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Injured Salah out of Egypt squad

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 18:45
Salah pictured in Cairo wearing protective boot; Liverpool next in action at Crystal Palace on November 23 By James Dale

Last Updated: 12/11/19 8:23pm

Mohamed Salah has been suffering with an ankle injury Mohamed Salah has been suffering with an ankle injury Mohamed Salah has been suffering with an ankle injury

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been ruled out of Egypt's upcoming matches against Kenya and Comoros with an ankle injury.

Egypt confirmed Salah's absence with pictures of the forward wearing a protective boot on his left ankle.

 Egypt FA)  Egypt FA) Mohamed Salah wearing a protective boot as he is sidelined from Egypt training (pic: Egypt FA)

Salah scored in Liverpool's 3-1 win over Manchester City on Sunday before being taken off in the 87th minute.

He has been suffering with ongoing soreness in his ankle since the win over Leicester on October 5, and had to be substituted towards the end of the 2-1 win over Tottenham two weeks ago.

Salah had indicated his desire to play for his country, the Egyptian Football Association said, but was ruled out following a meeting between the national team doctor, head coach and captain.

3:00 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield

He met up with the Egypt squad in Cairo on Tuesday morning and underwent tests, the EFA said in a statement.

Liverpool's next match is away to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on November 23.

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Duckenfield 'had the experience for Hillsborough role'

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 16:35
By PA Sport

Last Updated: 12/11/19 4:57pm

David Duckenfield denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters David Duckenfield denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters David Duckenfield denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters

Hillsborough match commander David Duckenfield would have been capable of taking on the role if he had prepared "fully and diligently", his trial has heard.

The 75-year-old retired chief superintendent, who denies the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters, was promoted to the role less than three weeks before taking charge of the FA Cup semi-final on April 15 1989, Preston Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Douglas Hopkins, a former police officer who commanded matches at Arsenal's Highbury ground in the 1980s, said Duckenfield was experienced enough for the role.

He said: "Having read his CV and heard what was said about him, his experience should have made him capable of taking on the role of match commander, subject to him having prepared himself fully and diligently."

He said it may have been more appropriate for Duckenfield's predecessor Brian Mole, who commanded semi-finals at the Sheffield Wednesday ground in 1987 and 1988, to take the role but there was no reason for Duckenfield not to do it.

Asked by Richard Matthews QC, prosecuting, if Duckenfield fell short of a reasonably competent match commander, he said: "That's my opinion, sir."

Mr Hopkins, who worked for the Football Association as a crowd control adviser after retiring from the Met Police, said Duckenfield should have paid attention to an area of 23 turnstiles for more than 24,000 Liverpool fans at Leppings Lane.

He said: "I think that's an area a reasonably competent match commander would have concentrated on and would have known a lot about and would have made contingency plans to deal with whatever occurred there."

Mr Hopkins said by 2.30pm, half-an-hour before kick-off, the situation outside the turnstiles was becoming "critical".

He said: "I would anticipate a reasonably competent match commander would be concerned by 2.30pm about a rapidly growing crowd at Leppings Lane turnstiles."

He told the court extra officers could have been deployed to the area and consideration could have been given to delaying the kick-off or opening an exit gate for a controlled entry of fans, with police and stewards to check tickets.

Benjamin Myers QC, defending Duckenfield, suggested Mr Hopkins' opinions were "pure hindsight".

Mr Hopkins said: "You can browbeat me all you like, Mr Myers, I do not agree. It is not hindsight."

The court has heard that Duckenfield, of Bournemouth, ordered the opening of exit gates after crowds built up outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles, allowing those outside to head down the central tunnel to the pens where the fatal crush
happened.

Ninety-six men, women and children died following the crush on the terrace at the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution for the death of the 96th victim, Tony Bland, as he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused.

The court was adjourned until Wednesday.

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Klopp calls for change to VAR system

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 06:35
Klopp on VAR: "It will never be 100 per cent accurate, everybody knows that. But there are a couple of things that are not right."

Last Updated: 12/11/19 7:20am

0:42 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left confused when a reporter asked him if he had spoken to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was left confused when a reporter asked him if he had spoken to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has used a UEFA coaches' conference to call for change to the VAR system.

A host of leading European managers attended the summit at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, including Klopp and Manchester City rival Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola was left fuming after Liverpool's VAR-assisted 3-1 defeat of his side on Sunday, in which City had two penalty appeals rejected.

While Klopp was the beneficiary, the German insisted at Monday's summit the use of VAR had to be improved, a point he said he and Guardiola had agreed on after a discussion following Sunday's game.

0:56 It appeared that the ball struck the arm of Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in the penalty area before the Reds broke and scored the opening goal from Fabinho, but VAR ruled it not to be handball. It appeared that the ball struck the arm of Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in the penalty area before the Reds broke and scored the opening goal from Fabinho, but VAR ruled it not to be handball.

"VAR can be improved, it can. It will never be 100 per cent accurate, everybody knows that. But there are a couple of things that are not right," Klopp told the conference.

"With VAR, handball, offside, it is clear we have to keep on improving.

"There were good ideas from UEFA (about) how we can sort things from the referees, so everybody is in on it.

"There is still space for mistakes. These things are done by human beings and none of us is perfect. Nobody is asking for perfection, you just want to have the right decisions."

Klopp also voiced his concerns over the increasingly-crowded fixture programme, saying: "The discussions on that are really important and we have to start them."

Also attending the summit were managers including Arsenal's Unai Emery, former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, Ajax's Erik ten Hag, and Paris-Saint Germain's Thomas Tuchel.

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Sterling dropped after Gomez England 'disturbance'

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 23:12
Sterling not considered for selection for Montenegro game on Thursday after St George's Park incident

Last Updated: 12/11/19 12:21am

Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez square up to each other at Anfield Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez square up to each other at Anfield Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez square up to each other at Anfield

Raheem Sterling will not play in England's European Qualifier against Montenegro on Thursday due to a disturbance at their St George’s Park training complex.

England manager Gareth Southgate said that "emotions were still raw" after Sterling was involved in a clash with Joe Gomez towards the end of Liverpool's 3-1 win over Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Sunday.

It is understood the pair were again involved after meeting up for England duty on Monday, leading to Sterling's withdrawal from selection for the game with Montenegro at Wembley.

Joe Gomez pushes Raheem Sterling away after the pair squared up at Anfield Joe Gomez pushes Raheem Sterling away after the pair squared up at Anfield Joe Gomez pushes Raheem Sterling away after the pair squared up at Anfield

No details of the incident were revealed, although the FA confirmed Sterling remains with the squad following the "disturbance in a private team area."

Southgate said: "We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday.

3:00 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield. FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield.

"One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we've been able to separate club rivalries from the national team. Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday's game were still raw.

"My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken. Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it's important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night."

England play Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday before facing Kosovo away on Sunday, knowing just a point from the two games will be enough to see them qualify for Euro 2020.

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Van Dijk: Last year's title race will help

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 23:00
By PA Media

Last Updated: 11/11/19 11:47pm

Virgil Van Dijk is confident Liverpool can use last season's title race experience to their advantage Virgil Van Dijk is confident Liverpool can use last season's title race experience to their advantage Virgil Van Dijk is confident Liverpool can use last season's title race experience to their advantage

Virgil van Dijk has no regrets about how last season's Premier League title race panned out as he believes Liverpool learned enough from the experience for it to make a difference second time around.

Despite holding, albeit for just 24 hours, a 10-point lead last December and taking 31 points from a possible 33 in their final 11 matches of the campaign, the Reds lost out on a first championship since 1990 by one point after Manchester City rattled off 14 successive victories during the run-in.

Liverpool's 3-1 victory over City at Anfield on Sunday opened up a nine-point advantage over the champions, who have dropped to fourth, and eight over Leicester and Chelsea.

"We took a lot of experience last year. Good things, but also some things we should have done better," Van Dijk said.

0:45 Virgil van Dijk says they are happy to be eight points clear at the top of the table, but says there's a long way to go in the title race. Virgil van Dijk says they are happy to be eight points clear at the top of the table, but says there's a long way to go in the title race.

"We did everything possible. We shouldn't have any regrets from last year.

"They (City) were just outstanding. We kept pushing them and they kept pushing us and you have to respect that, I certainly do.

"This year is a new chance for more teams, for both of us and the only focus is the game ahead of us.

"We have so many difficult periods of games with so many competitions, travelling and hopefully no injuries, no illness, so anything can happen.

"Hopefully we can only make sure we react better and do better. You need to have that bit of luck as well throughout the whole season so at the moment we are very happy in the situation."

3:00 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield. FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield.

Liverpool have opened up an eight-point gap at the summit after taking 34 points from the first 36 available.

Only two other sides - Manchester United in 1993 and City in 2017 - have held similar Premier League advantages at this stage and both went on to win the title.

But with Leicester and Chelsea separating the two title favourites in the table, Van Dijk was asked whether there is now a four-horse race for the title.

"I don't know. That is something for you guys to put out in the media," Van Dijk said.

"They have been doing very well and even if you look at Sheffield United, they are a very difficult team to beat.

"I know, everyone here as well knows as well, how difficult this year will be so we shouldn't look too much at other teams."

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Fifteen minutes that may have decided title

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 16:29
Nick Wright

Comment and Analysis @nicholaspwright

Liverpool's 3-1 win at Anfield put them nine points clear of Manchester City on Super Sunday

Last Updated: 11/11/19 11:09pm

Fabinho's opener quickly followed the controversial decision not to award Man City a penalty
Fabinho's opener quickly followed the controversial decision not to award Man City a penalty
Fabinho's opener quickly followed the controversial decision not to award Man City a penalty

Two sucker-punch goals from Liverpool. One controversial handball decision against Manchester City. Could the opening 15 minutes at Anfield on Sunday come to define this year's Premier League title race?

Liverpool's 3-1 win put them nine points clear of the reigning champions, and the crucial moments all occurred in a breathless early spell during which Fabinho's stunning strike put the hosts in front shortly after City had been denied a spot-kick, with Mohamed Salah then scoring a clinical second goal which came out of nothing in the 13th minute.

Here, we provide a detailed blow-by-blow account of how City dominated the opening exchanges, how the key decision went against them, and how their ruthless opponents took full advantage...

Atmosphere builds as kick-off approaches

The players emerge from the tunnel to a loud roar from around the stadium, and the usual pre-match handshakes are followed by a belting rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone.

In the City half, Kevin De Bruyne - who told Sky Sports he "loves" playing at Anfield in the build-up to the game - can be seen clapping his hands together and geeing up his team-mates. It is a fevered atmosphere and, once a respectfully observed minute's silence to mark Remembrance Day is over, the volume becomes even louder.

First minute: City show no fear

Despite the hostility of the crowd, and the deafening whistles which soundtrack their early possession, City start confidently.

