LFC NEWS

LFC assistant reveals phone call to Jurgen: “Wow, we have a new player!”

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 12:44

Kaide Gordon more than caught the eye during his spell with the first team in pre-season and he has assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders speaking glowingly of his talent.

The 16-year-old only arrived at Liverpool in January but had a long list of admirers that spoke volumes of the talent he possesses.

A versatile forward, Gordon assimilated to life at Liverpool first with the academy before being drafted into the first team’s pre-season plans, going on to play 194 minutes across five games.

His place in the squad came thanks to his show of “fire” in training that caught the attention of non-other than Lijnders, who immediately got Jurgen Klopp on the line to tell him: “‘Wow, we have a new player here!'”

The excitement is more than warranted and it was matched by Lijnders’ enthusiasm as he spoke of the teenager ahead of Liverpool‘s League Cup tie at Norwich, with Gordon anticipated to play a part.

“Before pre-season we always make sure our biggest talents they start a week earlier than we start so they start with the U23s training,” Lijnders told reporters on Monday.

“I went to the U23s training and I see one player and he has fire in each moment he touched the ball and he always passes players like they’re not standing there.

“So I called Jurgen immediately and ‘Wow, we have a new player here!’

“We took all these young players to pre-season and when you know you have a good player around you is when the senior players start taking care of this young player.

“So when you see James Milner speaking with Kaide, Trent becoming a proper mentor and when you see they invite him to sit at the table.

“And all of our boys invited him in our group and that made it good for him, how to adapt to our team and to our style.

“What you see a lot with these kind of wingers is they can outplay, they can combine and he has a goal in him – he has this natural ability to be in the box, between the goalposts to score.

“Not many talents have this. They may have the dribbling skills but they don’t have this desire to shoot, to come into the box, to score.

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“He’s a typical Liverpool Football Club winger, in my opinion. He has goals, speed and we really like him and we are really happy he is with us!”

While Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are vying for positions in attack at Carrow Road, Gordon will certainly come into Klopp’s thinking – on the bench at the very least.

Expectation will rightly remain carefully managed, but the excitement at what Gordon can offer in the future is clear to see – with the youngster in line to be the next to inspire a “whole academy.”

 Liverpool's Academy Director Alex Inglethorpe during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-23's and Leeds United AFC Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. Leeds United won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I am excited about our academy, there are so many talents! Diamonds! So many special players who just who cannot wait to make their step up,” Lijnders added on the club’s youth pathway.

“It’s so important we keep doing this because with one player we push, we inspire a whole academy so we have to keep this pathway.

“Young players will never let you down, never! They never did and they never will.”

Right-back Conor Bradley could also be in line for his debut against Norwich on Tuesday night.

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Pep Lijnders: Harvey Elliott's response to setback has been outstanding

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 12:36
Pepijn Lijnders has detailed how Harvey Elliott has responded ‘outstandingly’ in dealing with the setback of facing time on the sidelines following ankle surgery.
Categories: LFC NEWS

4 players ruled out vs. Norwich – with Thiago out vs. Brentford too

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 12:08

Thiago will miss both of Liverpool‘s trips to Norwich and Brentford at the very least, while Tuesday’s League Cup tie comes too soon for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino.

The No. 6 was a casualty in the Reds’ 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, with a calf complaint forcing his substitution in the 62nd minute before he hobbled down the injury tunnel.

Jurgen Klopp was left hoping it was not “too serious” in the immediate aftermath and now assistant manager Pep Lijnders has confirmed he will be unavailable for the next two games.

The final scan results are yet to be confirmed meaning the two-game absence is on the short-term spectrum, meaning Liverpool have lost two “influential” midfielders in the space of one week.

Thiago, how the gaffer said after the game, it was a calf injury. I can’t say now how long it will take but definitely not tomorrow and not at the weekend,” Lijnders told the club’s official website.

“Let’s get the scan results back and we have a proper diagnosis. A shame as well because he was taking the game by the hand, he was a proper playmaker in my opinion. A shame that we miss him.

 Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara is treated for an injury during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“In one week we lose two really influential midfielders, that’s the bad thing.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, was a late omission from Liverpool‘s squad on Saturday after falling ill in the morning, requiring James Milner to step in.

And the right-back will once again be absent against Norwich, with the game coming “too early” – which is also the case for Roberto Firmino three weeks on from his hamstring injury.

“It was not easy because these guys – it says a lot about our group anyway – they want to play everything, [even] if they feel a bit shaky or ill. But he took the responsibility,” Lijnders added.

