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Updated: 35 min 34 sec ago

Liverpool to face FC Porto in Champions League quarter-finals

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 11:15

Liverpool will face FC Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals next month.

The Reds were paired with the Portuguese club during today’s last-eight draw in Nyon, with the sides to meet over two legs on April 9/10 and April 16/17.

The first match of the tie will be played at Anfield and the return held at the Estadio do Dragao.

More to follow…

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LFC injury latest: Henderson, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 10:41

Jordan Henderson is out of Liverpool's game against Fulham due to the ankle injury he sustained in midweek.

The Reds' captain was withdrawn in the early stages of Wednesday's 3-1 win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League - and Jürgen Klopp has confirmed that he is unavailable for the visit to Craven Cottage on Sunday.

However, Klopp is hopeful that Henderson will be fit after the international break, along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Naby Keita missed the last-16 victory at the Allianz Arena due to a minor injury and the No.8 will be assessed ahead of the trip to London.

"With Hendo, we made further assessment and we know now that it’s serious enough probably to rule him out for the weekend and the international break will be long enough hopefully to bring him back. It’s a little one with the ankle, how it looked in the first place. It was the best scan we could get, I would say, but still not good enough. It’s not good but OK," the boss said on Friday.

"Naby, we have to see if he can train today. The boys come in a bit later today. [He had] a couple of checks - it was positive until now but we have to see if it stays positive when he goes outside.

"Oxlade, I heard nothing new about it so there’s no rush now. Of course not for the weekend anyway, but in general after international break he will be 100 per cent fit."

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Liverpool linked Insigne not for sale, warns Napoli president

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:16

Despite ongoing links with Manchester City and Liverpool, Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne 'has no price', according to club president Aurelio De Laurentiis.

The Naples-born forward has recently taken over as captain following the departure of Marek Hamsik to Dalian Yifang in China, but he has faced criticism from fans this season, leading to rumours of unrest.

Both City and Liverpool have been mooted as a possible next destination for Insigne over the last few months.

However, club president De Laurentiis is adamant that his star is going nowhere, and insisted that the 27-year-old was a priceless asset.

“Insigne isn’t on the market,” De Laurentiis told a news conference.

“I’m not aware of any interest in Lorenzo. He’s an extraordinary and attractive player, very few of whom are like him. 

“When someone’s attractive like him, it’s normal if there are seven, eight, nine, 10 teams interested. However, one thing is to want him and another is to put money on the table.

“We want to see the colour of someone’s money first. There’s no price for Insigne, otherwise, we would’ve put a release clause in his contract.

“He knows this is my home and his home. We think alike.”

The Italian has hit 13 goals and notched seven assists in 34 appearances in all competitions so far this campaign, playing largely as the supporting striker to Dries Mertens as Carlo Ancelotti has changed formation from last season's 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2.

Source: Goal.com

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

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Trent: Our performance in Munich was massive

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 07:30

Liverpool's bravery and coolness under pressure were crucial to a 3-1 victory over Bayern Munich that Trent Alexander-Arnold felt was 'massive'.

The Reds’ game plan for the Champions League last-16 second leg, which was poised at 0-0 after the first meeting at Anfield, centred on being undaunted by the size of the challenge.

Their tactics worked perfectly, with two sublime Sadio Mane efforts sandwiching Virgil van Dijk’s header on a night when Joel Matip’s own goal was the only blip in a statement performance by Jürgen Klopp’s men.

Watch: Extended highlights from win at Bayern

“It was massive for us,” Alexander-Arnold told Liverpoolfc.com shortly after qualification was confirmed at the Allianz Arena.

“To obviously get the clean sheet at Anfield was big for us and we knew that coming here and getting a few goals would make it very difficult for them to go through, so the main aim for us was to come here and put a few [chances] away.

“We spoke about the game, coming here and being brave and not folding under the pressure.

“I think it’s probably what they are used to. But, like I said, the main thing was for us to come here, put pressure on them and try to hit them on the counter – and that’s what we did, we punished them.”

The in-form Mane led the charge for Liverpool in Germany and produced an exquisite breakthrough when he took down Van Dijk’s long pass, swerved around Manuel Neuer and lifted a finish into the far corner from the left edge of the box.

