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ThisIsAnfield.com - 30 min 24 sec ago
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Categories: LFC NEWS

'Elite finishing' - The stats behind Salah's 2016-17 season

LiverpoolFC TV - 3 hours 41 min ago
After Mohamed Salah sealed a move to Liverpool this week, writer Andrew Beasley explores the numbers behind the forward's excellent 2016-17 season.
Categories: LFC NEWS

'Elite finishing' - The stats behind Salah's 2016-17 season

LiverpoolFC.TV - 3 hours 41 min ago

After Mohamed Salah sealed a move to Liverpool this week, writer Andrew Beasley explores the numbers behind the forward's excellent 2016-17 season.

The Reds know their new No.11 can perform at the very highest level in a top league.

The table below proves just how well Salah did last term, as it shows how often he directly contributed to a goal in all competitions compared with the rest of Jürgen Klopp's squad.

To put the Egyptian's figures into context beyond the confines of Liverpool, while Harry Kane (with a non-penalty goal or assist every 82 minutes in the Premier League) was ahead of the Roma man, the likes of Alexis Sanchez (101), Romelu Lukaku (109) and Diego Costa (114) were all behind him.

But how about more specific match stats?

Using the concept of radars to display a variety of player attributes, and with figures from Ted Knutson's attacking midfielder/forward radar templates, I have been able to create the below for Salah to give a general overview. All stats are per 90 minutes played, unless stated.

As you would guess from the earlier table, goals and assists are his main strengths here, but you can see that he doesn't shoot that often; just 2.9 times per 90 minutes, when the most frequent shooters average over 4.5.

So how did he score so many goals? By converting a very high proportion of shots.

Salah scored with 18.8 per cent of his shots in Serie A last season, which is an elite level of finishing. In the last six seasons in the Premier League, a total of 106 players have had at least 80 non-penalty shots, which is how many Salah had in the league for Roma. Of those, just four converted more than 18.8 per cent of their goal attempts.

This isn't a one-off for Salah either. He converted 19.4 per cent of his league shots the year before, and 20.7 per cent of them in his half-season on loan at Fiorentina. In total in Serie A, the Liverpool new boy scored 35 of his 181 shots, at a remarkable rate of 19.3 per cent.

He converts a lot of shots, but it's no accident either. Not all shots are equal, and that's why the football data analysis community use expected goals (or 'xG' for short) to account for that fact. I have my own simple system, and in my model each shot Salah took last season had, on average, a 15.7 per cent chance of being scored.

Referring back to the 106 Premier League players I mentioned earlier reveals that just one of them took higher quality shots on average than Salah did in 2016-17. It was Emmanuel Adebayor in 2011-12, in case you were wondering, and I bet that wouldn't have been your guess.

The Egyptian's pace means that defenders can rarely keep up with him, and this enables him to get clean through and take lots of high-quality shots. Salah had 24 Opta-defined clear-cut chances in Serie A last season; only 19 players across the last six seasons in the Premier League have had so many (excluding penalties).

Salah doesn't appear to take shots from poor locations too often either, with 76 per cent of his shots being taken inside the opposition penalty box. This compares favourably with the Premier League average of 59 per cent of shots being taken from within the 18-yard area.

It's not all positive on the radar. His rate for successful dribbles is surprisingly low, but this could perhaps be as a result of how dribbling data is captured. For instance, he averaged 3.1 successful dribbles per 90 minutes played for Chelsea, and 3.8 for Fiorentina, yet only 1.3 in Serie A last season. I can't believe he's that much worse a dribbler now, so treat that figure with caution.

The Liverpool manager expects his team to defend from the front, and Salah's tally of 1.3 tackles and interceptions per 90 may appear underwhelming. However, Sadio Mane averaged just 1.2 in his debut campaign for the Reds, and it's clear that his fellow African will play a similar role, so this lack of defensive output (at least by this measure) needn't be a massive concern.

