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Shop now: Our top LFC gift ideas for Mother's Day

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 08:00

If you're struggling to find the perfect Mother's Day gift, check out our selection of LFC-themed ideas for mums.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC Legends game postponed

Thu, 03/12/2020 - 18:59

Liverpool FC Foundation and FC Barcelona can confirm that their charity match on Saturday March 28, 2020 at Anfield has been postponed following the outbreak of the coronavirus. Barça Legends are unable to travel to the UK at this time.

Ticket and bookings already purchased for this game can still be used for the rescheduled date, which will be announced in due course.

All of the proceeds raised from this match will go to the LFC Foundation, which brings together the LFC family to create life-changing opportunities for children and young people.

Matt Parish, LFC Foundation director, said: “We would like to thank all those supporters who have purchased tickets for their understanding in this matter.

“Please hold on to your ticket and we look forward to seeing you at the game when we can rearrange it.

“Thanks to your generosity and continued support of the Foundation, these charitable games make a huge difference to the work we do and help us impact even more people.

“Through our community fund, £100,000 will be made available to local charities and community groups. In addition, funds also raised will be used to fund our partnership with Right To Play, which brings together two leaders in the fields of sport and play to benefit vulnerable children both at home and around the world, as well as enabling us to directly support even more children and young people across the Liverpool City Region through our own delivery.”

Further details of the rescheduled game will be announced in due course. For more information, please visit https://foundation.liverpoolfc.com or contact Fan Services via www.liverpoolfc.com/contactus.

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Virgil van Dijk: We have to just keep going on

Thu, 03/12/2020 - 12:00

Virgil van Dijk admits it's difficult to look at the positives in the immediate aftermath of the Champions League exit, but is confident Liverpool will be able to put that particular disappointment behind them.

The Reds' defence of their European crown was ended at the last-16 stage of the competition on Wednesday night as a 3-2 win for Atletico Madrid at Anfield secured a 4-2 aggregate victory. 

Jürgen Klopp's side dominated the second-leg affair, scoring through Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino, before three Atleti goals in extra-time secured their spot in the quarter-finals. 

But asked how encouraging the display was despite the outcome, Van Dijk told Liverpoolfc.com: “Yeah, but we know we have that quality. 

"We know we have been doing it all season, I think people forget those things pretty quickly if things are not going well for a couple of games, but that’s the reality, too, of how people look at us. 

"We’ve been outstanding the whole season and we have to just keep doing what we are doing. It’s not easy but the thing now is to just make sure that we will be ready for a very tough game on Monday.”

The No.4 added: "First and foremost, I think getting out of the Champions League is a big blow, especially when we were in the final two years ago and last year we won it. At this stage we were close. 

“The 90 minutes we played, the 95 minutes we played, were outstanding I think. We put them under pressure [and] I think everything happened that we wanted. 

"We created good chances, the only thing was that they had quite a good goalkeeper in their team, so that’s also part of football.”

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Van Dijk cites the next fixture on the schedule as the perfect opportunity to strike back following the setback. 

Liverpool make the short trip across Stanley Park on Monday night to face Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League for the 236th Merseyside derby. 

"Everybody wants to play that game," the centre-half said. "It’s going to be a very tough game, a big challenge, and something that we all should enjoy. 

"But for now obviously we make sure we recover and get our heads up again because we didn’t lose here for a long, long time, but it happens.”

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Liverpool 2-3 Atletico Madrid: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 23:53

Jürgen Klopp insisted Liverpool will 'come again' in the Champions League after their defence of the title was ended by Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.

The Reds were on course to overturn a one-goal deficit in the second leg of the last-16 tie when Roberto Firmino made it 2-0 four minutes into extra-time at Anfield.

But Atletico struck three times in the remaining additional period to win 3-2 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate, halting Liverpool’s quest to reach a third consecutive final in the competition.

