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Henderson: Keita a top player

Wed, 30/08/2017 - 01:30

Last Updated: 29/08/17 11:38pm

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is looking forward to playing alongside Naby Keita when his fellow midfielder joins from RB Leipzig next year.

A deal has been struck to bring the highly rated 22-year-old Guinea international to Anfield from July 1, 2018, for a club record fee.

When asked about the increased competition for places which Keita's arrival will herald, Henderson said: "If you play for top teams, you are going to sign good players.

"I have seen Naby play quite a few times and he looks a top, top player.

"There have been a lot of transfer rumours over the summer and thankfully we ended up doing the business.

Deadline Day guide

When does window close? Who's on the move?

"OK, he comes next year, but I am sure the club are delighted to get him, because he will be a real addition to the squad and will hopefully help us over the next few years."

Henderson's main focus now is England's World Cup Qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, and the Liverpool captain is in high spirits after Sunday's 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal.

Liverpool romped to a 4-0 win over Arsenal on SundayLiverpool romped to a 4-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday Liverpool romped to a 4-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday

"Arsenal are still a very good team with very good players," the midfielder said.

"I know they'll get a lot of criticism, especially after our game, but at the same time we were very good.

Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal

"When we play like that, with that intensity, it's hard for any team to come and perform really.

"A lot of credit has got to go to the lads at Liverpool for the way that we played and the intensity that we played at.

"Anyone coming to Anfield that day would have struggled."

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Palace's third Sakho bid rejected

Tue, 29/08/2017 - 19:11

Last Updated: 29/08/17 5:53pm

Mamadou Sakho enjoyed a successful loan spell at Palace last seasonMamadou Sakho enjoyed a successful loan spell at Palace last season Mamadou Sakho enjoyed a successful loan spell at Palace last season

Liverpool have rejected a third bid from Crystal Palace for defender Mamadou Sakho, according to Sky sources.

Sakho was a big hit when he was loaned to the Eagles last season and they have been attempting to land the France international on a permanent basis.

We understand they placed a bid on Tuesday worth £22m, plus £3m in add-ons, but Liverpool value Sakho at £30m and have turned the offer down.

Palace have made a poor start to the Premier League campaign and are without a point after their first three matches.

And Sakho played a key role as they secured Premier League survival under Sam Allardyce towards the end of last season.

Current Palace boss Frank de Boer said at the weekend that new signings were a possibility.

We are looking for players of course," said the Dutchman.

Frank de Boer sasFrank de Boer sas Frank de Boer sas

"But it has to really give quality to us. We will see.

"The club is focusing on the players that maybe we are going to get, and I am focusing on the team to get the right freshness for the Burnley game (on 10 September)."

Asked specifically about the possibility of signing Sakho, De Boer added: "I don't know.

"We know what kind of impact he had last season. But, for now, I can't say about it."

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Liverpool confirm Keita deal

Tue, 29/08/2017 - 10:00
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 29/08/17 1:36pm

RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita will join Liverpool next summer RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita will join Liverpool next summer RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita will join Liverpool next summer

Liverpool have confirmed the agreement of a club-record deal to sign RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita next summer.

Sky Sports News understands the Reds will pay the £48m release clause that will allow Keita to join the club, as well as an undisclosed premium.

Keita completed a medical on Monday and will officially join Liverpool on July 1 next year. The fee will also surpass the £39.5m paid to Roma for Mohamed Salah this summer.

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The Guinea international said: "I am delighted that an agreement has been reached and I will become part of a project that excites me greatly.

"My commitment to RBL remains absolute for the remainder of my time at the club. I have given my all every time I have worn the shirt - that will be the case until the final whistle, in my final appearance.

The rise of Naby Keita

Three years ago he was an unknown teenager being relegated from France's second tier.

"Having my future resolved means I can now focus on helping RBL achieve great things this season. Until I join my new club, next summer, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance."

Liverpool had put their pursuit of the 22-year-old on hold in July, having had two bids rejected by the Bundesliga club.

Keita scored eight times for Leipzig last seasonKeita scored eight times for Leipzig last season Keita scored eight times for Leipzig last season

A senior official at Leipzig told Sky Sports News that Keita would "100 per cent not be sold in this window", but a change in their stance has enabled Liverpool to strike a deal for 2018.

Leipzig had been attempting to convince the Guinea international, who has appeared three times so far this season, to sign a new contract.

Keita scored eight goals in 31 appearances last season as Leipzig finished as the runners-up in the Bundesliga.

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Sky Sports News also understands Liverpool have made a £55.5m bid to Monaco for Thomas Lemar. It is believed Monaco have yet to accept or reject the offer as they assess options in their squad.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has so far added Salah, Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson to his squad this summer.

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WATCH: What to do with Coutinho?

Tue, 29/08/2017 - 01:20

Last Updated: 28/08/17 11:22pm

The Debate panelists discuss what Liverpool should do with Philippe Coutinho

Would Philippe Coutinho get straight back into Liverpool's starting XI if he was fit? And should they sell him after their impressive recent displays?

