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Updated: 6 hours 21 min ago

Virgil van Dijk asks damning question of Liverpool teammates after Everton loss

Wed, 04/24/2024 - 22:41

Virgil van Dijk questioned the desire of his Liverpool teammates after a 2-0 defeat at Everton dealt a hammer blow to their Premier League title hopes.

Goals from Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin saw Everton claim a historic first win over their local rivals at Goodison Park since 2010. It leaves Liverpool three points behind top-of-the-table Arsenal and just a point ahead of Manchester City, who have played two less games.

Van Dijk was among many Liverpool players who struggled with both goals coming from set pieces, the first after a number of errors as Reds stars attempted to clear their lines, while Darwin Núñez missed a golden opportunity at the other end in the first half. At half-time, Reds legend Jamie Carragher suggested Alexis Mac Allister had failed to follow two unwritten 'rules' of playing at Goodison Park and not allowing the crowd to get into the game.

Speaking to Sky Sports at full-time, Van Dijk did not hold back in a damning assessment of their performance as he asked if his teammates "really want to win the league?".

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Van Dijk said: “Listen, very disappointed in so many ways and I think everyone has to look in the mirror and look at their performance, if they really gave everything and do they really want to win the league?

“Obviously we’re fighting, and we still have games after tonight, but to play like we did, overall, in the game like today and not winning challenges, giving the ref and opportunity to give a free kick, like he did many times, then we have no chance to win the title.

“It’s a tough one, and we need to do much better against a side that’s playing against relegation and it’s now to focus on the 12:30 kickoff again.”

Asked if they had simply ran out of ideas, Van Dijk added: “I think you try to force things and I think we gave so many crosses where they can just clear it quite easily, and I still think we had, in the first half, clear cut chances that we should have scored.

“But eventually we weren’t good enough and it starts with the fight. Like I said, we all have to do much better and we can’t let the season go out like tonight. We have to do much better, in every sense, and it’s a tough one.”

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Everton goal vs Liverpool may have been disallowed next season due to Premier League rule change

Wed, 04/24/2024 - 22:33

Liverpool should only be blaming itself after crashing out of the Premier League title race in the worst possible manner, with a loss to Everton at Goodison Park. In truth, the host deserved to win, simply looking more ready for the fixture.

Perhaps that's got something to do with Liverpool's physically and emotionally draining season, which since January has been billed as a grand send-off for manager Jürgen Klopp. Whatever the reason, this team has looked spent for weeks, and Sean Dyche made sure Everton punished that.

But there were fine margins at play too. Once again, Liverpool will rue some poor finishing, with Darwin Núñez, Luis Díaz and Mohamed Salah all missing good chances.

READ MORE: Arne Slot could take four lessons from Liverpool loss at Everton as Dominik Szoboszlai snaps

READ MORE: Gary Neville identifies VAR 'problem' after Liverpool penalty let-off vs Everton

Meanwhile, Liverpool got one early let-off at the other end, when an offside call meant a penalty against Alisson was cancelled. But there was nearly a second reprieve for the Jarrad Branthwaite opener, as VAR went back to check a possible offside in the build-up.

Gary Neville predicted there could be a 'riot' at Goodison Park if this one was also ruled out. But the predominant emotion in the stands was joy rather than outrage, as the goal stood.

When the graphic was shown on-screen, a single green line was shown, in line with Branthwaite and final Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konaté. A single line being drawn means that the offside is extremely tight, and falls within what is known as the 'tolerance level' of the current technology available for offside calls.

In other words, Branthwaite may well have been offside, but it was too tight for technology currently in use to know for sure. And from next season, we will know more quickly and with more accuracy, with the Premier League set to introduce semi-automated offside technology.

The Premier League has been under increasing pressure to introduce the technology. Under this system, there will be no tolerance level, meaning that even if Branthwaite was beyond Konaté by the finest of margins, the goal would be chalked off.

Liverpool.com says: It's just one more thing to be frustrated about. Perhaps if Liverpool had got a second let-off, the game might have gone differently.

But in truth, that's hard to imagine. Liverpool looked rattled from the outset, the finishing has been a recurring problem, and clean sheets have been a rare commodity lately. If it wasn't the Branthwaite goal, the breakthrough would have come from somewhere else, such was the nature of the match.

Still, more accuracy from next season in the Premier League will theoretically be good, especially with those decisions being made more quickly. Delays have been a huge problem since the introduction of video technology.

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Liverpool final four fixtures compared to Man City and Arsenal and what hopes Jürgen Klopp has

Wed, 04/24/2024 - 22:09

"You lost the league at Goodison Park," the Everton fans delighted in singing as time ran out for Liverpool. That is not quite true, of course, for the Reds, but they will need a miracle from here to win the Premier League.

With another Merseyside derby out of the way, it means there are only four matches left of the Jürgen Klopp era at Anfield. All of those are in the Premier League but the chances of the Reds sending him off on the biggest possible high are now almost zero.

Up next for Liverpool, with a quick turnaround from this game to the next, is a trip to face West Ham United in the early kick-off slot on Saturday. Klopp hates the short turnaround but that match would only have moved to Sunday this weekend had Arsenal beaten Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Once that didn't happen, it was confirmed for the earlier slot.