Read a summary of Klopp’s reaction to the loss at his post-match press conference below…

On his thoughts on Liverpool’s performance and the result…

I think everybody who saw the game tonight knows that it could have been different. I loved our first 90 or 95 minutes, however long it was. Our first, main mistake tonight was that we scored the second goal too late; we scored in extra-time and not in the 90 minutes, so that was our fault. When you see a team like Atletico packed with world-class players in their positions and they play the way they play, it is the most difficult thing to do, to face, that’s how it is. We did exceptionally well, we played exactly in the spaces we have to play. I loved the football we played, I loved how we played in the half-spaces, I loved how we used our triangles, squares on the left and right side, how we passed the ball, how we came to finishes. We wanted to have first-touch crosses and we had [them], it’s how we scored the first goal – a super goal. We caused them more problems than probably people thought after the first game; against a defensive set-up like that, to cause a team that many problems is really exceptional, so I loved that.

But we scored the second goal, all good and then everybody saw their first goal. Come on, if you lose – and we lost tonight – you do it always for some reason and they’re always different. Tonight of course, that pass was not really helpful. Adrian is a super player, I love the boy, but it is in this moment the wrong decision, or he didn’t hit the ball right. I don’t know. Is it then necessary they score the goal? No, but when they finished the situation off Adrian is still on the way back and not in the right positioning, so it was a bit easy to finish that situation off, I would say. In that moment, usually conceding a goal is part of football and should not have a massive influence, but in this moment the momentum changed. Before that, Madrid thought, ‘Wow, how should we cope with that?’ In that moment, everything that was natural before that – how we played, how we were positioned, what we did – it was not easy, but it felt natural [and] right. But it changed and was now different and they were now, ‘Ah, OK, could be our game tonight’, so we became a bit stiff and they became a little bit fresher legs or whatever.

In the end they scored two more goals and we didn’t, so we lost both games – congratulations to Atletico, they are through. I said it now already to pretty much all TV stations, I am really an under-average loser, to be honest. At least tonight, if I would say all the things I have in my mind I would look like the worst loser in the world, so I best stop here.

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On what impact the disappointment of the defeat has on Liverpool’s season…

Nothing, no impact. Come on, we tried everything. For two-and-a-half years we had an exceptional ride in the Champions League, we had party after party after party in the Champions League pretty much. And tonight was a party, everything was set, it was great – crowd exceptional, the stadium, everything showed up in the best way. The boys delivered a super game, fought hard, played well and scored wonderful goals. But we lost. That’s it. No impact on anything. Now we have more time to prepare the Premier League games, we will see how the season will go on – nobody knows that in the moment exactly, obviously. We were lucky in moments in the Champions League, when we went through for some reason. Usually we really deserved it but there were lucky moments as well. Tonight we are out. Atletico won both games, they are deservedly in the next round. So from now on we will watch the Champions League instead of being part of it. But everybody knows we will come again and go again. Thank you to everybody who helped us on that ride. But now it’s over, I cannot change that anymore. But there will be no impact. This game, 120 minutes, I didn’t have time so far to ask the boys [but] we looked tired as well, of course. Hopefully they are all fine. Then we have now three days or so to prepare the derby and we will play that. That’s the impact a game has. But going out has no impact.

On whether he spoke to Adrian after the final whistle…

He’s a man and he knows that’s how it is. We will not blame him for a second – what you do, I don’t know, but stay respectful, that would be really nice because he didn’t want to do that, he saved us in so many moments when he played. Since he’s here, he had super performances. This goal didn’t help tonight but that’s how it is. I said, if you lose a game you always lose for some [different] reasons. Tonight, this was not the moment when we lost the game, but it had a big impact. We should not say it was not like this because it was obvious, but that’s it. We conceded more goals after that and we didn’t score the goals in other situations. We had plenty of reasons why we didn’t go through. How it is in life, especially when your job is in public, people judge you. But he’s a man, a grown man, and he will deal with that. We will help him with that but I don’t think he needs it, to be honest.

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Jordan Henderson reacts to Champions League exit

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 23:40

Jordan Henderson acknowledged the ‘bitter disappointment’ felt in Liverpool’s dressing room following their Champions League exit.

The Reds’ defence of the trophy ended in dramatic fashion at the last-16 stage at Anfield on Wednesday night, as Atletico Madrid withstood a near-constant barrage of pressure before prevailing 4-2 on aggregate after extra-time.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s smart header just before the break cancelled out Diego Simeone’s side’s 1-0 lead from the first leg, and Roberto Firmino then netted early on in extra-time to put Jürgen Klopp’s team ahead in the tie.

