LFC NEWS

Mohamed Salah impact remains positive despite Liverpool’s early season struggle

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 18:52

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Despite Liverpool suffering from three frustrating results in a row, the impact Mohamed Salah has made since joining from AS Roma is a major positive.


The Egypt international made the £36.9 million move from the Serie A side in June, as the biggest signing of the Reds’ summer.

Taking up the No. 11 shirt, Salah has swiftly established himself as a key player on Merseyside, linking up with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in Jurgen Klopp‘s new-look forward line.

And after being labelled as a ‘Chelsea reject’ ahead of his switch to Merseyside, Salah has already changed the narrative.

In eight games for Liverpool in all competitions so far, Salah has scored five goals and assisted a further two, averaging a direct goal contribution every 87 minutes.

He is the Reds’ current leading goalscorer, ahead of Firmino (four) and Mane (three), and only Firmino has tallied more assists so far (three).

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More impressively, having been written off in the Premier League following his failed spell with Chelsea, he has scored three and assisted two in five games in the English top flight.

This averages at a goal or assist every 68 minutes, better than his average in Serie A last term (89 minutes)—albeit based on a significantly smaller sample size.

Only Jamie Vardy, Gabriel Jesus (both four), Romelu Lukaku and Sergio Aguero (both five) have scored more than Salah in the Premier League this season.

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That Salah has hit the ground running in terms of goals and assists is a feat magnified by his poor finishing in a Liverpool shirt.

The winger has routinely squandered simple chances, including in last weekend’s 5-0 loss away to Man City, as he continues to find his feet on the right flank under Klopp.

He has fired 22 shots on goal in his seven games for the Reds so far, at least six more than any other player, with Firmino attempting 16 shots in all competitions.

While this could be seen as a negative, Salah can only continue to improve, and the prospect of his conversion rate improving is hugely encouraging.

In fact, Salah has averaged 4.4 shots per goal this season, which is in line with Mane (also 4.4) last term, with the Senegalese scoring 13 in 29 appearances in his first campaign.

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Given the frustration on Merseyside following the loss to City and draws with Sevilla and Burnley, it is worth noting the early influence of Salah, and his potential to improve further.


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Academy column: Two games in five days will test us, but the lads are ready

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 15:00
In our latest Academy column, we speak to Liverpool U23s' head of development analysis and assistant coach Tim Jenkins about the unbeaten start to the season and the test of playing two games in five days - starting with Monday's trip to West Ham United.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Academy column: Two games in five days will test us, but the lads are ready

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 15:00

In our latest Academy column, we speak to Liverpool U23s' head of development analysis and assistant coach Tim Jenkins about the unbeaten start to the season and the test of playing two games in five days - starting with Monday's trip to West Ham United.

It has been a very pleasing start to the season and the lads are full of confidence after winning our opening five games, including four straight victories in Premier League 2. Neil Critchley, Mike Garrity and myself have been delighted with the attitude and application of the boys and they have got their rewards for the hard work they have been doing on the training field. Playing two games in five days, starting with an away trip to West Ham, will test the boys but if they aspire to one day play for our first team this is exactly what they have got to get used to. Neil, Mike and myself have very similar ideas and we have just tried to keep our play as simple as possible really and I think the players have responded quite well to it. We have pressed well, we have been organised and I think that is one of the reasons why we have been successful in our opening games.

As we have touched on previously I do believe analysis is important in the development of young players. Take Yan Dhanda for example, who is now with us at U23 level and who scored a brilliant late winner last week against Manchester City. When we sit down with a player, we will show them a little compilation video to support some of the messages we are trying to get across to them, what they are good at and areas that they need to improve. We know Yan is particularly efficient with his shooting, particularly from the area of the field that he scored against City, so it’s about highlighting these positives as well as providing him with one or two elements within his game he needs to focus on and improve.

During the pre-season I was fortunate to be invited to travel with the first team to their training camp in Germany, working with the likes of second assistant coach Peter Krawietz and the first team’s head of post-match analysis Harrison Kingston. One of the main reasons for me being there was to see at first hand the manager’s playing philosophy and how he instils it into the players. It was fantastic to be a part of it and seeing how the team set out to play and their positional work. It enabled me to bring that experience back to the Academy and show our players some of the work they need to do as part of their development.

We can show the young players in close detail the way our first team press against a certain opposition, and if we come up against a team that will be similar to that, we can show them some examples of how the first team set up in that scenario. We played a diamond formation in our first Premier League 2 game of the season against Swansea City, and the analysis was important for us because the first team used that formation a few times last season - away at Manchester United and West Ham, so we could show the players exactly how the first team organise themselves when playing in that formation. We played very well at Swansea and got a deserved 2-0 victory and to be fair we could have scored a lot more on the night.

