Liverpool's ability to get results when not playing at their best is crucial to their ambitions, Joe Gomez has explained.
The defender felt the Reds were below their usual standards during Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup final against Chelsea, though they nevertheless came from behind and then clinched the trophy on penalties in Istanbul.
Jürgen Klopp’s side showed their resolve and determination on numerous occasions during their Premier League title pursuit and Champions League triumph last season.
While Gomez acknowledged a need for personal and collective improvement in the coming weeks, he took encouragement from more evidence that Liverpool can find a way to win.
“I think there were a lot of things we could have done better on a personal note and as a team,” said the No.12, who started the game at right-back and ended it on the left.
“There were a few sloppy moments and we obviously conceded two goals which could have been prevented. As a collective, we did not play the best football in the first half and I don’t think we got it down properly.
“There were phases we know we could have done better but at the end we all dug deep and tried to get the result.
“I think not even on our best day we can get a result, which is what has changed and why we got so close to the Premier League. We were not at our best in spells but we improved.”
Gomez continued: “Winning and getting it over the line is a characteristic of a big team and getting results sets you apart. We are getting there. Young players are getting experience of being involved in things like this. Hopefully we can use it.”
Liverpool flew back from Turkey on Thursday and face a tight turnaround before Saturday’s Premier League encounter at Southampton.
An unusually busy early-season schedule has come as a result of their success in 2018-19 and Gomez argued it’s a challenge the players simply have to accept.
“It is relentless but it is part and parcel to be at the top,” said the England international.
“You have to play more games than anyone else and if you want to get prime position you have to play more games. We want to do it and we want to work together, do our best for the team, recover, go again.”
Barry Lewtas was delighted with the attitude and application of his new-look U18s team as they started 2019-20 with a 7-1 win at Blackburn Rovers last weekend.
After several members of the FA Youth Cup-winning squad from last term moved up to the U23s, six players from the previous U16 group made their first starts at U18 level.
And three of them - Layton Stewart, Tom Hill and James Balagizi - each marked their maiden appearance in Lewtas’ XI with braces.
Stoke City are next up for the young Reds at the Kirkby Academy on Saturday and the U18s boss hopes his team can continue to showcase their talents.
Kick-off is at 11am BST and you can watch the game exclusively live on LFCTV GO.
Ahead of the meeting with the Potters, read Lewtas’ thoughts on his new-look team and that magnificent showing at Blackburn below…
On the opening day 7-1 win at Blackburn…
It was a great way to start the season. The boys have worked hard in pre-season and we played a number of really top fixtures as well. When you go into any opening day game you are going to learn about the new group. We played really well on the day and it was really pleasing. I know it’s a long season but all the work we did with the boys in pre-season makes it all worthwhile. It’s about maintaining that now and kicking on again.
On new No.9 Stewart scoring twice on his first start for the U18s…
Layton is certainly someone throughout all the age groups who has scored goals. Jack Bearne is with the U23s and Fidel O’Rourke is on his way back from an injury, so he got his chance last Saturday. Layton had a good pre-season and there was an opportunity for him which he had earned. I was pleased he got his two goals because I think for any centre-forward, getting off the mark is always important at any level. I was pleased with the goals but there were other parts in his game that I was also pleased with. It’s a start for him, he knows he’s got a lot of work to do but he has certainly come into this season with the appetite to learn, develop and improve.
On the influence of midfielders Leighton Clarkson and Jake Cain, who were a key part of the U18s group last season…
You look at our team last Saturday and it was only Leighton and Jake who were regulars for us last season. There were two other second years who started but those were the two who had the most exposure last season. I said to them last season they were both first years and maybe at times the second years would get round them and give them their support. Now it’s their turn and their responsibility to lead the team in terms of how they play. I thought last Saturday the way they both played in terms of their range of passing, creating chances and the way we wanted to press, they dictated that at times. We expect that because of the exposure they had last season but I was really pleased with them.
They are both still young boys and if it’s the right opportunity for them to get a chance with the U23s then I certainly won’t be holding them back. My job is to continue to work with them and if they keep putting in impressive performances like that, they are only putting themselves in the right position for that opportunity. They have both got their feet on the floor. They want to play good football, they are happy and we are all quite comfortable where we are with the situation at the moment.