However, Marcos Llorente quickly scored twice from distance prior to Alvaro Morata’s 121st-minute finish to send Atletico into the quarter-finals.

Henderson told BT Sport: “Obviously we’re really disappointed. I thought the performance overall was very good, the intensity and everything we spoke about before the game. We put everything into the game and we’re bitterly disappointed.

“We’ll be disappointed with the goals we’ve conceded, but if we look at the performance then large parts of the game we’ll be pleased with - but we’re just obviously disappointed with the goals we’ve conceded.

“With the position we were in and to concede the goals we did isn’t like us, so it’s very disappointing but we’ve got to take it on the chin.

“He [Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak] made some great saves but we created so many chances to score and obviously just couldn’t find the third [goal] to kill the game off. 

“But listen, the lads gave everything. As we always do, we left everything on the field but unfortunately we just couldn’t get the result we wanted.

“Tonight and tomorrow it’ll not feel nice but we’ve got to use it and react in the right way and finish off the season well.

“We’ve got the derby next, which is a big game for us. That’s what the focus has got to turn to very quickly because that’s a big game and [we'll] just keep taking it game by game until the end of the season. We want to finish it strongly.”

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Match report: Reds' CL defence ends with extra-time loss to Atletico

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 22:42

Liverpool were eliminated from the Champions League 4-2 on aggregate after Atletico Madrid claimed a 3-2 victory after extra-time in the second leg of their last-16 tie.

Facing a 1-0 deficit from the first leg, the Reds dominated for the vast majority of the 120 minutes at Anfield and appeared to be heading to the quarter-finals when Roberto Firmino struck four minutes into extra-time.

The No.9’s close-range finish added to Georginio Wijnaldum’s fine header, which levelled the tie in the 43rd minute.

However, a pair of long-range Marcos Llorente goals before the interval in the added 30 minutes gave Atletico an unassailable advantage that was added to in stoppage time of extra-time by Alvaro Morata.

Jürgen Klopp’s side’s defence of the trophy therefore comes to an end.

Team news

Jordan Henderson returned to Liverpool’s starting XI as one of two changes made by Klopp, with Andy Robertson coming back in at left-back.

James Milner and Fabinho dropped down to the bench.

The starting XIs

First half

From the off, Anfield fizzed and crackled with the kind of ear-splitting noise heard routinely on these nights - and the expected pattern of the game was set immediately, too.

Liverpool controlled the ball and zipped it about on the slick surface, with their first attempt on target arriving five minutes in when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross was glanced into Jan Oblak’s grasp by Wijnaldum.

Mohamed Salah curled a shot over the crossbar after Sadio Mane had regained possession and dribbled inside with menace, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s low drive was palmed away by Oblak.

The next chance was Atletico’s, though, Felipe heading a corner wide at the near post as the visitors served notice of their threat with a well-crafted counter.

The ferocious tempo and competitive edge of both teams showed no sign of abating and the decibel level inside Anfield rose again when the Reds carved out two half-opportunities in quick succession.

First, Salah’s wondrous first touch and steely upper-body strength bought him the space to pick out Mane after he’d brought Alexander-Arnold’s sensational pass under his spell, but the No.10’s first-time shot was straight at Oblak. 

Then, Alexander-Arnold’s cross narrowly evaded a sliding Firmino in the area.

However, with two minutes of the half remaining, Liverpool got the breakthrough when Oxlade-Chamberlain dug out a brilliant delivery from the right and Wijnaldum powered a downwards header into Oblak’s bottom corner. 

Second half

Salah, freed by Wijnaldum’s lofted pass, tested Oblak from a tight angle within three minutes of the restart as Liverpool sought to maintain the momentum built up prior to the break.

Oblak was again required to keep Atletico level in the tie when Oxlade-Chamberlain took aim from distance, the away goalkeeper this time getting down to turn the No.15’s effort wide.

Another sublime Alexander-Arnold delivery - on this occasion from a dead ball - then enabled Firmino to volley goalwards at the back post, with Oblak again equal to the attempt.

A rare foray forward from the away side brought Adrian into the action; the Reds’ ‘keeper initially spilling Joao Felix’s strike before reacting rapidly to smother the loose ball.

That represented only a brief respite for Atletico, though, as wave after wave of Liverpool attack continued to crash down on their increasingly stretched backline.

