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Liverpool FC equality and diversity fans forum update

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 17:59

Liverpool Football Club has provided supporters with a review of its ongoing work on equality and diversity at a fans forum which took place ahead of the recent home fixture against Southampton.

Framed around two presentations by Simon Thornton, the club’s diversity and inclusion manager, the equality and diversity forum discussed a range of topics including stadium accessibility, community initiatives, LGBT issues and anti-racism campaigns.

Campaigns and initiatives

The forum began with a presentation by Simon Thornton which focussed on work undertaken by Liverpool over the last 12 months which included:

  • More than 100 children attending a Show Racism the Red Card event at Anfield in March.
  • A range of activities taking place around Liverpool Pride, including the Kop being illuminated in the colours of the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag, around 100 members of staff participating in the Liverpool Pride parade and a Pride football tournament.
  • Support for the rainbow laces campaign at the home fixture against Chelsea in November 2017 with manager Jürgen Klopp wearing rainbow laces, club captain Jordan Henderson wearing a rainbow armband, 2,000 badges being distributed to supporters and accompanying content on official club media.  “It was a really good demonstration of our stance on this issue,” said Simon Thornton. “Our position is that everyone is welcome at Anfield.”
  • The home fixture against West Ham United in February was dedicated to the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign with the organisation’s work being promoted on posters, t-shirts and pitch-side advertising boards.
  • Participation in Disabled Go which surveys accessibility. Simon Thornton explained: “This work is commissioned by the Premier League with reviews including all stands, the club museum, the ticket office, the Boot Room Café and various other areas of the stadium. It looks at what kind of taps there are in the bathrooms, how doors open, basically everything that would concern a disabled supporter on match day. Ultimately, we are in a good place and we have made significant progress in this area but there is still work to be done.”
  • In November 2017 Box 1A of the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand began being used as a sensory room for the first time. The room allows supporters with a sensory need such as autism to experience football matches in a comfortable environment. “This has proven very popular,” Simon Thornton said. “A really inclusive environment has been created for those who need it.”
  • The introduction of a dedicated stewarding team specifically for disabled supporters.
  • The provision of equality, diversity and inclusion training for 3,500 casual staff.

Summing up, Simon Thornton said: “In terms of moving forward, we have refreshed our vision with a view to becoming the most inclusive football club and business. That is our aim.”

Forum member Yunus Lunat responded: “If you look at the images of what the club is doing in the local community it provides  little evidence of diversity, we either we still need to reach out more, or ensure the images used are representative of our work.” 

“I take that point and the LFC Foundation is currently looking at their approach to inclusion as well as looking for someone to lead on that,” Simon Thornton said.

Yunus Lunat added: “The challenge I would lay down would be to pick up on Islamophobia as well. Liverpool have done so much positive work in terms of making people feel welcome at Anfield and I would like to highlight the mother of one supporter who wears full Islamic clothing having the confidence to express a desire to attend a match speaks volumes for the club.

“We see supporters wearing head scarves and, again, they feel totally comfortable doing that. This isn’t something that you see everywhere else so there is so much to be positive about but if Liverpool could get involved in the fight against Islamophobia it would make such a difference.”

Forum member Riaz Ravat said: “I would agree with Yunus. Liverpool are such a powerful force globally and in Mo Salah we have a player who is so much more than just a footballer. If there is some bespoke work that could be done to combat Islamophobia and also antisemitism, maybe something as simple as a social media campaign, it could have a significant impact. The club can definitely be proud of so much of what it has done in this area but we can still go to the next level.”

Forum member Katie Price said: “As things stand, the sensory room is used at every other home game; long term can it be made available for every home game?”

Simon Thornton replied: “This is something that we will look into. The room is not always available at present for various reasons but we will look at the options that are available to us.”

Premier League Accessibility Fan Survey  

Simon Thornton presented the next agenda item, an account of the Premier League Accessibility Fan Survey, giving forum members a review of how Liverpool Football Club had fared in the survey which had been made available to all supporters who bought disability tickets in 2017-18. The key findings were:

  • Liverpool FC’s match day experience score is higher than the average Premier League club, specifically overall experience, being welcoming and match experience.
  • 93 per cent of participants believe LFC is taking steps to improve disabled supporters match day experience.
  • 77 per cent believe their experience has improved over the last three years. Only two per cent claimed it had got worse.
  • 95 per cent thought that the attitude and performance of club staff was good or better. The Premier League average was 89 per cent.
  • LFC scored 86 per cent or more on a range of accessibility factors including availability of tickets for personal assistants (99 per cent), access to a wheelchair accessible space (98 per cent), dedicated stewards to help fans (98 per cent) and access to a sensory room (90 per cent).
  • LFC’s lowest score was for car parking or drop off point (76 per cent).
  • Six out of ten fans believe it is easy to find out about the club’s facilities for disabled fans online or via email but only 30 per cent said they found it easy through social media.
  • Six out of ten have car parking as their biggest concern regarding attending home games.

Referring to the issue of social media, forum member Katie Price asked if it would be possible for the equality and diversity forum to operate a club account on Twitter. Forum chair Tony Barrett said a review of social media is currently taking place and a range of ideas and options are being considered.

