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Updated: 1 day 23 hours ago

Mohamed Salah: Liverpool forward leaves Egypt squad with injury

Sat, 13/10/2018 - 17:08
Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah has returned to Liverpool after he was injured during Egypt's 4-1 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win over eSwatini on Friday.

The 26-year-old forward put Egypt 4-0 up shortly before half-time, scoring direct from a corner.

Salah, who scored 44 times for Liverpool last season but is without a goal in his past four club appearances, later limped off with a muscle strain.

The Reds' next game is at Huddersfield on Saturday, 20 October.

Egypt assistant coach Hany Ramzy told Bein Sports: "The initial diagnosis, according to the team doctor, is a strong muscle strain. It is not a tear. I think it is not serious."

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Mo Salah will not be prosecuted over phone driving video

Thu, 11/10/2018 - 19:41

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Liverpool star Mohamed Salah will not be prosecuted after he was apparently filmed using a mobile phone while driving.

Merseyside Police said there is "insufficient evidence" for them to take further action after footage circulated on Twitter in August.

The force said the 26-year-old had been "spoken to by officers and given advice and guidance around mobile phone use in a vehicle".

Liverpool FC have declined to comment.

In August, the Premier League club said they had alerted police after discussions with the player.

"We have spoken to the player also and will deal with any follow-up internally," they added.

The video appeared to show the Egypt international, who scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season, using his phone while behind the wheel as his car is surrounded by fans, including children.

It is thought to have been taken after Liverpool's 4-0 home win against West Ham on 12 August, in which Salah scored the opening goal.

Merseyside Police said: "We can confirm a 26-year-old man was spoken to following an incident on Arkles Lane in Liverpool on Sunday 12 August.

"Inquiries have taken place and there is insufficient evidence to support a prosecution and as such no further action will be taken.

"The man has been spoken to by officers and given advice and guidance around mobile phone use in a vehicle."

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Roma fan 'lashed out' at Liverpool supporter at Anfield

Thu, 11/10/2018 - 16:25

An Italian football fan lashed out at a Liverpool supporter during a joint attack before a Champions League semi-final, a court has heard.

Filippo Lombardi, 21, denies wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm on Sean Cox, 53, who was assaulted outside Anfield in April.

Mr Cox was "knocked unconscious and seriously injured" by a blow struck by another man, Preston Crown Court heard.

He was left in a coma before the first leg of the Liverpool and Roma match.

An earlier court hearing was told the father-of-three from Dunboyne, Co Meath, Ireland, was out of the coma, but his condition remained "very dire".

Opening the trial Neville Biddle, prosecuting, said: "Before the match, a Liverpool supporter, Sean Cox, a middle-aged family man from Dublin, who was a lifelong Liverpool supporter and who had come to Liverpool with his older brother Martin, was assaulted and knocked unconscious and seriously injured."

'Threatening manner'

He added: "It's the Crown's case that two men were involved in the assault on Sean Cox - this defendant and another.

"It was the other man that struck the blow that felled Sean Cox and rendered him unconscious."

He said it was "a joint attack" with the two men "acting together and therefore equally responsible for the injuries inflicted".

The court was told a second man had been arrested in Rome and was awaiting extradition.

Mr Biddle said Mr Lombardi and the man shown on footage punching Mr Cox, referred to as N40, were at the front of a group of about 50 fans who walked from Liverpool Lime Street station to the stadium ahead of the match.

He said: "A witness, Mykel Askew, was on Venmore Street when he noticed the group of Italian fans all walking in the same direction approaching the ground, many of them had their faces covered and they were chanting in Italian.

"He believed that they were going to cause trouble.

"Some of the group were taking their belts off and were holding them in a threatening manner."

Mr Biddle said Martin Cox had gone to move away from the group, but as he did so "he turned to see Sean Cox lying motionless on the ground".

'Went too far'

He said footage pieced together from CCTV and mobile phones showed Mr Lombardi raising his belt as if to strike Sean Cox, before the other man punched him.

He added: "As he is falling to the ground, the defendant lashes out at him as he falls."

Some members of Mr Cox's family left court as the jury were shown video clips of the attack.

Footage filmed by the BBC showed Martin Cox standing over his brother as he lay on the floor and being kicked by one of the Italian fans, which caused him to fall over.

