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Wasteful Liverpool held to draw

Wed, 13/09/2017 - 23:50
By Pete Hall at Anfield

Last Updated: 13/09/17 11:41pm

Joaquin Correa celebrates scoring his side's second goal against LiverpoolJoaquin Correa celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Liverpool Joaquin Correa celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Liverpool

Joaquin Correa's late equaliser denied Liverpool victory on their Champions League return after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sevilla at Anfield in their Group E clash on Wednesday.

Liverpool looked to be feeling the effects of the weekend thrashing at Manchester City when they conceded a soft opener early on, allowing Wissam Ben Yedder to tap home five minutes in.

They were soon level through Roberto Firmino 16 minutes later, before Mo Salah turned the match on its head 37 minutes in, as his deflected effort gave Liverpool the lead. Firmino then should have extended Liverpool's lead from the spot after livewire Sadio Mane had been felled, but saw his penalty cannon back off the post.

After the break, Liverpool continued to create and miss chances, and that proved costly as Correa levelled with 18 minutes to go.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Karius (6), Gomez (6), Lovren (5), Matip (5), Moreno (6), Wijnaldum (6), Can (6), Henderson (7), Salah (7), Mane (8), Firmino (6).

Subs: Coutinho (6), Sturridge (6) Oxlade-Chamberlain (N/A).

Sevilla: Rico (7), Kjaer (6), Escudero (7), Pareja (7), Mercado (6), Banega (6), Pizarro (6), Nzonzi (7), Ben Yedder (7), Correa (7), Navas (7).

Subs: Corchia (6) Sarabia (6), Muriel (7).

Man of the match: Sadio Mane

Philippe Coutinho made his return to the side, but couldn't create a winner, as Joe Gomez's late red card ensured Liverpool fans headed home frustrated.

The tension around Anfield was palpable from the off, and it wasn't long before fans were really fearing the worst, as Sevilla worked the ball well to Sergio Escudero, he squared into the danger zone, Dejan Lovren completely missed it, allowing Ben Yedder all the time in the world to tap home.

Liverpool responded superbly. Mane was denied by a smart save from Sergio Rico, before Firmino had the hosts level. The football was excellent as Alberto Moreno and Jordan Henderson played a neat one-two, the Spaniard raced to reach the return, before squaring for Firmino to tap home.

The big news from Anfield was that Philippe Coutinho returned to the fray, but only on the bench.Mo Salah had been a doubt through illness, but was fit to start. Joe Gomez was handed a starting berth, with Loris Karius in goal, as expected.Sevilla had Nolito missing, with Joaquin Correa coming in.

Emre Can then almost completed the turnaround immediately after the equaliser, but saw his effort squirm agonisingly past the post after more scintillating football on the break, but it wasn't long before Liverpool did have the lead, as Salah worked hard to win the ball back off Steven N'Zonzi, he shot for goal from 25 yards and found the net via a huge deflection which took the ball over Rico.

Five minutes later, and Firmino had the chance to put Liverpool in control after Nico Pareja had hauled Mane to the floor in the box, but Firmino failed to convert from the spot.

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his side's second goalMohamed Salah celebrates scoring his side's second goal Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his side's second goal

After the break, Liverpool were largely untroubled as Sevilla grew more and more frustrated. Their troubles were compounded as manager Eduardo Berizzo was sent to the stands for throwing the ball away petulantly.

Chances continued to come and go, and such profligacy proved costly, as Correa latched onto a through-ball from substitute Luis Muriel, benefitted from a fortunate first touch, before steering the ball into the bottom corner.

Coutinho's introduction failed to inspire the hosts, as they toiled to find that winning goal, with Gomez's dismissal for a second yellow card in stoppage time adding to the woe on the red half of Merseyside. Sevilla could have in fact won it right at the death, but Muriel dragged his effort wide.

Roberto Firmino celebrates his equaliserRoberto Firmino celebrates his equaliser Roberto Firmino celebrates his equaliser Opta stats
  • Liverpool have only won one of their nine Champions League home games against Spanish opposition (D4 L4).
  • Liverpool have failed to keep a clean sheet in 11 of their last 12 Champions League contests.
  • Firmino became the 6th player to score on his Champions League debut for Liverpool (also Owen, Litmanen, Cissé, Morientes & Balotelli). Salah shortly followed suit and became the 7th to do so for the club.
  • Salah is the first Egyptian player to score on his Champions League debut for two different sides (Basel & Liverpool).
The manager

Jurgen Klopp: "You have to keep on going, and there is a lot in this game that we can build on. If you shoot that often and don't score then it is going to be a problem. Usually in a game like this you will score

Most important thing in football is creating chances and we did that. We work on this like we work on all parts of our game."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his players could not keep up their concentration levels for 90 minutes after drawing to SevillaMan of the Match - Sadio Mane

Liverpool's front three flowed really well at times, but it was Mane's pace and trickery that really opened Sevilla up. Every counter had Mane at the forefront. His finishing let him down at times, but he wasn't as guilty as others. His energy will be severely missed in the coming weeks.

What's next?

Liverpool will look to bounce back in the same surroundings on Saturday when they host Burnley at 3pm.

Sevilla aim to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they travel to newly-promoted Girona.

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Klopp: No one is No 1

Wed, 13/09/2017 - 01:00
By James Dale

Last Updated: 12/09/17 11:04pm

Loris Karius kept a clean sheet in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Arsenal last monthLoris Karius kept a clean sheet in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Arsenal last month Loris Karius kept a clean sheet in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Arsenal last month

Loris Karius will start in goal for Liverpool's Champions League return, but that does not make him Jurgen Klopp's number one.

Klopp handed Karius an unexpected start in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Arsenal last month, only for Simon Mignolet to regain his place in between the sticks for the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Reds' following fixture.

The Liverpool boss will put his faith back in compatriot Karius for the club's group stage opener against Sevilla on Wednesday night, but Klopp insists that is no reflection of his long-term plans.

"If nothing happens overnight then Loris will start, yes, but no it doesn't mean that [Karius is now number one]," said the Reds boss.

"Why do we think number one, two, three is fixed until the end of all days? I don't want to bring that in doubt but how can you ask if he's number one? By the way, it's not that he shouldn't be number one.

"If they train bad they don't deserve a game, but they both train really well, they keep the level really high.

"If we don't give them a game then every year we have to find a number two, 33 years old, who still can catch a few balls and doesn't want to play any more - that's really difficult, to find someone like that.