Forum members Steve Evans from Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association (LDSA) said: “I filled the survey in and I found it quite easy but I think some people with certain disabilities might have found it more difficult even though it was mostly a tick box exercise.

“The outcome of the survey is no surprise, though with the club scoring 90 per cent or more in the majority of areas. I’m also not surprised that car parking rated lower as this is an ongoing issue. Car parking has got a bit better but needs to keep improving.”

Katie Price said: “I’m surprised to see that two per cent said their match day experience has got worse because I have seen the club make huge strides recently. I would go as far to say I am proud of the club and the work that it has done.”

Steve Evans agreed, saying: “One of the big things that stands out at this club is the staff. They are fantastic.” Katie Price added: “They make you feel so welcome. They are like a match day family to me.”

Wash rooms

The final agenda item was an update from Simon Thornton regarding a request from forum member Yunus Lunat for the club to look into the possibility of introducing wash facilities at the multi-faith prayer room. 

Simon Thornton said: “This was an idea that was put forward previously and while there has not been any significant progress I am more than happy to update the forum on exactly where we are at.

“As you will be aware, the club is currently prioritising other major capital projects, most notably the new training ground in Kirkby but I have consulted with the Muslim chaplain of the local universities, Zane Abdo, in order to look at our facilities with him.

“He has given us some insight in terms of what we can and can’t do and one of the conclusions is that having a wash room actually inside the facility would not be ideal. So we know what we would like to do but the question is how to do we do it and these deliberations are continuing.”

Yunus Lunat said: “I appreciate the response but there is one thing that I would say to the club and that is that you should be able to sing your own praises on issues such as this. Another club opened a prayer room and they shouted it from the rooftops. Liverpool were one of the first Premier League clubs to open a multi-faith prayer room and this is something that should be celebrated.”

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Klopp's press conference: Five key points

Fri, 05/10/2018 - 17:07

Jürgen Klopp discussed a range of subjects as he looked forward to Liverpool's Premier League showdown with Manchester City at a pre-match press conference on Friday.

As well as an update on Naby Keita’s fitness and an analysis of Mohamed Salah’s form, the manager assessed the challenge of beating Sunday’s visitors and much more.

Here are five key points from his chat with the media…

Fitness latest from the boss…

Liverpool will check on Keita’s condition ahead of the game at Anfield but Klopp has no other fresh injury concerns to consider as it stands.

Adam Lallana, who was not with the squad that travelled to Naples for the Champions League tie in midweek, is in full training.

“Nothing real in the moment, apart from the things we know,” said the manager when asked for an injury update. “[Lallana] is in full training, we have to see. They are all in full training.”

Milner meets his old team…

With James Milner set to face his former club on Sunday, the boss was asked to summarise the No.7’s development during the three years they have worked together at Liverpool, which included one season at left-back.

“When people say he is a ‘work horse’, for me it is always a compliment. He is naturally fit, an athlete. I was open and he matched the expectation I had after a few weeks – or even better,” said Klopp of his initial impressions of a player he had watched before taking the reins at the Reds.

He continued: “Probably after his career is finished in a few years he will think back to the season where he played left-back as a season where he learned a lot about football because he saw the pitch from a different angle constantly.

“He knows much more about supporting from another position. That he can play the position was clear otherwise I wouldn’t have asked him.

“I was open [in 2015] and he used all opportunities.”

[embedded content]

The secret to beating City…

… doesn’t exist.

Liverpool have been victorious in each of the past three meetings with City but Klopp admits there is no guaranteed formula for success against Pep Guardiola’s champions.

The German does know the components required to try it, however.

He said: “We won the last three games against City – twice in the Champions League and once in the league. After none of these games do you go into the dressing room and think, ‘Now we’ve got it, now we know how to beat Manchester City.’

“There is no real way; there isn’t one thing you have to do so you can beat them. That’s not there.

“You have to be ready. You need a fantastic football team – which I have, thank God – with an outstanding character, ready for being really brave, ready for making mistakes in a very difficult game against an outstanding opponent. That’s it and then it can work, that’s all we need to know.”

Bouncing back…

The showdown with City comes four days after the Reds’ 1-0 Champions League loss against Napoli, a game in which Klopp accepted his team fell below their usual standards.

He sees a silver lining in that cloud, though, and feels the frustrations of Wednesday night can be turned into a positive this weekend.                

“How you can imagine, my faith in the team is so big and we have to – we want to – show a reaction,” reflected the manager.

“I didn’t want to lose at Napoli but if you ask me what the best preparation is, mood-wise, it’s losing a game. We felt it now and we don’t want to have that feeling again so we will fight with all we have for a different result.”

It’s entertainment…

If the four meetings between the sides last season are anything to go by, one guarantee for their first encounter of 2018-19 is entertainment.

And, in a typically philosophical manner, Klopp explained why he is an advocate of ensuring his team play the most enjoyable football they can.

“I’ve said it a few times and I can say it again: I really think the most important thing, the most important job of football, is entertaining the people, because it is only football and nothing else,” he said.

“We don’t save lives; we don’t plant or create anything; we are not good at surgery. We are only good at football and if we do not entertain people then why would we play it?