They are straight onto the front foot, working the ball forward on the right-hand side, where De Bruyne wins the first corner of the game off Fabinho in front of the Kop.

Second minute: Liverpool pinned back

The corner comes to nothing, but Liverpool still can't get a foot on the ball.

City pin the hosts in as Andrew Robertson tries to find team-mate from a throw-in, and the ball is swiftly back in their possession as they probe on the opposite flank this time. "They've started pretty well, City," says Gary Neville as Sterling charges down a long pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

A reverse camera angle shows Michael Oliver had a clear view of the penalty incident, while Raheem Sterling waited at the far post A reverse camera angle shows Michael Oliver had a clear view of the penalty incident, while Raheem Sterling waited at the far post A reverse camera angle shows Michael Oliver had a clear view of the penalty incident, while Raheem Sterling waited at the far post

As the clock ticks into the fourth minute, Liverpool are still yet to string more than a couple of passes together - or even make it out of their half.

Alisson Becker can be heard bellowing "organise" as they concede another corner immediately after a free-kick, but John Stones is able to rise above Dejan Lovren and flick a header towards the far post. He throws his hands down in frustration as he sees nobody there to meet it.

"He's furious, John Stones, and he has every right to be," says Neville. "That's a space that should always be filled on a corner, the back post."

It is a let-off for Liverpool and the first real sign of City danger.

Fifth minute: The penalty incident

Liverpool have a chance to gather themselves, but their lack of composure is obvious.

Alexander-Arnold, who is having a difficult start, sees another pass cut out by Raheem Sterling deep in his own half. Alisson then miskicks a pass to Virgil van Dijk on the edge of the home side's box and the normally cool-headed Dutchman shanks his clearance.

0:56 Watch the incident as the ball strikes Trent Alexander-Arnold's arm Watch the incident as the ball strikes Trent Alexander-Arnold's arm

Liverpool do eventually work it forward, but their first foray into the City half ends when a Sadio Mane pass falls straight to Kyle Walker.

That's where the move which leads to the game's major flashpoint begins.

Stones rolls the ball back to Claudio Bravo and the stand-in goalkeeper, who would be heavily criticised for his subsequent performance, calmly clips the ball back to the City centre-back despite Mane's best efforts to charge him down.

Stones lifts a pass down the right flank to Bernardo Silva, who uses a combination of his chest and knee to get the ball under control, turning as he does so and directing a looping pass over the top of the Liverpool defence towards De Bruyne, who is running in behind Van Dijk.

The Liverpool centre-back, still struggling to get to grips with the game, then makes a mess of his attempted clearance. Bernardo, his impressive anticipation summing up City's alertness in the early stages, takes the ball on his chest and sprints into the box.

Then it happens: His deflected pass inside strikes Alexander-Arnold on the arm. And while it strikes Bernardo's on the way there, it's Alexander-Arnold's which appears to be in an unnatural position.

Sixth minute: Twenty-two crazy seconds

There are instant shouts of handball from the away end and, down on the pitch, a furious Sergio Aguero leads the protests, running straight to Michael Oliver after he turns the appeal down.

City's anger is compounded by the fact that Sterling was unmarked at the far post, waiting to pounce.

A reverse camera angle shows Michael Oliver had a clear view of the penalty incident, while Raheem Sterling waited at the far post A reverse camera angle shows Michael Oliver had a clear view of the penalty incident, while Raheem Sterling waited at the far post A reverse camera angle shows Michael Oliver had a clear view of the penalty incident, while Raheem Sterling waited at the far post

"You can see Sterling coming in at the back post," says Jamie Carragher. "There's no doubt it stops the ball coming across to him."

At this point, however, as City's focus wavers, Liverpool spring into life. Mane, stationed just inside the Liverpool half, pulls to left flank and calls for the ball from Robertson, who, having received it from Van Dijk, slides a perfectly-weighted pass right into his path.

Angelino cuts out the Senegal international's subsequent cross, but Ilkay Gundogan gets in his way and the German's toe-poked clearance roles invitingly to the unmarked Fabinho. He takes a touch and, with his next one, unleashes a ferocious drive which beats the despairing Bravo.

The ball hits the back of the City net just 22 seconds after it had struck Alexander-Arnold's arm at the other end of the pitch.

The VAR check

As Fabinho wheels away in celebration, Oliver is already being surrounded by blue and red shirts. There is pushing and shoving as tensions threaten to boil over.

All the while, the handball is being checked by the game's designated VAR, Paul Tierney, back in Stockley Park.

Gary Neville says the goal will stand, the stadium announcer does the same and then, with the clock reading six minutes and 18 seconds, just 75 seconds after the incident, Oliver blows his whistle to confirm the decision.

The goal stands. Anfield erupts for a second time.

Eighth minute: City keep coming

It is a huge setback for City, but they do not lose their heads. Instead, they keep coming forward.

Alexander-Arnold concedes another free-kick in a dangerous area on the left, but an unmarked Sterling can only direct his header wide from De Bruyne's inswinging delivery.

"What a chance," says Neville on the gantry. "Liverpool have made a great start in terms of the scoreline, but in terms of keeping the ball, they look very anxious," adds Carragher as Alexander-Arnold, under pressure from Sterling yet again, sends a wayward pass into the stands.

10th minute: Reds show first signs of improvement

Liverpool then have an opportunity to press City at the other end, with Fernandinho duly overhitting a pass for Angelino to concede a throw-in in the visitors' territory.

It is greeted with cheers from the home fans and Jurgen Klopp's side subsequently enjoy their first real spell of possession of the game, stroking the ball around at the back as they attempt to take the sting out of the game.

12th minute: The second sucker-punch

Soon enough, though, the momentum seems to be back with City. De Bruyne sends over another delicious cross from yet another set-piece - this time on City's right flank - but Aguero, again unmarked, somehow fails to make a connection and Stones, sliding in behind him, narrowly misses it too.

"Why didn't Aguero head it?" asks Neville. "Another big chance City have missed," adds Carragher.

3:00 Full highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City Full highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City

Liverpool then begin another spell of possession, stroking the ball around the back with the kind of composure they previously lacked. A long ball forward from Dejan Lovren is then headed clear by Angelino, but it falls straight to Fabinho, who plays a short pass to Alexander-Arnold.

The 21-year-old was still struggling at this point, unable to evade Sterling's pressure, but this time he has a yard of space. He shifts the ball onto his weaker foot and, spotting Robertson, who has momentarily has lost Bernardo Silva on the opposite flank, he pings a raking, 60-yard pass into his path.

Trent Alexander-Arnold switched the play to Andrew Robertson, with Mohamed Salah running in behind the Manchester City defence to meet his cross Trent Alexander-Arnold switched the play to Andrew Robertson, with Mohamed Salah running in behind the Manchester City defence to meet his cross Trent Alexander-Arnold switched the play to Andrew Robertson, with Mohamed Salah running in behind the Manchester City defence to meet his cross

Over on Liverpool's right flank, Salah, anticipating what was to come, could already be seen manoeuvring into position when Alexander-Arnold received the ball from Fabinho.

First, he pulled into the space vacated by Angelino when the City left-back sprang forward to close down Jordan Henderson, who he anticipated might receive the ball from Alexander-Arnold.

Then, having eluded both Angelino and Fernandinho, Salah began a diagonal run towards goal, raising his right hand to alert Robertson and then meeting the Scot's superb cross with a header which beats Bravo and nestles into the bottom corner.

"He gets into a great position Salah, in between Fernandinho and Angelino," says Neville on the gantry.

For City, it is another brutal sucker-punch, this time coming just 66 seconds after De Bruyne's free-kick so narrowly eluded Aguero and Stones at the other end.

There is a VAR check for offside - replays show the margin could hardly have been finer - but just like last time, the goal stands.

15th minute: City stunned

On the City bench, Guardiola collapses into his seat, his exasperation clear to see. His side have dominated possession and territory, playing with personality and bravery in a relentlessly hostile environment, but Liverpool have been utterly ruthless.

"They have had two passages of play and they've scored two goals," says Carragher.

Immediately after the second goal, Liverpool's intensity increases and City's momentum stalls. This time, there is no immediate recovery from Guardiola's men.

Liverpool are the ones dominating the ball now, with City's loss of composure summed up by a panicked clearance from Angelino where, a few minutes earlier, he might have tried to find a pass.

City would recover their poise later in the game, of course but the damage was already done. Those frantic 15 minutes could come to define this year's title race.

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It feels like Liverpool's year

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 20:52
Nick Wright

Comment and Analysis @nicholaspwright

Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were on target as Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield

Last Updated: 10/11/19 9:00pm

Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield

A title race can hinge on the smallest of moments.

What if, in January, John Stones had been a fraction of a second later to the goalline clearance which prevented Liverpool from going in front at the Etihad Stadium? Would Manchester City have gone on to win the game 2-1? Would they have gone on from there to retain the Premier League crown?

Liverpool looked back ruefully on that moment when City finished a point ahead of them in May. Perhaps this time, City will reflect on the decision not to award them a penalty when the ball struck Trent Alexander-Arnold's arm in the early stages of Saturday's meeting at Anfield in the same way.

Twenty-two seconds later, of course, Fabinho met Ilkay Gundogan's poor clearance down at the other end with the stunning drive which put Liverpool in front. It was a setback from which City did not recover. The 3-1 defeat leaves them nine points behind Jurgen Klopp's side and adds to the growing feeling that, finally, this might be Liverpool's year.

3:00 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City

Liverpool have now taken 34 points from a possible 36 this season. Include the final nine Premier League games of the last campaign and they have won 20 of the last 21. Their eight-point lead at the top of the table is the biggest at this stage of a season since Manchester United in 1993/94. Sir Alex Ferguson's side went on to win the title by eight points that year.

It is an encouraging omen and, penalty or not, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see quite how anybody will stop them. Even in the last few weeks, when their performance levels have dipped and they have been confronted by adversity in games against Leicester, Tottenham and Aston Villa, they have shown the persistence and powers of recovery needed to pull them through.

There has been good fortune along the way too, of course, but that only adds to the aura around this side right now and their performance against City on Sunday was the latest reminder of just how devastating they can be when they hit their stride.

 Liverpool have taken 34 points from a possible 36 this season  Liverpool have taken 34 points from a possible 36 this season Liverpool have taken 34 points from a possible 36 this season

It was the second goal, headed home by Mohamed Salah from a sublime ball by Andrew Robertson, who had been picked out by an even better one from Trent Alexander-Arnold, which showed Liverpool at their best. But the other two were perhaps more fitting for this side.

After all, when Fabinho can conjure up a strike like that, and when Jordan Henderson - your other workmanlike midfielder - can produce a cross with the quality of his assist for Sadio Mane's goal, then you know something special is happening. The belief coursing through this team is plain to see.