A look at Salah's performance data shows that he's a resilient player. In his two-and-a-half seasons in Italy, the Egyptian missed just five league games due to injury, and only seven in all competitions. Like Mane, he will miss Liverpool matches due to the Africa Cup of Nations, but that aside, his career to date suggests he can be relied upon to be available for the majority of games – a fact that should not be underestimated.

Based on his track record, the signing of Salah is a real coup for Liverpool, and his pace and skill could make a vital difference for the Reds in 2017-18.

Click here to follow Andrew on Twitter.

Categories: LFC NEWS

'50 Men Who Made LFC' to celebrate 125th anniversary

LiverpoolFC TV - 8 hours 6 sec ago
As part of our celebrations of 125 years of Liverpool Football Club, LFCTV and Liverpoolfc.com are set to highlight 50 prominent figures who have made big contributions to the club's illustrious history.
Categories: LFC NEWS

'50 Men Who Made LFC' to celebrate 125th anniversary

LiverpoolFC.TV - 8 hours 6 sec ago

As part of our celebrations of 125 years of Liverpool Football Club, LFCTV and Liverpoolfc.com are set to highlight 50 prominent figures who have made big contributions to the club's illustrious history.

From Monday, we'll begin our '50 Men Who Made LFC' countdown, recognising those who have helped make the club what it is today.

This is not just a list of the greatest players ever to pull on the shirt, but also a celebration of the unsung heroes and those who have served the club loyally for many years, leaving a lasting legacy.

With artwork by local designer Dave Will set to bring a unique and instantly recognisable feel to 50 Men Who Made LFC, you'll be able to follow the series on social media as well as the club's official website and channel.

Check back tomorrow to see who comes in at 50 on our list.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Reds plot £30million swoop for Oxlade-Chamberlain

HEAD NEWS - 8 hours 16 min ago

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will continue the Anfield spending spree with a £30million move for Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Kop boss completed a £39m deal for Roma winger Mohamed Salah on Thursday and, has now set his sights on raiding the Emirates for the Gunners' England midfielder.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, has just 12 months left on his contract and has become frustrated at the club’s lack of talks over a new deal — and with not being a regular starter under Arsene Wenger.

That has alerted Klopp, who is a confirmed admirer of the former Southampton starlet.

Liverpool are prepared to pay around £30m for Oxlade-Chamberlain, with sources within Anfield indicating that the chances of the transfer going through are increasing.

Klopp is looking to inject his side with pace, having already signed flying machine Salah in addition to already having the lightning-fast Sadio Mane in his ranks.

The German feels capturing Oxlade-Chamberlain — also linked with Chelsea — will add to Liverpool’s strength as they make their Champions League return after finishing fourth last season.

Source: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Reds plot £30million swoop for Oxlade-Chamberlain

LiverpoolFC TV - 8 hours 16 min ago
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will continue the Anfield spending spree with a £30million move for Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Reds plot £30million swoop for Oxlade-Chamberlain

LiverpoolFC.TV - 8 hours 16 min ago

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will continue the Anfield spending spree with a £30million move for Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Kop boss completed a £39m deal for Roma winger Mohamed Salah on Thursday and, has now set his sights on raiding the Emirates for the Gunners' England midfielder.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, has just 12 months left on his contract and has become frustrated at the club’s lack of talks over a new deal — and with not being a regular starter under Arsene Wenger.

That has alerted Klopp, who is a confirmed admirer of the former Southampton starlet.

Liverpool are prepared to pay around £30m for Oxlade-Chamberlain, with sources within Anfield indicating that the chances of the transfer going through are increasing.

Klopp is looking to inject his side with pace, having already signed flying machine Salah in addition to already having the lightning-fast Sadio Mane in his ranks.

The German feels capturing Oxlade-Chamberlain — also linked with Chelsea — will add to Liverpool’s strength as they make their Champions League return after finishing fourth last season.

