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

1 hour 40 min ago

Check out a schedule of local community events planned by the LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams in the coming week.

For more information on these activities, and the work of the two organisations, follow @LFCFoundation and @Red_Neighbours on Twitter or click here.

Monday November 19

Premier League Kicks sessions

Walton Hall Park: 7pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Speke Community Centre: 6pm-8pm (age 11+)

Respect 4 All Ability Counts session (disability)

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

Tuesday November 20

Premier League Kicks session

Toxteth Firefit Hub: 5.30pm-6.30pm (age 8-13), 6.30pm-7.30pm (age 14-19)

Respect 4 All (disability)

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

Red Neighbours Walking Football 

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 3pm-4pm

Open Goals 

Seaforth in Bowersdale Park (meet at Bowersdale Resource Centre): 5pm-6pm

Wednesday November 21

Premier League Kicks sessions

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 5pm-6pm (age 7-13), 6pm-7pm (age 13-17), 5pm-6pm (age 8-13, girls only)

Respect 4 All (disability)

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

Open Goals 

Crosby in Coronation Park (meet at Alchemy Crosby Youth & Community Centre): 4.30pm-5.30pm

Thursday November 22

Premier League Kicks sessions

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

Gateacre School: 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)

Respect 4 All (disability)

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

Military Veterans

Netherton Goals: 5pm-7.30pm

Friday November 23

Premier League Kicks sessions

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree: 6pm-8pm (age 14-19)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 6pm-9pm (age 14-19)
Croxteth Sports Centre: 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Wirral Hive: 6pm-8pm (age 13-19)
Kirkby Leisure Centre: 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-8pm (age 14-17)
Netherton Activity Centre: 6pm-7pm (age 8-11), 7pm-8pm (age 12-19)

Respect 4 All (disability)

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

Red Neighbours Walking Football 

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 11am-12pm

Red Neighbours Walking Netball

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 11.30am-12.30pm

Saturday November 24

Respect 4 All (disability)

Woodchurch High School: 10.30am-11.30am (SLD Child), 11.30am-12.30pm (Ability Counts), 12.30pm-13.30pm (SLD Adults)

Open Goals

Wavertree Sports Park: 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm
Stanley Park: 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm
Norris Green Park: 1.30pm-3pm
Jubilee Sports Bank: 1.30pm-2.30pm

Sunday November 25

Open Goals   

Walton Hall Park: 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm
Belle Vale Park: 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm
Doric Park: 11am-12pm

Military Veterans

LFC Academy: 2pm-5pm

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Mane certain Keita will 'do great things' for LFC

2 hours 10 min ago

Sadio Mane sees Naby Keita's return to fitness as a timely fillip for Liverpool given the scope for the midfielder to achieve 'great things' for the club.

The summer signing made a stoppage-time appearance from the bench in the Reds’ 2-0 victory against Fulham last time out, having not featured in any of the previous five games due to a hamstring injury.

Fans have been treated to flashes of Keita’s talents so far but Mane knows them at first hand due to their crossing paths at Red Bull Salzburg in 2014.

The No.10 is delighted to have his friend and teammate back in contention ahead of a busy run of fixtures – and tipped Keita to stamp his influence soon.

“I always said, I knew Naby since Red Bull Salzburg because we played together. He is a great player and also young; he still has a lot to learn and improve,” Mane told Premier League Productions.

“When he came he surprised everyone but not me, because I know him. I’m sure he will do great things for us. Now he is back with the team and we are happy to have him. I’m looking forward to seeing him helping the team as he can.”

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Mane has helped Liverpool record an unbeaten start in their opening 12 Premier League matches, with Jürgen Klopp’s side in second place, just two points behind Manchester City.

Much of the external praise for the Reds last season focused on the exhilarating attacking play he was firmly a part of, while this term it is the team’s defensive foundations drawing plaudits.

And if Mane and co still need to find their most fluent football, he accepts the challenge.

“It can happen sometimes,” he said. “Maybe in a few games we haven’t played as we can, and expect to, play but we have to deal with it and try to work as hard as we can, and push individually to do better again.

“We could do better – that’s part of football. We’d love to do better for the team and the club. We have had a better start than last season, now we have important games coming and we’re going to try to do our best.”

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Mane and Salah on BBC African Footballer of the Year shortlist

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 22:54

Liverpool forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have been named on the five-man shortlist for the 2018 BBC African Footballer of the Year award.