There were 67 minutes gone when Robertson hit the crossbar, the left-back unable to keep his close-range header down once Salah’s shot had deflected and looped into his vicinity. 

A long-range blast from Alexander-Arnold followed quickly, which Oblak was able to parry away, prior to Robertson skewing his shot wide from a neat cut-back by his opposite full-back.

Klopp introduced Milner as the clock ticked beyond the 80-minute mark and the vice-captain’s cross from the left fashioned an opening for Mane, who sent an overhead kick over the bar from Wijnaldum’s knockdown. 

There was still time for one more chance before the tie went to extra-time, too, with Salah dancing away from Koke and Renan Lodi before blasting over the bar.

Extra-time

Liverpool had already called Oblak into action once again – the ‘keeper stopping Wijnaldum’s low drive – before they were finally rewarded for their relentless enterprise.

Firmino initially nodded Wijnaldum’s cross onto the post, but then slotted in the rebound to edge the Reds into the lead in the tie for the first time.

But, just three minutes later, Atletico held the advantage again when Llorente collected Felix's pass and found the bottom corner from range – and the same player went on to deliver a hammer-blow to the Reds’ hopes in stoppage time of the first period of extra-time by again dispatching another shot from distance.

And, with Liverpool pushed on in search of an unlikely fightback, Morata added a third on the break in the 121st minute.

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Listen live: Liverpool v Atletico Madrid - free commentary

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 19:50
Never miss a moment of the action with LFCTV GO.

Never miss a moment of the action with LFCTV GO.

  • All LFC, 24 hours a day in stunning HD
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Team news: Confirmed Liverpool line-up v Atletico Madrid

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 18:41

Jordan Henderson starts for Liverpool in tonight’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid at Anfield.

The captain returns to the line-up three weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury in the first leg of the last-16 meeting.

Henderson replaces Fabinho in the Reds’ starting XI in one of two changes, with the other seeing Andy Robertson return at left-back.

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

Subs: Lonergan, Fabinho, Milner, Minamino, Lallana, Origi, Matip.

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U18s Merseyside derby to be played behind closed doors

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 16:00

Liverpool U18s' Merseyside derby against Everton will go ahead as planned on Saturday at the Academy in Kirkby.

However, the game – which kicks off at 11am GMT – will now be played behind closed doors, with no supporters or visitors admitted to spectating areas.

The decision has been taken in order to minimise the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Coverage of the match will still be available live for fans on LFCTV and LFCTV GO.

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Dortmund chief admits Jadon Sancho could force transfer discussion

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 14:36

Jadon Sancho may be allowed to leave Borussia Dortmund explains the club's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.

The teenage sensation has lit up the Bundesliga this season having scored 14 times and created 16 assists in 23 Bundesliga outings.

Sancho, who has been repeatedly linked with a move to Liverpool, could be allowed to make his a move away from Germany this summer.

Full story: Liverpool Echo

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

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LIVE: Liverpool v Atletico Madrid - follow the build-up

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 11:00

Another big Anfield night awaits

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of Liverpool's Champions League showdown with Atletico Madrid at Anfield.

I'm sure you're all like us and absolutely cannot wait for this one. So, stay right here throughout the day for the best of the build-up, action and reaction from L4. 

Up the Reds!

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Liverpool v Atletico Madrid: Tickets sold out

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 09:03

Supporters not in possession of a ticket for the 8pm GMT kick-off are urged not to travel to Anfield.

Season ticket holders are reminded that if you have purchased a different seat to the one used for Premier League home games, your season ticket card will be activated for access into the stadium and you will not be issued with a barcoded paper ticket. Click here for a full list of FAQ’s.

Enrolled into the Auto Cup Scheme? Important information

Before travelling to the game, supporters enrolled into the Auto Cup Scheme are strongly advised to check that they have a seat processed for this match.

You can do this by logging into My Account and selecting the ‘Check Your Purchase History’ option.

Tickets are sold out, please do not travel if you have not purchased a ticket. 

Tickets will not be available to purchase at Anfield this evening.

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Andy Robertson: We'll need the full LFC package against Atletico

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 09:00

Liverpool will need to conjure up their ‘full package’ if they’re to topple Atletico Madrid’s one-goal advantage and progress into the Champions League quarter-finals, insists Andy Robertson.