We hope to continue our good form when we take on West Ham at Dagenham and Redbridge on Monday night in Premier League 2. West Ham got promotion last season and as always when you play against them you expect a good football match. I remember the last time we played them when we lost 3-2 in the semi-final of the Premier League Cup back in March 2016, when Martin Skrtel was sent-off. That was a game we should have won looking back and I remember Joao Carlos Teixeira having a great chance to score the winner in the last minute when he was clean through on goal. I also remember when we played against West Ham at Upton Park and Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Kent scored for us. That was one of the best team performances I have been a part of and it brings back nice memories.

As always our philosophy is concentrating on the next match, but we will have one eye on the Anfield meeting with Tottenham Hotspur on Friday. As I said this represents a challenge for the boys to play two competitive games in the space of just five days. It’s also a great experience for them in terms of playing, recovering and then going again. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the boys to get the chance to play at Anfield and we are all looking forward to these two games.

Watch West Ham v Liverpool U23s live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO on Monday night from 6.30pm BST. Click here to find out more.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp looks at bigger picture

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 14:50

Last Updated: 17/09/17 2:23pm

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is keen to move on from Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Burnley Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is keen to move on from Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Burnley Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is keen to move on from Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Burnley

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he can look beyond a frustrating week for his side and see an encouraging future.

The 1-1 draw at home to Burnley capped eight days in which they were beaten 5-0 at Manchester City and conceded a late goal to draw on their Champions League return to Sevilla in midweek.

Philippe Coutinho made his first start since a torrent of summer speculation, but failed to spark a victory Philippe Coutinho made his first start since a torrent of summer speculation, but failed to spark a victory Philippe Coutinho made his first start since a torrent of summer speculation, but failed to spark a victory

With a Carabao Cup tie at Leicester on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports, Klopp made seven changes against the Clarets but despite that, he saw signs that the squad he has built can have a successful season.

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September 19, 2017, 7:30pm

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"We made seven changes but we were still really fluent, (playing) offensive football, dominant football," said Klopp, after watching his side have 35 shots to their opponents' five and enjoying 71 per cent possession.

"Seven changes and playing this type of football, no one should take it for granted.

Highlights: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

"Yes, result-wise (it is frustrating) but honestly I am as a person not like this. If I can get over the few more than unlucky situations then it is my job to see the performance.

"We reacted really well and why we feel so disappointed or frustrated is because we see what this team can do.

In his post-match interview, Klopp said he was angry with aspects of Liverpool's performance against Burnley

"Now we have to use this quality consistently. We could have won pretty much all our games so far when you think about the performance.

"We didn't win all and we lost one really high but it was a strange game, we didn't perform from the first second like someone would expect when you lost 5-0.

Mohamed Salah equalised for Liverpool Mohamed Salah equalised for Liverpool Mohamed Salah equalised for Liverpool

"If we can keep the shape and improve the other things, we can be really strong."

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Coutinho: Barca interest complicated

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 14:30

Last Updated: 17/09/17 4:58pm

Philippe Coutinho was the subject of interest from Barcelona in the summerPhilippe Coutinho was the subject of interest from Barcelona in the summer Philippe Coutinho was the subject of interest from Barcelona in the summer

Philippe Coutinho admits Barcelona's persistent interest was difficult to ignore but insists he remains committed to playing for Liverpool.

The Brazil international was the subject of three bids from Barcelona and submitted a transfer request in the summer, but Liverpool's hierarchy held firm to keep him at the club.

The 25-year-old started his first Premier League fixture of the season against Burnley on Saturday, following a back injury, and says it remains an "honour" to play for Liverpool.

Coutinho started his first Premier League match of the season against Burnley Coutinho started his first Premier League match of the season against Burnley Coutinho started his first Premier League match of the season against Burnley

"It was a complicated month for me but as I have said, it is an honour to receive that offer but it is also an honour to wear this [Liverpool] shirt, so what I can do is work hard and honour that on the field. It is all cool," Coutinho told ESPN Brazil.

Coutinho was speaking for the first time about how close he came to signing for Barcelona and admits that along with his family he was "interested" by the opportunity, but that Liverpool remain a "great club worldwide".

WATCH: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

Watch the highlights as Liverpool were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw with Burnley at Anfield.

"What happened was a job offer and, in life, sometimes you get interested," Coutinho added. "Sometimes you don't and, in my case, everyone knows that I got interested, my family too.

"But as I have always said, it is a great offer to receive an offer from such a great club like that. But it is also a great honour being here. Liverpool is a great club worldwide. I'm here and I will give my best as always. I'm working hard, my thoughts are on the team's goals, making a good season."

Jurgen Klopp believes Coutinho will continue to have an influential role at AnfieldJurgen Klopp believes Coutinho will continue to have an influential role at Anfield Jurgen Klopp believes Coutinho will continue to have an influential role at Anfield

Jurgen Klopp remains confident that Coutinho can continue to excel in a Liverpool shirt as the club competes in the Champions League following their top-four finish last season.

