LFC NEWS

James Milner injury update: Midfielder set to miss a month

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 09/10/2018 - 00:58

Liverpool expect to be without James Milner for a month due to a hamstring injury, according to reports on Monday night.


The vice-captain has been an integral part of the team in the opening months of the season, largely being a key starter in the centre of the park.

While Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita have rotated, Milner—along with Gini Wijnaldum—has been pretty much a staple in the Reds’ starting lineup.

Against Man City at the weekend, however, Milner’s time on the pitch was cut short, with a hamstring injury forcing him off well before half time, to be replaced by Keita.

Although the initial assessment from the player himself was hopeful, according to manager Jurgen Klopp, there were fears he could be sidelined for a significant length of time.

 Liverpool's James Milner goes down injured during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a long-term absentee and neither Keita nor Fabinho yet completely up to speed in their new surroundings, a lengthy spell out for Milner could prove difficult for Klopp to manage.

But with the international break now meaning it’s two weeks before Liverpool play again, Milner could only miss as few as four matches.

The Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe reports that the No. 7 could return “within a month,” in fact.

Liverpool’s upcoming fixtures
  • Huddersfield (a), Oct 20
  • Red Star (h), Oct 24
  • Cardiff (h), Oct 27
  • Arsenal (h), Nov 3
  • Red Star (a), Nov 6
  • Fulham (h), Nov 11

That means he could return in time for the Reds’ Champions League fixture in Serbia, though he’ll be hard-pushed to make it back for a big Premier League game at Arsenal.

 Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp hugs substitute James Milner after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by Jon Super/Propaganda)

Thankfully for the Reds and for Klopp, the upcoming run of games between now and mid-November should be somewhat more forgiving than the recent gruelling run.

Tottenham, PSG, Southampton, Chelsea (twice), Napoli and Man City was something of a nightmare run in terms of importance, quality faced and thus the physical and mental toll on players, and Milner had played more than most this season before his injury.

Even so, his enforced absence should mean more chances in the coming weeks for Fabinho, Keita or Xherdan Shaqiri to carve a spot for themselves in the team, as the Reds look to build on their excellent overall start to the season.

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Alisson, Firmino, Mane and Salah nominated for 2018 Ballon d'Or

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 20:38
Liverpool's Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have been shortlisted for the 2018 Ballon d'Or.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool scout PSV star Steven Bergwijn

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 20:08
Manchester United and Liverpool are keeping close tabs on PSV Eindhoven star Steven Bergwijn, according to reports.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool scout PSV star Steven Bergwijn

HEAD NEWS - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 20:08

Manchester United and Liverpool are keeping close tabs on PSV Eindhoven star Steven Bergwijn, according to reports.

Bergwijn has scored 14 goals since breaking into PSV’s first-team back in 2014 and is being tipped for stardom in the Netherlands amid strong interest from Europe’s elite clubs.

The 21-year-old has impressed in PSV’s attack alongside Hirving Lozano, another player who has been linked with United in recent times.

Sport claims both United and Liverpool have had scouts in attendance to watch Bergwijn’s performances this season with a view to signing the Netherlands Under-21 international.

The youngster has a €20m (£17.6m) release clause in his contract at the Philips Stadion.

PSV boss Mark van Bommel believes Bergwijn’s feet are firmly on the ground despite the growing interest.

‘Steven has very sensible people around him,’ Van Bommel said.

‘His parents are real example parents, in the way they deal with him.

‘We talked well together during the summer. I think it’s really great. Perhaps already a top European player. Yes, already.’