Alison Gurden, defending, said Mr Lombardi had admitted an offence of violent disorder and accepted his behaviour following the attack on Mr Cox "went too far".

She said he had "no idea" N40 was going to assault Mr Cox or anyone else in an unprovoked attack.

The trial continues.

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Kopa Trophy: Trent Alexander-Arnold on award shortlist

Mon, 08/10/2018 - 21:10
Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool and England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has been named on a 10-man shortlist for the inaugural Kopa Trophy for players aged under 21.

The 20-year-old made his Reds debut in 2016 and was part of the England World Cup squad in Russia this summer.

Paris St-Germain's France striker Kylian Mbappe and Roma and Netherlands forward Justin Kluivert, both 19, are also among the nominees.

The winner will be named in Paris on 3 December.

2018 Kopa Trophy shortlistPositionCountryClubHoussem AouarMidfielderFranceLyonTrent Alexander-ArnoldDefenderEnglandLiverpoolPatrick CutroneForwardItalyAC MilanRitsu DoanMidfielderJapanGroningenGianluigi DonnarummaGoalkeeperItalyAC MilanAmadou HaidaraMidfielderMaliSalzburgJustin KluivertForwardNetherlandsRomaKylian MbappeForwardFranceParis St-GermainChristian PulisicMidfielderUnited StatesBorussia DortmundRodrygoForwardBrazilSantos

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Sean Cox: Rome arrest over Liverpool FC fan attack

Mon, 08/10/2018 - 17:33

A man has been arrested in Rome over an alleged assault on a Liverpool fan before the team's Champions League semi-final against Roma.

Sean Cox, 53, from Dunboyne, Co Meath, Ireland was left in a critical condition in hospital after receiving head injuries near Anfield on 24 April.

Police said a 30-year-old had appeared in a court in Rome on Saturday.

He was remanded ahead of an extradition hearing and Mr Cox was recovering slowly, Merseyside Police said.

Doctors placed Mr Cox in a coma following the attack outside a pub near Anfield stadium, less than an hour before kick off.

Police said the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Meanwhile, another defendant Filippo Lombardi, 21, is due at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday ahead of a trial on Thursday for wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mr Cox.

Mr Lombardi denies the charge.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold outwitted by chess grandmaster in five minutes

Mon, 08/10/2018 - 17:05

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You've just celebrated your 20th birthday with Liverpool taking on Manchester City and you're off on international duty this week. Obviously there's time for a quick game of chess...

There is if you're taking on world champion Magnus Carlsen.

Trent Alexander-Arnold went up against Carlsen on Monday but lost in 17 moves to the 27-year-old Norwegian. The game took five minutes.

The Liverpool full-back is a keen chess player and grew up competing with his brothers when football wasn't on the agenda.

"When I find the time I always try to get a game in," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It's hard to find other people around my age who are similarly involved in chess. That's something we can look to change going forward."

The defender was not deterred by his defeat and showed his competitive side when discussing the match afterwards.

"Although it may go down as a 1-0 loss, I will be practising more and maybe there will be a rematch," he added, after the match which took place to promote the upcoming World Chess Championship between Carlsen and challenger Fabiano Caruana.

There's a crumb of comfort for the Liverpool defender when he compares his performance to Bill Gates, though. The Microsoft founder lasted just nine moves when he locked horns with Carlsen in 2017.

Before his match, Alexander-Arnold had some coaching from two of the country's most promising young chess players, Kyan Bui, 12, and Shreyas Royal, nine.

"Football and chess can seem like sporting polar opposites, but there are so many similarities with the modern game," he said. "Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the life of a footballer and I guess that is true across most sports now."

Championship chess matches can last around six or seven hours but, despite his rapid victory, Carlsen was impressed with the England international.

"It was a great game, Trent's good. He has a bit to learn but he definitely has talent," he said.

The full-back is part of the England squad, due to meet at St George's Park on Monday before Nations League games against Croatia and Spain.

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Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City: Jurgen Klopp says missed penalty was 'deserved luck'

Sun, 07/10/2018 - 21:24

Liverpool manager says the late missed penalty from Riyad Mahrez was "deserved luck" as his side drew 0-0 with Manchester City at Anfield.