Jurgen Klopp felt Liverpool had a duty to appeal Sadio Mane's three-game ban but ultimately it was a waste of time

"I prefer having a group of good goalkeepers and that means you have to change things.

"That's the plan. Not to keep them happy, no, to use the quality of the goalkeepers and that's how it is, to keep them together and then they will decide with the performance who will play.

"Are all players happy with the decision? I don't know - it's nothing I can think about too much."

Karius was given a 10-match run in the Premier League last season, his first in England, between September and December but was taken out of the firing line by Klopp after criticism began to mount over his performances.

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Asked whether his compatriot was now being handed a second chance to re-establish himself, Klopp added: "Could he prove something? I think he did [against Arsenal].

"He was very cool with the ball, I know for some people too cool with the ball but that can happen with no rhythm, so now he has had the game it helped him a lot, us also and now he will start tomorrow."

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Mane appeal 'a waste of time'

Tue, 12/09/2017 - 23:00
By PA Sport

Last Updated: 12/09/17 9:07pm

Jurgen Klopp felt Liverpool had a duty to appeal Sadio Mane's three-game ban but ultimately it was a waste of time

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was not surprised Sadio Mane's three-match ban was upheld but felt the club had a duty to appeal the suspension.

An independent regulatory hearing dismissed the Reds' claims that the Senegal international should receive a reduced ban for his foot-high clash with Ederson, which left the Manchester City goalkeeper needing stitches to his face.

Klopp alluded to a number of similar incidents which had gone unpunished - Newcastle's Matt Ritchie and West Ham's Winston Reid escaped with raised-foot challenges in the last couple of days - and stressed they felt it was important to at least test the process.

"I am not sure if I am disappointed, I didn't expect anything different," said Klopp.

It was our duty to appeal. We did it and, as I said after the game, it was a waste of time obviously.

Jurgen Klopp

"I thought our appeal was absolutely right because it was never we said we would appeal the red card, it was the length of the suspension.

"He has already half-a-game suspension at City so I think it would have been the right decision for them to say 'one game less' so it would be two and a half rather than three and a half games.

"I actually never thought it would happen but only because I am used to things like this - it is not an English thing.

Mane is free to play against Sevilla on WednesdayMane is free to play against Sevilla on Wednesday Mane is free to play against Sevilla on Wednesday

"There were a lot of situations in the last few weeks which were similar and all the other players were lucky; only Sadio and Ederson were not lucky.

"It looks really awful and it was lucky nothing more serious happened in this situation but that is football.

Harsh lesson for Liverpool

Graeme Souness says Liverpool's 5-0 defeat at Manchester City could be 'psychologically damaging'.

"It was our duty to appeal. We did it and, as I said after the game, it was a waste of time obviously. We only want to bring it in relation to the other issues."

Blame

Klopp apportioned no blame to referee Jon Moss for dismissing Mane, whom he expects to carry on harrying and challenging goalkeepers.

"I don't blame the ref for the decision: I am not sure he wanted to give the red card immediately but when he saw the boy bleeding I would have made the same decision," he added.

Mane will be eligible for the club's return to the Champions League at home to Sevilla on Wednesday, in which the Reds boss confirmed Loris Karius will start in goal.

Philippe Coutinho took a full part in Liverpool training ahead of their Champions League clash with Sevilla

Want-away playmaker Philippe Coutinho will be in the squad with winger Mohamed Salah also expected to feature after missing training on Tuesday with a sore throat.

Klopp insists he has not had to lift the squad's spirits following the 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.

"I didn't work hard because as human beings we have a lot of rights but not the right to be down for something we were responsible for," said the German.

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"I didn't blame the boys for the second half. I had a big part in this.

"With 10 men it changed. There was not a problem with the performance up until a specific point - Man City is the worst place to be one man down.

"Tomorrow we have another competition and we worked so long and hard for it and we plan to put all that we have in this game.

"Nothing that happened last Saturday will stop us."

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FA upholds Mane suspension

Tue, 12/09/2017 - 17:38
By Allan Valente

Last Updated: 12/09/17 8:42pm

Liverpool's Sadio Mane was shown a straight red card for his high-footed challenge on Man City goalkeeper Ederson

The Football Association has upheld Sadio Mane’s three-game ban after his red card in Liverpool’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Mane was shown a straight red card by referee Jon Moss after his high boot caught City goalkeeper Ederson in the face towards the end of the first half on Saturday, with the Brazilian having to be replaced by Claudio Bravo.

Liverpool appealed the length of the ban rather than the dismissal itself under what is known as 'excessive punishment', with the claim that three matches is too harsh.

Mane's three-match ban has been upheldMane's three-match ban has been upheld Mane's three-match ban has been upheld

An FA independent commission had the option to reduce the suspension to one or two games, however, the original decision and length of ban has been upheld.

An FA statement said: "Sadio Mane's three-match suspension, which was effective immediately, remains in place after his claim of excessive punishment was rejected following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

Referee Jon Moss shows a red card to Sadio Mane (C) for a dangerous playReferee Jon Moss shows a red card to Sadio Mane (C) for a dangerous play Referee Jon Moss shows a red card to Sadio Mane (C) for a dangerous play

"The Liverpool forward was dismissed for serious foul play during the game against Manchester City on Saturday [9 September 2017]."

As a result the Senegal international will miss the weekend clash at home to Burnley, Liverpool's visit to Leicester in the Carabao Cup and their Premier League match with the Foxes on September 23.

Ederson wore protective head gear in training Ederson wore protective head gear in training Ederson wore protective head gear in training

Ederson needed around eight minutes of treatment following the incident before he was taken off on a stretcher at the Etihad and a photograph released since has shown eight stitches in wounds on the side of his face.

He was able to return to the City bench in the second half, and trained - wearing protective head gear - on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's Champions League match at Feyenoord.

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Charlie's CL predictions

Tue, 12/09/2017 - 00:40
Charlie Nicholas

Football Expert

Last Updated: 11/09/17 10:48pm

Charlie Nicholas previews this week's European actionCharlie Nicholas previews this week's European action Charlie Nicholas previews this week's European action

Charlie Nicholas provides us with his Champions League predictions, backing Manchester City to send out a statement of intent.

Manchester United's Europa League success and play-off wins for Celtic and Liverpool means there are British clubs in action on both nights this week, with all Premier League sides favourites to start with wins, while Brendan Rodgers' team have the odds stacked against them when they meet Paris Saint-Germain.

Here's what Soccer Saturday pundit Nicholas is predicting for the six clashes...

Manchester United v FC Basel (Tuesday, 7.45pm)

Basel always seem to have troubled English sides, United included, but they're not the same threat as they have been, winning just one of their last four games.