Source: Metro

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

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Inside Anfield: Behind the scenes of LFC v City

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 19:29
Our latest edition of Inside Anfield brings you the behind-the-scenes story of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Manchester City on Sunday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Trent named on Kopa Trophy shortlist

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 18:54
Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has been included on the 10-player shortlist for France Football magazine's 2018 Kopa Trophy.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Loan watch: Gerrard hails 'top drawer' Ryan Kent

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 16:12
Steven Gerrard was delighted by another 'top drawer' performance from Ryan Kent in Rangers' 3-1 victory over Hearts on Sunday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

In numbers: Jürgen Klopp's three years at Liverpool

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 14:27
Jürgen Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager on this day in 2015.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Tyler's stats: Worst penalty record

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 13:09
Martin Tyler

Football Commentator & Columnist

Man Utd comebacks, Liverpool clean sheets and more top stats

Last Updated: 09/10/18 11:15am

2:17 Martin Tyler brings you the latest teaser from Anfield ahead of Liverpool’s match against Manchester City. Martin Tyler brings you the latest teaser from Anfield ahead of Liverpool’s match against Manchester City.

Who has the worst penalty conversion rate in the Premier League? Which side scored 17 second-half goals in a row? Martin has the stats...

Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler has the answers to those questions - and don't forget to try his tricky teaser in the video above.

Got a question for Martin? Tweet @SkySportsPL with the hashtag #TylersTeasers and the voice of football could be answering your question next week!

Tyler's starting stat - City's Anfield agony 2:59 Highlights from Liverpool's goalless draw against Manchester City in the Premier League. Highlights from Liverpool's goalless draw against Manchester City in the Premier League.

Manchester City's Anfield agony continued after Riyad Mahrez's penalty miss on Super Sunday. Their record in the Premier League at Anfield reads W1 D6 L15. They did, however, end a run of five consecutive league defeats at Anfield since a 2-2 draw in August 2012 when they were the defending champions.

Their only win came in May 2003 when they won 2-1. That's their only win at Liverpool in the league since December 1981. Their record since that game reads P28 W1 D9 L18.

This was the first time Liverpool have failed to score at home to Man City in the league since a 0-0 draw in August 1986.

Sergio Aguero has still not scored in 10 appearances at Anfield for either Atletico Madrid or Man City. He has still not won there either, drawing four and losing six.

Liverpool are now unbeaten in 25 games at home (W16 D9) in the Premier League since April 2017. Man City have lost only one of their last 26 Premier League away games. That was the 4-3 defeat at Anfield last season.

Liverpool have not conceded in their last nine Premier League home games, which has run 14 hours and one minute. That leads us to our first question…

Tight at the back Virgil van Dijk has been at the heart of Liverpool's defence Virgil van Dijk has been at the heart of Liverpool's defence Virgil van Dijk has been at the heart of Liverpool's defence

Liverpool have kept nine home clean sheets in a row. Is that a Premier League record? Emma

MARTIN SAYS: The last time Liverpool conceded a league goal at Anfield was when Michail Antonio scored in West Ham's 4-1 defeat there on February 24.

Since then they have kept clean sheets against Newcastle, Watford, Bournemouth, Stoke, Brighton (twice), West Ham, Southampton and Man City.

However, they'll need three more shut-outs to match Manchester United's record of 12 home Premier League games without conceding a goal, which has stood since 1994.

They had clean sheets in the last three home games of the 1993/94 season and then the first nine games of 1994/95 before Nottingham Forest's Stan Collymore ended the streak on December 17, 1994.

Liverpool will need clean sheets at home to Cardiff, Fulham and Everton to match that record - and then they could break Manchester United's record by keeping a clean sheet against… Manchester United in December.

Liverpool have previously kept nine home clean sheets in a row in the Premier League under Rafa Benitez in 2006/07. They were within minutes of a 10th clean sheet on March 3 when John O'Shea scored a last-minute winner at Anfield for Manchester United.

Sloppy spot-kicks 4:15 The Sky Sports studio panel discuss the penalty incident at Anfield where Riyad Mahrez overruled Gabriel Jesus before missing the spot-kick. The Sky Sports studio panel discuss the penalty incident at Anfield where Riyad Mahrez overruled Gabriel Jesus before missing the spot-kick.

