Liverpool draw Manchester City in the Champions League Quarterfinals

Liverpool have been drawn to face Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will take on the fellow Premier League club over two legs next month, having progressed to the last eight with a 5-0 aggregate victory over FC Porto.

The first leg of the tie will take place at Anfield on Wednesday April 4, with the return meeting at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday April 10.  Click here to view an updated fixture list.

The teams have met twice already this season in league football, each winning on home soil, with the Reds 4-3 victors over Pep Guardiola’s men in January.

Elsewhere in the draw, FC Barcelona will face AS Roma, Sevilla take on Bayern Munich, and Juventus meet Real Madrid.

Klopp said:

“I’ve said it before and it’s still the truth, it’s always common in a draw that you’ll get your neighbour, more or less, but to be honest I don’t mind, really.

 

“It is exactly like it was before – we take what we’ve got. Now it’s Manchester City, let’s go.

 

“We’ve lost once and we’ve won once against them in the league – and I don’t think they thought before the best draw they could have got is Liverpool. That’s a sign for us and how strong we can be.

 

“We are for sure not the favourites in this round, but in the last eight there are not a lot of favourites – maybe two of them, Bayern and Barcelona – but thank God it’s football and nothing is decided.

 

“We have a few games to play until then, but I am really looking forward to it and we will give it everything.”

Just six days separate the two legs, and Klopp doesn’t feel hosting the first game will make too much difference to the final outcome of the tie.  He said:

“In this case, it’s not too important. For us, it’s completely normal. We can get a result at home for sure, but it’s obviously a difficult game – but good news for both teams.

 

“It is like it should be in the last eight. It was clear we would face a strong team. Now we have Man City. The good thing is they are the team we know most about. It’s not too cool for England because now only one team can go to the semis. But we will try everything.”

Klopp: We have to respond, 100 per cent

Liverpool entered Saturday’s match against Manchester United as the Premier League’s in-form side, having outperformed Manchester City in 2018 and looking likely to finish next best to them in the final table. They left it looking rather shakier.

They’re down to fourth in the table, five points behind United in second, and looked largely ineffective on Saturday against their rivals. It’s left manager Jürgen Klopp in a rather annoyed mood, eager for the chance to show his side can bounce back.

Klopp told the club’s official website when asked about Saturday’s stinging 2-1 defeat. 

“We have to respond, 100 per cent.  I still have to work to swallow this one and it’s quite difficult. It’s really difficult to take. The mistakes were obvious.

 

“Before the two goals, after the two goals, I thought we were dominant. We don’t ignore the goals we conceded, but you would say, ‘OK, that’s how you have to play.’ We had these things in pretty much all moments, but we didn’t score. “

 

“I think we deserved the goal and then it was the situation with the best piece of football in the whole game, the one-two between Roberto and Sadio and a clear foul and no penalty. That’s hard, but not to change anymore.

 

“I think with all the minutes around the two goals we conceded then a draw would have been deserved for us, but because we made these two mistakes we have to take the result like it is.

 

“It feels massively rubbish and that’s not nice. We will carry on of course, but in the moment it’s a big disappointment.”

Klopp: Brewster will get all the support he needs

Jürgen Klopp has insisted Liverpool will offer Rhian Brewster ‘all the support he needs’ after the young striker this week spoke out about the racial abuse he has faced during his fledgling career.

In an interview with the Guardian published on Thursday, Brewster detailed instances where he has been targeted by fans and opponents while representing Chelsea, Liverpool and England at youth level.

Speaking in his pre-Leicester press conference on Friday, when asked about Brewster’s comments, Klopp said:

“He will get all the support he needs and wants and we can give.

“I’m really long in this sport and I’ve never faced a situation like that but obviously it happens all the time.

“I’m really happy that he is brave enough to do what he did. It’s such an important thing – I can’t believe people still have these thoughts in their minds.

“Obviously, we needed a 17-year-old boy to shout out, to say, ‘it’s still happening and it happens all the time – I need help, we need help and we have to stop that’.

“It’s not a situation that you want a 17-year-old boy (to be) in but, if it is like this, then he needs help and we will give it to him, of course.”