It should be noted, of course, that this Manchester City side have been here before. Last season, they found themselves 10 points behind Liverpool at the end of December. It required a gargantuan effort to overhaul them, with City winning 18 of their remaining 19 games.

But do they have it in them to claw back the deficit again?

Pep Guardiola described their performance as "incredible" in his post-match interview with Sky Sports at Anfield, insisting this title race is by no means over, but while it's true that City created plenty of chances, their issues at the other end mean the relentless form of their rivals is far from their only problem.

Their back four of Kyle Walker, John Stones, Fernandinho and Angelino struggled badly, their panic apparent not just in the routine passes they sent astray but in their body language too. There were rushed clearances, missed challenges and, at one point in the first-half, even a full-blown argument between Walker and Stones.

Andrew Robertson provided the assist for the opener Andrew Robertson provided the assist for the opener Andrew Robertson provided the assist for the opener

Ederson's absence in goal compounded matters and, with Aymeric Laporte unlikely to return for several months yet, City's prospects do not look bright. They are without a clean sheet in four games. They have conceded nearly three times as many goals as at the same stage of last season.

"The big mistake was not replacing the man in the studio, Vincent Kompany," observed Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports.

As well as lacking depth at centre-back, it appears Guardiola does not trust the players brought in to take City forward at full-back. Joao Cancelo was an unused substitute at Anfield while Benjamin Mendy did not even make the squad. "You've got £100m of full-backs who aren't playing through choice," said Gary Neville. "Pep Guardiola has no excuse."

It makes that nine-point gap even more daunting for City, who could find themselves even further back if they fail to beat Chelsea after the international break. And while the January transfer window will present an opportunity to sign an overdue alternative to Laporte, there are a further eight Premier League games to get through before then.

A lot can happen in that time. Liverpool are well aware of just how quickly things can change. But they also know that small moments like Sunday's can make big differences. They will take some stopping now.

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Pep: We showed why we are champions

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 19:24
Ben Grounds

@Ben_Islington

Guardiola: "In this stadium with the way we played was incredible and I’m proud of my team more than ever"

Last Updated: 10/11/19 9:07pm

5:04 Pep Guardiola said his side's 'awesome' performance at Anfield showed why they are back-to-back Premier League champions Pep Guardiola said his side's 'awesome' performance at Anfield showed why they are back-to-back Premier League champions

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has come out in defence of his team, describing them as "incredible" despite slipping nine points behind Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp's side laid down a significant marker in their bid to win a first league title in 30 years by beating the defending champions 3-1 at Anfield on Renault Super Sunday.

Liverpool surrendered a 10-point lead to City last season but head into the international break in a commanding position, with Guardiola's team slipping to fourth in the table.

0:56 It appeared the ball struck the arm of Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in the penalty area before the hosts broke and scored the opening goal from Fabinho, but VAR ruled it not to be handball It appeared the ball struck the arm of Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in the penalty area before the hosts broke and scored the opening goal from Fabinho, but VAR ruled it not to be handball

City's miserable run at Anfield - one win in 29 visits - continued in a match which left their manager raging at some controversial VAR calls.

Fabinho broke the deadlock as City were still disputing a handball by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the penalty area, as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane put the game out of sight before Bernardo Silva's late consolation.

'We showed why we are back-to-back champions'

"What happened today is we showed why we are the champions," Guardiola said. "In this stadium with the way we played was incredible and I'm proud of my team more than ever.

"We put in an incredible performance in this stadium against the best team in Europe and with the way we played, I'm so proud. We played so good.

0:50 Pep Guardiola approached referee Michael Oliver at full-time for a discussion Pep Guardiola approached referee Michael Oliver at full-time for a discussion

"We are playing in the way which shows why we are back-to-back champions.

"There are still seven months and if Liverpool win [the Premier League], I will be the first to congratulate them because we cannot deny how good they are, but they way they play, they create the chances with this personality to play all the time."

Can Man City still win the title? 5:13 Jose Mourinho and Roy Keane believe that the title race is 'done' as Liverpool now have a eight point advantage on title rivals Man City, however Vincent Kompany believes there is still more drama to come. Jose Mourinho and Roy Keane believe that the title race is 'done' as Liverpool now have a eight point advantage on title rivals Man City, however Vincent Kompany believes there is still more drama to come.

Guardiola said: "I don't know. I am not a magician I don't know the future. Now it is the national team, hopefully they come back, the people with injuries come back and it is Chelsea at home next, we will try to beat them.

"There are three teams in front of us that have more chances to be champions than us so we're going to try. In football, you can't always win. Here at Anfield, it's so nice and I'm so proud to see my team play in this stadium against this team and playing in that way."

3:00 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield Should City have had a penalty?

The City boss added: "Please ask the referees [about the handball before the opening goal], please don't ask me. Ask this question to Mike Riley and the guys doing VAR, but don't ask me."

Guardiola approached referee Michael Oliver and his assistants at full-time to shake their hands, but denied it was a sarcastic gesture.

Guardiola felt there were two moments when his side could have been awarded a penalty Guardiola felt there were two moments when his side could have been awarded a penalty Guardiola felt there were two moments when his side could have been awarded a penalty The City boss expresses his anger at seeing his team not win a penalty The City boss expresses his anger at seeing his team not win a penalty The City boss expresses his anger at seeing his team not win a penalty

"No way. I congratulate them. I'm so polite and I didn't say anything here," he said.

"We tried to do our job and I'd like to talk about the performance, which was so good.

"I know the teams that come here and play for respect from Anfield and with the problems we have in the squad and the way we played, it was awesome. One of the best performances we have played.

Alexander-Arnold: You have to carry on playing Trent Alexander-Arnold was fortunate not to be penalised for handball Trent Alexander-Arnold was fortunate not to be penalised for handball Trent Alexander-Arnold was fortunate not to be penalised for handball

Alexander-Arnold told Sky Sports afterwards: "Obviously, there's VAR and it has hit my arm. I think it might have hit Bernardo Silva's first.

"But it's one of them where you have to carry on playing.

"We went down the other end and punished them. They were complaining about the goal, but it was a wonderful strike from Fabinho."

POLL: Should City have had a penalty?

Now it is your turn to have your say...

What's next? Man City vs Chelsea

November 23, 2019, 5:00pm

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Liverpool and Manchester City resume their domestic campaigns after the international break on November 23, with the Reds travelling to Crystal Palace at 3pm before champions City host Chelsea on Saturday Night Football at 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm.

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Liverpool stun City to move eight clear

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 18:29
Report and highlights as Liverpool move nine points clear of fourth-placed Manchester City By Oliver Yew

Last Updated: 10/11/19 8:58pm

3:00 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's thrilling victory over Manchester City at Anfield

Liverpool laid down a significant marker in their bid to win a first league title in 30 years by beating champions Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield on Renault Super Sunday.

The roof was lifted off Anfield as early as the sixth minute when Fabinho drilled the ball past Claudio Bravo from 30 yards, but the goal was shrouded in controversy as City thought they should have had a penalty moments earlier when the ball struck Trent Alexander-Arnold's arm in the penalty area.

VAR checked the incident, but the goal stood to bring another huge roar from the Anfield faithful.

0:56 It appeared that the ball struck the arm of Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in the penalty area before the Reds broke and scored the opening goal from Fabinho, but VAR ruled it not to be handball It appeared that the ball struck the arm of Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in the penalty area before the Reds broke and scored the opening goal from Fabinho, but VAR ruled it not to be handball

It was not long before Anfield erupted again as Mohamed Salah headed home Andrew Robertson's brilliant cross in the 13th minute to double the hosts' advantage and they had a third goal six minutes after half-time, with Claudio Bravo failing to keep out Sadio Mane's header at the back post.

Bernardo Silva's low shot found the bottom corner 12 minutes from time, but it was too little too late for City, who now find themselves nine points behind Jurgen Klopp's side in fourth.

Liverpool's title to win?

Liverpool have won 11 of their first 12 Premier League games this season and lead the table by eight points - only Manchester United in 1993/94 have had a bigger lead after 12 games of a Premier League season (nine points).

Liverpool, who surrendered a 10-point lead to City last season, head into the international break sitting pretty at the top of the table, but they will know the job of bringing the Premier League title to Anfield is far from done with 26 games still left to play.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Alisson (8), Alexander-Arnold (8), Van Dijk (8), Lovren (7), Robertson (8), Fabinho (9), Wijnaldum (7), Henderson (8), Salah (8), Firmino (7), Mane (8).

Subs: Milner (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (n/a), Keita (n/a).

Man City: Bravo (5), Walker (5), Stones (4), Fernandinho (5), Angelino (5), Rodri (5), Gundogan (5), Sterling (6), Bernardo Silva (6), De Bruyne (6), Aguero (5).

Subs: Jesus (6).

Man of the match: Fabinho

How Liverpool stunned City

In what was a blistering start to the game, City were adamant they should have had a penalty when the ball deflected off Bernardo Silva before hitting Alexander-Arnold's hand in the penalty area.

However, play continued when the referee waved away City's appeals and, 22 seconds later, Fabinho's thunderous strike beat Bravo to give the hosts the lead after a VAR check.

Trent Alexander-Arnold appears to handle the  ball against Manchester City Trent Alexander-Arnold appears to handle the  ball against Manchester City Trent Alexander-Arnold appears to handle the ball against Manchester City

Despite Liverpool's fast start, City had immediate chances to respond but Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero failed to convert Kevin De Bruyne's inviting free-kicks.

It proved costly as the hosts doubled their advantage seven minutes after their first. Alexander-Arnold started the attack with an inch-perfect cross-field pass to pick out fellow full-back Robertson, who in turn curled a beautiful cross into the path of Salah.

The Egyptian, who has now been directly involved in 52 goals in just 44 Premier League appearances at Anfield for Liverpool, made no mistake at the far post to send the home fans wild again.

Mohamed Salah scores Liverpool's second goal against Man City Mohamed Salah scores Liverpool's second goal against Man City Mohamed Salah scores Liverpool's second goal against Man City

City created opportunities as they looked for a way back into the game, but Alisson Becker denied Aguero before Angelino's shot was deflected onto the post.

Aguero then found himself one-on-one with Alisson after being released by De Bruyne, but the Argentine striker flashed a shot wide and striking another straight at the goalkeeper as City went into the interval 2-0 down.

 Defeat leaves City nine points behind league leaders Liverpool  Defeat leaves City nine points behind league leaders Liverpool Defeat leaves City nine points behind league leaders Liverpool

City's problems mounted six minutes after the restart when Jordan Henderson's sublime cross picked out Mane at the far post, and the Senegal international squeezed the ball past Bravo at his near post for his seventh league goal of the season.

The visitors, who brought on Gabriel Jesus to replace Aguero, pulled a goal back through Bernardo Silva with 12 minutes remaining to give Guardiola's side a glimmer of hope.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp went with his tried-and-tested big-game line-up for the visit of Manchester City. That meant four changes from the Champions League win over Genk with Andy Robertson returning at left-back, Jordan Henderson coming back into midfield and Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane rejoining the forward line.

