Match report: U23s kick off 2022 with PL2 victory at Derby

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 01/10/2022 - 20:59
Liverpool U23s battled to a 1-0 victory at Derby County in their opening game of 2022 on Monday night.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Domestic cup glory is finally back on Liverpool’s agenda

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/10/2022 - 18:00
After a decade of arguably unsuppressed devaluation of them, Liverpool are showing signs of increased interest in the domestic cups this season.

There is something a bit different about Liverpool’s approach to the League Cup this season, with added potential for it to overlap in the FA Cup too.

Ten years have almost passed since Liverpool last lifted a domestic cup, a success that came within a campaign in which they reached both domestic cup finals.

It was also a season that ended with FSG sacking Kenny Dalglish as manager, a price paid partly for undeniable Premier League inconsistencies, yet also the fall out of the Luis Suarez racist row, and him not fitting the owner’s identikit vision of the bright young coach they had had in mind when swiftly showing Roy Hodgson to the door.

While a multifaceted departure, when Dalglish was dispensed with it couldn’t help but feel like his domestic cup endeavours had stood for nothing as part of the equation.

The line in the sand

 The FA Cup trophy on display before the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In contemporary footballing parlance, the domestic cups had become disposable trinkets, a set of old keys at the back of a drawer for which nobody now knew what they opened, or maybe even the fast-food of football, compared to the fine dining of the Premier League and Champions League.

It might not have been an entirely new concept in broader terms, but it was finally the line in the sand for the new Liverpool, from where they focused on following the footballing money as well as the greatest of glories.

It was now all about breaking into the most profitable zones of football and staying there, brushing aside the trivialities of the domestic cups as being nothing more than an unwanted distraction. To be fair, it is hard to suggest that it wasn’t an approach that helped Jurgen Klopp’s team scale the mountains of winning the Champions League and the Premier League.

Without the open cheque books of Chelsea and Manchester City, Liverpool’s most recent decade has been one of putting together an intricate project of gradual improvement, of intelligent upcycling, of placing building blocks in carefully chosen positions, of Moneyball, as opposed to the approaches at Stamford Bridge and Eastlands where the answer to all fleeting problems is to throw more money around.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) shakes hands with Leicester City's manager Brendan Rodgers after the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For a long time throughout the Brendan Rodgers era and even during Klopp’s formative reinvention of Liverpool, they had never really been blessed with a ballast of surplus talent. Players that were eager to embrace the domestic cup competitions as their chance to shine, given that they were generally sat on the sidelines of a Premier League weekend and underused in Europe before they were sold off for peanuts to later return to English football to haunt their former clubs, in a Liverpool shirt.

Since the 2012 FA Cup final, Liverpool have contested just one domestic cup final, losing a smattering of semi-finals on either side of the 2016 League Cup final, a time when dreams of Premier League and Champions League success were quite possibly as outlandish as they had ever been, at least since the last time they had been as outlandish as they had ever been (circa 2010/11).

Yet, within those last acts of Rodgers and the early years of Klopp’s unique brand of footballing therapy, they were able to make a speculative attempt on cup glory.

Under Rodgers, we lost both domestic cup semi-finals in 2014/15, and under Klopp, we lost that 2016 League Cup final on penalties to Man City in the same season as we were beaten in the Europa League final. Another League Cup semi-final was lost 12 months later.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) chats with Andy Robertson (L) and James Milner (C) during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 3 game between Club Atlético de Madrid and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Even going back a decade and a half to the last time we won the FA Cup, it has been very much a case of there being a time and a place for Liverpool to throw a significant amount of weight into the domestic cups.

Therefore, this season feels a little bit different, and it isn’t necessarily down to us seeing our Premier League hopes falter, at least compared to where they were a month ago.

This is more the result of an environment at Liverpool that is bubbling along as a true collective with no obvious schisms and divisions between the various player demographics, partly accentuated by the inclusive nature of the manager, and partly due to a global pandemic necessitating every single fit and able player having a reasonable chance of getting a game. Some of us even expected Loris Karius to play on Sunday.

This team is different

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

The line-up that took to the pitch against Shrewsbury Town on Sunday was one that swung from one extreme to the other in terms of experience.

At one end of the spectrum sat the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Andy Robertson, and Fabinho, while at the other there was a cluster that included Conor Bradley, Tyler Morton, Kaide Gordon, Elijah Dixon-Bonner and Max Woltman.

When Curtis Jones and Caoimhin Kelleher are the middle ground elements of the sliding scale, then you must accept that you are hoping that some very different generations and mindsets can weld together in the pursuit of a positive result.

It isn’t meant to work that way, though.

In a more insipid, relatively recent era, when Liverpool managers cobbled together teams for domestic cup ties, the cast of players were littered with a heady concoction of players we should never have bought offset by youth products that were never really going to make it.

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

We walk in different times now, though, and this is a squad in which Klopp has propagated a system where each individual component is as valued as the other.

When a Van Dijk takes to a pitch next to a Woltman, a Fabinho alongside a Dixon-Bonner, there isn’t a shred of career snobbery on show and it isn’t a game that is considered a chore and this is why this version of Liverpool are looking a different proposition in the domestic cups, so far this season.

