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'Liverpool must learn from loss'

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - 55 min 55 sec ago

Last Updated: 14/12/17 5:54pm

Liverpool lost 4-3 at Bournemouth last DecemberLiverpool lost 4-3 at Bournemouth last December Liverpool lost 4-3 at Bournemouth last December

Ahead of Liverpool's Super Sunday return to the Vitality Stadium, Phil Thompson suggests last season's shock comeback defeat to Bournemouth epitomised a key flaw for the Reds.

Bournemouth came from three goals down in the final 15 minutes to win 4-3 and put a significant dent in their visitors' title challenge last December, preventing Liverpool from moving a point behind leaders Chelsea after 14 games.

Jurgen Klopp's men went on to finish 17 points behind the champions after dropping 18 points from winning positions and conceding 42 times.

They return to Bournemouth this weekend having dropped points to Watford and Chelsea via late goals this season, while a 3-3 draw at Sevilla after leading 3-0 in a Champions League group game was a worrying collapse.

Naturally, Soccer Saturday pundit Thompson hopes his former club have learnt the lessons of that defeat as they look to get back on track following successive Premier League stalemates with Everton and West Brom.

He told Sky Sports: "That game epitomised everything that went wrong last season. I remember getting a text off Paul Merson saying Liverpool looked like the Harlem Globetrotters, but I was aware, with our vulnerabilities, it was too early to start celebrating.

Phil Thompson says Liverpool must show discipline late on in gamesPhil Thompson says Liverpool must show discipline late on in games Phil Thompson says Liverpool must show discipline late on in games

"Then when it went to 3-2 I got a bit anxious. In these tight grounds you can really whip up a big atmosphere and suddenly put on a lot of pressure without much possession.

"We were very delicate at the time and it was probably the big let down of the season, so we owe these lot after what happened.

"That must be in the minds of the players, to learn from what happened, keep concentration and counter-attack better, although they have more attacking options this time with Jermain Defoe, along with Josh King and Callum Wilson."

This season, the Reds have dropped the fifth-highest amount of points from winning positions in the Premier League, the same rank they held at the end of the previous campaign, and Thompson believes the problem is a mix of Klopp's relentless attacking mentality and the offensively-minded squad.

Nathan Ake secured a famous win following Loris Karius' errorNathan Ake secured a famous win following Loris Karius' error Nathan Ake secured a famous win following Loris Karius' error

"I supposed there's a bit in Klopp's inability to adjust tactics, to see games out with the right personnel, but at the same time the attacking talent is our strength," said Thompson.

"With that strength comes an offensive mentality, whereas when Jose Mourinho gets in front he's not frightened to put Marouane Fellaini on to help them defend set-pieces.

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"It is also about that lack of options, with Jordan Henderson relied upon to be our holding midfielder. What I'd like to see is him bring James Milner in to offer a bit more strength in that role.

"Emre Can likes to run with the ball which brings him out of position, as does Georginio Wijnaldum, so they need to show more discipline in those areas at certain points of the games.

"Klopp is like Pep Guardiola in believing in the principle to continue to attack. Jurgen believes in what he does and when you look at our home versus away record there's a big difference.

"For all the negativity, Liverpool have only lost two games, so it is the draws which we need to convert to wins in the battle for the top four."

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Match preview: U23s ready for 2017 PL 2 finale against Swansea

LiverpoolFC TV - 2 hours 35 min ago
Liverpool U23s host Swansea City in their final Premier League 2 game of the year at the Academy on Friday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Match preview: U23s ready for 2017 PL 2 finale against Swansea

LiverpoolFC.TV - 2 hours 35 min ago

Liverpool U23s host Swansea City in their final Premier League 2 game of the year at the Academy on Friday.

Neil Critchley's side had their lead at the top of the division cut to six points after second-placed Leicester City beat Everton earlier this week.

The young Reds have enjoyed an outstanding campaign in PL2 so far and they will be looking to end 2017 on a high with another three points. Swansea are in seventh place in the 12-team division.

Critchley's side face PSV Eindhoven in the Premier League International Cup in their final outing of 2017 on Tuesday night, but ahead of that clash they hope to continue their impressive form in Premier League 2 against the Welsh outfit.