The duo scored 20 and 44 goals respectively for the Reds last season to help their team reach the Champions League final and achieve a second successive top-four finish in the Premier League.

Both went to the World Cup with their countries in the summer and the pair top the LFC scoring charts so far in the current campaign.

The candidates for the BBC prize, won by Salah last year, were announced on Saturday evening, with Medhi Benatia (Morocco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal) and Thomas Partey (Ghana) the other contenders.

Click here to cast a vote before the 8pm GMT deadline on Sunday December 2. The winner will be announced on Friday December 14.

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Internationals: Wins for Mane, Robbo, Jones and Camacho

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 17:36

Sadio Mane helped Senegal to a 1-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on Saturday.

The Liverpool forward played the whole of the Group A match, which his country won courtesy of a Luis Meseguer own goal early in the second half.

The result consolidated Senegal’s position at the top of the section with 13 points ahead of their final fixture against Madagascar in March 2019.

Andy Robertson captained Scotland to a 4-0 win in their UEFA Nations League tie at Albania, featuring for the entirety of the League C Group 1 clash.

The Scots therefore moved level with Israel on six points in the section ahead of the decisive final fixture between the sides on Tuesday.

Curtis Jones came on as a 56th-minute substitute for England U18s as they recovered from a goal down to beat Republic of Ireland 3-1 in a tournament match in Spain.

Rafael Camacho played 65 minutes of Portugal U19s’ 5-1 victory over Armenia in Yerevan.

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Internationals: Sadio involved in Senegal victory

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 17:36

Sadio Mane helped Senegal to a 1-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on Saturday.

The Liverpool forward played the whole of the Group A match, which his country won courtesy of a Luis Meseguer own goal early in the second half.

The result consolidated Senegal’s position at the top of the section with 13 points ahead of their final fixture against Madagascar in March 2019.

Rafael Camacho played 65 minutes of Portugal U19s’ 5-1 victory over Armenia in Yerevan.

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Match report: LFC Women narrowly beaten by Bristol City

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 17:16

Liverpool FC Women were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Bristol City Women in their Women's Super League clash on Saturday afternoon.

Quickfire goals from Lucy Graham and Ella Rutherford gave the home side an advantage at Stoke Gifford Stadium that the Reds could only halve through Courtney Sweetman-Kirk.

Rutherford had already threatened a breakthrough on 12 minutes when she neatly chested down a cross into the box, turned and struck towards goal – but Satara Murray recovered to block the drive.

Bristol did net four minutes later, though.

Graham got free to reach a delivery from the left before anybody else in the Liverpool box and thundered home an unstoppable header at the back post.

As Vicky Jepson’s Reds came to terms with their concession, City compounded the setback by claiming a second goal within five minutes.

Julie Biesmans’ diagonal effort from the right edge of the area was fumbled out by Liverpool goalkeeper Anke Preuss and Rutherford pounced to convert the rebound.

The visitors rallied commendably, first stemming the tide and then changing the complexion of the game nine minutes before half-time.

Laura Coombs’ cross from the right flank bounced untouched to the back post, where Sweetman-Kirk kept her composure to knock the loose ball into an open net.

A more even second half ensued, Rosella Ayane sending a lobbed shot inches wide from 20 yards at one end before Poppy Pattinson cleared away from the goalline when a Reds corner caused a scramble at the other.

Leandra Little flicked a header off target and Coombs had a decent long-range punt palmed out as Jepson’s charges increased the pressure but their best chance came with 84 on the clock.

Sweetman-Kirk expertly collected Rinsola Babajide’s low cross with her back to goal and rolled a defender to allow a close-range strike – but Sophie Baggaley reacted instantly to block and the points were Bristol’s.

Liverpool FC Women: Preuss, S. Murray, Bradley-Auckland, Little, Roberts, Fahey (Daniels, 77), Coombs, C. Murray (Rodgers, 66), Babajide, Sweetman-Kirk, Linnett (Clarke, 53).

Unused substitutes: Kitching, Thomas.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain: Your support keeps me going

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 14:57

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has thanked Liverpool fans for their understanding and support during his ongoing injury lay-off.

The Reds midfielder is expected to miss the vast majority of the current season due to the multiple ligament damage he sustained in the Champions League semi-final first leg against AS Roma in April.