Source: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Categories: LFC NEWS

'Salah is ready to become a world-class star for LFC'

LiverpoolFC TV - 9 hours 15 min ago
Liverpool have signed a world-class star in the making by recruiting Mohamed Salah from AS Roma, according to one writer who tracked his progress with the Italian club.
Categories: LFC NEWS

'Salah is ready to become a world-class star for LFC'

LiverpoolFC.TV - 9 hours 15 min ago

Liverpool have signed a world-class star in the making by recruiting Mohamed Salah from AS Roma, according to one writer who tracked his progress with the Italian club.

John Solano, editor of AS Roma Press, believes the Egypt international is ‘teetering on greatness’ after maturing into a devastating forward during his time in Serie A.

Salah notched 29 goals in 65 league games for Roma, the kind of clinical numbers that prompted the Reds to swoop and tie up a deal for the 25-year-old to officially join on July 1.

Once the confirmation of the transfer was announced on Thursday evening, we spoke to Solano for an expert view on what Liverpool can expect from their new No.11.

Read on for his exciting assessment…

What can Liverpool fans expect from Salah?

They can expect a very exciting player. He is very explosive, extremely dynamic. He adds something to the attack that many teams lack. He is a great finisher and he is fantastic on the counter-attack. One thing that I think is often overlooked is that he is extremely helpful in defence. One thing that Roma do a lot of is pressing on the ball very heavily, and this will go perfectly with Klopp’s brand of football, that heavy pressing. Salah is absolutely built for that.

What are his strongest qualities?

Absolutely his pace – blistering pace. Which is something that can transfer to every league in the world. That is one thing that I think Liverpool fans should absolutely expect to see on display with him. He was probably the fastest attacker, out and out, in Italy, which makes him extremely dangerous on the counter.

LFCTV GO: The inside story of Salah's signing

He can play in various roles across the attack. Where do you feel he was most dangerous for Roma?

Certainly on the right wing – that allows him to go up and down on the flank. He is left-footed so when he’s able to go up and down that right flank, he’s able to cut in and shoot with his left foot, which is obviously his favourite foot. It made him extremely dangerous in the final third. You mix his speed with his ability to evade defenders – he was fantastic on the right. I hope to see him deployed in that manner with Liverpool.

In what ways do you feel he has improved his game in the last few years?

He is certainly more mature. We saw a player who was a bit unsure of himself with Chelsea and even a bit with Fiorentina. Often he would not make the most of his opportunities, particularly in the final third. Now, he wants the ball in the final third, he wants to have the ball at his feet, he’s much more poised in the area and he’s much more deadly in the area. He makes teams pay when they give him chances in the box, which is something that we did not see so much with Chelsea and even a bit with Fiorentina. With Roma, that has vastly improved. He is making teams pay for allowing him space and he has done a fantastic job at it.

Do you think there is even more improvement to come from him?

Absolutely. There were chances he would miss that you would expect him to take advantage of. His goal tally for Roma last season was fairly high and it could have been a lot more. So I certainly think in the opportunities for him, being a better finisher is one of them. His goal rate with Roma was fantastic so if he can build upon that – which I think he is certainly capable of – he can take the leap from going from the great player which he is now to world-class.

Tell us something that Liverpool fans might not know about Salah…

One thing is that people view him as a pure winger and I think his ability to play in several roles across the attack is often overlooked. He played in a two-striker system and he was even a false nine at times. He proved to be extremely valuable, especially in his first season at Roma when Edin Dzeko was having his problems in attack – he was not having a very good season and he was not scoring. One of the things that Roma manager Luciano Spalletti did was he moved Salah across the attack: sometimes central, sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right. That’s something that’s often overlooked – to have a player who can be deployed anywhere across the attack. On paper it might say he is a right winger but he is absolutely comfortable in any position across the attack.

What’s the general consensus among Roma supporters? Are they sad to have lost him?

He was a very popular player, extremely popular. He was very professional, very hard-working and always honoured the shirt. He was very open with fans and very open with media. He is absolutely going to be missed. He was very beloved at the club. It’s a big loss not only off the pitch but obviously on; his goal tally speaks for itself, his assist tally speaks for itself. Roma will certainly have a big job in trying to find a replacement.

