Carlo Ancelotti has divulged on a conversation he had with Jurgen Klopp, with the Liverpool boss in no doubt that it was a “criminal act” to allow the Reds’ Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid to go ahead.
While the UK had yet to take any measures to stop mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic prior to the last-16 tie on March 11, Madrid had already enacted their lockdown.
The Spanish capital in the days leading up to the fixture had accounted for just under half of all Spain’s cases and La Liga had already moved games behind-closed-doors before it was eventually suspended.
Yet, the UK government allowed the freedom of movement to continue and thousands of Madrid fans and a host of journalists arrived in the country and would all descend on the city of Liverpool.
The Reds would, of course, relinquish a 2-0 lead in extra-time to see Atletico emerge victorious in what was the last professional football game to be played in the country before they were indefinitely postponed two days later.
Klopp was clearly frustrated and angry in the buildup as he hit out at a Madrid-based journalist, and Ancellotti has since revealed that the boss felt it was “criminal” that the game was allowed to go on amid the ever-rising cases of coronavirus.
“The other day I heard [from] Klopp,” Ancelotti told Corriere dello Sport.
“He told me that making the game [go ahead] in those conditions was a criminal act, I think he was right.”
The league then came to a grinding halt and it will not return until April 30 at the earliest, with many in agreement it will extend well beyond that provisional date.
But the Everton manager is not concerned with when the season will start or the need for a mini pre-season before the season resumes, calling it a “false myth” due to past experiences at AC Milan.
“Today, the priority is health, limiting the contagion. When you start again, when you finish, the dates… believe me, I don’t care. At the moment, that’s the last thing on my mind,” Ancelotti added.
“I hear talk about cutting salaries, suspension of payments. They seem like inopportune solutions. Soon the economy will change, and that’s at all levels: The TV rights will be less, players and coaches will earn less, tickets will cost less because people will have less money.
“I repeat, what matters now is to fight the virus effectively. Then, of course, if it will be possible to continue the season…otherwise, amen.”
Liverpool are casting an eye back to their maiden Premier League campaign in 1992/93, and a number of moments stood out above the rest.
With live football on the back-burner for the foreseeable future, Liverpool have looked to fill the weekend void by turning back the clock and revisiting the Reds’ every Premier League season since its inception.
Every Saturday and Sunday, Liverpool will showcase goals from each Premier League campaign in chronological order and it all kicks off with the 1992/93 campaign.
The Reds, under the tutelage of Graeme Souness, finished sixth in the topflight in a season where they scored 62 goals in total, with 16 different players etching their name on the scoresheet.Rush continued to set the pace…
Ian Rush finished the season as the leading goalscorer with 14 and regardless of it was his right or left foot or his head, they all seemed to find the net with style.
You could never tire of Rushie’s trademark celebration.When Walters was on form, he was unstoppable…
Mark Walters’ Liverpool career was plagued by inconsistency, but his output in the Premier League‘s first season was one to behold.
He scored the Reds’ first-ever Premier League goal in a 2-1 win over Sheffield United and went on to notch 11, with his thunderous effort against Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn a clear standout.
He had tricks, skills and pace in abundance and was as important in setting up goals as he was scoring them.No flashy boots in sight…
These days boots are a major form of expression in the game, with bright colours and designs mixed with new technology ensuring one will stand out on the field.
Here though, there are none in sight with the traditional black and white boots dominating the landscape. Suppose it is what we would now deem retro.
Black and white boots will always give off the vide you mean business and who could oppose them if they made a widespread return to the game.Molby’s penalty run-up…
Talk about a long run-up.
Jan Molby at times appeared closer to the centre circle than he did the penalty spot as he gave himself enough room to build-up speed, and the level of anticipation, before taking aim.
It worked though as his return from the spot was prolific, he scored all three chances in 1992/93 and finished his Liverpool career with 42 from 45.Hit and miss kits…
Liverpool’s Adidas kit, which commemorated the Reds’ centenary season, was a thing of beauty both in red and green.