United's defence was a bit of a mess against Stoke and Jose Mourinho looks like he wants to fight the world, except for Mark Hughes that is!

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring against StokeRomelu Lukaku celebrates scoring against Stoke Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring against Stoke

Assuming that defensive display was a one-off, I think United are Britain's best hope of winning the competition with the balance they have in their side.

I think they'll make a few changes and I'd like to see both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford both in the side to really give them electric pace.

Charlie predicts: 2-0 and Rashford to score first (13/1 with Sky Bet)

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Celtic v PSG (Tuesday, 7.45pm)

It's a Hollywood game to start with for Celtic and I think it's a fabulous fixture, but they are not here to make up the numbers.

I'll be covering the game on Soccer Special and I'm really looking forward to it because the atmosphere will be unbelievable. This crowd at Celtic Park really does give them extra energy and belief.

Celtic play a lovely flowing game but still got well beaten at times in Europe last season. They are used to 60 to 65 per cent possession but you have to adapt with PSG's forward line. If you don't and leave yourself wide open to the counter-attack then you will get destroyed with the pace of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers talks about the squad that PSG will bring to Glasgow on Tuesday in the Champions League

Cavani is the one that really concerns me. His movement is incredible, he's very, very brave and his runs across the line are a nightmare for defenders.

Celtic will be in their faces from the start and my old friend Scott Brown won't let me down with a booking, and I think they will rack up a fair few cards. I hope I'm wrong here but I can't see anything other than a PSG win.

Charlie predicts: 1-3 and Cavani to score first (18/1 with Sky Bet)

Chelsea v Qarabag (Tuesday, 7.45pm)

I covered Chelsea at the weekend and they were very impressive. Eden Hazard looks like he's got a bit of work to do to get his sharpness back but this is an absolutely ideal game to get him into shape.

I do think it will take him a long time to get back to the top of his game with those slaloming runs and he needs about four games to get into the right shape.

Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring for Chelsea at LeicesterAlvaro Morata celebrates scoring for Chelsea at Leicester Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring for Chelsea at Leicester

Alvaro Morata missed a few chances but was getting into the positions, while N'Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko were good and Cesc Fabregas was absolutely fabulous with the balls he was picking out.

I think Antonio Conte will make a few changes and Willian will come back in for Pedro and I can only see it being a comfortable night for them.

Charlie predicts: 3-0 and Willian to score first (17/1 with Sky Bet)

Liverpool v Sevilla (Wednesday, 7.45pm)

Sevilla won 3-0 at the weekend but they are not quite the force they have been in previous seasons.

Nolito has gone there, Jesus Navas has gone back and they've also got threats in Wissam Ben Yedder and Luis Muriel.

Sevilla represent a tough test for LiverpoolSevilla represent a tough test for Liverpool Sevilla represent a tough test for Liverpool

However, the European nights are back at Liverpool without the strain of the play-offs so the magic back should be back. Anfield and Celtic Park are my two favourites grounds on a European night.

It really is a huge advantage for them and I can see them making a winning start with Sadio Mane making amends for his controversial sending off at Manchester City at the weekend.

Charlie predicts: 2-0 and Mane to score (25/1 with Sky Bet)

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Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund (Wednesday, 7.45pm)

Tottenham were very good at the weekend but it's back to Wembley, which also provides them with the chance to make the leap that they need.

Harry Kane (centre) completed a century of Tottenham goals in their 3-0 win at Everton in the Premier LeagueHarry Kane (centre) completed a century of Tottenham goals in their 3-0 win at Everton in the Premier League Harry Kane (centre) completed a century of Tottenham goals in their 3-0 win at Everton in the Premier League

Dortmund are a very difficult side to face with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front and a strong midfield, but you can get at their defence so there should be some joy for Harry Kane.

However, I can see there being more struggles for Spurs and I think they might well have to come from behind to get something from this game.

Charlie predicts: 2-2 and Aubameyang to score first (35/1 with Sky Bet)

Feyenoord v Manchester City (Wednesday, 7.45pm)

We saw how breathtaking they can be at the weekend and they look more assured this season. But we don't know how long Vincent Kompany is out for.

Pep Guardiola might look at another defender in January and, with the great draws they've got, I think both Manchester sides are in the mix at the business end of this competition.

Leroy Sane celebrates after scoring Manchester City's fourth goal during the Premier League match against LiverpoolLeroy Sane celebrates after scoring Manchester City's fourth goal during the Premier League match against Liverpool Leroy Sane celebrates after scoring Manchester City's fourth goal during the Premier League match against Liverpool

I think we'll get a real statement from City here. If John Stones can grow into Guardiola's system then they could go all the way with their undoubted attacking talent. I can see them being the highest scoring side in Europe this season.

I've played in Rotterdam and it's quite volatile, a bit like Marseille in that sense, but I think Feyenoord will be the ones scared.

Charlie predicts: 0-5 and Aguero to score first (75/1 with Sky Bet)

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Liverpool to appeal Mane ban length

Mon, 11/09/2017 - 20:17
By Katie Shanahan

Last Updated: 11/09/17 7:30pm

Sadio Mane was shown a straight red card for his high-footed challenge on Ederson

Liverpool are going to appeal the length of Sadio Mane's three-match ban after his red card against Manchester City, according to Sky sources.

The 25-year-old was sent off by referee Jon Moss for raising his foot and clashing with City goalkeeper Ederson during Liverpool's 5-0 defeat on Saturday.

The Reds have the option to claim excessive punishment which could see Mane's ban reduced by either one or two matches. Only a claim of wrongful dismissal would see Mane's ban completely withdrawn, but that is unlikely, so the Senegal international still faces at least one game out.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane reacts to being sent off after the collision Liverpool's Sadio Mane reacts to being sent off after the collision Liverpool's Sadio Mane reacts to being sent off after the collision

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said after the City game that the club was unlikely to appeal.

"It never works, it would be another waste of time, like the game today. Not sure [if they will appeal]. I think everyone knows he didn't see the goalie," Klopp said.

"He just wanted to get the ball as soon as possible, hopefully the goalie is not seriously injured.

"[Sadio] is very, very upset," he added. "We couldn't keep him, he was shocked about the situation. I am sure also about the decision."

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Mane collided with Ederson after 37 minutes with Manchester City 1-0 ahead. The Brazil goalkeeper needed eight minutes of treatment before he was taken off on a stretcher and wearing an oxygen mask. However, he returned to the City bench in the second half.

