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Updated: 32 min 38 sec ago

'We know what it'll take to win more trophies' - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 08:00

Liverpool need to continue overcoming frequent and unique tests if they are to build on last season's Champions League victory, according to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The midfielder believes Saturday's 2-1 victory at Southampton – hot on the heels of the midweek Super Cup triumph in Istanbul – was the latest example of the team's ever-improving ability to grind out results.

Winning Europe's premier club competition has given the Reds vital experience that Oxlade-Chamberlain now wants to use while competing on different fronts this term.

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"We’ve had a taste of winning [a trophy] and we knew what it took to get there," the 26-year-old told Liverpoolfc.com. "It was nowhere near easy. I think it’s going to get harder and harder.

"We know what it’s going to take, there are going to be moments that test us and maybe new tests this year that we didn’t face last year.

"We had to dig in, the boys dug in all last year through difficult moments, where you’re expected to win and still go out and win. We know there’s going to be tests and we know that’s what’s required."

There is a collective determination among the squad and staff to ensure Madrid was just the start of a sustained period of success for the club.

Oxlade-Chamberlain added: "Mentally, this group of players is top drawer. The manager is one of the most mentally persistent managers out there, for sure, he keeps us going.

"We know what the demands are on each other. And I think that has grown in the team, there are more and more leaders coming out of this side – not just Hendo, Millie, Virg. Everyone is starting to take responsibility for what they need to do on and off the ball.

"It’s a team that’s really going in the right direction. But it’s early in the season; we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground, keep plugging away and keep churning out results.”

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Match report: LFC U23s beaten by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 20:59

Liverpool U23s were defeated 3-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

Goals either side of the break by Michy Batshuayi preceded Faustino Anjorin’s strike 16 minutes from time as the young Reds endured a difficult evening in the capital.

The hosts’ first goal was created and finished by two full internationals, Antonio Rudiger supplying Batshuayi to give Chelsea a deserved lead with 40 minutes on the clock, and the Belgian was on hand to power in his side’s second very soon after the interval.

Anjorin then completed the scoring late on after Caoimhin Kelleher had made an outstanding save to deny Batshuayi his hat-trick. 

Liverpool managed to withstand significant early pressure, with Morgan Boyes and Ki-Jana Hoever making last-ditch blocks to thwart Anjorin and Juan Castillo inside the opening 15 minutes.

A fine Kelleher stop, low to his right, frustrated Tariq Lamptey soon after when the Chelsea defender cut inside to get his shot away following a buccaneering burst forward from right-back.

Having negotiated their way through that spell unscathed, Neil Critchley’s team gained something of a foothold in the game by virtue of keeping hold of the ball for longer periods.

Blues goalkeeper Jamie Cumming remained untroubled, though, and Liverpool were again indebted to Kelleher for their parity midway through the half.

Billy Gilmour’s blast from distance was destined for the top corner before the young Reds’ stopper acrobatically turned it behind. 

Another crucial Boyes interception, this time ahead of Batshuayi as the striker lurked at the back post, swiftly followed and Elijah Dixon-Bonner then managed to get his toe to the ball to prevent Gilmour from making a clean connection on a shot from just inside the penalty area.

Chelsea’s dominance did finally tell five minutes prior to the break, however.

Batshuayi beat Sepp van den Berg to Rudiger’s lofted pass, then got back to his feet quickly after colliding with Kelleher on the edge of the box and coolly chipped into an empty net.

And, just two minutes into the second half, Batshuayi had his second of the evening.

Castillo found Anjorin with a low ball into the box from the left and, in turn, Chelsea’s No.10 fed the Belgian, who finished by smashing into the roof of the net.

Only a terrific save from Kelleher, who spread himself bravely at the forward’s feet, stopped Batshuayi from completing a quick-fire hat-trick and Anjorin struck the crossbar on the rebound.

Critchley made a triple substitution just after the hour mark, but it was Chelsea who continued making all the running in an attacking sense. 

Tariq Uwakwe linked up well with Batshuayi and crashed a shot goalwards that hit Kelleher in the face a minute before Anjorin jinked free in the area and slotted in the hosts’ third. 

Harvey Elliott called Cumming into action in the closing stages after a neat first touch bought him the space to get a shot off, but Liverpool could not force a late consolation. 