MATCH REPORT: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City

Watch highlights of Sunday's Premier League games on Match of the Day 2 at 2230 BST on BBC One and on the BBC Sport website.

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Premier League predictions: Lawro v Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark

Sat, 06/10/2018 - 21:49
Lawro's predictions

Liverpool versus Manchester City is the game of the weekend, with the Premier League's top two meeting at Anfield - but how much will the outcome affect the title race?

BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson said: "It is in danger of getting a little bit over-hyped, I'm afraid.

"If this is billed as the battle of the champions and all that - in mid-October - then I will smash my telly. There is still such an awfully long way to go.

"Yes, I am looking forward to it, yes they are the best two teams in the league and yes it should be a fantastic game of football, but it is not going to decide the title."

Lawro is making predictions for all 380 top-flight matches this season, against a variety of guests.

This week's guest is Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark.

Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark

Stark, who co-presents 'That Peter Crouch podcast', describes himself as a "massive" Watford fan and says: "I have been for pretty much all my whole life.

"I have got to admit I was a little bit of a Manchester United fan for like the first five years of my life, but I think you just write that off to ignorance don't you? No offence to United fans.

"I have got too many Watford heroes to mention - at the moment big Troy Deeney is one of them, I just think he is amazing and he has done wonders for Watford.

"He gets written off every season and comes back stronger, so I love Troy.

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"From Watford teams gone by, I would say Paul Robinson - because I play left-back myself, even though I am right-footed - and Heidar Helguson, who was brilliant when he was up front for us.

"Then obviously there are legends of Watford's history, like Graham Taylor, Luther Blissett and John Barnes - the big names."

Premier League predictions - week 7ResultLawroChrisFRIDAYBrighton v West Ham1-02-12-1SATURDAYBurnley v Huddersfield1-12-13-1Crystal Palace v Wolves0-12-02-0Leicester v Everton1-22-11-2Tottenham v Cardiff1-03-00-1Watford v Bournemouth0-42-14-0Man Utd v Newcastle3-22-02-3SUNDAYFulham v Arsenalx-x1-12-2Southampton v Chelseax-x2-10-3Liverpool v Man Cityx-x1-12-1

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

LAWRO'S PREDICTIONS

All kick-offs 15:00 BST unless stated.

FRIDAY Brighton v West Ham

Brighton 1-0 West Ham

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Chris's prediction: This is a tricky one - I am not sure about West Ham at the moment. 2-1

Match report

SATURDAY Burnley v Huddersfield

Burnley 1-1 Huddersfield

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Chris's prediction: I have a lot of respect for Burnley and Huddersfield, but I love Clarets boss Sean Dyche. Based on that, I am going to go for a Burnley win. 3-1

Match report

Crystal Palace v Wolves

Crystal Palace 0-1 Wolves

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Chris's prediction: 2-0

Match report

Leicester v Everton

Leicester 1-2 Everton

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Chris's prediction: 1-2

Match report

Tottenham v Cardiff

Tottenham 1-0 Cardiff

Lawro's prediction: 3-0

Chris's prediction: It is whether I want to go for the safe bet here? It is Tottenham at home, although is it really home yet? Do you know what, I am going to put some faith in Cardiff for this one - let's be different. 0-1

Match report

Watford v Bournemouth

Watford 0-4 Bournemouth

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Chris's prediction: Ah Watford - my team! I am going to be at this one and I think we are going to keep grinding out the results. 4-0

Chris on where Watford will finish this season: This season is really up for grabs, because we have started so well.

Can we keep this going? There is such an amazing energy at the club at the moment and if we can keep that up then really we can win any game.

We can get a lot of points this season, and the dream would be to finish in a Champions League place. It is achievable, I genuinely think it is.

If we manage it, it would make Watford history, and we would have the best party ever.

We have started well, there is a good feeling around the club, we have got an amazing team and we have got some quality players so why not? Let's go for it.

Match report

Man Utd v Newcastle

Man Utd 3-2 Newcastle

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Chris's prediction: Everything about this game makes me think that Manchester United should get the win here, however I just can't put that much faith in this Manchester United team at the moment. Newcastle could do with a confidence boost and I think they will get it at Old Trafford. 2-3

Match report

SUNDAY Fulham v Arsenal

Fulham v Arsenal (12:00 BST)

Ryan Sessegnon clattered the bar for Fulham against Everton last week when the game was goalless.