Coutinho, who signed a five-year deal with Liverpool in January, has no immediate plans to follow fellow former Liverpool player Luis Suarez to the Nou Camp.

Luis Suarez left Liverpool to join Barcelona in 2014Luis Suarez left Liverpool to join Barcelona in 2014 Luis Suarez left Liverpool to join Barcelona in 2014

"Not that I know of," said Coutinho. "I am in a place that I have always been given respect by everyone and (I) too respect everyone.

"I have conquered my space in four, five years and never had any problems with anyone - the fans, the board, my team-mates, the coaching staff. That has not changed. As I have said, in life, in every job you get an offer, interested or not. It is all in the past."

Leicester vs Liverpool

September 19, 2017, 7:30pm

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Jurgen Klopp looks at bigger picture after frustrating week for Liverpool

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 14:00

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he can look beyond a frustrating week for his side and see an encouraging future.


The 1-1 draw at home to Burnley capped eight days in which they were hammered 5-0 at Manchester City and conceded a late lead to draw on their Champions League return to Sevilla in midweek.

With a League Cup tie at Leicester on Tuesday Klopp made seven changes against the Clarets but despite that he saw signs that the squad he has built can have a successful season despite recent dropped points.

“We made seven changes but we were still really fluent, (playing) offensive football, dominant football,” said the German, after watching his side have 35 shots to their opponents’ five and enjoy 71 per cent possession.

“Seven changes and playing this type of football, no one should take it for granted.

“Yes, result-wise (it is frustrating) but honestly I am as a person not like this. If I can get over the few more than unlucky situations then it is my job to see the performance.

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“We reacted really well and why we feel so disappointed or frustrated is because we see what this team can do.

“Now we have to use this quality consistently. We could have won pretty much all our games so far when you think about the performance.

“We didn’t win all and we lost one really high but it was a strange game, we didn’t perform from the first second like someone would expect when you lost 5-0.

“If we can keep the shape and improve the other things, we can be really strong.”

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Defensive errors have been the hot topic all week and another misunderstanding in the back four allowed Scott Arfield to smash home a half-volley after Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan failed to deal with Robbie Brady’s looping header into the penalty area.

The one real bright spot for Liverpool was the performance of summer signing Mohamed Salah, who scored his fifth of the season and his fourth in a row at Anfield soon after.

But despite dominating the second half, with substitute Dominic Solanke hitting the crossbar from four yards out, they could still have lost with Ben Mee having two headers denied as Matip cleared off the line and Simon Mignolet saved.

Solanke shot cross bar, Liverpool vs Burnley

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Burnley manager Sean Dyche admitted they targeted Liverpool’s defensive frailties and Mee said it paid off.

“It was a hard-fought point. We had to dig in and fight for that point and although we didn’t play as much football as we’d like but sometimes you have to come to these places and work hard as a team and grind the result out,” Mee said.

“The game plan wasn’t to sit back and let them have 35 shots as we wanted to create as much as we can but sometimes the game plans are like that.

“They have some good quality players and they had a few shots and (Nick) Pope has made a couple of good saves but we defended as well as we can and we come away really pleased with a point.

“We wanted to get the ball forward quickly and put them under pressure as much as we could and the goal came from a good diagonal with Robbie (Brady) winning the flick-on and sometimes you have to do that.

“We kind of looked at it a little bit but we wanted to play some good football as well.”

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Southampton boss hints at possible January departure for Virgil van Dijk

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 13:36

“For me I have got this group of players and we try to push them, to help them, to work with them, to improve every single day,” he told reporters.

“We never know how the market will be in January because we can bring some players [in], because every single squad can improve.

“We have got people who are working to improve our squad all the time, and for the other teams it is the same. They will push to bring the best players.

“Virgil is one case because he is one of the best players in the Premier League and it is normal that the biggest teams in the Premier League want to sign him.”

 Liverpool's Sadio Mane in action against Southampton's Virgil Van Dijk during the FA Premier League match at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Liverpool conceding another sloppy goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Burnley, the need to sign another centre-back in the summer was once again underlined.

Ahead of that clash, Klopp insisted he and his recruitment staff had watched a host of alternatives “500 million times.”

The German suggested that he turned down the prospect of signing Colombia international Davinson Sanchez, who ultimately join Tottenham from Ajax, as well as Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.

It seems that Klopp has set his sights on Van Dijk, and only Van Dijk, keeping faith in his current crop of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez in the meantime.

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Currently, only Matip looks settled in the role, with the 26-year-old the only player to play every minute of every game for the Reds so far this season.

Lovren and Klavan have rotated alongside Matip, with neither looking wholly comfortable, and a January move for Van Dijk would certainly be welcomed on Merseyside.