Oxlade-Chamberlain opened up on the injury, his rehabilitation and its demands, and more in BetVictor’s latest This is Melwood video, launched on Friday evening.

Read some of the best bits from the frank and emotional chat below, including the No.21’s appreciation for the fans and how a friendship with Rhian Brewster blossomed in recovery…

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On the support of Jürgen Klopp…

He has been massive for me. Whenever I see him he has always got a smile on his face and is really positive. He keeps me in his thoughts; when he talks about the team he’ll mention me, which is obviously really nice, especially when the boys are doing so well. The important thing is he has given me time and said: ‘We know how long this is going to be, don’t worry about it, it’s not a problem – get yourself right and then we’ll go again.’ It’s really nice to hear.

On his relationship with Brewster…

Rhian has been brilliant. He is a great lad; I don’t really have to tell him too much, a lot of the time he is checking in on me, to be honest! He is always so positive, he has got that youthful enthusiasm about him, which is again really good to have around – it keeps me going. I’m glad to see him pushing on, he is going to be getting closer. That’s really good and I look forward to seeing what he can do on the pitch now.

On the backing of Liverpool fans…

You can’t ask for anything more, that’s what keeps you going, when you’ve got the support of the fans behind you. Whether it’s them giving you the time, respecting the injury, to do what you need to do to come back. That helps massively, for one. And when they remind you that you’re missed and they can’t wait to see you back out there, little things like that keep you going. I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the fans – I can’t thank them enough for that. It’s what keeps me going every day, to come back and try to reward their patience and support by hopefully getting back onto the pitch and performing to the level I was before and even better.

On his targets...

I’d love to be able to make an appearance at least before the end of the season, depending on what we’re doing and if I’m really needed. I’m sure I’m not going to be; even when I’m back I won’t be fully up to scratch. It would be nice to get a few appearances before the end of the season, probably more mentally to prove I can do it. Then have a good pre-season and start fresh next season. But I know if I manage to get back on the pitch I won’t be thinking, ‘It’s just nice to be out here.’ I’ll want to do well, score and try to help the boys win. If I’m needed for any emergencies, I’m going to have to pull out some good performances!

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Shaqiri's midfield value explained

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 12:56

Xherdan Shaqiri's value to Liverpool in a deeper midfield role is in the difference he offers to the team, according to Steve McManaman.

The summer signing has been used in several positions by Jürgen Klopp since joining the club from Stoke City, including a berth behind the front three.

He has made a fine start to life at Anfield, too, with the calm volley against Fulham last weekend his fifth goal contribution in his last six Reds appearances.

McManaman is a fan of the Switzerland international and believes his ability to conjure chances from deep provides Klopp’s side with greater cutting edge.

“He has that little bit of creativity in there, if the front three are not firing or are just off their game. Shaqiri as a midfielder does offer you something a little bit special,” said the former Liverpool winger.

“And he has played really well of late. He has only been at Liverpool for three or four months. The games I have seen him of late, he has had a really big impact.”

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The 2-0 win over Fulham before the international break extended Liverpool’s unbeaten run since the start of the Premier League season to 12 matches.

Only Manchester City can better their total of 30 points and, regarding the race at the top, McManaman agreed with the policy expressed by the Reds’ players of focusing on themselves.

“Like most people, I’ve been very impressed – very impressed with the summer dealings and very impressed with how they have started the season,” added the 46-year-old.

“Bar a couple of iffy performances in the Champions League, which we hope they will rectify in the next couple of games, they are doing really well.

“All you can do is worry about what you do in a Liverpool shirt; if you win every single game from now until the end of the season you’ll probably win the league. We know it’s not as easy as that.

“As long as you play your best, try hard and work hard, the fans appreciate that.”

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Trent: Klopp's man management is perfect

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 07:57

Trent Alexander-Arnold can cite personal experience when he describes Jürgen Klopp's man management style as 'perfect'.

The Liverpool boss has overseen the young defender’s fairytale rise through the ranks since handing him a first-team debut in October 2016.

In little over two years since that breakthrough night for Alexander-Arnold, the Academy graduate has scored in front of the Kop, represented his boyhood club in a Champions League final, been to the World Cup, played 59 games for the Reds and, as of Thursday, netted for England at Wembley.

