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Liverpool FC on Sky Sports

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Liverpool News
Updated: 3 hours 2 min ago

Roma v Liverpool preview

Tue, 01/05/2018 - 20:20

Last Updated: 01/05/18 10:29pm

Liverpool go into the second leg with a healthy 5-2 lead from the first legLiverpool go into the second leg with a healthy 5-2 lead from the first leg Liverpool go into the second leg with a healthy 5-2 lead from the first leg

Manager Jurgen Klopp thinks Roma would have to produce something special to deny Liverpool a place in the Champions League final.

Having stunned Barcelona, who arrived with a 4-1 lead in the last round but exited the competition on away goals after the hosts' 3-0 win, Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco hopes lightning strikes twice as they try to overcome a 5-2 deficit, but Klopp is remaining calm.

"I really think we deserve to be here," said the Reds boss. "We are here to fight for our dreams, that is how it is, and we want to go to the final.

Jurgen Klopp embraces Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson after the Anfield legJurgen Klopp embraces Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson after the Anfield leg Jurgen Klopp embraces Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson after the Anfield leg

"After the game at Anfield a few people had a feeling we had lost and after a week a few people think Roma only have to win 3-0 but that is quite a result."

Di Francesco added: "I would do a copy and paste [of the Barca game]," he said. "It is in the mind of the players. In order to compete against a rival such as Liverpool, we need to raise the bar in terms of physical effort, then comes the attitude, approach to the game and trying to score an early goal to have the fans behind us even more."

The build-up to the second leg has been overshadowed by concerns about the safety of Liverpool's travelling fans, after 53-year-old Sean Cox was attacked before the first leg at Anfield, but Klopp hopes to return to talking about events on the pitch on Wednesday.

"The fight around a football game is only on the pitch, I hope, after one week of speaking about it," Klopp said. "And it was good to speak about it. Sean and his family should hear and feel our support, I really hope everyone understood."

Liverpool manager Klopp says he is looking forward to the Champions League semi final second leg at Roma and sees it as a 'great opportunity' Liverpool manager Klopp says he is looking forward to the Champions League semi final second leg at Roma and sees it as a 'great opportunity' Team news

Adam Lallana is in the Liverpool squad for the trip to Rome. The England international has been out since suffering a hamstring injury at Crystal Palace in March, but could still feature again this season after travelling to South Africa last month for treatment.

Joe Gomez will not be involved after picking up an ankle problem in the Reds' 0-0 draw with Stoke on Saturday.

Sadio Mane, who missed the game against the Potters, has been named in Jurgen Klopp's squad, as have Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, both of whom had minor fitness concerns after playing at the weekend.

Roma will be without two of their starters in the first leg, with Diego Perotti and Kevin Strootman both expected to be sidelined, so there will be changes to the XI. Gregoire Defrel and Rick Karsdorp are also unavailable through injury.

Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan says progress past Liverpool would trump their Champions League comeback victory over Barcelona Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan says progress past Liverpool would trump their Champions League comeback victory over Barcelona Opta stats
  • No team has ever overturned a 5-2 first-leg defeat away from home in the European Cup/Champions League. The last time there was such a scoreline in a first-leg of the competition was in 1999/00, with Valencia knocking out Lazio 5-3 on aggregate (5-2, 0-1).
  • The first-leg produced the joint-most goals of any Champions League semi-final game (also seven when Ajax beat Bayern Munich 5-2 in 1995).
  • Liverpool are yet to lose to Roma in the European Cup/Champions League in four meetings (W2 D2), with one of those draws in the 1984 final (1-1), which Liverpool won 4-2 on penalties in the Stadio Olimpico.
  • This is Liverpool's 10th appearance in the semi-final of the European Cup/Champions League - they've progressed to the final on seven of the previous nine occasions, losing only in 1964/65 against Internazionale and in 2007/08 against Chelsea.
  • Roma are appearing in their first European semi-final for 27 years, when they faced Brondby in the UEFA Cup in 1990/91. Their only previous European Cup/Champions League semi-final was in 1983/84, when they eliminated Dundee United to face Liverpool in the final.
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Charlie's prediction

I covered both of Roma's legs against Barcelona on Soccer Special and it was similar in terms of them being a defensive wreck in the first leg, but they got away with kicking lumps out of Lionel Messi in the second, with the referee being a joke.