Ahead of Friday's encounter in Kirkby, here is our match preview...

Where is the game being played? The game is taking place at the Academy, with kick-off set for 12.30pm GMT.

How can I watch the game? We will have highlights avaiable on LFCTV and LFCTV GO. Click here to find out more.

Last meeting: In their opening PL2 fixture of 2017-18 Liverpool won 2-0 at Swansea. Danny Ings marked his comeback with a goal and Yan Dhanda was also on the mark.

View from the manager, Neil Critchley

"It doesn't seem two minutes ago when we played Swansea City in our very first game of the season away. We performed really well that night and we come into this game on the back of a really good performance last Sunday against Sunderland.

"Swansea City are on a decent run themselves so we are expecting a tough game as always. No two games are the same as we know, so we would be foolish to think we can just turn up on Friday and expect something similar to Sunderland.

"This is the first time this season we will playing a home game at the Academy. It's a great environment to play in and we are looking forward to playing on our home patch on Friday.

"On Wednesday it was announced that our U23s captain Corey Whelan had signed a new deal. It's fantastic news for Corey and we are all made up for him.

"He will realise he has been rewarded for all the hard work and effort that he has put in, but he also knows there is plenty of hard work to come. What's good about Corey is he is really level headed, he doesn't get carried away by things in football, so he will just knuckle down and continue to work hard."

Categories: LFC NEWS

An Evening with Rush and Fowler: Tickets on sale now

LiverpoolFC TV - 3 hours 53 min ago
Liverpool FC are offering fans a fantastic opportunity to attend 'An evening with Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler' - with tickets for the event at the St George’s Hall Concert Room available now.
Categories: LFC NEWS

An Evening with Rush and Fowler: Tickets on sale now

LiverpoolFC.TV - 3 hours 53 min ago

Liverpool FC are offering fans a fantastic opportunity to attend 'An evening with Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler' - with tickets for the event at the St George’s Hall Concert Room available now.

The legendary strike duo will be at the iconic venue in Liverpool city centre on Friday February 16, with the event getting under way at 6.30pm GMT.

The evening will include entertainment from Rush and Fowler as they recall their most memorable moments in the red shirt and take part in an audience Q&A, while attendees will also have the chance win signed LFC memorabilia.

Standard tickets are available now from £35 and VIP tickets are also available for £59, with VIPs enjoying the opportunity to meet Rush and Fowler and have their photo taken with two of the finest forwards to ever play for the club.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Tonight: Andy Robertson stars on LFC Later

LiverpoolFC TV - 4 hours 42 min ago
Andy Robertson is the star of the show in the latest episode of 'LFC Later', which airs on LFCTV at 9pm GMT on Thursday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Tonight: Andy Robertson stars on LFC Later

LiverpoolFC.TV - 4 hours 42 min ago

Andy Robertson is the star of the show in the latest episode of 'LFC Later', which airs on LFCTV at 9pm GMT on Thursday.

The left-back is joined by fellow Scot and Kop favourite Gary McAllister to discuss bouncing back from successive draws, his start to life at Liverpool and much more - including his nomination for the titles of biggest moaner and joker in the Reds' squad - with hosts Peter McDowall and Sam Quek.

Plus, we'll hear Martin Tyler's verdict on Robertson's voice-over skills after he recently joined Jon Flanagan to provide 'alternative commentary' on last season's home derby win over Everton - which you can watch again below.

[embedded content]

The latest episode of 'LFC Later' will premiere on LFCTV at 9pm GMT tonight. It will be repeated regularly throughout the week and will also be available on demand on LFCTV GO.

Click here for details on how to sign up for either service.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Red Neighbours brings festive cheer to local pensioners

LiverpoolFC TV - 4 hours 44 min ago
LFC's Red Neighbours programme held two special Christmas events at Anfield this week to celebrate the festive season with hundreds of local residents.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Red Neighbours brings festive cheer to local pensioners

LiverpoolFC.TV - 4 hours 44 min ago

LFC's Red Neighbours programme held two special Christmas events at Anfield this week to celebrate the festive season with hundreds of local residents.