What can Liverpool fans look forward to most with Salah?

I absolutely think they are getting a player who is teetering on greatness, borderline world-class. I think he is at the point where he is ready to break out and become a star. He has all the qualities you would look for – he is very professional and extremely hard-working. He has the ability to gain more in his game and he has the ability to improve. If he does that, he’ll be one of the best players at Liverpool. He has obviously got a great manager at the helm who can help him improve. I think Liverpool fans are in for a real treat with Mohamed Salah. He is a fantastic player and an absolute star.

LFCTV GO: Watch Salah's first interview in full

Categories: LFC NEWS

Dejan Lovren at Southampton and Liverpool: A tale of two cities

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 17:00

Is it possible that Klopp might feel comfortable moving forward with him as one of Liverpool’s starting XI, if they fail to close on Virgil van Dijk or any of the other centre-backs touted?

Lovren’s Anfield Arrival

 Liverpool's Raheem Sterling and Southampton's Dejan Lovren during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When Lovren arrived at Anfield, supporters had high expectations.

On the heels of the heart-stopping title charge of 2013/14, it was well known that our defence had cost us the title.

The obvious remedy, at least to Brendan Rodgers, was buying a new central defender to steady the ship. Rodgers set his sights on Lovren, who was one half of Southampton’s formidable defensive pairing.

However, even Lovren’s addition did not have a significant impact on LFC’s defensive solidity.

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The season of Liverpool’s Suarez-fuelled adventure, Liverpool conceded 50 goals in the Premier League. The next season, 2014/15, with Lovren in the side? 48. Hardly the desired improvement, then.

Looking back, we should not have been surprised: Lovren was inserted into a back line featuring at various times such defensive luminaries as Alberto Moreno, Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure.

But was Lovren to blame? How did Lovren at Liverpool compare with Lovren at Southampton?

(All statistics noted via Squawka and are per 90 minutes. Green font indicates best statistical performance, and red indicates worst statistical performance.)

From a statistical perspective, Lovren improved in some respects and slipped in others.

He made substantially the same number of tackles and blocks from one season to the next, with approximately a 20 percent decline in interceptions made from the prior season.

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In a few metrics, he even performed better for Liverpool. For example, his aerial duel win percentage went up markedly, from 60 percent to above 72 percent.

He also made nearly one additional clearance per 90 minutes than he had managed for his former team.

Presumably, however, it was two other metrics which brought his ‘Defence Score’ down so drastically, where he went from a massive 20.33 in his final year at Southampton to a more pedestrian 11.02 in his first year at Liverpool.

Whereas at Southampton he had a low rate of defensive errors per 90, with 0.03, his error rate exploded at Liverpool the following season, coming in at 0.26—nearly a 10-fold regression.

 Liverpool's Dejan Lovren in action against Southampton during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

By contrast, Sakho during the same 2014/15 season had an error rate half that of Lovren’s: 0.13. And, lest we all forget, Sakho is known for looking somewhat haphazard on the ball. Yet, it was Lovren who was twice as likely to make a defensive error.

Relatedly, Lovren’s average of errors leading to goals also rose dramatically. Whereas he had made 0.03 errors leading to goals at Southampton, he was three times worse (0.09) in his first season at Liverpool.

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Again, by way of contrast, Sakho in the same season was 33 percent less likely to allow a defensive error to lead to goal.

Small wonder then, when combining Lovren’s error rate with an already panicky Simon Mignolet, Liverpool’s defence in 2014/15 was enough to give us heart palpitations.

Regression is a Four-Letter Word

Now, several years on, it is fair to ask: has Lovren changed as a player? And, if so, in what way?

The answer is clearly yes, he has changed. Unfortunately, the answer to the second question is that he has changed in a way that Liverpool fans will not be happy about.

Comparing his 2016/17 season to that of 2013 to 2016, Lovren has experienced a decline in nearly every metric.