Currently, the winger is set to miss Saturday's trip to Burnley and both of Liverpool's trips to Leicester City.

This could prove costly, as Mane has already netted in each of Liverpool's three matches with his free-scoring start to the season earning him the EA SPORTS Player of the Month award for August.

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Mignolet: We can bounce back

Mon, 11/09/2017 - 01:20
By Rory O'Callaghan

Last Updated: 10/09/17 11:20pm

Simon Mignolet says Liverpool can 'put things right' against Sevilla in the Champions LeagueSimon Mignolet says Liverpool can 'put things right' against Sevilla in the Champions League Simon Mignolet says Liverpool can 'put things right' against Sevilla in the Champions League

Simon Mignolet is pleased Liverpool have an opportunity to bounce back quickly from their heavy defeat to Manchester City when they return to Champions League action on Wednesday.

The Reds suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat at the Etihad on Saturday after Sadio Mane was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on City goalkeeper Ederson shortly before half-time.

Jurgen Klopp's side have little time to dwell on that defeat as they host Sevilla on Wednesday in their opening match of the Champions League group stage.

The Reds suffered a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on SaturdayThe Reds suffered a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday The Reds suffered a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday

Mignolet insists spirits in the Liverpool camp are high ahead of the match, despite their heavy defeat at the weekend.

"We have to take the first 20 minutes and how we played before the international break and take it into the next game," said the Belgium international.

"Of course we can't neglect the performance after that - we have to keep it in mind - but we have another game midweek when we can prove ourselves again.

Man City 5-0 Liverpool

"That's probably a good thing, the game comes early and we can put things right, change it again."

Mane is expected to start against Sevilla after receiving a mandatory three-match domestic ban for his straight red card at the Etihad.

The Senegal international posted an apology to Ederson on social media after the defeat at the weekend but Mignolet insists there was no malicious intent in the winger's challenge on the Brazil goalkeeper.

Sadio Mane was shown a straight red card for a challenge on City goalkeeper EdersonSadio Mane was shown a straight red card for a challenge on City goalkeeper Ederson Sadio Mane was shown a straight red card for a challenge on City goalkeeper Ederson

"I've had it before when you have to jump into people's feet - and you have to be brave. It's always dangerous," he said.

"You can't really think about what might happen. He just thought about the ball and went for it. He didn't see what was coming just after it.

"Sometimes these things can happen. Hopefully it won't happen too often and you don't want it to create difficulties for anybody. You just hope everything goes well [for Ederson] and it sounds like it has."

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Liverpool 2-2 Sevilla recap

Sun, 10/09/2017 - 23:12

GOAL! LIVERPOOL 2-1 SEVILLA (Salah, 37)

More than an element of good fortune about it, but Liverpool fans won't care one bit as their side take the lead. All Salah's own work, as he wins the ball off N'Zonzi, he shoots for goal, it takes a wicked deflection before looping over the despairing dive of Rico and into the net.

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Injury setback for Ings

Sun, 10/09/2017 - 17:22

Last Updated: 10/09/17 3:58pm

Danny Ings was substituted as a precaution this afternoonDanny Ings was substituted as a precaution this afternoon Danny Ings was substituted as a precaution this afternoon

Liverpool's injury-plagued Danny Ings was substituted 36 minutes into the U23s match against Manchester City on Sunday.

Ings was complaining of discomfort before being removed as a precaution by U23s manager Neil Critchley.

The 25-year-old was replaced by Yan Dhanda, who went on to score the winner in Liverpool's 1-0 Premier League 2 contest at Prenton Park,

Critchley later revealed he and his staff are taking extra care with Ings ahead of a busy schedule for Jurgen Klopp's side.

"It's more a precaution than anything," he told Liverpoolfc.com. "He felt something very early in the game and he wasn't quite right, so we're not taking any chances with Danny and there are plenty of first-team games to come.

Jurgen Klopp hasn’t addressed key defensive problems at Liverpool, says the Daily Telegraph's Matt Law on the Sunday Supplement.

"We'll just look after him and assess him, but I'm sure he'll be fine."

Ings' Liverpool career has been blighted by injuries since joining from Burnley in 2015. The striker missed most of the last two years with knee problems after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in training in Jurgen Klopp's first week as manager.

Last year's comeback was stopped abruptly by another injury sustained in the EFL Cup against Tottenham.

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'Klopp hasn't addressed problems'

Sun, 10/09/2017 - 13:50

Last Updated: 10/09/17 8:31pm

Jurgen Klopp hasn’t addressed key defensive problems at Liverpool, says the Daily Telegraph's Matt Law on the Sunday Supplement

Jurgen Klopp hasn’t addressed key defensive problems at Liverpool, says the Daily Telegraph's Matt Law on the Sunday Supplement.

Klopp's men were thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City on Saturday, although Liverpool did have Sadio Mane sent off in the first half.

Liverpool showed familiar defensive frailties in the defeat as they failed to bolster that area of their back line in the transfer window, instead splashing cash on attacking players Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Virgil van Dijk was a target for Liverpool earlier this summer, but the Reds withdrew their interest after Southampton complained to the Premier League over an alleged illegal approach.

Man City 5-0 Liverpool

Speaking on the Sunday Supplement, Law said: "Didn't the result tell us more about Liverpool's defending rather than Manchester City's attacking?

"It showed they don't have a squad capable of shutting up shop - they haven't addressed problems already there.

"I wasn't impressed with them at Watford - they've conceded eight goals in two away games. I find it weird that Jurgen Klopp is going for players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thomas Lemar, yet it's absolutely clear they need a central defender and possibly a goalkeeper.

"I don't get why they made Virgil van Dijk their number one target and then when they couldn't get him, say that they're not interested in a central defender. There are other central defenders out there that would improve Liverpool's defence."

Liverpool targeted Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in the transfer windowLiverpool targeted Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in the transfer window Liverpool targeted Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk in the transfer window

The defeat was Liverpool's first of the season - their biggest under Klopp in all competitions. However, following City's ruthless attacking performance at the Etihad, Pep Guardiola's side are now favourites to win the Premier League with the bookmakers.

Despite the convincing victory, the Mail On Sunday's chief football writer Rob Draper is not getting carried away with City as he saw plenty of vulnerability in their backline in the first half.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Sadio Mane was unlucky to be shown a straight red card for his challenge on Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson

He said: "Liverpool created a lot of opportunities in those 37 minutes - Klopp was disappointed they didn't create more considering the positions they got into.

"In that period, City looked vulnerable defensively but they looked outstanding going forward, with a better forward line than last year.

