LFC NEWS

LFC boosts Liverpool City Region economy

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:29

Liverpool Football Club boosted the Liverpool City Region economy by £497m GVA during the 2017-18 season, according to a report compiled by Deloitte's Sports Business Group.

The report highlights the economic impact LFC’s matches and day-to-day activities had on the city, the Liverpool City Region and the United Kingdom as a whole for the campaign.

Last season, the city itself felt the impact of £454m GVA (gross value added) and £575m looking at the UK as a whole.

GVA is a useful measure for understanding the economic contribution made by a business or industry to gross domestic product (GDP).

The club’s activities support more than 4,500 full-time equivalent jobs across the Liverpool economy (2.3 per cent of jobs in Liverpool), a number which jumps to 5,700 when looking at this from a Liverpool City Region perspective.

The ripple effect of LFC’s activity on the city is also clear – through local business supply chains and their employees, the knock-on effect is an indirect and induced £108m boost to the economy of Liverpool.

More than 1.5m football fans came to Anfield in the 2017-18 season and the impact of visitors from outside the local area is reflected in their £102m contribution to the visitor economy of the Liverpool City Region – broken down into £42m spend on accommodation, £28m in the area’s restaurants, cafes and bars, £15m on travel, £12m in the region’s retail, and a further £5.4m on groceries and other items.

For fans who travelled into Liverpool, the report also reflects their perceptions of the city. While 97 per cent of supporters travelling in from outside the region said they came specifically for the match, more than a quarter are likely to return to visit the city itself and 94 per cent said they would recommend others to visit the city.

The impact of the club’s activity in Liverpool is more than just financial. Through LFC Foundation, the club’s official charity, and Red Neighbours, the club’s local community programme, the lives of many local people have been profoundly impacted in a positive way; 152,000 local children took part in LFC Foundation programmes, 1,100 free tickets were given away to local schoolchildren, 450 Christmas lunches were served to local pensioners, 700 people were invited to free breakfast clubs during the school holidays, and 120 LFC staff volunteered in the local community, as well as fans donating enough food at each matchday to provide 1,768 foodbank meals for those in need.

Beyond matchday, the Deloitte report indicates that concerts due to be held at Anfield in the summer will also have a significant direct economic impact on the Liverpool City Region. The high-profile acts due to perform, such as Bon Jovi, Pink and Take That, could create a £4.1m impact per event through visitor spend on accommodation, restaurants and bars, and travel during their visit to the city.

Peter Moore, chief executive officer at LFC, said: “Understanding how our club impacts our region both from an economic and a social perspective is important. It’s clear that many of our matchday visitors come to Liverpool for the football, but return for the city itself, so there is a longevity and continuous cycle to the impact we’re creating.

“Through our community initiatives we’re also growing our impact season on season and through things like foodbank collections, have already surpassed last season’s total with still a third of this season to go. We’re also broadening this impact and as work starts on our new training ground development in Kirkby, so too will our community work through Red Neighbours.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC boosts Liverpool City Region economy

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:29
Liverpool Football Club boosted the Liverpool City Region economy by £497m GVA during the 2017-18 season, according to a report compiled by Deloitte's Sports Business Group.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Van Dijk outlines LFC aim: I want to become a club legend here

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:19

Virgil van Dijk believes Liverpool have everything in place to achieve ‘amazing things’ on the pitch – and also help him realise his ambition of cementing a position as a legend of the club.

The centre-back has tallied 54 appearances and two goals for the Reds since he arrived from Southampton in January 2018, establishing himself as vital component in Jürgen Klopp’s side and a firm favourite among supporters.

Asked by BBC’s Football Daily podcast how he’d like to be remembered by those fans in the future, Van Dijk replied: “That’s a difficult question, but maybe as a legend of Liverpool.

“At the moment, that’s something that comes to my mind. I want to achieve great things, amazing things, here. We have a fantastic squad, we have everything, we have all the tools, but obviously we have to do it.

“For us, we have a team in the league that is pretty good as well [Manchester City] that are doing fantastic. We’re matching them at the moment and we will see what happens.

“I just want to give everything for this club. They went all out to get me and I want to give everything for them and hopefully make sure we achieve great things.

“Before I started training [with the club], I went to the game against Leicester [in December 2017]. I was in the boardroom and met so many legends, great players who played for a beautiful club.