Liverpool coach Pepijn Lijnders, another influential figure in the Scouser’s development, has insisted in the past that players are ‘a product of their environment’.

Alexander-Arnold agrees, and the 20-year-old has highlighted the honesty of Klopp’s approach at Melwood as crucial to his personal progress – and that of the team.

“He demands a lot from his players and that’s why he’s had a lot of success throughout his career. We’ve all bought into the ideas that he’s brought into the team,” said the No.66, speaking in the latest edition of the official Liverpool FC magazine.

“I think with the right mentality the team can go a long way and with the mindset that he’s brought we’ve pushed forward over the past three years and I’m sure we can move even further ahead in the next few years.

“He obviously wants the best from everyone in his team and I like his honesty. He’s always straight with you and that’s good because you know what he’s saying is the truth, so you really listen to it and apply it to yourself.

“I think the way he goes about it is perfect. He knows when to be harsh with someone and when to put his arm around someone and help them along in tough times. I’ve experienced that a few times and it’s helped me to keep on performing.”

Alexander-Arnold provided the assist for Liverpool’s opening goal last time out, acting as the middle man in a lightning quick breakaway against Fulham that saw Mohamed Salah strike 14 seconds after the visitors had an effort disallowed.

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It was his second set-up of the season and though Klopp has not established any particular objectives for him, the player is eager to increase his numbers this term.

“The manager hasn’t set me any specific targets but as a full-back you need to get goals and assists in the modern game,” he said.

“Without him saying it, I think we both know that full-backs need to do that, so let’s say my own target would be more goals, more assists and more contributions going forward as well as helping the team to keep more clean sheets.”

Alexander-Arnold’s first ever Reds goal came from a direct free-kick during the Champions League play-off first leg at Hoffenheim in August 2017.

His technique from set-pieces has been evident ever since and his maiden assist of this campaign was from a corner for Joel Matip’s headed finish against Southampton.

It’s a skill Alexander-Arnold puts the hours in to hone, not least because he believes it can give him a marginal edge in the face of fierce competition for places.

“I work hard on practising my free-kicks and dead-ball deliveries,” he said. “I think if you want to master something you’ve got to practise and practise and when I get the opportunity, I always do.

“The rest of the squad work hard on parts of their play, too. There’s a lot of competition for places in this team and I think that the different things you can bring will get you in or out of a team really.

“So if set-pieces are one of your strengths then maybe you’ll get picked ahead of someone else. I’ve always thought that way and I’ve always tried to add things to my game. A lot of the lads are practising the free-kicks hard as well and they’re keeping everyone on their toes.

“Everyone’s got their own technique but the more you practise the more you find out about yourself and how you hit the ball. That comes with practice and maybe with watching other people take them as well.”

Click here to subscribe to the official Liverpool FC magazine.

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Internationals: Salah hits Egypt winner, Gini scores for Dutch

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 18:17

Mohamed Salah scored a superb winning goal for Egypt in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tunisia on Friday.

The Liverpool forward netted a decisive strike in the final minute of the match in Borg El Arab to earn the Pharaohs a vital 3-2 victory.

With the score tied, Salah completed a clever one-two to break through into the box before lifting a careful finish over the goalkeeper.

The result moved Egypt level on 12 points with Tunisia in qualifying Group J before their final fixture in the section, at Niger in March next year.

Georginio Wijnaldum was on target for the Netherlands, meanwhile, scoring the opening goal of their 2-0 win at home to France in the UEFA Nations League.

The midfielder struck a minute before the break at De Kuip, where he played 89 minutes and his Reds teammate and Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk the whole game. Memphis Depay added a second from the penalty spot in stoppage-time.

Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino featured for 90 minutes as Brazil beat Uruguay 1-0 – Neymar the goalscorer – in a friendly held at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium; Fabinho was an unused substitute for Tite’s side.

There was frustration for goalkeeper Kamil Grabara as Poland U21s lost 1-0 to Portugal in the first leg of their European Championship qualifying play-off. They meet again on Tuesday.

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Internationals: Salah scores last-minute winner for Egypt

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 18:17

Mohamed Salah scored a superb winning goal for Egypt in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tunisia on Friday.

The Liverpool forward netted a decisive strike in the final minute of the match in Borg El Arab to earn the Pharaohs a vital 3-2 victory.

With the score level, Salah completed a clever one-two to break through into the box before lifting a careful finish over the goalkeeper.