Those were among the questions for Phil Neville, Danny Mills and Alan Smith on The Debate on Sky Sports Premier League on Monday evening.

Coutinho is currently away on international duty with Brazil even though he has yet to play for Liverpool this season due to a back injury.

Barcelona have seen three bids rejected for the 25-year-old this summer and sporting director Robert Fernandez says they want to make two more signings before the window closes.

But should Liverpool sell the Brazilian after seeing their attacking players impress in the Champions League win over Hoffenheim and then the 4-0 home victory over Arsenal on Sunday?

Neville, Mills and Smith debated the topic on The Debate. Hit play on the video at the top of the page to see what was discussed.

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Liverpool's Lemar bids rejected

Mon, 28/08/2017 - 23:02
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 28/08/17 10:50pm

Liverpool have had two bids rejected by Monaco for winger Thomas Lemar, according to Sky sources.

Sky Sports News understands the latest offer made by Liverpool was around £64.8m, having previously submitted an offer worth £55.5m.

It is also understood Monaco want Lemar to stay at the club beyond this summer's transfer window.

Deadline Day on Sky Sports

Follow all the last-minute deals on Deadline Day on Sky Sports

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp last week expressed his desire to strengthen his squad further after his side secured qualification to the Champions League group stage.

Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Dominic Solanke have been the only new arrivals at Anfield so far this summer, while long-term target Naby Keita will join next summer for a club record £48m fee.

Speaking after their 6-3 aggregate win over Hoffenheim last week, Jurgen Klopp said: "It's [Champions League qualification] a big influence on the transfer market, especially if we do it more often.

Jurgen Klopp wants to strengthen his squad further before the close of the summer transfer windowJurgen Klopp wants to strengthen his squad further before the close of the summer transfer window Jurgen Klopp wants to strengthen his squad further before the close of the summer transfer window

"I said I think before the game, if you talk to a player, they really often [mention it]... especially players we talk to."

Lemar, who helped Monaco win the French title last season for the first time in 17 years, was in France's starting line-up for the friendly victory over England in June.

The promising 21-year-old scored 12 goals in 39 appearances last season and has three years left on his current contract.

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Arsenal had been in talks to sign Lemar all summer and are believed to have had a £30m offer rejected last month while Barcelona were also understood to be tracking the player.

Monaco have already sold a number of key players this summer, including Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy to Manchester City and Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea.

They said last month there would be 'no more departures' amid continued interest in Lemar, Djibril Sidibe and midfielder Fabinho and Kylian Mbappe. The latter is now understood to be on the verge of a season-long loan move to Paris St Germain.

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Liverpool agree record Keita deal

Mon, 28/08/2017 - 17:55
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 28/08/17 9:10pm

RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita will join Liverpool next summer RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita will join Liverpool next summer RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita will join Liverpool next summer

Liverpool have agreed a club-record deal to sign RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita next summer, according to Sky sources.

Sky Sports News understands the Reds will pay the £48m release clause that will allow Keita to join the club, as well as an undisclosed premium.

Keita will undergo a medical on Monday and officially join Liverpool on July 1 2018. The fee will also surpass the £39.5m paid to Roma for Mohamed Salah this summer.

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Liverpool previously ended their pursuit of the 22-year-old in July having had two bids rejected by the Bundesliga club.

A senior official at Leipzig told Sky Sports News that Keita would "100 per cent not be sold in this window", but a change in their stance has enabled Liverpool to strike a deal.

The rise of Naby Keita

Three years ago he was an unknown teenager being relegated from France's second tier.

Leipzig had been attempting to convince the Guinea international, who has appeared three times so far this season, to sign a new contract.

Keita scored eight goals in 31 appearances last season as Leipzig finished as the runners-up in the Bundesliga.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has so far added Salah, Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson to his squad this summer.

Keita scored eight times for Leipzig last seasonKeita scored eight times for Leipzig last season Keita scored eight times for Leipzig last season

Sky Sports News also understands Liverpool have made a £55.5m bid to Monaco for Thomas Lemar.

It is believed Monaco have yet to accept or reject the offer as they assess options in their squad.

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Liverpool thrash woeful Arsenal

Sun, 27/08/2017 - 23:30
By Lewis Jones at Anfield

Last Updated: 27/08/17 9:30pm

Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal

Liverpool heaped more away-day Premier League misery on Arsenal with a swaggering 4-0 victory on Super Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's front three of Roberto Firmino (11), Sadio Mane (42) and Mohamed Salah (57) all found the net, as did substitute Daniel Sturridge (77) as the Reds showed no ill-effects of missing Philippe Coutinho, who continues to be linked with Barcelona.

The Gunners are now winless in their last 13 league away games against last season's top six teams while - in contrast - the vibrant Reds are unbeaten in their last 11 league matches versus the same clubs.