The No.10 later sealed the Reds’ passage to the quarter-finals with a firm header from Mohamed Salah’s chipped cross – his 10th goal in as many matches.

“He’s a world-class player and he showed that again,” said Alexander-Arnold.

“It was a special first goal and great movement for the second goal, I think credit goes to Mo for picking him out. But especially the first one, he did fantastically to get the finish away.”

Van Dijk’s powerful header on 69 minutes put Liverpool 2-1 up on the night and was perhaps the turning point of the entire tie.

It was the centre-back’s third goal in a fortnight, and with Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson regularly serving up assists in recent weeks, the Reds are achieving a desired improvement.

“It’s important that the strikers don’t just feel that they are under pressure to get the goals for us and it’s important that other positions can do that as well,” added Alexander-Arnold.

“So, for us, it’s all about contribution and the more goals we score the better chances we have of winning games. That’s the way we are looking at it now.”

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Live and free: Watch Jürgen Klopp's Fulham preview

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 07:00

Jürgen Klopp will hold his pre-Fulham press conference from 10.30am GMT today – and you can watch it live and free with us.

Liverpool travel to Craven Cottage this Sunday looking to follow up their progress in the Champions League with three crucial Premier League points.

First, the manager will preview the game with the media at Melwood. Tune in via our free YouTube stream to see everything Klopp has to say.

Simply return to this page before 10.30am to watch.

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18 brilliant pictures from Liverpool's win in Munich

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 20:00

Liverpool made a statement of their intent in this season's Champions League by defeating Bayern Munich 3-1 in their own stadium on Wednesday night.

Jürgen Klopp's side found the balance they needed between defence and attack to see off the Bundesliga giants and reach the quarter-finals.

View our pick of some of the best images from a memorable victory for the club in the gallery below...

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LFC Foundation to deliver FA teaching award

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 18:30

LFC Foundation will deliver a new Football Association-accredited course this summer aimed at primary school teachers and those considering the profession.

The FA Primary Teachers Award provides candidates with an introduction to the skills, knowledge and understanding required to plan and deliver high-quality KS1 or KS2 Physical Education lessons.

Tutors will demonstrate how football can be used to deliver parts of the new National Curriculum, with the course including workshops on the basic principles of movement and skills-based games for five to 11-year-olds, alongside how to run a school sports team.

Participants will learn the importance of high-quality Physical Education delivery in schools and how PE is intrinsic to developing a child’s confidence, self-belief and self-esteem. Content will also be provided that supports and accelerates pupil learning.

Two cohorts will take place at Anfield Sports and Community Centre on May 1 and June 19 respectively, with places offered on a first come, first served basis.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and be either a qualified and practising primary teacher, a registered B.Ed. or PGCE student, or a teaching assistant responsible for PE delivery.

For more information or to book a place, click here.

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10 top stats from Liverpool's victory over Bayern

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 17:00

After Liverpool stylishly progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals by beating Bayern Munich 3-1, we picked out 10 top stats to emerge from the victory at the Allianz Arena.

Since the start of last season, no player has provided more Champions League assists than James Milner’s 10.

Sadio Mane has now scored seven away goals in the Champions League for Liverpool – more than any other player for the club in the history of the competition (including the European Cup).

Mane has scored 69 per cent of his Champions League goals in the knockout stages of the competition (9/13). Of players with at least 10 goals, only Ivica Olic (7/10 – 70 per cent) has a higher such percentage in Champions League history.

The Senegal international’s brace at the Allianz Arena made it 10 goals in his last 10 Liverpool appearances.

The Reds are now unbeaten in their last eight matches played in the Round of 16 of this competition, winning six and drawing two, with only one goal conceded.

Watch: Extended highlights from the Allianz Arena

Liverpool have won their last four European ties after playing the first leg at home, the victory over Bayern following Champions League wins against Manchester City and AS Roma last season and Europa League success over Manchester United in 2016.

Jürgen Klopp has a 100 per cent record in two-legged European ties as Liverpool manager, this his ninth success. In his overall managerial career, he has won 16 out of 20.