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Liverpool faces West Ham next, and then finishes the season with matches against Spurs and Wolves at Anfield with a trip to Aston Villa to take on Unai Emery's side at Villa Park in between. All of those fixtures could be tricky for different reasons.

While the Reds need perfection from their own games, they also need multiple favors from elsewhere for the campaign not to peter out with a whimper. Manchester City, the current leader in the Premier League title race relative to the number of matches that it has played, faces Brighton (away) tomorrow.

After the trip to Brighton, Manchester City is away at Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Still with another four matches after that double-header thanks to its games in hand, Pep Guardiola's side then faces Wolves (home), Fulham (away), Tottenham (away) and West Ham United (home). Out of the Champions League, it only has the league and the FA Cup final to focus on.

Arsenal, meanwhile, has the North London derby next. After beating Chelsea comfortably earlier in the week, the Gunners are away at Spurs this weekend and then will have played the same number of matches as Liverpool.

Mikel Arteta's side finishes the season with Bournemouth (home), Manchester United (away) and Everton (home). After demolishing Chelsea, it moved 13 ahead of Liverpool in the goal difference stakes. That looks much less important now Liverpool has lost important ground at the worst possible time.

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How to watch Everton vs Liverpool in US and UK - TV channel, live stream, early team news

Wed, 04/24/2024 - 11:01

Jürgen Klopp takes charge of his final Merseyside derby as Liverpool manager tonight, with Liverpool needing a win to keep pace with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League. The Reds got back to winning ways by beating Fulham on Sunday.

Arsenal responded by thrashing Chelsea 5-0 and now sits three points clear, holding a better goal difference over Liverpool and Manchester City. It means the Reds cannot afford to drop points at Goodison Park.

Everton picked up a much-needed win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday, albeit in controversial circumstances. Sean Dyche's side sit 16th in the Premier League table, five clear of the relegation zone.

READ MORE: Four players who should definitely start for Liverpool against Everton amid five injuries

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Liverpool won the reverse fixture at Anfield back in October with Mohamed Salah scoring twice for the Reds. Klopp will be eager to continue his impressive derby record, having lost just one of 18 matches against Everton.

Here, Liverpool.com has picked out all of the information that you need to know, including the kick-off time, TV details, highlights and early team news ahead of the derby showdown.

What time is kick-off and is the match on TV?

The match kicks off at 8pm UK time. There is no early start for US supporters but you may have to try and sneak a glimpse at your phone while at work. Those fans on the East Coast have a 3pm start, with a midday kick-off for the West Coast.

Yes, the match is being shown live on TV. For viewers in the UK, the game can be seen on Sky Sports. US viewers will need to tune in to Peacock to watch the action from Goodison Park.

How else can I follow the game?

We believe that Liverpool.com is the best place to follow the match. Our dedicated team of writers will share their thoughts on social media during the course of the Merseyside derby. We will be with you right on the whistle with analysis, player ratings and much more.

Elsewhere, LFCTV offers pre-match build-up and then live blow-by-blow audio commentary. UK fans can also listen to the game on BBC Radio 5Live and talkSPORT.

Where can I catch the highlights?

We will be getting our first pieces out straight away after the final whistle, and then there's plenty more to come. All of the key talking points will be covered, alongside reaction from Liverpool players and Jürgen Klopp.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports will post a highlights package shortly after full-time. It will also be posting clips on social media throughout the match. You can catch the post-match press conferences on the Blood Red YouTube channel.

Early team news

Liverpool has been hit with an injury blow ahead of the clash, with Diogo Jota ruled out. The Portuguese scored on his return to the starting line-up after injury at Fulham but is set to be out for two weeks.

Conor Bradley remains sidelined with an ankle problem while young midfielder Stefan Bajčetić stepped up his rehab by featuring for the Under-21s this week. Thiago Alcântara and Joël Matip are out, with both out of contract at the end of the season.

Everton striker Beto will miss the derby after he was taken off on a stretcher against Nottingham Forest. He was taken to hospital for checks and the concussion protocol means he is not available. Dominic Calvert-Lewin should be fit but defenders Seamus Coleman and Nathan Patterson will not feature.

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Bruno Guimarães transfer latest after Liverpool links as Man Utd 'scouts $75m defender'

Wed, 04/24/2024 - 10:30

Liverpool knows it must pick up three points in Wednesday night's Merseyside derby to keep its title hopes alive. The Reds went into second by beating Fulham on Sunday and now travels to Goodison Park to face Everton.

Arsenal opened up a three-point gap at the top by thrashing Chelsea 5-0 on Tuesday night and has a far better goal difference than Liverpool and third-placed Manchester City. With just five games to go, that could prove to be decisive.

It means Liverpool needs a win against its fierce rivals to draw level at the top, and put more pressure on City. Pep Guardiola's side does have games in hand, starting with a trip to Brighton on Thursday.

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Off the pitch, Liverpool is continuing its search for a new manager, with Arne Slot emerging as a new favorite. He could be in for a busy summer, if he takes over, with Liverpool tipped to make transfer reinforcements.

