LFC NEWS

Van Dijk targets Champions League glory after 'classic' Anfield win

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:44
Virgil van Dijk aspires to go one better in the Champions League this season after Liverpool booked their place in the last 16 on Tuesday.
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Highlights: LFC U19s 5-0 Napoli

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:05

Liverpool U19s qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League in style with a thumping 5-0 win over Napoli.

Goals from Rafael Camacho, Liam Millar, Paul Glatzel, Curtis Jones and Bobby Duncan led Barry Lewtas' side to an impressive victory.

Click play below to watch the highlights on LFCTV GO.

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Highlights: LFC U19s 5-0 Napoli

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:05
Liverpool U19s qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League in style with a thumping 5-0 win over Napoli.
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'Alisson helps write another memorable European chapter'

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 09:55

Liverpool reached the knockout stages of the Champions League after a 1-0 win over Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday night.

Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of the game and goalkeeper Alisson Becker made an incredible stoppage-time save as the Reds clinched runners-up spot in Group C.

Here is what the media made of another memorable European night at Anfield…

James Pearce, Liverpool Echo

No wonder Virgil van Dijk made a beeline for Alisson Becker at the final whistle. Mohamed Salah was the match-winner on another unforgettable European night at Anfield but the jubilant Kop's debt of gratitude truly belonged to Liverpool's No. 1. For most of the night the biggest danger to the Brazil international was frostbite as he stood and watched Jürgen Klopp's side boss proceedings against Napoli. But a combination of wasteful finishing and the heroics of David Ospina meant that Liverpool's Champions League fate remained in the balance. Anxiety reigned. A late equaliser and the Reds would have been dumped into the Europa League. The feelgood factor from the thrilling progress of recent months would have been seriously dented by a gut-wrenching setback. Deep into stoppage time hearts were in mouths. The ball flicked off substitute Fabinho and dropped kindly to Arkadiusz Milik. The Polish striker looked destined to score but Alisson spread himself and pulled off a stunning save. Anfield erupted in gleeful appreciation. His hulking frame makes the goal look smaller. He has lightning quick reactions, he commands his box expertly and instils confidence rather than uncertainty in those around him. Liverpool sit top of the Premier League thanks to his huge contributions in the recent wins over Everton and Burnley. Now he has helped write another memorable chapter in the Reds' rich European history. Talk about taking the fast-track to Kop icon status. Klopp had challenged his players to right the wrongs after enduring three successive away European defeats and to a man they delivered.

Neil Jones, Goal.com

At some point the superlatives will run out, surely? Liverpool’s Champions League hopes are still alive, and as so often they have Salah to thank. On the big stage, with the stakes high, the Egyptian delivered. Again. His first-half goal gave Jurgen Klopp’s side what they wanted, what they needed. Their 1-0 win means it is the Reds who join Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, while Napoli must contemplate a New Year spent in the Europa League. Tough on the Italians, but few inside Anfield will care. Finalists last season, Liverpool will hope something special is brewing once more. What is it about this competition and the men in red? What is it about this competition and Salah, too? He’s been on Merseyside less than 18 months and he has 14 Champions League goals. Only Steven Gerrard, in the club’s history, has more.After his hat-trick at the weekend, only one goal was needed this time. Some goal, mind. At Anfield it is 35 in his last 38 appearances. In 2018, he has 34 in all competitions. Not since Robbie Fowler, who scored 37 in 1996, has a player managed more in a calendar year for Liverpool. He’s the worst one-season wonder in the world, this lad. He was not the sole hero by any means. Liverpool would be out were it not for the brilliance of Alisson, whose sprawling save from Milik in stoppage time was worth every penny of the fee paid to Roma in the summer.