"I'm not sure it told us too much. When you see a 5-0 win over Liverpool, you think it's pretty emphatic but you want to see them tested against eleven men and someone to really go at that defence. The subsequent games in the Champions League and Premier League will do that."

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WATCH: Premier League goals

Sun, 10/09/2017 - 02:00

Last Updated: 09/09/17 11:10pm

Premier League Saturday Round-up

Watch goals and highlights from the weekend's Premier League games, including wins for Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea.

Anybody in the UK can view the highlights for free, but you will need to create a free Sky iD - you can do that HERE.

Scroll down for highlights from all of the Premier League matches so far this weekend...

Man City 5-0 LiverpoolHighlights: Man City 5-0 Liverpool

Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League after a comprehensive 5-0 win over 10-man Liverpool, who had Sadio Mane sent off in the first half.

Arsenal 3-0 BournemouthHighlights: Arsenal 3-0 Bournemouth

Danny Welbeck scored twice as Arsenal bounced back from their heavy defeat to Liverpool with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth.

Brighton 3-1 West BromHighlights: Brighton 3-1 West Brom

Pascal Gross wrote his name into the history books as Brighton beat West Brom 3-1 to secure their first Premier League victory.

Everton 0-3 TottenhamHighlights: Everton 0-3 Tottenham

Harry Kane's 100th Tottenham goal was the catalyst as Mauricio Pochettino's side eased to an impressive 3-0 win at Everton.

Leicester 1-2 ChelseaHighlights: Leicester 1-2 Chelsea

N'Golo Kante was at his destructive best as he returned to haunt Leicester City by scoring in a 2-1 win for Chelsea.

Southampton 0-2 WatfordHighlights: Southampton 0-2 Watford

Watford ground out an industrial 2-0 win away at Southampton thanks to superb strikes from Abdoulaye Doucoure and substitute Daryl Janmaat to maintain coach Marco Silva's unbeaten start to the season.

Stoke 2-2 Manchester United

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored twice as Stoke ended Manchester United's perfect start to the season with a 2-2 draw at the bet365 Stadium.

Highlights: Stoke 2-2 Man Utd

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Mane 'sorry' after Ederson collision

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 22:07

Last Updated: 09/09/17 9:33pm

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has expressed his regret after he collided with Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson on Saturday.

The incident occurred in the 37th-minute of Manchester City's 5-0 win and Mane was shown a straight red card by referee Jon Moss, having caught Ederson in the face with his boot.

Ederson had to be stretchered off the field after receiving treatment and was replaced by Claudio Bravo but he was able to join his team-mates on the City bench before full-time.

And City boss Pep Guardiola reported after the match: "I spoke to the doctor and he said it's not a broken bone, so that is of course so important."

On Saturday night, Mane posted a photo on Instagram of the injured Ederson.

And the Liverpool man wrote: "I hope and wish Ederson a quick recovery.

"I am so sorry he was hurt during our accidental collision on the pitch and am sorry for him that he could not complete the match because of it.

"I pray he heals fast and is back playing very soon because he is highest quality player."

And Ederson himself tweeted: "Hi, everyone - I am well. What a fright!

"It was an important win for us. We are strong. Thanks for all your messages of support."

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Mane off as City thrash Liverpool

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 16:30
By Oliver Yew

Last Updated: 10/09/17 12:02am

Man City 5-0 Liverpool

Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League after a comprehensive 5-0 win over 10-man Liverpool, who had Sadio Mane sent off in the first half.

Sergio Aguero gave City the lead in the 24th minute before Liverpool were reduced to 10 men after Mane's high boot caught Ederson - who was stretchered from the field - in the jaw (37).

Gabriel Jesus (45+6, 53) extended the hosts' advantage either side of the break before substitute Leroy Sane rounded off the scoring with a late double (77, 90+1) as City inflicted Liverpool's first defeat of the season - their biggest under Jurgen Klopp in all competitions.

Leroy Sane scores a fourth against 10-man LiverpoolLeroy Sane scores a fourth against 10-man Liverpool Leroy Sane scores a fourth against 10-man Liverpool

After their 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal, Liverpool started brightly with Mohamed Salah causing Nicolas Otamendi plenty of problems in the opening stages. In the 22nd minute Salah skipped past Otamendi, who was booked in the early stages, and burst into the penalty area, but the forward's weak effort was scooped up by Ederson at his near post.

The miss proved costly as City took the lead two minutes later, somewhat against the run of play. Kevin De Bruyne's inch-perfect pass dissected the Liverpool defence to release Aguero and the Argentine rounded Simon Mignolet to slot the ball home.

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (6), Stones (7), Otamendi (5), Mendy (6), Danilo (6), Fernandinho (7), D. Silva (7), De Bruyne (9), Jesus (8), Aguero (8).

Subs: Bravo (6), Mangala (6), Sane (7).

Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Alexander-Arnold (5), Klavan (6), Matip (6), Moreno (6), Henderson (7), Wijnaldum (6), Can (6), Salah (6), Mane (5), Firmino (6).

Subs: Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Milner (6), Solanke (6).

Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne

Then came the game's big talking point. Mane was released in behind the City defence but clattered into the on-rushing Ederson, catching the City 'keeper in the face with a high boot. Referee Jon Moss did not hesitate in brandishing a red card as Ederson left the field on a stretcher.

Things got even worse for the visitors when Jesus, who minutes earlier had an effort ruled out for offside, headed home De Bruyne's cross from close range as City doubled their advantage just before the break.

Pep Guardiola made three changes following City’s dramatic victory at Bournemouth – two forced, one tactical. Sergio Aguero came in for the suspended Raheem Sterling and John Stones replaced captain Vincent Kompany after he sustained an injury on international duty. The third change saw Kyle Walker return from suspension, with Bernardo Silva dropping to the bench.

Jurgen Klopp followed suit, making three changes following Liverpool’s hammering of Arsenal. Simon Mignolet got the nod in goal ahead of Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold came in at right-back for Joe Gomez, while Ragnar Klavan got a surprise start ahead of Dejan Lovren at centre-back, following the Croatian’s exploits during the international break.

Liverpool switched to a back three at the break with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on for his debut, replacing Salah, but the City onslaught continued.

Pep Guardiola's side had a second goal ruled out for offside after Aguero's toe-poke was chalked off but they did get their third minutes later when Fernandinho released Aguero, who unselfishly squared for Jesus to convert past Mignolet.