Has anyone got a worse penalty record in the Premier League than Riyad Mahrez? Rob

MARTIN SAYS: Mahrez's miss for Man City against Liverpool means he has failed with five of the 12 Premier League penalties he has taken - which means he has failed with 41.67 per cent of penalties taken.

We asked Opta to look at players to have taken at least 10 Premier League penalties and only one player in the competition's history has a worse record.

That man is Juan Pablo Angel, who failed with five of the 10 penalties he took while at Aston Villa. That's a failure ratio of 50 per cent and includes two failures in one match against Fulham in 2005.

Dwight Yorke and Steed Malbranque have similar records to Mahrez, having failed with four of the 10 penalties they took in the Premier League (40 per cent), while Kevin Phillips failed to score seven of his 18 Premier League penalties (38.89 per cent).

Those who thought - including Pep Guardiola - that Gabriel Jesus should have taken the penalty, should note he has scored only one of his three penalties for Man City. He hit the post at home to Tottenham in December 2017 and had a penalty saved at home to Swansea earlier this year.

David Silva was also on the pitch at the time and had his only Premier League penalty saved by Southampton's Kelvin Davis in August 2012. Even Aguero, who had been substituted, has failed with four of his 26 Premier League penalties (and nine of his 42 Manchester City penalties in all competitions).

Perhaps the player most missed was Ilkay Gundogan, who has scored a penalty at both ends at Wembley - in the Champions League final for Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich and for Manchester City against Tottenham last April.

Comeback kings Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle

How many times have Manchester United come back from 2-0 down at half-time to win a Premier League game? Luke

MARTIN SAYS: The 3-2 win over Newcastle was the SEVENTH time Manchester United have been two or more goals behind at half-time in a Premier League game and won.

The previous six occasions were:

  • 07/11/1993: Man City 2-3 Man Utd
  • 29/09/2001: Tottenham 3-5 Man Utd
  • 25/04/2009: Man Utd 5-2 Tottenham
  • 25/01/2011: Blackpool 2-3 Man Utd
  • 02/04/2011: West Ham 2-4 Man Utd
  • 07/04/2018: Man City 2-3 Man Utd

No other team has fought back from 2-0 down at half-time in a Premier League game on more than three occasions. Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham have all done it three times each.

Villa did it against Arsenal in 1998, Coventry in 2001 and Southampton in 2005; Liverpool did it against Spurs in 1999, Fulham in 2004 and Man City in 2008; and Spurs did it against Sunderland in 2001, West Ham in 2007 and Arsenal in 2010.

Arsenal, Fulham and Norwich have all fought back from two goals down at half-time to win on two occasions in the Premier League. No other side has done it more than once.

Leaving it late Matt Doherty celebrates scoring a second-half goal against Crystal Palace Matt Doherty celebrates scoring a second-half goal against Crystal Palace Matt Doherty celebrates scoring a second-half goal against Crystal Palace

Wolves' last eight PL goals have all come after half-time. Is that a record? Tom

MARTIN SAYS: You're right. Matt Doherty's 54th-minute goal at Crystal Palace followed Ivan Cavaleiro and Johnny v Southampton, Joao Moutinho v Manchester United, Raul Jimenez v Burnley, Adama Traore v West Ham, Willy Boly against Man City and Jimenez against Everton.

In fact, their only first-half goal this season came on the opening day when Ruben Neves scored one minute before half-time against Everton!

However, it's not a Premier League record.

Back in 1993/94, Manchester United scored 17 consecutive Premier League goals in the second half between September and November.

That run stretched eight matches and only ended when Ryan Giggs scored a 30th-minute goal against Norwich.