The goalkeeper kits on show from the whole division, on the other hand, are polarising at best.
The padding, the glorious padding, is truly something to behold – not to mention the combination of various colours and designs. You’ve got to appreciate the 1990s style.The Kop end was popular for goals…
The Kop has always had the power to summon the goals and this season was no different.
Of the 41 goals scored at Anfield in 1992/93, 25 of them were in front of the standing Kop, the second to last season it was in place.
The Reds won 13 of their home games, drawing four and losing the remaining four in a campaign with a total of 42 games.Everton’s late Anfield misery still rings true…
Ronny Rosenthal was the man on this occasion with a driving effort into the far corner with 90+1 minutes on the clock, in front of the Kop no less.
Some things never change.
Could Hutchison score anything but a screamer?
Don Hutchison would net seven in the campaign and each was emphatic as the next, there would be no soft touch where he was concerned and no goalkeeper stood a chance in stopping him.
It would be his most prolific season for the club before a long list of off the field incidents would end his Liverpool career.Redknapp’s hair…
A bowl cut to be revered. It was not short nor was it long, it was caught somewhere in between for Jamie Redknapp in his breakthrough season.
It wasn’t the only eyebrow-raising barnet in the team though.
Redknapp’s career would be plagued by injury, be he would bring his 308-game career to an end in 2001 as a well-respected servant and with a trim not too dissimilar to Steven Gerrard’s.Martin Tyler’s lack of enthusiasm for Liverpool is nothing new…
The Sky Sports commentator is continually on the end of criticism regarding his monotone assessment of a Liverpool goal and from the evidence, it was a similar story in 1992/93.
There’s an ongoing theory that he really loathes Liverpool, while claims have also made the rounds of him being a Man United fan.
Even Gary Neville shows greater enthusiasm when Liverpool score.
The FA remain committed to completing the Women’s Super League season once it is deemed safe to do so, but want it concluded by August.
The WSL was suspended alongside all top tiers of English football until April 30 at the earliest, due to the uncertain climate.
While that return date grows increasingly unlikely by the day, the FA are still determined to see the 2019/20 WSL season completed in its entirety, according to BBC Sport.
On Thursday, the FA and the leagues within tiers three to seven of the women’s game reached a consensus that their seasons would come to an immediate end and all results would be expunged.
The same conclusion for the top two divisions, the WSL and Championship, was discussed as one of many options during a conference call on Friday but was not the preferred choice.
The WSL season still has clubs with, at most, nine games to play and others have six due to various postponements throughout the campaign.
Liverpool Women have eight games remaining on their schedule after three were postponed in early 2020 due to a combination of poor weather conditions and unsafe playing surfaces at Prenton Park.
Vicky Jepson’s side currently sit in the division’s sole relegation spot having picked up just six points from 14 games.
They’re one point behind Birmingham City, who have nine still to play, but if and when the season was to resume they would meet in a potentially season-defining clash, with the Reds playing host.
With an August cut off date, the WSL season would need to resume by mid-July to finish within the FA’s deadline.
Like the Premier League and the EFL, discussions will be ongoing as the situation evolves with safety remaining the first priority as players and clubs continue to isolate.
Liverpool’s Academy teams have given us some special moments in 2019-20 so far, and we have picked out the 10 best goals from the campaign for you to relive now.
No.1: Harvey Elliott v Wolverhampton Wanderers – January 29
Molineux has seen some special goals by players in their famous gold shirts over the years, but on this particular January evening the crowd were on their feet in appreciation of an opposition player. During the U23s' 2-2 draw with Wolves in the Premier League International Cup, Elliott produced a goal that he will never forget. Meeting Jake Cain’s right-wing corner, the 16-year-old spectacularly leapt and produced an incredible bicycle kick that flew into the back of the net.