“That’s Trent, there are no symptoms – no COVID symptoms. We test regardless. He should be fine in a few days but Norwich comes too early.

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Firmino will return to “parts of team training” on Monday in a welcome boost for the weeks to come, with the Reds still to contest three games in the space of eight days after the trip to Carrow Road.

Neco Williams is “progressing really well” from his respective injury, but he too is not ready for Norwich, meaning the likes of Milner, Joe Gomez and Conor Bradley are in the running for a right-back berth.

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Fitness update: Thiago, Alexander-Arnold, Firmino and Williams

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 11:53
Thiago Alcantara will be sidelined for both of Liverpool's matches this week as a result of the calf injury he sustained at the weekend.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Terence Miles signs first professional contract with LFC

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 10:59
Terence Miles has signed his first professional contract with Liverpool FC.
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Norwich v Liverpool: How to watch and follow Carabao Cup tie

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 10:00
Liverpool begin their 2021-22 Carabao Cup campaign with a trip to Norwich City in the third round on Tuesday night.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Alisson Becker: We need to keep on going with the same mentality

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 09:00
Alisson Becker challenged Liverpool to keep moving forward through the season with the same persistent mentality they displayed in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Live at 12pm BST: Watch Pep Lijnders preview Norwich City cup tie

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 08:30
Watch live as Pepijn Lijnders previews Liverpool's Carabao Cup tie against Norwich City at a 12pm BST press conference today.
Categories: LFC NEWS

‘Incredible’ Ibrahima Konate was worth the wait…

the Athletic - Mon, 09/20/2021 - 04:58
Patience has been a virtue for Ibrahima Konate.

Liverpool’s £35 million signing from RB Leipzig spent the opening month of the season watching from the bench.

Rather than throw his new recruit straight in, Jurgen Klopp opted to play Joel Matip alongside the commanding Virgil van Dijk.

The manager believed Liverpool would benefit most from the understanding that existed between two experienced centre-backs who had recovered from serious injuries. He also felt that Konate needed more time on the training field to adapt to what was expected from him tactically.

Klopp reassured the young French defender that his time would come and Saturday’s hard-fought victory over Crystal Palace gave him the opportunity to showcase why he was Liverpool’s No 1 transfer target this summer. He did not disappoint.

Konate completed 48 of his 55 passes (87 per cent) and made three tackles, three clearances, two blocks and an interception. He got better the longer the game went on.

“We all saw what kind of potential the boy has — it’s incredible,” said Klopp. “Physicality, technique, game understanding, it’s all there. He’s in a really good way. There is a lot more to come from him.”

Konate was too strong for Wilfried Zaha when danger lurked in the first half and then too quick for Christian Benteke as he tracked back to snuff out the threat of the former Liverpool striker.

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Milner: 'Superman' Van Dijk needs looking after

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 22:45

James Milner says it is imperative Liverpool rotate Virgil van Dijk following his return from a long injury lay-off despite being regarded by team-mates as 'Superman'.

The Netherlands captain, 30, was rested for the midweek Champions League victory over AC Milan but returned to play his fifth full 90 minutes in the Premier League this season in the 3-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Van Dijk required ACL knee surgery after a clash with Jordan Pickford during a 2-2 draw with Everton on 17 October last year.

"We all think Virg is Superman and he is, 99 times out of 100," said Milner.

"But the injury that he has come back from - and to look as good as he has done since he has come back - you know, he's not 21.

"To do what he has done since he's been back is incredible. It shows what a good player he is, what a mentality he has.

Van Dijk Image: Liverpool have conceded one goal in their opening five Premier League games with Virgil van Dijk back in the team

"But he needs looking after as well, no matter how angry he gets at being left out of the team. He is going to need looking after and that is rotation."

Van Dijk started the first four league games of the campaign alongside Joel Matip but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp opted to name summer signing Ibrahima Konate as his centre-back partner against Palace.

Tuesday 21st September 7:00pm Kick off 7:45pm Sky Sports Football HD Sky Sports Football HD

In place of the rested Van Dijk last week, England international Joe Gomez made a long-awaited return after 10 months out through a knee injury of his own.

Liverpool vice-captain Milner added: "You look at the centre-halves in the club - they are all incredible. You see them in training, they are unbelievable.

"I think it (rotation) is obviously important. The positions we got into last year, we were unlucky with injuries and players having to play out of position. I think it is to help with things like that."