More fast food is on the Thursday night menu when Arsenal drift into town for the belated League Cup semi-final first leg. Wembley looms.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Bissouma ‘suitable’ price set & how 18 players faced missing Arsenal – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/10/2022 - 17:16

Liverpool are officially into “coping without Salah” territory. How will we fare? Our first ‘real’ test is against the side beaten by Nottingham Forest at the weekend. Hmmmm.

Bissouma price revealed to bring Brighton to table

Liverpool were quite frequently linked with a move for Brighton‘s central midfield destroyer Yves Bissouma, but it all went very quiet very quickly on that front when it became apparent we wouldn’t add a midfielder at all.

Now, though, it appears Brighton have been left in a position where they have to at least consider offers coming in, amid reports that £50m will bring them to the table due to the player giving no indication he’s ready to sign a contract extension.

Bissouma has 18 months left on his deal, leaving the south coast club in a much weaker position come the summer, so bids this window will be considered as a result if they reach that figure – though as he’s away at the AFCON, any transfer won’t move quickly.

Villa, Arsenal and United are all suggested as similarly keen on a player who would seem to offer the cover at No6 we’ve been seeking for some time, as well as the obvious ability to play a ball-winning role higher upfield in our best-look, front-foot, super-aggressive midfield.


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

Latest Liverpool FC news

 Senegal's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Group H match against Japan at Yekaterinburg Arena. Sergei Bobylev/TASS

Latest Premier League chat

 AFC Bournemouth's manager Eddie Howe on the pitch before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Tanguy Ndombele wants a move this month after having even less success as Spurs’ record signing as Andy Carroll did at being ours
  • Lucas Digne appears close to a move to Aston Villa, with Stevie Gerrard now apparently set on building a team of Barcelona cast-offs. Isaac Cuenca and Arda Turan next, presumably
  • Benoit Badiashile is now rumoured as the centre-back Newcastle want, after they were knocked back by Carlos, Botman and Kamara already. Just Nat Phillips and Phil Jones to go and then they’re down to calling up Philippe Albert and Steve Howey and seeing if they are free
Tweet of the day and match of the night

It’s not paranoia, it’s Liverpool FC.

So, there are actually people suggesting that Liverpool Football Club colluded with a local health authority to close their training ground, lose the advantage of playing at home in the second leg and get a game scheduled three days before a trip to Crystal Palace. Makes sense.

— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) January 10, 2022

Tonight’s late fixture is Man United against Villa in the cup. Or Comoros vs Gabon slightly earlier.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Sadio Mane nets last-minute penalty to secure valuable opening Senegal victory

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/10/2022 - 15:11

Sadio Mane‘s Africa Cup of Nations campaign started on Monday against Zimbabwe and he was left to take the decisive kick that would seal victory for Senegal.

In the end, it was euphoria for Mane and heartbreak for Zimbabwe from the penalty spot as the game was decided off the boot of Liverpool’s No. 10.

The opening game in Group B looked set to end in a stalemate as Zimbabwe offered strong resistance against a Senegal side who struggled to find their clinical edge, despite their host of chances.

Mane was a key figure throughout, his side’s clear avenue to goal and he ought to have at least one assist from the first half but was left to watch on as Idrissa Gueye fluffed his lines from close range.

And just when it seemed as though Senegal, one of the favourites who were missing eight players due to Covid, were to have to settle for a point, a penalty was awarded after a handball from Kelvin Madzongwe.

With the clock reading 90+7′, up stepped Mane who converted with conviction to hand Senegal an invaluable 1-0 win in their opening game of the tournament.

Heartbreak for Zimbabwe! ?

Sadio Mané slots home an added-time penalty to give Senegal the win ?? pic.twitter.com/VLUoqWmxta

— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 10, 2022

The goal is Mane’s 26th for his country, a tally that sees him sit just five goals behind Senegal’s leading goalscorer, and former Wigan and Wolves man, Henri Camara (31).

And it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility that he assumes the title in his own right before Senegal’s AFCON campaign comes to a close.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

The kids are alright, but who starts vs. Arsenal? – Last word on Liverpool 4-1 Shrewsbury

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/10/2022 - 15:00

Liverpool were buoyed by plenty of exciting talent from the academy in the 4-1 win over Shrewsbury, leaving plenty for Reds to relish on the way to the fourth round.

It was a week that was dominated by Covid, and in the end plenty of false positives as Jurgen Klopp later revealed, but the fixture offered seven youngsters an invaluable opportunity.

The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Andy Robertson provided the experience as Max Woltman and Elijah Dixon-Bonner made their first starts for Liverpool in an XI that had an average age of 22 years and 187 days.

Kaide Gordon, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino would make sure it was a memorable outing in more ways than one after going behind early, leaving a common feeling of pride in the aftermath.

Here, This Is Anfield’s Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_) is joined by Lewis Bower (@LewisBower2021) and Elli Lechtman (@LFCZA) to delve into the win and look ahead to another cup tie.

Which youngster was the pick of the bunch in your eye?

 Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LEWIS: All of the boys did themselves proud; each with different obstacles and challenges to overcome – some for the very first time.

An experience that can be carefully recollected for years to come while using it moving forward to improve. But It’s hard to ignore Kaide Gordon.