“When you play for this club, you'll always be welcome as you've been part of the family. It's one of the reasons I definitely wanted to play for the club.”

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Van Dijk outlines LFC aim: I want to become a club legend here

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:19
Virgil van Dijk believes Liverpool have everything in place to achieve ‘amazing things’ on the pitch – and also help him realise his ambition of cementing a position as a legend of the club.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool loanee’s latest comments indicate he will never play for the club

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:08

Lesser-spotted Liverpool midfielder Allan Rodrigues has joined Fluminense on loan, and if it was down to him, he would stay in Brazil beyond the end of his deal.


Allan has barely stepped foot on a training pitch in a Reds shirt since his £500,000 move from Internacional in 2015, with his only outings coming in behind-closed-doors friendlies.

Instead, the 21-year-old has spent his time on the books at Anfield away on loan, with spells at SJK, Sint-Truiden, Hertha Berlin, Apollon Limassol and Eintracht Frankfurt designed to earn him a UK work permit.

Having traded Frankfurt for Fluminense earlier this month, however, there is little hope of Allan now returning to take up a role in Jurgen Klopp‘s squad.

And speaking on his unveiling at the club, the youngster made it clear he would prefer to remain in his home country, beyond an initial half-season period that could be extended in July.

“These are Liverpool issues,” he explained when asked why his current deal would end three months into the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A campaign.

“The [Premier League] season ends in the middle of the year, it’s different from here. So they made that choice.

“I came to stay, I want to stay. Let’s wait and see.”

 Liverpool's Joe Allen, Allan Rodrigues de Sousa, Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho Correia, Roberto Firmino, Christian Benteke and Kolo Toure during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against FC Sion. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is no malice intended in these words, merely a more realistic view of his career trajectory, with a lack of opportunities at loan sides in Europe suggesting he would not be eligible to stay at Liverpool.

Allan reflected on his time at the club so far, and the influence of Klopp, who described him as an “outstanding talent” after training at Melwood in 2016.

“It was a good experience, not just in terms of football, but as a person. For having to take in the adaptation, [learn the] language,” he added.

“In soccer, it was good to know other cultures, other methodologies of the game. Today I see myself more mature.

“From each country I took something and I’m more complete, but I still have a lot to learn.

“I returned to Liverpool [from SJK in 2015] because the season ends a little earlier.

“[Klopp] had just taken over and selected me to play in a friendly. It was an accomplishment to play with him as a coach.

“But that was in the past. I have to perform for Fernando [Diniz] and for the Fluminense fans. [Klopp] helps me a lot even today.”

These certainly sound like the words of a player who has mentally checked out of life on Merseyside, with Allan also acknowledging it was “time to go back,” likely marking the end of a frustrating three-and-a-half years.

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Wijnaldum: We'll be facing a different United side

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:52

Georginio Wijnaldum is expecting to come up against a much changed Manchester United from the side they defeated earlier in the season when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Reds ran out 3-1 winners over their old rivals at Anfield back in December, with Xherdan Shaqiri coming off the bench to strike twice after Sadio Mane’s opener had been cancelled out by Jesse Lingard.

United have since installed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager – and the club legend has overseen a vast upturn in their form, remaining unbeaten in the Premier League since his appointment to move into the top four.

It’s a statistic Liverpool will need to bring to an end if they’re to go three points clear at the top of the table this weekend – but Wijnaldum is aware it’ll be a difficult challenge.

“I think it is going to be a real big change [from the game in December],” the No.5 predicted, speaking to reporters.

“Since the new manager came in there is a new flow, they played good games and have won a lot and that is building confidence in the team.

“It's also a home game for them so they will have a lot of confidence as they don't have the problems they had before.

 “It is going to be a difficult game but I'm looking forward to it. I think for them we come at a good moment but we're also doing well so it is going to be a nice game to watch.”

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United recorded a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening to move into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

24 hours later, Liverpool played out a 0-0 Anfield draw with Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie.

The Reds will renew rivalries with the reigning Bundesliga championship in Germany in three weeks’ time and Wijnaldum remains confident about their chances of progression.

“Why is it a better result for them? I think it is a good result for both," he said.

"The only thing is if we go there and score a goal they have to score two. One of the advantages is that they will play at home. I think a lot of teams when they come to Anfield and they play a draw they think it is a good result.