The result moved Egypt level on 12 points with Tunisia in qualifying Group J before their final fixture in the section, at Niger in March next year.

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Watch: Sir Kenny Dalglish receives knighthood

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 17:04

Kenny Dalglish was officially knighted during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday.

The Liverpool FC icon received the honour from Prince Charles after it had been announced in June that the Scot’s remarkable contributions both on and off the football pitch were to be recognised.

Dalglish enjoyed a glittering playing career with Celtic and the Reds that spanned more than 20 years and included a host of major honours, and also made a record 102 appearances for his country.

As Liverpool boss, he won three championships – becoming the first player/manager to achieve the league and FA Cup double in 1986 – and claimed a fourth with Blackburn Rovers in 1995.

Dalglish later returned for a second spell in the Anfield dugout in 2011 and led the club to League Cup success at Wembley during his 18 months in charge.

The knighthood also comes as recognition for his contributions off the pitch, including his unflinching support for the Hillsborough families and The Marina Dalglish Appeal; he has helped to raise more than £10million to improve cancer care across Merseyside.

“It’s humbling but you’re hugely proud,” said Dalglish. “You never set out in your life to do anything other than what your parents taught and wanted you to do.

“That was to be decent to people and if somebody needed help, you helped them. That’s all we’ve done. The three things they have recognised us for are all things really close to our hearts. Myself and Marina only did what we thought was right to be done.”

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: My road to recovery

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 17:00

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is currently on the road back to full fitness as he recovers from a knee ligament injury - and in the latest edition of BetVictor's 'This is Melwood', the midfielder chats candidly about his journey so far.

Oxlade-Chamberlain speaks frankly about the moment he sustained the issue during the first leg of the Champions League semi-final with AS Roma in April, and the milestones he's reached in his rehabilitation programme.

The No.21 also lifts the lid on his friendship with Rhian Brewster, forged as the pair worked together to overcome their injuries, as well as Jürgen Klopp's influence on his spirits and how the fans have helped him remain strong.

Watch the chat with Oxlade-Chamberlain in full in BetVictor's This is Melwood below for free now.

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Jamie Webster sings Virgil van Dijk's LFC song

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 16:49

Virgil van Dijk's very own Liverpool song is beginning to take off - and local musician Jamie Webster treated LFCTV to a rendition this week.

Webster was in the studio for the latest episode of LFC Later and played out the show with a live version of the terrace tribute to the Reds' No.4.

Take a look above.

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Who was the most prolific scorer per LFC manager?

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 13:57

Mohamed Salah joined Roberto Firmino as Liverpool's top Premier League goalscorer of the Jürgen Klopp era when he netted the opener in Sunday's 2-0 win over Fulham.

The Egyptian's cool finish just before half-time at Anfield took his top-flight tally to 38 goals for the Reds - no player has scored more under Klopp.

Only Firmino can match Salah, but while it took the Brazilian 109 games to hit the total, his teammate did it in 48.

However, serial record-breaker Salah still requires two more goals to match Firmino's team-leading tally of 54 strikes in all competitions under the current boss.

The duo's intriguing battle for Klopp-era bragging rights got us thinking about Liverpool's top marksmen for the club's previous managers too.

So, after some serious number crunching, we went all the way back to the first official post-war Football League season of 1946-47 to reveal the two most prolific players of every LFC regime since.

You might see some unexpected names in the list below, which is based on league goals only.

Enjoy!

Manager: Brendan Rodgers (Jun 2012 - Oct 2015)
League games: 122
League goals scored: 232

Manager: Kenny Dalglish (Jan 2011 - May 2012)
League games: 56
League goals scored: 82

Manager: Roy Hodgson (Jul 2010 - Jan 2011)
League games: 20
League goals scored: 24

Manager: Rafael Benitez (Jun 2004 - Jun 2010)
League games: 228
League goals scored: 371

Manager: Gerard Houllier (Nov 1998 - May 2004)
League games: 216
League goals scored: 354

Managers: Gerard Houllier and Roy Evans (July 1998 - Nov 1998)
League games: 12
League goals scored: 19

*Patrik Berger also scored three goals under Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier, over the course of 12 games. Redknapp scored three in nine matches.