The Reds have found the net at least twice in 15 of their last 23 European fixtures.

Virgil van Dijk scored his first ever Champions League goal on his 19th appearance in the competition.

The centre-back became the first Liverpool player to both score and assist in an away Champions League knockout match since Craig Bellamy against FC Barcelona in February 2007.

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Video: Mane's solo strike v Bayern from six great angles

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 15:00

Watch six brilliant angles of Sadio Mane's sensational opening goal against Bayern Munich on LFCTV GO now.

The Liverpool No.10 set his side on course for a 3-1 victory at the Allianz Arena that booked them a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

He did so in sublime fashion, expertly controlling a long pass, swivelling around Manuel Neuer and carefully lifting a dinked finish into the net.

Take a look at Mane's superlative goal from half-a-dozen angles in the video above.

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Duncan, Jones and Williams get England U18 call-up

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 14:00

Academy trio Bobby Duncan, Curtis Jones and Rhys Williams have been selected by England U18s for the UAE Sport Chain Cup later this month.

The three Liverpool youngsters will head to Dubai for the tournament, with the Young Lions scheduled to play three fixtures across five days.

England face Japan on Wednesday March 20, Czech Republic two days later, and Mexico on Sunday March 24.

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'Sadio hid my phone!' - Keita and Mane star in Bezzies

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 14:00

Naby Keita and Sadio Mane are the latest Liverpool duo to take our 'Bezzies' friendship test - during which a phone-hiding incident is revealed.

The pair have been close pals since their paths briefly crossed at Red Bull Salzburg in 2014 and were reunited at Anfield last summer.

But just how well do they know each other? And, more importantly, what are their most annoying habits?

And what exactly happened when Mane decided to hide Keita's mobile after a game with Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this season?

Find out in the latest episode of Bezzies...

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Adam Lewis called up by England U20s

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 12:00

Adam Lewis has been named in the England U20 squad for two matches later this month.

The Academy left-back will join up for fixtures against Poland, at St. George’s Park on Thursday March 21, and away from home versus Portugal on Monday March 25.

The versatile Lewis, a regular for Liverpool’s U23s team, signed a new long-term contract with the club in February.

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Virgil van Dijk: That was very close to perfect

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 11:57

Liverpool's performance in beating Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena was 'very close' to perfect, according to a delighted Virgil van Dijk.

Jürgen Klopp’s side were considered underdogs to go through to the Champions League quarter-finals by many, as a result of the goalless draw at Anfield in the first leg.

But a Sadio Mane double, either side of Van Dijk’s sublime second-half header, punctuated an assured display hindered only by an unfortunate Joel Matip own goal before the interval.

Watch: Extended highlights from the Allianz

Asked if it was an ideal European performance, the No.4 told Liverpoolfc.com: “Very close. I think to perform like we did, especially after our away results in the group stages, was very important.

“We knew how they would definitely set up and how they would probably come for us as well, and I think we did fantastic.

“[To celebrate with the fans] was unbelievable. They come everywhere we go and it’s always a great feeling to play for this club and I’m proud to wear this shirt.”

Liverpool’s conviction that they could go toe-to-toe with Bayern on the biggest stage carried them to a 3-1 victory that Klopp heralded as confirmation the club has returned to elite level.

And in explaining the game plan the visitors adopted for the second leg, Van Dijk cited the Reds’ courage at either end of the pitch as the ultimate difference.

On the instructions from the manager, the centre-back said: “Obviously be brave when we have the ball, make sure everyone wants the ball and when we defend, defend all together.

“Be brave when we are defending as well and sometimes go one-v-one, and I think especially the second half we did very well.

“We knew it was going to be very tough. At home they showed us a lot of respect with the way they played because that’s not the way they play.

“We knew they would attack a little bit more and we would have more spaces to play and we used it as well.”

Mane’s sublime double – the first a deft touch, turn and chipped finish; the second a diving header – improved the Senegal international’s recent tally to 10 goals in his last 10 games.

No player in club history can match his total of seven strikes away from home in the European Cup/Champions League, either.