Four-hundred-and-fifty pensioners were invited to the parties through the club’s community programme, who linked up with Merseyside Police, local councillors and a variety of social housing and community groups in a bid to tackle social isolation during the Christmas period.

Reds legends Ian Rush and Gary McAllister and club CEO Peter Moore also joined the celebrations, chatting to the guests and taking part in a lively festive sing-a-long.

During the winter months, the main focus of the Red Neighbours team is the issue of social isolation, with many events and activities taking place in the local community to combat loneliness and seclusion among residents.

Here are a selection of photographs from this week's festivities...

For more information on Red Neighbours, follow @Red_Neighbours on Twitter.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Ref Watch: Solanke call correct

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - 6 hours 15 min ago

Last Updated: 14/12/17 4:00pm

Referee Paul Tierney disallowed Dominic Solanke's goalReferee Paul Tierney disallowed Dominic Solanke's goal Referee Paul Tierney disallowed Dominic Solanke's goal

Should Dominic Solanke's disallowed goal have stood against West Brom? Dermot Gallagher has his say in this week's Ref Watch.

Solanke's late goal was ruled out for handball as Liverpool were left frustrated again in their goalless draw with West Brom.

What did Dermot make of it?

Read on to see his verdict on the week's biggest incidents and if they were handled properly by the officials...

Liverpool 0-0 West Brom

INCIDENT:Solanke looked to have bundled home a winner on 82 minutes with a slight touch off his hand from close range after Joe Gomez's cross.

Was Solanke's handball deliberate? Was Solanke's handball deliberate?

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct call.

DERMOT SAYS: It did go off his arm and go in. There's no doubt about that because it changes direction. I think the problem for referees is the moral dilemma that it isn't acceptable to score with the hand or the arm. It just doesn't sit right.

I use the term 'moral dilemma' because in law a handball has to be deliberate, but it doesn't sit right for it to go in off the hand and it doesn't look right. It's not permissible to score with the hand anyway in law, so you are covered in that department. It has gone in off his arm, whether he likes it or not. It has flicked up and it's quite clear that it goes in off his arm because it changes direction. I don't think the referee has got any other choice but to disallow the goal.

That just shows how difficult it is to be a referee because one manager says he's very brave and one manager says he's incorrect. I think, and most other football supporters and referees would think, he's got that absolutely right.

Manchester United 1-0 Bournemouth

INCIDENT: Romelu Lukaku scores Manchester United's winning goal but did Anthony Martial foul Adam Smith in the build up?

Did Martial foul Smith? Did Martial foul Smith?

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct call.

DERMOT SAYS: This is an interesting one because the referee plays advantage, so I think he's saying Smith tried to block Martial off. When the player was on the floor my first reaction was whether the referee was going to stop it for a head injury - but when the ball went in the player was up I think the referee judged that Smith was actually the person that committed the foul and I think he's right. He says Smith has gone to block him off and Martial has run into him.

INCIDENT: Junior Stanislas avoids receiving a card for a studs-up challenge on Manchester United defender Luke Saw.

Was Stanislas reckless on Shaw? Was Stanislas reckless on Shaw?

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Red card.

DERMOT SAYS: I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd been sent off. It's the height and the fact it's a stretched leg. What I would say is that it's a minimum yellow card and yet he didn't get any punishment at all whatsoever. It's gone from one extreme to the other. On that tackle, it had to be a yellow card if the referee felt the tackle was dangerous and only he would know the force he's gone through with. Only the referee can judge if that was serious foul play. Once you blow you have to judge whether it's careless, reckless or seriously endangering the safety of another player. I would say that's at least in the middle band.

INCIDENT: Eddie Howe thought Romelu Lukaku should have been sent off for two bookable offences for challenges on Nathan Ake and Harry Arter.

Did Lukaku escape a red card? Did Lukaku escape a red card?

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Only a booking.

DERMOT SAYS: He shouldn't have been sent off because it's the wrong way round. The only time you can criticise a referee is if he gives a yellow card and then fails to give a second yellow card. Because he didn't give the first yellow card, all he has done is affected the play. If he saw the first tackle on Ake like we've seen it on television then he would have given a yellow card. He hasn't seen the angle we've got. Lukaku's body shielded him when he went into the tackle and Ake got up so quickly it would have told the referee, the ball was just running out of play.