Categories: LFC NEWS

'It made us so proud - and I know how much it'd mean to Owen'

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 13:15
Watching Liverpool's players warm-up in Owen McVeigh Foundation t-shirts was a surreal, yet pride-filled, experience for Mark McVeigh.
Categories: LFC NEWS

'It made us so proud - and I know how much it'd mean to Owen'

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 13:15

Watching Liverpool's players warm-up in Owen McVeigh Foundation t-shirts was a surreal, yet pride-filled, experience for Mark McVeigh.

Prior to last month's 4-0 Premier League win over Arsenal at Anfield, the Reds' squad wore t-shirts to support the Foundation - which was established by Owen's parents Mark and Joanne following their son's tragic death in December 2015 - and raise awareness of its cause.

Owen was an ardent Liverpool fan who followed the team home and away before he passed away at the age of 11, shortly after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

And Mark has no doubt that his son would've loved to have seen his heroes wearing the t-shirt - with one Reds star in particular holding a special place in the McVeigh family's hearts.

"It was just a big sense of pride, really. It was a bit surreal seeing it, especially with all the players with it on," he told Liverpoolfc.com.

"The big one for me was Firmino, because not long before he passed away, about four weeks before Owen passed away, he met him. He sat with him in town and I was looking at the picture that day, seeing him [Firmino] with it on and that, with the understanding that he'd know what it was about, he'd know it was Owen, it was massive."

Mark also explained the significance of a global audience of millions seeing the likes of Firmino wearing the t-shirt.

He continued: "It was of massive importance on two levels - the Foundation level and the human level. The Foundation side of things, it's massive for us, the amount of people that have contacted us that now know what the flag means now, know what work we do, and that enables us to help more children.

"We've had messages from China, from New York, people who want to get involved. Without things like this, people wouldn't know who we were.

"And from the human side of things, the personal side of things, I know how much it would mean to Owen. It'd just be a sense of pride, he was one of them kids who'd say 'how many likes have I got?', whether it be Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

"[This] was probably the first time since he passed away that it became really, really personal with the club and the Foundation. The club just got it so right. I think I've said it once before, but the moral compass was set to perfect with it.

"What was once an idea is now a reality. The amount of children we're helping - how could you not want to do it more?"

Click play on the video below to hear more from Mark on the Owen McVeigh Foundation's aims, objectives and future plans...

The Owen McVeigh Foundation aims to enrich the lives of local children suffering with cancer by providing them and their families with money-cannot-buy experiences. To learn more, click here.

Categories: LFC NEWS

What's on: This week's LFC community events

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 13:00
Find out what's going on in the local community this week with our latest look at a busy schedule for our LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams.
Categories: LFC NEWS

What's on: This week's LFC community events

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 13:00

Find out what's going on in the local community this week with our latest look at a busy schedule for our LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams.

For further information on these activities and more, follow @LFCFoundation and @Red_Neighbours on Twitter and visit foundation.liverpoolfc.com.

Monday September 18
Monday Club - pensioners 
Anfield: 1pm – 4pm 

Premier League Kicks sessions
Toxteth Firefit: 5pm – 6pm (age 8-10) - Football 
Walton: 7pm – 8pm (age 11-19)

Ability Counts session (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 6pm – 7pm (age 8-12), 7pm – 8pm (age 13+)

Tuesday September 19
Premier League Kicks session
Toxteth Firefit Hub: 5.30pm-7.30pm (age 11-19)

Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 6pm-7pm (age 8-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+) 

Wednesday September 20

Premier League Kicks session

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 5pm-6pm (age 7-12), 5pm-6pm (age 8-13 girls only)

Wirral Hive 6pm-8pm (age 8-12) 

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 6pm-7pm (age 8+)

Thursday September 21

Premier League Kicks sessions

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree: 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-7pm (age 14-17).

Gateacre: 6pm-7pm (age 11-17)

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 7pm-8pm (age 8+)

Military Veterans

Netherton Goals: 5pm-7.30pm 

Friday September 22

Premier League Kicks sessions

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree: 6pm-8pm (age 14-19)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 7pm-9pm (age 14-19)

Croxteth Sports Centre: 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)

Wirral Hive: time TBC (age 13-17)

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 6pm- 7pm (age 8-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)

Red Neighbours Walking Football

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 11am-12pm

Red Neighbours Walking Football - over 50s

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 11am-12pm

Saturday September 23

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Woodchurch: 10.30am-11.30 (SLD Child), 11.30am-12.30pm (Ability Counts), 12.30pm-1.30pm (SLD Adults)

Sunday September 24 

Military Veterans Academy: 2pm-5pm

Categories: LFC NEWS

Philippe Coutinho discusses failed Barcelona move, vows commitment to Liverpool

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 12:50

“As I’ve always said, it’s a great honour to receive an offer from such a great club like that.

“But it’s also a great honour being here, Liverpool is great club worldwide. Now I’m here and I’ll give my best, as always.