He plays assertively and decides on his actions early which helps to fit the desired identity of intensity. The trust the senior players put in Gordon speaks volumes.

A touch of class when he’s the ball, the body feint before caressing the ball into the net was straight from the top draw of the AXA locker room. Exciting, brave and fearless. We should temper expectations but it’s hard not to be excited about Kaide Gordon.

JOANNA: First off, I just want to say how watching these young lads play really makes me realise how much older I am than most of the squad these days!

And that of course applies to Gordon, who I too thought was brilliant. Definitely agree with you Lewis in regards to managing expectations, but he’s certainly given us plenty to be excited about.

For me, the composure and poise for his goal stood out as he just made it look all too easy and as though he had all the time in the world. A mature head on his shoulders, as Klopp says.

 Liverpool's Elijah Dixon-Bonner kneels down (takes a knee) in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

ELLI: It was Gordon and Tyler Morton who stood out for me, but the former in particular like both Lewis and Joanna.

I thought he looked composed up front was able to showcase his skills. Scoring in front of the Kop end as your first goal for Liverpool is certainly a great achievement! And Tyler looked composed together with Fabinho in midfield.

JOANNA: Also want to mention Elijah Dixon-Bonner, who looked comfortable in midfield in his first start – we won’t mention the shot that should’ve ended in a goal!

Jones on the left-wing, will we see more of it?

 Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

ELLI: In my view, Jones seemed to slow play a bit on that side and didn’t really have much creativity on the wing. I think he’s more suited to playing down the middle.

LEWIS: I can see where you are coming from Elli.

Jones had a lot of responsibility against Shrewsbury as perhaps the senior focal point in possession, surrounded by academy players.

There were occasions he dithered too long with a touch too many. But this was Jones’ first significant football outing since October, with only a single minute against Chelsea to his name in between.

Playing with him on the left-wing, for me, would depend on the striker as his profile massively affects the functioning of the front three.

 Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

You are not going to get the relentless penetration of Sadio Mane running in behind, into the small gaps which perhaps makes a Roberto Firmino in the false-nine role a little more redundant.

Although, I’m sure small tweaks could be made to ensure that things work. It is Jones or Takumi Minamino in the line-up for me.

JOANNA: He was always bound to be a little rusty considering his minimal game time of late and we all know the left-wing wouldn’t be his first choice.

I actually thought he did reasonably well, on the whole. He doesn’t have the pace in the position and so he has to use more of the ball at his feet, and that is where he tripped up from time to time.

Options will be rather limited in the coming weeks and so I don’t think it’ll be the last time we see him there, but it could say more about Minamino than Jones in the end.

Let’s assume no new Covid cases, who makes your Arsenal first-leg XI?

 Liverpool's Takumi Minamino during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LEWIS: I’m doing this on the proviso Trent misses out after Covid. And does Neco Williams‘ exclusion against Shrewsbury suggest a transfer might be imminent? Or just rested/in isolation.

If he was planned on being used against Arsenal, some minutes would’ve been vital.

My XI, therefore: Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Jones, Henderson; Jota, Firmino, Gordon

A strong team with the inclusion of Gordon over Minamino. With Roberto Firmino in the false nine, we have seen Gordon used as an outlet in behind before. It would be a big call, I understand, and Minamino is a seasoned pro, it could go either way.

 Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (R) and goalkeeper Alisson Becker before the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 2 game between FC Porto and Liverpool FC at the Estádio do Dragão. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

JOANNA: Even though the Brentford game swiftly follows, I’m thinking this has to be a strong XI, which seems possible following the false-positive results.

It’s a priority game and we’re at Anfield, and apologies to Kelleher!

My XI: Alisson; Trent, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Minamino, Jota, Firmino

ELLI: I too would go strong against Arsenal as Klopp needs to start winning domestic trophies and being in the semi-final of the League Cup means he can have a good go at it.

So in saying that, my team would be: Alisson (assuming he’s fit); Neco at right-back (if Trent is unavailable after Covid), Matip and Van Dijk, Tsimikas (who is having a better season than Robbo if you ask me!); Fabinho, Henderson, Jones; Minamino, Firmino, Jota.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

‘Kaide is still a baby to us, we just went crazy’ – how it feels watching your brother score for Liverpool

the Athletic - Mon, 01/10/2022 - 12:54
Jurgen Klopp confirmed Kaide Gordon had only trained “two or three times” before his FA Cup debut against Shrewsbury Town.

Nobody would have guessed it going off the 17-year-old’s energetic performance, particularly in the first half of Liverpool’s 4-1 win.

The academy winger, who had recently recovered from COVID-19, was making his second appearance for the club following his debut away to Norwich City in the League Cup in September.

Signed a year ago in February, the former Derby County player hogged the touchline on the right side of the attack, giving Nathanael Ogbeta and George Nurse plenty to contend with.

Gordon raced up and down his flank, making the £1.1 million fee (potentially rising to £3.4 million) Liverpool paid for him look like a steal.

Make no mistake, Gordon is a winger, but his natural inclination is to drift infield and for his first professional goal, which cancelled out Daniel Udoh’s opener, he did exactly that.

Gordon collected Conor Bradley’s low cross on his left foot before sending Josh Vela hurtling past him with a second touch, this time on his right. Then, it was back onto his left to finish beyond Marko Marosi and become the club’s second-youngest goalscorer (behind Ben Woodburn).