City made six changes as Claudio Bravo started in goal for the injured Ederson with three of the back four from Wednesday's Champions League draw against Atalanta altered. John Stones was picked to partner Fernandinho in the centre of defence with Kyle Walker and Angelino, who was making only his second Premier League start.Rodrigo came into midfield with Sergio Aguero preferred up front to Gabriel Jesus.

City thought they should have had a penalty when Sterling's cross hit Alexander-Arnold's arm, but again the referee waved away the claims to leave Guardiola furious on the touchline.

City continued to pin back Liverpool in the final stages as they desperately searched for a miraculous comeback, but Klopp's men saw the game out to strengthen their position at the top of the table.

How the Premier League table looks... POLL: Should City have had a penalty?

Should Liverpool's first goal have been chalked off for a penalty at the other end because of handball by Alexander-Arnold?

Have YOUR say...

Man of the Match - Fabinho

Sky Sports' Gary Neville: "I'm going for the man who scored the first goal, Fabinho. It was a great goal and he's a calming influence for Liverpool in the centre of midfield."

⭐️ Man of the Match, @lfc's Fabinho
45 touches
Completed 30/36 passes
2 shots, 1 on target
2nd goal for the club, 1st since Dec 2018
17 PL starts at Anfield - 17 wins pic.twitter.com/6pzj0RmT4r

— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 10, 2019 Liverpool's long distance success

Fabinho’s goal was Liverpool’s ninth from outside the box in all competitions this season – more than any other Premier League side.

What the managers said…

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "Maturity is very important but for the rest of the season, it depends who is available and who is fit. I have no idea if I've ever had a nine-point lead, it has never been nine points over City, especially after a game against them so it is completely new.

"Each point we have now, we need to go through the most intense period ever for us. You see how Chelsea and Leicester are performing, if we lose today, it is then about five points? After the start we had, five points is nothing. We have to play them again and we don't care about the table or whatever, we just try to do the right things in the specific games and if we can do that, then we are good but we need the boys for that and we have to hope they stay fit."

0:50 Pep Guardiola told referee Michael Oliver 'thank you very much' at full-time in Manchester City's 3-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool after some key decisions went against his side Pep Guardiola told referee Michael Oliver 'thank you very much' at full-time in Manchester City's 3-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool after some key decisions went against his side

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: "What happened today we showed why we are champions, I am so proud of my team, more than ever. We can be proud of how we played against the strongest team in Europe.

"Ask to the referees, don't ask me. Ask to Mike Riley and the guys in VAR. I would like to talk about our performance, it was so good. It was one of the best performances we have played. We played like back-to-back champions. We cannot deny how good Liverpool are but the way we played, the personality, it was good.

"It was quite similar to the Champions League game. It was an incredible situations in that game too but the performance today was so good. Always we try, never give up that is why we are back-to-back champions. Always fight until the end. It is important to grow as a club and as a team. It was an honour for both team to show the Premier League to spectators this type of game."

Opta stats
  • Man City manager Pep Guardiola has lost eight matches in all competitions against Jurgen Klopp - three more than he has against any other manager.
  • This was the second time this season Man City have conceded three goals in a Premier League game (also 3-2 against Norwich) - they only did so once last season, losing 3-2 to Crystal Palace in December 2018.
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 17 home Premier League games against Manchester City (W12 D5 L0) since losing 2-1 in May 2003.
  • Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been involved in 69 goals in 60 appearances at Anfield for the Reds in all competitions (51 goals, 18 assists), scoring in three of his four home appearances against Man City in that time.
  • This was Sergio Aguero's ninth match at Anfield against Liverpool in all competitions for Manchester City - he has never scored there for City, attempting 14 shots without success across those nine games.
What's next? Man City vs Chelsea

November 23, 2019, 5:00pm

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Klopp: Liverpool can't sign Mbappe

Sat, 11/09/2019 - 08:15
Watch Liverpool vs Manchester City on Sunday, live on Sky Sports from 4pm; kick-off at 4:30pm By Joe Shread

Last Updated: 09/11/19 8:17am

Kylian Mbappe has nine goals in 11 games for PSG this season Kylian Mbappe has nine goals in 11 games for PSG this season Kylian Mbappe has nine goals in 11 games for PSG this season

Jurgen Klopp says he is convinced Liverpool no longer have an issue convincing players to join the club - but admits they have no chance of signing Kylian Mbappe.

Speculation in recent weeks has linked Liverpool with a move for the PSG forward, fuelled by the fact their new kit supplier Nike also have a deal with Mbappe.

But when asked about signing the 20-year-old, Klopp said: "Buying this calibre of player is difficult. I don't see any club at the moment who can buy Kylian Mbappe from PSG.

"I don't see any club; that is how it is. And we are involved in the clubs that cannot do it. It is as easy as that.

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November 10, 2019, 4:00pm

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"OK, from a sporting point of view, there are not a lot of reasons to not sign him. What a player he is.

"But it is about the money, of course. No chance. Absolutely no chance. Sorry for killing that story!"

While he does not believe they can afford Mbappe, Klopp thinks Liverpool's improvement in recent seasons has increased their chances of signing the best players.

1:11 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged fans to give Manchester City's team bus a peaceful welcome to the stadium on Sunday Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged fans to give Manchester City's team bus a peaceful welcome to the stadium on Sunday

They won the Champions League last season and recorded their largest ever points tally in the Premier League.

They are six points clear in the league after winning 10 of their 11 games this campaign, and Klopp said: "I don't think we struggle with convincing players.

0:35 Klopp says Liverpool's rivalry with Man City seems to be getting bigger and bigger ahead of their meeting at Anfield on Sunday Klopp says Liverpool's rivalry with Man City seems to be getting bigger and bigger ahead of their meeting at Anfield on Sunday

"When you speak to a player, you can feel it, this year, last year, even three years ago, you can see in the eyes of a player; I am not sure if honour is the right word, but that it is good that we speak to them.

"The club is in a very good position. Image-wise, it maybe always was but now I think it is easier to live the life of a Liverpool supporter and that means automatically being in a situation to sign the players you want to sign."

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Klopp's tactical & selection dilemmas

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 17:34
By Richard Morgan

Football journalist - @Richiereds1976

Watch Liverpool vs Manchester City live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Sunday; Kick-off 4.30pm

Last Updated: 08/11/19 8:02pm

Jurgen Klopp Jurgen Klopp Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool host Manchester City on Sunday in a top-of-the-table clash that may go a long way in deciding the outcome of the Premier League title and the unbeaten Reds head into the game with big calls to make in terms of personnel and formation.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp may have seen his team build up a six-point lead over City at the top of the table this season, but the German still has a number of key issues to decide on before he picks his starting XI to face the champions.

Henderson and Wijnaldum will be sweating on their positions, but Klopp may go with his tried and trusted and potentially look for the impact in the last 20 minutes with Oxlade-Chamberlain

Phil Thompson

So, with the help of former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson, we examine the various choices facing the Reds boss ahead of City's visit to Anfield on Super Sunday.

Who to partner Van Dijk? Will Dejan Lovren get the nod to partner Virgil van Dijk? Will Dejan Lovren get the nod to partner Virgil van Dijk? Will Dejan Lovren get the nod to partner Virgil van Dijk?

While the identity of most of Liverpool's defence is already set in stone, who will partner Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the home side's defence at Anfield is still open to debate.

In the absence of the injured Joel Matip, Van Dijk's first-choice partner at the back, Klopp must pick between the experience of Dejan Lovren - who was rested for Tuesday's 2-1 home win over Genk in the Champions League - and the youthful promise of Joe Gomez.

The England international replaced Lovren at Anfield in midweek and there is a thought his pace may see him keep his starting spot in defence in order to better counter the threat posed by Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

At the same time, Klopp may decide to go with his 30-year-old Croat - "one of the best defenders in the world"- for a clash he will be desperate his side registers a clean sheet in.

The problem for the league leaders, though, is it has been eight games in all competitions since their last shutout at Bramall Lane on September 28.

Thommo's view: "For me, I would go with Gomez, I thought he was sloppy against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup, but he was excellent against Genk on Tuesday - I watched him very closely, he was back to his best. The reason I would go with Gomez is because you don't need the height as such, but you need the pace against City. I would go with him for our back line - Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, in which you have pace throughout. Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez all have skill, but an abundance of pace - it is a massive part of the City mechanic."

Right-back: TAA or Gomez? Joe Gomez may be brought in at right-back to strengthen Liverpool's defence Joe Gomez may be brought in at right-back to strengthen Liverpool's defence Joe Gomez may be brought in at right-back to strengthen Liverpool's defence

While for many it would be unthinkable for Trent Alexander-Arnold not to play at Anfield given the form the right-back is currently in, rewind back to this fixture last October and that is exactly the decision Klopp made to help keep City's dangerous forward line in check.

On that occasion the Liverpool manager opted for the greater defensive solidity Gomez offered, with Lovren coming in for Alexander-Arnold and Gomez switching from centre-back to right-back.

So in many ways, whoever gets the nod at right-back will tell us a lot about how the hosts will approach the game this weekend.

Midfield: Fabinho + 2... Fabinho is now one of the first names down on the Liverpool team sheet Fabinho is now one of the first names down on the Liverpool team sheet Fabinho is now one of the first names down on the Liverpool team sheet

However, which two? While Fabinho (who was rested last time out against Aston Villa in order to avoid being suspended for this clash) is now one of the first names on the Liverpool team sheet - the Reds have still to lose in the Premier League with the holding midfielder in their starting XI - just which two players will line up alongside him is not so easy to predict.

Prior to this season, Klopp would have had a relatively easy choice to make between Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum, the latter two who featured in midweek against Genk.

That is no longer the case though after the long-awaited returns to fitness of Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - who have both scored key goals in recent weeks and are now pushing for starts this weekend - while Naby Keita has also recovered from a recent groin problem to further complicate selection matters.

When the two teams last met at the Etihad in January, the Liverpool boss went with a midfield of Milner, Henderson and Wijnaldum, with Fabinho replacing the former just before the hour-mark.

4:17 Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher look ahead to the massive Super Sunday clash between Liverpool and Manchester City. Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher look ahead to the massive Super Sunday clash between Liverpool and Manchester City.

Thommo's view: "I think Oxlade-Chamberlain has forced his way in and it gives Klopp a dilemma. Does he think he is absolutely 100 per cent fit for such a massive game? He certainly looks it and he has to have consideration for this game. With Henderson and Wijnaldum, they never look to strike from 25-30 yards, especially the way Oxlade-Chamberlain does. He gives you an added strike power, particularly at home.