On the challenge he expects against Stoke…
We spoke to all of the boys in the meetings we have about how difficult all of the games are. We won a lot of games last season and the boys did fantastically well with the amount of points we amassed, but there weren’t many easy games and Stoke certainly wasn’t easy. I know we beat them in the league and the Premier League Cup but they were tight and tough games. The boys know we will be in for a tough game and we will prepare as normal with our focus as always around us. We try to develop players individually but also put that into a team. Our focus is always where it needs to be but when it comes to Saturday, as staff and as players we certainly won’t be underestimating Stoke City.
Watch Jürgen Klopp's pre-Southampton press conference live with us from 11am BST today.
Liverpool travel to St Mary's on Saturday for the second game of their 2019-20 Premier League season.
And Klopp will preview the clash during a media briefing at Melwood that you can watch in full.
Just return to this page before 11am BST to access a free YouTube stream of the press conference.
LFC Foundation teamed up with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to deliver educational workshops to local youngsters this summer.
Twenty-four participants from the Premier League Kicks Football+ programme attended two three-day courses, aimed at addressing the key issues facing young people, helping to reduce anti-social behaviour and encouraging long-term personal development.
The interactive workshops focused on life skills, healthy living, personal safety, and drug and alcohol awareness, as well as offering guidance and positive messaging from LFC Foundation and MFRS staff.
Tony Cosgrove, LFC Foundation project lead, said: “These activities and educational workshops are vitally important to ensure further engagement with our PL Kicks participants.
“Using the power of the LFC badge and working with our experienced local alliances like Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service allows us to teach the young people essential life skills and raise their personal aspirations even further.”
Day one saw the youngsters attend an interactive road safety workshop delivered by MFRS staff, which was followed by a day of cooking and nutrition lessons courtesy of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.
Finally, the groups visited the Maritime Museum for a drug, alcohol and weapons awareness session as part of its ‘Seized!’ gallery, which focuses on the work of Customs and Border Force.
“The nutrition sessions have been a new addition to the programme this summer and they’ve really helped the participants in their understanding of healthy eating and the importance of a balanced diet,” added Cosgrove.
“Working alongside experienced chefs and having the opportunity to get hands-on in the kitchen has not only been great fun for the young people, but incredibly rewarding as well.
“This summer’s participants have benefited enormously from all aspects of the course. While we engage with many young people through our regular weekly football sessions, these alternative activities and educational workshops allow further growth and personal development which inspires them to aim for more positive futures.”
Roberto Firmino's selflessness in the UEFA Super Cup final was an example of Liverpool's strength, according to Sadio Mane.
The Reds No.9 was introduced at the beginning of the second half in Istanbul with the team trailing 1-0 to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
Within three minutes Firmino had set up Mane to level the score and the same pair combined in extra-time for the latter to power Liverpool in front.
A Blues equaliser forced a penalty shootout, but the European champions were not to be denied and secured the trophy for a fourth time thanks to Adrian’s save from Tammy Abraham.
In his post-match reflections, two-goal Mane was eager to divert credit to his teammates – with particular gratitude for Firmino’s part in his strikes.
“To be honest, I think I was just a lucky boy,” the Senegal international, who has now netted 16 times for the club in European competition, told UEFA.
“I think all the credit should go to my teammates, especially Bobby – he could have scored but he preferred to give it to me.
“I think this is how we play at Liverpool. We play for each other and we always enjoy playing for each other and to give each other passes. I think that makes us strong.”
Liverpool won the UEFA Super Cup for the fourth time in the club's history by beating Chelsea on penalties in Istanbul on Wednesday night.
Jürgen Klopp's Champions League winners and Frank Lampard's Europa League holders were locked together at 2-2 after 120 minutes of the showpiece match in Turkey.
In the subsequent shootout, new Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian emerged as the hero on his full debut - saving Tammy Abraham's decisive spot-kick to hand the Reds a 5-4 win on penalties.