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League

Liverpool, who have conceded just once so far in the league, travel to Norwich in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports.

The Reds finished third in the Premier League last season, 17 points behind champions Manchester City, after a strong finish ensured Champions League qualification.

Two years on from their league title, Milner believes they have even more in their squad than when they broke their 30-year title drought.

"I think that is the mentality you need. You can't dwell, whether you have a good performance or a bad performance. You need to move on to the next one," the 35-year-old added.

"You can't be too happy after a good one, you can't be too down after a bad one.

"If you have a couple of bad results and iffy performances, that is when it gets harder, but you look at this squad and it is more experienced than when we won the title.

"We had the pain of last year but it ended up being a really good year, with what we managed to achieve in the circumstances and coming with that late run (to qualify for the Champions League).

"But those experiences and feelings, as a group, we have been through them all together and that can only be a good thing."

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Liverpool and Chelsea on red alert as Kingsley Coman tipped to leave Bayern

HEAD NEWS - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 18:35

Liverpool and Chelsea are on red alert as transfer target Kingsley Coman has been tipped to leave Bayern Munich by the club's ex-sporting director.

The Premier League pair were linked with the winger during the summer transfer window but the Reds and Blues were both said to be put off by Bayern's asking price, reportedly £86million.

Coman, who has recently undergone minor heart surgery, has a contract at the Allianz Arena until 2023 but has often discussed his desire to feel more appreciated at the German giants, or else he will seek pastures new.

Full story: Daily Mirror

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

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Liverpool and Chelsea on red alert as Kingsley Coman tipped to leave Bayern

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 18:35
Liverpool and Chelsea are on red alert as transfer target Kingsley Coman has been tipped to leave Bayern Munich by the club's ex-sporting director.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool and Chelsea on red alert as Kingsley Coman tipped to leave Bayern

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 18:35

Liverpool and Chelsea are on red alert as transfer target Kingsley Coman has been tipped to leave Bayern Munich by the club's ex-sporting director.

The Premier League pair were linked with the winger during the summer transfer window but the Reds and Blues were both said to be put off by Bayern's asking price, reportedly £86million.

Coman, who has recently undergone minor heart surgery, has a contract at the Allianz Arena until 2023 but has often discussed his desire to feel more appreciated at the German giants, or else he will seek pastures new.

Full story: Daily Mirror

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

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The 18 players who have scored 100 or more goals for Liverpool

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 18:21

Sadio Mane became the 18th Liverpool player to score 100 goals in the club’s 129-year history on Saturday, joining the likes of Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and Steven Gerrard.

Mane struck 43 minutes into the Reds’ 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace for his third goal in six appearances so far this season, finishing well after Mohamed Salah‘s header was saved.

It was a significant goal for the No. 10 – not only his 100th for Liverpool, but also a record-breaking effort in finding the back of the net in nine consecutive meetings with Palace.

In hitting his century, Mane joined an exclusive list of legendary Reds goalscorers, equalling Kevin Keegan’s tally for the club.

Only 18 players have scored 100 or more goals during their time at Anfield, with Mane the second of two in Jurgen Klopp‘s current squad.

Liverpool's John Barnes (left) celebrates the winning goal with Ian Rush (right) 1989 FA Cup final, Wembley (PA Images)

Rush is Liverpool‘s all-time leading goalscorer with 346 – a feat that is unlikely to ever be improved on – while Roger Hunt (285), Gordon Hodgson (241), Billy Liddell (281) and Gerrard (186) make up the rest of the top five.

Salah (130) broke into the top 10 with his goal against Palace, leapfrogging Sam Raybould (also 130) by virtue of having played fewer games.

According to Opta’s Michael Reid, Mane is the 10th-fastest to score 100 goals for Liverpool, having done so in 224 games – 19 fewer than Sir Kenny Dalglish.

Sadio Mané has become the 18th player to score 100 competitive goals for Liverpool – and gets himself into the top 10 for fastest to reach the landmark, just ahead of Kenny Dalglish! #LFC #LIVCRY pic.twitter.com/dIavumYkmh

— Michael Reid (@michael_reid11) September 18, 2021

Incredibly, only Gerrard, Mane, Salah and Michael Owen have become centurions exclusively in the Premier League era, with Klopp remarking on a shorter shelf-life for players at any particular club in modern times.

“I am really happy for him he could reach it, a massive achievement in the glorious history of this club that only 18 players scored 100 goals,” the manager said.

“Nowadays players are not normally as long at clubs so I am really happy I could work so long with him.”

