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Sturridge signs for Trabzonspor

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 16:24
Watch Liverpool vs Arsenal on Saturday from 5pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 5.30pm

Last Updated: 22/08/19 6:44am

Daniel Sturridge was a free agent after leaving Liverpool at the end of last season Daniel Sturridge was a free agent after leaving Liverpool at the end of last season Daniel Sturridge was a free agent after leaving Liverpool at the end of last season

Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has joined Turkish club Trabzonspor on a three-year contract.

Sky Sports News reported last week that Sturridge had been in talks with Trabzonspor and Besiktas as he searched for a new team following the expiration of his deal at Anfield in June.

The 29-year-old attracted plenty of interest from across Europe, with Serie A side Atalanta and Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt both reportedly keen on the free agent earlier in the window.

Sturridge scored 67 goals in 160 appearances for Liverpool after joining from Chelsea in January 2013, but has not found the net since September 2018.

He made 18 Premier League appearances for Liverpool during the 2018/19 season.

Sturridge was part of the Liverpool squad that won the Champions League in June Sturridge was part of the Liverpool squad that won the Champions League in June Sturridge was part of the Liverpool squad that won the Champions League in June

Sturridge is eligible to play football again after completing a ban for breaching the FA's gambling regulations.

He served two weeks of a six-week ban. The remaining four have been suspended until August 31, 2020, meaning he is free to play football again in the event he commits no further breaches of FA's guidelines.

Transfer Centre

Thought the transfer window was closed? Wrong. Across Europe, plenty of deals are still being done, with Premier League players still able to move to the continent.

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Police seek man after Saints-Liverpool incident

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 12:39
Police want to speak to man after seven-year-old injured as a result of gas canister thrown from away end in Southampton's match with Liverpool

Last Updated: 21/08/19 1:33pm

The incident happened in the second half of Southampton's defeat to Liverpool The incident happened in the second half of Southampton's defeat to Liverpool The incident happened in the second half of Southampton's defeat to Liverpool

Hampshire Police have launched an appeal to identify a supporter they want to speak to in connection with an incident in Southampton’s game with Liverpool at the weekend.

A nitrous oxide (NOS) canister was thrown from the away supporters' section of the Northam stand into the home end at St Mary's shortly after Liverpool's second goal.

The gas canister hit a seven-year-old Southampton fan, who suffered minor injuries as a result.

Recognise this man? The pics are not the best, but we want to speak to him after an incident at Saints v Liverpool on Sat 17 Aug. An item was thrown from the away end into the Northam home section & hit a young Saints fan. Please call 101 ref 44190293624. https://t.co/4RgDYL1Jm7 pic.twitter.com/uB1f4ZKcbA

— Hampshire Police (@HantsPolice) August 21, 2019

Hampshire Police want anyone who recognises the man or has any other information about the incident to call 101 quoting 44190293624.

Alternatively anyone with information can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Liverpool won the match 2-1 to take top spot in the Premier League table after just two games.

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'Four goals at Anfield? I've played better'

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 09:53
Watch Liverpool vs Arsenal on Saturday, live on Sky Sports from 5pm

Last Updated: 21/08/19 4:02pm

0:27 Andrey Arshavin says he could never have imagined he would score four goals for Arsenal away to Liverpool in their iconic 4-4 draw 10 years ago Andrey Arshavin says he could never have imagined he would score four goals for Arsenal away to Liverpool in their iconic 4-4 draw 10 years ago

Andrey Arshavin admits he never expected to score four goals in Arsenal's staggering eight-goal thriller at Anfield 10 years ago - but insists he has enjoyed better games.

The Gunners held title-chasing Liverpool to a 4-4 draw in April 2009, a game best-remembered for Arshavin's goal-scoring heroics.

But Arshavin, who had joined Arsenal from Zenit St Petersburg less than three months earlier, told Sky Sports News: "For me it was a regular game - nothing special. I did not feel anything special before the game.

"When I came out onto the pitch and was warming up, I thought 'we will not lose today'. That was the only thing I knew before the game.

2:09 We take a look back to one of the most dramatic matches in Premier League history, when Andrey Arshavin scored four for Arsenal, to hault Liverpool's race for the title We take a look back to one of the most dramatic matches in Premier League history, when Andrey Arshavin scored four for Arsenal, to hault Liverpool's race for the title Liverpool vs Arsenal

August 24, 2019, 5:00pm

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"Of course I could not imagine before that game that I would score four goals.

"If you look at the stats, it was my best game. But in terms of playing style, I had some other games that were much better."

Ten years after the amazing 4-4 draw, Liverpool and Arsenal meet again at Anfield on Saturday in an early top-of-the-table Premier League clash, live on Sky Sports.

0:49 Martin Tyler brings you his first teaser of the 2019-20 season ahead of Wolves' Monday Night Football clash with Manchester United Martin Tyler brings you his first teaser of the 2019-20 season ahead of Wolves' Monday Night Football clash with Manchester United

The Gunners have won their first two league matches of the season for the first time in a decade, but Arshavin is still unsure on the job being done by head coach Unai Emery.

"It's difficult to replace a guy (Arsene Wenger) who managed the team for more than 20 years," said Arshavin. "Unai Emery is not in a good position I would say.

"But I would say the first year was not bad. He is building the team and he needs time. I hope he does well.

Arshavin was signed for Arsenal by Arsene Wenger, and scored 31 goals in 145 games for the club Arshavin was signed for Arsenal by Arsene Wenger, and scored 31 goals in 145 games for the club Arshavin was signed for Arsenal by Arsene Wenger, and scored 31 goals in 145 games for the club

"I think the realistic target is to be in the top four because Manchester City and Liverpool are very strong. They are contenders for the title."

Arshavin returned to Zenit, initially on loan, in 2012, and went on to play for another Russian club - Krasnodar - as well as Kazakhstani side Kairat Almaty before retiring in December 2018.

While he only spent three years in north London, the 38-year-old says he will always be an Arsenal fan.

"Of course - why not?" he said. "In England I played only for Arsenal. I'm still a Gooner and I never change.

"People who met me liked me and they mentioned about this match. It was good to be there and I enjoyed it."

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Pukki tops Power Rankings

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 12:00
Adam Smith

Data and Analysis @AdamDatasmith

Tune into the monthly Kings of the Premier League show on Sky Sports at the end of August, brought to you by Budweiser, to find out who is crowned King of the Month

Last Updated: 20/08/19 4:49pm

Sky Sports and Budweiser, the official beer of the Premier League, have teamed up to bring you the weekly Power Rankings.

Norwich striker Teemu Pukki has toppled Raheem Sterling in the Power Rankings chart - but who else made the top 50?

The Finland international broke the deadlock against Newcastle with a sensational volley before completing his hat-trick to secure the 3-1 win - having opened his Premier League account against Liverpool.

Sterling slipped into runner-up spot after heading home a sumptuous Kevin De Bruyne (No 7) cross, before Erik Lamela (No 4) levelled the scores three minutes later in a 2-2 draw with Spurs.

Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele kept his place among the top 10 Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele kept his place among the top 10 Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele kept his place among the top 10

Burnley striker Ashley Barnes (No 3) maintained his scoring streak with a first-half equaliser against Arsenal, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (No 5) hit back with a sensational winner at the Emirates.

Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford (No 8) and Anthony Martial (No 10) made the top 10 after a 1-1 stalemate with Wolves, while Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk (No 9) narrowly retained his place among the top performers.

Below we present each club's form player in the rankings, with Harry Wilson soaring to Bournemouth's summit on his league debut for the club, while former Derby team-mate Mason Mount topped the chart for Chelsea.