The Spaniard's stop sparked joyous celebrations inside Besiktas Park and you can see a selection of the best images in our gallery below.
Adrian was Liverpool's hero as his save from Tammy Abraham earned the club's fourth UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea in Istanbul.
Olivier Giroud had given Frank Lampard’s side a first-half lead but Sadio Mane equalised and then scored a superb goal in extra-time to edge the Reds in front.
However, Jorginho quickly levelled from the spot and a penalty shootout was required to decide the victors.
After Mohamed Salah had converted to put the Reds 5-4 up, Adrian thwarted Abraham to ensure more European glory for Jürgen Klopp’s charges.
Here is the what the media made of the contest…
David Lynch, Evening Standard
There was much to admire about Adrian’s performance here. The Spaniard was called into action more than he would have liked, yet responded with several smart saves to keep Chelsea from running away with it. Replays later proved that he had been unfortunate to give a spot-kick away, the lack of contact with Tammy Abraham only made clear by one particular angle. But that was all rendered irrelevant by his save from the Blues forward in the shootout after an energy-sapping period of extra time. A trophy on your first start? Beat that.
Neil Jones, Goal.com
Don’t ever doubt Roberto Firmino’s importance to this Liverpool team. The Reds remain the Kings of Europe, coming from behind to beat Chelsea on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup, after a pulsating 2-2 draw in Istanbul. But it took the Brazilian’s arrival to get them back on track. Mane’s best friend? Firmino certainly brought the best out of Sadio here. Liverpool’s No.10 scored twice, but both goals were made by their brilliant No.9. Liverpool, quite simply, look a different team when he is fit and firing. His intelligent movement, subtle touches and awareness of teammates’ positions make him one of the world’s premier centre-forwards, and they were all on display as he dragged Chelsea’s defence all over the Turkish capital.
Ian Doyle, Liverpool Echo
Every player is important for Klopp, but some are more important than others. And while Alisson Becker's absence has been lamented, it's his compatriot Firmino whom Liverpool can ill afford to be without for any great period. The Brazilian does more than just assist his fellow forwards, however. His welcome tendency to drop deep also brings midfielders into play.
Miguel Delaney, Independent
As the minutes rack up for his players, so the trophies start to amount at Liverpool for Klopp. The German will probably be far more bothered about the former in the long run. But he still so jubilantly revelled in the moment of victory in the 2019 Super Cup, which came well into Thursday morning in Istanbul. That debutant goalkeeper Adrian made the key save in the shoot-out will only add to that euphoria: getting his Liverpool career off to the best possible start. Adrian stood strong. Liverpool were finally leaping about. Another trophy. Although another long night.
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool FC Women will face three away trips during the group stage of the Continental Cup after the fixture list for the competition was confirmed today.
The Reds will begin and end their group-stage campaign with home games at Prenton Park against Sheffield United and Durham respectively.
But, having been drawn in a six-team section, Vicky Jepson’s side will be on their travels for three consecutive away fixtures at Coventry United, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers in between those home ties.
The group stage begins on Sunday September 22 and continues through to conclusion on Wednesday December 11.
The top two teams in each of the four groups will qualify for the quarter-finals.
LFC Women’s Continental Cup fixtures
Sunday September 22 – 12pm
Liverpool FC Women v Sheffield United (Prenton Park)
Sunday October 20 – 2pm
Coventry United v Liverpool FC Women (Butts Park Arena)
Saturday November 2 – 7.30pm
Aston Villa v Liverpool FC Women (Boldmere St. Michaels)
Thursday November 21 – 7.45pm
Blackburn Rovers v Liverpool FC Women (Bamber Bridge FC)
Wednesday December 11 – 6.30pm
Liverpool FC Women v Durham (Prenton Park)
Virgil van Dijk wants UEFA Super Cup success to be another step in Liverpool's development of a trophy-winning habit.
The Reds lifted their second piece of silverware in a little over two months by beating Chelsea 5-4 on penalties in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Adrian, on the occasion of his first start for the club, saved from Tammy Abraham once the European champions had converted all five of their spot-kicks after the 120 minutes had finished level at 2-2.