Manchester United's second-half run Date Opposition Score Scorers 25/9/93 Swindon (h) 4-2 Kanchelskis (4), Cantona (40), Hughes (51, 90) 2/10/93 Sheffield Wednesday (a) 3-2 Hughes (50, 67), Giggs (70) 16/10/93 Tottenham (h) 2-1 Keane (65), Sharpe (69) 23/10/93 Everton (a) 1-0 Sharpe (53) 30/10/93 QPR (h) 2-1 Cantona (53), Hughes (57) 7/11/93 Man City (a) 3-2 Cantona (52, 78), Keane (87) 20/11/93 Wimbledon (h) 3-1 Pallister (53), Hughes (65), Kanchelskis (80) 27/11/93 Coventry (a) 1-0 Cantona (60)

Eight is clearly a special number for Wolves… as this weekend they became the first team to name the same starting XI in eight consecutive Premier League matches.

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The media view on Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 11:42
Liverpool played out a goalless draw with Manchester City in Sunday's Premier League encounter at Anfield.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Robbo: We want to compete - and we can

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 11:13
Andy Robertson has faith Liverpool can maintain a Premier League challenge this season – but dismissed any suggestion of there being a battle solely with Manchester City.
Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC 0-0 City: Watch highlights and reaction

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 08/10/2018 - 01:59
Watch the key incidents and post-match reaction from Liverpool's 0-0 Premier League draw with Manchester City on Sunday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

'Liverpool need creative midfielder'

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 07/10/2018 - 22:41
Carragher: "There's no David Silva or Bernardo Silva or a player like that in the squad."

Last Updated: 07/10/18 8:50pm

Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness agree Liverpool could do with an additional creative option in central midfield Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness agree Liverpool could do with an additional creative option in central midfield Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness agree Liverpool could do with an additional creative option in central midfield

Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness believe Liverpool should look to sign a creative central midfielder in the January transfer window.

Liverpool drew 0-0 with Manchester City on Super Sunday to continue their unbeaten start to the season in a game of few chances.

The tightly-contested clash was largely played in midfield with Jurgen Klopp's side having two shots on target at Anfield, and it is in the central area where Carragher and Souness think Liverpool could do with a creative player if they are to compete for the title this season.

"If Liverpool are in a really good position in January, I think they've got to be looking to address that [midfield area]," Carragher said post-match.

"It's not even necessarily having someone who comes in and plays every single game. They just haven't even got anyone like that in the squad. Adam Lallana is too injury prone.

"Even if Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes back, [Naby] Keita goes in or Fabinho goes in they are all the same. Liverpool don't play with a No 10, but there's no David Silva or Bernardo Silva or a player like that in the squad.

"I'm not talking about that player playing every week. It's just the fact of having someone like that in the squad to turn to when you feel you need that player."

Highlights from Liverpool's goalless draw against Manchester City in the Premier League Highlights from Liverpool's goalless draw against Manchester City in the Premier League To watch Premier League action on your mobile now download the Football Score Centre on iPhone or Android

Liverpool signed Xherdan Shaqiri in the summer from Stoke City and he was an unused substitute against City, but Souness echoed the thoughts of Carragher, saying: "In the summer Liverpool signed Fabinho, signed Keita and also tried to sign [Nabil] Fekir from Lyon. I think that tells you how Jurgen sees their midfield.

"I look at Liverpool's midfield and I bet they are three great lads, who work their socks off but they just haven't got that little bit of quality in games like this to look one way and deliver a pass the other way.

"I think the very fact that Jurgen signed two and tried to get three shows you they are a bit short there. I think that showed at times today when they were dominant and had a lot of the ball. The danger is, when you try to go for more quality, you might not get someone who puts the same shift in.

"That's the balancing act. Jurgen likes to call it 'rock and roll football' with high tempo and high intensity. Would you get that from someone who's got a bit more class?"

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Is tiredness an issue for Liverpool?

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 07/10/2018 - 22:24
Liverpool drew 0-0 with Manchester City on Super Sunday

Last Updated: 07/10/18 10:37pm

James Milner was replaced by Naby Keita against Man City James Milner was replaced by Naby Keita against Man City James Milner was replaced by Naby Keita against Man City

Liverpool held on for a goalless draw with Manchester City as Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty at Anfield, but are Jurgen Klopp's side being hampered by fatigue?

