Sturridge’s 50 EPL goals broken down

Daniel Sturridge notched his 50th Premier League goal for Liverpool in dramatic fashion on Saturday as they secured a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

With 89 minutes on the clock at Stamford Bridge, substitute Sturridge dispatched a jaw-dropping, long-range curler over Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the far top corner.

The pin-point strike preserved Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the top-flight season and was a fitting way for the No.15 to hit the half-century landmark, previously achieved for the Reds by Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt.

The breakdown of his 50 goals below shows Sturridge has scored a wide-range of strikes during his 103 top-flight appearances for the club.

But if he’s in the box and the ball is on his left foot, then watch out.

His most productive away ground is Craven Cottage, where he has scored four times for the Reds, while his favourite opponents are Newcastle United and Aston Villa, against whom he has scored five times.

Spurs 1-2 Liverpool

Here’s a few thoughts following our victory against Spurs:

Liverpool’s flying start: The Reds’ 2-1 triumph over Spurs extended our 100 per cent winning start to the season to five matches – a feat we have only achieved on two previous occasions in the top flight.  Bob Paisley’s European champions enjoyed a six-game winning streak to open the 1978-79 season and went on to win the league title ahead of Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.  In 1990-91, Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool began their First Division campaign with an eight-game winning streak and finished as runners-up.  Jürgen Klopp’s men have made the perfect start with victories over West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion, Leicester City and now Tottenham. Just another 33 Premier League games to go.

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Liverpool 6 6 0 0 14 2 12 18
2 Manchester City 6 5 1 0 19 3 16 16
3 Chelsea 6 5 1 0 14 4 10 16
4 Watford 6 4 1 1 11 6 5 13
5 Tottenham Hotspur 6 4 0 2 12 7 5 12

Trent’s half-century: On a day of landmarks, full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold made his 50th appearance for Liverpool after also making his debut against Spurs in the fourth round of the League Cup back in October 2016.  A fresh-faced and relatively unknown Academy graduate back then, the 19-year-old is now a Champions League finalist, has made a World Cup appearance with England and is a stalwart of the Reds back four.  Here, he enjoyed a running battle with the lively Lucas Moura. One stand-out moment came when he won a physical challenge with the Brazilian and then kept his composure to calmly play out from the back amid a swarm of opposition players closing in.

Goals, goals, goals: Despite Tottenham and Liverpool topping the charts for the most minutes played by their players in the international break (1,628 and 1,563 respectively) we shouldn’t have been surprised that they still managed to serve up an exciting spectacle.  The three strikes that hit the net at Wembley today mean there have now been 152 goals scored in Premier League matches between the two clubs – more than in any other fixture in the competition’s history.  Firmino’s second-half finish was Liverpool’s 90th Premier League goal against Spurs. The Reds have only scored more (91) against Newcastle United.

Liverpool FC’s fixture list for 2018-19

Liverpool’s Premier League campaign for 2018-19 will get under way with a home fixture against West Ham United.

The Reds are set to kickstart their league season at Anfield for the first time since 2014-15 having been scheduled to face Manuel Pellegrini’s team on August 11.

Liverpool will host the first Merseyside derby of the season on December 1, with the return fixture at Everton’s Goodison Park slated for March 2.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will also take on their other great rivals Manchester United at home first, the Anfield edition of that fixture coming on December 15, with a trip to Old Trafford following on February 23.

Newcastle United are set to visit Anfield on Boxing Day, while the Reds will conclude their Premier League programme with a home clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on May 12.

August

11 – West Ham United (H)
18 – Crystal Palace (A)
25 – Brighton and Hove Albion (H)

September

1 – Leicester City (A)
15 – Tottenham Hotspur (A)
22 – Southampton (H)
29 – Chelsea (A)

October

6 – Manchester City (H)
20 – Huddersfield Town (A)
27 – Cardiff City (H)

November

3 – Arsenal (A)
10 – Fulham (H)
24 – Watford (A)

December

1 – Everton (H)
4 – Burnley (A)
8 – Bournemouth (A)
15 – Manchester United (H)
22 – Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)
26 – Newcastle United (H)
29 – Arsenal (H)

January

1 – Manchester City (A)
12 – Brighton and Hove Albion (A)
19 – Crystal Palace (H)
30 – Leicester City (H)

February

2 – West Ham United (A)
9 – Bournemouth (H)
23 – Manchester United (A)
27 – Watford (H)

March

2 – Everton (A)
9 – Burnley (H)
16 – Fulham (A)
30 – Tottenham Hotspur (H)

April

6 – Southampton (A)
13 – Chelsea (H)
20 – Cardiff City (A)
27 – Huddersfield Town (H)

May

4 – Newcastle United (A)
12 – Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)

Salah on course to score 35 league goals this season

At his current rate of 0.93 goals per Premier League game, Salah is on course to score 35 league goals this season. There is good reason to think that he might easily hit that target given Liverpool still have to play Bournemouth, Stoke City and Brighton at Anfield, and Crystal Palace and West Brom away from home.

