?

It has been a legendary six-and-a-half-year stint for the 54-year-old, who has brought the great times back to Anfield, sealing both Champions League and Premier League glory.

Klopp’s contract expires in 2024, however, and there is a nagging feeling that we are closer to the end of his reign than the beginning.

The hope is that one day we are celebrating the German’s 700th match in charge – that could be wishful thinking on our part, though!

6. Boss wary of Brentford threat

[embedded content]

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp was under no illusions about the task awaiting his side:

“I expect a fight. They have a specific way to play, especially against us. We have to be alert, ready. They will probably be direct.

“They are playing a brilliant first season in the Premier League, absolutely impressive. I hope we can play much better than in the first game, and use Anfield.”

While Brentford are a talented team in their own right, there is no denying that anything other than a Reds victory would feel disastrous.

7. Liverpool’s record vs. Brentford

 Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This weekend will see Liverpool and Brentford face each other for the 17th time in history – it’s fair to say the Reds have enjoyed the fixture over the years.

The Bees have only tasted success over the Merseysiders three times, with all of those victories coming way back in the 1930s (1936, 1937 and 1938).

The most recent meeting between the two clubs before this season’s clash was an FA Cup quarter-final tie at Anfield back in March 1989.

Sir Kenny Dalglish’s side ran out 4-0 winners that day, thanks to Peter Beardsley’s brace and further goals from John Barnes and Steve McMahon, as Liverpool went on to win the competition after a final win over Everton.

8. Did you know?

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Firmino should lead the line on Sunday and in the coming weeks, with end product required in the absence of Salah and Mane.

The Brazilian hasn’t necessarily been renowned for his ruthlessness in the final third, but his record this season suggests otherwise.

Firmino has averaged a goal or an assist every 78 minutes in 2021/22, with seven of the former and three of the latter to his name.

In comparison, the 30-year-old’s average last season was 187 and 157 in the title-winning year, while his best tally for an entire campaign is 95 minutes in 2017/18.

9. Moss takes charge

 Referee Jonathan Moss during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jon Moss has been confirmed as the referee for Sunday’s clash, while Lee Mason will be on VAR duty.

This is the second Liverpool game that Moss has officiated this season, with the 51-year-old overseeing the 5-0 win away to Watford in October.

He has shown four red cards in the league this season to date, with all of them the result of two yellows.

10. Follow our live blog

 Liverpool supporters check the score of the Brighton & Hove Albion versus Manchester City match on their smart phones during the final FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sunday’s match is not live on UK television, which means TIA’s matchday live blog is the place to follow the action.

Joanna Durkan will be in the hotseat from 1.15pm (GMT) – kickoff is at 2pm – as she provides intriguing pre-match content and minute-by-minute updates.

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Fabinho on Brentford focus, Firmino, Elliott and scoring more

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 01/15/2022 - 10:25

Liverpool are ready to right the wrongs of their previous meeting with Brentford as they target three points against the Bees this weekend, explained Fabinho.

Having recovered from a deficit when the sides met in September, the Reds went on to lead 2-1 and 3-2 but were pegged back and had to settle for a 3-3 draw in the Premier League.

As they clash again at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, Fabinho and co are determined to use the lessons they learned at Brentford Community Stadium and record a first league win since December 16.

“If I remember this game, the team played good, we scored three goals and usually when we score three goals that means we win the game because defensively we are good,” the midfielder told Liverpoolfc.com of that previous contest.

“But this day they created good chances. I remember we struggled a little bit with the long balls, our aerial balls as well. But we created a lot, so we had the opportunity to win this game but unfortunately we didn’t.

“But we have to learn from our mistakes and keep going. Brentford are a good team, a dangerous team. We just have to be focused and concentrate to win the game.”

He added: “I’m sure this is going to be a hard game but we will play at home, so we have to play our best football and to do everything to win.

“Right now in the league, the three points mean a lot for us. So it doesn’t matter the team we play, we just have to focus on our game and try to win.”

Brentford’s visit comes after back-to-back home cup ties for Liverpool, with a 4-1 Emirates FA Cup defeat of Shrewsbury Town followed by a goalless stalemate with Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

Fabinho scored twice versus Shrewsbury – a third of his overall tally since joining the club in 2018 – courtesy of a clinical penalty and a late blast to seal the result.

The Brazil international acknowledged goals are not at the top of his priority list given his own individual tasks in the team, but he would nevertheless like to contribute more if chances arise.

“Yes! For a No.6, of course the priority is first [to] defend and work on the construction of the game. But if I can be more decisive in the other part of the pitch as well, scoring or giving assists, of course I would be more than happy,” he said.

“It was good for me [to score] the two goals. It was two goals from set-pieces but yes, for my confidence and for the future it was really good for me.”

Joining Fabinho on the scoresheet last Sunday was compatriot Roberto Firmino, who was involved in both cup ties as he returned after a suspected positive COVID-19 test result.

The No.9 produced a typically impudent backheel finish past the League One outfit, and Fabinho expects his teammate to benefit from a run of appearances in the weeks ahead.

“Yeah, it was good to see Bobby playing again, scoring again, a really nice goal, a really Bobby goal with the backheel,” he said.

“So it is important for him after some injuries, after he got COVID as well, so it is good for him to get some minutes in the bag, to play again.

“Now he will have the opportunity to play two or three games in a row, which is really good for him, and we know he is a really important player for us.

“He is a really good player with a lot of quality and now I think with more games he will show he’s still the same Bobby. I’m sure he will score and be important for us. It’s really good that he’s back and in good shape.”

Elsewhere, Klopp revealed earlier this week Harvey Elliott is nearing a return to team training as he concludes his rehabilitation from the ankle ligament injury he suffered at Leeds United last September.

Fabinho and Elliott had started together in the Reds’ midfield for two of the season’s opening four matches and the former is delighted by the prospect of the latter being available again soon.

“We are really happy for him because we always see him in the training ground and in the dressing room, and he always has a smile on his face,” said Fabinho.

“So it is not an easy moment for him after his injury but he is always working hard and doing everything to be back in the best shape possible. So it will be really good to have him back. He is someone who can do good things for the team as well.

“Hopefully he will be back soon and helping us.”

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Fabinho on Brentford focus, Firmino, Elliott and scoring more

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 01/15/2022 - 10:25
Liverpool are ready to right the wrongs of their previous meeting with Brentford as they target three points against the Bees this weekend, explained Fabinho.
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