“It was a complicated month for me, but as I’ve said, it’s a honour to receive that offer, but it also an honour to wear this shirt.

“So what I can do is work hard and honour that on the field.”

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool and Sevilla at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Coutinho also denied that there was an agreement with Barcelona over a move in the future, following suggestions he could follow Luis Suarez’s lead and join next summer.

“I’m in a place that I’ve always been respected by everyone and I’ve respected everyone too, through this four, five years I’ve never had any problems with anybody here,” he said.

“The fans, team-mates, the board, the coaching staff and that haven’t changed a bit.

“Like I said, in every job you get an offer, you get interested or not.

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“Now it’s all in the past, I have to work, I’m focused on working hard, having a good season, if possible.

“And, of course, in the end, doing it in a great way to help the team, honouring the shirt and thinking about the team and the Selecao.”

The 25-year-old’s approach is a welcome one, rejecting the possibility of downing tools after the disappointment of Barcelona’s failed pursuit.

While Coutinho was not at his best at Anfield on Saturday, there were elements of the vibrancy and creativity that Liverpool have come to depend on since he joined in 2013.

Now, Jurgen Klopp will be looking to continue his reintegration and build around his No. 10 again.

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Not everything about Liverpool’s draw with Burnley was negative

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 12:05

As soon as Emre Can dropped deeper to assist with the second ball, as soon as our midfield got wise to closing down Burnley’s midfielders as soon as they received the ball, then the afternoon improved greatly.

STUBBORN RESISTANCE

Burnley are growing in confidence and stature. A win at Chelsea, a draw at Wembley against Tottenham. Why fear a trip to Anfield?

We needed a show of strength against Burnley. I suggested that we needed to use this game as a scene-setter for the autumn to come. I wanted a show of controlled anger from Liverpool in the wake of our capitulation at Manchester City.

Positive anger can be a good thing. Instead, we have continued to stumble. Two home draws, in games we should have won. We know we’re good, but we feel sorry for ourselves. We believe in ourselves, but just not enough.

We sent out a message to the rest of the Premier League, that our confidence can be easily knocked. Have we learned nothing from the travails of the bruised ego, that we sustained back in January and February?

The periodic rises and falls of Liverpool FC are set to repeat. Nothing we do is particularly new. Rinse, and repeat.

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IT’S NOT ALL BAD NEWS

On the front foot, we again moved the ball around very well at times. There were only flashes of it here and there, but Philippe Coutinho won’t take too long to locate his mojo. His deeper lying creativity was a welcome return, and James Milner did well enough to suggest more regular appearances in midfield wouldn’t go amiss. If Jordan Henderson is given extra food-for-thought, then all-good.

Andrew Robertson did the basics right once again. He needs a run of games now.

 Liverpoolís Mohamed Salah (C) is congratulated by Philippe Coutinho (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Burnley at Anfield. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

Mohamed Salah had his best game for us yet. He took his goal well, and was a constant threat. He linked well with Daniel Sturridge, to the extent that Sturridge was afforded an unusual full 90-minute run-out. Nobody saw that coming.

From the unsettling sight of Coutinho and Roberto Firmino being withdrawn, at a time of the match when we were chasing a winning goal, to the positivity and endeavour that was brought by the introduction of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Dominic Solanke, it should be taken as a plus-point that it was the perceived lesser-lights then almost forced the much sought-after winning goal.

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FRUSTRATION

Three games on from the dismantling of Arsenal, and you’d never guess that we were currently the same set of players. In fact, we are supposed to be a stronger proposition now, thanks to the return of Coutinho, and the addition of Oxlade-Chamberlain. Alarmingly, despite being far from a one-man-team, we do not respond well to the absence of Sadio Mane. We must get our heads around this, and quickly.

Coutinho vs Burnley

Walking away from Anfield on Saturday, there was the heavy sound of silence amongst the Liverpool fans, which was punctuated only by the interjection of occasional frustrated outbursts, and the high-spirits of Burnley fans in possession of a hard-earned point.

Nick Pope was pivotal to everything in the end. Part pantomime villain, for being painfully slow at taking goal-kicks, and part goalkeeper extraordinaire, with some fine saves and blocks.

It was all a bit too reminiscent of some of those games from the early days of the Brendan Rodgers era, when opposing goalkeepers would come to Anfield, and fling themselves at everything. We could do without a new spate of inspired goalkeepers tipping up at Anfield, especially at a time when we arguably don’t have an inspired goalkeeper to call our own.

MOVING FORWARD

On our travels we go, and no bad thing that might be. Two trips to Leicester City in four days will kick-start that odyssey, with the second of those being the priority. That doesn’t mean there aren’t valuable experiments to be carried-out for the first of those two games however. Does Danny Ward get a game? Does Joe Gomez get a run-out at centre-back? Do we get a first start for Oxlade-Chamberlain?