Liverpool U23s: Kelleher, Hoever (Williams, 63), Van den Berg, Boyes, Larouci (Gallacher, 63), Kane, Lewis, Dixon-Bonner, Jones, Elliott, Brewster (Duncan, 63).

Unused subs: Atherton, Clayton.

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Loan watch: Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic on the mark

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 10:00

Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic were both on the scoresheet during their fixtures on the weekend.

Wilson marked his Premier League debut by scoring a trademark long-range effort for Bournemouth in their 2-1 victory at Aston Villa on Saturday.

“I loved it. It’s what I’ve been working towards," the Welshman told afcbTV afterwards. “I have had a lot of minutes in the Championship and internationally but never in the Prem.

“I was delighted to get my first minutes, thankful to the manager for picking me from the start and I enjoyed it.

“I just wanted to get out there, get on the ball, try to create stuff and I felt I did that."

Grujic's second spell in the Bundesliga with Hertha BSC got off to a promising start as the midfielder scored at the Allianz Arena in a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich on Friday night.

Elsewhere in Germany, Nathaniel Phillips was on the winning side when he appeared as a second-half substitute in Stuttgart's 2-1 victory over St. Pauli on Saturday. Taiwo Awoniyi played a handful of minutes in Mainz's defeat at Freiburg.

In Scotland, Sheyi Ojo scored Rangers' second in the second leg of their Europa League third-round qualifier with FC Midtjylland on Thursday.

Liam Millar recorded an assist in extra-time to help Kilmarnock beat Hamilton Academical in the second round of the Scottish League Cup on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Ovie Ejaria played 85 minutes of Reading's 3-0 victory over Cardiff City in the Championship.

But there were defeats for Kamil Grabara's Huddersfield Town and an Oxford United team featuring Ben Woodburn.

Defender Rhys Williams earned a clean sheet in Kidderminster Harriers' 1-0 win over Curzon Ashton.

Allan Rodrigues de Souza, who has been called up for Brazil's Olympic Selection, played the entirety of Fluminense's 1-0 defeat to CS Alagoano on Sunday.

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6.30pm BST: Watch Chelsea v LFC U23s live on LFCTV

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 08:30

Liverpool U23s face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Premier League 2 on Monday night - watch the game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 6.30pm BST.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm, but our coverage begins half an hour earlier when Mark Benstead will be joined by former Reds Neil Mellor and Dominic Matteo.

Click here to watch the game live>>

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Jürgen Klopp on Liverpool's front three: 'I'm so thankful we have them'

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 08:00

Jürgen Klopp saluted the world-class talents of his front three that he believed made all the difference during Saturday's 2-1 victory at Southampton.

Sadio Mane unlocked a tense affair at St Mary's with a superb curling effort in first-half stoppage time before Roberto Firmino doubled the Reds' lead midway through the second period.

After a midweek trip to Istanbul for the UEFA Super Cup encounter with Chelsea that involved extra-time and penalties, the Liverpool manager was thankful to have a trio of match-winners in his starting XI on the south coast.

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"A lot of times in my life I had sensational players always [but] not world-class players," Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com. "Now, thank God I have them and they make the difference. We don't have to talk about that. 

"Sadio Mane, Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah – these guys in the last situation are really outstanding. 

"They were a constant threat, however tired they are. That's brilliant and, of course, made the difference. We don't have to talk about that." 

Mane's curler came right at the end of a strong showing in the opening 45 minutes from Ralph Hasenhuttl's side, who responded well to their opening-day defeat at Burnley.

But a small tactical tweak at the break then helped Liverpool take more control of the encounter as they made it two wins from two in the Premier League.

"I think Southampton tried to kill our game with their formation and they played different against Burnley obviously," Klopp explained.

"They had a real proper fight at the back, so that gave us space on the wings. We used that but not often enough, otherwise they would have had to run much more. We could adjust that a little bit at half-time.

"I'm really happy. It's so important. The start of the season is so important. Having an away game at Southampton is always difficult, but in the week we had, it was special."

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The media on Southampton 1-2 LFC: 'Mane the game-changer'

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 11:00

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino netted superb strikes as Liverpool claimed a hard-fought 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday.

Ex-Red Danny Ings pulled a late goal back for the Saints but the Reds held on to claim three points.