No.2: Curtis Jones v Napoli U19s – November 27
The Scouser has scored some memorable goals this season and his FA Cup winner against Everton at Anfield will never be forgotten. On November 27, Barry Lewtas’ U19s hit a magnificent seven against Napoli in the UEFA Youth League in Kirkby and this strike was the pick of the lot. Picking the ball up outside the box, Jones, courtesy of his trusty left foot, fired an unstoppable effort into the top corner of the net.
No.3: Layton Stewart v Sunderland – January 25
U18s forward Stewart saved the best until last as he sealed his hat-trick in fine style during the 4-0 win over Sunderland in Kirkby. A minute into stoppage time, Stewart broke into the left side of the box and drew out the goalkeeper before superbly sweeping the ball back over him and his recovering defenders into the far corner.
No.4: Curtis Jones v Southampton – January 13
Fresh from his Merseyside derby heroics, U23s skipper Jones netted another blistering strike during the 5-0 win over Southampton in Premier League 2. He had 10 shots on goal during the game and with his last effort of the night, he buried an unstoppable effort into the net from 20 yards out.
No.5: Neco Williams v Oldham Athletic – August 7
Wales U21 international Williams has certainly made a name for himself this season with a few assists at first-team level. In their opening Academy game of 2019-20, Williams netted a spectacular strike during the 3-2 loss at Oldham Athletic in the Leasing.com Trophy. Meeting Yasser Larouci's left-wing cross, 18-year-old Williams unleashed a powerful effort that flew into the top corner.
No. 6: Jake Cain v Everton U18s – October 5
A 6-1 win in the Merseyside derby at any level over your city rivals is a special occasion and so it proved for the U18s at Finch Farm. Lewtas’ charges played some outstanding football and the team goal finished by Cain was the pick of the strikes. Cain started the move by threading a pass into Niall Brookwell’s run into space along the left and darting into the Blues' box to collect the return. His calm finish equalled the quality of the build-up.
No.7: Layton Stewart v Stoke U18s – August 17
Lewtas’ U18s have made a nice habit of replicating the first team by netting late winners and this win over Stoke City at the Academy was made even more special by the quality of Stewart’s goal. With just two minutes left to play, Cain knocked forward an accurate long pass into the area and Stewart met it with a perfect touch over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to secure a dramatic win.
No.8: James Norris v Middlesbrough U18s – September 21
Scouser Norris has enjoyed a season he will never forget, with the 16-year-old making his first-team debut in the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Villa Park. He has a sweet left foot, which he demonstrated perfectly during the U18s' 3-0 win over Middlesbrough in Kirkby. After being played in by Cain, Norris drilled an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net.
No.9: Herbie Kane v Everton U23s – November 2
There was derby delight for Liverpool U23s as they edged the Blues 2-1 at Kirkby in Premier League 2. Kane picked up the ball on the left edge of the penalty box and struck a wonderful effort past Harry Tyrer in the opposition goal to end an exciting week for the Academy on a huge high following the midweek Carabao Cup win over Arsenal at Anfield.
No.10: Joe Hardy U23s v Sunderland – February 24
Hardy has hit seven goals for the U23s following a January move from Brentford, and the Wirral-born forward has thrived back home in the north west. Hardy netted a double strike during the 6-0 win over Sunderland in the Premier League Cup. Meeting Elliott's cross from the right, the forward sent a thundering volley into the back of the net.
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Tune in to the second edition of LFCTV's new highlights show on Saturday night.
We're continuing to dip into the archives to look back on some classic Liverpool moments on the pitch.
Immerse yourself in nostalgia as we turn back the clock to the Football League’s halcyon days of the 60s, 70s and 80s, when the Reds reigned supreme.
Watch Retro Reds: The Golden Hour at 10.30pm GMT every Saturday to relive four notable First Division fixtures back-to-back.
Check out the offering of matches below…
Watford (a): January 12, 1986
With their title aspirations hanging in the balance, nothing but three points would suffice if Liverpool were to remain in contention at the top of the table. At Vicarage Road, in front of the live TV cameras for the first time that season, it was time to kickstart the campaign.