Sunday's meeting with City capped a gruelling run of seven games in three weeks for Liverpool, including Champions League meetings against Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli and two tussles with Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea.

Liverpool let off by misses Mahrez pen
Milner suffers injury against City

The heavy workload was the subject of much discussion at Anfield, with Liverpool lacking their usual edge in attack as they struggled to carve out clear chances against Pep Guardiola's side.

"They are a little bit flat today," said Gary Neville in the Sky Sports commentary box. "When do you ever see Liverpool like that? It's a little bit of fatigue and a little bit of edge off the energy levels.

"This Liverpool team, their greatest strength is their ability to sprint quickly, press quickly, and transition quickly. If they don't have that, they lose a lot."

Highlights from Liverpool's goalless draw against Manchester City in the Premier League Highlights from Liverpool's goalless draw against Manchester City in the Premier League To watch Premier League action on your mobile now download the Football Score Centre on iPhone or Android

Graeme Souness agreed with that sentiment. "The way they attempt to play is not like a pragmatic approach where they sit and wait for their opposition," said the Sky Sports pundit.

"Liverpool try to outgun whoever they are playing against. They play with such intensity that it's a harder game of football than it would be if you're a team who sit in and play a close game.

"So the pressure is on these players A because of the amount of games and B because of the type of games they play."

What did the stats say?

There were certainly moments when it seemed Liverpool's recent exertions had taken a physical toll on their players, but the Premier League tracking data showed their running stats actually held up.

Liverpool covered 109km and made 129 sprints against City Liverpool covered 109km and made 129 sprints against City Liverpool covered 109km and made 129 sprints against City

The total of 109km distance covered was their joint-second-lowest of the season so far, but they made 129 high-intensity sprints - more than in any other game this season with the exception of last weekend's 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

"It's the finish of a very intense period for us, with unbelievable games," Klopp told Sky Sports afterwards. "You can always wish for more but I saw that the boys gave everything."

Rotation dilemma

In the cases of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, however, recent performances suggests they may be feeling jaded. Salah has only scored once in his last eight appearances, while Firmino and Mane are without a goal in their last five and seven games respectively.

So should Klopp be rotating? Only Bournemouth, Chelsea, Watford and Wolves have made fewer line-up changes than Liverpool's eight in the Premier League this season, with each member of their front three starting every game in addition to featuring prominently in the cup competitions.

Daniel Sturridge has scored some important goals from the bench while Xherdan Shaqiri has made some encouraging cameos, but Neville feels a lack of attacking depth could be an issue.

Mohamed Salah is tackled by Aymeric Laporte Mohamed Salah is tackled by Aymeric Laporte Mohamed Salah is tackled by Aymeric Laporte

"There's a big drop-off in quality between Sane, Salah, Firmino and the ones below," he said. "Can these three really keep that energy up every single Wednesday and Saturday?"

Jamie Carragher, though, insists they can.

"Liverpool did it last year and got to the Champions League final," he said in the Sky Sports studio after the game.

"They never won the league but you wouldn't blame that on the front three. The front three were as good as anything in the league. You can't say they have to be rested in the Champions League because they weren't rested last year.

"Liverpool have played two tough away games against the top six and one at home. So they have played three big games against their rivals in the first eight games and they find themselves where they are without their front three firing. I think it's massively positive and I think the front three will start firing. They are too good not to go back to what they were."

Time for recovery?

Much to Klopp's frustration, the majority of his players will now join up with their national teams. As they head off to different corners of the world, his concern is that they will not get the rest they need.

"When we came back from the international break last time, it was clear," he said. "It was [a game] every three days and it's so difficult. You have to invest absolutely everything and think we did really well. I'm really proud of the boys.

"If people want to see the best football, somebody has to start to give the boys a little break. We can't do it because we play every three days."

Sadio Mane looks to retain possession under pressure from Fernandinho Sadio Mane looks to retain possession under pressure from Fernandinho Sadio Mane looks to retain possession under pressure from Fernandinho

Klopp is aware that most of his players will play for their countries regardless of fatigue, but Sky Sports pundit Craig Bellamy pointed out another danger of international breaks.