Philippe Coutinho’s 200 LFC appearances in numbers

Philippe Coutinho reached the landmark of 200 Liverpool appearances on Boxing Day – here are some statistics of the Brazilian’s double-century with the Reds to date:

1,779 – days separated his Liverpool debut, as a 78th-minute substitute against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield, and his 200th outing

500 – the playmaker has had 500 shots at goal in the Premier League, including 155 on target

54 – goals he has scored for the club, at a ratio of almost exactly one every four matches

52 – appearances in 2014-15 remains the highest number of games the attacker has clocked up, in all competitions, during one season

44.07 – passes per match is Coutinho’s average after 151 Premier League games

41 – Premier League goals make Philippe the most prolific Brazilian in the competition’s history

35 – assists in the English top flight have been recorded by the No.10

25 – per cent of fans nominated Coutinho’s sensational solo effort against Manchester United at Old Trafford in March 2016 as his best goal for Liverpool

14 – goals in the 2016-17 season represent Philippe’s best return across a single campaign for Liverpool so far

12 – appearances against Chelsea, more than any other opponent since he joined the club in January 2013

12 – times Coutinho has hit the woodwork in Premier League action

7 – goals so far this December – his most prolific single month for the Reds

6 – free-kicks converted by the Brazilian, his most recent set-piece success the clever under-the-wall conversion against Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this month

5 – goals against Manchester City, the most common victims of the No.10’s scoring touch

3 – times Coutinho has worn the captain’s armband for Liverpool – all this season

1 – successful penalty scored, in the 7-0 Champions League victory over Spartak Moscow

1 – competitive hat-trick, in the aforementioned thrashing of the Russian side at Anfield

Liverpool agree world-record £75m deal for Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool have finally won the race to sign Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk after agreeing a world record £75 million fee for a defender.

The two clubs have again been in discreet negotiations in recent days following the acrimonious breakdown of a potential deal last summer and have today reached agreement on the transfer.

Manchester City and Chelsea are both also interested and have made inquiries at different stages of the past six months but, barring any late super-bid from another club, Van Dijk will get his move to Liverpool.

Liverpool did not ultimately make a formal offer to Southampton last summer but were ready to pay around £60 million after it became clear that Van Dijk wanted to join them. Southampton were furious at the leak of information before a fee had been agreed and their complaint to the Premier League prompted an apology from Liverpool and an agreement not to pursue the deal.

That position held throughout the summer transfer window, with Southampton also turning down a large offer from Chelsea. Van Dijk then missed the start of the season amid concern at his focus before being reintegrated back into the team under new manager Mauricio Pellegrino. He has since been left out of the recent games against Chelsea, Huddersfield Town and Tottenham Hotspur.

Premier League leaders Manchester City are also keen and were preparing a £60 million opening bid but the situation has moved on quickly in recent days and Southampton are now extremely close to an agreement with Liverpool.

Personal terms on around £180,000-a-week are likely to be a formality and there is a growing feeling that a deal may even be completed ahead of the transfer window formally opening next Monday. Van Dijk’s preference has been Liverpool and the chance to work with their manager, Jurgen Klopp.

The world record transfer for a defender is the £54 million that Manchester City spent on Kyle Walker last summer.

A fee of £75 million would also be level with Romelu Lukaku as the second most expensive transfer in Premier League history, behind only Manchester United’s £90 million purchase of Paul Pogba.

Southampton have won one of their last 11 games and have now decided that it would be better to sell Van Dijk and reinvest the fee this January. Pellegrino is under growing pressure but has had the Van Dijk situation hanging over him since replacing Claude Puel as manager last summer.

Source: Telegraph

Salah level with Kane in PL goalscoring chart at halfway point

Mohamed Salah leads the way alongside Harry Kane at the summit of the Premier League goalscoring chart with half of the season now completed.

The Egypt international has raced to 15 strikes in England’s top division this term since Liverpool swooped to secure his signature from AS Roma in the summer.

His most recent goal came in Friday night’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium – which had put Salah three clear of Tottenham Hotspur’s Kane.

But the Englishman struck a hat-trick this evening to draw level with the Reds forward in the race for the league’s Golden Boot at its midway point.

Sergio Aguero (12), Raheem Sterling (12), Romelu Lukaku (10) and Wayne Rooney (10) also form part of the chasing pack ahead of the second half of 2017-18.

 

Liverpool FC to face FC Porto in Champions League last 16

Liverpool have been drawn to face FC Porto in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Reds were paired with the Portuguese club during Monday morning’s draw for the first round of the knockout stage, at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland.

Jürgen Klopp’s side earned their place in the pot as a seeded team after claiming top spot in Group E, ahead of Sevilla, Spartak Moscow and NK Maribor.

Due to the rules of the draw, Liverpool could not draw Chelsea nor Sevilla, leaving Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Basel as possible opponents in the Round of 16. Liverpool managed to avoid some of the biggest names, drawing Porto, and what should be a very welcomed trip to Portugal in February.

As group winners, Liverpool have a distinct mathematical advantage.  Since the current format was adopted, group winners have advanced to the quarterfinals 72.3% of the time. One of the advantages is having the second of two legs back within the safe confines of Anfield.

The first leg of the last-16 tie will be held at the Estadio do Dragao, either on February 13th or 14h, or the following week, the 20th or 21st. The return leg will be at Anfield in March, either the 6th or 7th, or the 13th or 14th.