Despite hefty speculation about the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsene Wenger, who was subject of chants to be sacked from the away end, started both, while new signing Alexandre Lacazette was left out.

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said 5 of Arsenal's key players failed to stick to basic football principles in their 4-0 defeat to Liverpool.

But it was a humbling afternoon for all concerned at Arsenal, who failed to register a shot on target during the 90 minutes.

There have been 38 goals scored in the last nine Premier League fixtures (an average of 4.2 goals per game) between these two and Liverpool took just 17 minutes to get rolling.

Player Ratings

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

Subs: Sturridge (7), Milner (6), Grujic (6)

Arsenal: Cech (7), Holding (5), Monreal (5), Koscielny (5), Oxlade-Chamberlain (3), Xhaka (5), Bellerin (4), Ramsey (3), Sanchez (6), Ozil (6), Welbeck (6)

Subs: Coquelin (6), Giroud (6), Lacazette (6)

Man of the match: Mohamed Salah

Petr Cech had already stopped a certain goal from Salah when Granit Xhaka lost possession down the right, which gave Joe Gomez a chance to deliver. He found Firmino with a peach of a cross and the Brazilian headed home from 12 yards.

Salah missed a glorious chance to open the scoring early onSalah missed a glorious chance to open the scoring early on Salah missed a glorious chance to open the scoring early on

The Reds were rip-roaring through the Arsenal midfield at regular intervals and doubled their lead just before half-time.

Simon Mignolet was dropped from the squad so Loris Karius started in goal. Joe Gomez started in defence ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold, but otherwise it was the same team that beat Hoffenheim in midweek. For Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez returned to the starting XI while Laurent Koscielny returned from suspension. Summer signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac both dropped to the bench.

Firmino played it out to the left for Mane, who checked into the box before curling a brilliant shot into the far corner, beyond Cech's dive.

Wenger tried to tighten up his midfield at half-time by bringing on Francis Coquelin for Aaron Ramsey, however, the mistakes at the back kept on coming. Hector Bellerin was caught in possession by Salah on half-way and the speedy winger sailed through on goal. Cech came out to meet him but the Liverpool man finished calmly for 3-0.

That wasn't the end of the torture for the away end as substitute Sturridge took just five minutes to add his name to the scoresheet with a back post header following a pin-point Salah cross.

Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry said he wanted to leave Anfield during Arsenal's 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool.Man of the match - Mohamed Salah

A close call between the winger and Can, who set the platform with a monstrous performance in midfield. However, Salah's trickery, speed and creativity proved a constant thorn in the side of a sloppy Arsenal defence. He more than deserved his goal.

Opta stats
  • This was Arsenal's heaviest Premier League defeat since a 0-4 loss to Southampton at St. Mary's on Boxing Day 2015.
  • Four of Arsenal's eight Premier League defeats by a margin of 4+ goals have come against Liverpool at Anfield.
  • Arsenal have lost their first two Premier League away games in a season for only the second time under Wenger (the other was 2005-06).
  • Only West Ham United (10) have conceded more Premier League goals this season than Arsenal (8).
  • Arsenal didn't attempt a single shot on target in this match - the first time they haven't had one in a Premier League game since October 5th 2014 (vs Chelsea).
  • Sadio Mané is only the 3rd player to score in the first 3 PL games of a season for Liverpool (after Robbie Fowler in 1994-95 & Daniel Sturridge in 2013-14).
The pundit

Gary Neville: "Ozil, Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Ramsey, they didn't do most basic things I think every fan, manager, and player knows - when the ball goes past you and it goes towards your goal and your team-mates are struggling, you run back as quickly as you can. I'm naming those five - there may be more - but that is absolutely disgraceful. That doesn't represent the Arsenal shirt or what they're about and they've let themselves down."

Read Gary Neville's full damning verdict on Arsenal.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher was also fiercely critical of ArsenalThe managers

Arsene Wenger: "A very disappointing performance. It was disastrous. The result is a consequence of the performance. It was not good enough. We were beaten everywhere physically and in the end we made it easier for them."

Arsene Wenger admits his side's performance against Liverpool was not good enough and lamented their 'silly mistakes'.

Jurgen Klopp: "We were very good, and so far we have learned from each game and built on it. It was even better than against Hoffenheim, but it was already very good. We wanted to show our desire to do something special and the boys did very well."

Jurgen Klopp says his side are learning and improving with each match after they brushed aside Arsenal in the Premier League.What's next?

After the international break, Liverpool are back into action with a bang with a visit to Manchester City, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 12.30 on Saturday, September 9, before hosting Sevilla in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have a home fixture with Bournemouth on the same day as they bid to avoid three straight league defeats on the bounce.

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Liverpool-Arsenal talking points

Sun, 27/08/2017 - 22:50
Peter Smith

Comment and Analysis @p_smith86

Last Updated: 27/08/17 8:53pm

Liverpool stars Sadio Mane and Mo Salah celebrateLiverpool stars Sadio Mane and Mo Salah celebrate Liverpool stars Sadio Mane and Mo Salah celebrate

Buoyant Liverpool hammered a lacklustre Arsenal 4-0 on Sunday - but what were the key talking points from the contest?

Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Daniel Sturridge were the goalscorers for the hosts, and their strikes mean Liverpool have seven points from their first three Premier League games of the season. Arsenal, though, have now lost back-to-back fixtures and have questions to answer.

Here, we look at some of the key talking points from the clash…

Unacceptable Arsenal

"It was quite simply unacceptable for the size of the club we are and for the team we have. You can come and lose 4-0. It can happen in a bad day. But not like it happened today. We were not fighting, we were not running enough, we were not winning any individual battles and as a team we completely failed to respond to their way of playing."

Petr Cech's honest assessment of Arsenal's defeat at Liverpool was brutal. But it perfectly underlined the issues Arsene Wenger must somehow address during the international break. While no Arsenal player produced the classy cutting edge or moment of craft their talented attackers - including the returning Alexis Sanchez - have shown they can, damningly they were out-run and out-fought at Anfield.

Yes, Arsenal failed to fire a shot on target for the first time since October 2014. But they covered 4km less ground than Liverpool. They won 19 fewer duels. That's the real worry for Wenger. Where was the fight and desire?

It's disgraceful. Arsenal players are walking, not showing any urgency. It's not good enough.

Gary Neville

"It's a well-told story that I'm not a Liverpool fan but this Arsenal side deserves a battering," said Sky Sports' Gary Neville during his commentary. "Arsenal have players who don't think they should run back when the ball goes past them. It's disgraceful. Players are walking, not showing any urgency. It's not good enough."

Inevitably the performance drew some familiar chants of "Wenger out" from the travelling support and there is a feeling little has changed for the Gunners since last season, despite the manager's contract extension in the summer. "Everything you see, it reminds me of what's been happening for the past 10 years," said Thierry Henry.

The season is just three games old. But Arsenal - who lost their other away game this season to Stoke - travel to Chelsea after a home clash with Bournemouth. And they can already ill-afford another breakdown on the road.

Liverpool the real deal?

For all of Arsenal's failings on Sunday, Liverpool's brilliance should not be forgotten. The Reds were at their thrilling best, with pace and power in abundance. Their style was perhaps best summed up by the rapid counter-attack for Salah's breakaway goal, which was scored just 12 seconds after an Arsenal corner. But Liverpool's players worked just as hard going backwards as they did in possession - to the delight of boss Jurgen Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp says his side are learning and improving with each match after they brushed aside Arsenal in the Premier League.

"We were very good," said the manager. "There was pressure on the boys and we wanted to show our desire to do something special and the boys did very well. We closed the spaces and were brave where Arsenal wanted to play in short spaces. It's very important the clean sheet, with all the discussions about the defence. The result is the result of the performance."

Of course, Liverpool have produced these kind of performances previously. Their 4-3 win over Arsenal last August was just as scintillating. The key question is whether they can sustain this level - on top of their Champions League commitments - for the entirety of the Premier League campaign.

Klopp continues to deliver in big games

Liverpool's win over Arsenal extended a quite remarkable record for Jurgen Klopp over the rest of the Premier League's top six. When it comes to the big games, the German manager has repeatedly got the better of his rivals.

Klopp's Liverpool v top sixPlayedWon DrawnLostPoints1999136

The Reds have played 19 such games under Klopp - and lost just once. They've won nine and drawn nine, and that gives them a real edge over their fellow title challengers. Now they just need to back those results up against the lesser sides.

"Liverpool's record against the top sides is fantastic under Klopp," said Jamie Carragher. "The big thing is the defensive record in the big games is very good. That's because there's more concentration and they have to defend more. The problem comes when they have the ball so much [against weaker sides] and people run all over the place and the concentration goes at the back. They can defend - but that has to be there throughout the season."

Watch highlights of Liverpool 4-0 ArsenalMagic Mane

Klopp praised "11 outstanding individual performances" in his post-match interview with Sky Sports but it is worth singling out Mane for yet another sensational display. The attacker is in irresistible form right now, having scored in each of his three Premier League fixtures so far this season.

Mane is congratulated by team-mates after his exquisite goal Mane is congratulated by team-mates after his exquisite goal Mane is congratulated by team-mates after his exquisite goal

His tally of 27 Premier League goals since August 2015 puts him up among the top forwards in the country, in terms of goals-per-minute. But it is his style which is so important.

His pace and willingness to run beyond Roberto Firmino gives Liverpool a whole different dimension. While Philippe Coutinho remains on the sidelines, Mane has been at the heart of their encouraging start to the campaign.

Where's Mignolet?

While Coutinho was yet again an expected absence, Simon Mignolet was a more surprising omission from the entire Liverpool matchday squad. The Belgian - who Klopp had named as his No 1 keeper on the eve of the season - found himself in the stands, while Loris Karius was handed his first appearance of 2017/18 and Danny Ward took to the bench.