They smelt Barca's fear and they'll do the same if Liverpool give off that feeling and the referee allows it again, but I think Liverpool are stronger than Barca.

Geraint Hughes gives an update on security and safety advice from authorities in Rome Geraint Hughes gives an update on security and safety advice from authorities in Rome

I was surprised Klopp played Roberto Firmino at the weekend as his work brings it all together, but I do still fancy them to score at some point.

I am a big fan of Edin Dzeko, who my old club Arsenal should have snapped up when he left Manchester City, and I fancy him to inject some more nerves into the tie, but see Liverpool striking back to kill the tie.

Charlie predicts: 1-1 and Dzeko to score first (25/1 with Sky Bet)

Thommo's prediction

Find out what Thommo is tipping up at 28/1 in his Roma v Liverpool RequestABet here.

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The MNF Awards 2017/18

Tue, 01/05/2018 - 01:40

Last Updated: 30/04/18 11:51pm

As the Premier League season draws to a close, Gary Neville dished out a few accolades on Monday Night Football.

The Sky Sports expert chose his top player and manager from the 20117/18 Premier League season, as well as picking his most improved player from the campaign.

He also chooses his goal, save and moment of the season - plus the top young player and signing - as well as a player they he cannot wait to watch next term...

Here are his awards, plus the results of our public polls...

Manager of the Season

Nev's pick: Pep Guardiola (Man City)

"Roy Hodgson deserves a mention for the job he has done at Crystal Palace; Sean Dyche comes very close; Mauricio Pochettino, given his spend, has achieved a level of consistency; and Jurgen Klopp has had a great season and if they go on to win the Champions League you could argue it could be him.

"Right now it's Pep Gaurdiola for the outstanding football Man City have produced in winning the Premier League and the Carabao Cup. "

Public's pick: Sean Dyche (Burnley)

Player of the Season

Nev's pick: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

"It was down to Salah and De Bruyne and you couldn't argue with either of them. For me this season, all the way through Salah is absolutely incredible but I've always stayed with De Bruyne because he's brought a level of quality into the Premier League this season that you very rarely see. He has the ability to control a football match and makes David Silva look like the second best central midfield player at Manchester City, which is some statement.

"There aren't many players who can control the tempo of a football match. People are saying Pep Guardiola's produced the greatest ever performance from a team in a Premier League season, but if De Bruyne had been taken out of it I don't think it would have happened. It is that big."

Public's pick: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Young Player of the Season

Nev's pick: Leroy Sane (Man City)

"It's a no-brainer. He's the young player that is most likely to go on to become one of the top players in the world. Nothing fazes him, he beats players and he can attack from one box to the other. Like Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo or Ryan Giggs he can get from one box to the other in seconds to be able to deliver goals. His positions and movements are now really clever and his improvement year on year is there. I don't see him dropping that level."

Public's pick: Leroy Sane (Man City)

Most improved player

Nev's pick: Raheem Sterling (Man City)

"It's Raheem Sterling without a shadow of a doubt. The leap in goals and assists, I didn't think he was capable of the level of performance we have seen. I could have gone for De Bruyne and Otamendi as well for big shifts from where they were."

Public's pick: Raheem Sterling (Man City)

Signing of the Season

Nev's pick: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

"He is absolutely the signing of the season. He fits what Jurgen Klopp wants and the manager deserves great credit. Klopp signs players that fit his model and he will not move from that. As an ex full-back, Salah would be an absolute nightmare to play against, he makes the right movements all the time. He has had the biggest impact of any player signed last summer."

Public's pick: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Goal of the Season

Nev's pick: Wayne Rooney (Everton) v West Ham

"You don't see many goals from this distance. It was an absolutely amazing goal. The strike is absolutely incredible. The ball is racing towards Wayne Rooney across his body and you always hear commentators say those are the hardest ones to hit. I don't think you'd get that right many times, it had to be absolutely perfect. He couldn't take a touch because Joe Hart would have probably got back, he couldn't try and lob it because the ball was coming too hard at him and he had one opportunity. He had to ping it absolutely perfect like a three-iron."