You can find out more about the Power Rankings' methodology here

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Off Script: Carra's standout team talks

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 12:00
Jamie Carragher

Football Expert & Columnist

"Before Houllier came, the British way at half-time would be that when the door shut, everyone would be talking non-stop"

Last Updated: 21/08/19 6:10am

7:20 Jamie Carragher joins Geoff Shreeves for this week's Off Script. Carra reveals his most memorable team talks and how effective they were Jamie Carragher joins Geoff Shreeves for this week's Off Script. Carra reveals his most memorable team talks and how effective they were

In the latest Off Script, Jamie Carragher explains how Gerard Houllier changed the art of the team talk for him, and why Ashley Cole was so special.

Carragher's friend and Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe recently allowed Sky Bet behind the scenes at the club, including a fascinating look at his pre-match team talks.

7:52 Sky Bet went behind the scenes at Plymouth to get the lowdown during their pre-season preparations under new boss Ryan Lowe Sky Bet went behind the scenes at Plymouth to get the lowdown during their pre-season preparations under new boss Ryan Lowe

So what makes a good team talk, and how have they changed over the years?

Carragher also reacts to Ashley Cole's retirement from football on Sunday, and why all eyes are on Frank Lampard at Chelsea...

Houllier's half-time visuals

Gerard Houllier was probably the best manager I had for team talks. Not just half-time team talks, he was brilliant at a team meeting, and could really pump you up for a game.

It was interesting when Gerard came in. Before that, the British way at half-time would be that when the door shut, everyone would be talking non-stop, with 15 minutes you had to cram it in.

But when the foreign managers came in, they wouldn't speak for five minutes, and I've heard Arsene Wenger was the same. There's not a lot of information given at half-time now, because nobody is taking anything in.

Houllier would come in, not say anything for five minutes, make sure everybody was ready, and when he did speak, everyone would be ready to listen. And he'd speak for two or three minutes max.

Carragher played under Gerard Houllier until 2004 at Liverpool Carragher played under Gerard Houllier until 2004 at Liverpool Carragher played under Gerard Houllier until 2004 at Liverpool

Sometimes Houllier would send Phil Thompson in a few minutes before half-time, to write a message on the flipchart in the dressing room. The one that rings a bell is when we were 2-0 up at half-time against Manchester United once. But at that time, United were obviously famous for fighting back.

He wrote the scoreline of a recent game where United had come back from 2-0 down to win. I can't remember who it was against, but it could have been anyone. They did it to everyone!

Roy Hodgson was also interesting in team talks. People look at Roy and think: 'Everyone's favourite uncle, a really nice man.' But he could lose it!

Carragher on Hodgson at Liverpool

It was a little message for us for when we sat down. Nobody was speaking, but it was as if to say: "This game is not over." It was a visual, rather than a manager talking.

Roy Hodgson was also interesting in team talks. People look at Roy and think: "Everyone's favourite uncle, a really nice man." But he could lose it.

He would do this thing where if a player wasn't being aggressive or jockeying with his marker, he would go over to them and jockey with them, like the David Brent dance! I'd be crying laughing. He was very entertaining in team talks.

Cole didn't have an ego

Ashley was a quiet bloke off the pitch. On the pitch? He was typical Chelsea, a little bit ratty, I think Mourinho got into him, he'd get involved, and they'd always be around the referee. But I can't talk about that, I did that job for Liverpool!

Carragher insists Ashley Cole had no ego, and was misrepresented in the media Carragher insists Ashley Cole had no ego, and was misrepresented in the media Carragher insists Ashley Cole had no ego, and was misrepresented in the media

He's a quiet lad. The criticism he got from sections of the media at different times for different incidents was similar to Raheem Sterling in some ways. The public then think of this player in a particular way. I've named Raheem Sterling because I played with him as well, and they were both quite quiet lads.

Ashley wasn't some big ego, or very loud in the dressing room, he didn't have this swagger about him, he just played his football. You didn't hear too much from him around the hotel with England, which was the only time I was really around him, so I felt a bit sorry for him with the way he was portrayed around in the media. That certainly wasn't the lad I knew.

I was always kicking him, because they always had the ball when we played against that Arsenal team. If you were to ask me what was the toughest thing on the pitch for me, it was playing right-back against that Arsenal team, with Ashley Cole, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry, because Henry was like a second left-winger.

Carragher hated playing against the famous Arsenal side of 2002 to 2004 Carragher hated playing against the famous Arsenal side of 2002 to 2004 Carragher hated playing against the famous Arsenal side of 2002 to 2004

Including European teams, that Arsenal team from 2002 to 2004 were the best I ever played against. I know Manchester United have been the most successful in the Premier League era, but in terms of individually giving me the most problems, it just felt things were happening so fast that you couldn't compute what was going on. It was like a pinball machine. Things were happening too quickly for me.

There were actually times after Arsenal games, up against Cole and the rest of them, where I thought: "I'm actually out of my depth here!"

A brilliant player for Arsenal and Chelsea, and a great England player too.

All eyes are on Lampard

I think everyone who becomes a manager is putting themselves on the line, and fair play to them, especially coming to Chelsea so early in his managerial career.

I know Frank. In some ways, I am as close to Frank as I am with any player who I didn't play club football with. We played U21s together and roomed together.

I'd have loved to see Frank get this job in 10 years' time, with 10 years' experience. That doesn't mean he's not going to be successful now, but he would be a better manager in 10 years, that's obvious.

Frank Lampard with Carragher during their England days Frank Lampard with Carragher during their England days Frank Lampard with Carragher during their England days

I think everyone, when a former player goes back to a club, wants it to go well. I don't think Frank will ruin what happened as a player, he was that good.

But say Steven Gerrard went back to Liverpool as manager, John Terry at Chelsea or Thierry Henry to Arsenal. This part of the managerial career is remembered most because it's the former club, so this will be remembered more than what he does at Derby, or some future jobs. So there is a lot on the line, and I think he's taken the job in difficult circumstances.

Some people think the club have done him a favour in giving him this job. You could argue that. But you could also look at it the other way and say he's done the club a favour, because maybe not many top managers wanted to come, with the transfer ban and losing Eden Hazard.

I hope this season goes well for him, and then next season when they can actually buy players he can shape the squad to what he wants to do.

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De Bruyne vs Beckham and Gerrard

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 19:58
Neville also explains how Manchester United 'nullified' Steven Gerrard and how teams could try to stop De Bruyne

Last Updated: 20/08/19 6:37am

5:00 Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville compare Kevin de Bruyne to David Beckham and Steven Gerrard and discuss who they think is the best crosser in PL history Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville compare Kevin de Bruyne to David Beckham and Steven Gerrard and discuss who they think is the best crosser in PL history

Gary Neville lauded Kevin De Bruyne on Monday Night Football, calling the Manchester City playmaker "mesmerising" and comparing him to David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.

De Bruyne produced a man-of-the-match display on Saturday as City drew 2-2 with Tottenham at the Etihad.

The 28-year-old, who missed much of last season with injury, provided assists for both City goals with splendid crosses from the right side.

'De Bruyne matches Beckham and Gerrard'

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Beckham is regarded as one of the best crossers in the history of the Premier League, while Gerrard was also renowned for his pin-point passing.

But Neville said De Bruyne is delivering the same quality as his former England team-mates.

"I like watching tactical games, close games, I have never really got over-awed by watching an individual but De Bruyne mesmerises me. He is the type of player that is so good, he is world class, and for the first hour on Saturday it was stunning.

3:06 Watch highlights from Manchester City's draw against Tottenham Watch highlights from Manchester City's draw against Tottenham

"His positions are always good. David Beckham and Steven Gerrard are two of the best crossers I have seen on the right side in the Premier League. He matches them in terms of the quality he delivers - and that is high praise. He does things that they did just as well."

Neville also praised De Bruyne's intelligence.

For the opening goal he dropped back to receive the ball before crossing deep for Raheem Sterling to score. He then ran down the line for the second goal and crossed for Sergio Aguero to finish.

"On the first goal he drops back and then you are talking about the quality of the delivery and it is so special," said Neville.