I just felt if the Cottagers were going to get a positive result at Goodison Park, they had to score first.

Unfortunately for them, they didn't - and they ended up collapsing a little bit in the end.

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I think they might get something out of this game, though. Arsenal are still on a very good run, but they played in Azerbaijan on Thursday while Fulham have had the week off.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Chris's prediction: I think Fulham can get a couple of goals here, and I am going to put this down as a draw. 2-2

Match preview

Southampton v Chelsea

Southampton v Chelsea (14:15 BST)

Imagine the mess Southampton would be in if Danny Ings had not been scoring goals for them?

Chelsea have been doing much better, obviously. Their draw with Liverpool was a brilliant game to watch and the Blues played really well.

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I still think Maurizio Sarri's side can look vulnerable, though, particularly away from home.

I am not convinced by Antonio Rudiger or David Luiz at the back because they just strike me as a pair who might have one or two off days.

I know Saints have not won at home yet, and the Blues have not lost away but I think we will see that run of results reverse on Sunday, and I suspect Ings is going to play a big part.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Chris's prediction: 0-3

Match preview

Liverpool v Man City

Liverpool v Man City (16:30 BST)

Manchester City were so dominant last season because they had long spells where they were near their peak.

In contrast, I don't think either of these teams are playing near their best level yet.

But from my memory of winning the league myself with Liverpool, that does not matter - you just try to win games, regardless of how well you are playing.

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And both teams just seem to keep on doing that. They are still getting results in the Premier League despite their players not really hitting their stride individually or collectively.

People are seeing City and Liverpool both being in quite average form as being a negative issue but, if you look at it another way, then they are both near the top of the table and they haven't even started playing the way they can.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Chris's prediction: This is the big one. I really think anything could happen at this game but it is at Anfield so I am going to give Liverpool the benefit of the doubt. 2-1

Match preview

How did Lawro do last week?

Lawro got eight correct results, including six perfect scores, from 10 matches for a total of 260 points - not only his highest score of the season, but also his best of all-time.

He beat comedian Karl Pilkington, who got six correct results, with one exact score, for a total of 90 points.

Total scores after week 7Lawro690Guests550Lawro v GuestsP7W3D1L3 Lawro's League Table +/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO'S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITIONPOSTEAMPWDLPTS+/-=1Man City 7700210=1Man Utd770021+93Chelsea74211404Liverpool734013-2=5Arsenal7403120=5Everton740312+6=5Tottenham733112-18Leicester7322110=9Bournemouth724110-2=9Crystal Palace731310+411Burnley72329+1=12Fulham72147+5=12Southampton72147+4=12West Ham72147+2=15Newcastle71336+3=15Watford72056-9=15Wolves72056-618Brighton71245-319Cardiff70434020Huddersfield701610GUEST LEADERBOARD 2018-19SCOREGUEST LEADERBOARD120Joe Thomas99Lawro (average after seven weeks)90Karl Pilkington80Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg James, Mark Wahlberg60Idris Elba40Tom Grennan

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Liverpool v Man City live in Premier League

Sat, 06/10/2018 - 12:00

Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty Images

Speaking to Sky Sports, Man City defender John Stones said: "So close, it is one of those things in football. Riyad Mahrez was taking them really well in training all week, but it happens and we have to move on.

"It got their crowd going so we had to dig in because those moments can go both ways, so we had to keep our heads. It is progress from last season, they are a top team and to get a clean sheet at Anfield is something all of the team are really proud of.

"It was a tactical battle today and everyone put a shift in for the team."

On the decision to give Mahrez the penalty, Stones said: "I think it was just decided between the boys. He is deflated and I think he feels he let us down, but he gave everything and he kept the ball well, and had he scored it would have made his day.

"Their attacking threat is brilliant and we stopped that today. We defended as a team and not just a back four, and we kept them to the least number of chaces we could. It was always going to go right to the end."

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Liverpool responsible for Man City bus safety - Pep Guardiola

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 17:32
manchester city bus on it's way to Anfield

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says they "shouldn't need the police to protect the bus" on their first return to Anfield since April's hostile Champions League tie against Liverpool.