Public's pick: Vote now

Gary Neville has picked his favourite... but what is yours? Take a look at the Monday Night Football goals of the season Gary Neville has picked his favourite... but what is yours? Take a look at the Monday Night Football goals of the season Save of the Season

Nev's pick: David de Gea (Man Utd) v Liverpool

"When I watch De Gea for United he makes saves that I think nobody else would save. That's where, for me, he becomes the very, very best. I was at Anfield and it was, for me, the stand-out save of the season from the stand-out goalkeeper. I remember being at the game and thinking it was a goal. It is unbelievable, both the reaction and the speed of the feet and then the speed to get up. Everything about it is absolutely brilliant."

Gary Neville has picked his favourite... but what is yours? Take a look at the Monday Night Football saves of the season Gary Neville has picked his favourite... but what is yours? Take a look at the Monday Night Football saves of the season

Public's pick: Vote now

Moment of the season

Nev's pick: Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) v Chelsea

"This was just a personal moment. It was the moment of the season where I thought 'these are good and he's at a different level'. There was an authority in his performance away at Stamford Bridge against the champions of keeping the ball and the speed and incisiveness of the play and the way in which he took the goal. It was the first time I thought 'this is a different City'. I remember exactly where I was when that goal went in."

One to Watch...

Nev's pick: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

"I want to understand whether this is an absolute freak. I watched him back at Basel and at Chelsea and his stats were getting better, but this season has been a jump from nowhere. Where has it come from? You normally see them growing and to me it's the most intriguing thing about next season. Is he a 20-goal a season man, which is still a really good player, or is he going to be mentioned in the same light as Messi and Ronaldo? If he goes on to score 43 next season and 40 the year after then he gets into those Messi and Ronaldo numbers."

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WATCH & VOTE: MNF goals of the season

Tue, 01/05/2018 - 00:50

Last Updated: 30/04/18 11:23pm

Gary Neville has picked his favourite... but what is yours? Take a look at the Monday Night Football goals of the season Gary Neville has picked his favourite... but what is yours? Take a look at the Monday Night Football goals of the season

The Monday Night Football team have picked the 15 best Premier League goals of the season, but which was the best of all?

This week, Gary Neville selected Wayne Rooney's incredible long-range goal for Everton against West Ham as his favourite strike of 2017/18.

He said: "You don't see many goals from this distance. It was an absolutely amazing goal. The strike is absolutely incredible. The ball is racing towards Wayne Rooney across his body and you always hear commentators say those are the hardest ones to hit.

"I don't think you'd get that right many times, it had to be absolutely perfect. He couldn't take a touch because Joe Hart would have probably got back, he couldn't try and lob it because the ball was coming too hard at him and he had one opportunity. He had to ping it absolutely perfect like a three-iron."

But do you agree with the Sky Sports expert? Was Rooney's goal better than the brilliant efforts from Mohamed Salah, Antonio Valencia, Kevin De Bruyne and Victor Wanyama this campaign?

You can watch our showcase of stunners in the video at the top of the page and then have your say in the poll below.

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FA to take no action against Salah

Mon, 30/04/2018 - 19:50
By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 30/04/18 6:48pm

Mohamed Salah will face no FA actionMohamed Salah will face no FA action Mohamed Salah will face no FA action

Mohamed Salah will face no action from the FA over an incident involving Stoke's Bruno Martins Indi, Sky sources understand.

Referee Andre Marriner did not see the incident during the game at Anfield and it was later referred to an independent three-man panel.

Salah came under pressure from the Stoke defender on the touchline and appeared to flick out an arm at the Dutchman after releasing the ball.

The panel did not believe it was an act of violent conduct, meaning Salah will be eligible to play in Liverpool's upcoming clash with Chelsea on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Salah and Bruno Martins Indi clash at Anfield on SaturdaySalah and Bruno Martins Indi clash at Anfield on Saturday Salah and Bruno Martins Indi clash at Anfield on Saturday

The fixture will mark the Egyptian's first return to Stamford Bridge since he played for the club in 2014, and could be pivotal in the race for a top-four finish this season.

Liverpool must first overcome a Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday in Rome, as they bid to book their place in the final of the competition in Kiev on May 26.

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Liverpool reach CL final recap

Mon, 30/04/2018 - 14:31

PLAYER RATINGS

Who stood out tonight? See if you agree with our ratings...