“It’s not always possible, unfortunately. And it’s always hard work – even if you entertain the people, it’s especially hard work. That’s really an important thing and that’s why we have to try to create constantly or as often as possible.”

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Liverpool v Red Star Belgrade: Ticket details

Thu, 04/10/2018 - 16:37

Liverpool FC has released the following ticket details for the Champions League fixture against Red Star Belgrade at Anfield.

The game is set for an 8pm kick-off on Wednesday October 24.

The entire stadium will be ticketed and prices are varied depending on seat location.

Adults - £9*-59
Over 65s - £9*-44
Young adults - £9*-29.50
Juniors - £9 (within the advertised family sections)

*Local general sale price

For a full breakdown of the pricing structure for this game, please click here.

Official LFC hospitality

Please call 0151 264 2222 for details, or buy online.

Official ticket and hotel breaks

For availability and prices, click here or call 01733 224834. Thomas Cook Sport terms and conditions apply.

Match breaks are sold on a match-by-match basis; therefore, tickets purchased via the match breaks will not qualify for ticket priority in future rounds of the competition.

Supporters enrolled into the Auto Cup Scheme

Season ticket holders and Members registered in the Auto Cup Scheme must not purchase a ticket for this fixture as we are in the process of taking payments. Click here for specific details, including stadium access, prices and what to do if your payment fails.

Disabled supporters

Click here for details.

All other supporters

The below sales will take place online only.

Priority rights holders: from 9.15am on Monday October 8 – for eligibility details, please click here.

Sales will then take place in the following order.

Season ticket holders who attended Paris Saint-Germain (September 18, 2018): from 1pm on Monday October 8.

Members who attended Paris Saint-Germain (September 18, 2018): from 8.15am on Tuesday October 9.

Tickets will be subject to availability on a first come, first served basis, and a queuing system will be in place.

Only if tickets remain

Fan card holders who attended Paris Saint-Germain (September 18, 2018): from 8.15am on Wednesday October 10.

Sales will then take place only if tickets remain based on attendance at AS Roma (April 24, 2018), Manchester City (April 4, 2018), FC Porto (March 6, 2018), Spartak Moscow (December 6, 2017), Maribor (November 1, 2017) and Sevilla (September 13, 2017) in the following priority order.

Season ticket holders who attended four games: from 1pm on Wednesday October 10.

Members who attended four games: from 8.15am on Thursday October 11.

Should any tickets remain, further sale updates will be provided here.

The local general sale will take place from 8.15am on Thursday October 18.

The club reserves the right to change any sale to a controlled sale if given advice from the police or other relevant authorities.

For stadium access information, click here.

For general information, click here.

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Trent, Gomez and Hendo in England squad

Thu, 04/10/2018 - 16:30

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson have been named in the latest England squad.

Gareth Southgate called up the Liverpool trio on Thursday for a UEFA Nations League double-header against Croatia and Spain later this month.

The Three Lions face Croatia in Rijeka on Friday October 12 and then take on Spain in Seville three days later.

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Your chance to play for LFC as ePremier League launches

Thu, 04/10/2018 - 14:58

Liverpool FC has today announced its participation in the Premier League's very first ePremier League (ePL) tournament, which will give UK-based fans the chance to represent the Reds for the first time ever in competitive gaming.

Each of the 20 Premier League clubs will be represented and gaming Liverpool fans will soon be invited to register their interest to play FIFA 19 for the team they love.

The ePL final will be played in London on March 28 and 29, 2019 and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports and Premier League social media channels.

The ePL competitive gaming tournament kicks off in January 2019 and players will compete for three months across three rounds: online qualification, live club play-offs and the eventual live ePL final.

All 20 Premier League clubs will have a live play-off round allowing two competitors – one per platform (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) – a final shot to advance to the final. Registrations for the tournament will open in December.

ePremier League tournament key dates

  • Registration opens – December 3, 2018
  • Online qualification – January 2019
  • Club play-offs – February to March 2019
  • ePremier League final – March 28 and 29, 2019

Further tournament details, including registration information, will be released in the coming months by the Premier League.

The ePL will be operated by esports tournament organisers Gfinity PLC. For more information, visit e.premierleague.com.

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Chelsea v Liverpool: Team news

Fri, 28/09/2018 - 20:00

Virgil van Dijk could miss Liverpool’s game against Chelsea on Saturday.

The aggravation of an existing rib problem forced the centre-back off during the second half of last weekend’s 3-0 win over Southampton.

Van Dijk was subsequently ruled out of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Maurizio Sarri’s team, and Jürgen Klopp remains unsure whether he will feature at Stamford Bridge. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold (illness) and Georginio Wijnaldum (knock) were also absent in midweek, but are fit for the trip to west London.

“Trent trained yesterday completely normal. It was not a knock, Trent was a bit ill, but yesterday that looked pretty good,” Klopp said on Friday.

“Virgil, we have to wait. He didn’t train with the team so far but I can’t say anything more about that. Gini trained as well, so all good.”

[embedded content]

Dejan Lovren played for the first time this season on Wednesday following a pelvic injury, while Joel Matip again completed 90 minutes after also doing so in his maiden start of the campaign against Southampton.

And that means Klopp has alternatives should Van Dijk not be ready to return.