Sadio Mane catches Ederson with his boot as they challenge for the ballSadio Mane catches Ederson with his boot as they challenge for the ball Sadio Mane catches Ederson with his boot as they challenge for the ball

Liverpool's misery was compounded further in the 77th minute when Benjamin Mendy's pass picked out Sane and the Germany international's first-time finish flashed past Mignolet at his near post.

Sane grabbed his second of the game in stoppage time with a superb strike that picked out the top corner to round of an excellent afternoon for Guardiola's men and a miserable one for the visitors.

Gabriel Jesus celebrates the first of his two goals with Kevin De BruyneGabriel Jesus celebrates the first of his two goals with Kevin De Bruyne Gabriel Jesus celebrates the first of his two goals with Kevin De Bruyne Match stats
  • This was Jurgen Klopp's heaviest defeat in all competitions as Liverpool manager and his joint-heaviest ever managerial loss (lost 1-6 with Mainz vs Werder Bremen in October 2006).
  • This was also Jurgen Klopp's first Premier League defeat away from home to one last season's top seven sides (P10 W5 D4 L1).
  • Manchester City netted 5+ goals in a game versus Liverpool for the first time since March 1937 (5-1).
  • Since he made his Manchester City debut, Kevin De Bruyne has assisted 2+ goals in seven different Premier League games (29 assists in total in that period).
  • Sergio Aguero is now the top scoring non-European player in Premier League history (124), overtaking Dwight Yorke (123).
The managers

Pep Guardiola: "The action is hard. I cannot think a player like Mane is going to make hard contact to the face so I think he followed the ball, but the action is dangerous. I don't know if it is red card or not."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he doesn't think Sadio Mane saw Ederson in the challenge that led to the Liverpool forward's red card

Jurgen Klopp: "I don't think it's a red card, Mane didn't see him. I saw the goalie already and obviously it's not that bad. In the first moment everyone thought it was really bad. It was unlucky, it was an accident. The goalkeeper comes out, Sadio wants the ball. To get a red card in a game like this is really unlucky."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Sadio Mane was unlucky to be shown a straight red card for his challenge on Manchester City goalkeeper EdersonMan of the Match - Kevin De Bruyne

Gary Neville: "He was absolutely fantastic. In the big moments in the game, the first goal, it's a wonderful, wonderful pass.

"And then the second goal, in my opinion it's the biggest moment in the game other than the sending off in terms of taking the game away from Liverpool. The goal wasn't down to Liverpool being down to 10 men because they had bodies in the box, it was just a brilliant cross."

Man of the Match, Kevin De Bruyne
2 assists
3 chances created
Made more PL assists than any other player since start of last season (20) pic.twitter.com/HvB7FMUdMX

— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) September 9, 2017What's next?

Both sides are in Champions League action on Wednesday with City travelling to Feyenoord and Liverpool hosting Sevilla.

Next Saturday, Liverpool host Burnley in the Premier League at 3pm, while City travel to Vicarage road to face Watford, also at 3pm.

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Klopp: I'm a relaxed person

Fri, 08/09/2017 - 22:09

Last Updated: 08/09/17 10:55pm

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp chats to Fenners about his touchline demeanour. Watch the full interview on Soccer AM from 10am.

In an exclusive chat with Soccer AM, Jurgen Klopp opens up about his touchline demeanour and claims he is a relaxed person.

The Liverpool boss kicks every ball on the sidelines as he is constantly whipping up both the crowd and his own players.

He is due to go head-to-head with Pep Guardiola on Saturday lunchtime in what is one of the biggest games of the season so far when Liverpool travel to Manchester City.

Man City vs Liverpool

September 9, 2017, 11:30am

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However, despite his enthusiastic performances on the touchline, Klopp says that does not really tell the whole story of his personality off the pitch.

"I never behave like I do on the touchline at home," he told Soccer AM.

Jurgen Klopp meets Fenners. Watch the full interview live on Soccer AMJurgen Klopp meets Fenners. Watch the full interview live on Soccer AM Jurgen Klopp meets Fenners. Watch the full interview live on Soccer AM

"I don't pull as many aggressive faces.

"I really am a relaxed person - the opposite of how I am during the game. It's my job to be part of the game.

"You need to adapt as a player to my coaching style. Usually when a manager shouts as loud as I do, he's angry - but I'm not angry, I'm just emotional and very loud!"

Watch the full interview ahead of Manchester City against Liverpool on Soccer AM from 10pm.

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Coutinho not in Liverpool squad

Fri, 08/09/2017 - 16:10

Last Updated: 08/09/17 5:03pm

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Philippe Coutinho accepted his decision to not include the midfielder for Saturday's clash with Manchester City

Philippe Coutinho has been left out of Liverpool's squad for Saturday's Premier League fixture at Manchester City, live on Sky Sports.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said the Brazil international, who was the subject of three failed transfer bids from Barcelona during the transfer window, was in "a good mood" after returning to Merseyside following international duty.

Klopp held a meeting with Coutinho and said they were both in agreement that he must build up his fitness before being considered for the first team.

Philippe Coutinho will not feature against Manchester CityPhilippe Coutinho will not feature against Manchester City Philippe Coutinho will not feature against Manchester City

"We had a very good talk," said Klopp. "He was in a very good mood and training was even better.

"But I had to make a decision. We have seven games in the next three weeks so there will never be time really to train.

"Before [Coutinho] went to Brazil he couldn't train for about three weeks. That means we have to prepare him for the rest of the season, which is quite difficult with our fixture schedule.

Man City vs Liverpool

September 9, 2017, 11:30am

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"So I decided to leave him out of the squad for City. We can use these four or five days for real and proper training.

"We got all the numbers from the Brazilian FA around the intensity of training and stuff like this.

"That was all okay but he played twice, for around 15 or 20 minutes I think.

We have a wonderful player in our squad who wants to get fit and play for this club.

Jurgen Klopp on Philippe Coutinho

"He could have played 15 or 20 minutes again in the City game, maybe longer, but I think it makes sense [to omit him].

"He agreed completely. It was a good conversation."

Klopp believes Liverpool handled the speculation over Coutinho's future "really well" and says his relationship with the player remains strong.

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"He came in on Thursday and 100 per cent accepted the situation," said Klopp. "I didn't even have to say anything about it.

"We have a wonderful player in our squad who wants to get fit and play for this club. We don't know how long anybody will play for the club, sometimes we want to send players away and also sometimes players think about their futures.

"That's a normal situation and there's absolutely no problem."

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'Liverpool the only option for me'

Fri, 08/09/2017 - 08:00

Last Updated: 08/09/17 7:13pm

Liverpool was the only option for me, says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but admits it was a tough decision to leave Arsenal

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits it was a tough decision to leave Arsenal but believes Liverpool is the right club for his development.