"I can see the benefits of Henderson and Wijnaldum away from home, but at Anfield the other option can be striking from range, which Oxlade-Chamberlain excels in. As we saw against Genk and Arsenal, he can shoot from distance and cause an additional threat. This will be another dilemma for Klopp, as the front three speaks for itself.

"Fabinho is probably the best holding midfielder in the country at the moment, so I am not sure who will play alongside him. Henderson and Wijnaldum will be sweating on their positions, but he may go with his tried and trusted and potentially look for the impact in the last 20 minutes with Oxlade-Chamberlain."

Mane or Salah on the right? Will it be Sadio Mane or Mo Salah who starts on the right of Liverpool's attack on Sunday? Will it be Sadio Mane or Mo Salah who starts on the right of Liverpool's attack on Sunday? Will it be Sadio Mane or Mo Salah who starts on the right of Liverpool's attack on Sunday?

Klopp almost always employs a 4-3-3 formation, so it would be a major surprise were Liverpool not to line up that way on Sunday afternoon.

However, the intriguing aspect of the team's shape is who Klopp positions in direct opposition to City's supposed weak link at left-back, Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane.

The Egypt forward would normally occupy the berth on the righthand side of the Reds' front line to enable him to cut back in on to his more favoured left foot. However, on this occasion the Liverpool coach may think there is greater merit in starting with the in-form Mane on that flank.

Certainly, it was an area Liverpool exploited brilliantly in both of their most recent wins over City at Anfield, in the Premier League and the Champions League, so it would be a major surprise were Klopp not to adopt a similar tactic this time around.

Pick your Liverpool XI vs Man City How will Liverpool approach this game?

Thommo's view: "I think Liverpool have got to be clever, it doesn't have to be cagey. Guardiola changed his tactics last year, as the year before that they found themselves on the back of a beating before half-time. He changed his approach to be a bit more defensive. Kyle Walker came out and said that they were told not to venture as far forward and not to play into Liverpool's hands.

"It worked for them to an extent as Liverpool couldn't counterattack as well as they did two seasons ago. I think he will do a similar thing in this game, so Liverpool have to be ready for both scenarios. Pep is a very astute manager - he knows what his team possesses and he knows they are very good at what they do.

Liverpool and City played out a goalless draw at Anfield last season Liverpool and City played out a goalless draw at Anfield last season Liverpool and City played out a goalless draw at Anfield last season

"Normally, City do not worry about the opposition, but in this context he knows Liverpool can blow you away in a 20-minute spell, so he can give respect where it is due. Klopp knows City's pace and power and he will not want to be giving the ball away and allowing them to attack or counterattack in any way.

"I think it will be very cagey game, but my principle hope is that it will be a better match than the Anfield one last year. Because it is at Anfield, Liverpool will go with a high press and get the fans up for it. They will want to score the first goal to change the dynamic of the match, but Klopp will have caution in the back of his mind. Liverpool will have to be more adventurous than what City are going to be."

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November 10, 2019, 4:00pm

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How to watch Liverpool vs Man City

Watch Liverpool vs Man City live on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event; Kick-off 4.30pm.

Non-subscribers can watch the game through NOW TV - get a Sky Sports Day Pass for a one-off payment of £9.99.

Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

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Gerrard desperate to watch City-Liverpool

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:52
Watch Liverpool vs Manchester City on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event; Kick-off 4.30pm

Last Updated: 08/11/19 8:22pm

0:41 Steven Gerrard looks ahead to the must-watch match on Sunday Steven Gerrard looks ahead to the must-watch match on Sunday

Steven Gerrard says his Rangers team "will do everything" to watch Liverpool's top-of-the-table clash against Manchester City on Sunday.

Gerrard - who spent 26 years at Liverpool - and his squad will be racing onto the team bus after Sunday's Scottish Premiership match at Livingston to catch the game.

"We've been on the back of our coach driver because there's something wrong with the Sky feed," said Gerrard.

0:52 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says everyone involved at the club needs to be at their best on Sunday - even the hot dog vendors Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says everyone involved at the club needs to be at their best on Sunday - even the hot dog vendors

"And he best have it right for Sunday because I want to catch the second half.

"We'll do everything we can to get it on that's for sure. What a game that'll be."

Liverpool have not won a league title since 1990 and it was a trophy that evaded Gerrard during his time as a player.

Liverpool vs Man City

November 10, 2019, 4:00pm

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But they go into this weekend's game against champions City with a six-point advantage.

"That's a nice lead in terms of where Liverpool are," added Gerrard.

"But you can never write Manchester City off with a world class manager like Pep Guardiola and the quality they've got in the squad.

"It'd be very foolish to write them off because on their day they're capable of beating anyone.

"But at the moment you'd rather be in Liverpool's position that's for sure."

'We've got a responsibility to improve in Europe'

Gerrard believes Scottish clubs need to keep improving in Europe to atone for years of under-performing.

Both Old Firm sides registered significant victories in their respective Europa League groups on Thursday night, with Celtic winning away against Lazio and Rangers defeating Porto at Ibrox.

Rangers scored twice to upset Porto at Ibrox in the Europa League Rangers scored twice to upset Porto at Ibrox in the Europa League Rangers scored twice to upset Porto at Ibrox in the Europa League

Those results have helped push Scottish football's UEFA coefficient to a five-year high and to within one spot in the rankings of having two Champions League qualifying places from 2021/22.

Gerrard savoured that upturn in fortunes but warned it would need to continue.

He said: "We all have to keep working towards making it better. Because the record isn't good enough for the size of the clubs that are up here with the history of Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen.

"We've all got a responsibility to try to improve that as over the past decade it hasn't been good enough. Clubs of that size deserve to be in Europe and the fans need it.

"It would be fantastic for the Scottish game [to get a second Champions League place] and it's exactly what it needs.

"We can only focus on what's happening here [at Rangers] and we've been working hard towards getting some respect back in Europe.

"We want people to know we won't be pushovers and that we're going to fight as hard as we can."

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Live on Sky: Liverpool vs Man City

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:02
Watch Liverpool vs Man City live from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 4.30pm. Match highlights available shortly after full-time on the Sky Sports website and app

Last Updated: 08/11/19 7:13pm

Liverpool vs Man City is live on Renault Super Sunday from 4pm Liverpool vs Man City is live on Renault Super Sunday from 4pm Liverpool vs Man City is live on Renault Super Sunday from 4pm

Team news, key stats and prediction ahead of Liverpool vs Manchester City in the Premier League.

Team news

Liverpool defender Joel Matip has not recovered from a knee injury and will miss the visit of Manchester City.

Virgil van Dijk, who was absent from training on Thursday "for other reasons" according to manager Jurgen Klopp, is fully fit and captain Jordan Henderson has recovered from illness. Xherdan Shaqiri remains sidelined with a calf problem.

2:27 A look at some of the key stats surrounding this weekend's Premier League action, including Crystal Palace's trip to Chelsea and Liverpool v Manchester City A look at some of the key stats surrounding this weekend's Premier League action, including Crystal Palace's trip to Chelsea and Liverpool v Manchester City

Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will make his first Premier League appearance in 18 months after Ederson was ruled out.

A thigh injury forced the number one off at half-time in the midweek draw at Atalanta and he has failed a fitness test ahead of the Anfield trip.

David Silva looks unlikely to play due to a muscular injury of his own and there are also doubts over Rodri (hamstring). Oleksandr Zinchenko, Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte remain sidelined.

4:17 Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher look ahead to the massive Super Sunday clash between Liverpool and Manchester City. Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher look ahead to the massive Super Sunday clash between Liverpool and Manchester City. How to follow

Liverpool vs Man City is live on Renault Super Sunday from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

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November 10, 2019, 4:00pm

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Opta stats
  • Liverpool have only lost one of their last 28 top-flight home games against Man City (1-2 in May 2003), and are unbeaten in their last 16 against them at Anfield in the Premier League (W11 D5).
  • After losing four Premier League games in a row against Liverpool between 2015-2016, Man City have lost just one of their last five against the Reds in the competition (W2 D2).
  • Man City are winless in their last 16 Premier League away games against Liverpool, their longest such winless streak against an opponent in the competition's history.
2:58 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Aston Villa in the Premier League FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Aston Villa in the Premier League
  • Liverpool have won more Premier League games against reigning champions than any other side in the competition's history (21). Indeed, they haven't lost at home in such a match since December 2007 (0-1 vs Man Utd), winning six and drawing five since.
  • This will be the 35th Premier League match between the reigning champions and league leaders - each side have won nine games each (16 draws), with the champions (Man City) beating the leaders (Liverpool) 2-1 in the last such match in January 2019.
  • Liverpool have only lost one of their last 50 Premier League games (W41 D8 L1), with that loss coming against Man City in January. The Reds are unbeaten in their last 28 Premier League games, the eighth longest such run in the competition.
  • Liverpool have won a league-high 10 points from losing positions this season. The Reds have won their last two Premier League games despite conceding the first goal - they've never done so in three consecutive games in the competition before.
2:55 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City's win over Southampton in the Premier League FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City's win over Southampton in the Premier League
  • Manchester City have won 11 of their last 12 Premier League away games, losing only against Norwich in that run (2-3). The Citizens have bagged 30 goals in this period, netting an average of 2.5 goals per game.
  • Manchester City have only failed to score in six of their 62 Premier League away games under Pep Guardiola. Three of those games have been on Merseyside (2 vs Liverpool, 1 vs Everton) and the other three have been in London (vs Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Chelsea).
  • Despite Liverpool being on the second longest ever unbeaten home run in Premier League history (45 games), the Reds have conceded in each of their last five at Anfield. They last had a longer run without a clean sheet at home in October 2014 (7 games).
Charlie Nicholas' prediction 2:15 Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions Manchester City's visit to Anfield this Sunday is a 'must not lose' game for Liverpool, but acknowledges the whole world will be watching Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions Manchester City's visit to Anfield this Sunday is a 'must not lose' game for Liverpool, but acknowledges the whole world will be watching

This is the game of games. When I look back at the games I used to look forward to, they were the Man United vs Liverpool's, especially at Anfield, Man United vs Man City, but these are the games at Anfield, I love the whole scenario of these games.

They are hard to understand and hard to read. It was a rotten game of football last time, but this is what tension does to the best of teams - City cannot afford to lose it.

The Premier League would not be over, as a couple of draws and a defeat makes it wide open again - it is doable with Liverpool's fixture list.

Man City's weaknesses in defence will add to the game - you can only see goals in this one. Pep Guardiola's side will not sit back, but they will suffocate the service into the front three of Liverpool and try to nullify the full-backs.

5:00 We take a look at some of the most memorable goals from Liverpool and Manchester City's meetings in the Premier League We take a look at some of the most memorable goals from Liverpool and Manchester City's meetings in the Premier League

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were way off it last week, with Sadio Mane carrying the front three and grabbing the match-winner at the death. Pep will look at the pace of Mane and the accusations of diving, but I cannot see how these players will not be in a position to say there are goals here.