Should Salah reach that figure of 35, it would be a landmark achievement. The Egyptian only needs four goals to surpass the highest ever goal total in a 38-game Premier League season, but 35 would make him the highest goalscorer in any English top-flight season since Ron Davies for Southampton in 1966/67.

A player signed as a wide forward has not just scored goals at a surprising rate, but a rate above anything we have seen in 50 years of English football.

Jurgen Klopp’s post-game summation of Salah understandably generated plenty of headlines:

“I think Mo is on the way. I don’t think Mo or anybody else wants to be compared with Lionel Messi – he is the one who has been doing what he’s been doing for what feels like 20 years or so. The last player I know who had the same influence on a team performance was Diego Maradona. But Mo is in a fantastic way, that’s for sure.”

You can’t really doubt that assessment, although Klopp knows as well as anyone that saying the M-word will inevitably lead to Messi comparisons. Salah has produced a ‘Messi season’, one in which everything he touches turns to gold and one in which at times he is simply unplayable. There is no possible defence for this.

To judge this success story, we have to look at where it came from. Salah’s fee looks remarkably cheap now, but there was a reason for it. He was a creator as much as a finisher, but also a player who was prone to inconsistency. Liverpool were not fighting off interest from dozens of other clubs.

“It’s a lot of money for Liverpool to buy a player, who, if everybody is fit, I don’t think starts,” said former Liverpool player (and now pundit) Steve Nicol, and it was hardly an outrageous suggestion at the time with Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in place.

From that place of doubt, Salah has potentially made himself the best single-season goalscorer in the last 50 years of English football. Kevin de Bruyne might have been the Premier League’s best player and thus deserving of the PFA’s award, but Salah has produced the single most astonishing achievement of the season.

The all-time Premier League table

The Premier League celebrates its 25-year anniversary this summer and what a quarter-century of action it has been in the top flight, with six different champions, countless fortunes spent and a whopping 76 sides relegated.

But what would happen if all 25 Premier League seasons thus far were put together in one glorious table separating the greats from the greatest and the worse from the worst? Who’d take pole position, who’d be stuck at the bottom and who’d find a comfortable place somewhere in between?

Let’s take a look…

Man United break another record… their squad is worth 100% more than Liverpool’s

CIES Football Observatory revealing that they have the most valuable squad of players in world football.

cies-football-squads

As their research into Europe’s top five leagues shows, Man United’s first-team squad cost €718m (£628m) to assemble, putting them ahead of Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Interestingly, Liverpool’s €356m (£311m) is less than half of Man United’s outlay, while title-winning Leicester have a squad worth just 18% of the Manchester rivals’ ranks.

Europe’s most expensive football squads revealed

A new study has revealed the most expensive squads across Europe’s top five leagues and one of the eye-catching statistics is the fact Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool squad cost more than German champions and European titans Bayern Munich, according to the Football Observatory. 

The Reds splashed out a hefty amount of money this summer with eight players coming to Anfield in the form of Christian Benteke, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne and Roberto Firmino.

Meanwhile, Bayern were also busy with Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal amongst those to come in, but it seems as though the Bavarian giants could do with giving Rodgers some advice on how to conduct shrewd transfer business.

The aforementioned study reveals that Liverpool’s squad costs €344 million – the fourth most expensive in the Premier League – whilst Bayern’s is €337 million – the most in Germany, but seven million less than the Reds.

Football Squads

Meanwhile, the study also confirms – not much of a surprise – that Manchester City have assembled the most expensive squad in England, after bringing in the likes of Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Otamendi and Kevin De Bruyne this summer.

Rafa Benitez will have to cope with severe pressure this season after it was also revealed his squad is nearly €200 million more than rivals Barcelona, whilst the gulf in class is evident in Ligue 1 – Paris Saint-Germain’s closest rivals Monaco have a squad which is nearly €400 million cheaper.

