-- Delivered by Feed43 service
-- Delivered by Feed43 service
-- Delivered by Feed43 service
-- Delivered by Feed43 service
-- Delivered by Feed43 service
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has attempted to clear up once and for all what happened during his brief spat with Mohamed Salah at Burnley earlier this season.
The Senegalese international reacted angrily to be substituted during the 3-0 win at Turf Moor, but it later emerged that Mane was not happy with Salah - as he'd failed to square the ball to him in the penalty area moments before he was replaced.
Mane has now attempted to put the spat to bed, not for the first time, by claiming the two actually have a good relationship, and that the falling out was just heat of the moment stuff from two individuals who want to win big.
“It was a misunderstanding, I just wanted to help the team," Mane told French publication Canal+, as quoted by Sport Witness.
"You look at teams like City, they sometimes score five or six. If there’s a possibility to kill off the game as quickly as possible all the while trying to score many goals, I think that’s important, and so I was a bit frustrated.
“We just talked, and everything was like before. We talked between ourselves, and then the manager called me into his office and we spoke. I told him it was already sorted and he was pleasantly surprised”.
Mane continued by sharing what Salah said to him in the aftermath of the incident, going on to reveal that the falling out became a figure of fun for his Liverpool teammates - and wind-up merchant Georginio Wijnaldum in particular.
He added: “He told me ‘but Sadio, why are you angry?’. I told him ‘you needed to give me the ball, Mo’ to which he replied ‘I didn’t see you. You know I’ve got nothing against you’. I knew that, but his reaction was a bit strange to me.
“We’re always side by side. He’s 10 and I’m 11 . We text each other sometimes. We even talk on the phone, but we don’t have a problem”.
“Everyone was taking the p**s out of us. Wijnaldum, who likes to tease people, waited until everyone was there, came up to me and asked out loud ‘Mo Salah, why did Mane want to hit you?’ and the whole team started laughing."
Indeed, it does appear that the pair have put the incident behind them. Mane has five goals this season, Salah has four and Liverpool are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after just eight games.
There was a time when the Anfield crowd roared the name of Philippe Coutinho with unadulterated love.
It wasn't just his 41 goals or his 35 assists in 152 Premier League appearances, it was also his wizardry on the ball that made him a fan favourite. However, the former Liverpool star made a bold choice in January 2018, when he decided to fulfil his lifelong dream of playing for Barcelona alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Gerard Piqué.
That love from the Kop instantly faded, though his move left a gaping hole in Liverpool's midfield.
Except it didn't.
After Coutinho's departure, Liverpool went on to new heights. They made the final of the Champions League months after the Brazilian's exit and won Europe's biggest title a year later, conquering Barcelona along the way.
At the time of writing, they sit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table after just eight games of the 2019/20 season.
Indeed, almost as soon as Liverpool reinvested the £142m transfer fee received from Coutinho's move in their uncertain defence, with the signings of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, their one-time talisman became forgotten.
Meanwhile, for Coutinho his dream move to Camp Nou quickly became a nightmare, eventually leading to a loan move to Bayern Munich this summer. The expensive flop became even more irrelevant in England as Liverpool soared.
But should he be so easily erased from the minds of Liverpool supporters? Perhaps not. Perhaps the Reds should have sought the opportunity to reunite him with the Anfield turf.
It may feel impossible to criticise the current Premier League leaders and reigning European champions, but, if there is one area of the pitch in which they are weaker than some of their competitors, then it is definitely their midfield.
A sturdy, but relatively immobile, central three of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum has been enough for Liverpool so far, but with pressure rising on their title challenge, they seem to lack a little creativity in the middle of the park.
Liverpool have won all eight of their league games this campaign, an incredible record. But it has been far from convincing at times. They needed a 95th-minute penalty to avoid a draw at home to Leicester in their last match, as well as a howler from goalkeeper Dean Henderson the week before to squeeze past newly-promoted Sheffield United.
Whilst their full-backs and front three continue to provide devastating attacking displays, Liverpool's midfield has produced only two of their 20 Premier League goals this term. This lack of threat has the potential to leave Liverpool in a difficult situation come an off day for the attackers.
So who could fill that gap? Well, they would need someone who scores goals and provides them for others, a player who could fit in to Jürgen Klopp's system and a tried and tested Premier League star.
Tick, tick and tick.
Philippe Coutinho could just be the man for the job. He is a magician with the ball at his feet, operating in the tight spaces that deep-lying opposition defences create for Liverpool.
The Brazilian has the ability to carve open stubborn formations and boy can he hit a strike from outside the box. He already has two goals and three assists in only six starts for Bayern so far, and he is starting to show the form the Premier League was all too accustomed to. He has all the attributes required to succeed, again, at Anfield. But Liverpool fans already know that.
Put simply, Coutinho offers Liverpool something they don't have. That spark, that flair from the centre of the pitch. Liverpool have seen glimpses of such attributes from Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, admittedly, all too briefly.
But injuries and form suggest that neither aforementioned midfielder can offer the consistency to aid Liverpool in their hunt for more silverware.
Liverpool's lack of summer signings caused concern for many supporters, with the Reds failing to make additions to their squad from a position of great strength. Maybe the one they needed, and once knew intimately, just slipped from their grasp.