Liverpool players to score 100 goals or more

 Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • 1. Ian Rush – 346
  • 2. Roger Hunt – 285
  • 3. Gordon Hodgson – 241
  • 4. Billy Liddell – 228
  • 5. Steven Gerrard – 186
  • 6. Robbie Fowler – 183
  • 7. Kenny Dalglish – 172
  • 8. Michael Owen – 158
  • 9. Harry Chambers – 151
  • 10. Mohamed Salah – 130
  • 11. Sam Raybould – 130
  • 12. Jack Parkinson – 128
  • 13. Dick Forshaw – 123
  • 14. Ian St John – 118
  • 15. Jack Balmer – 110
  • 16. John Barnes – 108
  • 17. Sadio Mane – 100
  • 18. Kevin Keegan – 100

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Pascal Struijk scores as Leeds inflict humbling defeat on Liverpool U23s

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 16:37

Suspended for the first team after his red-card challenge on Harvey Elliott, Pascal Struijk instead started and scored as the Leeds under-23s humbled Liverpool.

Liverpool U23s 0-4 Leeds U23s

Premier League 2, Kirkby
September 19, 2021

Goals: Gelhardt 12′ 62′, Miller 45+1′, Struijk 59′

It was a disappointing afternoon for Barry Lewtas’ U23s as they slumped to a 4-0 home defeat to last season’s Premier League 2 champions Leeds, thanks to a fantastic solo performance for Joe Gelhardt.

Having been victorious in just one of their opening four league fixtures so far this season, the young Reds will be thoroughly disheartened with their showing on Sunday afternoon.

As the academy opened their doors to plenty of fans for the first time in just over 15 months, many arrived hoping to catch a glimpse of the Reds’ newest hotshot, Kaide Gordon.

However, Gordon wasn’t involved in Sunday afternoon’s fixture as he seems certain to make his senior Liverpool debut in Tuesday evening’s League Cup tie against Norwich at Carrow Road.

Gordon has more than made his mark at youth level this season, as he has fired in two goals in four league games, one of which came in the mini-Merseyside derby last month.

 Liverpool's Jack Bearne during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Manchester United FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In his absence, Mateusz Musialowski, Max Woltman and Jack Bearne were tasked with troubling a Leeds side that had already taken maximum points on the road in Premier League 2 this season.

Lewtas’ side struggled from the first whistle as most of the opening 10 minutes were played inside their half, with the hosts forced to compactly guard their box.

It seemed that Liverpool had survived Leeds’ early onslaught as they began to string some passes of their own together in the hope of working their way up to Kristoffer Klaesson between the Whites’ sticks.

James Norris had the home side’s first effort on target as he fancied his chances from 25 yards out, but the effort was all too comfortable for Klaesson.

The Reds then fell behind when they sloppily gave the ball away in the middle of the park as they attempted to form an attack.

 Leeds United's Joseph Gelhardt celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Manchester United FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And it looked like it would be a fairly routine defensive reset for Lewtas’ side, but that was until Joe Gelhardt, who was lurking just inside the Liverpool half, picked his head up and audaciously chipped Marcelo Pitaluga from 45 yards out.

Liverpool reacted fairly well to going behind early, as they looked to push the Whites back in the hope of letting the game unfold in their half.

Just like Jurgen Klopp’s senior side, it looked like the young Reds’ strength would come from set-pieces as they boast the 6’4″ Billy Koumetio.

However, this time the defender made his presence felt with the ball on the ground as he threaded a perfectly weighted line-breaking ball to onrushing midfielder Tyler Morton, who nearly caught Klaesson out with a delightful lob of his own.

However, Liverpool failed to make their brief dominance count as Amari Miller doubled the away side’s lead just before the interval after a pinpoint drag-back from Gelhardt.

 Liverpool's James Norris during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Manchester United FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Morgan Boyes and Elijah Dixon-Bonner were introduced during the interval as Tyler Morton and Dominic Corness made way.

However, Lewtas’ changes didn’t yield the desired effects as senior defender Struijk rose highest to power a header past Pitaluga early into the second half to all but settle the game.

Having said that, the away side didn’t stop there as Gelhardt grabbed his second and Leeds’ fourth just minutes later with another unbelievable finish – this time picking the ball up from 35 yards out and curling it into the top corner, leaving Pitaluga helpless in his scramble to tip it behind.