And, post-match, Van Dijk spoke of his delight at securing another continental winner’s medal following on from June’s Champions League victory.
“Hopefully it will be a nice habit [of winning trophies],” the centre-back told Liverpoolfc.com at Besiktas Park.
“It was tough, they played well [and] we had moments of playing well as well. I think it was a great game to watch as a neutral spectator, but overall we’re all very happy that we won the penalty shootout and take the cup with us.”
Liverpool went in at half-time behind to Olivier Giroud’s opener, but Sadio Mane equalised just two minutes after the restart.
It looked like Mane had sealed the Super Cup with a thunderous strike that went in off the crossbar early on during extra-time, but Jorginho then netted a penalty to force a shootout.
On the momentum swings throughout the 120 minutes, Van Dijk said: “I think we started good. We did well, we put them under pressure, we had moments.
“I think at times we lost the ball a little bit too easy and the gaps were too big and they did well, they countered on us in a couple of moments and became dangerous. [We had] a couple of moments that were a bit lucky with the offside trap and stuff, but after the break we did very well.
“We came out and we showed what we all want to see and then after that they had moments, we had moments as well and it could go any way. After all, it’s all about a bit of luck in the penalty shootout.”
The Reds’ performance level increased dramatically in the second half following a below-par first period.
So, what was Jürgen Klopp’s message at the interval?
“Keep the ball, play your game, push up - make the spaces as small as possible for them to play and put them under pressure, and that’s what we did,” the Netherlands captain revealed.
“It was difficult for them at times and there are moments when they will come out, but that’s part of the game as well.”
Goalkeeper Adrian’s full debut for Liverpool could hardly have ended any better, and Van Dijk was thrilled for his new teammate.
The No.4 continued: “[I’m] very pleased for him, very pleased. It’s good for goalkeepers that they can put their mark on such a big game. I’m very happy for him and very happy for the club as well.”
Watch the moment Liverpool lifted the UEFA Super Cup trophy in Istanbul after a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Adrian saved from Tammy Abraham after the Reds had netted all five of their spot-kicks to land their second piece of silverware this year.
See how Adrian denied Abraham, the immediate celebrations that followed and Jordan Henderson collecting and lifting the trophy in the free video above.
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Adrian took great satisfaction from helping to secure another piece of silverware for Liverpool after settling the UEFA Super Cup penalty shootout with Chelsea.
The Spanish goalkeeper, who joined the Reds only nine days ago, made his first start in Istanbul on Wednesday night as the Premier League rivals drew 2-2 after extra-time.
And Adrian produced the decisive save from Tammy Abraham in the subsequent shootout, following five successful Liverpool spot-kicks, to clinch the club’s fourth Super Cup triumph.
“Welcome to Liverpool!” he told BT Sport of his whirlwind start. “It was a crazy week but with [my teammates] it’s so easy playing at the back.
“I’m really happy for the team to get the trophy. I’m really happy to play for Liverpool and really happy for the fans because they enjoyed tonight. It was a long game but at the end it was a great finish for us.”
Sadio Mane had equalised Olivier Giroud’s opener at Besiktas Park and then put Jürgen Klopp’s side ahead with a sumptuous finish in extra-time.
But Jorginho soon restored parity from the penalty spot and forced a shootout on a night when conditions posed a difficult challenge for the players.
“It was tough,” said Reds captain Jordan Henderson, who lifted the team’s second trophy of 2019.
“It’s quite humid here, extra-time as well, you could see a lot of the lads were struggling with trying to keep the ball, sloppy passes. You had to try to keep the ball, keep it moving and try to get a breather with the ball. It was a tough game, Chelsea are a good side.
“It’s not a great way to lose, on penalties, like we did in the Community Shield. But thankfully we won this one and I’m delighted for Adrian, who has obviously just come to the club and is the hero tonight.”
ANOTHER PENALTY SHOOTOUT WIN IN ISTANBUL!! SUPER CUP CHAMPIONS!!! https://t.co/sZaxIfK9hY— LFC (Liverpool FC) 14th Aug 21:44
Liverpool will be back in action on Saturday afternoon with a trip to Southampton in the Premier League their immediate focus once the Super Cup celebrations have concluded.