On the pitch, he was surrounded by his team-mates. In a box in the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand, going crazy, was Kaide’s mum Joanne, his older brothers Keldon and Kellan and their uncle James. Seated across the way in the Main Stand was their grandma Mary, accompanied by her husband Dave.

“When he scored we went mental. All of us were going crazy,” Kellan Gordon, the 24-year-old Mansfield Town defender, tells The Athletic. “Me and Keldon were going mad, jumping up and down with our arms around each other.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

'Vile and offensive' - Shrewsbury condemn alleged Hillsborough chants

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 01/10/2022 - 12:40

Shrewsbury Town have condemned a small number of their fans for allegedly singing "vile and offensive" chants in Liverpool on Sunday.

Videos have emerged on social media appearing to show a group of Town fans singing a song about the 1989 Hillsborough disaster which caused the deaths of 97 Liverpool supporters.

Shrewsbury, who were beaten 4-1 in Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at Anfield, are investigating to help police identify the individuals involved.

The League One club said in a statement: "Shrewsbury Town Football Club is disgusted and appalled to see and hear the reports on social media about the vile and offensive chanting and behaviour of a very small minority of our 'supporters' yesterday.

"These people do not represent our club in any way shape or form and we are liaising with West Mercia Police to try and identify those responsible who will in turn liaise with Merseyside Police.

"If any supporters have any information that might assist us in identifying those responsible, they can contact the club confidentially and we will use the information as part of our investigations with the police authorities."

'Ban them for life'

Shrewsbury goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne was appalled by the alleged chanting and has called for action to be taken against those involved.

In a post on social media, responding to the video circulating, Burgoyne wrote: "As for these Shrewsbury fans!

"Should be ashamed of yourselves. Liverpool showed nothing but respect today. Shocking absolutely shocking! Out them and ban them for life!"

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Categories: LFC NEWS

‘At Liverpool, we want to be a proper goalkeeping school in world football’

the Athletic - Mon, 01/10/2022 - 05:12
Jurgen Klopp was explaining the decision to add Brazil legend Claudio Taffarel to his Liverpool backroom staff.

The 1994 World Cup winner, who has a close bond with Anfield No 1 and fellow countryman Alisson, accepted the opportunity to combine his national team role with working at the Premier League club.

“We really want to be a proper goalkeeping school in world football,” said the manager. “We want to build our own philosophy in goalkeeping because we all agree it’s its own game.”

Many wondered what it would mean for Liverpool’s long-serving goalkeeping coach John Achterberg. The answer was a new contract until 2024 and reassurance from Klopp that he would remain in charge of a department that also includes first-team assistant goalkeeping coach Jack Robinson.

Six weeks on, The Athletic sat down with Achterberg to discuss Taffarel’s impact, what’s changed, the development of the club’s keepers and the detail behind Klopp’s stated mission to create “a proper goalkeeping school”.

“Taffa is a bubbly guy and he’s settled in well. I’ve known him for a while,” says Achterberg.

“I first met him when I went to watch the Brazilian national team train at Tottenham’s training ground not long after Ali joined us in 2018. We welcomed him from the first day here. He brings a lot of energy to the team, which is good.”

Six goalkeepers train with Liverpool’s first-team squad on a permanent basis.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp eases Thiago fears - 'He's not out for season'

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 17:53

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed concerns Thiago Alcantara could be ruled out for the season after the Liverpool midfielder was absent for Sunday's FA Cup win over Shrewsbury.

The Spain international was left out of Liverpool's squad as a Fabinho double and goals from Kaide Gordon and Roberto Firmino sealed a 4-1 victory over Shrewsbury in the third round at Anfield.

Thiago has not played since a 3-1 Premier League home win over Newcastle on December 16 after suffering a hip injury.

But Klopp eased any fears the 30-year-old would be sidelined for another lengthy spell, revealing he is set to begin his rehab on Monday.

Asked about Thiago's return date, the Liverpool manager said: "No, neither March nor the end of the season in my mind, It's something around the hip, that's the situation.

"He needs time now. He didn't train this week but we expect him to be back to do rehab stuff from tomorrow on and then we will see.

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game Image: Liverpool brushed aside Shrewsbury on Sunday to reach the FA Cup fourth round

"It is not that he is out until the end of the season, not at all."

Liverpool's midfield options have been limited as Naby Keita is involved in the Africa Cup of Nations with Guinea and Harvey Elliott continues his recovery from an ankle injury.

However, the Reds has been boosted by Curtis Jones' return against Chelsea last week after an eye injury and Covid-19 ruled the 20-year-old out of the previous 13 fixtures.

Klopp himself returned to the Liverpool dugout on Sunday after recovering from Covid-19.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 4-1 Shrewsbury Town: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 17:43
Jürgen Klopp declared himself happy with the result and level of performance in Liverpool’s 4-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town in the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.
Categories: LFC NEWS

“Nice little stories” and false positives – 4 things from Klopp’s post-Shrewsbury press conference

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 17:40

It was a week like no other for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool but there were plenty of ” nice little stories” that emerged in the win over Shrewsbury to keep the boss smiling.