"I don't think it is a bad result for them but neither is it for us. They have good players, we have good players. It was nice to watch but unfortunately no players scored. Hopefully next time we will.

"I don't think they will play really open in the second leg because they know we are good on the counter-attack but they also know we score goals with good football and create chances. It's difficult to say how the game is going to go but it is going to be a tough one, that's for sure."

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Wijnaldum: We'll be facing a different United side

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:52
Georginio Wijnaldum is expecting to come up against a much changed Manchester United from the side they defeated earlier in the season when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Niko Kovac’s Javi Martinez admission shows how much Bayern Munich fear Liverpool

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:44

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac’s explanation of Javi Martinez’s role in their 0-0 draw at Anfield shows how much the Bundesliga champions fear Liverpool.


After the stalemate in their Champions League last-16 first leg, Jurgen Klopp spoke of the “respect” between the two sides that led to an often cagey display.

The Reds arguably dominated the game, despite Alisson and his back line requiring some impressive last-ditch defending to deny the likes of Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski.

And in fact, Bayern were seen visibly time-wasting from midway through the second half, with seemingly little ambition to score a vital away goal ahead of next month’s return clash at the Allianz Arena.

This, Kovac has admitted, included Martinez feigning cramp in the 86th minute, shortly after Manuel Neuer denied Sadio Mane in one of the biggest chances of the night.

“We all know the drill: it’s close to the final whistle and you try to waste a bit of time,” the Croatian told Sky Sports.

“Javi has good performance data, meaning he couldn’t have even had a cramp. That’s all a bit of acting.

“Recently [in the 3-2 win over Hertha Berlin], Kingsley Coman also pretended to have a cramp but he didn’t.

“We have to bring calmness in the game. They do it well, they have the experience for that.”

 FC Bayern Munich's head coach Niko Kova? reacts during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern M¸nchen at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is nothing new, and Liverpool have lacked a less-admirable game management in recent years, but it does serve as testimony to Bayern’s ‘respect’ for their hosts.

In other words, the European heavyweights feared a Reds winner, and had long before set up to frustrate Klopp’s side, rather than push for a more positive result.

The second leg comes on March 13, and it is likely to be a much different affair as Bayern need to be on the front foot, and should come up against a visiting side eager to attack.

Liverpool cannot underestimate Kovac’s players when they head to Munich, but they can take encouragement from their need to time-waste on Merseyside as they eye a place in the quarter-finals.

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Inside Anfield: A different look at Liverpool 0-0 Bayern

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:30

Take a look at how Liverpool's enthralling goalless draw with Bayern Munich unfolded from a different perspective with Inside Anfield.

The Reds and Bayern played out a closely-fought Champions League last-16 first leg in L4 on Tuesday night.

LFCTV GO's cameras recorded exclusive footage within the stadium before, during and after the match - and the best of what they captured can be watched above in the latest edition of Inside Anfield.

Join LFCTV GO now and get a month free>>

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Inside Anfield: A different look at Liverpool 0-0 Bayern

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:30
Take a look at how Liverpool's enthralling goalless draw with Bayern Munich unfolded from a different perspective with Inside Anfield.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool eye up move for Monaco youngster

HEAD NEWS - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:02

Chelsea and Liverpool are chasing Lilian Thuram’s son, who could be available at a cut-price from Monaco this summer.

Khephren Thuram, 17, has not signed professional terms at Monaco despite being one of the most-prized players from their academy.

That could open the door for a move to the Premier League for the midfielder, who has also been watched by Juventus.

Click here to read more of this story on MailOnline.

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

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Liverpool eye up move for Monaco youngster

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:02

Chelsea and Liverpool are chasing Lilian Thuram’s son, who could be available at a cut-price from Monaco this summer.

Khephren Thuram, 17, has not signed professional terms at Monaco despite being one of the most-prized players from their academy.

That could open the door for a move to the Premier League for the midfielder, who has also been watched by Juventus.

Click here to read more of this story on MailOnline.

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

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Liverpool eye up move for Monaco youngster

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 09:02
Chelsea and Liverpool are chasing Lilian Thuram’s son, who could be available at a cut-price from Monaco this summer.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Hendo: Ox's return to training boosts the whole squad

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 08:30

The presence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in first-team training this month has given every player in the Liverpool squad a boost, according to Jordan Henderson.

Oxlade-Chamberlain joined his teammates in several sessions during the camp in Marbella last week and for Monday’s pre-Bayern Munich workout at Melwood.