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Beyond the King Power Stadium, comes Moscow and then small matter of facing Rafa Benitez, and his newly exuberance-infused Newcastle United side. It’s never right being up against Rafa, and he will be in possession of the knowledge of how to take advantage of all our current flaws and weaknesses.

One game at a time is a myth. Football is played out in clusters of games, and between now and the next international break comes a cluster of four away days which truly will define how we head toward the darkening nights of winter.

Nothing is lost, yet, and not everything about the draw with Burnley was a negative. Take the positives, and aim to eliminate the negatives. Learn, take a deep breath, count to 10, and move forward.

Categories: LFC NEWS

“Groundhog day” for Reds as lack of killer instinct proves costly – Media on Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 11:41

Firmino, Coutinho, Liverpool vs Burnley

The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce labelled it “groundhog day”:

Jurgen Klopp‘s side treated supporters to a sight they have seen far too often in recent years.

[…]

This was Groundhog Day. Just like against Sevilla in the Champions League in midweek, how the Reds didn’t emerge victorious was baffling.

The Independent’s Mark Critchley felt the stalemate provided a “microcosm” of the Klopp era:

Jurgen Klopp is closing in on his two-year anniversary at Anfield and though in that time there has been significant progress, his project has been held back by two consistent failings: conceding goals too easily and failing to break down deep-lying defences.

This draw with Burnley provided a microcosm of Liverpool’s problems.

The Guardian’s Andy Hunter criticised Liverpool’s inability to learn lessons:

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The lessons the home side are learning in their second full season under Klopp are more difficult to ascertain.

However, reporters offered analysis on how and where exactly Klopp’s side went wrong at Anfield.

The Mirror’s David Maddock was critical of Liverpool’s lack of ruthlessness in front of goal:

Perhaps a simpler way would be for their attack to be more ruthless in killing games off when they have the chance.

[…]

Here, just after they levelled in the first half, the Reds had the game in their grasp, but failed to press the kill button, and Burnley were allowed to escape with parity into the second half.

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Melissa Reddy, writing for Goal.com, assessed the Reds’ lack of killer instinct as a key problem:

Being so commanding without killing off a game is too much of a distinctive trait for the Merseysiders.

[…]

And as long as that remains the case, Liverpool will continue to promise much, but achieve little.

But Bascombe felt it was the struggle to create clear opportunities that was the biggest issue:

Liverpool were full of combinations and tricks, but often too far from goal.

Oppositely, ESPN’s Dave Usher saw a positive improvement in creating chances:

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There was not too much wrong with the overall performance and the Reds had little trouble creating chances, which has not always been the case in these type of fixtures. On another day they’d have taken two or three of the chances created and this would be seen in a completely different light.

Solanke shot cross bar, Liverpool vs Burnley

Glenn Price, also writing for ESPN, attributed “continued school boy errors” in defence as crucial:

Their aims for the season could well be plunged into doubt as a result of continued schoolboy errors.

[…]

Liverpool were relatively untroubled for most of the game, but they always find a way to stumble in matches.

Meanwhile, Usher feels Liverpool’s defence simply “undermines everything”:

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The defending continues to undermine everything. Opponents don’t need to do anything special to score against Liverpool and Burnley‘s goal was so easily avoidable.

Interestingly, the Liverpool Echo’s Andy Kelly thinks a lack of belief going into games where victory will have to be ground out contributes to the struggles:

There’s no huge belief or confidence that in a tight game, in a game of the finest margins, that Liverpool will get it done.

Liverpool are capable of blowing teams away, we know that. But we want to see them win the scraps, do the hard yards, battle it out and get the rewards.

On a similar trail of thought, Price discussed the impact of the groaning Anfield crowd, feeling fans’ frustrations are understandable:

Expecting a win, though, Anfield gradually became more irritated and frustrated in the second half — much to the annoyance of Klopp, who became more agitated with the collective groans from the stands.

But it is hard to blame the supporters for the anxiousness when they repeatedly see a match of this type numerous times under Klopp.

There was focus on Klopp’s decision to heavily rotate in post-match pieces, with reporters offering mixed views on whether this was a contributing factor to the Reds’ failure to claim victory.

 Liverpool manger Jurgen Klopp reacts during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Burnley at Anfield. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

Bascombe felt the rotation backfired, assessing that “understanding” was missing from the performance:

The rotation system the manager believes essential to success was sent spinning.

Mass alterations might be necessary for fresh legs, but they can also be undermining. Players are seeking an understanding as much as rhythm and sharpness to their game.

The BBC’s Mike Henson felt Klopp’s decision to change his centre-back pairing again proved unhelpful:

A new centre-back combination of Klavan and Matip did little to solidify the Reds rearguard and Chris Wood’s presence was enough to distract both in the lead-up to the opener.

It is a failing that continues to undermine Liverpool’s free-flowing attacking unit.