Top 20 most expensive squads in Europe:

1. Real Madrid (€587m)
2. Manchester City (€560m)
3. Manchester United (€533m)
4. Paris Saint-Germain (€525m)
5. Chelsea (€407m)
6. Barcelona (€396m)
7. Liverpool (€344m)
8. Bayern Munich (€337m)
9. Arsenal (€305m)
10. Juventus (€301m)
11. Tottenham Hotspur (€231m)
12. Valencia (€226m)
13. Inter Milan (€212m)
14. Napoli (€185m)
15. Southampton (€182m)
16. Atlético Madrid (€180m)
17. Wolfsburg (€163m)
18. AS Roma (€160m
19. Newcastle United (€157m)
20. AS Monaco (€152m)

Liverpool FC: Winning in Style

Brendan Rodgers - 1

With Manchester City failing to beat Sunderland Liverpool’s title dream is getting closer to reality with every passing day.

The Reds have some tricky must win fixtures ahead starting with Norwich, a home fixture against Chelsea, away to Crystal Palace and wrapping the season up with Newcastle United at Anfield.

Even though winning is all that matters during this stage of the season Rodgers wants his players to play the best football and remember the class and traditions of the club as they bid to win a 19th top-flight crown:

We will try to do it in the right way – I take great pride in winning in the most sporting way we can.  If you look at us we are top of the Premier League and we are top of the Fair Play League. We don’t surround referees. We want to win, but it shows you a mark of our behaviour.  They are the values of this club. It’s a club that has won many trophies in the past but had the humility and the class. One word I always had in my mind when I joined Liverpool is ‘class.’ So that is important to me – that those values are restored.  I believe you can’t affect refereeing decisions. Absolutely. There will be little bits of luck that go for and against you but I like to think as a sporting team and a team that’s trying to work well we’ve got our rewards this year.

With topping the Fair Play league and playing some of the finest football whilst scoring 100 plus goals Liverpool are worthy winner of the Premier league medal if they manage to pass the next four hurdles.

Liverpool FC: Euro absence could be a blessing – Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers - 1

Boss Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool could be better off next year if they miss out on a place in the Europa League.

Liverpool currently lies seventh in the Barclays Premier League table, nine points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham.  Even qualifying for the Europa League, which would only be guaranteed if finished fifth, looks unlikely with Liverpool seven points adrift from Arsenal, who currently occupy fifth spot.

However Rodgers believes a successful summer window with no international tournaments to affect pre-season and the absence of Europa league football will be ideal for Liverpool to finish in the top four next season.

Rodgers said:

“It is a double-edged sword for us.  The players and supporters want to be in Europe and as a manager it is a great test and I have really enjoyed the Europa League (which they exited at the last-32 stage) this year.  But you could argue having one season out of Europe would give us an even greater chance of challenging for the top four next season.  That is a real difficult task now with the number of teams up there and the finances involved way beyond ourselves but it (the lack of Europa League action) would give us a real good run to do that.  Ultimately we want to be a club that is in Europe and we want to have a squad which is strong enough to be able to cope with European football and the domestic league and cups.  We will see where it takes us. We will finish as high as we possibly can but if Europe doesn’t end up for us then it might be a blessing for us next year.”

Do you think Rodgers is right with his comments? With the top four being extremely unlikely, where would you like Liverpool to finish in the table?

Liverpool FC: Liverpool smash Norwich 5-0

Liverpool 5-0 Norwich

The Reds got back to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League after a thumping 5-0 win over Norwich City at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Jordan Henderson’s 26th minute strike gave Liverpool the early lead before a well-worked move saw Luis Suarez double the advantage nine minutes before the break. £12million signing Daniel Sturridge found the net after the break and became the first Liverpool player since Ray Kennedy in 1974 to score in his first three matches. Steven Gerrard and a Ryan Bennett own goal made it a comfortable 5-0 victory.

Boss Brendan Rodgers was pleased to see the exiting partnership between forwards Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and now believes the Reds have the front two capable of striking fear into any Barclays Premier League defence:

“They linked very, very well.  Luis has done what he’s done for us all season. He’s 100 per cent every game.  They are both players who are not just static. Daniel’s got pace and power but he’s also clever.  That was important for us today.  It gives the opponent someone else to really worry about.  Suarez has been incredible for us this season and has had some young players up there with him, but we’ve now got a recognized goalscorer up beside him.  If you look at the movements between the two of them.  The second goal was a wonderful demonstration of how good players can link together.”

What did you think of the match?