The midfielder, who has been recovering from multiple ligament damage sustained in the Champions League semi-final with AS Roma last April, will continue to follow a rehabilitation programme with the target of featuring for the Reds before the end of the season.

But it was a special moment for Oxlade-Chamberlain to be back out on the grass – and the sentiment was keenly felt by his teammates too.

“It was obviously a massive moment for everyone but [especially] for him to be back from a bad injury. He has been out for a while now and I’m sure he’s been thinking about that moment for a long time,” Henderson told Liverpoolfc.com.

“It was great to have him back. He is a great character around the lads and he is obviously a fantastic player, so to have him back within the squad was a big plus for us.

“Hopefully over the next few weeks he can keep progressing and build his fitness up. Who knows, hopefully he can get some minutes before the end of the season – that would be a huge boost for the team.”

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The captain added: “The manager will be [careful] – he is with players who have been out for a long time, he knows how difficult it is to come back.

“But Ox has looked good in training and I’m sure over the next few weeks, as he builds fitness, the manager will keep a close eye on him because he is an important player, a fantastic player for this team.

“To have him back before the end of the season would be a massive boost.”

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Hendo: Ox's return to training boosts the whole squad

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 08:30
The presence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in first-team training this month has given every player in the Liverpool squad a boost, according to Jordan Henderson.
Categories: LFC NEWS

How Liverpool can cut over £36 million from their wage bill this summer

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 07:00

News last month of Liverpool’s financial figures for 2017/18 revealing a wage bill that increased by 26 per cent show that the Reds are now prepared to spend big to keep their star players.


New contracts for the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, plus the arrivals of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Xherdan Shaqiri will only see such figures increase further when the next set of results are revealed for the current campaign.

But there is plenty of room for Liverpool to actually reduce their wage bill this summer, by trimming from the squad those players who do not represent their value within the squad.

With Daniel Sturridge‘s contract up – the striker being on a reported £120,000 per week – along with Alberto Moreno (£40,000 p/w), that would give sporting director Michael Edwards and manager Jurgen Klopp room to bring in a new signing on a top wage of £160k p/w.

Also expected to depart are Simon Mignolet – who, at a reported £60k p/w, is an expensive backup goalkeeper – and Divock Origi – who only has a year left on his contract and has only played 205 minutes for the first-team this season – meaning Klopp can bring in new squad players whose wages are proportionate to their status within the squad.

With 16 players currently out on loan – the three most high-profile and high-earning being Loris Karius, Danny Ings and Nathaniel Clyne – that’s further wages off the bottom line.

Agreements are already in place for Karius and Ings’ moves to be made permanent, while Clyne should do enough at Bournemouth to secure a permanent move to another Premier League side, if not the Cherries themselves.

Clyne earns a reported £70k p/w and is third-choice right-back – such wages do not make sense for Liverpool as the club moves forward.

 Liverpool's Joel Matip, James Milner, Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge and Nathaniel Clyne during the pre-match warm-up before a preseason friendly match between Bury FC and Liverpool FC at Gigg Lane. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Additionally, Klopp might be wise to sign a more resolute and reliable centre-back given the ongoing injury issues with Dejan Lovren.

The Croat is one of the club’s high earners on a reported £100k p/w and despite his injury issues would likely have plenty of suitors who would pay good money for the 29-year-old.

Similarly, Adam Lallana at a reported £70k p/w but less than 400 minutes played this season (at the time of writing) does not represent his worth either.

Finally, and perhaps most controversially, would be allowing James Milner to depart.

The 33-year-old utility player is reportedly on £120k p/w having agreed a bumper contract due to being a ‘free transfer’ from Man City in 2011. Next season he would find himself behind Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and possibly another new midfield addition.

There’s also Marko Grujic to potentially return from loan to be part of Klopp’s midfield plans.

Whatever way you look at it, paying £120k p/w for a seventh choice midfielder is not logical.

Reds who could leave

Photograph By John Powell. Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge visited Stagecoach in Gillmoss to promote the starting of the Anfield 917 bus for the home games. (see story)

  • Sturridge (contract up) – £120k
  • Moreno (contract up) – £40k
  • Origi – £55k
  • Mignolet – £60k
  • Lovren – £100k
  • Lallana – £70k
  • Milner – £120k
  • Karius – £25k, Ings – £60k, Clyne – £70k
  • TOTAL P/W: £720k

Moving on these 10 players would reduce Liverpool’s wage bill by over £700,000 per week – over £36 million across the year – money that could then be spent on wages for three or four high-quality new signings.