The Reds are aiming to reverse the 1-0 defeat suffered in the first leg of the last-16 tie when the teams meet once more at Anfield tonight.

And while Jürgen Klopp’s side’s memorable comeback against Atletico’s fellow La Liga side Barcelona last May is still fresh in the memory, Robertson believes this evening’s contest will conjure up a different kind of challenge.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: “I don’t think it’s similar [to Barcelona]; I think they’re two very different sides.

“Barcelona came out, attacked and tried to get the goal they thought [meant] we would have to score five or whatever.

“I think Atletico will come out, try to pose a threat, attack us and try to get a goal because they know they can fancy themselves to defend it. They are an unbelievable team at defending deep, at defending in the low block and things like that.

“It was very hard to play against; we gave them the early goal and they seemed happy with that. We found it tough to break down – we never had a shot on target and that proves that.

“We need to be a lot more clinical, we need to be a lot crisper with our passing and a lot better at creating chances. If we do and we can take one, hopefully we can kick on from there.

“We know how tough it is going to be, we know how good they are and we really need to bring our full package against them.”

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Part of that ‘full package’ is a fast-paced, aggressive, positive start – supported vociferously by Liverpool fans in the stands.

Robertson was keen to underscore the impact the 'Anfield factor' can have, both on those in red and their opponents.

The Scotland captain added: “We always look to start the game fast, whatever game, but if we can start on the front foot, then we know the fans react to that, Anfield reacts to that and it creates a fantastic atmosphere.

“That’s what we need, we need everyone to be in the mood of the Barcelona game effectively because the fans were incredible that night. We need them again, we need our same attitude again and if we do that then we believe we’re good enough to win the game.

“Whether it’s enough, that’s to be seen, but we believe we’re good enough to win any game of football and we need to show it. We need to be fresh in mind, be ready to go and if we have setbacks not let them get to us, just keep going and going. If we do that then hopefully we do enough to go through, but we know how hard this game is going to be and Atletico have our utmost respect in how they go about their business.”

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Liverpool v Atletico Madrid: Three key battles

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 08:30

We've picked out three individual battles to look out for tonight as Liverpool host Atletico Madrid in a mouthwatering second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Diego Simeone's side hold a slender advantage heading into the Anfield encounter after Saul Niguez's early goal at Estadio Metropolitano last month. 

Here are a trio of duels that could prove pivotal this evening...

Fabinho v Joao Felix

If selected to operate as a second striker, Felix's positioning may come into the area of the pitch Fabinho usually patrols. 

Felix was unable to take part in the first leg due to injury, but he's hit the ground running since his return to action. 

In Atletico's last three matches, the 20-year-old star has been on the scoresheet twice. He scored as a substitute in a win over Villarreal before netting as a starter in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sevilla. 

They represented his first goals for Atleti since December, with the Portuguese international having an interrupted campaign following his summer move from Benfica. 

"He started with great enthusiasm," Simeone recently said. "He had two injuries that took him out of that continuity.

"He is looking for that continuity in the team again, that continuity we all need and expect from him.

"Hopefully he gets to where he suggested he could, because in the case of young boys it is a consequence of where one wants to go. If he wants to go far, he can."

Fabinho, too, is not long back after injury and will need to be at his best in order to nullify the threat of Felix.

Mohamed Salah v Jan Oblak

Liverpool need to be ruthless in the final third on Wednesday night and Salah, statistically speaking, is the likeliest source for the goals needed. 

The Egyptian is the Reds' top goalscorer in all competitions this term with 20 – four of which have come in Europe.

But he'll have to beat one of the best backlines in the Champions League this season. Indeed, Atletico have conceded just five times in the 2019-20 competition so far, averaging out at 0.71 goals against per game. 

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And the very last line of their defence is Oblak, whose biggest admirer happens to be his manager. 

"He is the best goalkeeper in the world," Simeone said last April. "We are fortunate that he chooses to play at Atletico and that he is with us."

Oblak had little to do in the first leg, not recording a single save throughout the 90. But when called upon, the Slovenian is widely renowned for his sublime shot-stopping qualities and ability to consistently pull off the spectacular. 