David Lynch, Evening Standard

And so a winner-takes-all final group game against Napoli was perhaps nothing less than they should have expected. In the end, all that mattered was getting through, and that’s precisely what Klopp’s team managed to do courtesy of a 1-0 win. Alisson arrived at Anfield billed as one of the world’s best goalkeepers and has wasted little time in adding to that reputation. The Brazilian is making jaw-dropping saves with increasing regularity of late, and none more important than that seen in the final minutes tonight. Milik looked a dead-cert to score when Fabinho’s header reached him but, before he could pull his leg back, Alisson was on top of him to smother the shot. It was a contribution just as vital as Mohamed Salah’s goal, one that strengthened Alisson’s growing claim to be the best in his position in the world.

Phil McNulty, BBC Sport

Liverpool's win over Napoli by the margin they required to reach the Champions League knockout phase leaves their season in perfect shape. Klopp's side are unbeaten at the top of the Premier League after 16 games and now they enter the European territory that suits them best as this tournament now embraces the two-leg format. So how big could this night be as Liverpool's campaign prepares to move to the next level? If Klopp and Liverpool had plotted a map of their campaign before the season began, to reach this point as Christmas approaches would have been the dream scenario. Liverpool have now moved ahead of Premier League champions Manchester City at home and somehow navigated a route which included three away losses - to Napoli, Red Star Belgrade and Paris St-Germain - to advance from a formidable Champions League group. And, to add to the mood of joy around Anfield, Liverpool are now showing signs of the form that made them so irresistible to watch so often last season. Liverpool were, to their huge credit, often grinding out results earlier in the season but in recent times they appear to be moving into top gear. Salah is back to the form that made him an instant Anfield superstar last season while in Van Dijk they have one of Europe's premier defenders, although he will miss Liverpool's next Champions League game through suspension. These two, in conjunction with outstanding members of Anfield's undercard such as left-back Andrew Robertson, have got Liverpool's fans dreaming again on two fronts.

Simon Hughes, Independent

It was a night that served as a reminder that football is largely defined by recruitment and in this case, reach. Alisson's injury-time save from Milik seemed to go on forever. There was the length of the cross, the distance it travelled from Jose Callejon’s left foot. There was Milik stumbling and the sense of the moment slipping away from him, though nobody knew for certain. Liverpool might have deserved elimination because of the poverty of their away form in this group but they did not deserve to lose or even draw this game. It should have been 5-1 by now. It had been the same at Burnley last Wednesday. It was 2-1 to Liverpool, it would end 3-1 but it could have been 2-2 had it not been for Alisson, whose reach would deny Ben Mee at Turf Moor before his capacity to make himself into a human starfish ended Napoli’s Champions League campaign. This save was pure instinct. There had been no opportunity for thought. He had to make himself big. It is what Peter Schmeichel would have done.
 

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

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'Alisson helps write another memorable European chapter'

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 09:55
Liverpool reached the knockout stages of the Champions League after a 1-0 win over Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday night.
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Every kick: Watch Liverpool's victory over Napoli in full

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 09:48

Liverpool secured progression into the last 16 of the Champions League courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Napoli on Tuesday night - and LFCTV GO subscribers can watch every kick of an absorbing and entertaining contest on demand now.

The outcome ultimately hinged on two key moments over the course of 94 minutes intense minutes.

Firstly, Mohamed Salah displayed his abundant power, skill and finesse as he broke the deadlock with a wonderfully-taken first-half goal.

The Reds pressed hard in search of a second goal after the break, coming close on several occasions, but ultimately required an incredible stoppage-time save from Alisson Becker to make certain of their place in Monday's draw.

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Every kick: Watch Liverpool's victory over Napoli in full

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 09:48
Liverpool secured progression into the last 16 of the Champions League courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Napoli on Tuesday night - and LFCTV GO subscribers can watch every kick of an absorbing and entertaining contest on demand now.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Ancelotti: VAR would send Van Dijk off

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 08:06
Liverpool defender booked for challenge on Dries Mertens in crucial win over Napoli

Last Updated: 12/12/18 10:05am

Virgil van Dijk was shown yellow for a foul on Napoli's Dries Mertens Virgil van Dijk was shown yellow for a foul on Napoli's Dries Mertens Virgil van Dijk was shown yellow for a foul on Napoli's Dries Mertens

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti believes VAR would have shown Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk a red card for his challenge on Dries Mertens in their crucial Champions League encounter on Tuesday night.