Roma: Alisson (6), Florenzi (6), Manolas (5), Fazio (5), Kolarov (8), Pellegrini (6), De Rossi (5), Nainggolan (8), Schick (6), Dzeko (8), El Shaarawy (7)

Subs: Under (7), Gonalons (6), Antonuccia (6)

Liverpool: Karius (6), Alexander-Arnold (6), Lovren (6), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Henderson (6), Milner (7), Wijnaldum (7), Salah (5), Mane (7), Firmino (7)

Subs: Clyne (6), Solanke (6), Klavan (5)

Man of the match: Radja Nainggolan

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Alexander-Arnold ready for Roma test

Mon, 30/04/2018 - 00:46
By Matthew Treadwell

Last Updated: 29/04/18 11:03pm

Trent Alexander-Arnold has returned to form after a difficult spell in MarchTrent Alexander-Arnold has returned to form after a difficult spell in March Trent Alexander-Arnold has returned to form after a difficult spell in March

Trent Alexander-Arnold insists he is unfazed by the prospect of facing Roma in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

Jurgen Klopp's side take a 5-2 lead to the Italian capital with the safety of Liverpool's players and fans a major talking point ahead of the game, after Reds supporter Sean Cox was attacked ahead of the first leg at Anfield last week.

Liverpool fans urged to stay safe

Liverpool have urged supporters to avoid areas in the north of Rome, particularly those around the Ponte Milvio Bridge, when they play Roma on Wednesday.

Liverpool still have work to do to advance to the final in Kiev on May 26, but Alexander-Arnold is ready for the challenge.

The 19-year-old was cruelly exposed by Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha in quick succession in March but has since bounced back with a string of good performances.

"We are going there with a job to do, to go there and win," he said of the trip to Rome.

"I try not to [get fazed]. Obviously we know it is going to be an intimidating atmosphere and that is what they will look to do, just as our fans did to them.

"We have to be prepared mentally and physically."

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Asked how he will cope, Liverpool-born Alexander-Arnold said: "Just think as mature as possible. Look at the players around you and what they do in this situation.

"The senior players have helped me. Maybe earlier in the season I would not have made the decisions I do now. I can see what I could do better and it prepares me.

"You train all your life - for years - for these types of games and these chances. Everything I have done so far is to prepare me for a game like Wednesday."

Liverpool 0-0 Stoke Liverpool 0-0 Stoke

The England Under-21 international, who has a chance of making Gareth Southgate's senior squad for this summer's World Cup, admits his ordeal at Old Trafford has proved to be a key moment in his season.

"A tough game, a tough day. One of those you learn from," he added. "The mistakes I made that day I learned from to make sure it does not happen again.

"I have tried to bounce back from them and prove myself with good performances from that day."

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Liverpool fans urged to stay safe

Sun, 29/04/2018 - 23:20
By Dev Trehan

Last Updated: 29/04/18 9:33pm

Liverpool have issued guidance to try and ensure the safety of fans travelling to RomaLiverpool have issued guidance to try and ensure the safety of fans travelling to Roma Liverpool have issued guidance to try and ensure the safety of fans travelling to Roma

Liverpool have urged supporters to avoid areas in the north of Rome, particularly those around the Ponte Milvio Bridge, when they play Roma on Wednesday.

The club has issued the guidance, along with a list of other safety and security recommendations, for fans travelling to Italy for the Champions League semi-final second leg.

Jurgen Klopp has pleaded for an end to violence at football and said the attack on a Liverpool fan should never have happened Jurgen Klopp has pleaded for an end to violence at football and said the attack on a Liverpool fan should never have happened

It comes after violence outside Anfield ahead of last Tuesday's first leg left 53-year-old Liverpool fan Sean Cox in a critical condition in hospital, for which two Italian men have been charged.

Fearing the possibility of further trouble or attacks, Liverpool have published some advice "according to information provided by the Italian authorities as a result of ongoing collaboration with UEFA, AS Roma and Liverpool FC" for its travelling fans.

Liverpool supporters have been warned not to walk to the Stadio Olimpico under any circumstancesLiverpool supporters have been warned not to walk to the Stadio Olimpico under any circumstances Liverpool supporters have been warned not to walk to the Stadio Olimpico under any circumstances

It is advised that supporters arrive early because of expected long queues to check tickets, but they are asked not to walk to the stadium "under any circumstances".

The club has also called on supporters to respect national monuments by not hanging banners and scarves on them.