The boss continued: “Virgil is a world-class player, there is no doubt about that, and if you miss a world-class player it is not cool. 

“But Dejan Lovren made his first appearance after I would say around 10 weeks. Most of that time he was that injured that he couldn’t even think about training because when you have something in that part of your body you cannot do fitness, nothing. And after that long period, he played an outstanding game. Joel Matip, two games in a row, played fantastic.

“So, if Virgil is fit and can play then he will play, but if not then obviously we have options and that’s really good.”

Elsewhere in Liverpool’s squad, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi are back in training after their respective groin and ankle issues.

PL, 2018-19 PL, 2018-19

Sarri, meanwhile, revealed on Friday that it is “possible” Antonio Rudiger will be fit following the groin injury he sustained in last Sunday’s goalless draw with West Ham United. 

Pedro (shoulder) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (shin) are also closing in on consideration for selection for the Blues, for whom Andreas Christensen was substituted at Anfield in midweek due to illness.

“Pedro yesterday had the last part of the training with the team, like Rudiger and Loftus-Cheek. So we need to see the last training [session] and then we will decide,” said the Chelsea manager.

“They are almost ready, so the situation is better than three or four days ago.”

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LFC Foundation supports intergenerational project

Fri, 28/09/2018 - 18:30

LFC Foundation, the club's official charity, is supporting a new project aimed at bringing together older and younger people across the city.

Working alongside Liverpool John Moores University, and with contributions from Our Lady Immaculate Primary School, Riverside Housing, Museum of Liverpool and Tate Museum, the Legacy Café initiative connects local senior citizens with new friends as young as four-years-old.

The six-week programme incorporates a wide range of activities including arts and crafts, healthy cooking, physical exercise, football sing-a-longs and trips to museums around Liverpool.

David McParland, LFC Foundation project lead, said: "Community structures and family patterns are changing, and statistics indicate that older and younger people are becoming increasingly disconnected.

"Intergenerational programmes have proven to be extremely effective in reducing stereotyping and ageism between generations, improving the health and wellbeing of older people and reducing loneliness and social exclusion, particularly amongst the elderly.

"Both groups have skills and resources which can considerably benefit the other, so projects like this are really important in bringing them together and starting that relationship building.

"We can already see some wonderful friendships forming between the kids and the older people, which is fantastic, and we hope to see them strengthen those bonds as the programme goes on."

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Watch: Salah and Firmino's 'no-look' header challenge

Fri, 28/09/2018 - 16:57

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino demonstrated some outrageous skills during a game of head tennis during training on Thursday - and our cameras managed to capture the moment.

The pair nodded the ball to each other before stepping it up a notch by trying to return it 'no-look' style.

And you can see how Salah and Firmino fared in our Instagram clip embedded below.

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Mignolet: We'll learn from defeat and go again on Saturday

Thu, 27/09/2018 - 10:50

Simon Mignolet believes Liverpool can learn from the Carabao Cup loss to Chelsea and factor elements into their preparations ahead of the teams meeting again in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

The Reds exited the tournament at the third-round stage on Wednesday night following a 2-1 defeat by the Blues at Anfield, with late strikes from Emerson and Eden Hazard cancelling out Daniel Sturridge’s opener.

The sides will clash once more on Saturday evening as Jürgen Klopp’s men will look to bounce back by extending their advantage over Chelsea to five points in the fledgling table - and Mignolet feels the post-match analysis at Melwood in the next few days can prove beneficial in helping Liverpool ready themselves for the challenge of trying to clinch a victory in London.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: “I think we didn’t deserve to go out of the competition. We had enough chances to win the game and go forward, but unfortunately, we lost it in the end and we go out of a competition we wanted to win.

“It’s a disappointment, but we don’t have much time to reflect on it and have to go forward. Again, it’s a game against Chelsea [next], so we’ll learn the lessons from tonight’s game and hopefully we can beat them on Saturday.

“There is not much time to pick ourselves up, but I don’t think you can prepare for it any better than facing the opponent three days before. We have to learn from it, try to do better and then hopefully get the three points at Chelsea on Saturday.”

After Chelsea had begun the cup tie strongly at Anfield, Liverpool found their feet in the contest and Sturridge’s well-taken opener was a deserved one.

The Reds had further opportunities to extend their advantage but were unable to capitalise, which led to them ultimately being punished in the final 10 minutes by Emerson’s close-range finish and a stunning solo effort from Hazard.

Mignolet added: “We created a lot of chances for a second and even third goal, but it didn’t happen. They came back into the game after the free-kick and then my fellow countryman made a great goal, which is very, very disappointing but we have to learn from it, take it forward and make sure it doesn’t happen again on Saturday.”

Mignolet’s inclusion in goal was one of eight changes made by Klopp from Saturday’s win over Southampton as he replaced Alisson Becker between the sticks.

“I was pleased to be on the pitch,” he said. “It was a while since I’ve played, but I felt good in the game. To be on the pitch again was really nice and I think I did my job the best I could.

“I keep trying to work hard in training, like I always do, and help the team when needed. That’s all I can do, really.

“You want to play, that’s the only thing you can do, but in training we push each other. Me and Alisson work together on a good basis, our relationship has been good ever since we came together and then we’ve got a few younger boys who are pushing us forward as well.