Klopp told Sky Sports before kick-off that Mignolet had been "rested" after an "intense time" and Sky sources confirmed Mignolet is neither ill, injured nor the subject of disciplinary proceedings. So while Mignolet rested - less than a month into the season - focus turned to Karius, whose erratic form last year saw him go in and out of the side.

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was left out of the squadLiverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was left out of the squad Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was left out of the squad

He was given a reasonably easy afternoon by Arsenal, who didn't manage a shot on target - although Karius did manage to cause some problems of his own. By dwelling on the ball in his own box on three separate occasions as opposition attackers attempted to close him down, Karius created tension.

"For the last three or four years there's been a nervousness in the ground considering goalkeepers," said Carragher. "In the last three or four months it went, there was confidence coming back with Mignolet. But that went away today. The nervousness has completely come back because of Karius' performance." Perhaps a rested Mignolet will return after the international break.

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Improving Reds delight Klopp

Sun, 27/08/2017 - 21:30
By Ben Grounds

Last Updated: 27/08/17 7:45pm

Jurgen Klopp says his side are learning and improving with each match after they brushed aside Arsenal in the Premier League

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool are improving with every game after his side thumped Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield.

The future of Philippe Coutinho has dominated the transfer window for the Reds, but goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge demonstrated the quality that remains in the squad.

Arsenal were second best in all departments as they failed to register a single shot on target to trouble Loris Karius, who was deputising for the absent Simon Mignolet.

Liverpool began the campaign with a draw at Watford, but victories over Hoffenheim in the Champions League play-off either side of a win over Crystal Palace formed the platform to a complete performance against the Gunners.

Sadio Mane is congratulated by team-mates after his exquisite goal to put Liverpool 2-0 upSadio Mane is congratulated by team-mates after his exquisite goal to put Liverpool 2-0 up Sadio Mane is congratulated by team-mates after his exquisite goal to put Liverpool 2-0 up

"We were very good, and so far we have learned from each game and built on it," Klopp told Sky Sports.

"It was even better than against Hoffenheim, but it was already very good. There was pressure on the boys and we wanted to show our desire to do something special and the boys did very well.

Liverpool 4-0 ArsenalLiverpool 4-0 Arsenal To watch Premier League action on your mobile now download the Football Score Centre on iPhone or Android

"If you give Arsenal time and space and opportunities then you've already lost before the game starts. We had to learn to feel the pain in the game but to ignore it.

"We made changes, and it was clear it would be hard. We defended really well with these wingers, and players like Sadio (Mane) and Mo (Salah), they sometimes gamble a little bit because of their quality, speed and skills in offensive situations, and that made all the difference against Hoffenheim.

Klopp was delighted with the quality of Sadio Mane and Co going forwardKlopp was delighted with the quality of Sadio Mane and Co going forward Klopp was delighted with the quality of Sadio Mane and Co going forward

"We closed the spaces and were brave where Arsenal wanted to play in short spaces, it was overall a really good peformance and well deserved. It's very important the clean sheet, with all the discussions about the defence. The result is the result of the performance.

On the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Coutinho's future, Klopp preferred to focus on those who performed in his absence, adding: "He's not available for us.

"I can imagine if he was a part of this game, I can't imagine it would've been worse. Today it was the summary of 11 outstanding individual performances.

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Klopp: Good feeling at Liverpool

Sat, 26/08/2017 - 15:30

Last Updated: 26/08/17 1:48pm

Jurgen Klopp insists there is a good feeling around Liverpool at the moment, and wants to do something special for the 'special club'

Jurgen Klopp insists there is a good feeling around Liverpool at the moment, and wants to do something special for the 'special club'.

Liverpool qualified for the Champions League group stages in midweek with a 6-3 aggregate win over Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, and will be up against Sevilla, Spartak Moscow and Maribor.

Liverpool were 3-0 up within 21 minutes at Anfield in their 4-2 second-leg victory, and Klopp admits it was some of the best football he's ever been a part of.

Liverpool face Arsenal at Anfield on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3.30pmLiverpool face Arsenal at Anfield on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3.30pm Liverpool face Arsenal at Anfield on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3.30pm

In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports ahead of the clash against Arsenal on Super Sunday, Klopp said: "I think it was really deserved, and that's important, we would have taken it by luck, but that was the best way to do it [deserving it]. It was not perfect, but it was really good.

"The first half an hour against Hoffenheim was really some of the best football I've been a part of! So I feel really good in this building, working all together, with players and coaches, all the staff around, really good.

"But of course we have to show it outside also, and it's our job, and I really hope we can reach something special, for this special club."

Tactics expert Danny Higginbotham explains why Liverpool will expect to beat Arsenal on the break in their Super Sunday clash

Liverpool host Arsenal on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3.30pm, and Klopp has taken seven points from a possible nine against the Gunners during his time at Anfield.

While Borussia Dortmund manager in 2013, Klopp said he prefers "heavy metal football" to Arsenal's "orchestra" style, and when asked about the comment, the German admitted the comparison was wide of the mark.