De Bruyne dropped back to create City's first goal against Tottenham De Bruyne dropped back to create City's first goal against Tottenham De Bruyne dropped back to create City's first goal against Tottenham

"The second goal is slightly different. He has got people covering the drop back so he goes the other way. He is intelligent and the timing of his movement is perfect. You are never in doubt that his cross is going to go exactly where he should do.

"For about an hour on Saturday he was unplayable and it took me back to playing with the best crosser of the ball I played with - David Beckham.

B'mouth vs Man City

August 25, 2019, 1:00pm

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"Teams ordinarily tucked in narrow and tight but that tactic never worked against Manchester United. You had to get out and close him down and make sure he couldn't get the ball out of his feet. Even from deep positions the crossing was out of this world.

"De Bruyne is repeating the level of quality and precision from that inside right channel that Beckham produced for United and that is not something I would see again in the Premier League for a long time."

How United stopped Gerrard

While Neville played alongside Beckham at club level, he came up against Gerrard on a number of occasions when Manchester United faced Liverpool.

Neville says the problems Gerrard caused meant Sir Alex Ferguson had to change United's tactics.

"For about two or three seasons he was dropping into that right channel and we were defending conventionally. Then we changed and, if he could, Sir Alex Ferguson always put Anderson on the left of midfield and Ryan Giggs tucked in narrow.

Anderson was tasked with marking Steven Gerrard by Sir Alex Ferguson Anderson was tasked with marking Steven Gerrard by Sir Alex Ferguson Anderson was tasked with marking Steven Gerrard by Sir Alex Ferguson

"It didn't matter who was running wide, just make sure you are against Steven Gerrard. Don't go with the decoys and distractions - stay with Gerrard.

"For three or four years we stopped Gerrard and nullified him. We changed the way we played, and very rarely did Manchester United change the way we played for a team, but Gerrard made us do that."

How can teams stop De Bruyne?

Neville thinks the challenge now for teams is to stop De Bruyne getting space to cross from the right.

Can teams stop De Bruyne from crossing? Can teams stop De Bruyne from crossing? Can teams stop De Bruyne from crossing?

"I think it's getting to a point now where you cannot allow De Bruyne into this space on the right. You have to deal with the threat, which is De Bruyne. He is that good from that position.

"Teams started to do it against Beckham and would leave me. Exactly the same is happening at City and teams have to stop him by defending a bit unconventionally."

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Carroll: I googled Liverpool team-mates

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 15:23
"I've grown up, and got responsibilities, so... I've got a purpose," says returning Newcastle striker

Last Updated: 20/08/19 6:34am

Andy Carroll signed for Liverpool in January 2011 Andy Carroll signed for Liverpool in January 2011 Andy Carroll signed for Liverpool in January 2011

Andy Carroll has admitted he was 'googling' his new Liverpool team-mates on his way out of Newcastle in 2011, but has vowed to return to Tyneside with "a purpose".

Carroll says his "daft" years are behind him as he prepares to resume his career at first club Newcastle.

The Gateshead-born 30-year-old striker burst on to the scene as a teenager at St James' Park and found himself thrust into both the limelight and a series of off-field scrapes as his stock rose on it, eventually resulting in a then-British record £35m switch to Liverpool in January 2011.

"When I was here [at Newcastle], I'd go home, mess about with my mates, play football, go out, whatever, but I'd never watch football, I never knew any players," he told Newcastle's club website.

"I'd come in on the Friday or wake up on the Saturday morning saying, 'who are we playing?' It was just completely oblivious to all the football that was going on. I would work at the training ground and knew my tactics, but until we had a meeting I didn't know who we were playing, unless I asked someone.

"When I was in the helicopter down to Liverpool, I was like, 'I know Stevie G [Gerrard], I know [Jamie] Carragher. Who else?' My agent at the time had to tell me, and I would get it on Google and find out the team. So that's actually a true story.

"It's bad because it's Liverpool players, but it's not disrespectful - I just literally didn't watch football, so I didn't know."

Carroll watched Newcastle's 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal from the stands Carroll watched Newcastle's 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal from the stands Carroll watched Newcastle's 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal from the stands

Now back on Tyneside after a surprise deadline-day move by the Magpies, he is adamant he is a different man to the one who left the north east eight and a half years ago and by his own admission, that is due in large part to his fiance Billi Mucklow.

He added: "I've got no doubt that I was daft when I was here, and no doubt that I was daft for a couple of years after as well. But I met my missus, and we've got four kids living at home now, we've got animals, we've got responsibilities.

"There's no more behaviour like it was, you know? I was stupid, I was young, and I was carried away with the lifestyle that I had.

"Now it's completely different. I'm actually a dad, I've grown up, and got responsibilities, so... I've got a purpose."

2:59 Highlights from Norwich's 3-1 win against Newcastle in the Premier League. Highlights from Norwich's 3-1 win against Newcastle in the Premier League.

Despite the promise he showed during his first spell at Newcastle, Carroll's career has not panned out the way he might have hoped with injuries limiting his involvement with clubs Liverpool and West Ham as well as England.

He is currently working his way back to full fitness after ankle surgery, and is acutely aware of the amount of football he has missed.

He said: "It's not my fault. I don't want to be sitting in the gym by myself doing rehab. I want to be outside doing what I love to do, playing football and being with the lads. I've been out of it for so long and I don't want to be like that.

"People think you're getting paid so it doesn't matter. No, that's not the case. I haven't come into this job to get paid. Yeah, it pays well, but I've come into it because I love it - there's a difference.

"I don't love being in the gym. Everyone that knows me knows I hate the gym, it's the worst thing ever. I want to be outside.

"I'm working my ******** off to get fit and I was working my ******** off when I was injured as well. It's non-stop."

Head coach Steve Bruce will not rush Carroll back into action before he is ready despite the club's pressing need for results, and his second debut may still be several weeks away.

However, a man who at his best can terrorise defenders cannot wait until the day he can pull on the black and white shirt once again.

He said: "I'm more buzzing to put it on now, the shirt, than I was when I was 17. I'm so excited."

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Emery: We don't want to face Liverpool!

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 09:20
Watch Liverpool vs Arsenal on Saturday from 5pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 5.30pm By Rory O'Callaghan

Last Updated: 19/08/19 4:28pm

0:49 Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has joked he would rather not face Liverpool ahead of next Saturday's trip to Anfield Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has joked he would rather not face Liverpool ahead of next Saturday's trip to Anfield

Unai Emery has admitted he would rather not play Liverpool this season but insists Arsenal will be positive when they face the European champions at Anfield.

Liverpool are the early Premier League leaders after beating Norwich and Southampton in their opening two games, while Arsenal are second in the table after wins over Newcastle and Burnley.

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August 24, 2019, 5:00pm

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The top two sides meet at Anfield on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, and Emery admits Jurgen Klopp's side are formidable opponents on current form.

"For us we don't want to play against Liverpool ever," he joked after Saturday's 2-1 win over Burnley.

"We'd prefer not to play against them.

"That is really our challenge, a really good test. For the supporters, for all of us, going there with six points is good.

Liverpool and Arsenal have both started the new Premier League season with two wins out of two Liverpool and Arsenal have both started the new Premier League season with two wins out of two Liverpool and Arsenal have both started the new Premier League season with two wins out of two

"Really our target is to reduce the distance to Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea.

"When we play against them it is a big challenge to show how we can be. Next week is going to be a very good match."

Liverpool thrashed Arsenal 5-1 in the same fixture last season thanks to a Roberto Firmino hat-trick and goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

However, Emery is confident his new-look team can keep Liverpool's dangerous front three quiet this time around.

He said: "We are going to prepare first with the adaptation to them, their gameplan and individual players and after to impose our gameplan and capacity.

Arsenal lost 5-1 at Anfield last season Arsenal lost 5-1 at Anfield last season Arsenal lost 5-1 at Anfield last season

"We are going to prepare both defensively and offensively.

"I think first is to be positive in our capacity and then work hard. I know my past is to work hard, the present and future is going to be the same.