"What I find, even with the young age groups, is that on international duty, it's 10 days away, they're away from their families, they train nowhere near the intensity than they do at their clubs, then they are sat around all afternoon or evening, some of them eating because they are bored."

Klopp: Liverpool need a break

Jurgen Klopp has called for Liverpool to be given a break after their gruelling three-week schedule.

"They come back overweight and nowhere near the training condition you need them in. Then you've got two days to work them up to the next game, so they come back mentally even more drained than when they go."

It's another concern for Klopp, but he can at least take comfort from Liverpool's upcoming fixture list. After a challenging run of games, they return to action with an easier period which starts against Huddersfield, Red Star and Cardiff. Those fixtures might finally give him the chance to make some changes.

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Van Dijk's verdict on penalty and City stalemate

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 07/10/2018 - 22:03
Virgil van Dijk admitted it was the correct call to award Manchester City a penalty in Sunday's Premier League clash at Anfield.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Van Dijk's verdict on penalty and City stalemate

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 07/10/2018 - 22:03

Virgil van Dijk admitted it was the correct call to award Manchester City a penalty in Sunday's Premier League clash at Anfield.

The Liverpool No.4 was judged to have fouled Leroy Sane inside the area five minutes from the end of a meeting with the reigning champions that was short of genuine chances at either end.

After the game, Van Dijk accepted the referee was right to point to the spot and expressed his relief that the incident did not cost his team – as Riyad Mahrez sent the kick over the crossbar.

“It was a penalty and I said it to the referee afterwards as well,” he told Sky Sports.

“It shouldn’t have happened but obviously I’m happy that we didn’t concede. I was very happy that it didn’t go in.”

Reflecting on the match as a whole, Van Dijk continued: “Their defence did well. We did well up until the penalty moment.

“It was a great game to play obviously and it’s unlucky that we didn’t score and unlucky [for City] that we didn’t concede as well.

“It was a tough game against the champions and I’m happy that we kept the clean sheet, especially after the penalty.

“We wanted to bounce back from our defeat against Napoli and I think we did. They’re a good team and we knew it was going to be hard but I’m happy with not losing.”

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Defenders make the headlines as Keita & Co. fail to provide – 5 talking points from Liverpool 0-0 Man City

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 07/10/2018 - 21:51

Liverpool maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 0-0 draw with Man City, which raised a number of talking points.


Liverpool 0-0 Man City

Premier League, Anfield
October 7, 2018

Too Tight to Separate

 Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk appeals to referee Martin Atkinson after a penalty is awarded during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a heavyweight clash which had many expecting goals galore with the recent encounters in mind, however it ended up being a battle at the back and a scrappy affair reminiscent of the title struggle between Arsenal and Man United in the late ’90s.

Neither side were prepared to give each other an inch with the potential repercussions lingering at the back of their minds, effectively ensuring they cancelled each other out.

The fact neither team registered more than two shots on target across the entire game said it all, and painted a clear picture that the battle for the title will be decided in the games against the rest of the league.

While City were able to conquer all levels of competition last season, the Reds struggled against those in the bottom half as well as against their rivals on the road.

It is a different story so far, however, with Liverpool have only dropped points to Chelsea away from home despite a tricky start to the campaign.

The season is long and twists and turns will await, but there is not long to wait for the second meeting between the pair as a New Years Day clash awaits—but between then and now a lot can change.

True Captain’s Performance

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and captain Jordan Henderson embrace after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. The game ended goal-less. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jordan Henderson noted in the pre-game programme that “we’ll give everything to show a positive response” following the midweek defeat to Napoli, and while the potency and clinical edge is still a work in progress, the Liverpool skipper did not disappoint.

He divides opinion on a game-by-game basis, but was a clear standout during the stalemate and was key to the Reds’ threatening start to proceedings before becoming integral to the defensive stand as City attempted to make their move.