Newcastle 0-1 Everton

INCIDENT: Jonjo Shelvey is dismissed for two yellow cards - his second sending off of the season already.

Did Shelvey deserve his second yellow card? Did Shelvey deserve his second yellow card?

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct call.

DERMOT SAYS: There's no need to make the first tackle - the Everton play has got lots of space to run into. The second one is also a yellow card any day of the week. There's nothing I can say to defend him.

Hibernian 1-2 Rangers

INCIDENT: Neil Lennon hit out at referee Kevin Clancy for denying his Hibernian side a "blatant" penalty on Wednesday when Rangers substitute David Bates appeared to get away with handball inside the box 15 minutes from time.

Neil Lennon hit out at referee Kevin Clancy when Rangers substitute David Bates appeared to get away with handball inside the box. Neil Lennon hit out at referee Kevin Clancy when Rangers substitute David Bates appeared to get away with handball inside the box.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Wrong decision.

DERMOT SAYS: The face he leans in, it's a penalty. The only mitigating circumstances is the position of the referee - can the assistant help? It looks an easy penalty to give but that's the unfortunate thing about being a referee, you don't always have that brilliant position to see an incident. The amount of times when you say 'if only I moved to there or stood there' but in the natural flow of play it's not always possible.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool left frustrated as Jurgen Klopp’s Christmas operation stalls against West Brom

ThisIsAnfield.com - 7 hours 5 min ago

Two more points dropped, Christmas is coming, and this is where the ‘fun and games’ really start. Quite obviously, Steven Scragg decided to take a look at the parallels between Liverpool and some classic kids games.


Let’s pull no punches, that was the most forgettable game of football we’ve played, well, since the last game we’ve all opted to forget.

This felt different to Sunday’s draw.

On Sunday, against a defensive team, we scored one and created two other decent openings. Had we been 3-0 up after 50 minutes then nobody could have offered a compelling argument against it.

Up until the gift of a penalty, it was largely a textbook example in how to work your way around a team who set out to stifle.

West Brom was another matter entirely.

Frustration

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That old favourite. The dice, cocooned within their plastic orb, which you have to press down to provoke your allotted number of moves.

The plastic pieces representing the players.

Bombing along, hitting five and six with consummate ease. Making up ground on your rivals, and eventually leapfrogging a few of them. What fun.

But then you hit a patch when you slow down, almost as if in slow motion. You have a run of rolling a one. Those you have passed catch you up once more, maybe even go past you.

The competitor who should be nowhere near the front few places suddenly sneaks beyond you too.

It’s called Frustration for a very good reason.

Just when you think you have everything worked out, the wheels start to wobble once again, and you’re in danger of being lapped by the runaway leader.

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite fielding all four of the Coutinho, Firmino, Salah and Mane quartet, we struck the image of a team who had other things on its mind.

A team who fancied being somewhere else. A team who wasn’t too issued that thousands of fans had come away from warm homes, to sit in the cold, in the name of footballing entertainment.

By the time the drive to win kicked in, the evening had run away from us.

The overall vibe they omitted of ‘we can’t be arsed with this tonight’ was added to by dashes of a lack of luck and some unashamed time-wasting from our opponents, plus a big serving of pedantic refereeing.

Throw on top of that Dominic Solanke’s disallowed goal, which rightly or wrongly was going to be given by the linesman, and it all made for an evening of rich annoyance.

How frustrating.

Kerplunk

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lots of balls in a chamber, suspended thanks to a criss-cross of plastic sticks which are sharp enough to take your eye out. Remove the sticks one-by-one without the balls dropping through.

Wholly representative of trying to get the ball past West Brom’s blanket defence and midfield.

Aside from a clever move that Roberto Firmino got on the end of, which would have been one of the goals of the season had he managed to convert it, we created nowhere near enough convincing efforts at goal.

Twister

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Right hand green; left foot blue. Right foot yellow; left hand red.

All fall down, and reach for the first-aid kit.

Loris Karius playing came as a surprise. The mat had clearly slipped on the polished dressing-room floor during the pre-match Twister session between the two ‘keepers.