“We need to recover, we’ve got a big game on Saturday,” added Henderson.
“We’re delighted to win, we want to win as many trophies as we can, we’ve said that before. We’re delighted to come here and win a trophy and take it back. We’ve got to enjoy it now but [then] focus on recovery for a big game on Saturday.”
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Sadio Mane and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain start for Liverpool in this evening’s Super Cup tie with Chelsea in Istanbul.
The pair are two of five changes made by Jürgen Klopp for the encounter at Besiktas Park, joining Mohamed Salah in attack.
Elsewhere, Adrian replaces the injured Alisson Becker in goal, while Joel Matip and James Milner come into the line-up.
Naby Keita is ruled out with a muscle strain.
Liverpool: Adrian, Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Milner, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah.
Subs: Lonergan, Kelleher, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Lallana, Shaqiri, Brewster, Origi, Hoever, Alexander-Arnold, Elliott.
Naby Keita will miss tonight’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Chelsea due to a muscle strain.
The Liverpool midfielder left Tuesday evening’s training session at Besiktas Park early after feeling the issue and is not part of the squad for the game in Istanbul.
The muscle strain occurred around the hip area and Keita will be assessed further by the Reds’ medical team in the coming days.
Liverpool FC Women full-back Becky Jane is to take up an extra role, coaching with the club's Regional Talent Centre.
The 27-year-old will become the second member of the first-team squad to take up a coaching role, with midfielder Christie Murray already coaching the U14s.
Jane made the switch to the Reds this summer after seven years at Reading, where she had already started her coaching journey at their RTC.
At Liverpool, she will coach the U11 age group alongside Luke Butterworth and got the chance to meet the team earlier this week, alongside first-team manager Vicky Jepson.
The pair met players from the U9s, U10s, U11s and U12s groups before overseeing and taking part in the U11s training session.
“I’m really looking forward to coaching the girls, it’s something that I personally really enjoy and is a good focus outside of training for me,” said Jane.
“Hopefully I can help them learn to become better players and people, and can be someone they look up to.”
Jepson is looking forward to seeing the impact the new coach can have on the young players.
“It’s always great to visit our RTC to see the good work our youth coaches are doing and more importantly to keep an eye on our youth players,” she said.
“I’m delighted to now have Becky coach in our RTC as she will be an outstanding role model for our youth players and I’m sure she will certainly help to educate them on what it takes to become a professional player.”
The last time Liverpool contested a trophy in Istanbul, Rafael Benitez's Reds won the 2005 Champions League final having beaten Wednesday's UEFA Super Cup opponents Chelsea to get there.
Liverpool faced Jose Mourinho's Blues in an all-English semi-final tie, which was settled by the boot of Luis Garcia as the Spaniard scored perhaps his most famous goal for the club.
But who else started that Champions League semi-final at Anfield? Can you fill in the Missing Men?
Fill in the blanks in the quiz below, or click the Next button at the bottom of this article to reveal the Missing Men...
Here is that 23-man Reds squad in full...
Fabinho, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Milner, Keita, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Gomez, Adrian, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Lonergan, Shaqiri, Brewster, Robertson, Origi, Matip, Hoever, Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Elliott.
Liverpool will be seeking to lift the UEFA Super Cup for a fourth time when they take on Chelsea in Istanbul.
The Reds were the last English team to win the trophy, back in 2005, when they beat CSKA Moscow 3-1 after extra-time.
Liverpool went into that clash as Champions League winners and will do so again at Besiktas Park on Wednesday when Jürgen Klopp's men take on Europa League holders Chelsea, now under of the management of Frank Lampard.
It will be the 11th time the clubs have faced off in UEFA competition since first meeting in the Champions League 14 years ago and we've picked out three key battles that could decide this one...Virgil van Dijk v Olivier Giroud
Liverpool's Player of the Year 2019 made a scoring start to the new season as Virgil van Dijk headed in Liverpool's third goal in the 4-1 Premier League win over Norwich City at Anfield last Friday.