It was a true captain’s performance. On numerous occasions he was the man to make key tackles and interceptions, not to mention his persistent closing down of the City players in possession—and he is not all backward and sideways passing as many would lead you to believe.

In games where space is readily available Henderson thrives and leads from the front, he was continually looking to spread the ball and find space beyond City’s defence and was accountable at every turn.

With competition in the deep-lying role likely to ramp up over the coming weeks, Henderson has done his chances no harm in holding onto his spot.

Lack of Midfield Drive Remains Cause for Concern

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (R) and Manchester City's David Silva during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s key to overcoming Pep Guardiola’s side in recent meetings has stemmed from the drive Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has injected in the middle of the park, but in his absence there was no heir to the throne in the starting lineup.

With the front three struggling to fire on all cylinders so far this term, the penetrating runs and passes that a creative midfielder—like the England international—possesses offers the front three the chance for their star to shine brightly.

It is an area which has been a cause for concern for the Reds for much of the campaign, with the tried combination of Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner yet to prove they can consistently offer a route to goal.

Milner’s injury early in the first half gave Naby Keita the opportunity to add the explosiveness required, but it still took over an hour to register a shot on target—although the visitors did similarly struggle in the opening stages.

It is a symptom of Liverpool’s recent form which has lacked the potency which supporters have come to expect, but a break from club duty could offer the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button.

The question which will continue to linger, however, is the time it is taking Keita to make a statement of intent to justify his return to the starting lineup.

There is no doubt he has all the tools, but he again failed to make his presence known.

Defenders Stars of the Show

 Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have commonly drawn comparisons to having three different models of cars representing each third of the field over recent years, with the attack and midfield far superior to that of the defence.

The tables have turned, however. The campaign has yet to see Liverpool hit the heights of last season as the forward players have yet to hit their stride.

It ensures the defence has had to be resolute and drag the team over the line—a prospect which would have been met with resounding disbelief this time last year.

Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have been receiving mass plaudits for their performances instead of the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino like many had grown accustomed to.

Despite Jurgen Klopp introducing Dejan Lovren to the fold they again took the headlines and were resolute against what is a fearsome attack.

The Croatian defender could be criticised for his sloppy tackle on Sergio Aguero which, on another day, could have been given as a penalty, but overall he rose to the occasion and did not disappoint.

 Liverpool's Dejan Lovren (R) and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is a welcome change to know that while the midfield and attack struggle to find their feet that they won’t have the added pressure of needing to outscore the opposition as the back line has them covered, even if changes to personnel have been made.

The foundations have been laid and Liverpool now have a superior defensive model, just an oil change is needed to get all engines firing at the same time.

An Extremely Valuable Point Earned

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. The game ended goal-less. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a game where neither team were eager to throw all their cards on the table, hesitant to give the impetus to each other such were the potential repercussions—the visitors still visibly scarred from recent meetings.

With two defeats in cup competitions and the first set of points dropped in the Premier League over the last week, it would have been easy to overreact if Liverpool failed to pick up any points—which a late penalty threatened to do.

However, the Reds remain undefeated in the league and the next block of six games following the international break are relatively kind for Klopp’s men.

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On the domestic front they come up against three teams currently in the bottom four of the table, with Arsenal the headline fixture before national duty calls once more, with a double-header in the Champions League against Red Star Belgrade sandwiched between.

Conversely, Man City face the prospect of facing both Tottenham and Man United.

It has not been an easy start to the campaign and Liverpool are exactly where they need to be, and when the fluidity finally returns they are bound to be a completely different animal.

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Jürgen Klopp: I am fine with a draw against City

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 07/10/2018 - 21:47
Jürgen Klopp declared himself satisfied with Liverpool’s performance after they played out a goalless draw with Manchester City in an intense Premier League clash at Anfield.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp: I am fine with a draw against City

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 07/10/2018 - 21:47

Jürgen Klopp declared himself satisfied with Liverpool’s performance after they played out a goalless draw with Manchester City in an intense Premier League clash at Anfield.