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In fact, the conclusion looks statistically inescapable: Lovren performed worse for Liverpool in nearly every way compared with his final season at Southampton and his first season at Liverpool.

Of the nine categories noted above, Lovren this season put up the lowest marks in three of those: tackles, interceptions, and clearances. Across the last two seasons, he performed worse in five of the nine categories.

Only in one respect—blocks—did he improve statistically this season, and even that was a reversion from last season’s peak.

Admittedly, his error rate has improved from its nadir in 2014/15. Although still higher than it was at St. Mary’s, it is not as catastrophic as the first year he joined Liverpool.

Comparison With Joel Matip

 Liverpool's Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and Divock Origi during the FA Premier League match against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

So Lovren has not performed this season even as well as he had performed in his first season at Liverpool.

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It would be fair to note that Liverpool’s defensive scheme has made it harder on him to do so.

After all, it is possible that some of Lovren’s statistical decline is due to Klopp’s preference for ‘heavy metal’, aggressive football. It stands to reason that the more players that flow forward in attack, the fewer there are in defence.

To isolate that factor, let’s compare Lovren’s statistical performance last season with that of his defensive partner, Joel Matip.

In most respects, Lovren rates second-best compared to Matip. The Cameroonian makes more tackles and interceptions, while committing fewer fouls.

Admittedly, Lovren makes more clearances and blocks, although perhaps both of these statistics could be attributed to an inferior defensive starting positioning.

Where the rubber really hits the road, though, is in terms of error rates and overall defensive score. Matip simply does not make defensive errors, let alone any contributing to goals.

This, among other factors, likely explains the massive difference in the overall ‘Defence Score’ of both players last season, with Matip showing his genuine class.

Interestingly, comparing Lovren’s last season at Southampton to Matip’s first season at Liverpool, Lovren then was in most respects statistically superior to Matip now.

He made more tackles, interceptions and clearances, while Matip performed better with regards to blocks, fouls committed, defensive errors, errors leading to goals and aerial-duel win percentage.

Most critically, Lovren’s ‘Defence Score’ in his final season at Southampton was 20.33. Matip’s in his first Liverpool season? 16.87.

What does this show? That Lovren once performed better than he has recently, and even arguably better than a player who promises to be a foundational member of Liverpool’s back line for years to come.

Explanations or Excuses?

 Liverpool's Dejan Lovren looks dejected as his side lose 3-2 to Swansea City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

So, what has happened to Lovren? There are several possible explanations.

First and most obviously, Lovren simply may not be the player he was at Southampton. While this would be a surprise, as the 27-year-old should be at the peak of his powers, it is possible.

Another explanation is that perhaps Liverpool’s defensive setup is not as favourable to Lovren as Southampton’s.

At Southampton, Lovren was paired with Jose Fonte and shielded by Victor Wanyama. Before Joel Matip arrived at Liverpool, by contrast, Lovren was routinely paired with other error-prone defenders, which may have exacerbated his own weaknesses.

However, those arguments ignore that Matip has played with the same lack of defensive cover in a team designed to defend from the front.

Indeed, that Matip has outperformed Lovren so handily, particularly when considering overall ‘Defence Score’, indicates at the very least that Klopp’s brand of football has not impacted Matip as it has Lovren.

Next Season and Beyond

 Liverpool's Dejan Lovren in action against Middlesbrough during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having seen what Dejan Lovren was capable of at Southampton, supporters are rightly disappointed that he has not shown the same quality for Liverpool, despite some memorable moments (the winning header against Borussia Dortmund springs to mind).

Nor, given his steady decline in most metrics, does it seem likely Lovren will be able to turn it around next season.

That is not to say that Lovren cannot do a job for Liverpool. There is no disputing that he was once better than he has been recently. And, he has certainly shown admirable fortitude under far more trying circumstances.

Liverpool can rely on him to help as needed when necessary, and at £100,000 per week, they are entitled to nothing less.