Here is what the media made of the victory…

Neil Jones, Goal.com

It’s always the ones you love that hurt you the most. Southampton know all about Mane but, at St Mary’s on Saturday, they got a painful reminder of their former star’s quality. Liverpool, his new love, left the south coast with three points and their perfect start to the Premier League season intact after a 2-1 victory that was more rugged than stylish, but nothing if not important. No Super Cup hangover for Jürgen Klopp’s side, who just about shrugged off their midweek workload. They’ll play better this season, for sure, but they won’t get many better wins, given the context. Mane, though, was the game-changer – just as he had been against Chelsea in the week. His brilliant strike, a minute into first-half stoppage time, broke open a game that looked like it might pass Liverpool by. After the break, as the visitors found more of their rhythm, it was the Senegal man who stood above everyone else. If there's a better wide attacker in the game right now, he's well hidden.

Connor Dunn, Liverpool Echo

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player Liverpool fans have been excited to see back in action since his unfortunate injury saw him miss almost the entirety of last season. The travelling Kop got a first taste of what their side had been missing without the midfielder in Liverpool’s Super Cup triumph over Chelsea in Istanbul when he played a wonderful ball with the outside of his boot to Mohamed Salah early on in the match. The England international was making his first Premier League start since the Reds’ 3-0 win against Bournemouth in April 2018 and he was back in his preferred midfield position. It made a huge difference playing the England international in an area of the pitch that he knows so well, as he thrived down on the south coast linking the play between defence and attack superbly well with a skill set Reds fans have been crying out for.

Tom Morgan, Telegraph

Mane - the old hero of St Mary's - stuck the knife in. Yet again it was a demonstration of devastating left-sided Liverpool attacking play, a John Barnes-style pearler. The biggest source of optimism for Klopp will undoubtedly be the second-half performance of Oxlade-Chamberlain who started consecutive games for the first time in more than a year. He was withdrawn at the half-way stage against Chelsea in midweek, but he sparkled in the second half, with neat flicks and long-range passes. "Outstanding" was the manager's evaluation.

Tony Evans, Independent

Mane’s brilliance took the sting out of Southampton for most of the second period. Andy Robertson and James Milner exchanged passes on congested left flank and the ball was fed in to Mane. The striker opened his body and curled a shot into the far corner. Southampton looked stunned. Now Klopp’s team were on top and Liverpool could easily have extended their lead when Salah shot straight at Angus Gunn from an acute angle. Then Mane imposed himself again, winning possession from a Southampton throw-in and finding Firmino in the area. The Brazilian wriggled across the box until he found a little space and then arrowed a low shot into the net. Liverpool held on in a rousing finish. Hasenhüttl will be sick, Klopp relieved. Liverpool underwent a severe test.

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

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Jürgen Klopp sets Liverpool record after Southampton win

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:00

Liverpool's 2-1 victory over Southampton on Saturday saw Jürgen Klopp amass 300 league points in fewer games than any manager in the club's history.

The trip to St Mary's was the German's 146th league match in charge of the Reds since taking over in October 2015.

The three points claimed after goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino helped Klopp surpass the mark previously set by Sir Kenny Dalglish, who reached the threshold in 150 fixtures.

Club statistician Ged Rea has broken down the numbers based on three points for a win.

Number of games to reach 300 league points

Jürgen Klopp – 146 (17/8/19)

Kenny Dalglish (first spell) – 150 (14/3/89)

Rafael Benitez – 159 (5/10/08)

Bob Paisley – 161 (8/4/78)

Bill Shankly – 166 (30/11/63)

Gerard Houllier – 169 (8/3/03)

Tom Watson – 197 (6/9/02)

Matt McQueen – 205 (2/1/28)

George Kay – 212 (25/8/48)

George Patterson – 220 (27/12/32)

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

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:00

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 August 19     

Inclusion Camp

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 10am-5pm

Women and Girl’s Football Camp

Woodchurch High School Sports Complex - 9.30am-3pm

Premier League Girls Football session

Woodchurch High School Sports Complex - 6pm-7pm (age 13+)

Kicks Football Summer Roadshow sessions

The Youthy, Huyton - 5pm-6pm (age 8-10), 6pm-7pm (age 11-15)
Walton Hall Park - 7pm-8pm (age 11-17)

Open Goals

Springfield Park and Garden - 4pm-6pm (age 5+ and parents)

Tuesday August 20

Kicks Football Summer Roadshow sessions

Adlam Activity Centre, Fazakerley - 5pm-6pm (age 8-10), 6pm-7pm (age 11-15)