Manager: Roy Evans (Jan 1994 - July 1998)
League games: 172
League goals scored: 280

Manager: Graeme Souness (Apr 1991 - Jan 1994)
League games: 115
League goals scored: 164

*Mark Walters also scored 11 goals under Graeme Souness, over the course of 70 games. Saunders scored 11 in 42 matches.

Manager: Ronnie Moran (Feb 1991 - Apr 1991)
League games: 9
League goals scored: 20

Manager: Kenny Dalglish (May 1985 - Feb 1991)
League games: 224
League goals scored: 437

Manager: Joe Fagan (Jul 1983 - May 1985)
League games: 84
League goals scored: 141

Manager: Bob Paisley (Jul 1974 - Jul 1983)
League games: 378
League goals scored: 648

Manager: Bill Shankly (Dec 1959 - Jul 1974)
League games: 609
League goals scored: 1,034

Manager: Phil Taylor (May 1956 - Nov 1959)
League games: 143
League goals scored: 283

Manager: Don Welsh (Mar 1951 - May 1956)
League games: 218
League goals scored: 370

Manager: George Kay (Post-war only: Aug 1946 - Jan 1951)
League games: 195
League goals scored: 300

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Klopp: Sadio had to learn he is world-class

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 11:56

Jürgen Klopp always knew Sadio Mane has world-class ability but the Liverpool forward moved up a level when he realised it himself.

The Reds boss brought the Senegal international to the club in his first summer transfer window, in 2016, and the No.10 has since scored 40 goals in 89 games.

Mane is part of one of the most frightening attacks in European football alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, with their combined total of 91 strikes last term helping Klopp’s side reach the Champions League final.

Naturally, the 26-year-old has experienced tough moments along the way too and it was actually his response to those, according to the manager, that convinced Mane of his own ceiling.

“He is an outstanding player, I never had any other opinion,” Klopp told Premier League Productions. “Since he came in he helped the team so much, he improved so much. He is an outstanding offensive player.

“If you ask me if he is a striker, yes, from time to time; is he a midfielder, yes, from time to time; he can probably play a slightly deeper position as well – we don’t have to play him there because we have other players there but he could play it as well.

“He is physically strong, technically strong, he is unbelievably quick, he is quick in mind as well, and he is a good shooter with both feet. That makes a good player and he is a fantastic person.

“He needed more confidence when he came in, the start was really good but I think he was a bit surprised by himself. Everything was good until the first time his shape dropped a little bit and then he struggled a bit with that, because he needed to get used to that he is a world-class player.

“Now, he knows that much better. That helps us. He is a really good player.”

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LFC Foundation part of Merseyside alliance tackling youth crime

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 10:30

LFC Foundation has joined forces with Everton in the Community, the Prince's Trust and the Shrewsbury House Youth Club in a £700,000 project which aims to tackle youth crime in the region.

The joint Merseyside Youth Alliance project will focus on the prevention of serious violence, tackling gang culture and protecting young people from exploitation.

The scheme will deliver early intervention programmes targeting young people aged eight to 19 across Merseyside, particularly in areas in south Sefton, north and central Liverpool, Huyton and Toxteth, where violence is at a high.

The funding has been provided by the Home Office's Early Intervention Youth Fund (EIYF) following a bid put forward and endorsed by the police and crime commissioner for Merseyside, Jane Kennedy.

LFC Foundation's interim head, Jenny Stewart, said: "This joint project is a great example of Merseyside organisations coming together for a greater good of the city. This additional funding will enable us to expand our many existing programmes with Merseyside Police that support thousands of young people across the region to tackle youth and gang crime."

Overseen by the police commissioner, the project aims to identify and gain the trust of young people and engage them in voluntary activities at schools, youth clubs and centres and through outreach work which will help them to understand and move away from potentially dangerous and criminal situations. 

It will also focus on supporting young people to identify their own strengths and develop their skills, helping them to build a more positive future. 

With the funding, the Merseyside Youth Alliance project will recruit specialist school workers and youth workers who will develop key relationships, support schools in target areas and be able to mentor students confidentially. 

'Speak Up' campaigns will be developed within schools to encourage young people to share any concerns they have in relation to gang culture or violent crime. Teachers and staff will also receive training to identify those at high risk of becoming involved in gang activity.

Kennedy said: "Reaching young people before they are targeted by more sophisticated individuals who draw them into a dangerous, criminal lifestyle is essential if we are to break the cycle of gang-related violence in our communities.