“We have a good group and the only thing we can do is put out the best goalkeeper for Liverpool Football Club. In the end, that’s the most important thing.”

As well as the No.22, there were also first appearances of the season for Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno, as well as a maiden start for Fabinho.

Mignolet continued: “With the squad we have, we have so many good players. We made eight changes, but you saw what kind of line-up we can put out against Chelsea – and that’s credit to the squad we’ve got.

“There’s a lot of competition for places and cup competitions like this are chances for us to play, but we have to accept it and move forward. The only thing we can do is try to push the 11 who are starting on Saturday to make sure they do their jobs.”

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LFC 1-2 Chelsea: Highlights and reaction from Anfield

Thu, 27/09/2018 - 01:59

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Lovren focused on full fitness after injury comeback

Thu, 27/09/2018 - 00:52

Dejan Lovren is targeting a rapid return to 100 per cent fitness after making his first appearance of the season for Liverpool on Wednesday.

The centre-back made his comeback following a pelvic injury by starting the Reds’ 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Anfield.

The match marked Lovren’s first outing since the World Cup final in July and, while it ended in a disappointing result, the Croatia international is hopeful of building on a valuable 90-minute run-out as he works his way back to peak condition.

“After this injury that I had it’s good to be back with the team and to have a couple of minutes or all the minutes on the pitch,” the No.6 told Liverpoolfc.com.

“I’m quite happy, so hopefully I can be much, much fitter in the next couple of games. I carried it [the injury] for a long time, to be honest, and hopefully it’s everything behind me so I can be 100 per cent again.”

Goals by Emerson and Eden Hazard completed a late turnaround for Chelsea after Daniel Sturridge had acrobatically put Liverpool ahead on the hour mark of Wednesday’s tie.

The Reds carved out a number of opportunities throughout the contest but were not at their clinical best, leaving the door ajar for Maurizio Sarri’s team to mount a fightback.

Lovren continued: “Obviously we had the game in our control. We scored and we played quite well, we had also a couple of big chances but we weren’t deadly enough today like these previous games.

“And then in the last 10 minutes they came back and unfortunately they scored a second goal and then we couldn’t come back again.”

Jürgen Klopp’s side have a chance to exorcise their frustrations quickly, though, when they travel to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday.

A weekend win over the Blues would ensure Liverpool remain top of the table by virtue of recording seven successive victories at the start of the top-flight season, and Lovren is anticipating an improved performance in west London.

“Maybe this is tonight like a warm-up for Saturday and so we know what we need to do better,” he said.

“When you look altogether, it’s the first time that we played like that, [there were] a lot of changes and it was looking quite well, until of course they scored a second goal… but we will take it. 

“On Saturday we have a big game against them and we will improve, definitely. I’m confident that we will do much, much better.”

Read Klopp's verdict on LFC's Carabao Cup exit>>

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Goalscorer Matip satisfied with a 'good step'

Sat, 22/09/2018 - 20:20

Joel Matip assessed his first start of the season as a ‘good step’ after scoring during Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Southampton.

The centre-back came in to the Reds’ side for Saturday’s Premier League match at Anfield, starting alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of Jürgen Klopp’s defence as Joe Gomez was named among the substitutes.

An assured defensive display was supplemented by Matip’s first home goal as a Liverpool player, as he guided a towering header from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner past Alex McCarthy to put the hosts 2-0 up in the first half.

Matip, who played the full 90 minutes, said post-match that he understood why Klopp had elected to partner Van Dijk and Gomez in each of the Reds’ previous six outings this season, all of which ended in victory.

However, the 27-year-old is hoping to get more minutes under his belt with Liverpool now to face Chelsea twice, Napoli and Manchester City during an 11-day spell that starts with a Carabao Cup tie against against Maurizio Sarri’s men on Wednesday.

Virgil van Dijk injury update>> 

“They [Van Dijk and Gomez] played the whole season well and there was no reason to change,” Matip told Liverpoolfc.com

“I was injured and still needed some time to get in and to be on a good level, but I am on a good way and this was a good step.

“I still need some time but I am on a good way and we have a lot of games, a lot of players, so I hope that I can also play a few games more.”

Despite the fact Klopp’s side set a new club record of seven-straight wins at the start of a campaign on Saturday, Matip saw room for improvement in terms of their performance.

He continued: “Today we had a few problems but we can still increase. We are on a good way and if we win everything is fine, but we know we have to get better and I am still positive.”

Klopp explains Shaqiri substitution and assesses the 3-0 win>>

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Jürgen Klopp explains Shaqiri substitution

Sat, 22/09/2018 - 20:08

Jürgen Klopp has explained the thinking behind his tactical approach to Liverpool's 3-0 victory over Southampton, which set a new club record.

Never before have the Reds won each of their opening seven fixtures in a season – a feat they achieved on Saturday as an own goal by Wesley Hoedt was added to by Joel Matip and Mohamed Salah.

Klopp had altered his attacking personnel and system at the outset of the Premier League clash but changed it at half-time, when James Milner replaced Xherdan Shaqiri.

After the game, the manager opened up on those decisions and reflected on a display that further extended Liverpool’s outstanding start to 2018-19.