It's up to Salah and co to find the part of the net where he can't get to.

Andy Robertson v Kieran Trippier

Jürgen Klopp will have Robertson available for this encounter after he sat out last weekend's victory over Bournemouth. 

The left-back's willing runs up and down the channel mean he is almost certain to come up against Trippier. 

With Liverpool needing to be on the front foot, Robertson and full-back partner Trent Alexander-Arnold can attempt to pin Atletico back with relentless pressure from out wide. 

Robertson's only goal at Anfield this season came in the Champions League when he combined with Alexander-Arnold during a win over Salzburg.

The best angles of Robbo's run and finish against Salzburg

Meanwhile, Trippier was unavailable for the first leg due to a groin injury, but has appeared in every game since recovering from the issue.

The England international has enjoyed a hugely encouraging start to life in Spain after making the switch from Tottenham Hotspur in July. 

Atletico will be hoping Trippier's experiences of combating Liverpool's left flank in the past can come in handy.

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Henderson: We'll never take Anfield for granted - and we need it again tonight

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 08:00

European occasions at Anfield are not something Liverpool’s players will ever take for granted, insists Jordan Henderson.

The Reds go into a meeting with Atletico Madrid this evening in front of another sold-out home crowd as they aim to overturn a 1-0 first-leg defeat in the Champions League last-16 clash.

Henderson admits watching Saturday’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth – a victory that put Jürgen Klopp’s side within six points of clinching the Premier League title – from the stands enabled him to soak in the sights and sounds around Anfield from a different perspective.

And the captain – who is set to come into contention after returning to fitness – knows how crucial a role Liverpool supporters have to play once again tonight.

He wrote in his column for the official matchday programme: “Being a supporter on Saturday, I made a point of properly soaking in the feeling around Anfield in those final few minutes and seconds and in particular what was happening on the Kop. It made me realise why it’s so important.

“It was genuinely incredible to look at with all the colours and flags and the noise was unreal. It looked and sounded amazing. I know I’ve mentioned Spion Kop 1906 in these notes previously, but the work they do and the effort they put in is always worth highlighting because it makes such a positive impact. They, more than anyone, are responsible for making the feeling so raw and authentic.

“I saw on social media that they had 50 new flags made for the Bournemouth game and, from a player’s point of view, the Kop looked better than ever. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but if you watch our players just before we assemble for kick-off, most have a proper look at the Kop and try to take a moment to take it all in.

“Part of having something special in life is making sure you never take it for granted. That counts for so many things – but as a Liverpool player the positive impact of Anfield and the Kop should be top of that list.

“I know going into tonight’s game there’ll be a lot of talk about the importance of us being at home. There will no doubt have been dozens of articles and broadcasts referencing historic and special Anfield European nights, but we can never and will never take it for granted.

“It never ‘just’ happens. These occasions come because we make it happen – all of us.

“People from groups like Spion Kop 1906 bring the colour – the supporters bring the passion – and then as players we have to bring the intensity of performance. The moment we assume things will happen for us just because it’s Liverpool and it’s Anfield and it’s the European Cup, then it won’t.

“None of us take any of this for granted and we come into this game knowing if we want something special to happen, we have to work hard to make it so.

“That’s what we’ll look do as players: give everything we have and, if we do, we know the support will be there driving us on.”

Pick up your copy of the official LFC matchday programme at the stadium, or subscribe online by clicking here.

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Jürgen Klopp's pre-Atletico message: 'Embrace it, give your all and enjoy it'

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 07:30

Jürgen Klopp has delivered a message to Liverpool’s players and supporters ahead of tonight’s Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid: “Be yourselves, trust yourselves, embrace the joy of the moment and do your best.”

The Reds go into the last-16, second-leg encounter at Anfield needing to overturn a one-goal deficit from the initial meeting at Estadio Metropolitano three weeks ago.

If they’re to do so - and reach the quarter-finals of the competition for a third successive season in the process - Klopp believes they will need everyone at their maximum, both players and fans.

He wrote in his column in the official matchday programme: “The story of our team in recent seasons, and even in recent months and weeks, is when we face a challenge we rise to it. Set the bar higher and give all you have to clear it.

“Our mentality isn’t one whereby we expect or want gifts. Everything this group of players has in this moment they have fought and scrapped for. We are fighters to our very core.