Here, Liverpool.com takes a scan around the Premier League and across the continent to see what's going on at Liverpool's rivals, including competition for a midfield option, as Manchester United and Chelsea look to improve their defenses.

Arsenal and Man City keen on Bruno Guimarães?

Newcastle ace Bruno Guimarães is set to be a summer target for both Arsenal and Manchester City, reports The Telegraph. The Brazilian has developed into one of the best midfielders in the Premier League since arriving from Lyon in 2022.

It was reported in January by the Spanish publication AS that Liverpool was considering a move for Guimarães, with PSG, Barcelona and Chelsea also keen. But it now appears there will also be competition from Arsenal and City.

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The report states the title rivals could go head-to-head for the 26-year-old, as they did for Declan Rice last summer. It is claimed that Guimarães, who is believed to have a release clause of $124m (£100m/€116m), is 'aware' of interest from both clubs.

Arsenal is looking to strengthen its midfield this summer with Thomas Partey and Jorginho facing uncertain futures. Manchester City is also eyeing reinforcements, should Bernardo Silva be targeted at the end of the season.

Liverpool.com says: There is no doubt that Guimarães would be a great addition to any top club but will cost a hefty transfer fee. Newcastle is likely to demand his release clause is paid in full and that may stop Liverpool making a move. After last summer's midfield overhaul, there are likely to be other priorities this summer.

Man Utd and Chelsea 'target' Lukeba

RB Leipzig defender Castello Lukeba could be on the move this summer, with Manchester United and Chelsea reportedly keeping tabs on him. The 21-year-old only joined Leipzig a year ago, arriving from Lyon in a $36m (£29m/€34m) deal amid links to Liverpool (via the Daily Express).

He has enjoyed an excellent campaign in the Bundesliga and was handed his first France call-up earlier this season. Lukeba is also hoping to be involved at the Olympics in Paris this summer.

But according to Foot Mercato, he is being lined up for another transfer. It is claimed that both United and Chelsea have made checks on the defender in recent months. Lukeba has a release clause of $75m (£60m/€70m) at Leipzig and it is stated that the German club has no plans to let the player go at the end of the season.

Liverpool.com says: Lukeba has emerged as one of the best young defenders in Europe this season and will be being watched by a host of clubs right now. Liverpool was linked with him a year ago and is likely to seek defensive reinforcements this summer. At just 21, Lukeba seems destined for a very bright future.

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Four players who should definitely start for Liverpool against Everton amid five injuries

Wed, 04/24/2024 - 10:14

Liverpool has only won two Merseyside derbies at Goodison Park during the tenure of Jürgen Klopp but if its Premier League title hopes are not to be dashed, that record needs to be extended later today. It is the German's final derby, of course, and the three points will be vital if the Reds are to maintain the pressure on Manchester City.

Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-0 yesterday to send a clear statement that it is still in the fight and Liverpool needs a similarly convincing showing to keep pace. If the Reds can win, they will go four points ahead of Manchester City before Pep Guardiola's side faces Brighton tomorrow, albeit the Citizens would have two games in hand.

With Manchester City slightly fatigued after a relentless schedule and with Brighton and Nottingham Forest to play away from home in the space of a few days, it would be interesting to see how Guardiola's men coped with being behind. You would expect them to win both matches, but Liverpool has to put them in the position of needing to.

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp identifies one thing he won't miss about Liverpool ahead of last Everton derby

READ MORE: Liverpool injury latest and return dates before Everton as Jürgen Klopp gives Diogo Jota update

Diogo Jota is the latest Liverpool player to be sidelined through a frustrating injury, however. Klopp confirmed during his press conference that the Portugal forward is set to be missing for a fortnight though he didn't go into too much detail on exactly what the issue was. Jota made a goalscoring return to the starting line-up on Sunday against Fulham and will be a big miss.

Conor Bradley, Thiago Alcântara, Joël Matip and Ben Doak are all currently missing for Liverpool, while Stefan Bajčetić played 45 minutes for the Reds' U21s against Sunderland on Monday as the Spaniard nears a senior return. Bradley could play again this season while Bajčetić may at some point get a substitute appearance but a full return is likelier next season.

Given the injury to Jota and the decent showing that Cody Gakpo put in at Craven Cottage, the Dutch forward should retain his place in the team against Everton. Mohamed Salah is expected to come back into the side and there would then be a choice between Luis Díaz and Darwin Núñez for the final slot in the attack.

Alexis Mac Allister is a certainty to return to the starting XI and Curtis Jones should be as well given the control that he gives Liverpool. A Mac Allister, Jones and Dominik Szoboszlai midfield would give Liverpool the chance to dominate Everton and pen the Blues back in at Goodison Park. Mac Allister and Jones, at least, should be certain starters.

In the Liverpool defense, Ibrahima Konaté should come back into the team having dropped out for Jarell Quansah over the weekend. Against Dominic Calvert-Lewin, should the Everton striker be fit to start, his physicality could be important. Salah, Gakpo, Mac Allister and Jones should all start against Everton, while Konaté is likely to come back into the side too.

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