But Pearce dismissed the switches as a reason for Liverpool’s failure to claim three points:

But this wasn’t a case of a disjointed line up rarely spluttering into life. The fact is that Liverpool had more than enough quality out there and they should have won comfortably.

Richard Jolly, for The National, felt the dominance of the display showed the strength in depth Klopp now has:

Similarly, Liverpool could cite the chances as proof of strength in depth after Klopp made seven changes.

Moving onto Klopp’s own performance at Anfield, This Is Anfield’s Jack Lusby noted the German’s slowness in making substitutes:

It can be argued that Klopp could do little to influence the game as, structurally, Liverpool were impressive, simply lacking the quality to kill the game off.

However, he did delay changing the game with his use of substitutes, and Solanke’s cameo hinted that the England U21 striker could have delivered the telling blow if given more time.

And taking an opportunity to discuss the squad, Maddock felt Klopp should have signed a specialist “stopper” style defender to use in such games:

One way would be to bring in an out and out stopper, someone who could have cleaned out Chris Wood and the ball during the move from which Burnley opened the scoring (with their first attack btw, which also seems to happen often).

The watching journalists were full of praise for Mohamed Salah for the way the Egyptian tried to deliver in Sadio Mane’s absence.

 Liverpoolís Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the second goal and making the score 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Burnley at Anfield. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

Firstly, Bascombe believes Mane’s loss could be more damaging than initially thought:

When Liverpool lost Mane for a month last January, he returned to find his side had fallen off the pace in the Premier League.

With others sprinting out of the starting blocks this season, even the briefest absence of their key player may leave them playing catch-up earlier than expected.

Kelly labelled Salah “easily Liverpool’s best player” and feels the Egyptian is proving a bargain:

Yet even at a minimum of £36.9m – we might as well pay the add-ons now too – he’s beginning to look like an absolute bargain.

In the absence of Sadio Mane, it was to Salah that Liverpool looked to provide that ‘something else’ to break down a Burnley defence that was as well-stocked as everyone expected. He was easily the Reds’ best player.

Though Salah shone, This Is Anfield’s James Nalton pondered whether Liverpool needed more than just the ex-Roma forward to help break defensive opponents:

After a summer when the aim was to use the transfer market to solve this issue, maybe Salah alone wasn’t enough.

Turning the focus to other individual performances, Price felt Philippe Coutinho was too eager to make an impression:

If anything, he was trying too hard to repay that support, often forcing the issue too much. There were times when he tried to play through balls through a closed gap, or looking to shoot when a pass would have been more appropriate.

However, Henson praised Coutinho’s efforts in trying to take responsibility:

Afforded a deeper role behind the attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Salah, he was as industrious as he was inventive.

[…]

Like his team though, his finishing was not good enough to convert pressure into a lead.

Finally, Lusby felt Alexander-Arnold struggled defensively and offensively:

Unfortunately, the academy graduate showed his inexperience, with Alexander-Arnold at fault in the buildup to Burnley‘s goal and his final ball typically lacking in attack.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Robertson focused on bouncing back at Leicester

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 10:36
Andy Robertson is keen to make up for the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley by helping Liverpool return to winning ways against Leicester City next week.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Robertson focused on bouncing back at Leicester

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 10:36

Andy Robertson is keen to make up for the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley by helping Liverpool return to winning ways against Leicester City next week.

Despite dominating the game from start to finish, the Reds were forced to settle for a point as Sean Dyche’s team held out for an hour after Mohamed Salah had cancelled out Scott Arfield’s opening goal at Anfield.

Jürgen Klopp’s side now face the prospect of two trips to Leicester in the space of five days, with Tuesday’s Carabao Cup third-round tie preceding a Premier League meeting at the King Power Stadium next weekend.

And Robertson is grateful that Liverpool have the opportunity to get the disappointment of their clash with the Clarets out of their system quickly.

“Of course, that’s the beauty of football and especially playing for a top club like this then you’re playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, and if you have a bad afternoon or a bad night then you’ve got time to put it right,” the Scotland international told Liverpoolfc.com.

“We’ve got a game on Tuesday in the cup and then another league game against Leicester, so it’s important we get back to winning ways and this whole week we’ll be focusing on that.”

Reflecting on the performance and result against Burnley, a game that involved the Reds having 35 attempts on goal, Robertson said: “From the get-go we knew it was going to be a frustrating afternoon. 

“You know what Burnley give, they don’t change the way they play and at the end of the day, like the manager said before the game, it’s effective and they’re really good at it. 

“So we knew it was going to be frustrating and then it kept on going that way, the goalkeeper’s made some magnificent saves today and we’ve just not got the rub of the green. Sometimes that’s what you need, but I don’t think we were good enough today.”

Watch: Robertson looks ahead to Leicester

Substitute Dominic Solanke came closest to snatching a winner for the Reds when he hit the crossbar from close range in the 86th minute, while Salah saw two claims for a penalty waved away by the referee.

