Premier League Cup last-16, Bishop Auckland
March 21, 2018
Goals: Curry 1′, 37′ & 58′; Virtue 65′
Missed pen: Curry 84′
The right-back has not played at all for the first-team this season because of a back injury, but this was another major step in the right direction.
With many players away on international duty, Adam Bogdan earned a surprise start in goal, and Tony Gallacher, Matty Virtue, Bobby Adekanye, Yan Dhanda and Toni Gomes also came in.
A win at Bishop Aukland would have secured a place in the quarter-finals.
Liverpool’s youngsters found themselves 1-0 down with just 45 seconds on the clock thanks to a superb effort by Mitchell Curry.
Luke Armstrong almost poached a second for the hosts a few minutes later, as the Reds made a very shaky start to proceedings in the north east.
Virtue headed harmlessly over the crossbar, in what was Liverpool’s first opportunity of note, and former Reds defender Tom Brewitt missed the target for ‘Boro. after arriving at the back post.
Clyne was a solid presence at right-back, but the 26-year-old did make one poor error of judgment with a header, allowing Robbie Tinkler to shoot over.
Adekanye hit the target, Rafa Camacho curled narrowly wide and Virtue forced Zachary Hemming into an excellent save, as Liverpool looked to respond before the interval.
The visitors were soon 2-0 down, though, as Bogdan produced a howler. The Hungarian dropped a routine catch, and Curry was on-hand to fire into an empty net.
Hemming again denied the lively Camacho, and just before the break, Dhanda’s free-kick flew agonisingly wide of the target.
Critchley’s side huffed and puffed in the early second-half exchanges, but just before the hour mark, ‘Boro were out of sight.
Curry completed his hat-trick, with his finish creeping past the dive of Bogdan, who again didn’t exactly cover himself in glory.
Virtue quickly pulled a goal back, following good work by Gomes, and Liverpool produced a spirited fightback, with Adekanye looking dangerous.
It wasn’t to be, though, and there was still time for Curry to blaze a penalty over with an effort Charlie Adam would have been proud of.
It is time to focus on Premier League 2 commitments again.
TIA Man of the Match: Bobby Adekanye
Liverpool: Bogdan, Clyne, Phillips, Masterson, Gallacher (Johnston 71′), Kane, Virtue, Adekanye, Dhanda, Camacho, Gomes.
Subs not used: George, R Williams, Sharif, McAuley.
A 3-1 defeat to Middlesbrough saw Liverpool U23s eliminated from the Premier League Cup at the last-16 stage on Wednesday.
Boro striker Mitchell Curry netted twice - either side of a goal from former Liverpool defender Tom Brewitt - to knock the young Reds out at Bishop Auckland's Heritage Park.
Matty Virtue pulled one back midway through a second half the visitors enjoyed the better of, but the damage was already done and Curry spurned the chance to complete his hat-trick by blazing a late penalty over the crossbar.
International commitments meant Neil Critchley was unable to call on a number of regulars for the tie, but first-team full-back Nathaniel Clyne completed 90 minutes as he continues his comeback from a long-term back injury.
Curry’s well-struck opening goal arrived with just 46 seconds on the clock, and Brewitt went close to doubling Boro’s early advantage when he cleared the bar with a volley from an out-swinging free-kick.
Slowly but surely, though, Critchley's side gained a foothold in the game.
Nat Phillips glanced Herbie Kane’s corner wide before Bobby Adekanye’s direct burst through the centre ended with a tame shot.
Rafa Camacho then curled narrowly off target and Virtue - eligible to play despite being on loan at Notts County - forced Boro goalkeeper Zak Hemming into a sharp save from close range when he ghosted in at the back post to get on the end of Tony Gallacher’s dangerous delivery.
But the visitors’ growing momentum was checked eight minutes before the break when Brewitt slotted into an open net after Adam Bogdan, under pressure in a crowded 18-yard box, failed to gather a cross.
That setback was responded to positively, with Camacho bringing a fine stop out of Hemming and Yan Dhanda sending a free-kick wide, but Liverpool could not halve the deficit before the break.
And, by the hour mark, Curry had made it three by accelerating clear and sneaking a low shot under the onrushing Bogdan.
Fine work from Toni Gomes down the right enabled Virtue to sweep home with 25 minutes to go, and Hemming again intervened when Adekanye shot powerfully following a driving run from deep.
But Liverpool had left themselves with too much ground to make up and the final scoreline would have been more convincing for the hosts had Curry converted an 84th-minute spot-kick, awarded after Phillips had felled Luke Armstrong in the area.
Liverpool U23s: Bogdan, Clyne, Phillips, Masterson, Gallacher (Johnston 71’), Kane, Virtue, Adekanye, Dhanda, Camacho, Gomes.
Unused subs: George, R Williams, Sharif, McAuley.
We round up the latest Liverpool FC and transfer rumours on Wednesday, with Jurgen Klopp and his staff taking a much-needed break from Melwood.