"It's hard, in times of television and internet and the world wide web, nobody forgets things like this.

Klopp says he respects Arsenal, and admits they change their style when the play LiverpoolKlopp says he respects Arsenal, and admits they change their style when the play Liverpool Klopp says he respects Arsenal, and admits they change their style when the play Liverpool

"No! [It's not a great quote]. It wasn't even right! I never thought that anybody would remind me about it one more time after that! Four years ago and you're still coming up with this!"

Klopp even admitted that Arsenal do change their style when they play against Liverpool, and says they can be devastating after winning the second ball.

"I think Arsenal change style always when they play us, you watch the games back and it is like this. When we played at Anfield, the 3-3 [in January 2016], there were a lot of long balls to Giroud, for his chest.

Liverpool vs Arsenal

August 27, 2017, 3:30pm

Live on

"Maybe [because of the way we press], we don't press all the time, so you can play! It's high intensity, high quality, they're really good.

"They have a quite clear build-up, winning the second ball, and then they play football, and they're all involved. Mesut Ozil, Sanchez, whoever, Lacazette, Giroud, and it's really difficult to step in, but that's a part of the game, we have to work hard again.

Liverpool fared well against top six opposition last seasonLiverpool fared well against top six opposition last season Liverpool fared well against top six opposition last season

"You can't play a little bit of football and hope to get anything from Arsenal, they are too strong, I really respect [them]."

Liverpool were impressive against top-six opposition last season, finishing top of the 'mini-league', but Klopp joked they did not win a trophy for that feat.

"We didn't celebrate the little championship! We were first in the top six league, but unfortunately just fourth in the whole league! Haha! We should change the rules!"

Watch the extended interview with Jurgen Klopp on Soccer Saturday from midday on Sky Sports Football

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Klopp: Wenger is a legend

Sat, 26/08/2017 - 00:30
By Dev Trehan

Last Updated: 25/08/17 10:05pm

Jurgen Klopp says Arsene Wenger is a big manager in the history of footballJurgen Klopp says Arsene Wenger is a big manager in the history of football Jurgen Klopp says Arsene Wenger is a big manager in the history of football

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed his admiration for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger ahead of the clash between the two sides on Super Sunday.

Arsenal were pipped to fourth spot by Klopp's side on the final day of last season and trail Liverpool by three points ahead of Sunday's visit to Anfield, live on Sky Sports.

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August 27, 2017, 3:30pm

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Arsenal waited until after the end of the season before confirming Wenger had signed a new deal despite a section of the Gunners' fanbase publicly calling for a change of manager.

Nigel Winterburn debates whether Jurgen Klopp or Arsene Wenger is the better manager.

The Frenchman has spent 21 years as Arsenal boss, and Klopp says he is at a loss to explain why Arsenal fans wanted a managerial change given Wenger led the club to Champions League qualification for 20 straight seasons, winning 10 major trophies along the way.

"Arsene loves what he is doing and obviously he has all the energy he thinks he needs to do it," Klopp said ahead of the visit of Arsenal.

Sadio Mane scored against Arsenal home and away last seasonSadio Mane scored against Arsenal home and away last season Sadio Mane scored against Arsenal home and away last season

"He is the only person that can judge this - apart from the board at Arsenal and they think the same, which is why they extended his contract.

"It was a long hard season and I think [Arsenal have always been] successful, always being in the Champions League and close to winning things.

Wenger has won the FA Cup with Arsenal in three of the last four seasonsWenger has won the FA Cup with Arsenal in three of the last four seasons Wenger has won the FA Cup with Arsenal in three of the last four seasons

"Then [sometimes] you can get the feeling that people don't want you there anymore. I don't understand this but I am not in the situation.

"The only thing I can say is that I respect him a lot. I really respect all the things he has done in the past, not just for Arsenal, but for football in general.

"He is a big, big manager in the history of the Premier League - and football - and he has all the power he still needs. I'm happy he is still there and we meet again on Sunday."

Watch the Super Sunday clash between Liverpool and Arsenal live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3.30pm on Sunday.

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Klopp wary of Sanchez danger

Fri, 25/08/2017 - 16:00

Last Updated: 25/08/17 2:02pm

Alexis Sanchez is in line to make his first Arsenal appearance of the season, against Liverpool at Anfield on SundayAlexis Sanchez is in line to make his first Arsenal appearance of the season, against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday Alexis Sanchez is in line to make his first Arsenal appearance of the season, against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the return of Alexis Sanchez gives Arsenal "an advantage" for their Super Sunday showdown.

Sanchez has yet to feature for Arsenal this season as his future remains shrouded in uncertainty, but he is in line to play at Anfield when the teams meet live on Sky Sports Premier League this weekend.

Liverpool go into the game with doubts around one of their own players, with Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho - an ongoing transfer target for Barcelona - still sidelined with a back injury.