Liverpool and Porto have met four times competitively, with the most recent encounter coming in the 2007-08 Champions League group stages.

After a 1-1 tie in Portugal, the Reds recorded an emphatic 4-1 victory in the return meeting at Anfield.

The sides also went head-to-head in Liverpool’s run to UEFA Cup success in 2001, with Gerard Houllier’s team earning a goalless draw in the award leg before winning 2-0 at home in the fifth-round clash.

Salah reaches 10 Premier League goals in record-equalling time

Mohamed Salah’s 65th-minute goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea equalled a club record set by Daniel Sturridge during the 2012-13 season.

The Egyptian forward’s strike against the Blues took his Premier League tally to 10 goals in just 13 games and no player has done it quicker for the Reds.

The Liverpool No.11 matched a milestone set by Daniel Sturridge, who netted his 10th Premier League strike with the final goal of a hat-trick against Fulham in the penultimate game of his debut season.

The pair sit top of the club standings ahead of the likes of Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres, who both took 18 games to score 10 Premier League goals.

Salah, who has scored 15 goals in all competitions for the Reds, is also the Premier League’s leading goalscorer this season, one ahead of Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Tottenham’s Harry Kane who both have nine.

Jurgen Klopp Released From Hospital

Jürgen Klopp has been released and attended a hospital appointment today as a precautionary measure, after feeling ill.The boss is back doing boss things after the precautionary visit.

Of all the people at the club we expected to end up in the hospital during international break, Jurgen Klopp was fairly low on that list. However, the Liverpool boss had to leave training and admitted himself to the hospital after falling ill to an as-of-yet unknown malady.

Whatever the medical issue, Klopp is out of the hospital, and presumably preparing along with the rest of the coaching staff for Saturday’s return to Premier League action against Southampton. Although he has been released, he is expected to make follow-up appointments in the coming days.

statement released by the club in response to news that Klopp had been hospitalised says:

“Jürgen Klopp has attended a hospital appointment today as a precautionary measure, after feeling ill. He is being assessed by doctors and will be absent from training on Wednesday as a result.”

“There are currently no plans for Jürgen to remain in hospital beyond his appointment and he will therefore return home this evening; however, he may require further check-ups in the coming days.”

It seems unlikely at this point that the German manager will be forced to miss the upcoming match, but if he did it would not be the first time this has happened as the Liverpool manger. He missed last year’s 2-2 draw to Sunderland after coming down with appendicitis and needed surgery.

Hopefully the illness was not too serious, and the boss will be back on top form.

 

 

‘Salah is on schedule to score 25 goals this season’

Mohamed Salah’s scoring exploits have surpassed Jamie Carragher’s expectations – and the Liverpool legend believes the forward could reach 25 goals this season.

In breaking the deadlock against Maribor on Wednesday night with a deft, angled flick at the Kop end, the summer signing achieved double figures in just his 16th appearance.

The goals have flowed from the very start of the campaign for the Egypt international and Carragher sees no reason why Salah cannot continue to add heavily to that haul:

“Of all the transfers last summer, none has had more impact than Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah”

“When I saw Salah score his first for the club at Watford on the opening day, I felt this was a player who would score 15 this season. I underestimated. He is on schedule to get 25.

“The Egyptian is more than a traditional winger. He is a wide striker with the ability to get into goalscoring positions every time he plays.

“Just as with the signing of Sadio Mane in 2016, [Liverpool] have spent very well in bringing Salah back to England after his disappointing spell at Chelsea.”

Liverpool FC squad play Last Man Standing – Keepy-Up Challenge

The Liverpool squad’s latest challenge on tour sees the players battle each other in a keepy-up competition.

James Milner again assumes the role of adjudicator in Hong Kong as three qualifiers whittle down the contenders to a final three – who then face off to be the winner.

Small-size balls add difficulty to the task and contact is not only allowed but encouraged by Milner, meaning many attempts to bring down a teammate in the quest to be victorious.

Watch how the challenge unfolded below…

Liverpool FC seal £10m Andy Robertson move

Liverpool have agreed a £10million deal with Hull City for left-back Andy Robertson.

The 23-year-old Scotland international will undergo a medical on Thursday and is set to become the Reds’ third signing of the summer.  Liverpool will pay £8million up front with a further £2million to follow in add-ons.

Robertson won’t fly out to Hong Kong but will remain in the UK before linking up with his new team-mates ahead of next week’s training camp in Germany.

Robertson will compete with vice-captain James Milner for a starting spot. The Reds turned their attentions to the Glasgow-born defender after missing out on Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon.

Robertson made 115 appearances for Hull following his £3million move from Dundee United in 2014.

Released by Celtic as a teenager, the attacking full-back launched his career at Queen’s Park before being snapped up by Dundee United. Three years ago Robertson was crowned the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year before moving south of the border.