“Sadio has been at a different level these last weeks, months, and he is having a fantastic season,” added Van Dijk, whose own goal was his first in the competition.

“To score that [first] goal is obviously a big blow for them because they have to score two and for us we were then unlucky to concede the equaliser, but the second half was outstanding.”

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The media on Bayern 1-3 LFC: 'Special performance from a special team'

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 11:00

Liverpool marched into the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a brilliant display saw them defeat Bayern Munich 3-1 at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.

Sadio Mane netted twice and Virgil van Dijk headed home from a corner as the Reds claimed a significant scalp in the last 16.

Here is what the media made of the match...

James Pearce, Liverpool Echo

What a setting for Liverpool to reassert their credentials as a powerhouse on the European stage. The Allianz Arena, home to mighty Bayern Munich, belonged to 3,800 ecstatic Kopites. The stunned Bundesliga giants weren't just beaten, they were humbled in their own backyard on a night to cherish in Bavaria. This was a special performance from a special team. From the grit and desire of the first half when Mane's stunning opener was cancelled out by Joel Matip's own goal, to the swagger of the second half when Virgil van Dijk's header was followed by Mane's second of the night. The Senegal international goes from strength to strength. This double took his tally for the campaign to 19 goals as he tormented Bayern's backline. Liverpool played with real maturity and control – rock solid defensively, tireless in midfield and packing a punch going forward. There was a gulf in class.

David Lynch, Evening Standard

The Reds didn't just beat Bayern here, they outclassed them. And that doesn't bode well for their opponents in a quarter-final draw that has opened up following exits for the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. With Mane having travelled to Munich off the back of a run of eight goals in his last nine appearances in all competitions, it was no surprise to see him bring his form to the European stage here. His opening goal was a thing of beauty; a first touch to die for and then a typically graceful swivel of the hips left Manuel Neuer and his defence completely bamboozled. A brace against Watford late last month suggested Van Dijk is ready to deliver on his goalscoring potential, and tonight's goal just confirmed it. The Reds now have another excellent attacking weapon in their already well-stocked armoury.

Neil Jones, Goal.com

Here, at the Allianz Arena, Liverpool served up yet another reminder that, where the Champions League is concerned, few do it better. Asked the questions, the Reds came up with the answers. Could they handle the occasion? Tick. Could they do it away from home? Tick. Could they take on Bayern Munich, the mighty Bayern Munich, at their own game, in their own back yard and come out on top? Tick. Can they win the Champions League? With Klopp and Virgil van Dijk, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, anything feels possible. Mane and Van Dijk did the damage, but this was a triumph of the collective. Liverpool handled setbacks, the loss of their captain Jordan Henderson to injury inside the opening 15 minutes and the disappointment of a carelessly-conceded equaliser after Mane's sublime opener. They took the blows, rode the storm and played their football. Bayern's stadium, Liverpool's night. Mane was immense, Van Dijk imperious, the Dutchman's performance good enough to get John Henry tweeting. Salah worked like a full-back and delivered the pass of the game, James Milner ran himself into the ground.

Simon Hughes, Independent

As the rain fell in Munich and as the temperatures plunged to below freezing, a cooler Liverpool emerged; this relentless team assembled by Jurgen Klopp delivering one of the club's greatest European away victories. When Virgil van Dijk soared through the Bavarian night to plant a header beyond Manuel Neuer there was no shudder of surprise, it felt right because Liverpool deserved to be ahead for a second time. They deserved to be going through. From his position in the technical area, Klopp was unmoved, with his hands in his pockets, his chin nuzzled into his coat and his hood up; staring at the south west corner of this enormous arena where van Dijk was celebrating way below Liverpool's delirious supporters in the top tier. It should be respected how Liverpool managed this game and this tie overall and the manner of their progression characterises not only a heightened maturity and strength but endorses their status amongst the continent's elite.

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

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Wijnaldum: Bayern triumph a really big step for us

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 10:10

Georginio Wijnaldum echoed the words of Jürgen Klopp as he hailed a 'really big step' for Liverpool after a momentous 3-1 win over Bayern Munich away from home.