Robertson continued: “I think Mo said at half-time that he didn’t feel the first one was a penalty, I think the guy did well to get a block in, but he came in at the end of the game and he’s adamant that the second one’s a penalty.

“I was too far away, it looked like a penalty from where I was, but the referee obviously didn’t see it. 

“We need to move on from that, but we did make a few good chances. Dom’s one I thought was in all the way, and like I said the ‘keeper’s made an unbelievable save, but we need to do more, put them under more pressure and their goal could probably have been avoided as well.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Matip: We did a lot of good things but not enough

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 10:31
Joel Matip believes Liverpool did 'a lot of good things' during a frustrating 1-1 draw with Burnley at Anfield on Saturday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Matip: We did a lot of good things but not enough

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 10:31

Joel Matip believes Liverpool did 'a lot of good things' during a frustrating 1-1 draw with Burnley at Anfield on Saturday.

But the defender is already eyeing the Reds' next outing, where he wants to see even more positive moments from his teammates and, consequently, an improved result.

Jürgen Klopp's team dominated their meeting with the Clarets, enjoying 71 per cent of the possession and taking 35 shots to their opponents' five.

But they fell short after Mohamed Salah cancelled out Scott Arfield's opener, failing to capitalise on the numerous opportunities they subsequently created.

"It was a tough game and I think we deserved more but we have to handle this and we're [already] looking forward to the next game," Matip told Liverpoolfc.com.

"We did a lot of good things but not enough. But we are on a good way and maybe next time we score that one goal more than the other team.

"The whole game we created a few chances but we didn't use them and they scored one time. [It was] a tough day and we have to learn from this again."

LFCTV GO: Matip discusses Burnley draw

The visitors took a direct approach to goal throughout, with Chris Wood posing a physical threat that at times troubled Matip and his fellow centre-half Ragnar Klavan.

On that aspect of Burnley's tactics, the No.32 added: "You know what they do but they train this really often so they know how to do it and it's still difficult, even if you know before.

"They did what they wanted to do well so it was hard for us.

"It wasn't easy but we had to go for the second ball. It was a really difficult challenge against him."

Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC 1-1 Burnley: Watch action and reaction on LFCTV GO

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 02:00
Mohamed Salah was on the mark as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley at Anfield on Saturday - LFCTV GO subscribers can now watch all the action and reaction on demand.
Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC 1-1 Burnley: Watch action and reaction on LFCTV GO

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 17/09/2017 - 02:00
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Premier League 16th September 2017

ALL THE ACTION

LFC v Burnley: Full Match

Watch all 90 minutes of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Burnley at Anfield.

16th Sep 2017

103:00 mins

LFC v Burnley: Highlights

Watch extended highlights of Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Burnley at Anfield.

16th Sep 2017

10:31 mins

LFC v Burnley: 90 Seconds

Watch quick-fire highlights of Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Burnley at Anfield.

16th Sep 2017

1:31 mins

So close! Crossbar denies Solanke a late winner

Dominic Solanke goes close to scoring the winner after great play by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

16th Sep 2017

0:34 mins

FREE

Salah lashes home to bring Liverpool level

Mohammed Salah latches on to Emre Can's pass before firing the ball past Nick Pope and into the Burnley net.

16th Sep 2017

1:16 mins

Arfield fires Burnley ahead

Scott Arfield rifles in a low drive from the edge of the Liverpool penalty area to give Burnley a first half lead.

16th Sep 2017

1:19 mins

Inside Training: Goals galore in small-sided training games

Watch an extended clip from the Reds' training session ahead of the clash against Burnley

15th Sep 2017

3:36 mins

INTERVIEWS & ANALYSIS

Jürgen Klopp's post-Burnley press conference in full

The boss on Burnley draw, the Reds defending and Coutinho.

16th Sep 2017

5:25 mins

Jürgen Klopp delivers his verdict on Burnley draw

Jürgen Klopp speaks to LFCTV after the Reds endured a frustrating afternoon against Burnley at Anfield.

16th Sep 2017

3:17 mins

Gini on Burnley, patience and goalscoring

Gini Wijnaldum looks ahead to the game against Burnley and wanting to find the scoring touch again

16th Sep 2017

5:04 mins

Klopp's pre-Burnley press conference in full

Watch as the boss addresses the press ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash against the Clarets

15th Sep 2017

16:15 mins

FREE

Klopp on Coutinho reception and whether he can start against Burnley

Jürgen Klopp speaks about Coutinho's return to action and his availability for the game at the weekend

15th Sep 2017

1:04 mins

FREE

Klopp's update on Lallana, Clyne and Ings availability

Jürgen Klopp gives a brief update on the injury situation of three players

15th Sep 2017

0:52 mins

FREE

WATCH MORE

Categories: LFC NEWS

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