Birmingham City (h): December 2, 1972
Bill Shankly’s second great Liverpool team finally came to fruition in 1972-73 and during their glorious march to the league championship that season there was no more entertaining game than this unexpected, but truly epic, seven-goal thriller at a rain-soaked Anfield.
Swansea City: September 18, 1982
John Toshack’s Swansea were the surprise package of the First Division in the early eighties but when reigning champions Liverpool travelled to the Vetch Field for this early-season encounter in 1982-83, the new pretenders were put firmly in their place.
Nottingham Forest (h): 9 December 9, 1978
During the late 1970s there was no bigger rivalry in English football than this. Forest were a constant thorn in Liverpool’s side and came to Anfield for this game boasting a long unbeaten record. Incentive enough for Bob Paisley’s Reds to start redressing the balance.
"Our club has gone on for so many years that winning trophies has become a tradition, and I wouldn't like to break it."
The words of Joe Fagan after claiming his first major honour as Liverpool manager that set an English record.
Exactly 36 years ago on this day, the Reds took down Everton 1-0 in a replay of a League Cup final. It saw the club lift that particular trophy for the fourth successive year – a feat never achieved before or since.
Most successive League Cup triumphs
Liverpool – four (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984)
Manchester City – three (2018, 2019, 2020)
Manchester United – two (2009, 2010)
Nottingham Forest – two (1978, 1979 and 1989, 1990)
To Fagan, though, it was just a case of business as usual in his first season since succeeding Bob Paisley. "Never forget, it was Bob Paisley's era that brought the players here," he said.
The routine was familiar: Secure the first honour available in a season and build on it.
In 1981-82, 1982-83 and 1983-84, League Cup triumphs were followed up with First Division titles. European Cups, too, were claimed in 1981 and 1984 on the back of success in the then-dubbed Milk Cup.
Three-time winner Ronnie Whelan recalls: “The thing at Liverpool at the time was, you won a trophy and it was like, 'Well done, see you next time when we do it again’.
"It says a lot about the whole Liverpool ethos.”
The club first won the competition in 1981 by beating West Ham United at Villa Park in a replay. "Once we won it, we couldn't stop winning it," captain Phil Thompson reflected.
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United were then dispatched in the following two finals, putting Liverpool on course for history.
Knocking out Brentford, Fulham, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday and Wallsall set Fagan's side up with Everton for the first all-Merseyside final at Wembley.
That encounter ended goalless and the replay was to be played three days later at Manchester City's Maine Road.
A tense affair was settled by Graeme Souness' 'sizzler', as one newspaper labelled it, in the 21st minute.
"I miscontrolled it," the match-winner admitted in an immediate post-match interview, while clutching a bottle of milk presented to him. "Normally I wouldn't shoot on my left, I would've tried to pass it. But it was going away from me, so I played at it."
And so, a familiar routine ensued: climb the steps, collect the winners' medals and hoist the cup aloft. However, the trophy presentation was slightly unique this time around.
"It was a bit ad hoc when we were presented with the trophy," Souness reflected. "A fan got in the way between me and Bruce Grobbelaar as I passed it down the line but it was all good fun."
From today, we're going to be looking back on all of Liverpool's Premier League-era goals every Saturday and Sunday.
Each weekend, our series of YouTube videos will compile the Reds' efforts from each league campaign since 1992 in chronological order.
First up, then: 1992-93. Enjoy all 62 goals from that season below...
November began with pivotal, late drama at Villa Park.
Trailing Aston Villa with 87 minutes of their 11th Premier League game of the season gone, Liverpool somehow conjured up a comeback and snatched a 2-1 victory.
Sadio Mane was front and centre as the No.10 first drifted in an inch-perfect cross for Andy Robertson to equalise with a thumping header, and then stooped bravely to glance home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
A 10th top-flight win of the campaign preserved the Reds’ six-point lead at the top of the table ahead of a critical meeting with second-placed Manchester City eight days later.
Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, became the fourth-youngest player in the club's history to reach the milestone of 100 appearances.
Before Pep Guardiola’s side visited Anfield, however, there was Champions League business to attend to. Goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw off Genk in L4 to ensure the holders won their third-straight Group E match.
All eyes were then trained on City, with Liverpool duly producing an outstanding performance to best their closest rivals.
Fabinho’s long-range blast was added to by Mohamed Salah rounding off a wonderful team move as Jürgen Klopp’s team sped into a two-goal lead.
Another Mane header extended the advantage further in the early stages of the second half and rendered Bernardo Silva’s late strike a mere consolation.
Liverpool’s season resumed at Selhurst Park following the November international break - and, just as was the case three weeks earlier in Birmingham, another feat of escapology was required to secure all three points.
An 82nd-minute equaliser by Wilfried Zaha, which cancelled out Mane’s opener, looked set to snatch a draw for Crystal Palace.
Roberto Firmino, though, had other ideas and, just three minutes later, rammed home a winner from close range.
Dejan Lovren’s Kop-end leveller then earned a 1-1 draw with Napoli at Anfield; a game in which Fabinho sustained an ankle injury that would rule him out until mid-January. The result meant that the Reds needed to avoid defeat in Salzburg on matchday six to progress to the Champions League last 16.
And the month concluded with another 2-1 success in the Premier League, with Virgil van Dijk’s headed brace ultimately proving decisive against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Liverpool endured a nervy final 12 minutes or so after Alisson Becker was sent off and Lewis Dunk pulled a goal back immediately, but held firm to move 11 points clear at the summit.
Elsewhere in November, Klopp was inducted to the LMA's Hall of Fame in recognition of his 'historic achievements in football management to date'.
Standard Chartered Player of the Month: Sadio Mane
Goal of the Month: Fabinho v Manchester City
Liverpool saved the best till last in a 7-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield when Terry McDermott put the finishing touches on an iconic team goal.
With the Reds 6-0 up in the 1978 First Division fixture, David Johnson picked up the ball in midfield before finding Steve Heighway on the wing with a perfect crossfield ball.
Heighway's first-time cross into the box from the left was then converted by the head of McDermott to net a goal supporters in attendance 'will never forget', one newspaper stated.
"That must be the best goal Anfield has ever seen," manager Bob Paisley wondered afterwards.
Look back on the well-worked move in the video above.
The Anfield Rap remains one of the most iconic songs associated with Liverpool Football Club, but how well do you know the 1988 track led by John Barnes?
With the Reds preparing to take on Wimbledon in the FA Cup final, Kenny Dalglish’s squad put together their own rap in a bid to break the top 10.
The single, co-written by midfielder Craig Johnston and including most of the big names in the side at the time, eventually reached No. 3, and is still considered one of the ‘best’ songs to come from Anfield.
Liverpool went on to lose the final 1-0, with Lawrie Sanchez scoring the only goal of the game for Wimbledon, leading John Motson to conclude that “the Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture Club.”
The Anfield Rap should live longer in the memory for fans, so can you remember Liverpool’s 1988 release?We’ve put together eight questions on The Anfield Rap – can you get them all right?
A moment of magic from Roberto Firmino lit up Liverpool's come-from-behind, 3-1 victory over Newcastle United at Anfield.
Returning to action after the first international break of the season, the Reds went a goal down early on as Jetro Willems smashed in the opener.
Jürgen Klopp's side responded strongly, however, and were ahead at the break thanks to Sadio Mane's double. The No.10 equalised by arcing a sublime strike into the top corner, and then slotted home at the second time of asking having latched onto a threaded through ball by Firmino.
Firmino's second assist of the afternoon was even better, though.
The Brazilian received a pass from Salah and then produced a wondrous flick to return the ball to the No.11, who duly dispatched a low finish to secure a fifth-straight Premier League win at the start of the season.
Watch extended highlights of Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle below...