There are more Twister injuries over the Christmas period than all other games combined.

Buckaroo

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp looks dejected after the goal-less draw during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Place an increasing number of items on a plastic donkey until the weight differential shifts and the rear end of the mule kicks up, scattering said items everywhere and emotionally scarring sensitive children for life.

An analogy for squad rotation perhaps?

Put an increasing number of items out on to the pitch with each passing week, and cohesion starts to creak a little?

The rear end of the season kicks up, scattering hopes of success everywhere, and emotionally scarring sensitive supporters for life.

Operation

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius makes a save during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A peculiar character with an enlarged nose requires an extensive operational procedure. He is beset with issues of static, and buzzes incessantly if your surgical skills aren’t steady enough.

In testing times, a steady hand is required.

Jurgen Klopp needs to move swiftly but precisely to get his team up and running again.

Some people suggest that we have a squad which still needs some serious reconstructing. They feel it needs to go back to the operating table, and the January transfer window is opening soon.

We’ve reached a point where the midfield seems more problematic than the defence.

A central defender of immense purpose is undeniably required, yet I know, from my point of view, I’ve felt considerably less nervous about our defence of late.

It’s a concept which has crept up on me, with the silence and style of a seasoned ninja.

Against West Brom, we faced a few corners when my shoulders didn’t automatically seize up. No signs of hyperventilating either.

Strange occurrence.

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum and West Bromwich Albion's Grzegorz Krychowiak during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The midfield is another matter however.

The ‘should I stay, or should I go?’ stasis in which Emre Can is suspended does him no on-pitch favours.

While Georginio Wijnaldum can ‘get away’ with blending into the wallpaper when we’re playing with freedom and scoring large quantities of goals, but will be accused of being anonymous on nights like the one against West Brom.

The Jordan Henderson quandary will never be reconciled, while the future of Philippe Coutinho is likely to be away from Anfield.

Adam Lallana is in danger of becoming the new Nick Barmby.

Yes, Naby Keita is to come, but it will take more than that to settle the current midfield swirl at Anfield.

Next Up

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Bournemouth and Arsenal away.

Last season, these games offered some of the best and worst examples of our positive and negative extremes.

A couple of pedestrian and uneventful 2-0 wins will do nicely please.

As if. I’m off to dig out the Subbuteo.

Categories: LFC NEWS

U18s to host Arsenal in Youth Cup fourth round

LiverpoolFC TV - 7 hours 11 min ago
Liverpool U18s will host Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup.
Categories: LFC NEWS

U18s to host Arsenal in Youth Cup fourth round

LiverpoolFC.TV - 7 hours 11 min ago

Liverpool U18s will host Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup.

Steven Gerrard's side, who remain unbeaten this season, secured their place in the draw for the next stage of the competition with a 5-1 victory over Hartlepool United on Wednesday night.

No date or venue has yet been set for the clash with the Gunners, but the tie must be played by January 20, 2018.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Dominic Solanke rues “annoying” disallowed goal but takes heart from latest Liverpool chance

ThisIsAnfield.com - 7 hours 35 min ago

Dominic Solanke may have been denied his first goal for Liverpool but the disappointment has spurred him on as he knows he will get more chances.


Seven minutes from time in the goalless draw at home to West Brom the England U20 World Cup winner had the ball in the net at the Kop end only for it to be disallowed after referee Paul Tierney, having initially pointed to the centre circle, chalked it off following consultation with his assistant.

The linesman had spotted the ball had gone in off the youngster’s arm, capping a frustrating night which saw Liverpool drop two points at home for the second time in four days, meaning they could not regain their top-four spot.

“It went onto my chest, I tried to chest it in and it has clipped my arm. The referee disallowed it but it’s very unlucky,” he said.

“I thought he had given it as well. I was celebrating. I don’t know what changed his mind but he changed his mind.

“I thought I had won it; it’s not nice when you are celebrating and it gets disallowed.

“It was annoying but hopefully I will get a goal soon and carry on from there.”

It means Solanke is still searching for his first goal since a summer arrival from Chelsea, with his transfer fee yet to be decided by a tribunal, but he is not disheartened.