Do City and Liverpool play tactics here? I don't think so. Liverpool are vulnerable defensively and have not been as good as last year, as we all knew, but they will be fairly happy with a point as it keeps everything going and ticking along.

It is one of these games, after the miserable feeling of the last one, which will give everyone a 'wow' moment. Sit back and enjoy the ride - it could go either way, it could be a 5-4 or a 1-0, but I am sitting on the fence until I see the starting teams.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-2 (11/1 with Sky Bet)

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Wijnaldum: Belief has never been higher

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 23:05
Watch Liverpool vs Man City on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event; kick-off 4.30pm

Last Updated: 07/11/19 11:15pm

Georginio Wijnaldum says there is a positive mindset among Liverpool players Georginio Wijnaldum says there is a positive mindset among Liverpool players Georginio Wijnaldum says there is a positive mindset among Liverpool players

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum admits belief within the squad is so high he struggles to remember the last time he thought they would lose.

The club's only loss this season was in the 2-0 Champions League reverse against Napoli, a match the Netherlands international did not feature in until the 66th minute.

Since then they have pulled off some miraculous escapes with late goals against Leicester, Manchester United and Arsenal and have earned a reputation for never giving up.

That will be tested to the limit live on Sky Sports on Sunday when defending champions Manchester City arrive at Anfield looking to halve the six-point lead Liverpool hold over them at the top of the table.

So have they extinguished that losing feeling?

Liverpool vs Man City

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"Difficult. We just create that thing that we know we always can turn things around," said the Dutchman.

"We always have that feeling, to stay positive. That's also because of the results we had until now, and the way we came back.

"Our mindset is different, which is quite good, because we keep doing the things we want to do in a game.

2:15 Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions Manchester City's visit to Anfield is a 'must not lose' game for Liverpool Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions Manchester City's visit to Anfield is a 'must not lose' game for Liverpool

"Normally if you are 2-0 down, your body language is going to change, but we still have that mindset that we can still turn it around.

"It's because of the belief we have in each other, but also the results we have had. We have (turned games around) a lot of times. That gives confidence.

"If it just happened once, it's not the same. But it happened over and over. We know we are a team that can always come back from difficult situations - but of course we don't want to let it go that far."

0:37 Klopp says he hopes to meet Liverpool supporter Sean Cox when he returns to Anfield on Sunday for the first time since sustaining serious injury in an attack by Roma supporters Klopp says he hopes to meet Liverpool supporter Sean Cox when he returns to Anfield on Sunday for the first time since sustaining serious injury in an attack by Roma supporters

It has been suggested the amount of physical and emotional energy the players are expending to turn around situations may eventually count against them.

But Wijnaldum believes it has become so ingrained in them now that they can push past the pain in search of victory.

"It's hard, really hard. You have to go until the end, and you have to go even when you don't physically see a positive outcome," he added.

"Especially at the end of the games, you just keep going because you think you can.

"Your body is tired and so you battle with your body like 'No, we have to go, we have to go on'.

"It's really hard, but in the end you enjoy it more if you win that way than if it is easy."

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Klopp: Man City a 'want to win' game

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 14:11
Watch Liverpool vs Man City on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event; kick-off 4.30pm

Last Updated: 07/11/19 7:25pm

2:15 Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions Manchester City's visit to Anfield this Sunday is a 'must not lose' game for Liverpool, but acknowledges that the whole world will be watching. Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions Manchester City's visit to Anfield this Sunday is a 'must not lose' game for Liverpool, but acknowledges that the whole world will be watching.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke with Geoff Shreeves on Thursday ahead of this weekend's mouthwatering Super Sunday clash with Manchester City.

In a wide-ranging interview with Sky Sports, Klopp looks ahead to what he expects from the game at Anfield, provides his latest take on the debate surrounding Sadio Mane and reflects on the club's participation in the Club World Cup.

We live streamed the interview on the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel and you can catch up on what was said below.

[embedded content] Klopp on significance of Sunday's game

"We are at matchday 12 so obviously there are some games to come. We know about the City situation last year where we only lost one game and that was decisive in the end.

"That's maybe how people see it, but you have to play all the games. There is so much to come, and the most intense period of the year in November, December and January is still coming so we have to be ready for all these games.

Liverpool vs Man City

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"At the moment we are focused on preparing for this game, but we don't think too much about what influence it might have on the rest of the season.

"This season is different to last season, and we don't know how it will go. We pushed each other on a really high level.

"The previous season, there was the real pressure of the 100-point season and I could not have more respect for them that they had 98 points the year after - but for sure we were a reason for that as we pushed them really hard."

Is this a 'must not lose' game?

"Maybe there are people who are smarter than I am and see it like this, but I don't. For me, it's 100 per cent a 'want to win game' - with all I have. I've never understood 'must-win' games because that doesn't change the chances.

"For us, as a team to prepare a game like this, you have to do the right thing again and again: being brave, playing football, defending for your lives.

"All the stuff around the game doesn't really affect us. We want to win, and we'll try everything to make that happen - which is difficult enough. The season will not stop after this, but it's a big one, we know that.

"The whole world will be watching it, 100 per cent. Everyone I know will. I'm really looking forward to it, but the discussions around, I'm not part of."

3:09 Ahead of Man City's trip to Anfield, we take a look back to the clash between Liverpool and Man City in 2014, where like on Sunday the two were fighting for the title. Ahead of Man City's trip to Anfield, we take a look back to the clash between Liverpool and Man City in 2014, where like on Sunday the two were fighting for the title. What type of game does Klopp expect?

"In the last couple of years, we both gave a lot of respect for each other. City's performance at Liverpool last season was probably the biggest show of respect one of my teams ever got. That's how it is.

"They played differently to what they usually do - that's true. But, that's football. We all have to make a plan for one game, and in this specific case against one of the best sides in the world.

3:52 Danny Higginbotham talks through the Premier League essential stats before this weekend’s action, including Liverpool against Manchester City, ahead of the final international break of 2019. Danny Higginbotham talks through the Premier League essential stats before this weekend’s action, including Liverpool against Manchester City, ahead of the final international break of 2019.

"We play at home, and last season we played a game at theirs where we lost by 11 millimetres otherwise the ball was in [John Stones' clearance on the goal line] and it was another draw.

"I think that would have been deserved, so there are tight games and that's how it is when high-quality teams face each other, so I expect another tight game."

Klopp on Pep's Mane climbdown 1:17 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he has incredible respect for both Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane ahead of his side's visit to Anfield on Sunday. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he has incredible respect for both Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane ahead of his side's visit to Anfield on Sunday.

"I'm in exactly the same situation as him. We constantly get asked questions, and sometimes we say in that second what is on our mind, without thinking of anything else - that we're in public, that there's a camera.

"He explained it well, saying when he speaks to his kids, it's like this. It could be a penalty or not, and that's a discussion they had at home. I'm completely fine with it, and I couldn't have more respect for Pep Guardiola.

"I know him for so long, and for me it's still a big thing to be his contender. For me, he's the best manager in the world, and we have the chance to win against his team which is very difficult but possible which is enough for me. From my side, there is nothing but respect.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola meet again this weekend live on Sky Sports Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola meet again this weekend live on Sky Sports Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola meet again this weekend live on Sky Sports

"Of course, you can't leave it completely without a comment, but I'm not interested. There's enough to write about before the game. It's not necessary for us to make it bigger by the things we say.

"If I could do it again I wouldn't have said it [the tactical fouls response]. It's just not necessary, and I know there's a lot of respect there and the rest will be decided on the pitch.

Would Ederson's absence change City's approach?

"If he did not play, it would change. Ederson is an important part of their game, 100 per cent. Claudio Bravo can do similar things, but I expect Ederson to play 100 per cent. He's an ever-present player.

0:14 Pep Guardiola says he does 'not know' if Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson will be fit for Sunday's trip to Liverpool. Pep Guardiola says he does 'not know' if Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson will be fit for Sunday's trip to Liverpool. Klopp on Sean Cox's return to Anfield

"It's great - I hope to be able to see him, to be honest. I'm not sure if it's going to be possible, but it's just wonderful. It's been 18 tough months for sure for the family, and for himself and his friends. Now that he's coming back, it's really nice.

"I'm sure that our supporters will make it a very special occasion for him, and I will try to see him as I would really like to."

0:37 Jurgen Klopp says he hopes to meet Liverpool supporter Sean Cox when he returns to Anfield on Sunday for the first time since sustaining serious injury in an attack by Roma supporters. Jurgen Klopp says he hopes to meet Liverpool supporter Sean Cox when he returns to Anfield on Sunday for the first time since sustaining serious injury in an attack by Roma supporters. Klopp on the Club World Cup

"I'm not sure we prioritise it - it was just about which came first. We had to plan and we had to have a team for the Club World Cup much longer.

The boys wanted to play in it, so hopefully it's not a once in a lifetime chance but it doesn't happen too often as you have to win the Champions League.

"Then after that, we had to play the Carabao Cup, but we knew we would be part of the Club World Cup in Qatar since May.

0:48 Is there enough time for fans to attend Liverpool's Carabao Cup clash with Aston Villa on December 17 and their Club World Cup semi-final in Qatar the next day? Is there enough time for fans to attend Liverpool's Carabao Cup clash with Aston Villa on December 17 and their Club World Cup semi-final in Qatar the next day?

"We have two games and we cannot do it in a different way. It's only in England that it's not that important. For the rest of the world, they look at this competition.

"We are Liverpool, we are a worldwide brand, so we have to do what we want and what our supporters want. With the Carabao Cup, we didn't know if we'd go through because Arsenal was a tough draw.

"We played it already with a much-changed and very young team, they did brilliantly, and now we see it as an opportunity for them to play the next round - that's how it is.

"We cannot have a 40-player squad, and it's always clear that we have to make decisions in advance. Maybe people will criticise our decisions, I don't know, but I don't care to be honest.

0:47 Former England boss Fabio Capello looks ahead to the clash between Liverpool and Manchester City, live on Sky Sports on Sunday. Former England boss Fabio Capello looks ahead to the clash between Liverpool and Manchester City, live on Sky Sports on Sunday.

"We are responsible for this club and we try to make the best of all the situations, but we cannot split ourselves and be here and be there at the same time.

"What I like is that everyone starts to now think about it. It's not perfect, obviously. When you go through in all the competitions, this is what happens. It never worked, but nobody changed it anyway.

"I didn't think for one second about that. I don't have to because we are in early November and it is not until mid-December. We've got a lot of games, but we will find a proper solution for everybody.

"If I am there or not, I don't think it will mean more or less people will watch the game."

How to watch with Sky Sports

You can watch the game live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event, with our TV build-up kicking-off at 1pm where David Jones will be joined by a host of Sky Sports pundits to preview the crunch encounter.

There is a whole range of options to complement and enhance your viewing experience with Sky Sports - for both subscribers and non-subscribers.