Red Neighbours Walking Football

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 3pm-4pm

Open Goals

Seaforth in Bowersdale Park (meet at Bowersdale Resource Centre) - 5pm-6pm (age 5+ and parents)

Premier League Girls Football session

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 5pm-6pm (age 13+)

Women and Girl’s Football Camp

Woodchurch High School Sports Complex - 9.30am-3pm

Wednesday August 21     

Kicks Football Summer Roadshow sessions

Westvale Community Centre, Kirkby - 5pm-6pm (age 8-10), 6pm-7pm (age 11-15)

Open Goals

Crosby in Coronation Park (meet at Alchemy Crosby Youth & Community Centre) - 4.30pm-5.30pm (age 5+ and parents)

Thursday August 22           

Kicks Football Summer Roadshow sessions

Belle Vale Park - 6pm-7pm (age 8-10), 7pm-8pm (age 11-15)
Jubilee Sports Park, Kensington - 5pm-6pm (age 8-10), 6pm-7pm (age 11-15)

Open Goals

Jubilee Sports Bank, Kensington - 4pm-6pm (age 5+ and parents)
Belle Vale Park - 5pm-7pm

Friday August 23

Kicks Football Summer Roadshow sessions

Croxteth Health & Wellbeing Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 8-10), 7pm-8pm (age 11-15)
Wavertree Sports Park – 6pm-8pm (age 14-19)

Red Neighbours Walking Football

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11am-12pm

Red Neighbours Walking Netball

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11.30am-12.30pm

Open Goals

Rice Lane Recreation Ground - 4pm-6pm (age 5+ and parents)

Inclusion Sports Day

LFC Academy, Kirkby - 10am-3pm

Family Fun Day

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11am-3pm 

Saturday August 24    

Open Goals

Stanley Park (meet at Isla Gladstone) - 12pm-3pm (age 5+ and parents)
Newsham Park - 11am-12.30pm (age 5+ and parents)
Norris Green Park (meet by playground) - 1.30pm-3.30pm (age 5+ and parents)
Crown Park, Edge Hill - 1pm-2.30pm (age 5+ and parents)
Garston Park  - 3pm-5pm (age 5+ and parents)

Sunday August 18   

Open Goals    

Walton Hall Park – 11am-12.30pm (age 5+ and parents)
Belle Vale Park – 11am-12.30pm (age 5+ and parents)
Doric Park - 11am-12.30pm (age 5+ and parents)

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Sadio Mane explains Southampton strike

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 08:00

Sadio Mane planned his emphatic opening strike against Southampton on Saturday before even receiving the ball from James Milner.

The Liverpool forward struck for the third time in the past two matches in first-half stoppage-time at St Mary’s, where the Reds went on to win 2-1.

Collecting Milner’s pass just inside the Saints area, Mane held off the attentions of the opposition defence and powerfully whipped a finish into the top corner.

“I thought it was really open between two defenders,” the No.10 told Liverpoolfc.com.

“So when I saw Millie I knew he was going to give me the ball, then I saw the man, no-one was close to me, they stood off and I tried to go a bit outside and put the ball inside.”

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Despite returning to training less than a fortnight ago, Mane has made a hugely impressive start to the 2019-20 campaign.

The Senegal international notched a double in the UEFA Super Cup final against Chelsea, then added an assist for Roberto Firmino to his own effort at Southampton.

“I’ve been working so hard and will keep on working hard,” he said, when asked to rate his current level of form.

“That’s it, I’m just trying to do everything to help my team. And, at the end of the day, the important thing is the three points.”

Liverpool shrugged off a tight turnaround between their exertions over 120 minutes and a penalty shootout in Istanbul on Wednesday and the need to perform again on Saturday.

Mane insisted their success in maintaining a 100 per cent start in the Premier League was as much in the mind as in the physical effort.

“We know it’s part of our job,” he added.

“After playing 120 minutes in midweek it wasn’t too easy but we have to do it and we tried to recover well, come back stronger and try to give everything to try to win the games.

“I think the tiredness is here [points to his head]. It was a really important three points, really important.”

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Southampton 1-2 LFC: Watch highlights, reaction and more

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 23:59

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Oxlade-Chamberlain interview: 'It's so nice to be able to contribute again'

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 19:29

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was delighted to contribute significantly for Liverpool again in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League win at Southampton.