A new reason for the eleventh-hour cancellation of Nabil Fekir's transfer to Liverpool last summer has been put forward, with the suggestion that Jurgen Klopp was left unimpressed by the Lyon forward's disruptive 'personality'.
The Frenchman was famously all set to join the Reds from Ligue 1 side Lyon in the summer of 2018, but the deal fell through after the attacker was reported to have failed a medical - despite leaked images already showing the World Cup winner in Liverpool training gear, doing his first interview for the club.
The party line at the time from those around Liverpool was that Fekir's unreliable knee was the dealbreaker. However, there has long been underlying suggestions that fitness wasn't the only reason for the transfer's dramatic collapse.
David Maddock of the Daily Mirror's told Sky Sports' Sunday Supplement podcast that Fekir's personality and the involvement of his brother were the key factors which killed the deal.
"They nearly signed Nabil Fekir from Lyon last summer and in the end the reason they didn't sign him was not because of the injury," Maddock is quoted as saying. "He did have an injury, which was a problem but they could have done the deal.
"There were other problems: he got his brother involved, began demanding more money, wouldn't speak to the Liverpool people.
"Klopp was like, 'we can't have that personality in our squad'."
Despite months of speculation, Liverpool never revisited a deal for Fekir, who joined La Liga side Real Betis in the summer of 2019 for an initial €20m.
In his tenure at Anfield, Klopp has built a brilliant squad at Liverpool, which is clearly pulling in the same direction apparently without any egos causing problems behind the scenes.
Maddock also explained that this close-knit dressing room didn't happen by chance and Klopp's attention to detail is frightening when choosing the right player to bring to Anfield.
He added: "He [Klopp] picks the right personalities who respond to his energy and his man management. You can see it. They believe. Virgil van Dijk says often 'this is special'. Klopp is responsible for that.
"There are many reasons Liverpool are successful and it's not just Klopp. They have science, analytics which are groundbreaking…but Klopp himself, his man management, his personality is a huge factor."
Liverpool are currently top of the table by an incredible eight points after only eight games, as the Merseyside club continue their search for an elusive first-ever Premier League trophy. .
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been rewarded for his stunning 2018/19 campaign by claiming a place in the Guinness World Records 2020.
The right-back notched up 16 assists across all competitions last season, including 12 in the Premier League. This is the highest number by a full back in a single season in the Premier League era, bettering the previous record of 11 which was jointly-held by Andy Hinchcliffe and Leighton Baines.
Alexander-Arnold provided six assists in as many games at the end of last season to snatch the assists record away from fellow full back Andy Robertson, who finished one behind on 11, and he admitted that a friendly rivalry had developed between the pair throughout the season. He also credited centre back Virgil van Dijk with giving him the confidence to get higher up the pitch to express himself.
Speaking to Guinness World Records about Robertson, he said: "He probably thought he had the competition wrapped up! Near the end of the season we both hit really good form, we were both getting lots of assists and it was good to help the team in those games that we needed to win."
When highlighting Van Dijk's influence, Alexander-Arnold added: "He is a world-class player and the best I have played with. We benefited a lot last season knowing we have players like Virgil giving us the protection behind us."
Alexander-Arnold's latest award caps off a stunning year for the youngster, having won the Champions League with Liverpool back in June. He played a key role in Liverpool's run to the final, assisting the winning goal in the side's semi-final tie against Barcelona with a quick piece of thinking from a corner.
Looking back at that goal, Alexander-Arnold spoke of how it was a matter of timing, and how his moment of inspiration rounded off a memorable evening for the Reds.
"I looked over into the box and saw that all the Barcelona players had switched off. I saw Divock in there and thought 'why not?'. It was a really special goal; everything fell into place so perfectly. Hopefully it will stay in the memories of everyone who was there or watching that night."
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is on what has been described as an ‘special training regime’ in order to ensure he is fit for the Premier League clash against Manchester United on Sunday.
Back-to-back Golden Boot winner Salah suffered an ankle knock in Liverpool’s most recent outing against Leicester when he was on the receiving end of a heavy challenge from Foxes midfielder Hamza Choudhury during the Reds’ victory.
Salah was substituted a few minutes later, with Liverpool going on to win the game in his absence as James Milner converted a penalty deep into stoppage time.
The injury was not thought to be serious, but Liverpool appear to have been cautious, not wishing to take any chances with a player who has scored 77 goals since arriving on Merseyside a little over two years ago.
A report from the Daily Mirror states that Salah has been doing special training to aid his full recovery and return to sharpness and is now expected to be available to start at Old Trafford – a game Liverpool are targeting for an 18th consecutive Premier League win.
Salah missed international duty with Egypt this month, which will have aided his recovery, although it had already been confirmed ahead of the Leicester game that national team coach Hossam El Badry was not going to pick the national hero so that he could rest.
The international break has been a welcome one for Salah. After playing 52 games for Liverpool last season, which didn’t finish until 1 June, he was then active at the Africa Cup of Nations until just four weeks before starting in the Community Shield at Wembley in early August.
The 27-year-old has already played 12 games in all competitions so far this season, only missing the Carabao Cup tie against MK Dons. What’s more, Liverpool are set for a frantic few months, with December particularly full because of FIFA Club World Cup commitments.
Liverpool are expecting to have goalkeeper Alisson Becker back at Old Trafford after missing more than two months with a calf injury, while centre-back Joel Matip could also return.