"After we can win, we can lose. But above all is be positive and keep moving ahead."

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Klopp laughs off Adrian error

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 18:09
Ron Walker

Digital Football Journalist @ronnabe

"Minute 83, Adrian thought, 'I've played really well so I have to make a mistake like Alisson did'," jokes Jurgen Klopp

Last Updated: 17/08/19 11:10pm

Jurgen Klopp laughed off Adrian's mistake in Liverpool's 2-1 win at Southampton Jurgen Klopp laughed off Adrian's mistake in Liverpool's 2-1 win at Southampton Jurgen Klopp laughed off Adrian's mistake in Liverpool's 2-1 win at Southampton

Jurgen Klopp laughed off goalkeeper Adrian's error against Southampton as following in regular number-one Alisson's footsteps.

Adrian's clearance, which struck Danny Ings before going in, ended up only costing Liverpool a clean sheet in their 2-1 win.

However, Klopp may have been in less jovial mood had former Reds striker Ings made a good connection on a late Yan Valery cross, with the Saints man missing the glorious chance to level.

Adrian had been a doubt to play at St Mary's because of an injury suffered when a fan knocked him over while celebrating Liverpool's Super Cup win on Wednesday night, but passed a late fitness test to start ahead of 35-year-old stand-in Andy Lonergan.

"Minute 83, Adrian thought, 'I've played really well so I have to make a mistake like Ali did and keep the game a little bit open'," Klopp joked.

2:59 Highlights from Liverpool's 2-1 win against Southampton in the Premier League Highlights from Liverpool's 2-1 win against Southampton in the Premier League

"I said to him, 'Finally, it arrived, welcome'. Ali did the same, obviously it is a goalie thing at Liverpool. I have no problem with that as long as we win the game.

"Adrian had a swollen ankle, we played too many balls back to him in that period. I was happy with everything he did today, all the saves he made, all the other stuff.

"The other players need to feel the responsibility for the build-up for the balls back for him.

"He is good with his feet and if you would have seen his ankle on Thursday when we left the plane, then you would say that pass for the goal was better than you would have expected. It is all fine."

Liverpool looked as though the 4,000-mile round trip for their penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea in Istanbul on Wednesday had taken its toll in the first half, and Klopp referenced their long week in his post-match comments.

2:54 Klopp felt his Liverpool side escaped a potential 'banana skin' against Southampton, after securing all three points at St Mary's Klopp felt his Liverpool side escaped a potential 'banana skin' against Southampton, after securing all three points at St Mary's

But he insisted their sluggish start had not been connected to their long week of travel and said Southampton had been the source of their frustration instead.

"Southampton are a good team. They defend well, they had good counter-attacks, good organisation," he said.

"This afternoon it was difficult again, nothing to do with the game midweek. I said before the game if we had come here with two weeks' preparation it would have been difficult.

"I liked the game a lot. It is not allowed to think too much about Wednesday but I know it, so I was really impressed with how fresh we looked, at the start especially, just how good we were.

"We deserved to win."

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Liverpool survive scare to beat Saints

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 17:13
Ron Walker

Digital Football Journalist @ronnabe

Report and highlights as Southampton come close after Adrian's clearance rebounds in off Danny Ings

Last Updated: 17/08/19 8:11pm

2:59 Highlights from Liverpool's 2-1 win over Southampton on Saturday Highlights from Liverpool's 2-1 win over Southampton on Saturday

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino's goals gave Liverpool a 2-1 win at Southampton despite a late scare from the hosts.

A Liverpool performance which had started so poorly on the south coast still held a half-time lead thanks to Mane's curling strike just before the break, and they marked a much-improved second half with a smart finish from Firmino (71).

But goalkeeper Adrian, who passed a late fitness test to start the game, had a moment to forget when his clearance rebounded in off Danny Ings to set up a tense ending, during which the ex-Liverpool forward missed a golden chance to level from close-range.

Player ratings

Southampton: Gunn (7), Valery (7), Bednarek (5), Vestergaard (6), Yoshida (5), Betrand (6), Hojbjerg (6), Ward-Prowse (6), Romeu (7), Redmond (7), Adams (5).

Subs: Ings (6), Armstrong (5), Djenepo (6).

Liverpool: Adrian (6), Alexander-Arnold (6), Matip (5), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Milner (6), Wijnaldum (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), Salah (7), Firmino (7), Mane (8).

Subs: Fabinho (6), Origi (6), Henderson (n/a).

Man of the match: Sadio Mane

Southampton were left with nothing to show for a spirited effort come the full-time whistle, while Liverpool continued their perfect start and avoided any major issues from their 4,000-mile round trip to Istanbul for the Super Cup last Wednesday.

Liverpool ride luck to stay perfect

Whether a result of their excursion to eastern Europe in midweek or not, Liverpool were well below their best and struggled to get any of their potent front-line into the game.

Their cause was not aided by James Milner's lengthy absence to receive stitches in a head injury, and with a man extra Southampton came close to an opener when James Ward-Prowse's corner was met by Maya Yoshida, but an instinctive save from Adrian kept the ball out.

Che Adams later should have opened his Saints account with another header from Oriel Romeu's cross but nodded over the bar unmarked from 12 yards.

Sadio Mane's strike lit up an otherwise poor first-half Liverpool performance Sadio Mane's strike lit up an otherwise poor first-half Liverpool performance Sadio Mane's strike lit up an otherwise poor first-half Liverpool performance

With Liverpool unpunished for their sluggish start, they struck a cruel blow on the stroke of half-time. Mane was given space on the edge of the area from a throw-in and curled beyond Angus Gunn to dramatically alter the course of the game.

The half-time break did nothing to stop Liverpool taking full advantage of the momentum a goal can give, and suddenly they looked the side in full control.

It looked like the old Liverpool when Mane's clip over the top allowed Mohamed Salah to run through on goal before Gunn saved with his legs, but the front three didn't need to be at their best to double their lead. Mane robbed Jan Bednarek from a Southampton throw and cut in from the left before firing across the goalkeeper.

Firmino and Andrew Robertson missed chances to add to the scoreline with Southampton looking deflated, but they had reason to believe again when Adrian's howler of a clearance struck Ings and rebounded in.

Ings was a whisker away from stunning his former club minutes later when Jan Valery's low cross found him, but he side-footed wide from a great position.

Manager reaction

Ralph Hasenhuttl: "If you play against a big team, you need a good performance to take something. We had a fantastic first half, a lot of chances and stressed them very early, invested a lot. A lot more than against Burnley, and I had a good feeling.

2:32 Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl felt his side weren't clinical enough Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl felt his side weren't clinical enough

"But Mane scored a fantastic goal, these strikers are unbelievable, they do not need time and space and the second half was more difficult when they became more comfortable."

Jurgen Klopp: "It looked like a proper, proper banana skin since Wednesday night, it was about headlines and they had already been prepared. My favourite headline is the mentality giants are in town, and that's the game I saw.

"I'm really proud of what the boys did, I was part of the travel and what the boys did. We deserved the three points, no doubt about that, they had a little rise when Adrian helped them with the goal, but he's now arrived at Liverpool."

Opta stats
  • Liverpool have now won 11 consecutive Premier League matches, equalling their best -ever winning streak in the competition, previously set between February and April 2014 under Brendan Rodgers.
  • Southampton have lost both of their first two Premier League games of a season for the first time since their first season back in the division in 2012-13 under Nigel Adkins.
  • Sadio Mané scored his 20th goal for Liverpool in all competitions in 2019, at least eight more than any of his teammates in this calendar year (Mo Salah 12).
Man of the match - Sadio Mane

The man who changed the game, Mane's goal gave the match a very different complexion at the break and was a touch of class which Liverpool had lacked in the opening 45 minutes.

He added another major contribution after the break by hassling Bednarek into a mistake which led to Firmino's goal and was a general nuisance in his first Premier League start of the season. 20 goals from his last 26 games is a formidable return.

What's next?