Of course, due to Liverpool’s excellent financial outlook there is no need to sell these players to reduce the wage bill, but it is an area that would have sound logic to ensure each player is representing their worth.

Meanwhile, for instance, Moreno’s place within the squad should be taken by academy prospect Adam Lewis – a young left-back on a far less wage makes more sense than the current situation as Andy Robertson‘s backup.

Harry Wilson might replace Lallana within the squad, but be on substantially lower wages.

Up front, there would be plenty of room to add a high-profile signing – Timo Werner of course being the one heavily linked – to replace the outgoing Sturridge and Origi.

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VOTE: Best Man Utd vs Liverpool goal

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 06:00
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 21/02/19 8:58am

Ten of the best Premier League goals scored between Manchester Utd and Liverpool Ten of the best Premier League goals scored between Manchester Utd and Liverpool

There's a huge game at Old Trafford on Super Sunday as Manchester United look to upset Liverpool – but which is the best goal scored in their previous Premier League meetings?

We have picked out 10 top strikes from the fixture, with memorable contributions from Steven Gerrard, Mark Hughes, John Arne Riise and Dimitar Berbatov all included.

Liverpool will be looking for a win this weekend which takes them back to the top of the league, while United are hoping for three points to strengthen their Champions League qualification hopes.

Whoever scores for either side, they will be hoping they do it as spectacularly as some of these players - and you can vote for your favourite from the list below after clicking the video above to watch our selection.

Mark Hughes - 1992/93

With United 2-0 down at Old Trafford after first-half goals from Don Hutchison and Ian Rush, they needed something special to get back in the game - and Hughes gave them it.

He showed superb technique to lob Bruce Grobbelaar on the volley from the edge of the box, although it was his second goal in stoppage time which saved a point.

Ian Rush - 1992/93

Hughes had given United a half-time lead at Anfield but Rush, on as a substitute, levelled for Liverpool five minutes after the break.

His half-volley on the turn brought big celebrations - only for the away side to go on to win 2-1.

Ryan Giggs scored in Manchester United's 3-3 draw at Liverpool in January 1994 Ryan Giggs scored in Manchester United's 3-3 draw at Liverpool in January 1994 Ryan Giggs scored in Manchester United's 3-3 draw at Liverpool in January 1994 Ryan Giggs - 1993/94

There have been plenty of thrillers between the teams over the years and the match at Anfield in January 1994 was one of them as it finished in a 3-3 draw.

The pick of the goals came from Giggs, who showed good feet to get away from Mark Wright before lifting the ball into the top-right corner.

Robbie Fowler - 1995/96

Fowler scored twice for Liverpool as they drew 2-2 at Old Trafford in October 1995 - and one of his goals was an absolute screamer.

Played in on the left channel, his drive towards goal was hit with so much pace it left Peter Schmeichel with no chance despite the ball coming at him at his near post.

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Paul Scholes - 1998/99

Scholes clinched United's 2-0 win in September 1998 with a brilliant goal 11 minutes from the end at Old Trafford.

After Andy Cole's centre from the left fell slightly behind him, the midfielder wrapped his foot around the ball and bent it brilliantly back across goal into the top-left corner.

Steven Gerrard - 2000/01

Gerrard loved to have a go from distance and his strike in Liverpool's 2-0 win in March 2001 was one of his best.

Collecting a headed lay-off from Robbie Fowler, he took two touches to set himself up before firing a ferocious effort into the top left corner from 35 yards.

Steven Gerrard celebrates his brilliant strike which put Liverpool 1-0 up against Manchester United in March 2001 Steven Gerrard celebrates his brilliant strike which put Liverpool 1-0 up against Manchester United in March 2001 Steven Gerrard celebrates his brilliant strike which put Liverpool 1-0 up against Manchester United in March 2001 John Arne Riise - 2001/02

As explosive goals go, this one from Norwegian left-back Riise was right at the very top of the list.

After a short free-kick was rolled to him, he did the rest with a rapturous rising drive which shot past Fabien Barthez.

Dimitar Berbatov - 2010/11

Berbatov showed brilliant improvisation for the best of his three goals as his hat-trick edged out Liverpool in a 3-2 win in September 2010.