Read on for a summary of his post-match press conference…

On the game…

It was good but you saw it needed to be because Southampton were not bad, they played good football. I had an idea and it didn’t work out 100 per cent. We changed system obviously to bring Shaq in a comfortable position. We wanted to make it a bit more difficult for Southampton to be really prepared for what we do. We knew the two tall boys in the centre would play so we thought to bring Mo there. Offensively, it was really good; defensively, we obviously weren’t used to it. We had the session yesterday and it was very strange – we couldn’t really go out because the real bad weather was over the city at our training time. We had around about 30 minutes with set-pieces included, which is very important because Southampton are really good with set-pieces. That we did that obviously helped because all three goals were around set-pieces.

On the other hand, that’s why I made the change. I said to Shaq at half-time that I had never brought a player off after such an influential time without an injury. He is not injured. But I wanted to control the game and go back to our normal formation. And that helped, we really controlled it. But still Southampton had their moments, they didn’t have big chances but they had their moments. We wanted to avoid that they could come through one or two times too often. We wanted to score of course; we were a bit unlucky in one or the other situations. It was probably offside with Mo. The first half with Mo was a bit unlucky with a nice situation, a good ball from Joel Matip. All round it was a good performance, very controlled in the second half and that’s how it should be.

On Shaqiri’s performance and the half-time change…

It was not easy, to be honest. It’s my job to sometimes deliver news nobody wants to hear. That’s how it was at half-time but he is a fantastic boy. I explained it to him so it’s no problem. Usually I don’t explain substitutions at half-time but I thought it made sense. It’s just good to have him; the free-kick was outstanding. That’s good. The whole team was not used to what we did today. As a new player, usually you struggle most but he didn’t – he tried everything. The only problem was defensively. Offensively, it was a good idea but, how I said, we have to work on that more often. But he was good and I liked it.

On the three first-half goals allowing for the switch…

That’s true but we would have done the same with 2-0, to be honest. That was the plan. We saw that we had a few problems. In the week you could see Gini Wijnaldum, good game but really hard now; Hendo’s second game in a row; Millie came on and I don’t think if you ask him that it felt like spring or something. It was hard work for him as well. Making six or seven changes today was never an option, we had to go through that game. That’s why I said it is the most important game. A few weeks ago you all told me there were very tough weeks and nobody thought about Southampton – that made the game a real challenge, apart from the quality of Southampton anyway. So, it’s a good sign that the team gave today again, scoring three, making set-pieces a proper threat is cool because they always help and defensively it was just good. All three centre-halves played fantastically, both full-backs played really well. All the others had to work really hard. I think it was another deserved three points.

On whether he’s surprised by Liverpool’s seven-game winning run…

Yes. I lost one time in my life seven games in a row and that felt different, to be honest. But then we won game No.8 5-0, which was very cool! Yes, it’s a surprise because of course you cannot expect it, but all performances we showed so far were at least good enough to win the games. All the different challenges with the different styles of the opponent, the boys were there. They were really in the situation and in the different games, so that’s good. But now the next one is coming on Wednesday and then coming again on Saturday and then again on the Wednesday. That’s now a really short week we have and then the period ends with a nice game against Man City! It will be tough, but for all of us, so that’s absolutely OK. It is better to win these games than draw them or lose them, but I am really sure we are mature enough to understand it in the right way.

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Liverpool 3-0 Southampton: Five talking points

Sat, 22/09/2018 - 19:43

History was made at Anfield on Saturday as Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0.

First-half strikes by Joel Matip and Mohamed Salah, both of which followed Wesley Hoedt’s 10th-minute own goal, ensured Jürgen Klopp’s side made it seven wins from seven matches so far this season - a feat never achieved before in the club’s exalted 126 years of existence.

Here are five talking points on the action in L4…

7-0-0

Tuesday’s thrilling midweek victory over Paris Saint-Germain saw the Reds’ current vintage equal the club’s previous best start to a campaign.

That was set way back in 1961-62, when Bill Shankly’s team won their opening six matches en route to being crowned champions of the Second Division.

Fifty-seven years on, that record was surpassed - leaving the 50,000 or so Liverpool fans present at Anfield on Saturday September 22, 2018, able to say they witnessed a landmark moment.

Shining Shaqiri

Klopp said before the game that Shaqiri’s ‘time will come’ in reference to the Swiss making his first start for Liverpool.

Well, that time was Saturday - and Shaqiri was bright as he flitted across the pitch from his starting position at the apex of the Reds’ midfield three throughout an impressive first half.

It was the 26-year-old’s enterprise that forced the opening goal, as he collected a perfectly-weighted pass from Sadio Mane down the inside-left channel before cutting in and shooting powerfully at goal.

Shaqiri’s attempt struck Shane Long before deflecting off Hoedt and into the net to give the hosts the early goal they craved. 

And he played a huge part in Salah’s strike on the stroke of half-time, too, as his curling free-kick from 25 yards crashed down off the underside of the crossbar, allowing the No.11 to race in and poke home the rebound.

Shaqiri was replaced by James Milner at the break, with Klopp explaining post-match that his decision was made for for tactical reasons.

"I said to Shaq at half-time that I had never brought a player off after such an influential time without an injury," said the boss.