Van Dijk was shown yellow for his first-half tackle, with Liverpool going on to edge Napoli 1-0 and qualify for the last 16 at the Italian club's expense.

The booking means Van Dijk will miss the first match of the knockout phase in January, but Ancelotti was left bemoaning the lack of VAR with his club now set for Europa League football in the New Year.

"From the video it is a red card. There are a lot of questions about VAR but when VAR comes in the Champions League it will be too late," Ancelotti said.

0:30 Virgil van Dijk has praised goalkeeper Alisson after he produced a fine save to help Liverpool beat Napoli 1-0 and qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League Virgil van Dijk has praised goalkeeper Alisson after he produced a fine save to help Liverpool beat Napoli 1-0 and qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League

But despite the defeat, Ancelotti insisted Napoli have no regrets, and hopes his side get more luck in Europe's secondary competition.

"We have gone very close but we have no regrets. That's what I said to the players," he added.

"I don't think they should have any regrets. It would have been a wonderful achievement to qualify from a really difficult group and many people didn't think we would take it this far.

Mohamed Salah scored the crucial goal at Anfield on Tuesday Mohamed Salah scored the crucial goal at Anfield on Tuesday Mohamed Salah scored the crucial goal at Anfield on Tuesday

"We lacked luck at times. Hopefully we will get some of that luck in the Europa League.

"We knew Liverpool were going to put us under a lot more pressure. We expected that. They were more aggressive. We knew the intensity would be a lot different to the first game too. It was something we had to cope with.

"You can't expect to come to a place like Liverpool and create 10 chances. We created two good ones but didn't have the luck we needed to put them in the back of the net."

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Transfer Centre LIVE!

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 07:00

MERSE: TORREIRA HAS CHANGED ARSENAL

Paul Merson believes Arsenal have been crying out for a Lucas Torreira for over a decade, and insists the midfielder has transformed the side.

Torreira, 22, was one of Unai Emery's first signings at Arsenal, coming in for £26m from Sampdoria following an impressive World Cup with Uruguay.

The midfielder has shone in recent weeks, picking up man-of-the-match and scoring in wins over both Tottenham and Huddersfield, and Merson is full of praise.

He told Sky Sports: "They've been crying out for someone like him since Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira. He gets around people, closes players down, gets everybody fighting. He's not a natural passer, but he sets the tempo.

"I've said all along, for years and years; Arsenal are one of the best teams in the world with the ball. But for the last four or five years they've been one of the worst in the world without the ball. He has changed that. When Torreira gets around people, it's a domino effect, and everybody else rallies and gets around the opposition players. And his attitude is great; he leaves nothing on the pitch and gets stuck in. He gets people going. He's done absolutely outstandingly well and came up with two massive goals in the last couple weeks."

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LFC 1-0 Napoli: Watch highlights and reaction

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:59
Watch highlights, reaction and much more from Liverpool's crucial win over Napoli in the Champions League on LFCTV GO now.
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Video: Watch Alisson's stunning save v Napoli

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:51

© Copyright 2018 The Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Limited. All rights reserved.

Developed and maintained by the LFC Technology and Transformation Team

Match Statistics supplied by Opta Sports Data Limited. Reproduced under licence from Football DataCo Limited. All rights reserved.

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Video: Watch Alisson's stunning save v Napoli

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:51
Alisson Becker made an incredible injury-time save to secure Liverpool's place in the last 16 of the Champions League - watch the Brazilian's moment of brilliance above.
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Klopp: I'd have paid double for Alisson

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:50

Last Updated: 12/12/18 7:52am

1:15 Jurgen Klopp was immensely proud of his Liverpool players Jurgen Klopp was immensely proud of his Liverpool players

Jurgen Klopp says he "would have paid double" for Alisson after he made a crucial save to secure Liverpool's place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Brazil international, signed in the summer for £67m, made a point-blank stop to prevent Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik from scoring in injury-time.