Liverpool host Arsenal live on Sky Sports in the tea-time kick-off next Saturday at 5.30pm. Earlier that day Southampton travel to Brighton at 3pm.

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Andy Lonergan: Spotland to Anfield

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 14:06
In one of the most unlikely stories in recent years, the journeyman goalkeeper could feature for the Champions League holders months after playing for Rochdale in League One. By Alan Myers, Sky Sports News North-West Reporter

Last Updated: 16/08/19 4:09pm

Andy Lonergan joined Liverpool on a deal until the end of the season following Alisson's injury Andy Lonergan joined Liverpool on a deal until the end of the season following Alisson's injury Andy Lonergan joined Liverpool on a deal until the end of the season following Alisson's injury

Andy Lonergan, at the age of 35, could make his Premier League debut at Southampton on Saturday just a month after joining Liverpool as third-choice "goalkeeping cover".

It's a remarkable turn of events which has resulted in the former Preston North End and Leeds goalkeeper being potentially elevated to Jurgen Klopp's only available experienced stopper.

Number one Alisson is currently recovering on the sidelines after sustaining a calf injury in Liverpool's opening-day victory over newly-promoted Norwich last Friday.

While the Brazil international's new understudy Adrian - signed on a free transfer only last week - is a doubt for Saturday's match away at Southampton, although he has since said he is "optimistic" of being fit, after he was bizarrely injured by a fan during the celebrations in the immediate aftermath of the Super Cup penalty shootout win over Chelsea.

Alisson leaves the pitch after picking up a calf injury in the opening day win over Norwich Alisson leaves the pitch after picking up a calf injury in the opening day win over Norwich Alisson leaves the pitch after picking up a calf injury in the opening day win over Norwich

It could see Lonergan thrusted into top-flight action for the first time at St Mary's, potentially becoming the oldest Englishman to make his Premier League debut in the 21st century.

Lonergan's career so far

Lonergan has a long and varied career path, making his name as first choice under David Moyes at Preston before spells at Leeds, Bolton, Fulham and Wolves across the Championship and League One.

Last season, he found himself playing in League One with relegation-threatened Rochdale after joining as an emergency loan signing.

Lonergan started his career at Preston North End under the management of David Moyes Lonergan started his career at Preston North End under the management of David Moyes Lonergan started his career at Preston North End under the management of David Moyes

His last competitive appearance came in March in a 3-1 victory over Scunthorpe at Spotland Stadium in front of 3,361 fans.

Rochdale survived the drop into League Two but Lonergan was left without a side after being released by parent club Middlesbrough, having not played a single minute of Championship action for them.

35y 302d - Should he debut for Liverpool tomorrow, Andy Lonergan will be the oldest Englishman to make his Premier League debut in the 21st century, aged 35 years and 302 days. Evergreen. pic.twitter.com/lZRTnaR2BT

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 16, 2019 How did the move to Liverpool happen?

Without a club ahead of the new season, Lonergan incredibly found himself training at Melwood with Liverpool as a back-up for their pre-season campaign due to a shortage of goalkeepers at the club.

Lonergan even featured in the 2-1 friendly defeat to Sevilla in July, playing 45 minutes at Boston's Fenway Park.

Lonergan is in line to start against Southampton, with Adrian a doubt for the game Lonergan is in line to start against Southampton, with Adrian a doubt for the game Lonergan is in line to start against Southampton, with Adrian a doubt for the game

But any thoughts of Lonergan staying at Liverpool beyond pre-season were deemed slim.

The injury suffered by Alisson in the opening game of the season prompted Liverpool to act quickly though and Lonergan was deemed as the man to come in to provide extra cover alongside Adrian.

Should Liverpool fans be concerned?

Lonergan brings with him a lot of experience despite having never played in the top flight.

Klopp described Lonergan as "ready to play" in his Friday media conference ahead of the trip to the south coast.

Academy graduate Caoimhin Kelleher is another option for Klopp, but he is only returning from a wrist injury and the Liverpool boss said the decision over who starts at St Mary's will be made on Saturday.

Klopp will have no other option than to play Lonergan if Adrian is ruled out and it will complete an unlikely journey up the Football League to the Premier League for him.

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Southampton vs Liverpool preview

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:19
Watch match highlights from 5.15pm on skysports.com and Sky Sports app

Last Updated: 16/08/19 1:13pm

Liverpool make a swift return to Premier League action after winning the Super Cup Liverpool make a swift return to Premier League action after winning the Super Cup Liverpool make a swift return to Premier League action after winning the Super Cup

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Southampton vs Liverpool in the Premier League.

Team news

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has confirmed he has no fresh injury concerns.

New signing Kevin Danso is available having joined up with the squad earlier this week, while winger Moussa Djenepo could be set for a debut having been an unused substitute in the 3-0 defeat at Burnley.

Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian is a doubt for Saturday's Premier League trip to Southampton after suffering a freak ankle injury during the Super Cup victory over Chelsea.

0:55 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says goalkeeper Adrian is a doubt to face Southampton after being injured by a fan who invaded the pitch at the end of the UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says goalkeeper Adrian is a doubt to face Southampton after being injured by a fan who invaded the pitch at the end of the UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp revealed the Spaniard was hurt when a pitch invader landed on his ankle during the post-match celebrations in Istanbul. Should Liverpool be without Adrian, either Andy Lonergan and Caoimhin Kelleher will deputise for the Spaniard, with regular first-choice Alisson already out for a few weeks because of a calf complaint.

Naby Keita has also been ruled out of the trip to Southampton.

1:54 Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says he doesn't expect Saturday's opponents Liverpool to be affected by playing extra time in the Super Cup Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl says he doesn't expect Saturday's opponents Liverpool to be affected by playing extra time in the Super Cup How to watch

Follow the action with our dedicated live blog. Highlights of the game will be published at 5.15pm on the Sky Sports website and app plus the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel.

2:57 Highlights from Liverpool's 4-1 win over Norwich in the Premier League. Highlights from Liverpool's 4-1 win over Norwich in the Premier League. Opta stats
  • Southampton have lost their last four Premier League matches against Liverpool, conceding 11 goals and scoring just once in this run.
  • Liverpool have only lost one of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Southampton (W7 D3), going down 2-3 in March 2016. The Reds had lost five of their previous seven against Saints prior to this run.
  • Liverpool ended the 2018-19 season with a run of four consecutive away Premier League wins - they haven't won five in a row on the road since a run of six between February and April 2014.
  • Southampton have both scored and conceded in 13 of their last 14 Premier League home games, with the exception being a 2-0 win against Fulham in February.
  • This is the third meeting between Ralph Hasenhuttl and Jürgen Klopp in all competitions - Klopp has won the previous two, with Borussia Dortmund against VfR Aalen in the DFB-Pokal in October 2012 and a 3-1 win for Liverpool against Southampton last season.
  • In 12 Premier League games against opponents from the south coast (Brighton, Bournemouth and Southampton), Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has found the net in 11 of those, scoring 14 goals and assisting another three.
  • Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold has registered an assist in his last five Premier League appearances - in Premier League history, only two players have assisted in six games in a row; Cesc Fabregas (six between April 2011 and September 2014) and Mesut Ozil (seven between September and November 2015).
2:11 A look at some of the key stats surrounding this weekend's Premier League action, which includes Tottenham travelling to Champions Manchester City as well as Wolves taking on Manchester United at Molineux A look at some of the key stats surrounding this weekend's Premier League action, which includes Tottenham travelling to Champions Manchester City as well as Wolves taking on Manchester United at Molineux Charlie's prediction

I am not convinced by Liverpool this season. Are they going to be good enough for second? Yes they are. Liverpool cannot and will not be as good defensively - Alisson is out already, too. Southampton will be looking at different things and how to exploit this Liverpool team.