The England midfielder made a Deadline Day move to Anfield for a fee of £35m, penning a long-term deal with the Reds and leaving the Gunners after a six-year stay.

Despite the rumoured interest from Chelsea, Oxlade-Chamberlain insists that he only ever wanted a move to Liverpool but only after he made the difficult choice to leave Arsenal.

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"The first thing was the tough decision to leave Arsenal. That was the only thing that was really tough for me and the deliberation but Liverpool was the only option for me in terms of where I thought I would be playing," he exclusively told Sky Sports ahead of Saturday's showdown with Man City live on Sky Sports Premier League.

"The team and the feel of the whole football club in general just sat right with me. I think there are really exciting things to come here and especially with this manager so I felt it was right for me to push to be a part of that. I'm delighted that I finally got the opportunity to."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Arsenal for Liverpool (picture courtesy of Liverpool FC)Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Arsenal for Liverpool (picture courtesy of Liverpool FC) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Arsenal for Liverpool (picture courtesy of Liverpool FC)

Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Arsenal at the age of 18 from Southampton after coming through the youth ranks at St Mary's, going on to make 198 first team appearances in all competitions for the Gunners.

He scored 20 goals for the North London side and won three FA Cup and Community Shield titles, and admits that it is a strange feeling to now be called a Liverpool player.

"It's very exciting but obviously a bit surreal at the same time. When you're at one club for so many years, you become accustomed to that so any change is a bit weird and odd and difficult at first but looking forward, it's something that really excites me for sure.

"I'm 24 now and some may say it's still young but in football years, when you've been in a team for six years, it seems like you are quite old.

"I just felt like I really wanted to push on with my career and it felt like now was the right time to take myself out of my comfort zone, push myself and go and see what I can really achieve with a team like Liverpool.

"I had so many great years at Arsenal and I grew to love the club, the fans, my team-mates and the manager so it was a really difficult decision but it was definitely one that I felt was right and it was an honour to have the opportunity to come to a club like this.

A look ahead to Saturday's Premier League matches, including Man City v Liverpool and Stoke v Man Utd

"It's a club I've admired for years, the players that have been here and now the manager. The way the team has been playing for a few years now is something that's really excited me, even when I was a neutral.

"To be a part of that now, it's a massive honour. You don't have to mention the fans at Liverpool, I've seen them over the years as an away player and they blow you away so to think that they're now my home fans is really exciting."

Oxlade-Chamberlain is targeting success and silverware with his new club, and while he admits that his progress has stalled over the last few years, it is the need to challenge himself that spurred his Liverpool move.

"I know I can do more. I've been trying to push and get that out of myself for a good few years and down to whatever reasons plus a few injuries, it hasn't quite clicked yet and I'm the first to admit that," he added.

"I've made strides forward though, especially last season and I've learnt a lot through my experiences but there is definitely more to come from me.

"One of the main reasons I took myself out of my comfort zone was to try and push myself and really see how far I can push those boundaries. Ultimately, I want more from myself and they're the reasons why I did it.

Where does Ox fit in?

Will Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain be able to claim a regular starting spot?

"Success is always the first thing I've come to help the team with. Hopefully we can go and win things. At the start of the season, it's been very positive so that's the first thing to try and add and help that.

"I want to help myself as well, I've got aspirations of improving myself and I know how much I want to develop and I'm looking to do that here and give the best years of my career to this club."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits it was a hard decision to leave Arsenal for Liverpool this summer

His first game in a Liverpool shirt could come on Saturday as the Reds travel to Manchester City live on Sky Sports Premier League and Oxlade-Chamberlain is focusing on helping the squad prepare for the game having only arrived for his first day of training on Wednesday.

"I would be over the moon to be involved but I haven't even had a proper session yet so that's up to the manager," he said.

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"I realise it's a short turnaround from my first day to the game but, most importantly, it's a massive game for the boys and for the club so it isn't about me, as much as I'd like to be involved in some capacity, it's about the boys going there and getting the best result possible.

"That's what the team will be doing and I'll be doing everything I can to help prepare the boys to do that."

See if Oxlade-Chamberlain makes it into the Liverpool squad when they travel to Man City this weekend live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30am.

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'Liverpool perfect for the Ox'

Fri, 08/09/2017 - 01:10

Last Updated: 07/09/17 11:27pm

Mark Schwarzer and Stuart Pearce both believe that Liverpool is the ideal club for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Mark Schwarzer and Stuart Pearce both believe Liverpool is the perfect club for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The versatile midfielder left Arsenal to join Jurgen Klopp's side on Deadline Day for an initial fee of £35m.

However, despite many pundits questioning the move, former England captain Pearce told The Debate the Reds are the ideal team for the player.

"I think this is a wonderful move for him," said Pearce.

Jamie Redknapp and Ian Wright question whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has developed into a good enough player after he rejects a move to Chelsea from ArsenalJamie Redknapp and Ian Wright question whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has developed into a good enough player after he rejects a move to Chelsea from Arsenal Jamie Redknapp and Ian Wright question whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has developed into a good enough player after he rejects a move to Chelsea from Arsenal

"I think he needed a new challenge away from Arsenal and there is some pressure on himself now.

"For me, if I was representing him, I would now be saying, 'Look, you have got your move, but the ball is in your court now. You have to get in the first team to start with at Liverpool.'

It [Liverpool] was a better move for him than going to Chelsea

Mark Schwarzer

"If you go to any top-six club, you have got a major challenge on to get in the first team, no matter what player you are, let alone how Liverpool have started the season.

"They have been in the transfer market and spent some money, so it is a very exciting club and I think the match is perfect.

Mark Schwarzer and Stuart Pearce both believe that Liverpool is the ideal club for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

"With his high energy and the way he plays, Liverpool is a perfect match for him."

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, had also been linked with a move to Chelsea, only for the England international to make a late U-turn and instead opt to move to Anfield.

Man City vs Liverpool

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Schwarzer, though, thinks Oxlade-Chamberlain made the right decision turning down the chance to sign for the Premier League champions.

"At Arsenal, he was a little bit stale, he became a little bit comfortable at times and frustrated that he did not always play in the position he wanted to play in," said the former Chelsea goalkeeper.

Gary Neville questions whether Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's transfer to Liverpool will earn him a regular starting place

"But I think it is actually a great move for him and it is the right move for him.

"I think it was a better move for him than going to Chelsea, it suits him the way he plays and Jurgen Klopp is ideal for him - the high intensity and pace he has.