The midfielder made his first league start since April 14, 2018 against one of his former clubs and performed strongly to help make it six points out of six for Jürgen Klopp’s team.

After the final whistle confirmed a hard-fought result secured by Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino goals, Oxlade-Chamberlain explained the emotion of being at the heart of a victory.

“It was nice to be back out there. In a winning performance is always nice as well,” the No.15 told Liverpoolfc.com at St Mary’s.

“In the first half I felt my way into it a bit and got to grips with what’s what. You have to play off triggers; so when Trent [Alexander-Arnold] gets the ball, it’s about getting back into rhythm with my movements off him and Mo [Salah] and the rest of the team. I think in the second half I settled into a bit better.

“I had an alright game, a decent game but the main thing was I wanted to make sure I focused on the defensive duties and making sure I was putting in the work and had the legs to help the boys. I’m glad we did that as a team.

“On a personal level, it’s nice for me, it has been a while since I started but I’m delighted that I could help contribute to the team because that’s what I’ve missed so much, being able to contribute and help this set of players to achieve things. It was really nice to be back out there.”

There were fewer than 72 hours between Liverpool’s energy-sapping UEFA Super Cup success in Istanbul and kick-off on the south coast on Saturday.

But Oxlade-Chamberlain revealed that the mentality in the squad ahead of the game meant nobody would allow fatigue to influence their display.

“We knew it was going to be a tough ask but we said straight after the game [in midweek] there were no excuses about playing 120 minutes for some of the lads or travel,” he said.

“The fixtures are there and you’ve got to go and win them. We didn’t want to come off the pitch with any excuses as to why we didn’t get the right result.

“We suffered in patches but we managed to come through them, which we knew was going to happen and we knew we had to do, so that’s really positive.

“We played some really good stuff in parts as well. We were under the cosh a bit at the end. But it was absolutely brilliant from the boys; after a big midweek, to come and do that at a tough place [shows] what we’re made of.”

A scrappy opening 45 minutes was highlighted by Mane’s outstanding curler to open the scoring just moments before half-time.

Watch free: Mane's screamer against Southampton

Liverpool improved after the break and doubled their advantage through Firmino, but a late Danny Ings response for Saints – an Adrian clearance striking the former Reds man and going into the net – kept the contest alive until the final whistle.

Oxlade-Chamberlain felt the visitors merited the three points for the way they dug in, though.

“At 2-0 that’s as comfortable as you’d probably feel in an away game at a place like this; we were controlling the game, keeping the ball well, creating chances,” the Englishman reflected.

“You can concede a goal and everything just flips like that. But you’ve got to expect that throughout the season and you’ve got to be able to withstand those moments.

“They had a few chances, they could have scored perhaps but we probably had more that we could have scored as well. So overall, on the balance of the play we deserved the win.

“The boys had to dig in deep, it was brilliant character from us. That’s what this team is made of and we’re going to have to keep doing that.”

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Free video: Sadio Mane's brilliant strike against Southampton

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 18:59

Sadio Mane's brilliant opening goal in Saturday's win at Southampton is available to watch free on LFCTV GO now.

The Liverpool forward slammed in a curler in first-half stoppage-time to set his side on course for a 2-1 victory at St Mary's.

And you can see the stunning effort in the video above simply by registering with LFCTV GO free of charge.

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Southampton 1-2 Liverpool: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 17:55

Jürgen Klopp saluted Liverpool for an 'outstanding job' done following their 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday.

A stunning Sadio Mane goal put the Reds ahead on the stroke of half-time at St Mary's, before Roberto Firmino's fine finish with 71 minutes on the clock appeared to have wrapped up an ultimately comfortable victory.

However, Danny Ings pulled one back late on for Southampton, the former Liverpool striker capitalising on a misjudged pass from Adrian to ensure a nervy end to proceedings.

The Reds, though, held out to secure all three points - much to the delight of Klopp.

Read on for a summary of the boss' post-match press conference...

[embedded content]

On whether the victory is more significant and ‘bigger than it might have been’ given his side’s UEFA Super Cup exploits in midweek…

No. We played here last year I don’t know after which game and it was difficult. Southampton is a good team, they defend well, they are really just difficult to play. Good counter-attacks, good organisation, all that stuff. Last year, we were 1-0 down and won 3-1 right? That was really difficult and this afternoon it was difficult again. Nothing to do with the game in midweek: I said before the game, if we would have come here with two weeks’ preparation it would be difficult. So I liked the game a lot, to be honest. It’s not allowed to think too much about Wednesday but of course I know it, so I was really impressed with how fresh we looked, in the start especially, just how good we were.