He has already made 14 first-team appearances, including two Premier League starts, having featured just once in three years at Chelsea, and Klopp has already shown he is prepared to give the 20-year-old chances.

“He has made me feel welcome, he has showed a lot of faith in me and played me in some important games,” he added.

“He always gives me feedback and tells me if I think I should be doing something better which you want from a manager. It is criticism and praise, it helps me a lot.

“The manager has a lot of faith in the young players so it’s a good place to be.”

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Solanke started the game on the bench as Klopp restored the ‘Fab Four’ of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho—an attacking quartet West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster believes is only rivalled by Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders.

“They are scary at times. They are up there with Man City in terms of the pace and quality they have up front,” he told Press Association Sport.

“There are times when they are breaking on you and there are two, three, four runners going off at all angles and speeds, and you’re thinking, especially as a goalie, ‘Oh, here we go’.

“When we saw the team sheet and they had the big ones up front, to come away with a clean sheet is no mean feat.

“There will be a lot of teams who cost a lot more money and on bigger wages than us that come away having conceded quite a few goals.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool face ‘battle with Man City ‘in January pursuit of Virgil van Dijk

ThisIsAnfield.com - 8 hours 17 min ago

Liverpool will reportedly face competition from Premier League leaders Man City as they bid to sign Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk in January.


The Reds were stifled in their attempts to lure Van Dijk to Anfield in the summer, withdrawing their interest after threat of a Premier League investigation.

Van Dijk handed in a transfer request in the final weeks of the transfer window, but ultimately remained at St Mary’s, and has made 11 appearances so far this season.

But Liverpool are expected to make a renewed bid to sign the Dutchman next month, as Jurgen Klopp‘s porous defence continues to undermine their momentum.

According to Goal, City are also in the hunt for the 26-year-old, with Pep Guardiola making the addition of a new centre-back his priority.

This comes after City’s own failed attempt to sign Van Dijk ahead of 2017/18, while moves for Jonny Evans, Leonardo Bonucci and Inigo Martinez also fell flat.

Martinez is Guardiola’s other target in the new year, but “Van Dijk is the preferred option,” with an enquiry likely “in the coming weeks.”

However, the Reds may be buoyed by City’s “concerns regarding how he would react if he does not play regularly once Kompany, Stones and Nicolas Otamendi are all fit.”

This could prompt Guardiola to opt for the less high-profile option in Martinez, who would also be considerably cheaper at £28.12 million.

 Southampton's Virgil Van Dijk during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool themselves have few alternatives to the former Celtic defender, with West Brom‘s Ahmed Hegazi the only other centre-back convincingly linked with a move to Merseyside of late.

Given the Baggies have an option to sign Hegazi on a permanent deal, and no other clubs can weigh in on negotiations, this once again narrows the Reds’ candidates down to one.

They were willing to pay a world-record fee to sign Van Dijk in the summer, but with Southampton not looking to part ways with another of their key players, this proved futile.

However, Van Dijk’s waning popularity on the south coast, and the performances of the likes of Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens in his stead earlier in the season, could tempt the Saints to part ways.

Klopp has struggled to establish a consistent centre-back pairing so far this term, with Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren both struggling with injuries.

This has seen third-choice option Ragnar Klavan make 13 appearances already, with Joe Gomez otherwise occupied as deputy right-back.

Liverpool can be expected to go big on Van Dijk again in January, and the hope will be that they can fend off City and secure a deal this time around.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Developing over-reliance on ‘Fab Four’ shown in “ponderous” performance – Media on Liverpool 0-0 West Brom

ThisIsAnfield.com - 8 hours 59 min ago

The media felt Liverpool underperformed and showed signs of becoming over-reliant on the ‘Fab Four’ and derailed by rotation against West Brom.


It was another frustrating Anfield outing for the Reds who dropped crucial points to struggling visitors for the second game running.

Another poor refereeing decision once again proved the deciding factor, as Dominic Solanke saw what he thought was a late winner and first Liverpool goal harshly disallowed for handball.

Instead the Baggies held on for a point, as Klopp’s sided lost another golden opportunity to claim what should have been a certain three points, dropping out of the top four as a result.

Here’s how the media assessed a hugely frustrating night at Anfield.