The Reds defeated the German giants at the Allianz Arena with a balanced performance of defensive resilience and clinical attacking play to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Watch: Extended highlights from the Allianz Arena

Sadio Mane’s outstanding brace sandwiched an emphatic Virgil van Dijk header, meaning Joel Matip’s unfortunate first-half own goal had no effect on the outcome.

Klopp declared Liverpool ‘back’ at Europe’s elite level in his post-match assessment and Wijnaldum was equally satisfied with a display he felt said plenty about the players’ character.

“It was really good. We managed to win an away game at Bayern Munich - which is quite difficult,” said the midfielder.

“I feel like we’ve taken a really big step, because a lot of people said after the first match that it was not a good result to play a 0-0, but we had a good feeling about it because we didn’t concede a goal.

“We know the way we’re playing, we can always create chances so we were quite confident we would create chances here and score goals. That says something about the team itself.

“A lot of teams struggle here to get a result, but we still did it. We have a lot of confidence but we also work hard to bring things together in a good way.”

Three of Liverpool’s potential opponents in the last eight are fellow Premier League clubs, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur also through.

Wijnaldum has no preference for Friday’s draw, however.

“I don’t mind,” he replied when asked if he would rather meet or avoid another English team. “We’ll see what happens.”

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Vote now: Mane on CL Player of the Week shortlist

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 09:10

Sadio Mane has been nominated for UEFA's Champions League Player of the Week award after his star showing in the 3-1 victory at Bayern Munich.

The Liverpool forward put his team in front at the Allianz Arena with a sublime turn and finish, and sealed the Reds’ passage to the quarter-finals with an 84th-minute header on a special night in Germany.

Mane is on the four-man shortlist for the Player of the Week prize, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Leroy Sane (Manchester City) and Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona).

You can cast a vote for the No.10 now by clicking here.

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Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 23:13

Jürgen Klopp declared Liverpool’s emphatic 3-1 victory over Bayern Munich a ‘big step’ in the team’s development as they surged into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

After a goalless first leg at Anfield three weeks ago, the Reds opened the scoring midway through the first half through a wonderful Sadio Mane finish.

The German champions were given hope, however, when Joel Matip inadvertently turned the ball into his own net 12 minutes later, meaning the teams went in at the interval on level terms.

But it was to be Liverpool’s night at the Allianz Arena and Virgil van Dijk’s commanding header put them back in front before Mane glanced in a third late on.

It propelled the Reds into Friday’s draw for the tournament’s last eight - and it was a performance Klopp was gushing with praise for following the conclusion of the contest.

Read on for a summary of what the boss, who also offered an update on Jordan Henderson's injury after the captain was forced off early on, had to say in his post-match press conference…

On Liverpool’s performance and victory…

I see it the same like all the boys in the dressing room, like how everybody sees it who is with us: it is a big night. We had a change early and we wanted to play more football than we did in the first half, so we changed that for the second half and it was much better. We scored an outstanding goal in the first half - an outstanding goal, wow. Conceded one as well, but I think after 45 minutes everybody knew it will not be easy for Munich; it’s possible, but will not be easy. How I see it is that is important information in a football game for an opponent, who were full of confidence before the game. We had to try to impress and we did that. The second half, I was really happy – not only because we scored two goals, but because we played football - how mature it was, how strong we looked, how good we defended. Bayern have so much quality, unbelievable – they are quick on the wings, strong everywhere, hard challenges and all that stuff, good in the last line, sensational goalkeeper – and we impressed them. That’s a massive thing for us.

On Van Dijk’s display…

It was brilliant. He was involved in the goal of Bayern as well, so what a night! What can I say? I could write a book about his skills, his strength, how much I like him, what a fantastic person he is. He is so young, already so mature, really strong, all good. Virg knows he can play better than he did tonight; we can play better than we did tonight. Tonight we played - especially the second half - as good as necessary and as possible. It is so important that you stay in a game, that you are really stable, that you really have real answers to all the questions, that you can change things, that you can use different tools. There was a pass from Trent in the second half that went through all three lines, more or less, to Bobby, he turned and he couldn’t finish the situation off but it was just [brilliant]. We had so many good football moments, especially in the second half, and I like that – that we developed in the game so much. It’s so important. It is a difficult place to come and not a lot of teams have on their cards an away win at Munich. We have that now and that’s cool. Difficult but cool.