The young Reds’ disastrous afternoon was perfectly encapsulated when Musialowski found himself on the end of a penalty-box scramble with the ball breaking kindly to him, and with just the ‘keeper to beat, the Polish forward somehow poked his effort wide.

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga looks dejected as Leeds United score the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Manchester United FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite the scoreline, Pitaluga made some excellent stops to keep the margin at four. No more notably than his penalty save 10 minutes from time to deny the fantastic Gelhardt from claiming the match ball.

After being brought down by Boyes, the striker dusted himself down to take the spot-kick. However, Liverpool’s Brazilian was equal to it as he dived to his left to palm it away.

Liverpool U23s: Pitaluga; Gallacher, Clayton, Koumetio, Beck; Norris, Corness (Boyes 46′), Morton (Dixon-Bonner 46′); Musialowski, Bearne, Woltman

Subs not used: Hughes, Wilson

Next match: Chelsea (A) – Premier League 2 – Friday, September 24, 7pm (BST)

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Match report: U23s beaten by Leeds in Premier League 2

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 16:16

Liverpool U23s were beaten 4-0 by Leeds United in their Premier League 2 fixture at the Academy on Sunday afternoon.

Barry Lewtas’ side suffered their second loss in the division this season as goals from Joe Gelhardt (two), Amari Miller and Pascal Struijk gained three points for the visitors.

Having seen the seniors and the U18s clinch victories on Saturday, the U23s kicked off hoping to complete a treble and bounce back from their defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last week.

The hosts found themselves up against a powerful Leeds line-up, however, and fell behind with 13 minutes on the clock.

After the away team snatched possession in the middle of the park, Gelhardt spotted a chance to try his luck from around 45 yards with Marcelo Pitaluga out from his goalline.

The Liverpool goalkeeper got a touch to the Leeds man’s attempted lob but could not prevent the ball from finding the net for 1-0.

A crucial block by Tony Gallacher later stopped a potential second as Sean McGurk spun in the box, before the Reds came close to an equaliser.

Billy Koumetio dispatched a pass over the top of the opposition defence for Tyler Morton to run on to and the midfielder’s own attempt at a lob drew an excellent save from Kristoffer Klaesson.

And Leeds instead doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time, Gelhardt making ground along the right flank and teeing up Miller to beat Pitaluga from a tight angle.

Lewtas sought to freshen things up by introducing both Morgan Boyes and Elijah Dixon-Bonner from the bench at the outset of the second half.

The latter almost helped to reduce Liverpool’s arrears on 52 minutes as his free-kick from the left was flicked on to an unmarked Koumetio, who headed over from close range.

Pitaluga made a brilliant save to keep out Stuart McKinstry’s volley as the hour mark arrived, but Leeds were celebrating again within seconds – Struijk headed home from the resulting corner to stretch their advantage to 3-0.

Next, Gelhardt repeated his trick from the first half with an outstanding long-range strike into the top corner, this time from a distance of 35 yards.

Mateusz Musialowski could have registered a consolation for Liverpool when found in space by James Norris’ cross but dragged his effort wide of the goal.

And the Reds were grateful to Pitaluga for denying the visitors a fifth from the penalty spot. Gelhardt was fouled by Boyes inside the box but saw his kick stopped by Pitaluga to keep the deficit to four on a frustrating day in Kirkby.

Liverpool U23s: Pitaluga, Gallacher, Beck, Clayton, Koumetio, Corness (Boyes, 46), Morton (Dixon-Bonner, 46), Norris, Bearne, Woltman, Musialowski.

Unused substitutes: Hughes, Wilson.

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Match report: U23s beaten by Leeds in Premier League 2

LiverpoolFC TV - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 16:16
Liverpool U23s were beaten 4-0 by Leeds United in their Premier League 2 fixture at the Academy on Sunday afternoon.
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How James Milner has emerged as Liverpool’s Jason Bourne

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 16:00
Jurgen Klopp declared it to be as hard-working a 3-0 win as you are likely to obtain, and he was right.

Crystal Palace might have swapped the inherently pragmatic Roy Hodgson for the invincible Patrick Vieira, but, at Anfield on Saturday, it was a very definitive case of the more things change, the more they stay the same.

On the way to the ground, I got into one of those wonderful conversations with an absolute stranger, which predominantly focused upon the dangers that Palace potentially posed.

It was the perfect preparation for what was to come.

It was as if Vieira at least partially sent his team out with the instructions to forget everything he had told them since his arrival at Selhurst Park, and instead to just go out there and Hodgson the hell out of the game.