Jurgen Klopp says Barcelona transfer target Philippe Coutinho will have his injury assessed by the national team in Brazil

And although the Reds boast a 100 per cent record at home so far this season, Klopp is wary of the threat carried by an Arsenal side who were beaten 1-0 at Stoke last weekend.

"Arsenal are an outstanding and strong side and they will have (Alexis) Sanchez back on the pitch for the first time this season," said Klopp.

"He gives that team another boost and that is of course an advantage to Arsenal.

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"It's always difficult and will stay difficult. It's Arsenal. They have experience, they have speed and they have quality.

"They have technical skills and have the players that allow them to play lots of different systems.

"It has never been easy for Liverpool, probably in the past 20 years, against Arsenal, and it hasn't been easy for me since I've been here."

Klopp also confirmed he would be content to run with the squad he has now until the January transfer window and feels it is difficult to read too much into the way the Premier League has played out over the first two games.

Klopp says he would be happy if the transfer window closed early

"In this moment, it looks like Manchester United will be champions without conceding a goal," he said. "It's really early in the season.

"I'm fine with offence and fine with defence. We've got three out of four and we should have won the other. We work with what we have.

"We know where to be, we just have to go there."

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Concerned Coutinho 'very low'

Fri, 25/08/2017 - 15:20
By Kaveh Solhekol

Last Updated: 25/08/17 6:12pm

Philippe Coutinho's mood is described as Philippe Coutinho's mood is described as Philippe Coutinho's mood is described as "very low" as he pursues a move to Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho is hoping Barcelona do not give up on him after they signed Ousmane Dembele, according to Sky sources.

The Brazil star's mood has been described to Sky Sports News as "very low at the moment", with his desired move to the Nou Camp having so far failed to materialise.

Coutinho has not turned out for Liverpool at all yet this season and Jurgen Klopp says he will not play at home to Arsenal on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, because he still has a back problem.

Barca have agreed a deal to sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia DortmundBarca have agreed a deal to sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund Barca have agreed a deal to sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund

Coutinho has wanted to move to Barcelona for most of the summer but the Reds insist he is not for sale and have rejected three huge offers, the latest some £113m rising potentially to £118m.

Barca also failed with bids of £72m and £90.4m for Coutinho but are understood to be preparing a fourth bid of £138m before the transfer deadline.

Liverpool vs Arsenal

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But there are reports in Spain that the Catalans are considering a move for Chelsea's Willian instead.

Barcelona confirmed on Friday they have completed a £97m deal for France forward Dembele from Borussia Dortmund as Neymar's replacement.

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Transfer Centre

Fri, 25/08/2017 - 09:10

'ZLATAN WON'T BE FIRST CHOICE'

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told Zlatan Ibrahimovic he will not be first-choice upon his return to full fitness.

Ibrahimovic returned to Old Trafford on reduced terms, signing a one-year deal having left the club at the end of June.

But Romelu Lukaku will remain as Mourinho's No 1 striker for the coming season, having begun the campaign with three Premier League goals in his opening two games. 

"Zlatan knows me. And he knows that I play the players that I think are the best for the team,’ Mourinho said on Friday.

"If he comes here and he proves that he is the best, he plays. If the other ones don’t give him a chance to prove that, that’s life. I always try to be honest with my players. Maybe sometimes I don’t do the correct things. But I always try.

"Zlatan is going to arrive into a made team, mid-season with the team playing in a certain way and with players having what I call the functional links in the dynamic of the team. We are going to be a better squad. He is one more option, one more player that can play (as a) No 9 or 10.

"Probably, in January, I would have been knocking on Ed Woodward’s door asking for a striker and (now) I don’t need to. I have one of the best in the world."

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Le Tiss' CL draw verdict

Thu, 24/08/2017 - 22:30

Last Updated: 24/08/17 8:33pm

Matt Le Tissier provides his verdict on the Champions League drawMatt Le Tissier provides his verdict on the Champions League draw Matt Le Tissier provides his verdict on the Champions League draw

Matt Le Tissier provides his verdict on the Champions League draw, backing four Premier League sides to make the final 16.

The Southampton legend expects Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United to come through their groups after they all avoided the favourites.

Tottenham were placed in the same group as Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund and Le Tiss gives them a 40 per cent chance of progressing, but believes if Celtic progress having been drawn alongside Bayern Munich and PSG, it would be a greater upset than Leicester winning the 2015/16 Premier League.

Jurgen Klopp is back in the Champions LeagueJurgen Klopp is back in the Champions League Jurgen Klopp is back in the Champions League

Here is his verdict on each side's draw and how their odds have changed...

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW ROUND-UP

Group A: Benfica, Manchester United, Basel, CSKA Moscow

Group B: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht, Celtic

Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, Qarabag

Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiakos, Sporting

Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, Maribor

Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, Napoli, Feyenoord

Group G: Monaco, Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig

Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, Apoel

Manchester United (were 14/1, now 11/1 with Sky Bet)

That's as about good as could be expect from the pot they were in. Although the last time they were drawn in the same group with Basel and Benfica I remember them failing to get out of the group, having drawn and lost to Basel. It's a terrific group, but the only downside is that when they do go through they'll be playing a very big team. They won't be able to play the runner up in their group or any of the English sides.