For non-subscribers, Liverpool vs Manchester City is accessible through a NOW TV pass. Grab a Month Pass for just £33.99.

Sky Premier League subscribers will also be able to tune in to watch the channel's coverage on Sky Go.

You can also follow our live match blog across our digital platforms, where you will be able to watch all the major incidents via our expanded mobile clips service and keep up to date with all the action, including commentary, analysis and team line-ups.

Also, this season, you can watch Premier League highlights with Sky Sports just after the full-time whistle for free and without being a Sky Sports subscriber.

Want to catch-up? Highlights and the best of all the best from before, after and during the game will also be published On Demand.

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Mane responds to Pep: I'll 'dive' again for pen!

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 23:15
Watch Liverpool vs Man City on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event; Kick-off 4.30pm

Last Updated: 06/11/19 11:31pm

Sadio Mane insists he does not dive to win penalties Sadio Mane insists he does not dive to win penalties Sadio Mane insists he does not dive to win penalties

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane will not change his style of play despite Pep Guardiola's "diving" accusation.

The Manchester City boss first made the claim last weekend, when the Senegal international was booked after going down in the penalty area following a challenge by Aston Villa's Frederic Guilbert.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp jumped to his defence and Guardiola subsequently rowed back on the comments, saying they were part of a longer speech in which he praised the forward and it was "far away from my intention to say Sadio is this type of player because I admire him a lot".

Mane, unaware of the subsequent climbdown at the time having played in the 2-1 Champions League victory over Genk, was unmoved by Guardiola's initial criticism as he believes if there is contact he has a right to go down.

And he offered a sarcastic response to the City boss ahead of the two sides meeting at Anfield, live on Sky Sports this Sunday, saying: "If it could be a penalty for sure I will 'dive' again.

Liverpool vs Man City

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"If the 'dive' will give me a penalty then I will do it! Why not? But what Jurgen said is correct. I do not dive.

"There was contact [at Villa] for sure. Maybe it was not a penalty and he didn't give it, and he gave me a yellow card. To be honest I don't have any problem about it.

"It's what I want to keep doing. If I get a penalty, yeah it's a penalty. If no penalty, no penalty, but [it] will never change the way I'm playing or the way I'm doing my things.

1:28 Jurgen Klopp says Sadio Mane 'is not a diver' Jurgen Klopp says Sadio Mane 'is not a diver'

"The only thing I can say I will be for sure ready for the team, to give everything possible, and to help my team.

"I think it's a bit clever from him to get the attention of the referee but I will just play my football like I'm always doing. I don't pay attention to what he's saying because it's part of football.

"No it doesn't make anything [motivation-wise] for me. Even though I saw him commenting about it, what he said, for me, I think it's positive."

1:17 Pep Guardiola says he has incredible respect for both Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane Pep Guardiola says he has incredible respect for both Jurgen Klopp and Sadio Mane

At the time Guardiola's criticism was seen as the start of mind games leading up to Sunday's Anfield encounter.

The defending Premier League champions trail Klopp's side by six points and defeat at the weekend would put them under even more scrutiny.

It is undoubtedly the game of the season so far and City are the only team to beat Liverpool in their last 50 league matches.

2:58 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Aston Villa in the Premier League FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Aston Villa in the Premier League

"Interesting game. It's a big game. Everybody knows and everybody's excited. I think this is the kind of game which is always exciting and we're looking forward to it," added Mane.

"I can say one of the biggest tests, for sure, but if you ask me I would say not only City because against Aston Villa you can see how the game was and Leicester also was really tough.

"So I think we played already a few big games in this season and for sure City as well will be a big game.

"It will be really, really important for us to get a positive result and we will be ready, spot-on from the first second until the last. We will give everything possible to win."

How to watch Liverpool vs Man City

Watch Liverpool vs Man City live on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event; Kick-off 4.30pm.

Non-subscribers can watch the game through NOW TV - get a Sky Sports Day Pass for a one-off payment of £9.99.

Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

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Klopp: Logistics of back-to-back games undecided

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 23:50
Liverpool will field two squads simultaneously, playing Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup on December 17 and the Club World Cup semi-final in Qatar the next day

Last Updated: 05/11/19 11:58pm

Liverpool have not yet thought out the proper logistics of their two games in two days in December, says Jurgen Klopp Liverpool have not yet thought out the proper logistics of their two games in two days in December, says Jurgen Klopp Liverpool have not yet thought out the proper logistics of their two games in two days in December, says Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp says that the logistics behind Liverpool's back-to-back games in the Carabao Cup and Club World Cup next month are yet to be decided.

Ahead of their Champions League tie with Genk, it was announced that their Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa will take place Tuesday 17 December as originally scheduled.

It comes despite Liverpool's involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar, with the Reds' first match in the competition taking place in Doha on December 18 - the day after their quarter-final at Villa Park.

Klopp had threatened to pull out of the competition if the fixture was unable to be rearranged in order to avoid a clash, but a compromise has now been reached, although the Liverpool manager remains unsure on the concrete plans.

Liverpool's manic month Date Opponent Competition Sat Nov 23 Crystal Palace (A) Premier League Wed Nov 27 Napoli (H) Champions League Sat Nov 30 Brighton (H) Premier League Wed Dec 4 Everton (H) Premier League Sat Dec 7 Bournemouth (A) Premier League Tue Dec 10 Red Bull Salzburg (A) Champions League Sat Dec 14 Watford (H) Premier League Tue Dec 17 Aston Villa (A) Carabao Cup Wed Dec 18 QF1 winner Club World Cup Sat Dec 21 tbc Club World Cup Thu Dec 26 Leicester (A) Premier League Sun Dec 29 Wolves (H) Premier League Thu Jan 2 Sheffield United (H) Premier League January 3-6 tbc - 3rd Round FA Cup

"We don't know exactly yet [how the logistics will work]," Klopp told a press conference following Liverpool's 2-1 win against Genk. "We have an idea how we'll do it but it's too early to speak about that.

"We had to make a decision now and we made the decision because all the other alternatives were more problems than solutions. And that didn't work out. So we said, OK, that's how we can do it as good as possible for us. All the rest, we now have a bit of time to think about that.

"We have more important things to do now - today playing a game, then concentrating on the next game. But in these next couple of weeks we will make a decision how exactly it will look. But at the end, a Liverpool team will play, 100 per cent.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in successive Champions League games for Liverpool on Tuesday Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in successive Champions League games for Liverpool on Tuesday Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in successive Champions League games for Liverpool on Tuesday

"The Carabao Cup, it always sounds like we don't want to play it but that's not true. What I don't like about the Carabao Cup, to be 100 per cent honest, is two legs in the semi-final. I don't understand that. The rest is a nice competition.

"The Club World Cup, you play only if you win the Champions League and that doesn't happen in your life five million times, so that means we will take the opportunity if they ask you. Is it the best time of the year? No. Are we pretty busy? Yes. But you go there and we try to play all the games we have with all that we have."

But there was some good news for their congested fixture list with their victory on Tuesday seeing them go top of Group E above Napoli, who they host at Anfield in two weeks time. Should they win, they will book their place in the last 16 as group winners with a game to spare, which would allow Klopp the luxury of resting some key players in their final match away to Red Bull Salzburg.

0:27 Jurgen Klopp insists that winning was the most important thing as Liverpool laboured to a 2-1 win against Genk at Anfield Jurgen Klopp insists that winning was the most important thing as Liverpool laboured to a 2-1 win against Genk at Anfield

Speaking about the Champions League win, Klopp added: "The most important thing is that we won and nobody is injured. The result is because we didn't finish our situations off like we should and could have done. That keeps the game pretty exciting and left Genk pretty much alive.

"We scored again, a really nice goal, but the longer the game goes the more the momentum goes to the other team, if you don't finish your situations off.

"'Job done' is the headline from the game, pretty much. But the group is not decided. We knew from the beginning it's a tough group. Yes, now we are first in the table but we only really want to be first after the last matchday. We have to play two tough games, two important ones. In each of them we can decide it with a win but that sounds easier than it is because both games will be really tricky."

Analysis: What should Liverpool prioritise?

The Debate panellist Emma Hayes:

"The big question is if he is going to coach both games because there is no doubt the strongest team will be in Doha and should do because he is competing for a trophy and the other game is competing to progress to the next round - they are two different things. If you were to rank which was higher in terms of silverware, I think the players would consider the Club World Cup.

Liverpool vs Man City

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"When you're faced with a situation where you can't choose because a game is being played within 24 hours of each other, the realities are you then have to select where your priority is and that's going to be in Doha. In the Carabao Cup, Aston Villa might be thinking it will be an easy game so there is no pressure on a group of young Liverpool players in that game, which in itself could be quite interesting, but I think Klopp can only manage with what is put in front of him.

"I think it has damaged the integrity of the Carabao Cup for it not to be considered in the scheduling. Surely we're all thinking there must be another window of opportunity but clearly there isn't.

"If they were to win this weekend [against Manchester City], it would be a good lead taking them into this busy period because there is no doubt in my mind that their schedule will cause problems down the line for freshness in those players because they're human. To have to play every three days like that, it's pretty extensive and the lead could afford them a cushion in the Premier League."

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Ox scores again as Liverpool edge Genk

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 22:00
Charlotte Marsh

Football journalist

Liverpool go top of Group E after Napoli are held by Red Bull Salzburg

Last Updated: 05/11/19 10:59pm

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain restored Liverpool's lead in the second half Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain restored Liverpool's lead in the second half Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain restored Liverpool's lead in the second half

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored in a second successive Champions League game as Liverpool beat Genk 2-1 in Group E, but they were made to work for their victory.

The Liverpool midfielder had scored twice in a 4-1 win against the Belgian side two weeks ago and followed it up with another superb goal to ultimately seal a vital three points for the Champions League holders.

But it was far from a walk in Stanley Park, with a thunderous Mbwana Samatta header (40) levelling things up in the first half after an instinctive finish from Georginio Wijnaldum for Liverpool's 14th-minute opener. Genk could well have left Anfield with a point too, but Liverpool had Alisson to thank for some wonderful late saves.

The result sees Liverpool go top of Group E with nine points, one ahead of Napoli, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Red Bull Salzburg, and is the perfect preparation ahead of their huge Premier League clash with Manchester City on Sunday, live on Sky Sports. Genk remain rooted to the foot of the table with one point.

How Liverpool fought to victory

Ahead of the game, Liverpool were expected to comfortably win the Anfield encounter and they enjoyed a great start when Wijnaldum scored inside 14 minutes. James Milner's left wing cross pinged off the leg of Carlos Cuesta and Genk captain Sebastian Dewaest was unable to keep the ball under control. Wijnaldum then nipped in to lift the loose ball over the oncoming Gaten Coucke with an instinctive finish.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Alisson (6), Alexander-Arnold (8), Gomez (6), Van Dijk (7), Milner (7), Fabinho (7), Wijnaldum (7), Keita (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), Salah (7), Origi (6).