On that occasion, the City bus was pelted with objects as it arrived at the stadium before a 3-0 defeat.

"It is something for Liverpool, not me," said Guardiola when asked about a possible repeat on Sunday.

"The best way to protect the bus is for Liverpool fans to go into the stadium."

City are planning to use a different route this time, and have reportedly fitted their bus with 15 outward-facing cameras to capture any aggressive behaviour.

Coach Manuel Estiarte filmed the approach to Anfield in April, posting the footage - complete with the sound of objects hitting the bus - on social media.

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A window was smashed and thousands of pounds of damage caused.

In September, Merseyside Police said no arrests had been made over the incident.

Some City fans have considered arriving on Merseyside early to line the route to the stadium in an attempt to prevent any repeat.

But Guardiola insists it should not be necessary.

"Why do our fans have to protect our bus? Are you kidding me? We shouldn't need the police to protect the bus," said the Spaniard.

City finished 25 points clear of Liverpool in the Premier League last season, but succumbed to a 5-1 aggregate defeat in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Premier League

One of only two league defeats suffered by Guardiola's side in their title-winning campaign also came at Anfield, when they lost 4-3 in January.

The two are level on points at the top of the table this season, with City ahead courtesy of goal difference.

"They have a lot of weapons to attack you," said Guardiola.

"They are masters at taking advantage of your mistakes. They are a top side and a good contender. They deserve all the credit they get."

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Liverpool v Manchester City

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 16:36
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Kevin Keegan: Eight reasons why ex-England star is a legend.

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 13:18

From perm to pop career, BBC Sport looks back at some of the things that make Kevin Keegan such a unique and popular figure in football.

Watch Keegan's full interview with BBC Sport on Football Focus on Saturday, 6 October at 12:00 BST on BBC One and the BBC Sport website.

WATCH MORE:

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Naby Keita: Liverpool midfielder fine after back injury and could face Man City

Thu, 04/10/2018 - 11:08
Naby Keita

Liverpool say midfielder Naby Keita is fine after being taken to hospital with a back injury suffered in the 1-0 Champions League defeat by Napoli.

The Guinean, 23, received treatment on the pitch in Italy before being taken off on a stretcher after 19 minutes.

He has been assessed, with the issue being back pain, and will return home with the Reds squad on Thursday.

Liverpool host rivals Manchester City in the top flight on Sunday and Keita has not been ruled out of that game.

Keita, who joined from RB Leipzig for £48m this summer, has made nine appearances for Liverpool this season, including four starts in the Premier League.

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Champions League: Napoli 1-0 Liverpool - Klopp takes blame for defeat

Thu, 04/10/2018 - 10:48

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that "a big part of the performance was my fault" after his side lose 1-0 at Napoli in the Champions League.
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Liverpool v Man City: Who makes your combined XI?

Thu, 04/10/2018 - 09:28
Ageruo, Allison, Ederson and Salah

Allison or Ederson in goal? Benjamin Mendy or Andrew Robertson at left-back? And where do you even start with picking a strikeforce?

Liverpool and Manchester City meet on Sunday in the most eagerly anticipated fixture of the Premier League season so far.

Such is the strength of their squads, managers Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have difficulty selecting a starting line-up every week, but we're asking you to pick a combined XI using players from both clubs.

It won't be easy.

Have a go at coming up with your strongest XI and share it on social media using #bbcfootball

The Premier League Show will be picking a combined XI during Thursday's broadcast (BBC Two and online, 22:00 BST). The BBC Sport readers' XI will be revealed on Football Focus on BBC One from 12:00 BST on Saturday. Both programmes are available in the UK only.

My Liverpool-Man City XI

Select formationConfirm team

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Roberto Firmino: Steven Gerrard says forward is 'the key' to Liverpool

Fri, 28/09/2018 - 23:18
Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah

Brazil forward Roberto Firmino is "the key" to Liverpool's "best squad for a very long time", says former captain Steven Gerrard.

Jurgen Klopp's side are top of the Premier League after winning all six of their top-flight games this season.

Firmino, 26, has two goals and two assists in the league, and also scored the winner against Paris St-Germain in the Champions League.

"Firmino is an absolute genius when you watch him close up," said Gerrard.

"He's as interested in setting up a goal as scoring one."