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Had Milik scored to make it 1-1 then Napoli would have advanced to the last 16 at the expense of Liverpool.

Liverpool 1-0 Napoli
When is the last-16 draw?

"The goalie made the save of the season," Klopp told Viasport. "I have no clue how he made that save. Thank God we have him. If I'd known how good he was, I'd have paid double ... I think nobody expected a save in that situation. It's a goal, no?

Alisson made a crucial save in injury-time Alisson made a crucial save in injury-time Alisson made a crucial save in injury-time

"He had a lot of things to do tonight but how cool and calm he was says a lot. But still he needs the other boys around, so he doesn't have to make 100 saves like that.

"It was unbelievable, what the boys they did tonight, it was so special. They created such an incredible atmosphere I am still full of adrenaline about it, just unbelievable."

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The win, secured thanks to a first-half goal from Mohamed Salah, sees Liverpool finish second in Group C behind Paris Saint-Germain.

Liverpool could have avoided a tense finish if they had taken the chances that had fallen their way, but Klopp said he was "really proud" of his team's effort.

"Yes we could have scored more," he added. "The most difficult period was just after the 1-0. That made the game intense.

"We knew we could not change the tactics. After 65 minutes, it was really wild, counter and counter without finishing. I am really proud of what the boys did."

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Stats: Liverpool 1-0 Napoli - the game in numbers...

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:15

Mohamed Salah's solo goal and Alisson Becker's stunning save were key to Liverpool securing a 1-0 victory over Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday night - and you can delve deeper into the game by browsing our selection of Opta widgets.

The Reds booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with the win after Salah struck in the 33rd minute.

However, Jürgen Klopp's side were grateful to Alisson's magnificent stop in added time when he thwarted Arkadiusz Milik at close quarters.

Discover the story of the night in our Opta widgets below.

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Stats: Liverpool 1-0 Napoli - the game in numbers...

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:15
Mohamed Salah's solo goal and Alisson Becker's stunning save were key to Liverpool securing a 1-0 victory over Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday night - and you can delve deeper into the game by browsing our selection of Opta widgets.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Van Dijk hails 'fantastic' Alisson

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:12
Virgil van Dijk saluted the ‘fantastic’ Alisson Becker after the Brazilian made a jaw-dropping, stoppage-time save to ensure Liverpool qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League.
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Liverpool 1-0 Napoli: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:12
Jürgen Klopp gave his Liverpool side the highest praise after they beat Napoli 1-0 at Anfield to secure a spot in the Champions League last 16.
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Alisson massive & midfield works – 5 talking points from Liverpool 1-0 Napoli

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:09

Liverpool secured a dramatic 1-0 victory over Napoli in the Champions League at Anfield to clinch their place in the last 16.


Liverpool 1-0 Napoli

UEFA Champions League group stage (6), Anfield
December 11, 2018

Goals: Salah 33′.

Midfield difference: Forward runs

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (L) and Napoli's Fabián Ruiz during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Many permutations were possible in the centre of the park, but Jurgen Klopp opted once more for the tried and trusted, though that’s not to say proven, trio: Gini Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, James Milner.

It was a triumvirate which didn’t inspire a huge amount of pre-game positivity, based on their performances this season, but the first half showed a key difference.

It was first visible from Wijnaldum, then Milner: forward runs, all the way into the penalty area and offering a real option in the final third.

Milner curled an effort wide in the second half, Wijnaldum got the fans signing with powerful surges forward as the game wore on and the tension increased, and even Henderson went close with a drilled half-volley.

A much more impressive performance as a trio, justifying Klopp’s initial selection, even if there were a few gaps in the deepest area of the pitch at times.

Milner’s standing ovation as he left the field was completely warranted and Henderson’s second-half display was comfortably his finest of the season.

Salah’s upsurge in form

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If one good chance was going to fall to the Reds, most fans would have wanted it to fall to Salah.

In the end he did most of the hard work himself to create the chance, though a helping hand—or pair of despairing, over-anticipating legs, more to the point—from David Ospina certainly played a part.