Here are four key points from the manager after the win and his return to the touchline:

[embedded content]

‘It was so difficult’

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

It’s not been the smoothest of weeks for Liverpool and the preparation was far from ideal, with Klopp having only joined the team on Sunday.

But the boss was happy with what he saw from a team that was mixed with experience and youth.

“It’s so difficult, setting up a team, starting training on Friday and then involving all these young kids – they’re all really good footballers.

“But it makes it really tricky, especially when you have to play and break down a low block which Shrewsbury rightly did today.

“Just happy about the result…So many things could have went wrong but in the end, we made it all fine.”

A lot of false positives

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool were reported to have suffered a “severe outbreak” of COVID-19 earlier in the week, forcing the training ground to close and the postponement of the trip to Arsenal.

But after the win over Shrewsbury, Klopp confirmed that only Trent Alexander-Arnold was a “real positive,” the rest were false positives.

“We thought last week we had a proper outbreak and it showed up that we had a lot of false positives, actually.

“But the rules are like they are so all these players that were false positive could not play today, or we decided not to play them.

“We had to make that decision, the only real positive case was Trent Alexander-Arnold and all the rest were false positive. A tough week.”

It means Liverpool’s squad will be significantly bolstered on Thursday.

Praise for the youngsters

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

Four teenagers made their start for Liverpool with a further two coming off the bench and the boss was very happy with what he saw.

“I am delighted, even though I know they can both [Gordon and Bradley] do better because they are real talents, I’m really happy with that,” Klopp said.

“Kaide is obviously finishing wise is an adult, is exceptional, all the rest he is still a kid..but I’m really happy for them.

“So many really nice little stories today, so good.”

Klopp also confirmed that Kaide Gordon had only recently returned from having Covid.

Thiago out for the season – “Not at all”

 Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 5 game between Liverpool FC and FC Porto at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Online rumours can spread like wildfire and one of the most recent was that Thiago would be sidelined until the end of the season with a hip injury.

Klopp rubbished those claims but did say it’s an injury that does need time, with the Spaniard expected to kickstart his rehab in the coming week.

“Neither March nor until the end of the season is in my mind,” Klopp said.

“Something around the hip, that’s the situation. It needs time. He didn’t train this week but we expect him back to do rehab stuff from [Monday] on and then we will see.

“No, it’s not that he’s out until the end of the season. Not at all.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

“Ban them for life!” – Shrewsbury player blasts own fans after Hillsborough chants

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 17:38

Shrewsbury goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne has called out his own team’s supporters after a video of a section of fans mocking the Hillsborough disaster.

A video of Shrews fans singing about the 96 (now actually 97 victims officially who were unlawfully killed in the tragedy in 1989), appeared on social media before the match.

In a rare move, Burgoyne took to social media to call for life bans for those fans.

“As for these Shrewsbury fans!” wrote Burgoyne. “Should be ashamed of yourselves. Liverpool showed nothing but respect today. Shocking absolutley shocking! Out them and ban them for life!”

As for these shrewsbury fans! Should be ashamed of yourselves. Liverpool showed nothing but respect today. Shocking absolutley shocking! Out them and ban them for life! https://t.co/DiJJsyB1eU

— Harry Burgoyne (@BurgoyneH1) January 9, 2022

In another Tweet, in response to a Liverpool supporter, Burgoyne added: “Respect goes a long way in the game and theres a severe lack of it these days! All the best for rest of the season.”

In all honesty this is just a variation of the shite Liverpool have to put up with every week but is largely ignored by the media and the clubs who’s fans sing it. So fair play to Shrewsbury’s goalie for speaking out. Their players and manager were great today https://t.co/1vBng0Lttf

— John Gibbons (@johngibbonsblog) January 9, 2022

This comes shortly after Leicester fans, in games both at Anfield and at the King Power Stadium, spent most of the match singing about food poverty rates on Merseyside.

And while clubs are increasingly starting to release statements condemning racist or homophobic chanting, as Liverpool have done recently in relation to songs about Chelsea, no club seems too fussed when it comes to mocking children starving or 97 football supporters being crushed to death unlawfully.

Definitely seems an up-tick in all away fans at Anfield singing only/mostly about LFC: Gerrard, feed the Scousers, You'll Never Work Again, etc. One or two "ribbing" songs would be normal, but seems trolling LFC is more the aim than supporting/singing about their own team.

— Paul Tomkins (@paul_tomkins) January 9, 2022

Absolute respect to Burgoyne – and other Shrewsbury fans – who have called out this nonsense ‘banter’.

This is yet another example why Hillsborough needs to be part of the national curriculum and taught in schools about the disaster itself and the subsequent police cover up.

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Thiago Alcantara injury latest

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 16:46

Thiago Alcantara is expected to begin his rehabilitation programme on a hip injury on Monday, but Jürgen Klopp isn’t anticipating a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

The No.6 hasn’t figured in Liverpool’s last three matches due to the issue, but the problem isn’t thought to be a long-term one.

Asked during his post-Shrewsbury Town press conference about speculation Thiago could be out until the end of the season, Klopp sad: “No, neither March nor [the] end of the season is in my mind.

“It is something around the hip, that is the situation and it needs time now. He didn’t train this week but we expect him to be back to do rehab stuff from tomorrow on and then we will see.