Fans have also been informed that drinking alcohol on the streets will be prohibited and have been told to expect to be held back in the stadium after the match for longer than usual.

Roma supporters light flares during a European tie at the Stadio OlimpicoRoma supporters light flares during a European tie at the Stadio Olimpico Roma supporters light flares during a European tie at the Stadio Olimpico

Further guidance for Liverpool supporters could be provided following the outcome of a pre-match planning, which takes place in Rome on Monday.

The advice has been issued after Liverpool called an extraordinary meeting in the Italian capital on Friday to discuss safety concerns for the 5000 Reds fans who have bought tickets for the match.

Roma have a disturbing history of targeted violence against English football supporters.

Michael Owen scored twice as Liverpool beat Roma 2-0 en route to winning the UEFA Cup in 2001Michael Owen scored twice as Liverpool beat Roma 2-0 en route to winning the UEFA Cup in 2001 Michael Owen scored twice as Liverpool beat Roma 2-0 en route to winning the UEFA Cup in 2001

At least half a dozen Liverpool fans were stabbed when the club played Roma in the UEFA Cup in February 2001.

Four Liverpool fans were stabbed when the two teams met again in Rome in the Champions League group stages the following season.

Three Middlesbrough fans were stabbed when the Teessiders travelled to Rome for a UEFA Cup tie in 2006, and five Manchester United fans were stabbed a year later when they played Roma in the Champions League.

A number of Manchester United fans were injured during clashes in the stadium and in the city when they played Roma in 2007A number of Manchester United fans were injured during clashes in the stadium and in the city when they played Roma in 2007 A number of Manchester United fans were injured during clashes in the stadium and in the city when they played Roma in 2007

An Arsenal fan was stabbed in 2009 after a bus carrying Gunners fans to the Stadio Olimpico was ambushed.

And ahead of a Champions League group game earlier this season, Chelsea fans were attacked in an Irish pub by thugs wielding metal bars near Rome's iconic Coliseum.

Liverpool hold a 5-2 advantage ahead of the second leg.

Mohamed Salah appeared apologetic after scoring in front of travelling fans of his former side Roma at Anfield last week Mohamed Salah appeared apologetic after scoring in front of travelling fans of his former side Roma at Anfield last week Mohamed Salah appeared apologetic after scoring in front of travelling fans of his former side Roma at Anfield last week

Meanwhile, Liverpool's former Roma winger Mohamed Salah has said he is insulted over the representation of his image amid a dispute with the Egyptian Football Association of this summer's World Cup.

Salah tweeted in Arabic: "Sorry but this is a major insult... I was hoping the deal would be classier than this."

Ramy Abbas, Salah's agent, said he was waiting for a response from Egyptian officials.

He tweeted: "We have not even been contacted for a resolution! Nothing! Complete silence!"

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Firmino agrees new Liverpool contract

Sun, 29/04/2018 - 19:00
By Matthew Treadwell

Last Updated: 29/04/18 6:49pm

Roberto Firmino scored twice in Liverpool's 5-2 win over RomaRoberto Firmino scored twice in Liverpool's 5-2 win over Roma Roberto Firmino scored twice in Liverpool's 5-2 win over Roma

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has agreed terms on a new contract with the club.

Firmino has played a major role in a successful season for Jurgen Klopp's side, scoring 27 goals in 50 appearances for the Reds in the current campaign.

The Brazil international moved to Anfield from German side Hoffenheim for £29m in June 2015 and has established himself as a key performer in an attacking three that also includes PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

Liverpool 0-0 Stoke Liverpool 0-0 Stoke

Liverpool take a 5-2 lead into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Roma on Wednesday night and currently lie third in the Premier League table.

"It was an easy decision," Firmino told the club's official website. "The club have taken me in in an incredible way and I've grown a lot here with my work with the support of the whole team.

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"I am very, very happy here. Everything fits in the best possible way. My team-mates are fantastic and I am very grateful to be able to play with them at this club. I love to play for Liverpool FC.

"The fans are excellent and fantastic in how they support us all the way. They support us throughout the games and the work they do during the match is beautiful."

The 26-year-old took time to establish himself at Anfield, with his first goal for the club not coming until his 14th appearance.

But he went on to score 11 goals in 49 games in 2015/16, and his continued improvement has now been rewarded with a new deal.