However, for Liverpool to move forward next year both domestically and in Europe, it is clear that—barring a return to the Southampton form that earned Lovren a Liverpool transfer in the first place—Klopp and his backroom staff are right to look elsewhere for a starter to pair with Matip.

I hear Blackpool is lovely this time of year…

Please only discuss the article above. General chat can be made on our forums at forums.thisisanfield.com

Categories: LFC NEWS

Video diary: The story of how Salah sealed his LFC move

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 16:51
We were with Mohamed Salah every step of the way as the Egypt international passed a medical, signed his contract and sealed a move to Liverpool on Thursday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Video diary: The story of how Salah sealed his LFC move

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 16:51

We were with Mohamed Salah every step of the way as the Egypt international passed a medical, signed his contract and sealed a move to Liverpool on Thursday.

From the nervous excitement of the morning at his hotel to the satisfaction of wearing the Reds kit for the first time, our cameras captured a complete video diary of the new No.11’s opening day with the club.

That included exclusive access to the forward’s medical examination, his journeys to the key locations around the city, the moment he signed on the dotted line, and his unique announcement to fans.

Salah will officially join Liverpool on July 1, but before then LFCTV GO subscribers can enjoy this unmissable behind-the-scenes video by clicking play above.

If you have not already signed up and would like to watch this brilliant clip, click here for details on joining now.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Can questionable for Germany

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 16:20
By AFP

Last Updated: 24/06/17 2:30pm

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is Germany's only injury concern for Sunday's Confederations Cup match against Cameroon after a training knock.

The 23-year-old, who impressed in Thursday's 1-1 draw against Chile, went down ahead of Germany's final Group B match in Sochi.

The German camp is hoping Can will be able to feature at the Fischt Stadium where the world champions need a point to reach the semi-finals.

"Emre Can went over in training, he caught his studs on the grass," said Germany's head coach Joachim Loew.

"It doesn't appear to be anything big, but we'll see how he responds."

Germany are second in the table on goal difference behind Chile with both teams on four points.

Copa America winners Chile face Australia, who like Cameroon also have just one point from their two games, on Sunday in Moscow.

The Germans hope to win the group, enabling them to stay in Sochi for Thursday's semi-final and have an extra day's rest.

Finishing second would mean a semi-final in Kazan on Wednesday against the Group A winners.

"You avoid another day of travel and have a day more break," said midfielder Leon Goretzka. "It is not the worst thing in the world when you get a view of the sea at meal-times.

"Cameroon is a physically very strong team. We will try to move the ball around quickly so that Cameroon players don't get into one-on-one situations."

Grab a £14.99 Sky Sports Month Pass and enjoy all 3 Lions Test matches, The Open, England v South Africa and much, much more. It's an unmissable summer of sport on NOW TV.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool edge out plucky Alaves in the greatest UEFA Cup final of all time

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 15:00

Alaves were no pub team, as Alan Hansen would suggest in commentary, and the goal gave them a huge lift. They were now on the front foot and were giving Liverpool a stern examination. But for a brilliant double save by Sander Westerweld, first from Javi Moreno and then from Ivan Tomic, the Spaniards would have drawn level on 35 minutes.

To the relief of the supporters, Liverpool grabbed a third just five minutes later, thanks to a penalty scored by Gary McAllister. At half-time, the scoreline looked comfortable, but this game was just getting started.

Within five minutes of the restart Alaves were level, thanks to two goals from Javi Moreno, who was now on a hat-trick. This was turning into an epic encounter, with supporters unable to believe what they were seeing.

Gerard Houllier decided to throw the dice on 64 minutes, bringing on Robbie Fowler for Emile Heskey. It took him just eight minutes to put Liverpool back in front. Surely now the Reds would see it out.

Alaves weren’t lying down and laid siege to Liverpool’s goal. They even had a penalty appeal waved away. With just two minutes left on the clock, Houllier’s men looked to have won it, when the Spaniards served up another twist.