Bringing the ball down on his thigh after it was too high for Wayne Rooney, he adapted as it fell with his back to goal and lifted it back over his head beyond Pepe Reina.

Dimitar Berbatov sends a brilliant overhead kick goalwards as he scored a hat-trick for Manchester United against Liverpool Dimitar Berbatov sends a brilliant overhead kick goalwards as he scored a hat-trick for Manchester United against Liverpool Dimitar Berbatov sends a brilliant overhead kick goalwards as he scored a hat-trick for Manchester United against Liverpool Juan Mata - 2014/15

United have only won three of their last 13 trips to Anfield - but one of those victories was thanks to Mata's double in a 2-1 success back in March 2015.

His winner - coming after Steven Gerrard had been sent off just 38 seconds into his substitute appearance - was sublime, as his scissor kick shot across Simon Mignolet and in.

Christian Benteke - 2015/16

It sometimes needs something extraordinary to beat David de Gea - and that was exactly what Christian Benteke came up with in September 2015.

Trailing 2-0, his stunning bicycle kick soared past the Spaniard but it was not enough, with United going on to seal a 3-1 win through Anthony Martial just two minutes later.

See Manchester United take on Liverpool live this Super Sunday on Sky Sports Main Event from 1pm.

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Who will decide Utd vs Liverpool?

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Thu, 02/21/2019 - 06:00
Soccer Saturday Watch Man Utd vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm on Sunday

Last Updated: 20/02/19 2:33pm

Will David de Gea keep Liverpool at bay? Will David de Gea keep Liverpool at bay? Will David de Gea keep Liverpool at bay?

Who will be the key players when Manchester United face Liverpool? We asked the Soccer Saturday pundits ahead of Sunday's Sky Live clash at Old Trafford...

Phil Thompson
I think in this game it will be which side defends better. Both attacks are so good on their day, even though United have some injury concerns, so then it will be who defends best.

Over the last few of these clashes, Jose Mourinho has 'parked the bus' which has infuriated a lot of Manchester United fans, so this has got the making of a really good Liverpool vs Manchester United match. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will stick to the virtues of Manchester United and have a go and Liverpool will enjoy that and have a bit more space than they did against a Jose Mourinho side.

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Paul Merson

I think Virgil van Dijk will be key for Liverpool, but also the front three.

They look tense and it's not as great to watch as it was earlier in the season. They seem nervous in front of goal. But Manchester United's strengths are going forward so Van Dijk has to play a role in stopping that.

Virgil van Dijk will be back for Liverpool after missing Tuesday's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich due to suspension Virgil van Dijk will be back for Liverpool after missing Tuesday's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich due to suspension Virgil van Dijk will be back for Liverpool after missing Tuesday's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich due to suspension

Then for Manchester United it would be Luke Shaw against Mohamed Salah. If he can keep Salah quiet then you don't see too many stepping forward for Liverpool at the moment. Firmino isn't scoring much and Mane looks a bit short of confidence.

Matt Le Tissier

I think the game will be fairly open and attacking. I don't think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be parking the bus which might have been the case with Mourinho. I think the outcome of the game will be decided by the attacking players.

Salah, Sadio Mane and Firmino know each other inside out, so they will take serious beating.

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Charlie Nicholas

David de Gea for Manchester United. The early part of the season was the weakest I have seen him but he still kept United in some games when they were awful. Now they are fourth because of people like him.

0:48 Tim Sherwood believes it is the worst time possible for Liverpool to face Manchester United Tim Sherwood believes it is the worst time possible for Liverpool to face Manchester United

Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have been great and Jesse Lingard has scored goals, which has improved United, but De Gea has been keeping it going all along. He will be the key to what Liverpool will throw at them. If he can keep them in the game then United will think they can nick something. They will be the counter-attacking team and I wouldn't be surprised if United draw or even win the game. It doesn't mean they are the better team but it's just the circumstances.

I think the key player for Liverpool would be Firmino.

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Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich: Who was man of the match?Finely Poised - Key Stats as Liverpool Draw...

Anfield Index.com - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 22:55

It may not have been another great European night Anfield, but it’s hard for Liverpool fans to be too disappointed with a goalless draw against a Bayern Munich side who issued a reminder of their class.

Aside from a rather frantic ten-minute spell just before the break, the Reds struggled to fashion out many openings against their cautious and regimented opponents, who executed their game-plan well.