Virgil van Dijk still makes mistakes and is an elegant, beautiful footballer to watch, but he is expected to win headers and play how he does. I think Southampton, after the rotten result, will be at it here.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-2 (16/1 with Sky Bet)

2:59 Highlights from Burnley's 3-0 win over Southampton in the Premier League. Highlights from Burnley's 3-0 win over Southampton in the Premier League. Fantasy Football tip

Southampton look to bounce back against a Liverpool side that may feel fatigued following the UEFA Super Cup. Divock Origi (£9.3m) registered 12 points last week and could be set to lead the line once more at St Mary's. Origi scored and made a goal against Norwich. Play here.

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Adrian 'optimistic' despite injury by fan

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:03
Andy Lonergan in line to replace Adrian

Last Updated: 16/08/19 10:33pm

0:55 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says goalkeeper Adrian is a doubt to face Southampton Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says goalkeeper Adrian is a doubt to face Southampton

Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian is "very optimistic" about starting Saturday's Premier League game against Southampton after he was injured by a fan at the Super Cup.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed Adrian's ankle was swollen after he was accidentally knocked over when a supporter who had encroached onto the field was chased by security.

Adrian is filling in for injured first-choice Alisson and emerged as the hero when saving Tammy Abraham's penalty on Wednesday night, and the goalkeeper hopes he will be ready to make his first league start for the club this weekend.

"Today I feel much better," Adrian told liverpoolfc.com. "It was a strange, weird situation because we were celebrating between us and one guy jumped from the crowd and started running.

Adrian celebrates after helping Liverpool to Super Cup success Adrian celebrates after helping Liverpool to Super Cup success Adrian celebrates after helping Liverpool to Super Cup success

"I think he slipped in front of us and also the security with him and made me a tackle from the side. It was a bit of a strange situation but I feel much better today and I hope [I'm] ready for tomorrow."

On his chances of starting at St Mary's on Saturday, Adrian added: "Yeah, I think I have many chances.

"I feel mentally ready and I also hope today with the treatment of the ankle it's going to be much better. But I'm very optimistic to start playing tomorrow again."

Earlier on Friday, Klopp was asked if the performance would boost Adrian's confidence, saying: "It would help him a lot if it was 100 per cent clear he can play tomorrow.

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"When we were all together (celebrating after the match), a supporter jumped over something, was chased by some security guys, slipped and kicked his (Adrian's) ankle. It's crazy.

"Yesterday, it was swollen. Today I spoke to him and he said 'it's much better than yesterday', but we have to see.

"Apart from that, it was a brilliant night for him, not only because of the penalty but also because of the game."

Alisson's injury prompted Liverpool to sign Andy Lonergan on a short-term contract, and the former Preston, Leeds and Bolton goalkeeper could be in line to deputise should Adrian miss Saturday's encounter.

Andy Lonergan may be in goal for Liverpool at Southampton on Saturday Andy Lonergan may be in goal for Liverpool at Southampton on Saturday Andy Lonergan may be in goal for Liverpool at Southampton on Saturday

Klopp said: "(Caoimhin) Kelleher is now in training as well, so we have them.

"If we have to make a decision, we have to make a decision.

"Adrian came in a week before, Andy Lonergan trained longer with us, played half-time in one of the pre-season games."

Klopp thinks fans should refrain from running on to the pitch to celebrate, adding: "There is no doubt about how much we love our fans, but if they all could stop doing that - it's not funny.

35y 302d - Should he debut for Liverpool tomorrow, Andy Lonergan will be the oldest Englishman to make his Premier League debut in the 21st century, aged 35 years and 302 days. Evergreen. pic.twitter.com/lZRTnaR2BT

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 16, 2019

"I like the fact that we don't have fences in the stadium but it means there is a lot of responsibility for the supporters as well.

"If one person cannot stop himself, then the people around should do it.

"You watch it (the Adrian collision) and you think, it's crazy. How can something like this happen?"

Liverpool will definitely be without Naby Keita for Saturday's match - the midfielder will be on the sidelines due to a muscle strain.

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Where were current PL players born?

Fri, 08/16/2019 - 06:00

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

What corners of the globe do your club's players come from? We've mapped all 557 current squad members in the Premier League...
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Van Dijk up for UEFA Player of the Year

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 13:29
Lucy Bronze, Ada Hegerberg & Amandine Henry on women's Player of the Year shortlist

Last Updated: 15/08/19 2:13pm

Virgil van Dijk is on the UEFA Player of the Year award shortlist Virgil van Dijk is on the UEFA Player of the Year award shortlist Virgil van Dijk is on the UEFA Player of the Year award shortlist

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been shortlisted alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the men's UEFA Player of the Year award.

Van Dijk helped Liverpool to their most successful Premier League season as they gained 97 points, one behind winners Manchester City, and were victorious in the Champions League, beating Tottenham 2-0 in the final in Madrid.

The Netherlands international is the first defender on the three-man shortlist since the inception of the award in 2010/11, while Ronaldo has made it into the final three on all nine occasions.

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award on the most occasions - three times Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award on the most occasions - three times Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award on the most occasions - three times

Messi and Ronaldo have won the award twice and three times respectively.

UEFA has also released the shortlist for the women's prize, with England's Lucy Bronze on the list after her Champions League win with Lyon and a successful run to the World Cup semi-final, where she claimed the Silver Ball for being the second-best player at the tournament.

Bronze's competitors for the award are both team-mates with her at Lyon - French midfielder Amandine Henry and Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg.

Lucy Bronze has been nominated for the women's UEFA Player of the Year award Lucy Bronze has been nominated for the women's UEFA Player of the Year award Lucy Bronze has been nominated for the women's UEFA Player of the Year award

The men's shortlist of three players is selected by a jury composed of 80 coaches of the clubs which participated in the group stages of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, together with 55 journalists from each of UEFA's 55 member associations.

For the women's award, the shortlist of three players is selected by a jury composed of the coaches of the 12 highest-ranked teams in the latest UEFA women's national team rankings, together with the coaches of the eight clubs which participated in the quarter-finals of the 2018/19 UEFA Women's Champions League and 20 specialised women's football journalists.

The awards will be presented at the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage draw ceremony, which will take place in Monaco on Thursday, August 29.

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Adrian proves worth as Alisson cover

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 23:40
Adam Bate

Comment and Analysis @ghostgoal

Last Updated: 14/08/19 11:55pm

Adrian picked up silverware with Liverpool in his first start for the club Adrian picked up silverware with Liverpool in his first start for the club Adrian picked up silverware with Liverpool in his first start for the club

Adrian was the unlikely hero for Liverpool as they beat Chelsea in a penalty shootout to win the European Super Cup. Adam Bate reflects on the goalkeeper's dramatic start and examines the evidence that suggests he might prove an able deputy for Alisson…

What were the odds? Simon Mignolet sat on the bench for 37 Premier League games in a row last season - Loris Karius doing the job on the opening weekend - and he didn't get a sniff of action. Adrian turned up after spending much of the previous month training with sixth-tier Spanish side Union Deportiva Pilas and now he is a European Super Cup winner.

More than that, he was the hero in Istanbul.

Adrian was unfortunate enough to concede a penalty in extra-time - adjudged to have caught Tammy Abraham, although some replays suggested otherwise. But he made up for it in the shootout by saving the final penalty from the same player to win the trophy for Liverpool in the biggest game of his career. What a week it has been for the Spaniard.

The calf injury that Alisson suffered against Norwich led to Adrian's Premier League debut on Friday but the result was already secure with Liverpool three goals up. The shot from Teemu Pukki that he let creep in was of little consequence. Chelsea in Istanbul was a bigger test and he could have been forgiven for feeling self-conscious given the eyes on him.

Pedro beat him early on but it came back off the frame of the goal. Olivier Giroud scored but there was little that he could do with that one either. Adrian did come off his line well to smother the ball at the feet of Mateo Kovacic but he was a little rash in attempting to do the same later in the evening and allowing Abraham the opportunity to tumble to the ground.