The towering centre-back also led the Reds back four in tackles (three), clearances (three), interceptions (five), duels won (88.9 per cent) and passes (57) with yet another commanding performance that has become the trademark of the Dutchman's Anfield career to date.
Looking to contest that colossus copyright in the Super Cup final is likely to be French striker Olivier Giroud, who scored the opening goal in Chelsea's 4-1 Europa League final victory against Arsenal and could be given the nod ahead of Tammy Abraham.
At 6ft 3in tall, Giroud is a physical match for Van Dijk and will offer a different kind of problem to those the centre-back faced against the Canaries.
A supreme target man, Giroud was introduced as a second-half substitute against Manchester United on Sunday as the Blues hit more and more crosses into the box seeking an equaliser.
Though he was unable to prevent a defeat at Old Trafford, the Chelsea man provides a focal point for their attack with his aerial quailty, likening for a lay-off, and eye for a key pass - but he also has the knack in front of goal, scoring 105 times in 253 games for former club Arsenal and 18 for his current team to date.Jordan Henderson v Jorginho
As Maurizio Sarri's deep-lying playmaker last season, Jorginho made more passes (3,118) and had more touches of the ball (3,551) than any other player in the Premier League.
Playing at the base of a midfield three, the Italy international was the metronome that made the Europa League winners tick. His technique and varied array of passing from tight spaces provided the foundation for the Blues' style of play.
Now part of a double pivot in Lampard's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, the 27-year-old has more licence to get forward with his midfield partner - either N'Golo Kante or Mateo Kovacic - staying in to cover.
On Wednesday night, Jorginho will likely have to deal with the threat of Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson, who once again featured as an advanced midfielder against Norwich last week.
Moved to a more forward position in the latter stages of the 2018-19 campaign, Henderson excelled against Chelsea last time out and set up Sadio Mane's opener in the 2-0 win over the Blues at Anfield last term.
Revelling in the creative role, the No.14 chipped in with four more assists and a goal during the last 10 games of the season.
Against Norwich, the captain made 40 of his 54 passes in the opposition half - more than any other midfielder or forward - and his two shots on goal were only bettered by Roberto Firmino.
A reprise of that responsibility would bring Henderson into direct opposition with Jorginho and the winner of the battle could well dictate proceedings.Sadio Mane v Cesar Azpilicueta
Sadio Mane only returned to Melwood last Monday after helping Senegal reach the final of the Africa Cup of Nations during the summer but showed no signs of rust during his 15-minute cameo off the bench against Norwich on Friday.
Replacing goalscorer Divock Origi on the left flank, the LFC No.10 was quite literally quickly into his stride, raiding down the wing with the trademark pace and trickery that resulted in 26 goals and five assists last season.
Coming off the back of those career-high stats, and looking like he has never really been away, Mane could well be restored to the starting line-up in Istanbul.
The man charged with shackling the Reds forward will likely be Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta.
A full-back with natural centre-back instincts, the experienced Azpilicueta could be moved inside, with Davide Zappacosta coming in at right-back, as Lampard looks to shore up a backline that conceded four goals in their last outing.
However, given Mane's ability to attack the flank or drive at goal, the pair are certain to come into direct confrontation if both feature in Istanbul.
Adding his name to Liverpool's illustrious history once again is fuelling Fabinho's desire to win more silverware.
The midfielder was part of Jürgen Klopp's side that secured the club its sixth European Cup after beating Tottenham Hotspur in June.
A direct consequence of that result in Madrid sees the Reds travel to Istanbul to contest the UEFA Super Cup with Europa League holders Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Fabinho views the one-off showpiece as an opportunity to add to the team's trophy collection, while also gaining an early boost in the opening weeks of the new campaign.
"It's a chance to start the season well with another European title," the Brazilian told UEFA. "It'll be a good fixture against a team that we, of course, have been competing against for titles domestically as well in England.
"I think [winning] it would give us more confidence. Every time you win a title, your name goes down once again in the club's history. Of course, with the team that we have, our mentality and ambition is to win.
"So we're going to compete for this title. I think it will help our confidence greatly."