From a corner, Jordi Cruyff, son of former Barcelona great and Dutch international Johan, headed home the equaliser. With commentators searching the record books to see if this was the greatest ever UEFA Cup final, the referee blew the final whistle, signalling 30 minutes of extra-time.

A new rule had been introduced into the competition, meaning that the first team to score in extra-time won the game. This was referred to as the ‘golden goal’ rule and ironically Gerard Houllier had been a critic of the change.

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Anything could happen in the next half hour and the tension inside the stadium was palpable. Neither side gave any quarter as they traded blows, both desperately seeking the knockout punch.

Liverpool's Robbie Fowler celebrates scoring the fourth goal with team mates (from left) Gregory Vignal, Nicky Barmby and Steven Gerrard during the UEFA Cup Final at the Westfalen Stadium, Dortmund.

Ivan Alonso had a goal disallowed. Then Fowler had an effort ruled out for offside. This could have gone either way, but perhaps the Spaniard’s inexperience was the decisive factor. They had a player sent off in each period of extra-time, reducing them to nine men.

The drama reached its peak as the teams were three minutes away from a penalty shootout. Liverpool won a free-kick out wide, to the left of Alaves’ goal and McAllister stood over it. He swung it in and defender, Delfi Geli headed into his own net.

Liverpool had gone 5-4 up and thanks to the ‘golden goal’ rule, there was no opportunity for Alaves to reply. The Cup was coming back to Anfield. This is how David Lacey of the Guardian, saw the game:

“So Liverpool have now created English football history by winning three cups in a season, and last night’s triumph was achieved by a more adventurous approach than they had shown either in the Worthington Cup at the end of February, when Birmingham City were beaten on penalties, or Saturday’s FA Cup final, when Michael Owen’s two late goals scuppered Arsenal.”

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It’s true this was far from a typical Houllier performance. The Frenchman was famed for his team’s defensive solidity. It was though the crowning moment of an incredible season and the Redmen would party all night long in Dortmund and back on Merseyside.

Liverpool fans line the streets as the team parade the three trophies won during season 2000-2001 season ( Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport)

2001 UEFA Cup Final

Liverpool 5-4 Alaves (AET, golden goal)
Westfalenstadion, Dortmund; 16 May 2001

LFC: Westerveld, Babbel, Henchoz (Smicer 55′), Hyypia, Carragher, Gerrard, McAllister, Hamann, Murphy, Owen (Berger 78′), Heskey (Fowler 64′).

Goalscorers: Babbel 4′, Gerrard 16′, McAllister 41′ (pen.), Fowler 73′, Geli 117′ (o.g.).

Please only discuss the article above. General chat can be made on our forums at forums.thisisanfield.com

Categories: LFC NEWS

James Milner hails Mohamed Salah’s work rate following £36.9m Liverpool move

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 13:10

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Liverpool vice-captain James Milner has welcomed the £36.9 million signing of Mohamed Salah, highlighting the winger’s work rate as crucial.


Salah joined the club from AS Roma on Thursday night, signing a five-year deal believed to worth around £90,000 a week.

Taking the No. 11 shirt previously worn by Roberto Firmino, with the Brazilian moving to No. 9, Salah is set to be one of the marquee signings of the summer for Jurgen Klopp.

After scoring 15 goals and supplying 13 assists in just 31 games in Serie A last season, the Egyptian certainly has the credentials to slot in alongside Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane.

But equally as important for Milner, lauding the arrival of Salah, is the 25-year-old’s application off the ball.

“That’s what you need in our team. The way we play, you can’t have any passengers,” he told LiverpoolFC.com.

“Everyone mucks in and we’ve got great team spirit. Everyone gets on the front foot and gets the press; it only takes one person not to do it for it to break down.

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“He’ll fit into that really well, with and without the ball. He’s very dangerous with it and causes a lot of problems. And without it, that’s so important the way we play.

“Looking at his stats and things like that, he has had a good season.

“He is a dangerous player and someone who is going to do really well for us, I’m sure.”