We controlled the game, we were fluent, all that stuff and then with the long balls and set-pieces Southampton came up then. But Sadio scored a fantastic goal in pretty much the best moment at least of the first half, in the last second pretty much. That helped, of course, and in the second half we made other big steps. We really controlled the game better, did a lot of good things, and then minute 83, I saw it up on the screen, and Adrian thought ‘I played really well, so maybe I have to make the same mistake as Ali did!’ and kept the game a little bit open. So then they came up and Ingsy had a big chance. That’s normal and I think then the boys felt the tiredness, that was the moment you think, ‘Really? Now we have to go again?’ So, we kept the result, I think we deserved the three points and I’m completely fine with that.

On whether he spoke to Adrian about his error…

Yes: ‘You finally arrived, welcome!’ Ali did the same. Obviously it’s a goalie thing at Liverpool, no problem with that as long as we win the games. All good.

On Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s display…

Brilliant. It was outstanding good. It was 45 minutes on Wednesday, we can now say they helped for sure, to get the minutes, to feel the intensity, and know you are ready for the intensity. Then today we had to make changes and we did. Especially for us it’s really important that in the centre of the park we are ready for all these long runs, all these decisive things, so we changed there… it was good to have this opportunity and Ox was obviously not bad today.

On Adrian’s performance…

Adrian had a swollen ankle and we played too many balls back to him in that period. I was happy with everything he did today, all the saves, all that stuff. The other players have to then feel more the responsibility for the build-up and cannot give all the balls back to him and hope the pain-killers still help or whatever. I don’t think the goal was because of that, but a few other balls were. He is completely good with his feet. If you would have seen his ankle on Thursday after we left the plane then you would say even the pass before the [Southampton] goal was better than you would have expected! It is all fine.

 

On how close Adrian was to not playing…

He had a clearing session this morning at 10 o’clock and then the message flew to my iPhone and said he is fine. If the message would have been he is not then I would have had to make a decision, but until then it was all good. We were waiting for that. He said at breakfast he would be fine, but we had to test it and that’s what we did.

On adding two trophies to Liverpool’s overall haul in the last couple of months…

I have nothing to do with pretty much 99 per cent of the trophies the club have won! It took long enough to get rid of the burden of all the success in the past, so it is good we won the games. We will never forget that for sure, our supporters will never forget that. Actually, it is easy to be happy after the game and then be concentrated the next morning about the next thing. It is not that we now run constantly through the floors or whatever and celebrate and don’t put our arms down! It’s all OK. That’s why I liked it so much [today]. We are not used to winning big things and then coming to Southampton, I really loved how much respect we showed today. I said before the game that this looks like the biggest banana skin in history; everybody is waiting for it and probably all the headlines were written already. I told the boys the headline I would prefer is ‘the mentality giants were in town’ – that’s how I feel it in the moment. The boys did an outstanding job for today, all good, let’s go home, recover and start again.

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Report: Mane and Firmino strike to clinch victory at St Mary's

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 16:55

Liverpool made it two wins from two in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at Southampton on Saturday afternoon.

After the hosts had threatened throughout the first half, it was Sadio Mane who opened the scoring in additional time, bending a sublime effort into the top corner from just inside the box to give the Reds the lead.

The visitors furthered their advantage when Roberto Firmino got off the mark for 2019-20 by drilling in a second on 71 minutes; however, former Liverpool forward Danny Ings reduced the arrears when Adrian’s attempted pass ricocheted off him and into the back of the net.

Ings then missed a chance to draw the Saints level before the end in a tense finale, but Jürgen Klopp’s side held on to clinch the three points.

Teams

With Adrian passed fit to start in goal after an ankle issue threatened to rule him out of contention, Liverpool made three changes to the team deployed against Chelsea in the Super Cup in midweek. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and Firmino came in for Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Divock Origi.

First half

Liverpool kicked off at St Mary’s aiming to maintain their early-season momentum following the Premier League win over Norwich City and Super Cup triumph against Chelsea in Istanbul.