“Opportunity is the pressure that drives us - it is only positive in these moments.

“I talk about Atletico’s qualities because we must respect them, but in doing so we don’t ignore our own. This is so, so important. We have talent, desire, energy and belief. We know when we bring our intensity we hold the pen and we write the story. We have world-class players, who I am proud to say are world-class people also. I would swap them for no-one.

“But the key part of that is knowing there is work to do and we have to do it. It is not allowed to think for even a second our previous achievements will have an impact tonight. Things happen when you make them happen - tonight we have to make them happen.

“Just because we have done something before doesn’t mean you can expect it to happen again. Go and make it happen again - performance and atmosphere.

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“Anyone who comes to Anfield tonight thinking of previous occasions and feelings here, I’m cool with that. But it has to be channelled into a mindset of ‘I want to feel it again’. So, remember all the things that brought you to that feeling - player and supporter.

“The key word tonight will be ‘intensity’. Madrid will have it - we know this. So we must have higher intensity, in the positive sense, in all that we do.

“Our visitors’ supporters will be passionate and loud. Cool! We can be better if we are prepared to work for it. Our visitors’ players will be focused, prepared and hungry. Cool! We can be better if we are prepared to work for it.

“I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to leave any sense of ‘what if’ or even ‘what might be’ outside the stadium. In the stands and on the pitch we need to be in every moment. This is how you create special moments.

“Wanting something isn’t enough. Plenty will want something. We have proved already and we can prove again it’s about ‘doing’. It’s about doing the work and then getting the rewards. Anfield has been our biggest asset for such a long time and we never fall into the trap of thinking it just happens because tickets are sold and gates are opened.

“On nights like this, the Anfield crowd is the ‘transfer’ that no other club can ever acquire, no matter how much they crave it. It can’t be copied or replicated. It’s special to us. It is ours and we must always cherish its positive impact.

“As always the message to the players and the crowd is very similar. Be yourselves, trust yourselves, embrace the joy of the moment and do your best.

“It’s all you can ever ask.”

Pick up your copy of the official LFC matchday programme at the stadium, or subscribe online by clicking here.

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Missing Men: Atletico Madrid 2010

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 07:00

Liverpool last hosted Atletico Madrid at Anfield almost 10 years ago – can you remember their starting XI from that night?

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg of the Europa League semi-final, the Reds’ No.4 sent the tie to extra-time, where Yossi Benayoun’s effort was cancelled out by a Diego Forlan away goal that secured progress for the Spanish visitors.

Do you recall the side Rafael Benitez picked on April 29, 2010?

Take our quiz below to test your memory or click Next at the bottom of the page to reveal the Missing Men…

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Stats: Reds out to stage another European comeback at Anfield

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 06:00

Liverpool have progressed on nine of the previous 14 occasions in which they lost the first leg of a European knockout tie away from home.

Jürgen Klopp’s side host Atletico Madrid at Anfield tonight seeking to enhance that particular statistic in order to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The European champions were defeated 1-0 at Estadio Metropolitano last month, but have the chance to overturn that narrow deficit on home turf this evening.

Check out more pre-match facts and figures from LFC statistician Ged Rea below…

Wednesday’s match will be Liverpool’s 400th in Europe and 217th in the Champions League/European Cup. They have won 222, drawn 89 and lost 88 of their previous 399 European games.

The Reds have never lost a two-legged European tie under Klopp, winning all of the previous 10.

At Anfield, Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 25 European fixtures, winning 18 and drawing seven of those. Their last defeat was against Real Madrid back in October 2014.

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The Reds have played a second leg at home aiming to overcome a first-leg deficit of any score 30 times and have gone on to win the tie on 14 occasions.

This season, Liverpool have at some stage led in 39 of their 47 games in league and cup. Only once in those matches have they failed to win (at Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup).

Mohamed Salah is the club’s third-highest goalscorer in Europe (level with Ian Rush on 20). Only Steven Gerrard (41) and Michael Owen (22) have more.

All 20 of Salah’s European goals for the Reds have been scored in the Champions League (in just 34 appearances) and, at Anfield, he has netted 12 in 15 games. Only Gerrard (18) has more in the competition at home.