Salah is the Reds’ most high-profile signing of the summer so far, with Dominic Solanke also set to join on a free transfer at the beginning of July.

Klopp is targeting further reinforcements ahead of a 2017/18 campaign that will see his side fight on four fronts, after finishing fourth in the Premier League last term.

The club’s primary targets include Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita, while Arsenal utility man Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also on the radar.

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And Milner believes that is the calibre of player Klopp should be pursuing, in order to spur the rest of the squad on further.

“Liverpool is a top club, we’re a good squad of players and you’re going to attract top players,” he added.

“That’s what you want—the best players in and around the squad to push each other.

“The bigger the squad of top players you have, the more successful you’re going to be. The competition for places is exactly what you need all over the field.”

So far it seems unlikely Milner will have major competition for his role as starting left-back, however, with little in terms of concrete speculation over a new arrival.


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Gremio reiterate interest in re-signing “great player” Lucas Leiva this summer

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 13:08

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Brasileirao Serie A side Gremio have reaffirmed their interest in re-signing Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, 10 years after his departure.


Lucas left Porto Alegre for Merseyside in 2007, with the Reds signing the Brazilian in a £5 million deal ahead of the 2007/08 campaign.

Last season was likely to have been his last with Liverpool, having marked a decade at Anfield, presented with a commemorative honour by Kenny Dalglish in May.

Attracting interest from newly promoted sides Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United this summer, Lucas should also have the option of returning to Brazil.

Speaking ahead of his side’s 3-3 draw with Cruzeiro in midweek, Gremio football vice-president Odorico Roman confirmed that the club were interested in signing Lucas this summer.

However, he stressed that no deal was in place at this stage, just that “at any moment we can make contact.”

“Lucas is a great player, signing him would make an impact,” he told Zero Hora.

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“If there is a possibility within the financial conditions of the club, and that also serves Lucas’ interest, it is possible that he may come.

“At this time, there is no negotiation. I talked to him a few days ago, at any moment we can make contact. But he is also aware of the interest of other clubs.

“There is, yes, possibility of him coming, but there is nothing in progress right now.”

 Liverpool's Lucas Leiva in action against Southampton during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lucas is currently in Brazil following the conclusion of the 2016/17 campaign, attending Roberto Firmino‘s wedding in Maceio on Wednesday.

While there is the opportunity to continue his playing career in England, Lucas may opt to stay in his homeland, as he admitted earlier in June that he would be interested in returning.

“There was an offer from Gremio in January but I wanted to complete 10 years at Liverpool,” he explained.

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“Now in the window we had a conversation, but nothing official. I do not hide my desire to return to Gremio, but there are several factors.”

One of those factors is likely Gremio’s financial capability, with Lucas earning a considerable wage at Liverpool, while the club are rumoured to value him at around £4 million.

At 31, Lucas still has plenty to offer to a side operating in the European top flight, but the offer of returning to Gremio is clearly appealing at this stage.


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Categories: LFC NEWS

Photos: Anfield's new retail store nears completion

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 12:30
The main building work on Anfield's new flagship retail store is nearing completion ahead of its opening at the start of the 2017-18 season - and you can view the latest photographs of the development below.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Photos: Anfield's new retail store nears completion

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 12:30

The main building work on Anfield's new flagship retail store is nearing completion ahead of its opening at the start of the 2017-18 season - and you can view the latest photographs of the development below.

The fit-out of the store’s interior has begun and fans will soon be able to enjoy a brand new shopping experience with exclusive product ranges and a specially-designed first-floor cafe.

Meanwhile, the building's exterior glazing is complete and its exterior brickwork is close to being finished.

Skylights have been installed in the roof, and red cladding is now in place around the store to keep it in line with the design of Anfield.

Take a look at the progress made below...

Categories: LFC NEWS

Alvaro Arbeloa announces retirement

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 24/06/2017 - 12:15
Former Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa has announced his retirement from professional football.
Categories: LFC NEWS

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