On Bayern’s confidence coming into the game because of their excellent Bundesliga form…

It is a different competition, a different moment, a different pressure situation. You have three or four days for a game like this and you forget the league in these moments. It’s not about scoring six in the last game, maybe there is a little feeling inside somewhere confidence-wise, but on the other hand they knew it was a different cup of tea tonight and that we are a really good opponent. That’s what we were. Scoring three here is really difficult, really difficult. Actually, we scored four because the other goal scored as well! It’s massive, a big step for us – a big, big, big one for us. We will see what we can do with it, but it is still fantastic sign that we again set a mark for LFC, for this wonderful club, that we really are back on the landscape on international, top-class football. We all think that’s where this club belongs and tonight we proved it a little bit. In the moment, you can hear it, I am really happy about the result and the fact we are through. It is not that I expected it – I knew we had a chance, but I didn’t expect it would happen, that it would really would work out. The boys made it happen and that’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

On whether beating Bayern away represents a significant step towards the level he ultimately wants Liverpool to get to…

Yeah, that’s what I mean. There are some places in world football that whichever team, if Man City comes here, if Barcelona comes here, if Real Madrid comes here, it’s not that they expect to win. They know it’s a very, very tough place to come. This club has always outstandingly strong football teams and they have now, but we kept them as often away from our goal as possible. I don’t know about the statistics but my impression was that there were not too many difficult situations in and around our box. That’s a massive sign, the first step to winning a game like this: it’s not about playing your best football, free-flowing, that’s not possible against this quality. You cannot use your speed, really, because the other team is quick as well. It’s not a massive advantage so you have to find different ways [and] tonight we found them. That makes me really proud and happy because I really think this club deserves the awareness again. We are back, so good. Let’s carry on. We have a lot to improve, we have a lot to develop, we have a lot to learn – but we are back, and I like that.

On Mane’s ‘incredible’ form, with the forward having now scored 10 goals in his last 10 appearances…

That’s true. It is so obvious that I don’t have to speak about, he knows it, everyone knows it and I don’t want to speak about it… remind me after the season and I will sing my own song about him if necessary! It’s really good, it’s a good moment and long may it continue, that’s more my concern.

On whether he takes any extra satisfaction from beating Bayern at the Allianz given his past…

I am not like this; it’s not sweeter for me because it’s Bayern. It doesn’t bring me back to the bad results in the games we played them and we lost. It’s just the situation in the moment: I wanted to win for Liverpool and not to beat Bayern. That doesn’t bring me anything, so it’s just a good moment for Liverpool and let’s enjoy that.

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'Sadio's first goal was ridiculous'

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 23:09

'Ridiculous' was James Milner's choice of description for the Sadio Mane goal that set Liverpool on their way to a stunning 3-1 victory at Bayern Munich.

The Reds surged into the Champions League quarter-finals with a defeat of the Bundesliga giants at the Allianz Arena, kick-started by a piece of outstanding technical skill.

Mane collected Virgil van Dijk’s long pass and artfully shuffled around Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer at the edge of the box before chipping his finish over two defenders to find the unguarded net.

The hosts levelled through a Joel Matip own goal soon after, but Van Dijk headed the visitors back in front and Mane’s 10th strike in his last 10 appearances sealed victory for Jürgen Klopp’s side.

“I thought it was a good performance away from home in Europe against a good team,” Milner, who took the captain’s armband when Jordan Henderson was forced off with an injury on 13 minutes, told BT Sport.

“It’s never easy, they are going to have spells on top. We didn’t play our best but it’s about getting a result. We defended pretty well, didn’t give them too much, and the front three were outstanding again.

“Sadio is on fire. The first goal was ridiculous really, how he has finished it off – the calmness and the finish. He is on fire at the moment and hopefully that continues for the rest of the season.”

Liverpool recovered from the loss of their skipper to a twisted ankle in the first half to steadily take control of the decisive second leg in Munich.