“No, it is not that he is out until the end of the season, not at all.”

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Thiago Alcantara injury latest

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 16:46
Thiago Alcantara is expected to begin his rehabilitation programme on a hip injury on Monday, but Jürgen Klopp isn’t anticipating a prolonged spell on the sidelines.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool fans hail “special” Kaide Gordon as Reds deliver ‘FA Cup magic’

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 16:21

Liverpool won 4-1 at home to Shrewsbury in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, with Kaide Gordon‘s first, and historic, Liverpool goal the standout moment.

Liverpool 4-1 Shrewsbury

FA Cup Third Round, Anfield
January 9, 2022

Goals: Gordon 34′, Fabinho pen 44′, 90+2′, Firmino 78′; Udoh 27′

The Reds took on their League One opponents with a much-changed lineup, but the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Fabinho all started.

Daniel Udoh stunned the hosts when he fired Shrewsbury in front, but Liverpool’s response was quick, as Gordon showed great composure as he became the club’s second-youngest goalscorer with his maiden goal.

Fabinho‘s penalty put Jurgen Klopp‘s team in front just before half-time, before substitute Roberto Firmino put the game to bed with a back-heeled finish.

There was still time for Fabinho to get his second of the afternoon in stoppage time, as Liverpool progressed at a canter.

Here’s how supporters reacted to the Reds’ win on Twitter, Facebook and This Is Anfield’s comments section.

Many were content with what they saw, even though it wasn’t a classic…

Good afternoon all round. Minutes for key players and always nice to see so many youngsters involved. Bradley, Morton, Dixon-Bonner and Gordon all solid. A 17 year old scoring in front of the Kop is what it’s all about.

— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) January 9, 2022

A very young and much changed Liverpool side deservedly into the 4th Round of the FA Cup, the few available senior players sharing their experience with some very promising talent.

Fabinho’s got the goal hunger now…

— Jim Boardman (@JimBoardman) January 9, 2022

It’s definitely not harsh on Shrewsbury

— keith costigan (@KeithCostigan) January 9, 2022

FT: Fabs with a boss brace, loads of debut performances and an all around good effort from the squad. Minutes in the legs for Robbo (hope he’s okay) & Bobby & Fabs. Hopefully even more lads healthy for Thursday. Up the Mighty Reds! #EmiratesFACup #LIVSHR #YNWA

— LFC Seattle (@lfcseattle) January 9, 2022

There was lot of praise for Gordon, as well as some fellow youngsters…

What a performance by Kaide Gordon today!

He's going to be something special! pic.twitter.com/iwzh7MX1H7

— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) January 9, 2022

Huge applause from Anfield and players as well as Kaide Gordon comes off. Great talent him.

— Red (@TaintlessRed) January 9, 2022

Tyler Morton. Superb again today ?? pic.twitter.com/xxdQ2vIABE

— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) January 9, 2022

Just before Xmas Pep Lijnders said Jurgen Klopp chooses to have a "small" squad as a "strategic decision" to allow space for youngsters to progress.

18 days later and Kaide Gordon becomes the youngest ever player to score for #LFC in the FA Cup.

Positives even in adversity…

— David Maddock (@MaddockMirror) January 9, 2022

Connor Bradley was very, very good at right-back. Needs time and a bit more muscle but can see why he is so highly rated.

— Paul Grech (@paul_grech) January 9, 2022

“Gordon is going to be one special player, would be nice to see him get some minutes with the 1st team, to see how he adapts.” – Jason Rowlands on Facebook.

Took his goal really well. But the way he was getting back and helping Bradley was the most pleasing thing about Gordon’s performance there today. Got the lot going forward. Just needs time to keep developing

— Mike Kearney (@MikeKearney1) January 9, 2022

Deserved ovation there for Kaide Gordon. What a player #LFC

— Farrell Keeling (@farrellkeeling) January 9, 2022

? All the #LFC youngsters did well this afternoon, but Tyler Morton the best of the bunch. So classy on the ball and looked great next to Fabinho. A real talent.

— Matt Addison (@MattAddison97) January 9, 2022

Really, really like the look of Tyler Morton – there's an element of Busquets about him, without putting too much pressure on him!

So composed and intelligent for his age, on and off the ball. Looks a gem.

— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) January 9, 2022

Fabinho also received plenty of love after his brace…

Fab does everything!! Vamossss

— Rebeca Tavares (@reebecatavares) January 9, 2022

Fabinho has now scored as many goals as fellow Brazilian Richarlison this season ??

— David Comerford (@Dave_Comerford) January 9, 2022

Konaté got his first assist for the club and Fabinho his first brace.

Up the Reds.

— Andrew Beasley ? (@BassTunedToRed) January 9, 2022

Fabinho with his first brace! Really is the magic of the FA Cup ?

— Samuel (@SamueILFC) January 9, 2022

Fabinho MOTM today. He was superb.

— Anfield Opinion™ (@AnfieldOpinion6) January 9, 2022

And attention turned to the League Cup clash with Arsenal…

Jota, Bobby and Fabinho up top for Arsenal then, yeah?