Manchester United gained entry through the Europa LeagueManchester United gained entry through the Europa League Manchester United gained entry through the Europa League Manchester City (still 12/1 with Sky Bet)

Their group is probably just as favourable as United's. It's a decent group from their pot and there was plenty of massive teams that they could have got, and Shakhtar certainly are not in the same bracket. Can a Manchester club win the competition this year though? I still think the Premier League sides are a long way behind the favourites and I'd be surprised if a Premier League side won it.

Chelsea (were 14/1, now 16/1 with Sky Bet)

It's quite a tough group considering they've been placed in pot one, especially with the teams coming out of pot two and three. Roma will provide a good test but I'd still back them to come through it, but it might be a tight one and it could go to the last game.

Chelsea are also back in the Champions LeagueChelsea are also back in the Champions League Chelsea are also back in the Champions League Liverpool (were 25/1, now 20/1 with Sky Bet)

Contenders to get out of the group? Yes. To win it? No. I would probably guess that the quarter-finals would be their limit and would represent success. When you consider they came out of the same pot as Tottenham, it's certainly a good draw. Just getting to this stage is a huge boost for them and should help them attract players before the window closes, but everything I hear from Southampton is that we're holding firm on Virgil van Dijk.

Tottenham (were 33/1, now 40/1 with Sky Bet)

What chance do I give them? I would say they've probably got about 40 per cent chance of getting out of that group. They're a good team and capable of beating anybody on their day and, if they get their act together there, you wouldn't put it past them beating Real Madrid at home. I'd just favour Dortmund, marginally, but if they were playing at White Hart Lane I'd make it a 50/50.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping for better performances than last seasonTottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping for better performances than last season Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping for better performances than last season Celtic (still 500/1 with Sky Bet)

Would I described their draw as impossible? With PSG and Bayern Munich, probably, yes. I reckon if Celtic get out of that group then it's a bigger surprise than Leicester winning the Premier League. However, the Europa is probably their more realistic aim and they should have a chance against Anderlecht.

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Klopp excited by Champions League draw

Thu, 24/08/2017 - 21:10
By Rory O'Callaghan

Last Updated: 24/08/17 7:16pm

Jurgen Klopp is looking forward to leading Liverpool in the Champions LeagueJurgen Klopp is looking forward to leading Liverpool in the Champions League Jurgen Klopp is looking forward to leading Liverpool in the Champions League

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool won't be underestimating their Champions League opponents after being handed a favourable draw in the group stage of the competition.

Liverpool will face Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor in Group E - avoiding European heavyweights Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich - after comfortably defeating Hoffenheim in the qualifying play-off stage.

Liverpool boss Klopp is confident of progressing from the group but the German expects each opponent to provide a stern test as the Reds chase their sixth European title.

"The draw was exciting - to be part of it is obviously really special," said Klopp. "We watched with a few of the lads together.

Liverpool will face Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor in Group ELiverpool will face Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor in Group E Liverpool will face Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Maribor in Group E

"There are groups with Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus and Real Madrid, and not to get them is of course more good than bad. But I don't think that after this long way we should think about the opponents. We have to go and prepare.

"With Sevilla, there is an open bill, I would say. But we all know how good they are in European competition. Moscow is a long trip. And Maribor, in this moment you don't know a lot about them; a lot of people would underestimate them, we will not.

"So we don't think about the opponent, we just think about the competition. We'll analyse and take everything seriously - we want to go as far as possible.

"But it's the Champions League, so that means they all earn our 100 per cent respect, how we earn 100 per cent respect from them. That's what we will show and hopefully we have a few really good games, which we 100 per cent need."

Liverpool were defeated by Sevilla in the Europa League final in 2016Liverpool were defeated by Sevilla in the Europa League final in 2016 Liverpool were defeated by Sevilla in the Europa League final in 2016

Klopp believes clubs around Europe will have been happy to avoid Liverpool after seeing them defeat Hoffenheim 4-2 at Anfield on Wednesday night.

When asked if teams will fear Liverpool this season, Klopp said: "In this moment, for sure. But it depends on our performance. We had a nice sign last night - the first 20 minutes were probably part of the best pieces of football I was ever part of.

"That was really impressive. But we have to replicate this - we have to do it again and again and again. Then we can be successful. That's good news but hard work also."

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Champions League draw recap

Thu, 24/08/2017 - 18:02

GROUPS CONFIRMED

Your Champions League group stage draw…

Group A: Benfica, Man Utd, Basel, CSKA Moscow

Group B: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht, Celtic

Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, Qarabag

Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiakos, Sporting

Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, Maribor

Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Man City, Napoli, Feyenoord

Group G: Monaco, Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig

Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, Apoel

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