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Reporters discussed the impact of the poor draw on Liverpool’s progress and position…

The Liverpool Echo’s Andy Kelly assessed it as a “damaging result” which increases the pressure on upcoming games:

“Which all goes only to show only that this was a pretty damaging result for Liverpool with tough trips to Bournemouth and Arsenal on the horizon.”

The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe feels the Reds are drawing too many games, and these are derailing momentum at key moments:

“Liverpool extended their unbeaten run to 11 games, but keep losing momentum with ill-timed draws.”

Taking a more positive outlook, Melissa Reddy, for Goal, put the recent results down to simple errors and referee decisions rather than any bigger and more worrying issues:

“[Klopp] will also know the back-to-back draws are a product of poor decision making in the final third and two big officiating calls rather than an issue of quality or any other deeper-lying problems.”

Meanwhile, the Mirror’s David Maddock was among numerous journalists who pondered whether Klopp’s constant rotation is disrupting on-pitch momentum:

“But this result following so swiftly on from the disappointment against Everton, does beg the question whether 65 changes to his Premier League starting lineup so far—and that extreme juggling in the past week—has halted Liverpool’s momentum.”

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The media were unimpressed with various aspects of the Reds’ performance…

First of all, Bascombe felt Liverpool looked a tired team, and suggested Klopp’s side are “feeling the effects of their schedule”:

“They have now dropped out of the Champions League places behind Tottenham, and for the first time they did look to be feeling the effects of their schedule.”

The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce thought the Reds’ buildup was “far too ponderous” which made life easy for the Baggies:

“For the most part, the Reds’ buildup play was far too ponderous. They allowed the Baggies to get organised. It needed to be slicker and quicker.”

Maddock felt Liverpool were “too hesitant” in and around the West Brom box:

“There was too much confused thinking in their approach play, and too much hesitancy when they found themselves in the positions to hurt opponents who are struggling at the foot of the table.”

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum and West Bromwich Albion's Grzegorz Krychowiak during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pearce was particularly critical of the “lack of creativity and composure” in the middle of the park:

“There was an alarming lack of creativity and composure in midfield as the central axis of Can and Wijnaldum failed to fire.”

Meanwhile, the Mail’s Dominic King felt too many Reds turned in below-par performances:

“Too many, most notably Mane, were short of the required standard.”

And This Is Anfield’s Karl Matchett bemoaned Liverpool’s lack of late goals this season, noting how it’s a key factor Klopp’s side need to rediscover:

“From the 80th minute onward, the Reds have scored precisely zero goals this season which directly affect the overall match result.

[…]

“It’s a trait the team needs to rediscover, how to push that extra yard, commit the extra body forward or try something different to the preceding 89
minutes.”

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Journalists commented on an off night for the ‘Fab Four’, and discussed a worrying overreliance on the quartet…

Firstly, King was baffled as to why Klopp selected the quartet against West Brom but not for the Merseyside derby:

“While it was not quite as contrary as the time Rafa Benitez picked 99 consecutive different Liverpool teams then named an unchanged side for the 100th match, it was a little incongruous to see Salah, Mane, Firmino and Coutinho line up for duty on a mundane night such as this.

West Brom, remember, arrived here winless since August 22, so why select this particular quartet now when he Klopp felt they were not needed for occasions like a showdown with Chelsea at Anfield or the Merseyside derby?”

Kelly felt the game showed that the same four players can’t be expected to produce the goods every single game:

“Maybe we shouldn’t expect them to produce it every game. In fact we definitely can’t expect them to produce it every game.

[…]

“That normal fluidity between the front four wasn’t there and it was no surprise when Mane made way for Solanke.”

ESPN’s Steven Kelly noted how Liverpool are becoming reliant on the foursome and how none of the “support cast” stepped up:

“If their main stars fail to catch fire all at once, there’s little Liverpool’s supporting cast can do to rescue the situation. Usually somebody comes to the fore but on Wednesday everybody failed to turn up.”

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Matchett pointed out how Liverpool depend on Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in particular:

“Back they came against an equally unadventurous West Brom, and having seen them struggle to break the away side down, it has to be remembered that the Brazilian duo aren’t a guarantee of points.