The points were shared between the sides, which extends both teams’ unbeaten starts to the season, after a hard-fought encounter.

The visitors did have an opportunity to win it in the final stages, but Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty after Virgil van Dijk had been penalised for a challenge on Leroy Sane.

Read on for a summary of Klopp’s post-match press conference, during which he also provided an update on James Milner's injury.

On what he thought of the game and the result…

I am fine. It is a very intense, unbelievable challenge to face Manchester City always - I’ve said that before - and as the last game of an intense period, it makes the challenge even bigger, so I am really happy with what the boys did today. The start in the game was fantastic and I liked it, but if you want to win against City you have to use a few of these half-chances or whatever it is in these moments. You cannot defend them 100 per cent over 95 minutes, so they will always have their moments but I thought how we defended was brilliant apart from the penalty and one or two situations where we needed Alisson with a really good save.

We’ve played City now that often and they’re just outstanding. In no game we’ve played so far the game was that kind of level like it was today, even when we won 3-0 at home or 4-3 at home. When we won 2-1 at City, they pushed us in our 18-yard box and we didn’t know how to come out. Then we had our moments of course, but over the full match time it was never like that. It is for both teams really intense what we are doing and both showed respect for the other team. Don’t lose the ball in the wrong moment otherwise you will have a big problem. Both teams did well. We were a bit lucky with the penalty of course, that was clear.

On defending against City’s attack…

You cannot ignore City in the preparation - it is quite difficult! For higher rhythm you need space and both teams didn’t give any space away. Against City, it’s not news - if you don’t defend the half-spaces then they are constantly between your midfield and last line and you have to constantly jump in the last line, which you don’t want to do really. One situation where you allow them a one-two and then are alone in front of the goalie, or are alone in the box and shoot the ball across the line and somebody scores an easy goal at the back post. It’s so difficult to defend and I am really happy with how we did it.

We had a little setback on Wednesday for sure. I watched the game back on the flight back, it was really important to see it again so we could adjust a few things - and it was so much better today. If we would have defended like we did against Napoli today then it’s a 7-0. No doubt about it. But we were really back on track, even after we had to change Millie, which you never want to do, especially in the first half, so I am fine. It was an unbelievably intense period and our fixtures were just crazy. It makes no sense to moan about it when you’re in it, but now it’s over and so I can moan about it! It was just unbelievable; playing these teams is really difficult. I am happy with the results we got.

On the penalty award…

Yes, I saw it now. It feels much easier to say it was a penalty when they didn’t score with it, but I saw it and I don’t think there’s a lot to discuss about. How it very often is with penalties, it is very, very close and with a bit of a longer toe then he [Van Dijk] touches the ball. I think he touched the ball a little bit but obviously not enough, he touched Sane a bit more so it’s a penalty. But not the most important penalty in the history of football because it was not in. We were lucky in that situation but we deserved it, a bit of luck, because with the performance the boys showed today, it’s just good. To respond is really important, but to respond is really difficult when the next opponent is Manchester City because there is no time for any wrong thoughts or whatever. It was easy to adjust because we made not too many mistakes at Napoli, but a massive one formation-wise. We didn’t adapt to what Napoli did, and today we were back again so I am fine.

On the fact Liverpool, City and Chelsea are level on points at the top of the table…

And Arsenal is two points behind too, right? They’ve won six games in a row so it looks like they are in a good shape. We played City today, we can have three points, or one point or no points and we have one so that’s fine. If somebody would have told me after eight matchdays we would have had 20 points, I would say with pretty much any fixture list I’d have said ‘yes’, but with that fixture list I’d have said ‘I’ll buy it, let’s start on the ninth matchday’. 

LFC 0-0 City: Talking points>>

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Dejan Lovren: It's a good point

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 07/10/2018 - 21:43
Liverpool can consider the point gained from a goalless draw with Manchester City a good one, according to Dejan Lovren.
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