"It was not easy, to be honest. It’s my job to sometimes deliver news nobody wants to hear. That’s how it was at half-time but he is a fantastic boy."

Goal Matip 

As a centre-back, Matip’s primary concern is keeping goals out at one end rather than scoring them at the other.

On the day of his first start of the season, though, he did both - helping Liverpool keep a clean sheet while also netting their second with a fine, arcing header from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner.

Matip led the way for the Reds in terms of regaining possession, which he did 11 times throughout the 90 minutes. The Cameroonian’s three interceptions were a team-high figure, too, as were his 112 passes.

Matip satisfied a with 'good step'>>

A new twist on a classic formula

Regular watchers of Liverpool will know that positional interchanging between Roberto Firmino, Mane and Salah is nothing new.

The Reds’ front three generally start games in the same areas of the pitch, though - with Firmino central, Mane left and Salah right - before fluidly switching throughout.

However, there was a noticeable change to that tried-and-tested formula in the first half on Saturday, as Salah began the game as Liverpool’s central striker with Firmino on the left and Mane on the right.

Klopp’s tactical tweak paid dividends, too, with Salah failing to convert two chances earned via slick interplay with Firmino before burying his third opportunity in first-half stoppage time.

The new approach was stuck to rigidly in the opening 45 minutes, with the normal service of free-flowing flexibility between the trio resuming after the interval.

Another Anfield shutout

Liverpool started the season by recording three successive clean sheets, before conceding four times in subsequent victories over Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and PSG.

So, a first shutout since the 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on August 25 will have pleased Klopp.

That it took Southampton until the 91st minute to register a shot on target - when Alisson Becker palmed away Charlie Austin’s attempt - is also plus point to take from a comfortable afternoon’s work for the Premier League leaders.

Klopp’s side have now kept seven consecutive clean sheets in home Premier League games, with Michail Antonio the last visiting player to score at Anfield in the top flight. That goal came in a 4-1 defeat for West Ham United back in February.

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LIVE: Liverpool v Southampton - follow the build up

Sat, 22/09/2018 - 12:10

Team news

Among the topics Klopp covered in his press conference was Roberto Firmino's fitness.

And it was good news on Liverpool's No.9, who is ready to start after being a substitute - a match-winning one at that - against PSG on Tuesday due to the eye injury he sustained at Wembley last week.

Daniel Sturridge scored and impressed against PSG and is in contention to start, while Klopp has assured Xherdan Shaqiri that his 'time will come' as the forward awaits his full Reds debut.

Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi are unavailable, though, while Dominic Solanke returned to training on Friday following a concussion.

For Southampton, top scorer Danny Ings is ineligible due to the terms of the initial loan agreement that took him from Anfield to St Mary's last month.

Manolo Gabbiadini is also a doubt due to a hamstring issue.

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Klopp on when Shaqiri will make full LFC debut

Sat, 22/09/2018 - 11:40

Jürgen Klopp has assured Xherdan Shaqiri that his ‘time will come’ as the forward awaits his full Liverpool debut.

Switzerland international Shaqiri has been restricted to three substitute appearances against West Ham United, Leicester City and Paris Saint-Germain so far this season.

However, Klopp acknowledged that the 26-year-old is pushing for his first start for the club ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Southampton at Anfield.

“He is very positive, not only from the performances but as a guy in the dressing room. Everyone loves Shaq, that is how it is - and without playing plenty of minutes,” the boss said.

“That is more my mistake than his. He has done everything to play. I made different decisions but his time will come, that is for sure.”

Liverpool v Southampton: Team news>>

This weekend’s game against the Saints is the Reds’ seventh of the campaign.

The previous six have all ended in victory, with Klopp citing ‘greed’, ‘aggression’ and, latterly, ‘reinvented defensive skills’ as key factors behind their perfect results to date in 2018-19.

“We don’t feel that [momentum] to be honest because we play, analyse, prepare; play, analyse, prepare and that is it,” the manager stated.

“Maybe it’s because all the jobs are so difficult. There is no game where we have thought: ‘Thank God we have played them.’ None of the results we have this season would have been possible without the greed you have seen or without the aggression you see. No chance.

“We didn’t win anything so far - not in the past and not this season - so let’s use the momentum and create a new momentum. We really want to be the ugliest team to play against. That is the plan, and to do it with good football players. 

“The best news I have had in the last two weeks is how we have changed or reinvented again our defensive skills. We didn’t need them too much in the first few games. It was not that we didn’t have to defend but they were different games. 

“Against Tottenham and Paris I loved how we did it. We still played good football and that was a really big step in the season so far.”

Klopp: Southampton game is all that matters to us>>

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Henderson: We're delighted Ings can't play today

Sat, 22/09/2018 - 09:00

Danny Ings isn’t eligible to face Liverpool at Anfield today due to the terms of his Southampton loan – and Jordan Henderson has explained why he sees it as good news for the Reds.

The striker moved to St Mary’s initially on a season-long deal on August’s transfer deadline day before the move becomes permanent next summer.

It means Ings will be forced to sit out a reunion with Liverpool this afternoon and Henderson feels it’s a boost for Jürgen Klopp’s side’s ambitions of clinching three points.