"He will play a lot more of an attacking role and he is more exciting to watch in that more forward role, rather than a wing-back position."

Watch Oxlade-Chamberlain in action for Liverpool when they take on Man City in the Premier League live on the Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event Channel on Saturday from 11.30am

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Klopp: Woodburn here to stay

Thu, 07/09/2017 - 23:30

Last Updated: 07/09/17 9:32pm

Ben Woodburn has been nicknamed 'Prince of Wales' by his Liverpool team-matesBen Woodburn has been nicknamed 'Prince of Wales' by his Liverpool team-mates Ben Woodburn has been nicknamed 'Prince of Wales' by his Liverpool team-mates

Jurgen Klopp says new 'Prince of Wales' Ben Woodburn is the real deal but will not be rushed at Liverpool.

The 17-year-old earned his new nickname at Melwood by scoring the winner for Wales against Austria at the weekend on just his second international appearance.

Klopp was frustrated at the lack of communication over Woodburn's first call-up back in March and is determined to pace the teenager's development.

But the Reds manager is confident the forward's early promise will translate into a successful career at Anfield.

"There are so many stories from the past when very young boys showed up and later you didn't hear anything of them anymore," Klopp told the club website. "It will not happen with Ben.

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"I think he is in the best hands here at Liverpool. We will do the right thing - he will play youth, he will play U23s, he will play first-team football. The main message is he needs to play football. He trains with us always and then we will decide each weekend where he can play.

"Our target is that we have him in the first-team because we like him, we see his quality and that's the main thing. But for us it's not too important if it's tomorrow or in a year, it's just important that we can use him then. That's what we try to prepare.

Ben Woodburn came off the bench to score a tremendous goal as Wales beat Austria 1-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

"From our point of view, it's clear. It all depends on the player. He is a really patient boy, that's really good - not only in the game but around.

"He doesn't expect too much. In the morning he probably has a quick look at his passport… 'Oh, still 17!' He is a fantastic boy. I know the world around is getting more and more crazy and we help with all we can."

Referring to Woodburn's new moniker he said: "I heard someone say 'The Prince of Wales' - I love it! I said it twice this morning… I'm not sure that he loves it too much!"

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Coutinho all smiles on Reds return

Thu, 07/09/2017 - 19:30
By Lyall Thomas

Last Updated: 08/09/17 12:09am

WATCH: Philippe Coutinho arrives at Melwood for Liverpool training

Philippe Coutinho was all smiles in his first training session back at Liverpool following his failed summer exit to Barcelona.

The Brazil star pulled up at Melwood on Thursday morning, having flown back to England from international duty via private jet on Wednesday.

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Coutinho shared jokes with left-back Alberto Moreno before engaging in drills with the rest of his team-mates ahead of the Reds' clash with Manchester City on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

Philippe Coutinho laughs with Alberto Moreno after returning to Liverpool trainingPhilippe Coutinho laughs with Alberto Moreno after returning to Liverpool training Philippe Coutinho laughs with Alberto Moreno after returning to Liverpool training

The 25-year-old was the subject of three huge bids from Barcelona throughout the summer and wanted to move to the Nou Camp after Neymar's world-record exit to Paris Saint-Germain.

The midfielder submitted a transfer request in August that was immediately rejected, but he has not played in any of Liverpool's games so far this season, with boss Jurgen Klopp citing an injured back and illness as the cause.

Coutinho trained with the first-team ahead of the weekend's clash with Man CityCoutinho trained with the first-team ahead of the weekend's clash with Man City Coutinho trained with the first-team ahead of the weekend's clash with Man City

Coutinho's friend and former doctor back in Brazil claimed his back complaints were caused by "anxiety" over the uncertainty regarding his future, but he played and scored for his country in a World Cup Qualifier several days ago.

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Klopp also welcomed back Coutinho and nine other players to training on Thursday ahead of the resumption of club football, including Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Ben Woodburn, Danny Ward, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dominic Solanke and Emre Can.

Coutinho has not played for Liverpool yet so far this seasonCoutinho has not played for Liverpool yet so far this season Coutinho has not played for Liverpool yet so far this season

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'Woodburn will feature for Reds'

Thu, 07/09/2017 - 01:20

Last Updated: 06/09/17 11:20pm

Sam Allardyce and Craig Bellamy join Geoff Shreeves on The Debate and discuss Wales' next big star, Ben Woodburn. How far can the Liverpool youngster go?

Wales forward Ben Woodburn will have a role to play with Liverpool this season, according to Craig Bellamy.

Woodburn, 17, hit the headlines on the weekend after coming off the bench to score Wales' winner against Austria on his international debut in a must-win World Cup Qualifier in Cardiff.

The forward then capped off a memorable few days for his country when again as a substitute, he created the opening goal for Hal Robson-Kanu in Moldova on Tuesday night.

Ben Woodburn celebrates after becoming Liverpool's youngest-ever scorerBen Woodburn celebrates after becoming Liverpool's youngest-ever scorer Ben Woodburn celebrates after becoming Liverpool's youngest-ever scorer

Woodburn is Liverpool's youngest-ever scorer after netting in the League Cup against Leeds last November and Bellamy is confident the player - who has been a substitute so far this season, but yet to feature for the Reds - will be handed plenty of game time by Jurgen Klopp this campaign.

"To have an impact like that is just incredible and hopefully he can go and fulfil what we all believe he has a very good chance of being a very good footballer," the former Liverpool and Wales striker told The Debate.

Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn marked his Wales debut with a wonderful strike shortly after coming on from the bench

"I do see him getting game time at Liverpool. He fits in to what Liverpool do going forward. They rate him very highly and I would like to see him get game time with all the competitions, especially the business end of the season.

"Already he has made a huge impact for a 17 year old, but you look at the competitions Liverpool are in - Champions League, League Cup, FA Cup, league - there is going to be game time there."

Ben Woodburn should feature for Liverpool this season, says Craig BellamyBen Woodburn should feature for Liverpool this season, says Craig Bellamy Ben Woodburn should feature for Liverpool this season, says Craig Bellamy

Bellamy also thinks Liverpool, and in particular Klopp, deserve huge praise for the way they have looked after Woodburn's progression so far in his fledging career.

"He has been at Liverpool since seven years of age, so progression wise, they have maintained that," he said.

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"I like the way Jurgen Klopp is fully aware of all the young kids because they come in and train, so he gets to see them for himself and is fully aware of who is coming through and the promise they have.

"And that has probably also led to his progression."

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