Rangers manager Gerrard acknowledged Liverpool's other frontline forwards - Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane - are vital to their success but added: "The key is Firmino."

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, he added: "They've got decent back-up - if they were to lose Salah or Mane, Daniel Sturridge seems to be in good shape and scoring goals and then they've got Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke."

Liverpool signed Firmino from Hoffenheim in 2015, shortly after Gerrard's final season as a Reds player. The former England midfielder returned to Anfield as a youth coach until his move to Ibrox in May.

"Every time I received the ball he was always available and looking for other players - he's a dream to play with," said Gerrard.

Gerrard won the Champions League, the Uefa Cup, two FA Cups and three League Cups during his 17 seasons at Anfield but said his Liverpool sides "were short in certain positions" in failing to win the Premier League title.

"I look at Liverpool now and can't find any weaknesses when they're at full strength," he said.

"This is a lot stronger than the team I played in - it's Liverpool's best squad for a very long time.

"The only thing they haven't got going for them is the experience. As someone who went very close, we lacked that experience."

'Milner is in the form of his life'

Gerrard also said the standard of James Milner's performances this season has given summer signings Naby Keita and Fabinho the time to "find their feet" in Liverpool's midfield.

"Milner is causing them selection problems. He's in the form of his life," he said.

"On current form he is the first name on the teamsheet."

And Gerrard added that goalkeeper Alisson, who joined from Roma this summer in a deal worth up to a reported £66.8m, and centre-back Virgil van Dijk, a £75m signing from Southampton in January, have "made a big difference".

"Liverpool have looked a different animal since Van Dijk came in and Alisson brings more composure and trust," he said.

"In time that'll be the big difference - the front three will always score goals and the midfielders back them up too - but it's all been about trying to improve defensively and they're very close."

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Andy Robertson talks about his early days at Celtic and Queens Park Rangers

Fri, 28/09/2018 - 20:18

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Liverpool's Andy Robertson discusses his early days at Celtic and then Queens Park and how he feels "he wasn't good enough" in the first year.
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Chelsea v Liverpool

Fri, 28/09/2018 - 14:32
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Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea

Thu, 27/09/2018 - 02:08
Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard is "one of the best in the world", Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola said after the forward scored a stunning late winner against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.

The Belgium international's finish into the far corner with five minutes remaining sealed victory as Chelsea came from behind to end Premier League leaders Liverpool's perfect start to the season and reach the fourth round.

Hazard was introduced as a substitute in the second half and although he was quiet for much of it, he burst into action by beating Alberto Moreno and smashing home.

"It's a fantastic goal. Not only the beauty of it but for the time he scored it," Zola said.

"Not only is Hazard one of the best in the Premier League - if not the best - but he is one of the best in Europe and the world.

"In my opinion we haven't seen the best of him yet. He is remarkable."

The Blues had been the better side in the first half with striker Alvaro Morata somehow striking a shot across the goalline and the Spaniard also nodded a free header over the crossbar.

Liverpool, who had won all seven games this season, took the lead through Daniel Sturridge's well-executed hooked finish, just minutes after the England international missed a completely open net.

Chelsea levelled the contest through Emerson Palmieri's close-range finish which needed intervention from the video assistant referee (VAR) to check for offside before being awarded.

Liverpool will be looking for revenge when the two sides meet again in the league on Saturday (kick-off 17:30 BST), while the fourth-round draw takes place on the same day at 21:00 BST.

Sarri's super start

Despite winning the FA Cup last season under Antonio Conte, Chelsea replaced the Italian with compatriot Maurizio Sarri, who left Serie A side Napoli for Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were way off the pace in the league last term, finishing fifth, but have begun the new campaign in impressive style under Sarri.

They lost the Community Shield with a poor performance against Premier League champions Manchester City, but have shown quick progress by being unbeaten after six games in the top flight and lie two points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas controlled the play in the middle of the park early on and fellow Spaniard Morata - who looks bereft of confidence - should have taken one of his chances.

Having fallen behind, the Londoners did not panic and turned the game around with two goals in six second-half minutes, the second of which was an unstoppable strike by Hazard past goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Hazard, who has five league goals so far, collected the ball wide on the right before drifting into the box, nutmegging Moreno and arrowing a thunderous shot into the net.