With four minutes on the clock, James Milner strode into space on the edge of the area and had a strike deflect into the arms of Angus Gunn as the Reds set about asserting themselves on the contest.

There was danger, however, when Che Adams attempted to reach a ball forward under the attentions of Virgil van Dijk on the 18-yard line, but his prod under pressure from the Dutchman was easily gathered by Adrian.

The Reds were dominating possession, but were thankful Maya Yoshida couldn’t make a connection with Adams’ volley on the turn from a corner when close to goal.

That opportunity came when then visitors were temporarily down to 10 men after a clash of heads left Milner requiring medical assistance on a cut – and it was another set-piece that presented Southampton with an opportunity.

Again, it was Yoshida causing the problem, but Adrian produced a stunning save at point-blank range to thwart the centre-back’s header.

By this point, the Saints were in the ascendancy and causing problems – and on 29 minutes, Yan Valery looked to pounce after Adrian had pushed away a low cross, but was unable to get a strike in on goal under pressure from opposing defenders.

At the other end, Mohamed Salah’s speed took him away from Yoshida to reach Andy Robertson’s low ball forward, though he could only snap a shot wide of the near upright.

Still, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men carved out another good opening when Oriol Romeu’s deep centre picked out Adams’ head, who bulleted over the crossbar.

Nevertheless, it was to be Liverpool who broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time.

Mane collected possession from Milner’s lay-off on the left corner of the area, shifted the ball onto his right foot and arched an unstoppable shot beyond Gunn into the top corner.

Second half

Having spent large parts of the opening half dealing with Southampton’s threat, Liverpool began the second period strongly.

Indeed, only a fine challenge from Jan Bednarek prevented a clear shooting opportunity for Firmino inside the box following Salah’s pass before Milner sent a half-volley skidding inches wide just after.

Then, on 56 minutes, Salah scampered in behind the home defence, only to have his attempt to steer across goal denied by the boot of Gunn.

Firmino then went agonisingly close to turning Mane’s square ball into the bottom corner with his side foot following a speedy raid down the left; however, it rolled a fraction wide of the post with Gunn beaten.

Ex-Red Ings did threaten when he curled just over the bar shortly after being introduced into the action as a substitute.

But Liverpool did grab a second when Mane won possession back from Stuart Armstrong on the left and pushed the ball into the path of Firmino. The Brazilian rode a couple of challenges as he strode across the box before reversing a shot beyond Gunn.

Gunn did keep out efforts from Mane and Robertson, while Adrian had to turn Matip’s interception from a cross around his own post.

Southampton were given late hope when Adrian’s attempted pass deflected against Ings and rolled into the net with eight minutes remaining.

Fortunately, the forward spurned a glorious opportunity to draw the home team level soon after when he failed to connect with a cross inside the six-yard box.

But Liverpool withstood the pressure to claim their second three points of 2019-20 so far.

Stats

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Southampton v Liverpool: Listen to our live commentary

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 14:50
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Melwood Champions Wall gets UEFA Super Cup upgrade

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 14:34

There was a further upgrade to the Champions Wall at Melwood on Saturday morning as Liverpool's fourth UEFA Super Cup was added to their honours list.

A penalty shootout win over Chelsea after a 2-2 draw in Istanbul secured the latest trophy in the club’s history on Wednesday, following up their Champions League triumph in June.

The newest achievement for Jürgen Klopp’s team is now reflected at the training ground as a shiny new ‘4’ was listed for their Super Cup tally – as you can see in the video above.

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Jürgen Klopp on Adrian recovery and changes against Southampton

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 14:11

Jürgen Klopp has provided an update on Adrian's recovery from an ankle issue and explained his changes for Saturday's clash with Southampton.

The Liverpool goalkeeper starts at St Mary’s after sustaining a freak injury in Istanbul in midweek.

“I’m very pleased about that,” said Klopp. “We tested it this morning. Yesterday it was already better but still swollen. Now it’s good, so obviously not that serious.

“In the first moment it looked horrible when we came out of the plane [on Thursday]. It was really difficult but now he is there and should be fine.”

With Alisson Becker sidelined and Caoimhin Kelleher coming back from an injury, Andy Lonergan is the substitute goalkeeper for the Premier League meeting with Saints.

“And Caoimhin Kelleher is here as well,” added the manager. “We really like Andy and everything is fine but we want to push our young boy as well. Caoimhin is ready to go as well.