"I was really pleased to be able to work with these four really effective organisations to put forward this bid and I'm delighted that the Home Office has clearly recognised the importance of this project by allocating the full amount requested of £700,000.

"With this money, we can work in the most troubled communities to target the young people most at risk of harm, building their confidence, equipping them with new skills and encouraging them to strive for a brighter future.  

"With two of the country's biggest football clubs on board, the experience of the Prince's Trust and the experience, community knowledge and understanding provided by the Shrewsbury House Youth Club, this project can have a huge impact transforming the lives of hundreds of potentially vulnerable young people, but also have far-reaching benefits for their families, schools and the wider community. 

"If we can reduce the number of young people entering gangs and becoming involved in serious violence, it will improve lives across our region."

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Robbo reveals Klopp's reaction to his Scotland captaincy

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:40

Andy Robertson has revealed how Jürgen Klopp reacted in typically enigmatic fashion to his appointment as Scotland captain in September.

The Liverpool left-back sent his club manager a short text message before the news broke – and quickly received an emphatically comic response.

“I texted him saying, ‘Just so you know, I’m getting the captaincy,” Robertson explained to Open Goal. “It was just out of respect because I didn’t want him finding out from someone else.

“I said, ‘Gaffer, thanks very much for everything you’ve done, I’m going to be Scotland captain, I hope it can be a success’ – all that sort of stuff.

“And then he just texted back in big capital letters: ‘You are the real Scottish Braveheart now’! I gave him a thumb emoji and he gave me the wee dance emoji. Brilliant. That sums him up.”

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Gini: It's not about stats, it's about winning something

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 09:04

Liverpool's Premier League statistics so far this season make for pleasant reading.

The Reds sit in second place in the table, only two points shy of reigning champions Manchester City, with almost a third of the campaign completed.

Jürgen Klopp’s side have accrued 30 points from their opening 12 matches without defeat and have shipped only five goals.

Including the final months of last term, their defensive record at Anfield is remarkable – with only one concession in the past 11 home league fixtures.

It is a run to be proud of; but Georginio Wijnaldum does not want those figures to be celebrated until they lead to tangible success for the team.

“It is good to hear, of course, but we are not playing for statistics – we are playing to win games and at the end of the season, we hope we can win something,” said the Liverpool midfielder.

“Of course it is something good when you don’t concede goals because that makes it easier to win games and also suggests that we have defended well but I think you also need a little bit of luck. We saw that when we played against Man City and they had the penalty near the end but put it over the bar.

“Of course, those figures say something about our defensive qualities, particularly at home, but we have to make sure that we continue that now and go on a new run.”

The arrival of Virgil van Dijk in January has had a clear effect on Liverpool’s defensive solidity.

Wijnaldum credits his compatriot for making a ‘real difference’ since joining the club from Southampton, though the No.5 insists collective organisation is the main factor in the Reds’ resolve at the back.

“I think Virgil has made a difference in the last line because he is a good defender, a big defender. He is an extra man who can defend set-pieces as well,” he added.

“He is a leader in the last line who not only helps himself with his quality but also the players next to him and so he really helps the team.

“But it is not only Virgil, the team helps him also – the players who play next to him or in front of him and the goalkeeper too because we all have to communicate with each other and help each other.

“It is good teamwork that makes us do things so well, but of course he has made a real difference since he came.”

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Trent tipped for the top after first England goal

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 08:15

Trent Alexander-Arnold was tipped to go 'right to the top' after scoring his first goal for England on Thursday night.

The Liverpool right-back powered home the Three Lions’ second in a 3-0 friendly victory over USA at Wembley, becoming the youngest Reds player to net for the country since Michael Owen in 1999.

“Childhood dream: Score at Wembley for England,” Alexander-Arnold later posted on social media, having ticked off another milestone in his remarkable fledgling career.

There will be many more such moments to come, according to former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp, who believes the Scouser has all the skills to reach the summit of the game.

“He is such a good footballer,” he told Sky Sports.

“The way he passes the ball; a good player passes it with pace and purpose, because they know the quicker you get it to someone, the more time they’ve got. That’s what he does so well.

“It’s effortless for him. He might make mistakes, he might get in the wrong position now and then, but he’s got blistering pace.

“He’s got it all, this young man. From what I can gather, he’s got a level head, a good family around him. He’s going to go right to the top.”

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