And Milner credited the attitude of the entire squad for the manner in which they adjusted following the introduction of Fabinho from the bench.

“It says a lot about the team and the boys on the bench ready to come on, the squad we’ve got,” said the No.7.

“Obviously you work leading up to the game on a plan and how you’re going to play. To lose the captain that early was difficult but we dealt with it well, Fab came on and did very well.

“We’ve got quality all through the squad and that’s what you need when you’re playing against these sorts of teams and in this competition.”

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Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool: Five talking points

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 22:33

Liverpool marched into the Champions League quarter-finals with a memorable 3-1 victory at the home of Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

Sadio Mane brilliantly bagged the strike the visitors knew they needed as a minimum just before the half-hour mark and, though Joel Matip conceded an own goal, Jürgen Klopp’s men rallied after the interval and went back in front via a clinical Virgil van Dijk header.

Qualification was sealed by Mane, a standout performer for the Reds once again, with a diving header six minutes from time on a special occasion in Germany.

Here are five talking points from an historic night at the Allianz Arena…

Go-to Mane

Recent form suggested Liverpool’s No.10 was the likeliest man to provide the goal they needed at the Allianz Arena, Mane having netted eight times in his previous nine appearances.

And so it proved, courtesy of an exquisite exhibition of technique.

In one decisive motion, the Senegal international deftly controlled Van Dijk’s ambitious long pass to the left corner of Bayern’s penalty box, shimmied the ball around the outrushing Manuel Neuer and clipped a precise finish over two recovering defenders and home.

The two-hour wait for a breakthrough in the tie was well worth it.

And it was Mane who ultimately confirmed Liverpool’s spot in the last eight, too, with an unerring headed finish in the closing stages, his 19th of the campaign in all competitions.

It says much for Mane’s influence on this Reds team that no player in club history can match his tally of seven away goals in the European Cup/Champions League.

‘And we watch him score!’

If a criticism of Van Dijk’s very own Liverpool anthem were allowed, perhaps one line hadn’t been a reality on enough occasions during his first year with the club.

But the Dutchman – a double scorer in the 5-0 Premier League rout of Watford last month – popped up with as valuable a goal as he may ever notch for the Reds in the 69th minute of this second leg in Munich.

Meeting James Milner’s curving corner from the right, Van Dijk rose to power a header down into the bottom left corner and effectively put the game, and the tie, beyond the Bundesliga champions.

It was the defender’s maiden Champions League goal on his 19th appearance in the competition and one Liverpool fans around the world will be celebrating in song.

Role reversal

Liverpool’s exhilarating journey to last season’s Champions League final was founded on a particular first-leg trend.

In all three of their knockout matches en route to Kiev, Klopp’s side emphatically raced into a healthy lead at the halfway stage of the tie – FC Porto (5-0), Manchester City (3-0) and AS Roma (5-2) – before preserving the advantage in the second game.

Here, they faced a different challenge, having run into a Bayern defensive wall at Anfield three weeks earlier. They would have to be ‘exceptional’ according to the manager.

And they were: they got the goal needed, they weathered the hosts’ response, they composed themselves and they took control, eventually stunning the Allianz Arena with the second-half double.

Klopp top over two legs

The boss holds a formidable record in two-legged European ties during his managerial career that becomes perfect when filtered to his time at Liverpool only.

This was his 16th victory in 20 overall, while the Reds have emerged triumphant from all nine he has overseen in the Europa League and Champions League since taking charge in 2015.

Fate fans might be interested to know that in the past three seasons that Liverpool have faced a German club in Europe, they have won the tie and gone on to reach the final – in 2005, 2016 and 2018.

All eyes now on Nyon

So, for the second successive season Liverpool take their place in the Champions League quarter-finals, completing a clean sweep for English teams – with all four in the last eight.

The remainder of the tournament will be mapped out in Friday’s draw in Nyon, with the lack of seeding and country protection meaning the Reds can be paired with any of the other seven sides, including all three fellow Premier League clubs.

Ajax, FC Barcelona, Juventus and FC Porto are the other potential opponents for a team who served a timely reminder of their credentials in this competition tonight.

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