The captain wrote in his column for ‘This is Anfield’: “There’s no hiding the fact that we’re delighted Danny can’t play against us today at Anfield because for the first season of his move he’s on loan. I don’t mean that with any negativity – we’re delighted because we know his class better than most.

“When people in the game talk about Danny it’s always with positivity, but it’s quite often focused on what a great person he is and how fantastic his attitude is. Both of those things are correct – he is someone you fall in love with when you spend time with him and his courage and spirit is contagious. But people should not ignore his ability and talent. He is technically superb and extremely clever.

“Danny’s Liverpool story didn’t materialise as he ultimately would have hoped, but when he told us he was going to leave during the summer window and join Southampton it was always going to be a case of starting a new story and kicking on.

“Like everyone in our dressing room I was chuffed Danny got the move he wanted. I’ve been lucky enough to represent my home town team previously so I know what it means. Southampton is Danny’s home – it is his club and it means every goal he scores and every point he helps to win will mean even more.

“It’s been brilliant seeing him hit the ground running and making an immediate impact. There’s no doubt that he’s going to score goals and become a big hero and there will be no bigger cheers for every goal he bags than in our dressing room.”

Pick up your copy of 'This is Anfield' at the stadium this afternoon, or subscribe online by clicking here.

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Liverpool FC launches new partnership with TigerWit

Mon, 17/09/2018 - 10:58

Liverpool FC has welcomed UK-headquartered global financial technology company TigerWit Limited as its new official online foreign exchange trading partner.

The global partnership will focus on driving forward technological development throughout the UK, Europe and Asia, where the Reds have vast numbers of fans, providing TigerWit with a high-profile opportunity to increase its brand recognition and visibility and drive downloads of its innovative new trading app, developed with blockchain-based settlement technology.

It will also benefit from club hospitality and matchday sponsorship as it uses the partnership to raise brand awareness in its target markets.

First-team players Naby Keita, Alisson Becker and Georginio Wijnaldum will feature in a TV commercial which is due to launch today.

Billy Hogan, managing director and chief commercial officer at LFC, said: “We are very happy to add TigerWit as our newest club partner and our official online foreign exchange trading partner.

“Our worldwide following will generate global exposure for TigerWit, whilst their core markets of the UK, Europe and Asia each have tremendous numbers of Liverpool FC supporters.

“Through this new partnership with TigerWit, we look forward to marketing activations, which help offer our fans activities and experiences to bring them even closer to the club.”

TigerWit CEO, Tim Hughes, said: “Today is a proud day for TigerWit, we are launching our innovative blockchain-based trading app and partnering with Liverpool FC.

“TigerWit believes in a market that does not discriminate or play favourites. We have developed a pioneering blockchain-based settlement system that instils trust by delivering greater security and process efficiency. Trading should be, and can be, more transparent and fair for all traders, regardless of experience or the size of their account.”

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Watch Klopp's pre-PSG press conference live

Mon, 17/09/2018 - 08:00

Jürgen Klopp will hold his first Champions League press conference of the season at Anfield on Monday - watch it live and free from 2pm BST.

The Liverpool boss is to address the media ahead of his side's Group C opener against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

You can watch Klopp's briefing in full via our official YouTube channel. Simply return to this page at 2pm BST to tune in.

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FaceTime, friendship and a phenom - LFC quotes of the week

Sun, 16/09/2018 - 18:23

A congratulatory call, a friendship test and a phenom feature in our latest weekly round-up of LFC quotes...

“When I saw Robbo was made captain of Scotland, I was very happy for him. I FaceTimed him and congratulated him! It’s something special - not only for yourself, but also for your family - and the hard work you’ve put in since day one. It’s very special.”

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk reveals how he sent his best wishes to Andy Robertson after his Liverpool teammate was appointed Scotland's new skipper.

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“It can’t be Alicia Keys!” 

The words of an incredulous Trent Alexander-Arnold during the latest edition of 'Bezzies', which he starred in alongside Jordan Henderson.

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“Some of the football we’ve been playing over the past year or so, if not longer, is right up there with the best teams I’ve ever been involved in really - if not the best.”

Captain Henderson, meanwhile, feels the Reds can take the 'final step' by winning silverware this season.

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“Playing in the Premier League can be difficult, but I am very motivated to play here, not just for myself and my teammates, but for the club. Everybody around me has been very supportive towards me so I am certainly giving everything I can to get settled into the team quickly.”

Naby Keita outlines his ambitions to get into the groove of being a Liverpool player as quickly as possible.

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“Let me say, it was the best game of the season for us for sure.”

Saturday's 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley left Jürgen Klopp satisfied.

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“It was just a scare, my eye is ok and so am I. Thank you for all the support and see you soon #YNWA”

Roberto Firmino, who scored against Spurs before being forced off with an eye injury, allays any fears of serious damage on Instagram.

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“Solid day at Wembley with the phenom @trentarnold98. Sky's the limit my man!”

NBA superstar Stephen Curry receives his very own Liverpool shirt from Alexander-Arnold following the win over Tottenham.

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“We know that Anfield is one of the toughest trips in Europe... it will be a big test for us.”

Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel looks ahead to Tuesday's Champions League Group C opener at Anfield.

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