— Ross (@rossic89) January 9, 2022

That was a much needed watch. Onto the fourth round. And bring on Arsenal on Thursday. Up the Reds.#LIVSHR #FACup

— Issam (@issam_LFC) January 9, 2022

Can't be too critical of that performance having being without training, injuries and COVID issues. Expect to get back Trent, Alisson, Ox, Jota and Hendo for mid-week tie against Arsenal. #LFC #LIVSHR #FACup

— SHooMit (@SHoomwitter) January 9, 2022

Boring for most parts but a decent enough performance to move onto the next round. Kaide, morton and bradley were good today. Onto arsenal!

— 19 ?? (@LfcYyz) January 9, 2022

Man said backheel firmino is ready for arsenal

— ? (@lfcAhmed_7) January 9, 2022

Let us know your thoughts on the game in the comments section.

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Kaide in front of the Kop and cup progress – 5 talking points from Liverpool 4-1 Shrewsbury

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 16:21

Liverpool eventually eased past Shrewsbury thanks to a mixture of youth and experience, as Jurgen Klopp got the balance just right.

Liverpool 4-1 Shrewsbury

FA Cup Third Round, Anfield
January 9, 2022

Goals: Gordon 34′, Fabinho pen 44′, 90+2′, Firmino 78′; Udoh 26′

Front three experiment

 Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The focus will be on Liverpool’s front three more so than usual during the next few months.

With Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at the Africa Cup of Nations, it’s no longer a case of Klopp being able to rely on the usual trio of Salah, Mane and Diogo Jota up top.

For this cup game, the manager went with the relatively inexperienced lineup of Kaide Gordon, Max Woltman and Curtis Jones.

The latter would be the most likely to be given a spot in the lineup in upcoming Premier League games, along with the likes of Jota and Roberto Firmino.

Minamino replaced Woltman at half-time and will be another option, but in the end the most clinical of the players used against Shrewsbury was Gordon.

The ‘first choice’ front three remains to be seen, though it should be seen in the Premier League games against Brentford and Crystal Palace, if not in the two-legged League Cup semi-final with Arsenal.

Gordon may well have worked his way into the reckoning.

Kaide in front of the Kop

 Liverpool's Kaide Gordon during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s opening goal involved three of the academy players chosen in this young side.

Elijah Dixon-Bonner turned the ball out to Conor Bradley who crossed for Gordon.

The 17-year-old’s finished was as technically good as it was composed, as he worked the ball onto his left foot and slotted home.

Gordon looked dangerous every time he cut in from the right onto his left foot, and technically he already looks at home at this level.

Klopp’s use of Harvey Elliott at the start of this season showed he is not afraid of bringing young players through if they are good enough, and Gordon could well get more game time next season if not this.

Experienced players step up

 Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Within such an inexperienced lineup, leaders – or more accurately, organisers – are much more important than usual.

In the usual senior side, most players know their roles and responsibilities, but such a mixture of youth and experience needs the more regular first-team players to step up.

Virgil van Dijk is a natural in this role and takes responsibility regardless of whether he is wearing the captain’s armband, as he was this time around.

Andy Robertson is also a captain at international level and leads by example as well as being a good motivator.

Ibrahima Konate was a big presence at the back, offering some reassurance alongside the less imposing Typer Morton and Bradley, while Fabinho took responsibility from the penalty spot, as he was used to doing during his Monaco days.

In the end, it was a useful balance of youth and experience, with just enough regular first-teamers to knit the side together to assure progression to the next round.

Klopp turns to Kelleher again

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There were rumours prior to this game that Loris Karius may be given a start between the sticks, but the Liverpool manager once again turned to his new trusted No. 2 in the position.

There is now little doubt that Caoimhin Kelleher is good enough to be the long-term backup to Alisson, though he might end up being too good.

Good reserve goalkeepers can be difficult to find, as good players usually want regular games and ones willing to act as backup are few and far between.

One way to secure quality support in this role is to develop players in the academy, which is what Liverpool have done with Kelleher.

He has replaced the likes of Adrian and Karius as the Alisson’s understudy, which in turn led to caps for the Republic of Ireland in 2021.

One problem might be that games like this prove Kelleher is good enough to be a starter for a top team, but for now, Liverpool have a quality, like-for-like option in the position.

End 10 years since domestic cup?

 Liverpool's young side walk out before the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool haven’t won the FA Cup since 2006, and the last time they won a domestic cup competition was the League Cup back in 2012.

Ten years is the longest the club has gone without winning one of the domestic cups since they won their first FA Cup in 1965.

So far this season the Reds remain in every competition they have entered, and with Man City looking unlikely to relinquish their spot at the top of the Premier League table, a couple of cups wouldn’t go amiss.

Next up is the League Cup semi-final against Arsenal, in which you’d fancy Liverpool across two legs despite their AFCON absences.

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Gordon sets Liverpool on way to Shrewsbury win

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 16:15

Seventeen-year-old Kaide Gordon became Liverpool's youngest FA Cup goalscorer as he set Jurgen Klopp's side on the way to a comfortable 4-1 third-round victory at home to Shrewsbury.

The League One visitors had threatened an upset when, having had just 15 per cent possession, they took a 27th-minute lead through Daniel Udoh.

However, Gordon, who at 17 years and 96 days also became Liverpool's second-youngest all-time goalscorer after Ben Woodburn, soon restored order.