Hazard said: "This result will give us more confidence because we drew with West Ham four days ago. The game on Saturday [with Liverpool] is more important. We have got to try and beat Liverpool on Saturday."

Although Liverpool have also made a flying start this term, winning all of their previous seven games, one of their four chances of claiming silverware at the end of the campaign has been ended at the first hurdle.

Hazard over Neymar? Yes please - analysis

Former Chelsea midfielder Andy Townsend on BBC Radio 5 live:

Hazard glides past people, it is effortless the way he can slide past people and he did it to great effect for the goal.

He was rested for kick-off but made the difference, it is a goal out of nothing - when it appeared there were little options. He drove in so well and hit it with so much power and accuracy.

That is why Hazard is valued around the £200m bracket and what you expect from him. I would rather have Hazard than [PSG forward] Neymar at the minute.

I am not disputing Neymar's talents but in the Premier League you need to have strength, a desire to want to withstand tough challenges and the mental strength to turn up week in week out. I am sure Neymar could do it but we do not know.

If Hazard can just add some consistency to his goalscoring... He is a 20-goal-a-season man - he rarely gets there, and the very best on the planet - Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - are up in the 60s. Hazard has been nothing like that, he is better than that and he is playing in a team which provide him [with the opportunity to do] that.

The way he has started the season, he will be very disappointed if he does not hit those numbers.

How did Fabinho do? Ross Barkley holds off Fabinho

Brazilian midfielder Fabinho has managed just one minute of action for Liverpool since signing for £44m from Monaco in the summer.

Klopp had said the player needed time to adjust to English football because "the game is so quick and so intense" but he was given his first start in a Reds shirt.

Deployed in front of the back four, Fabinho kept his side ticking with neat passes - 52 in all - but showed he will take time to fully acclimatise when he was booked just short of the hour mark for a late challenge from behind on Morata.

With the home side in search of a goal, Fabinho was replaced by Mohamed Salah with four minutes remaining, but the Egyptian failed to make an impact.

Fabinho's midfield partner Naby Keita also caught the eye with his pace and industry which Chelsea found difficult to deal with.

Keita, a £55m signing from RB Leipzig, continually burst forward and had a long-range drive collected by Willy Caballero and his next effort forced the Chelsea goalkeeper into a flying save.

And it was Keita's curled effort which was parried by Caballero for Sturridge's clever finish, but Liverpool were unable to keep hold of their lead.

"We knew how Chelsea wanted to play but we gave them too much space and weren't compact enough," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said. "We still had the bigger chances in the first half.

"I think the first goal is offside. Three players are offside - two for sure. They watched it and didn't think it was offside. We have to take it.

"This is good preparation for Saturday but we have to defend better."

Hazard lights - the stats
  • Chelsea's Eden Hazard scored his sixth League Cup goal, with three of those coming as a substitute.
  • Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has scored 11 goals in his last 11 League Cup appearances.
  • Liverpool have been eliminated at this stage of the League Cup in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1990-91.
Line-upsLiverpool
  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Clyne
  • 32MatipBooked at 26mins
  • 6Lovren
  • 18Moreno
  • 7MilnerBooked at 21minsSubstituted forHendersonat 60'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 3FabinhoBooked at 56minsSubstituted forSalahat 87'minutes
  • 8KeitaBooked at 78mins
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 15Sturridge
  • 10ManéSubstituted forRoberto Firminoat 71'minutes
Substitutes
  • 9Roberto Firmino
  • 11Salah
  • 12Gomez
  • 14Henderson
  • 29Solanke
  • 48Jones
  • 73Grabara
Chelsea
  • 13Caballero
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 24Cahill
  • 27ChristensenSubstituted forDavid Luizat 73'minutes
  • 33Emerson
  • 8Barkley
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 17KovacicBooked at 50minsSubstituted forKantéat 64'minutes
  • 15MosesBooked at 90mins
  • 29MorataBooked at 90mins
  • 22WillianSubstituted forE Hazardat 56'minutes
Substitutes
  • 5Jorginho
  • 7Kanté
  • 10E Hazard
  • 20Hudson-Odoi
  • 21Zappacosta
  • 30David Luiz
  • 59Bulka
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
45,503
Match StatsHome TeamLiverpoolAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home18
Away13
Shots on Target
Home7
Away7
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home16
Away10
Live TextPosted at

Match ends, Liverpool 1, Chelsea 2.