Simon Mignolet's Premier League record since 2013/14 Simon Mignolet's Premier League record since 2013/14 Simon Mignolet's Premier League record since 2013/14

Of course, it is the penalty he saved that will be remembered. Either goalkeeper could have been the star of the show in that shootout but while Kepa Arrizabalaga, the most expensive goalkeeper of them all, let two penalties squirm past him into the corner of the net, the free-transfer signing managed to get a strong boot to Abraham's effort and end the contest.

The subsequent joy in the faces of his new team-mates and manager was obvious. A hug from Jurgen Klopp. A hug from everyone. Adrian was held aloft. The unlikeliest of heroes. If he needed an injection of confidence as he fills in for Alisson in the days and weeks to come then he could hardly have wished for more than this. How can he possibly top this?

Make no mistake, this was better than Liverpool had any right to expect of someone who conceded four goals against AFC Wimbledon on his previous start in the FA Cup back in January. Rustiness was Klopp's concern. "In the short term, the problem is that he just came here with no club when we signed him," said the Liverpool boss beforehand.

Adrian celebrates his shoot-out save with Jordan Henderson Adrian celebrates his shoot-out save with Jordan Henderson Adrian celebrates his shoot-out save with Jordan Henderson

Nobody expects him to be Alisson - the man described by Virgil van Dijk on the eve of this game as "maybe the best goalkeeper in the world right now" - but Liverpool are hoping that Adrian doesn't undermine their ambitions. Given Manchester City's record over the past two seasons, it is obvious to everyone that Klopp's side have very little margin for error.

The good news is that swapping Mignolet for Adrian might prove astute. Trading a Belgium international, Liverpool's one-time first-choice goalkeeper with over 200 appearances for the club to his name, for an uncapped 32-year-old Spaniard who spent last season sitting it out at West Ham might not seem an upgrade. But delve a bit deeper and it just might be.

The statistics are encouraging. Analysis of the shots on target that goalkeepers face, based on the type and their location, allows us to calculate the expected number of goals that the average keeper is likely to concede. In each of Mignolet's five seasons in the Liverpool goal, he conceded more goals than would have been expected given the quality of those shots.

Adrian's Premier League record since 2013/14 Adrian's Premier League record since 2013/14 Adrian's Premier League record since 2013/14

In contrast, Adrian's record at West Ham was much more positive. In his first season with the club, he conceded six goals fewer than expected. In the second season, it was eight. He outperformed expectations in four of the five seasons, conceding 16 goals fewer than the shots he faced would suggest, compared to Mignolet who conceded over 20 goals more.

Adrian himself has admitted that he is coming off the back of one of the worst seasons of his career having been unable to get a look in ahead of Lukasz Fabianski and he has readily acknowledged that he was not anticipating that he would earn a contract at a club like Liverpool. But this sort of humility should not be mistaken for a lack of confidence.

After all, this is a goalkeeper who once dispatched his penalty in a shootout against Everton to win an FA Cup tie for West Ham. The hope is that he has the mentality to seize this chance too. "He's a really, really good goalie and a really good person," said Klopp. "We have seen how good he can be," added Van Dijk. "He will definitely do the job."

Adrian made an unexpected Liverpool debut during their 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday Adrian made an unexpected Liverpool debut during their 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday Adrian made an unexpected Liverpool debut during their 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday

Adrian might need to keep doing that job for a little longer yet. There are away trips to Southampton and Burnley either side of an Anfield showdown with Arsenal still to come this month. Even Alisson did not keep a clean sheet in any of those fixtures last season. Adrian's best will be badly needed - but what a platform this has given him.

As he said afterwards, welcome to Liverpool.

Indeed, in a summer in which the club appeared to have made no signings of note, the man they brought in on a free transfer has suddenly become the one Klopp is talking of "packing in cotton wool" because of his importance. It is a curious turn of events underlined by the sight of him celebrating silverware in Istanbul. No Alisson. But it's not necessarily a problem.

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Adrian hero in Liverpool Super Cup win

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 23:18
Ron Walker

Digital Football Journalist @ronnabe

Last Updated: 14/08/19 11:46pm

Adrian proved the hero as his penalty save earned Liverpool a 5-4 shoot-out win after a 2-2 draw with Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup.

Adrian - who joined Liverpool on a free transfer last week and may not have played but for Alisson Becker's injury - kept out Tammy Abraham's penalty to give Liverpool their first silverware of the season at approaching 1am local time in Istanbul, at the end of an entertaining encounter in the first all-English Super Cup.

Chelsea had earlier taken a deserved lead through Olivier Giroud's smart finish (36) but the half-time introduction of Roberto Firmino swung the balance, and within 90 seconds he had set up Sadio Mane to level (47).

While the rest of normal time could not produce another goal, Liverpool went ahead five minutes into extra-time as a Mane rocket beat Kepa Arrizabalaga, but a soft penalty given when Adrian brushed Abraham inside the box allowed Jorginho to level from the spot (101).

Player ratings

Liverpool: Adrian (8), Gomez (6), Matip (6), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Fabinho (7), Milner (6), Henderson (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (5), Mane (8), Salah (7).

Subs: Firmino (8), Wijnaldum (7), Alexander-Arnold (6), Origi (6).

Chelsea: Kepa (8), Azpilicueta (7), Christensen (6), Zouma (6), Emerson (6), Kante (8), Jorginho (7), Kovacic (7), Pedro (8), Giroud (7), Pulisic (7).

Subs: Abraham (6), Mount (7), Tomori (6), Barkley (6).

Man of the match: Adrian

In the shoot-out, nine perfect penalties meant it was all-or-nothing for Abraham. His low spot-kick down the middle was kept out by Adrian's feet, as the Spanish goalkeeper proved the hero and gave Liverpool victory.

How Liverpool lifted the Super Cup

Following their respective results at the weekend, there was an expectation on Liverpool to attack in front of a partisan crowd in Istanbul, where Chelsea's fans were massively outnumbered in the stands.

Salah pulled a strong, low save from Kepa's right hand in the early stages as the Reds began confidently, but once Chelsea rode out the early pressure they took control of the first half.

Pedro struck the bar from a tight angle and Mateo Kovacic was denied by some smart goalkeeping from Adrian, but they got their reward 10 minutes before half-time when Pulisic slipped Giroud through on the left, and he swept the ball across Adrian for a deserved opener.

Olivier Giroud kept up his excellent record in European competition for Chelsea Olivier Giroud kept up his excellent record in European competition for Chelsea Olivier Giroud kept up his excellent record in European competition for Chelsea

A good start nearly became a great one before the break when Pulisic collected Emerson's ball over the top, cut inside and powered a low effort inside Adrian's near post, but his celebrations were cut short by a late offside flag.

The introduction of Firmino at the break bore fruit immediately as he reacted fastest to Fabinho's dink over the top, squared the ball with Kepa caught out and left Mane the simple task of bundling home.

He continued to prove a major cause of concern for the Chelsea backline, setting up Henderson who forced a save out of Kepa minutes later, and giving Liverpool some much-needed bite in attack.

Sadio Mane scored a double on his first start of the season Sadio Mane scored a double on his first start of the season Sadio Mane scored a double on his first start of the season

Chelsea again improved but had Kepa to thank for keeping the scores level with a stunning double save to keep out Salah's drive before turning the rebound from Van Dijk onto the bar.

Half-chances came and went for both sides in the final half-hour but at close to midnight local time, the match went to extra-time without a winner in sight.

Five minutes into that extra period though the Chelsea net was left rippling by Mane, whose one-two with Firmino in the left channel set him up to power beyond Kepa with an unstoppable rising shot.

The drama was far from over with referee Stephanie Frappart, the first woman to officiate a major men's European tie, having a moment to forget when she gave Abraham the softest of penalties after minimal contact from Adrian.

Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee a major UEFA men's match Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee a major UEFA men's match Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee a major UEFA men's match

Jorginho sent the Spanish goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot and ensured the match would go to penalties, where Kepa twice got a hand to Liverpool spot-kicks but could not turn either round the post.