Subs used: Mane (5), Robertson (5), Firmino (n/a).

Genk: Coucke (6), Cuesta (7), Dewaest (7), Lucumi (6), Maehle (6), Heynen (7), Berge (6), Hrosovsky (5), De Norre (5), Ito (6), Samatta (6).

Subs used: Ndongola (7), Bongonda (n/a), Onuachu (n/a).

Man of the match: Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Liverpool were guilty of some poor finishing as the game wore on, with their chance in the 36th minute a prime example. Milner squared the ball to Mohamed Salah across the top of the area, with the Egyptian taking a touch to send the ball into space before chasing after it. Dewaest went with him but could not prevent the cross, which flashed across the face of goal - with Salah possibly aiming for the far corner - and Divok Origi unable to poke it home at the far post.

Up until the 40th minute, Genk had not had a shot on target but took advantage of some poor Liverpool defending to equalise. Bryan Heynen delivered the corner, which lifted over the head of Oxlade-Chamberlain at the near post before Samatta powered a header home to see the visitors level at the break.

Liverpool made six changes, with starts for Joe Gomez, James Milner, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi. Jordan Henderson missed out due to illness with Dejan Lovren, Andy Robertson, Adam Lallana, Georginio Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane also dropping out.

But just eight minutes into the second half and Liverpool went in front again. It was another sensational strike from Oxlade-Chamberlain after his two eye-catching goals in Belgium a few weeks ago. A loose Genk clearance was picked up by Salah just inside the area, and used his strength to keep Cuesta at bay before tapping the ball into the path of his team-mate. Oxlade-Chamberlain took one touch before hitting home on the turn and sending a powerful shot past Coucke.

Liverpool could have made it three not long after, but Salah once again was a victim of bad finishing. Trent Alexander-Arnold floated a ball in his direction, pinging through the legs of Dewaest, and allowing Salah to get into space for his shot. However, it was quite tame, and it went straight into the hands of the Genk goalkeeper.

Liverpool went ahead early against Genk Liverpool went ahead early against Genk Liverpool went ahead early against Genk

Much like the end of the first half, Genk finished the game strongly and Alisson did well to keep them from scoring a second. The first chance saw Casper de Norre lofted a lovely ball into the area for Heynen, but the Liverpool goalkeeper made a leaping save to keep out his shot. He denied the Genk midfielder once again a few minutes later, before Dieumerci Ndongala put the rebounded save well over the crossbar.

Liverpool now top the group and victory over Napoli at Anfield in two weeks' time will guarantee their progression to the last 16 as group winners with a game still to play. Given their fixture congestion in the coming months, that will be quite the useful bonus for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Mbwana Samatta grabbed the equaliser at Anfield Mbwana Samatta grabbed the equaliser at Anfield Mbwana Samatta grabbed the equaliser at Anfield Man of the match - Trent Alexander-Arnold

It's hard to look past Alexander-Arnold for the star of the show. With Liverpool having 78 per cent of the possession, he was allowed to roam freely and he pinged ball after ball forward for his team-mates with some truly astonishing talent.

The stats are pretty good too. He made a total of 128 passes with 84.4 per cent accuracy and made a sensational 12 crosses - over double of the next highest in the Liverpool team, which was Milner (5) - and took 161 touches.

Liverpool vs Man City

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But he also did his work at the back. He made three tackles - the joint highest with Naby Keita - and made three interceptions with some vital touches made inside the area against Samatta. He was extremely impressive on a night when Liverpool were not at their best.

Analysis: Did Genk copy Aston Villa's tactics?

Sky Sports' Phil Thompson:

"Maybe Genk had watched how Aston Villa attacked Liverpool at set pieces. It's a very high line with a lot of green grass in between the backline and the goalkeeper. They have to rectify that, but if you counted the chances, there weren't that many for Genk.

"Liverpool now have an extra day's rest compared to Manchester City before Sunday's game. Liverpool will be quite happy with that extra 24 hours."

Opta stats
  • Liverpool remain unbeaten in their last 24 home matches in European competition (W18 D6 L0), since a 0-3 defeat against Real Madrid at Anfield, in October 2014.
  • Liverpool have conceded in eight consecutive matches in all competitions, last going longer without a clean sheet between September and October 2014, under Brendan Rodgers (run of nine).
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored four goals in his last four games for Liverpool, as many as in his previous 45 appearances for the Reds across all competitions.
What's next?

It's a huge game for Liverpool at the weekend as they take on Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday, live on Sky Sports. Their next Champions League game will also be a big one, hosting second-place Napoli on Wednesday November 27.

Genk will be in Belgian Pro League action on Sunday as they host Gent before welcoming Red Bull Salzburg in their next Champions League outing, also on November 27.

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Villa vs Liverpool cup QF day before CWC tie

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 16:35
Reds will field two playing squads simultaneously, with Villa Park encounter taking place on December 17 and Club World Cup semi in Qatar the next day By Blake Welton

Last Updated: 05/11/19 8:07pm

Liverpool beat Arsenal in the last round of the Carabao Cup Liverpool beat Arsenal in the last round of the Carabao Cup Liverpool beat Arsenal in the last round of the Carabao Cup

The Carabao Cup quarter-final tie between Aston Villa and Liverpool has been confirmed for Tuesday, December 17 (kick-off 7.45pm) as originally scheduled.

The decision comes despite Liverpool's involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar, with the Reds' first match in the competition - the semi-final - taking place in Doha on Wednesday night.

After beating Arsenal on penalties in the fourth round, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp threatened to pull out of the competition if the fixture was unable to be rearranged in order to avoid a clash.

0:49 Here's a look a the problems Liverpool could face in the coming months with their fixtures piling up Here's a look a the problems Liverpool could face in the coming months with their fixtures piling up

The EFL had previously suggested they would be open to rearranging the tie for the week of the semi-final first-leg ties but after on-going discussions, keeping the original date has now been seen as "the best decision" all round.

An EFL statement read: "The EFL's overwhelming priority is to maintain the integrity of the Carabao Cup and the decision taken is intended to protect the best interests of a competition that attracts millions of viewers at home and abroad with the final broadcast in more than 130 territories worldwide.

"It is also the best decision in minimising the impact of rescheduling the final stages of the competition on those Clubs who remain in the Carabao Cup and the knock-on effect this would have in both the FA Cup and the Premier League."

Liverpool's manic month Liverpool's manic month Date Opponent Competition Sat Nov 23 Crystal Palace (A) Premier League Wed Nov 27 Napoli (H) Champions League Sat Nov 30 Brighton (H) Premier League Wed Dec 4 Everton (H) Premier League Sat Dec 7 Bournemouth (A) Premier League Tue Dec 10 RB Salzburg (A) Champions League Sat Dec 14 Watford (H) Premier League Dec 17 Aston Villa (A) Carabao Cup Wed Dec 18 QF1 winner Club World Cup Sat Dec 21 tbc Club World Cup Thu Dec 26 Leicester (A) Premier League Sun Dec 29 Wolves (H) Premier League Thu Jan 2 Sheffield United (H) Premier League January 3-6 tbc - 3rd Round FA Cup

Liverpool say they will utilise two playing squads simultaneously, adding: "It is not an ideal scenario but was reached with the best interests of the competition, our fellow clubs, and ourselves."

The Premier League leaders already have a league game with West Ham to be rescheduled due to their visit to Asia, and have six midweek fixtures in a row pencilled in between November 27 and January 2.

Sky Sports will be showing Liverpool's trip to Aston Villa along with Manchester City's game at Oxford United.

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Liverpool vs Genk preview

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 18:20

Last Updated: 04/11/19 6:30pm

Fabinho could return for Liverpool against Genk Fabinho could return for Liverpool against Genk Fabinho could return for Liverpool against Genk

Team news, key stats and predictions ahead of Liverpool vs Genk (kick-off 8pm) as the Champions League group stages continue.

Team news

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no new injury concerns ahead of the Champions League Group E visit of Genk.

His biggest decision appears to be in midfield, where he is likely to bring back Fabinho having left him out at the weekend to avoid him getting a booking which would have ruled him out of Sunday's game against Manchester City.

Captain Jordan Henderson could be rested, having played 90 minutes at Villa Park, so James Milner may come in.

1:28 Jurgen Klopp insists Sadio Mane is not a diver Jurgen Klopp insists Sadio Mane is not a diver Opta stats
  • Liverpool and Genk's only previous meeting was on matchday three of this season's UEFA Champions League, with the Reds winning 4-1 at the Luminus Arena.
  • Genk's only away European visit to England was in October 2011, when they were beaten 5-0 at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League group stages.
  • In all European competition, Liverpool are unbeaten in 23 games at Anfield (W17 D6 L0) since losing 3-0 to Real Madrid in October 2014 in the UEFA Champions League.
  • KRC Genk have played more matches in the history of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League without winning than any other club (15 - W0 D8 L7), with their 4-1 defeat to Liverpool on MD3 taking them ahead of Floriana FC and Shamrock Rovers, who both have 14 winless games.
  • Since the start of the 2017-18 season, the only player involved in more UEFA Champions League goals than Liverpool duo Roberto Firmino (14 goals, 11 assists) and Mohamed Salah (18 goals, 7 assists) is Cristiano Ronaldo (22 goals, 5 assists).
4:35 Charlie Nicholas says Jurgen Klopp's character rubs off on his Liverpool team as they managed to come from behind late on to win against Aston Villa Charlie Nicholas says Jurgen Klopp's character rubs off on his Liverpool team as they managed to come from behind late on to win against Aston Villa Charlie Nicholas' prediction

I watched the Liverpool game at the weekend. It was a cracking game and end-to-end with drama too.

Liverpool are not at their best. People might suggest that once they get going, they will be ruthless, but they are getting away with it currently. The Napoli and Manchester United matches were reality checks, but they could have been two or three down by the time they rescued things at Villa.

Liverpool have a dramatic amount of games coming up. Mohamed Salah was really average at the weekend, as was Roberto Firmino, so Jurgen Klopp may leave a couple out and change it up. The full-backs will stay the same and you have to leave Sadio Mane in, but Fabinho could also come back in.

It is normally Firmino who he rests, but I would leave him in with Mane and leave Salah out. He may not like it but it needs to happen. Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will come in and I think it will be a fairly comfortable night nevertheless for Liverpool.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-0 (13/2 with Sky Bet)

2:58 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Aston Villa in the Premier League FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Aston Villa in the Premier League Super 6: Liverpool too strong and powerful?

A hefty 55 per cent of Super 6 players are backing Liverpool to win by two or more goals in Tuesday's round, while 99 per cent are backing a routine win for Jurgen Klopp's men. What will you predict with £250k on the line? Play for free here!

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