After a weekend hat-trick, Salah is very much back in form for the Reds and he was central to much of the good attacking play during the 90 minutes.

He might have scored another himself after rounding Ospina, but he also helped create chances for Mane and Wijnaldum.

A very good outlet down the right, a creative force—and, crucially, the match-winner.

Joel Matip’s resurgence

 Liverpool's Joel Matip (L) and SSC Napoli's Fabián Ruiz during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For the third match in succession, Joel Matip put in a masterful performance for the Reds.

He was, until a month ago, comfortably the fourth-choice centre-back for Klopp; Joe Gomez‘s injury and Dejan Lovren‘s altogether inconsistent season, in terms of availability, has changed all that.

To his credit, Matip still had to take the chance afforded to him—just as Gomez did in the summer—and he has been excellent in doing so.

His passing was aggressive and forward-thinking, he wasn’t afraid to run forward into space and, most importantly, the Cameroonian’s defensive work was on-point.

A big nod of appreciation, too to the entire back four—but Robertson was a particular stand-out in both halves of the pitch.

ALISSON THE WALL!

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker makes an injury time save from Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Eidur Gudjohnsen: Arkadiusz Milik. This was the 2018 version of that heart-stopping moment in 2005, albeit not as far on in the tournament.

One chance, one second, one season hanging in the balance—and Alisson Becker came up with yet another match-saving moment of his own, throwing himself in the way of Milik’s shot and making a crucial late save.

Right there and then, and hardly for the first time, he proved his worth as (briefly) a world record signing for a goalkeeper.

The Reds are in the last 16 thanks to him.

Europe in 2019: Champions League it is!

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We didn’t want to wake up on Wednesday in the Europa League, to paraphrase a former Liverpool captain.

And we won’t—it’s the last 16 for Klopp and his men, with second place assured thanks to the better head-to-head against Napoli.

As has proven to be the case in the not-too-distant past, once into that knock-out phase anything can happen; few teams will relish coming to Anfield and not many managers can outwit Klopp over two legs.

There remain big challenges ahead, but Liverpool can face them without fear.

And, of course, it’s Manchester United next up, as the Reds bid to reaffirm their grip on first place in the Premier League.

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Video: Jurgen Klopp post-match press conference – Liverpool 1-0 Napoli

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 23:05

Jurgen Klopp was left overjoyed as Liverpool beat Napoli 1-0 at Anfield to reach the last 16 of the Champions League, hailing an “outstanding” performance.

[embedded content]

Klopp could barely sit as he watched his side play out a tense final Group C game on Tuesday night, with Mohamed Salah‘s goal proving the difference.

It could have been much more comfortable for the Reds, with Sadio Mane particularly wasteful as the hosts fired 13 of their 22 attempted shots off target, with five more blocked.

And Napoli came very close to scoring a devastating last-minute equaliser, but Alisson pounced off his line to cap a defensive display that Klopp described as “some of the best I ever saw.”

“I’m still full of adrenaline. This game was amazing, outstanding. The boys played with their whole hearts; each part of their body,” he told reporters.

“Our offensive pressing and defending was some of the best I ever saw.”

Liverpool could face the likes of Borussia Dortmund or Barcelona in the next stage of the competition, but Klopp did not want to speculate as to his ideal draw next Monday.

“I don’t care…we are second in the group [so] we will have an outstanding, strong opponent, that’s it,” he said.

 Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp celebrates with goal-scorer Mohamed Salah after beating SSC Napoli 1-0 and progressing to the knock-out phase during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The manager provided a vague injury update after Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Milner were forced off the field with minor issues, while Joel Matip also struggled late on.

“Trent has a knock, not sure exactly what it is. Milly has a cramp. We don’t know anything [yet],” he explained.

Hopefully there are no major issues, with Alexander-Arnold and Milner settled as first- and second-choice right-backs with Joe Gomez sidelined, and Matip partnering Virgil van Dijk in both of the games the Englishman has missed so far.

With Man United to come to Anfield on Sunday, Klopp will need another big performance to ensure Liverpool stay top of the Premier League.

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