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WATCH: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke

Sat, 28/04/2018 - 19:10

Last Updated: 29/04/18 12:02am

Highlights: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke Highlights: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke

Watch highlights as Premier League leading scorer Mohamed Salah had a rare off day as Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at home to Stoke.

The result leaves Liverpool with a healthy cushion over fifth-placed Chelsea and in need of a maximum of four points from their two remaining matches to guarantee qualification for the Champions League.

Relegation-threatened Stoke remain in the drop zone with only two games left to avoid slipping into the Championship.

Jurgen Klopp's side had averaged a goal every 39 minutes at home this season but could only really point to a glaring one-on-one miss from Mohamed Salah and a disallowed Danny Ings strike as clear-cut chances.

Stoke went close to snatching a late winner but Ryan Shawcross shot wide at the back post.

Hit play on the video at the top of the page to watch highlights

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Liverpool-Stoke talking points

Sat, 28/04/2018 - 18:10
Peter Smith

Comment and Analysis @p_smith86

Last Updated: 28/04/18 4:23pm

Mohamed Salah takes on the Stoke defence - but couldn't find a way throughMohamed Salah takes on the Stoke defence - but couldn't find a way through Mohamed Salah takes on the Stoke defence - but couldn't find a way through

We pick out the key talking points after lacklustre Liverpool were held by struggling Stoke at Anfield...

Did a penalty decision cost Liverpool the win?

"It was a poor decision from the referee and linesman. Ultimately they've cost us the three points." Jordan Henderson was in no doubt about what prevented Liverpool from securing victory - and taking a big step towards sealing a top-four finish - against Stoke on Saturday.

There were just three minutes left on the clock when Georginio Wijnaldum whipped the ball into Stoke's six-yard box and into Erik Pieters' arm. However, despite Liverpool's appeals for a penalty kick, referee Andre Marriner waved play on.

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson appeals for a penaltyLiverpool's Jordan Henderson appeals for a penalty Liverpool's Jordan Henderson appeals for a penalty

"I felt like it was a clear penalty in play, and I've seen it on the telly and it is a clear penalty," Reds skipper Henderson told Sky Sports after the game.

But it was a moment which divided opinion, with Stoke's Joe Allen saying the visitors would have been "hard done by" had it been given, while his former Potters team-mate Shay Given agreed in the Sky Sports studio, saying "I don't think it's stonewall, his hand has to be somewhere."

Fellow pundit Graeme Souness sided with Henderson, suggesting Pieters could have avoided the ball striking his arm - but disagreed that the decision had "cost" the home team. "Liverpool cost Liverpool," he said. "You can't have 72 per cent of possession and only have two shots on target. With 38 touches in the opposition box, you've got to make the goalkeeper work.

"Liverpool can only look at themselves. It wasn't that one penalty shout that cost Liverpool the game."

Liverpool can only look at themselves. It wasn't that one penalty shout that cost Liverpool the game.

Graeme Souness

Liverpool lose focus

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had described this fixture as his team's "biggest game of the season" before kick-off. That was an exaggeration but underlined the importance the manager put on the match as a chance to strengthen their hold on a top-four place.

But with the second leg of the Reds' Champions League semi-final coming on Wednesday, there was an understandable absence of sharpness from the hosts.

"When you've got a big game coming up, how can you guarantee the focus to be there? It's not there today," Souness said at half-time. "There are signs of it all over the pitch, like Ragnar Klavan and Virgil van Dijk not winning headers to the goalkeeper making sloppy passes. This is a classic case we're seeing of a team not being bang at it today."

Danny Ings had a goal ruled out for offsideDanny Ings had a goal ruled out for offside Danny Ings had a goal ruled out for offside

There were good chances for Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold, as well as two other penalty shouts involving Pieters and a goal ruled out for offside for Danny Ings, but too often Liverpool's attacking play lacked the pace and precision which has become their trademark this season.

In total, they managed just two shots on target. Their total of 20 efforts was the most they'd had without scoring for four years.

"I'm fine with the performance, I understand all the performances," said Klopp afterwards, seeing the bigger picture, with the Reds needing one more win to guarantee Champions League football next season. "We can play much better. But I take the point. We have one more than we had before the game. It could have been worse, for sure."