Full TimePosted at 90'+7'

Second Half ends, Liverpool 1, Chelsea 2.

Posted at 90'+6'

Foul by David Luiz (Chelsea).

Posted at 90'+6'

Joel Matip (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

BookingPosted at 90'+5'

Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card.

Posted at 90'+5'

Offside, Chelsea. David Luiz tries a through ball, but Álvaro Morata is caught offside.

BookingPosted at 90'+1'

Victor Moses (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card.

BookingPosted at 90'

Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at 90'

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 90'

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

Posted at 89'

Attempt blocked. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Posted at 88'

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at 88'

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

SubstitutionPosted at 87'

Substitution, Liverpool. Mohamed Salah replaces Fabinho.

Posted at 86'

Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Naby Keita.

Goal!Posted at 85'

Goal! Liverpool 1, Chelsea 2. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by César Azpilicueta.

Posted at 84'

Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

Posted at 82'

Foul by N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea).

Posted at 82'

Naby Keita (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at 81'

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Posted at 80'

VAR: Goal. Referee decision on field stands.

Posted at 80'

Delay in match (Chelsea). Video Review.

Goal!Posted at 79'

Goal! Liverpool 1, Chelsea 1. Emerson (Chelsea) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal following a set piece situation.

Posted at 79'

Attempt saved. Ross Barkley (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Eden Hazard with a cross.

BookingPosted at 78'

Naby Keita (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at 78'

Victor Moses (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Posted at 78'

Foul by Naby Keita (Liverpool).

Posted at 77'

David Luiz (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 77'

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

Posted at 76'

Offside, Chelsea. Cesc Fàbregas tries a through ball, but Álvaro Morata is caught offside.

Posted at 74'

Offside, Liverpool. Joel Matip tries a through ball, but Xherdan Shaqiri is caught offside.

SubstitutionPosted at 73'

Substitution, Chelsea. David Luiz replaces Andreas Christensen because of an injury.

Posted at 71'

Victor Moses (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at 71'

Foul by Alberto Moreno (Liverpool).

SubstitutionPosted at 71'

Substitution, Liverpool. Roberto Firmino replaces Sadio Mané.

Posted at 66'

Offside, Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge tries a through ball, but Xherdan Shaqiri is caught offside.

SubstitutionPosted at 64'

Substitution, Chelsea. N'Golo Kanté replaces Mateo Kovacic.

Posted at 61'

Attempt missed. Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Posted at 61'

Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).

Posted at 61'

Naby Keita (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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Maurizio Sarri: Chelsea a 'step behind' Liverpool, says Blues boss

Sun, 23/09/2018 - 23:20
Maurizio Sarri

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says his side are "a step behind" Premier League leaders Liverpool, who they face twice in the next week.

Chelsea go to Anfield in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, before a league meeting at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

"They have worked with the same coach for four years," said Sarri after the Blues dropped their first points of the season in Sunday's 0-0 draw at West Ham.

"I think Liverpool are ahead of us."

Manager Jurgen Klopp took charge of the Reds in October 2015, succeeding the sacked Brendan Rodgers with the team 10th in the league.

The German guided them to an eighth-place finish that season, as well as the League Cup and Europa League finals, before making the top four in his next two campaigns.

Liverpool reached last season's Champions League final - losing 3-1 to Real Madrid in Kiev - and the Reds are two points clear at the top of the Premier League this term after winning all six matches.

Jurgen Klopp on the day he was appointed Liverpool manager

Sarri is in his maiden campaign at Stamford Bridge having left Napoli to join the club in July.

His preparations for the new season were hampered by players' participation at the World Cup.

He has made three signings to add to the squad inherited from fellow Italian Antonio Conte, with midfielder Jorginho and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga arriving from Napoli and Athletic Bilbao respectively, and free agent Rob Green joining as goalkeeping back-up.

However, the Blues have started the season well, winning their first five Premier League games and their opening Europa League group match, before Sunday's draw with the Hammers at London Stadium.

"We have started to work all together 35, 40 days ago. So for us I think it's a bit early," Sarri added.

"We have to work. We need to improve and then maybe in one year we will be at the same level as Liverpool."

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