Instead it was Adrian who made the only save of the shoot-out, keeping out Abraham's effort with his feet to give Jurgen Klopp is his second Liverpool trophy, barely two months after his first.

Match facts
  • Only Barcelona and AC Milan (5) have won the UEFA Super Cup more often than Liverpool (4).
  • This was the 11th match between Liverpool and Chelsea in European competition, making it the most played European fixture between two sides from the same nation.
  • Olivier Giroud has scored 12 goals in 16 appearances in European competition for Chelsea, compared to just seven goals in 49 domestic games for the Blues.
Man of the match - Adrian

Perhaps Sadio Mane should get the Man of the Match trophy, but the performance Adrian put in nine days after entering the Liverpool dressing room for the first time was quite something.

An excellent one-handed save to keep out Mason Mount in extra-time and several other fine stops of note across the 120 minutes set him up perfectly for his match-winning stop in the shoot-out, and few deserve that medal more than the Spanish stand-in who is already well on the way to becoming a cult hero on Merseyside.

What's next?

Liverpool travel to Southampton at 3pm on Saturday, but Chelsea get an extra day's rest ahead of hosting Leicester live on Sky Sports on Sunday at 4.30pm.

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Liverpool beat Chelsea in Super Cup recap

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:22

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S Mané (48, 95)

O Giroud (36),Jorginho (101 pen)

Liverpool win 5-4 on penalties.

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Southampton 1-2 Liverpool recap

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 09:59

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Liverpool, Chelsea target more Euro glory

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 06:00
Goalkeeper Alisson misses out for Liverpool while Willian and Antonio Rudiger are part of Chelsea squad By James Walker-Roberts

Last Updated: 14/08/19 6:28am

Liverpool and Chelsea meet in the first all-English UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The match pits last season's Champions League winners (Liverpool) against last season's Europa League winners (Chelsea). Liverpool started their Premier League campaign with a 4-1 win over Norwich on Friday evening before Chelsea lost 4-0 at Manchester United on Sunday.

What changes will both sides make and how will they approach the game? We look at the key points around the blockbuster clash in Istanbul...

Will Liverpool rotate?

Last season's success has meant a busy start to the season for Liverpool.

Having played in the Community Shield, the Reds then opened the Premier League season on Friday Night Football against Norwich. Their trip to Istanbul is followed by a Premier League match at Southampton at 3pm on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp named the same starting XI for the clash against Norwich as he did against Manchester City in the Community Shield, but will he make changes and potentially prioritise the Premier League?

There will definitely be a change in goal as Alisson is out with a thigh injury, meaning summer signing Adrian will make his first start.

Adrian is set to start for Liverpool due to Alisson's injury Adrian is set to start for Liverpool due to Alisson's injury Adrian is set to start for Liverpool due to Alisson's injury

The 32-year-old probably did not expect to be thrust into first-team action so quickly after joining from West Ham, as perhaps shown by his beaming smile as he came on as a substitute against Norwich.

Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner and Naby Keita could be in contention to start while Sadio Mane might be pushing for a place after coming on as a substitute against Norwich, having returned late from the Africa Cup of Nations.

If Mane returns, that means Divock Origi - scorer of the second goal in last season's Champions League final and one of the top performers against Norwich - is likely to drop to the bench.

European head to head

This will be the 11th European meeting between Liverpool and Chelsea. The previous 10 were all in the Champions League, with Chelsea wining three, Liverpool two, and five draws. Only one game was won by a margin of more than one goal.

Gary Neville has called Origi the "perfect" fourth striker for Liverpool and the Belgian says there is a "hunger" for more success this season.

"We have a very talented group and there is good energy around the place and we still have a lot to play for," Origi told Sky Sports. "We are very hungry, and personally I am as well. I want to help this team however I can to help it reach its full potential."

Istanbul holds fond memories for Liverpool after their memorable Champions League victory in 2005.

They have also fared well against English sides in Europe in recent years, having gone unbeaten against Premier League teams in six matches since a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-final in 2009.

New signing Andy Lonergan has been included in the squad, but Dejan Lovren, who could be set to join Roma, misses out due to illness.

0:37 Divock Origi says his instinct told him to stay at Liverpool when he was deciding his future at the end of last season Divock Origi says his instinct told him to stay at Liverpool when he was deciding his future at the end of last season

Klopp was full of praise for new Chelsea manager Frank Lampard ahead of the game, and is looking forward to an 'interesting' game.

He said: "I think Frank showed last year with Derby that he's a very, very, very good manager because he changed Derby pretty much overnight. I didn't know Derby too well but what I heard about it and when I saw them playing last year, especially against United if you want, it was: 'What a game!'

"So, proper football, really high intensity, all that stuff, it's all there, what you need. Good defending [and] high defending, so it will be a challenge. It will be a really interesting game and for us a proper job to do.

"But it's a final, both deserve to be there and both, for sure, want to win it desperately and I think that's a big part of the game plan as well because you have to be lively, but you have to be calm as well. All these things, we have to see who can do them better."

Will Chelsea bounce back?

"A reality check" was how Lampard described Chelsea's 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

Chelsea had chances to score - hitting the woodwork twice - but were undone on the counter-attack in the second half, leading to questions about Lampard's team selection and approach.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Lampard's side were "too soft" and "not aggressive" enough while Paul Merson suggested the pressure is now on.

0:19 Chelsea arrived in Istanbul in the early hours of Tuesday morning ahead of their UEFA Super Cup showdown Chelsea arrived in Istanbul in the early hours of Tuesday morning ahead of their UEFA Super Cup showdown

"It was the way they capitulated at the end which was worrying," said Merse on The Debate.

"It's a big game on Wednesday and a massive game on Sunday [against Leicester, live on Sky Sports]. People will be watching and starting to ask questions like 'what's Brendan Rodgers doing at Leicester and why isn't he at Chelsea'. This becomes a big game."

Lampard has played in two European Super Cups with Chelsea and was on the losing side on both occasions in 2012 and 2013. He says it is a competition the club is "desperate" to win.

"We need to be absolutely ready. It's a cup that the club desperately wants to win.

"Every player in there needs to be aware of the importance of the game to this club and we have to give everything, because it's going to be tough. It's going to be tough, but we cannot walk off the pitch and think "oh, we could've done that" or "we missed that opportunity" or "we weren't quite ready" or make any excuses for ourselves.

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"This final means a lot to the club, it's another trophy and I know how much it means having lost two finals. It would be nice for me personally to start with a trophy but more importantly is it would show to the players that they are capable of competing against a team like Liverpool."

With Sunday's clash against Leicester in mind, what team will Lampard pick against Liverpool?

He opted to go with Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham in attacking positions against Manchester United while N'Golo Kante, who recently returned from injury, came off the bench in the second half.

Chelsea could also be boosted by the return of Willian and Antonio Rudiger, who have travelled with the squad after missing the trip to Old Trafford with injuries.

Who's the referee?

The Super Cup will be the first major UEFA men's match to be officiated by a female referee.

Stephanie Frappart, the 25-year-old Frenchwoman, will lead out a team of predominantly female officials. She will be accompanied by Manuela Nicolosi of France and Michelle O'Neal from the Republic of Ireland who will be the assistant referees for the match. They also took charge of the women's World Cup final on July 7.

Stephanie Frappart will be the first female referee to take charge of a major UEFA men's match Stephanie Frappart will be the first female referee to take charge of a major UEFA men's match Stephanie Frappart will be the first female referee to take charge of a major UEFA men's match

"I'm very happy, and it was really a surprise," said Frappart. "I didn't expect to be given the Super Cup assignment - it's a great honour for me, and for female referees as well. I hope it serves as an example to female referees, and to any young girls who may aspire to be a referee."

How to follow the Super Cup

You can follow all of the action from the European Super Cup on the Sky Sports app and skysports.com with our dedicated live blog, which will feature the best build-up, commentary and reaction.

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