Fabinho's penalty put the Reds in front just before half-time and substitute Roberto Firmino's backheel and another Fabinho strike in added time sealed their progress.

But it was the quality of Gordon's goal at the Kop end which stood out as the youngster, an initial £1m signing from Derby a year ago, scored on only his second appearance.

The way in which he controlled the cross into a crowded area from Conor Bradley - another of the five academy players in the starting line-up - and had the composure to turn his body and pick a spot beyond goalkeeper Marko Marosi, belied his inexperience.

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game Image: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the Reds' third goal of the game

Had such a goal been scored by Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane, both on Africa Cup of Nations duty, it would have rightly drawn fulsome praise for its execution and the youngster deservedly received a standing ovation when he was replaced 10 minutes from time having grown in confidence.

Fabinho sending Marosi the wrong way from the spot, after Ethan Ebanks-Landell's strange handball when challenged by Virgil van Dijk, provided the base from which to control the rest of the game.

But it took them 44 minutes to get to that position as the early stages were heavy on possession but lacking in any genuine threat for a much-changed side which had been put together after a Covid outbreak had forced a 48-hour closure of the first-team's training complex.

Liverpool's young quintet made up half the outfield complement with Bradley, Gordon, Elijah Dixon-Bonner, Max Woltman and Tyler Morton having 15 Liverpool senior appearances between them - the latter accounting for seven of those.

Van Dijk (14) was the team's top scorer with the front six players boasting just 12 goals, all scored by midfielders Curtis Jones or Fabinho, between them.

It did not point towards a particularly high-scoring affair so the presence of three first-team regulars in the back four - with Klopp also back on the touchline after his isolation period - offered some degree of security.

Gordon forced the first save of the game, cutting in from the right to make Marosi dive low at his near post but it was the visitors - beaten by a youthful side here in a replay in 2020 - who struck first having weathered almost half an hour of not having the ball.

Nathanael Ogbeta found space on the left to cross to the near post where Ibrahima Konate watched it sail past him for Udoh, an injury doubt before the game, to fire home.

Eight minutes later Gordon found the net and the dynamic changed, although goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was required to save Ryan Bowman's close-range header to maintain the lead going into the interval.

Marosi's point-blank block from Dixon-Bonner early in the second half kept the tie alive but Liverpool were able to bring on Takumi Minamino and Firmino, scorer of his first Anfield goal in 13 months, to consolidate matters.

What's next?

Liverpool host Arsenal in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday (7.45pm), in a game you can see live on Sky Sports Football, while Shrewsbury travel to Crewe on Saturday (3pm).

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Match report: Reds advance in FA Cup by beating Shrewsbury Town at Anfield

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 01/09/2022 - 16:10

Liverpool advanced in the Emirates FA Cup with a 4-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town at Anfield on Sunday.

Daniel Udoh had put the League One side ahead in the third-round tie after 27 minutes, though the Reds fought back through goals from Kaide Gordon, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho (two).

Gordon became the club's second-youngest scorer with his well-taken equaliser after the half-hour mark, before Fabinho made it 2-1 from the penalty spot just before half-time.

Firmino then came off the bench in the second half to add the third, as Fabinho completed the scoring in injury time to secure the hosts' passage into round four.

Team news

In a much-changed Liverpool line-up, there were first senior starts for Max Woltman and Elijah Dixon-Bonner. Fellow Academy products Gordon, Conor Bradley, Tyler Morton joined them in the XI.

Jürgen Klopp also returned to the dugout following his isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test. 

First half

Liverpool took charge of the contest in the opening phases.

Their first real goalscoring chance arrived in the 20th minute, with Gordon's shot from outside the area forcing a save from Marko Marosi at his near post. Either side of that effort were headers over the bar by Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk from Andy Robertson delivery. 

But Shrewsbury picked their moment to attack and made it count. 

Nathanael Ogbeta had fired in a dangerous cross 60 seconds earlier that didn't connect, but second time around Udoh was there to divert it into the back of the net with a first-time strike. 

However, Liverpool's response was a quick one. 

Bradley found Gordon inside the penalty area, and the latter displayed quick feet inside the box to shift the ball onto his left foot, which he used to finish beyond Marko Marosi.

Then Ethan Ebanks-Landell was adjudged to have handled Robertson's free-kick into the area, prompting referee David Coote to point to the spot. 

Fabinho took responsibility from 12 yards out and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to put his side ahead. 

Second half

Takumi Minamino was introduced for the start of the second period in place of Woltman. 

Dixon-Bonner nearly netted Liverpool's third from close range early on, but was denied by a fine reaction save from Marosi.

The midfielder then received a well-deserved round of applause from the crowd when he was taken off for Firmino. 

The Brazilian left his mark on the tie when he brilliantly added the Reds' third with 12 minutes remaining.

Bradley's cut-back from the right touchline found Konate, whose shot was deflected towards Firmino. With his back to goal inside the six-yard box, the No.9 nonchalantly backheeled the ball past Marosi. 

And it was made 4-1 deep into stoppage time when Fabinho saw his initial header from Kostas Tsimikas’ free-kick saved, before following up the rebound with a powerful finish into the roof of the net.

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