“Hopefully we don’t have to make the decision who will come from the bench because Adrian can play through and especially perform on the highest level. That’s all I think about. But whoever comes on, I trust.”

Klopp has made three changes to his starting XI to face Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino brought in.

Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho are on the bench.

“We had to think a little bit about Wednesday night – but pretty early and then not anymore,” explained the boss.

“And that’s what we decided; the two midfielders with the highest work-rate on Wednesday night [come out of the team]. We have options so let’s do it. That’s what we did, that’s why we changed and that’s it.”

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Team news: Confirmed Liverpool line-up v Southampton

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 13:59

Adrian starts in goal after being passed fit for Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Southampton this afternoon.

The goalkeeper has recovered from an ankle issue to take his place in the Reds’ starting line-up at St Mary’s.

In total, Jürgen Klopp makes three changes from the team deployed in the Super Cup final in midweek, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino restored to the XI.

Liverpool: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Subs: Lonergan, Fabinho, Gomez, Henderson, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi.

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Adrian injury latest ahead of Southampton clash

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 13:44

Adrian has been named in Liverpool’s matchday squad for today’s game with Southampton after being passed fit.

The goalkeeper sustained an ankle injury in midweek, but has sufficiently recovered enough to be in contention for the clash at St Mary’s.

Liverpool’s confirmed starting line-up will be released at 2pm BST.

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Match report: Stewart stunner gives U18s late win over Stoke

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 12:59

Layton Stewart's 88th-minute goal gave Liverpool U18s a 3-2 win from an entertaining league clash with Stoke City at the Academy on Saturday.

Jake Cain and Tom Hill had scored first-half goals for the young Reds, who were twice pegged back by the visitors and looked likely to have to settle for a point.

But Stewart’s excellent late finish, lobbed over the goalkeeper, means Barry Lewtas’ side have made an 100 per cent start to the U18 Premier League season.

Stoke fashioned the first chance on a bright morning in Kirkby as Jai Verma sought to pounce on a cross from the right but was denied by a crucial Jarell Quansah block at the last.

And within moments, the hosts took the lead.

After a quick turnover of possession in the ninth minute, Matteo Ritaccio smartly slid a pass through to the forward run of Cain and the No.8 guided a low finish beyond the goalkeeper.

It could have been two courtesy of a smooth passing exchange involving the same two Reds but Ritaccio’s square cross just eluded Stewart and then James Balagizi as they rushed into the box.

Stoke’s assured play was undiminished, though, and they deservedly levelled the score shortly before the half-hour mark.

A cleared corner was recycled for Adam Porter to lift in a deep cross from the left. Lewis Macari’s header across goal struck the opposite post and Ethan Varian forced the ball over the goalline if it were needed.

Liverpool struck again, however, and this time through Hill. The midfielder broke into space inside the area and spotted a chance to sweep a clinical shot into the left corner.

Ben Winterbottom preserved that advantage four minutes before the interval, blocking a first-time hit from Varian after Verma had found his teammate with a cross.

Niall Brookwell and Fidel O’Rourke were introduced at the outset of the second half and each went close to extending the Reds’ lead in the early stages.

Brookwell, indeed, was denied twice in quick succession. First he had a close-range effort cleared off the line and then, once the ball was sent back into the box, his blast on the turn was brilliantly tipped over by Stoke goalkeeper Paul Cooper.

Cooper next punched away a firm strike from O’Rourke, who had held off his marker well to ensure a chance to shoot in the right channel.

The end-to-end nature of the game continued, with opportunities for both teams. And the next one was taken by Stoke with a quarter of an hour remaining.

Soiyir Sanali made ground down the left flank with his pace and ball control before pulling a pass back to Pat Jarrett. He delicately dispatched a dipping finish over Winterbottom for 2-2.

As Liverpool pushed for a clinching third goal, Brookwell sent an angled drive too high and Stewart’s low punt was blocked by the ‘keeper from an inviting Ritaccio centre.

But there was still time for a stunning final flourish.

Cain knocked forward an accurate long pass into the area and Stewart met it with a perfect touch over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net for a late, late win.

Liverpool U18s: Winterbottom, Quansah (Brookwell, 46), Norris, Savage, Koumetio, Clarkson, Hill, Cain, Stewart, Balagizi (O’Rourke, 46), Ritaccio.

Unused substitutes: Beck, Kelly, Wilson.

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