Importantly, though, there were relatively few nervous moments at the other end, even with usual fourth-choice Joel Matip alongside makeshift centre-half Fabinho at the heart of defence.

Their quality didn’t shine through this time, but Jurgen Klopp’s men will nonetheless be confident of securing a score draw, or perhaps better, when they head to the Allianz Arena in a fortnight’s time.

Alisson can expect a busier night in Germany, where the onus will be on Bayern to attack. The visitors could only muster two shots on target, and the Brazilian dealt with both comfortably. He did, however, set pulses racing on one or two occasions with some risky passing out from the back.

Trent Alexander-Arnold returned to the fold at right-back and was solid defensively, making three tackles and interceptions, but struggled to make an impact in the final third, his set-piece delivery often wayward. Only four of his eleven balls into the box found a red shirt.

Fellow full-back Andrew Robertson also failed to contribute going forward, and was uncharacteristically suspect defensively as Serge Gnabry tormented him. It was a very rare dip from the Scot.

But Fabinho and Matip, a pairing which failed to inspire any real confidence on paper, were both excellent. The former, who may well have saved his side with a brilliant challenge on Lewandowski – starved of opportunities all night, was so impressive in unfamiliar territory, while the latter, to his great credit, compensated effectively for Virgil van Dijk’s absence.

It was just a shame that two big chances fell to the big centre back. He certainly won’t want to watch that second-half slice ever again.

In midfield, Gini Wijnaldum wasn’t quite as effective as in his starring display against Bournemouth, but once again he played his understated part.

Naby Keita built on a promising display against the Cherries with a good all-round performance which included three tackles and a team-high four successful dribbles. He looked desperate to make something happen, ambitiously driving into space and even acrobatically going for goal in the first half.

There were still one or two frustrating moments – he twice failed to thread through a charging Robertson for instance – but undoubtedly the 24-year-old is on an upward trajectory.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t quite happen for Europe’s most feared frontline. Mohamed Salah had a frustrating evening, typified by a slightly heavy touch and a near-collision with Wijnaldum as he wound up a shot, and struggled to find space in the areas from which he is often clinical. Perhaps that’s a credit to Bayern’s marking.

There were openings for Sadio Mané though, but not for the first time he failed to display the required composure. His swiveled miss was arguably the Reds’ best chance of the night. In truth, he fluffs his lines too often – it’s one of few weaknesses in his game which will have to be ironed out.

Mané ultimately drew more groans than bursts of applause, surrendering possession five times and failing to play through Divock Origi late in the game – either because of a lack of a vision or poor decision-making.

Roberto Firmino, the driving force behind the flurry of chances late in the first half, was the brightest of the three. His play was full of invention and inspiration at times and was deserving of a tangible reward. Three key passes, two dribbling runs and two tackles – it was almost vintage Firmino.

But the man of the match, on balance, was the skipper Jordan Henderson.

Just as he did last season on the biggest Champions League nights, Henderson turned in a real captain’s performance and rose fearsomely to the occasion.

One of the criticisms often levelled at Steven Gerrard’s successor is his supposed inability to lead by example, but that’s just what he did, in the first half especially. Henderson grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck with his team-mates hesitant, charging into tackles with conviction (nobody in red made as many) and looking to kick-start attacks.

Most encouragingly, there was some incisive forward passing on show. One delightfully executed long ball to Salah very nearly proved to be the moment of the magic which yielded an opener for the Reds. It was a stunningly good bit of play.

Though he couldn’t quite make the same impact after the break, Henderson’s application was relentless and he continued to use the ball well.

Perceptions of the 28-year-old really ought to be changing. There’s reason to question if he will ever truly dismiss his doubters. There will always be those who reject his worthiness of the armband. And yet in the biggest games, with his team fighting for the biggest honours, he is developing a habit of silencing them.

He may not always be out there on the pitch – the form of himself, Fabinho and Wijnaldum gives Klopp an embarrassment of riches in defensive midfield – but his leadership may well prove crucial in what is shaping up to an emotionally-demanding few months.

And based on this performance at least, he is relishing that task.

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In praise of fans, second leg anxieties & why Bayern must beware the dangers of a good result

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 18:05

Liverpool didn’t score at home against Bayern—but neither did they concede. Steven Scragg looks at what it all means for leg two.