[…]

“But it takes a lot more than just two players to break down the type of side who will come to Anfield and sit for a point, even if they are Selecao internationals.”

Finally, This Is Anfield’s James Nalton assessed Sadio Mane struggled the most out of the four on the night:

“Looks rusty, as if he’s working his way back from injury, when he really should be firing on all cylinders.

“His pace was still a threat, but tonight he didn’t have any luck, and his sloppy play meant he couldn’t make any for himself.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Arsenal v Liverpool: Late ticket availability

LiverpoolFC TV - 8 hours 59 min ago
Liverpool FC have released the following update regarding away ticket sales for the Premier League match against Arsenal on Friday December 22.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Arsenal v Liverpool: Late ticket availability

LiverpoolFC.TV - 8 hours 59 min ago

Liverpool FC have released the following update regarding away ticket sales for the Premier League match against Arsenal on Friday December 22.

A limited number of returned tickets will be available online only to season ticket holders, official Members and Fan Card holders based on attendance at Premier League away fixtures during season 2016-17 on the following days:

Attendance at 9+ games: From 11am GMT until 1.45pm on Friday December 15.

Only in the event that tickets remain, sales will then take place in the following order on a first come, first served basis. Ticket availability is limited and we cannot guarantee that all of the advertised sales below will take place.

Attendance at 8+ games: From 2pm GMT on Friday December 15 until 10.45am on Monday December 18.

Attendance at 7+ games: From 11am GMT on Monday December 18.

Click here for a step-by-step guide to purchasing tickets online.

For further information before travelling, please click here.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 0-0 West Brom - Fab Four Fire Blanks As LFC Held At Anfield

Anfield Index.com - 9 hours 26 min ago

Liverpool were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw with West Brom as once again controversial decision-making from the officials was at the heart of the action. Whilst Liverpool were nowhere near good enough on the night, there was once again a feeling that the officials robbed the Reds of two points.

Things started slowly and never really picked up. There was absolutely nothing from Liverpool in the opening fifteen minutes until Mo Salah picked up the ball and played a wonderful pass to Firmino, who couldn’t squeeze it in from a narrow angle.

West Brom had scarce attacking opportunities in the first half but scared the home side when Robson-Kanu’s dipping effort from range came back off the top of the bar. This seemed to spur Liverpool on a bit, as Trent nearly picked out Salah for an open goal, Coutinho’s cross-field pass would have set Mané away but for a poor touch and Firmino and Salah had shots inside the box blocked.

But as a lacklustre half came to an end, the Baggies threatened again as the game began again, testing Karius twice in a minute from a freak free-kick from Krychowiak before Yacob headed goalwards from the resulting corner.

But from there it was all Liverpool, as they huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the house down. Mané, Salah and Firmino all had excellent chances to score; none of them hit the target, or in Firmino’s case even get a shot off. The excellent Alexander-Arnold continued to threaten but the ball didn’t drop for the Reds. The best example of that was when Ben Foster made an absolute howler, dropping his own punch right to Gini Wijnaldum, who couldn’t get a clean connection in the six-yard box.

But as Klopp threw on Ox and Solanke to change the game, the controversy took over. The cross came in and the defender turned the ball off Solanke’s chest onto his arm from a yard out. The ball ended up in the net, but the ref belatedly ruled it as handball. It looked incredibly harsh.

There was time for Solanke to make amends, as Foster rushed out to deny Oxlade-Chamberlain and the ball dropped at his feet, but his shot was weak and cleared off the line. More frustration, to top off a night of perfect frustration for the Reds.

On the bright side, the Reds are only out of the top four on goal difference, level on points with Spurs and ahead of Arsenal. On the downside, they should be four points better off, level with Chelsea. Five draws at Anfield in the league this season, with only three goals scored in those five games, isn’t good enough.

We need a reaction against Bournemouth. Given how knackered our front four looked, I worry that we may not see it.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Klavan: Two from six is frustrating for us, but we have to look forward

LiverpoolFC TV - 9 hours 35 min ago
Ragnar Klavan has explained why Liverpool cannot afford to dwell on the disappointment of a second consecutive home draw and instead must already start looking ahead to the fixtures still to come in the festive period.
Categories: LFC NEWS

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