Salah frustrated as record has to wait

Salah has scored in each of his last seven appearances in all competitions, hitting the net 11 times. But, with just one goal needed to break the Premier League 38-game season scoring record, he missed a golden chance to reach that milestone against Stoke.

Salah missed a golden chance to break the deadlockSalah missed a golden chance to break the deadlock Salah missed a golden chance to break the deadlock

Put through one-on-one with just seven minutes on the clock, Salah looked certain to score, but instead his familiar chipped finish was just pulled wide of the near post. Anfield was shocked.

Salah off target

Mohamed Salah mustered seven shots in the game (none on target), the most he has had without scoring in a single game for Liverpool in all competitions.

Later in the first half Salah rippled the side-netting with a whipped free-kick, but he would remain frustrated by a stubborn Stoke defence - and the close attentions of man marker Pieters.

Big chances missed in the Premier League 2017/18 (As of 3pm, 28/4/18)PlayerClubBig chances missedMohamed SalahLiverpool21Christian BentekeCrystal Palace 20Alvaro MorataChelsea17Harry KaneTottenham16Gabriel JesusMan City13Sergio AgueroMan City13Liverpool's top-four permutations

The result leaves Liverpool needing three points from their final two Premier League fixtures of the season, with Chelsea to play at Stamford Bridge next weekend live on Sky Sports, before signing off with a home game against Brighton.

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"We need another three, with two games to take them. If football is fair, we will take them," said Klopp - but Sky Sports pundit Souness sounded a warning note.

"If you're trying to apply any logic to football, forget it. There isn't any fairness in football," he said. "But in the last two games you can look at points dropped for a very good reason - the Roma games. We'll see a different Liverpool next time out."

Stoke's slim hopes of survival

It was a tremendous defensive display from a determined Stoke City at Anfield, with Kurt Zouma and Ryan Shawcross towers of strength in the middle of the backline. Among their many clearances, Zouma crucially diverted a cross away from Salah and Shawcross thumped into a tackle with James Milner to keep Liverpool at bay, while Pieters followed Salah across the pitch to limit the Reds' danger man.

Stoke City manager Paul Lambert was proud of his team's performanceStoke City manager Paul Lambert was proud of his team's performance Stoke City manager Paul Lambert was proud of his team's performance

There was little intent from Stoke to go out and push for the win - although Shawcross just failed to turn in at the back post with a couple of minutes to play - and after the final whistle, boss Paul Lambert was proud of the point. With Crystal Palace and Swansea still to play, there is a glimmer of hope.

Lambert's Liverpool record

Paul Lambert has taken charge of more Premier League games at Anfield without ever losing than any other manager in the competition (5 - W2 D3).

"I think it's a brilliant result," Lambert told Sky Sports. "They played a lot of their big hitters and I took pride in the team, I thought they were outstanding. The players have been fantastic for me. We're in the fight and for them to play the way they did, I'm happy for it."

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Stoke hold lacklustre Liverpool

Sat, 28/04/2018 - 16:40

Last Updated: 28/04/18 4:42pm

Danny Ings had a goal disallowedDanny Ings had a goal disallowed Danny Ings had a goal disallowed

Stoke kept alive their slim hopes of Premier League survival with a 0-0 draw at an unusually lacklustre Liverpool on Saturday lunchtime.

Despite picking a strong side that included Mohamed Salah, Jurgen Klopp's men seemed to have one eye on their midweek Champions League trip to Roma as they mustered just two shots on target at Anfield.

Klopp's men had averaged a goal every 39 minutes at home this season but could only really point to a glaring one-on-one miss from Salah and a disallowed Danny Ings strike as clear-cut chances.

The result takes Stoke to within three points of safety, although Swansea - who host Chelsea in the late game on Saturday - have two games in hand. Stoke will only be able to reach a points total (36) that has - at best - guaranteed survival 50 per cent of the time over the past 10 Premier League seasons.

Player Ratings

Liverpool: Karius (6), Alexander-Arnold (6), Van Dijk (6), Klavan (6), Gomez (6), Moreno (6), Henderson (6), Wijnaldum (7), Firmino (6), Salah (5), Ings (6).