The Egyptian hit the 20-goal mark for the season for the third campaign in a row by scoring against Bournemouth at the weekend. Sadio Mane is currently two short of achieving the same feat.

Joe Gomez’s next appearance will be his 100th for Liverpool in all competitions. 

Gomez, Mane and Andy Robertson would miss the first leg of the quarter-final should they get booked and Liverpool advance tonight.

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The view from Madrid: 'Atletico are excited by Anfield chance'

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 19:30

Liverpool must overturn a one-goal first-leg deficit to defeat Atletico Madrid in the return meeting of the Champions League last-16 tie at Anfield on Wednesday night.

The Reds, who will welcome Jordan Henderson back for the contest, are aiming to reach the quarter-finals of the competition for a third successive season, but face a challenge described by Jürgen Klopp as one of the most difficult in European football.

Saul Niguez's early strike three weeks ago settled the first meeting in Spain at Estadio Metropolitano, leaving the hosts with work to do in the return.

So, how will Atletico look to tackle their first visit to Anfield since 2010? We caught up with Madrid-based La Liga expert Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) to gauge his thoughts on Diego Simeone's men...

So, how are you expecting Atletico to approach this one?

Diego Simeone has plenty of experience in protecting a narrow lead going into a European second leg, so I'd expect Atletico to look to keep things as tight as possible through the early stages at Anfield. They are also well aware of the value of an away goal, and will look to counter-attack when the opportunity arises.

How have Atletico performed in the three weeks since our first-leg meeting?

A mixed bag. They were excellent when beating Villarreal 3-1 a few days after the first leg, but have then only managed draws away at bottom side Espanyol and at home to fellow top-four challengers Sevilla. Which means they have dropped to fifth in the La Liga table, and face a big battle to get back into the UCL next season. Defensive issues have also shown up again - the game against Liverpool is Atletico's only clean sheet in their last five games in all competitions.

Just what did winning that first leg mean to Atletico?

Beating Liverpool was huge for Atletico, especially for their newer and younger players. With so many of the old leaders having left, it was important for a new-look team to get their own big European night at the Wanda. The way it was done too was extra significant, by defending well but also causing Liverpool lots of problems. Some fans and pundits were complaining afterwards about not getting a second or third goal.

Which players do you feel will be key to Atletico's hopes at Anfield?

After missing the first leg through injury, Portuguese starlet Joao Felix has returned looking very sharp and hungry, and looks Atletico's best chance of either creating or scoring what would be a vital away goal. And given how Liverpool are likely to get at least one shot on target this time, goalkeeper Jan Oblak will definitely need to be at his best.

And which Liverpool players do you think will give most cause for concern for Atleti?

Before the first leg, Atletico might have focused more on Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, but Roberto Firmino was the Liverpool attacker who caused them most problems with his movement and link-ups. They will probably be most worried again about how he might be able to pick holes in what is likely to be a pretty deep-lying defence.

What do Atletico and their fans think of the prospect of playing at Anfield?

When the draw was made all around Atletico were very excited about the chance to play at Anfield for the first time in a decade. They are more likely to be inspired than overawed by their surroundings, though.

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What's the latest Atletico squad news?

Left-back Renan Lodi missed Saturday's 2-2 v Sevilla with an unspecified muscle problem, but has trained with the squad since and should be fine. With Joao Felix, Kieran Trippier and Hector Herrera also available, Simeone has a full squad to pick from for the first time all season.

How do you expect Atleti to line up?

Oblak; Vrsaljko, Savic, Felipe, Lodi; Koke, Llorente, Thomas, Saul; Joao Felix, Morata.

And finally, what's your prediction for the game?

Liverpool to have most of the play, and the majority of the chances, but Atletico to hang in there and nick an away goal at some point. So they lose 1-2 on the night, but progress on away goals.

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Melwood gallery: 47 photos from Liverpool's pre-Atletico preparations

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 18:04

Liverpool trained at Melwood on the eve of their Champions League showdown with Atletico Madrid - and our photographers were there to provide a gallery of the session.

Jürgen Klopp and his staff put the players through their paces a little over 24 hours before the last-16 second leg takes place at Anfield.

Take a look at the Reds' preparations for the decisive meeting with the La Liga side below...

Photos by John and Andrew Powell

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