Disingenuous an accusation to a degree, it was the visitors who made the early running, perhaps emboldened by the concept of trying to take advantage of a completely altered back four in comparison to the one which had faced AC Milan on Wednesday evening.

 Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew (L) and Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In the early exchanges, Wilfried Zaha almost looped a fortuitous effort up and over Alisson, only for our grizzly bear of a goalkeeper to heroically paw the ball across the face of his left-hand post, as if it were a beehive, and he was in search of honey.

Put him back in his black kit on a far more regular basis and the title will be ours by Easter.

An entire change of back four from the one that faced Milan on Wednesday was a bold move by Klopp, and Alisson’s stop from Zaha was the first of a collection of crucial saves and interventions, which acted as the foundation for a comfortable win in numerical terms, if not in a sensory term.

This was a satisfying win, the type of win upon which seasons of substance are built. Winning league titles isn’t entirely about those days when everything clicks into place perfectly, as they are also dictated by mastering the days when the air is turbulent.

These are mechanical bull games, where you hold on tightly at the start, before eventually enjoying the ride. They are wins that make an imprint on ourselves and our rivals.

 Liverpool's Naby Keita (C) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

By and large, there seems to be a noticeable collective determination about Liverpool during the early weeks of the new campaign, and if this formative pace is to be kept then it will be near on impossible for others to live with.

Football seasons are living, breathing entities, which fluctuate constantly.

Every game, every week, every month brings with it both ups and downs, positives and negatives, and the team that finishes at the top will be the one that balances all the key factors and rolls the most effortlessly with the punches it absorbs.

For Liverpool, this currently means dislocated ankles, calf strains, hamstrings and illness. One player’s misfortune is an opportunity for somebody else, however. Those who come in are desperate to be part of the team. There is no let-up.

Yet, this does not mean that everybody hits peak form simultaneously.

 Liverpool supporters react to a missed chance during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Diogo Jota laboured through this one, as he did against Milan. A player who is excellent when on the crest of a wave, Jota still needs to master the concept of contributing more during games in which goals are elusive.

It isn’t simply down to one glaring miss, Jota is currently drifting to the periphery of games in a manner that Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino don’t when they are suffering in front of goal.

Mane has suffered more than his fair share of struggles across the last year, but now seems to be bubbling towards his best again.

Throughout that time, he never shrunk as a presence in the team, and Saturday marked the rich reward of his 100th Liverpool goal, something that is a testament to his strength of personality, as much as it is his outrageous footballing talents.

Having been preferred to Firmino as the season began, when coupled to the Brazilian’s injury and playing in a couple of World Cup qualifiers for Portugal, it has meant Jota has been very much front and centre so far this season, when the last one was considerably fragmented.

 Liverpool's Kostas Tsimikas during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A bright start with goals against Norwich and Burnley has petered out a little. Hopefully, he will sit out the League Cup trip to Carrow Road on Tuesday night. For him to play every game has been a big ask, and it is beginning to affect him.

Ibrahima Konate made his debut in this one, and he did enough to suggest there is a fine central defender there. It still didn’t mean that Joel Matip’s presence wasn’t missed. Liverpool are infinitely more fun when Matip plays.

Thiago limping off was the biggest worry of the afternoon, but it was wonderful to see a hint of the Naby Keita of RB Leipzig. What a goal; what a celebration.

James Milner stole the show, however.

 Liverpool's James Milner during the FA Premier League match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s like watching Jason Bourne in a Liverpool shirt. Called from the shadows to perform all the dark arts, as and when they are required, Milner plays as if focused on avenging the death of a succession of loved ones.

He brutally yet efficiently takes inferior opponents down, before limping away to perform surgery on himself, and then sneaking into Tangier under a false passport, in a bid to find out more about covert black ops projects that resulted in the assassination of his father.

He won’t rest until the Premier League is won once again.

To Norwich we go next, for our annual League Cup duties, before an interesting Premier League encounter at an ebullient Brentford.

Newly promoted balloons are there to be burst though, and Liverpool should go to west London armed with a pin.

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Free video: Watch all of Sadio Mane's 100 Liverpool goals

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sun, 09/19/2021 - 14:03

Watch all of Sadio Mane's 100 goals for Liverpool in our free compilation video now.

The No.10 brought up a century of strikes for the Reds when he notched the opener in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield.

Mane’s tally since joining the club in 2016 has included all manner of efforts, from unstoppable long-rangers to clinical headers and outstanding solo goals.

See every one of them again in the YouTube video below.

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