Subs: Clyne (6), Milner (6)

Stoke: Butland (6), Bauer (7), Pieters (6), Zouma (8), Shawcross (7), Martins Indi (6), Ndiaye (7), Allen (6), Shaqiri (5), Diouf (5), Crouch (6)

Subs: Sobhi (6), Fletcher (6)

Man of the match: Kurt Zouma

Liverpool remain the only unbeaten side at home this season in England's top four tiers and if they avoid defeat against Brighton at Anfield in their final game, then it would be only the second time in 30 seasons that the Reds have gone an entire league season unbeaten at home.

There was a real collectors' item for Liverpool fans in the opening minutes as Salah raced through, one-on-one with Jack Butland, but lifted an effort wide of the post when he looked certain to score.

Mohamed Salah spurned a glorious chance to put Liverpool ahead inside 10 minutesMohamed Salah spurned a glorious chance to put Liverpool ahead inside 10 minutes Mohamed Salah spurned a glorious chance to put Liverpool ahead inside 10 minutes

Salah then turned provider for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who only had Butland to beat from 10 yards but could not turn the ball home.

Sadio Mane had a slight injury so didn’t make the squad while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was out due to a knee injury. Andrew Robertson and James Milner dropped to the bench while Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan, Danny Ings and Georginio Wijnaldum came into the side. The only change for Stoke saw Kurt Zouma come in for former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson.

Stoke countered and almost broke the deadlock as a ball played right across the face of goal only just evaded a finishing touch from Mame Biram Diouf or Peter Crouch. Meanwhile, Ings had the ball in the net on the stroke of half-time but it was ruled out for offside.

Liverpool maintained their stranglehold of possession in the second period but Stoke - with Darren Fletcher added to their midfield, replacing Crouch - were well organised and rarely troubled.

For a team that have scored 128 goals across all competitions this season, Liverpool looked short on ideas, although they had a good shout for a handball inside the area by Erik Pieters, which was turned down.

Jurgen Klopp on the Anfield touchline Jurgen Klopp on the Anfield touchline Jurgen Klopp on the Anfield touchline

The visitors saw out the final stages very comfortably.

Stoke, who could have nicked it late on through Ryan Shawcross, have still never won a top-tier fixture away at Liverpool in 55 attempts (D12 L43) but this could be a season-saving result.

Opta stats
  • Liverpool failed to score at Anfield in the league for the first time in nine games (since a 0-0 draw v West Brom in December), after scoring 27 in total in the eight before that.
  • The Reds mustered 20 shots without finding the back of the net, their biggest haul without scoring at Anfield in the league since April 2014 (26 v Chelsea).
  • Paul Lambert has taken charge of more Premier League games at Anfield without ever losing than any other manager in the competition (5 - W2 D3).
  • Salah mustered seven shots in the game (none on target), the most he has had without scoring in a single game for Liverpool in all competitions.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold started positively in a new role for Liverpool on the right of midfield. However, after suffering a dead leg his influence faded and he was replaced after 65 minutes. Jordan Henderson managed to complete the game. after an injury scare in the first half when he twisted his ankle. Joe Gomez was solid enough in defence but failed to make much of an impact going forward down the right side.

The managers

Jurgen Klopp: "I take the point. It's an important point, we need another three and we have two games to get them in. If football is fair then we will take these three points. It was an acceptable performance, we can play much better, but we had to make a few changes."

Jurgen Klopp said he was satisfied with what he described as a very important point Jurgen Klopp said he was satisfied with what he described as a very important point

Paul Lambert: "We have to fight and we have a chance. Everybody has written off us but we have a chance. It won't be for the faint-hearted.

"The players have given me absolutely everything since I walked in the door, if the team had played like that throughout the season there is no way Stoke would be in this position and I certainly wouldn't be here."

Paul Lambert said Stoke were outstanding Paul Lambert said Stoke were outstanding Man of the match - Kurt Zouma

"We deserved the draw," said the Stoke centre-back, whose individual performance stood out in a solid defensive showing from the visitors. Zouma kept Roberto Firmino and Salah very quiet with some strong tackling and was there to clear danger in the final stages when Liverpool went a bit more direct. The on-loan Chelsea man will have plenty of suitors this summer if the west Londoners allow him to leave.

What's next?

Liverpool travel to face Roma on Wednesday in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, holding a 5-2 advantage from Anfield. Meanwhile, Stoke face Crystal Palace, live on Sky Sports Premier League, next Saturday lunchtime.

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