While a goalless draw was the result that Bayern Munich set out to achieve at Anfield on Tuesday evening, as good a result as it was for them, it is one primed with dangers.

The Champions League hasn’t been the source of joy this season that it was last time around for us.

We were a bit lethargic during the group stages, losing all three of our away ties and now we have begun the knockout stage with a goalless stalemate, against a ‘safety first’ Bayern Munich.

Twenty Really is Plenty

 FC Bayern Munich supportersí banner ìTwenty is Plentyî protesting against high ticket prices during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern M¸nchen at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Our Bavarian friends came, their fans sang their way through the game…their fans protested about ticket prices. Their players worked hard, they closed us down fast and showed maybe a little too much respect.

Ultimately, Bayern stifled Liverpool and they were the prime reason that we couldn’t find ourselves a goal. Conversely, Bayern stifled themselves too and they were the prime reason that they couldn’t find themselves a goal.

Amongst the throwaway post-match remarks to tip up on the radio phone-ins on the way home was that we should be concerned that the best Liverpool in years couldn’t beat the worst Bayern in years.

 

All a bit disingenuous if you ask me

 Liverpool's Naby Keita during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern M¸nchen at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

They undeniably had an uncharacteristically disjointed start to the Bundesliga campaign, yet since Bayern lost at Jurgen Klopp’s former stomping ground in Dortmund—on a day when Borussia Dortmund extended their league lead to seven points—over three months ago, they’ve lost only one game.

Now, just three points behind in the title race, there is a touch of the Manchester City about Bayern this season.

Despite Bayern’s upward curve, a curve that could yet lead ‘the worst Bayern in years’ to the treble, that was a very complimentary approach to the thorny issue of facing Klopp’s Liverpool.

They were happy to exchange keeping a clean sheet at Anfield, for the knife-edge experience of risking the away goal, at the Allianz Arena three weeks from now.

For those of us old enough to remember 1981, we’ve been here before and I’m fully expecting Sammy Lee to sit himself next to Paul Breitner, up in the stands of the Allianz, for the second leg and not let him out of his sight all night.

 Liverpool's assistant manager Sammy Lee watches his side in action against Stoke City during the Premiership match at the Britannia Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While Robert Lewandowski put in a selfless performance at Anfield, and if we get on the wrong side of him in Munich things could turn very ugly, very quickly for us, Bayern will fear conceding the away goal.

The sense of self-satisfaction they will have left Anfield with will make way for second-leg anxieties in the cold light of day.

We’d be hard pushed to go 180 minutes without scoring against Bayern, no matter how good they are.

Should we remain as disciplined in Munich, as Bayern were in Liverpool, then nervousness will take hold for Nico Kovac’s side.

If

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern München at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If we navigate our way into the quarter-finals of the tournament, then the Champions League may yet, belatedly, spring into life for us this season.

It might just be me, but I always feel slightly aggrieved when we play the first leg of the last-16 at home, as it just ends up feeling like a seventh group stage game.

We will roll into March and it will still feel like our European campaign has yet to properly start.

The fact that we’ve meandered this far and still find ourselves in with a shout of the Champions League is pretty remarkable.

 A huge Liverpool flag, featuring a Liverbird surrounded by flames and five European Cups "Five Times" during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern München at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

What is great about this, is that before we face Bayern again, we will have played a further four Premier League games, we will have navigated our two perceived toughest remaining away days, at Manchester United and Everton, although, Rafa is going to give us a massive test at St James’ Park too.

And before you mention how crap Everton are, the Merseyside derby will still insist upon being the Merseyside derby.

By the time we head to Munich, we will have just eight Premier League games to go and we will be armed with a better idea if we are realistically locked within a title race, as we round the final bend for the sprint finish, or if the dream is beginning to ebb away once more.

When we arrive in Munich, just how vital Europe is to our wellbeing will be ringing loud and clear in our minds.

Eyes Now Refocus on the Premier League

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern München at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Old Trafford on Sunday is mammoth. We should be going there with thoughts trained on getting the win.

If PSG can win at Old Trafford, then so can we.

Yes, they are much more of a collective now than they have been in years, but I still don’t buy into the Ole Gunner Solskjaer ‘revolution’ being a permanent recalibration for Manchester United.

Something hints to me that they are a bubble in an updraft which is just waiting to be burst, and we can be the ones to do the popping.

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