On Tuesday it seemed as though Emre Can‘s injury problems were behind him, as he departed Merseyside to join the Germany squad for the international break.
But as Joachim Low’s side prepare for their upcoming friendlies at home to Spain (March 23) and Brazil (March 27), the 24-year-old has suffered another setback.
After lasting just 27 minutes in Saturday’s 5-0 victory over Watford, Can was forced off the field 15 minutes into training in Dusseldorf on Wednesday.
According to Sport BILD journalist Christian Falk this was due to “problems with his back,” indicating that this is a recurrence of the issue that saw him withdrawn from action at Anfield.
Elsewhere, for the truth about those “big club” quotes from Liverpool’s No. 23, read here.Klopp Heads to Tenerife
Liverpool have 27 players on international duty this month, with 16 of those from Klopp’s first–team squad for the current campaign.
A further six have been in regular action for the Reds’ academy sides this season, ensuring that both Melwood and Kirkby are sparsely populated over the next week.
As a result, the Liverpool Echo report that Klopp decided against a warm-weather training camp, with Adam Bogdan, Loris Karius, Danny Ward, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno, James Milner and Danny Ings his only remaining senior players.
Instead, the Reds have been given the week off, with Klopp and his staff travelling to Tenerife for a short break before the season’s crucial run-in.
Liverpool will return to Melwood early next week to begin preparations for next Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.U18s Captain Shines on England Bow
One of the youngsters called up for international duty this month was Liverpool U18s captain Adam Lewis, who has also featured for the U23s in recent weeks.
Lewis was included in the England U19s squad for the first time, and the left-back made his debut for Paul Simpson’s side against Hungary on Wednesday afternoon.
Lining up in his regular role in a 4-5-1, Lewis provided the Young Lions with much-needed width and excellent delivery from the left flank.
The 18-year-old had a hand in two goals as England came back from one behind to seal a 4-1 win in Macedonia.
The U19s’ next European Championship qualifier is against Latvia on March 24, before taking on Macedonia on March 27. Find out how to watch them both here.Riise Hails Klopp’s Left-Back Duo
Previously a problem position for the Reds, left-back is now arguably one of the strongest areas in Klopp’s squad, with Lewis and fellow youngster Tony Gallacher facing a big challenge in breaking through in the future.
“I’ve been very impressed [with Robertson]. He’s young, aggressive and fit,” he said.
“If he can stay healthy and focused, he has a big future as well. But I want to see him create even more and also score some goals!
“[Moreno] worked really hard, kept himself fit and I’m very happy for him as he was able to prove how good a player he is.
“I’ve sent him some messages just to tell him how pleased I am for him and how he turned it around and that he must now continue working hard.”Legends Clash Lineups Announced
Finally, with the Liverpool Legends set to take on Bayern Munich at Anfield on Saturday, both clubs have confirmed their squads for the charity clash:
Liverpool: Dudek, James, Kvarme, Agger, Babb, Riise, McManaman, Aldridge, Gerrard, Rush, Fowler, Garcia, Owen, Smicer, Alonso, Berger, Hamann, Kuyt, McAllister, Carragher
Bayern Munich: Butt, Zimmermann, Lizarazu, Tarnet, Van Buyten, Demichelis, Makaay, Pflugler, Elber, Matthaus, Witezcek, Gospodarek, Sergio, Alonso, Ze Roberto, Ottl, Toni, Zickler, Sternkopf, Misimovic
Tickets are still available but are in very limited supply (Anfield Road End and upper Main Stand). You can purchase them here.
You can also watch the match for free, live on the official LFC Facebook page, LFCTV GO, Sky channel 429 and Virgin Media channel 544 (3pm GMT kickoff).
Last Updated: 21/03/18 5:40pmPhil Thompson says Mohamed Salah has had a 'dream' season at Liverpool
Liverpool legend Phil Thompson believes even Mohamed Salah will be surprised by his sensational first season at Anfield.
The Egyptian star leads the Premier League scoring charts with 28 goals following his four-goal haul against Watford last weekend, which also saw him cut to just 5/4 to win the PFA Player of the Year award.
Having struggled to make an impression at Chelsea, Salah attracted the attention of the Reds thanks to 29 goals in 65 appearances for Roma, but Thommo believes that not even he would have expected to have made such a big impact at Anfield.
He told Sky Sports: "It has been the best ever debut season for an attacker and it is just astronomical what he is doing. It must be a dream for him and I imagine he will barely be able to understand what has happened.Salah has scored 28 Premier League goals since joining from Roma last summer
"He's come from Italy to a league which is supposed to be tougher and more physical and he's finding it a pushover. It has just been everything Liverpool could have hoped for."
The Soccer Saturday pundit has also compared the 25-year-old's campaign with Luis Suarez's 30-goal final season at the club.
He added: "The thing everybody loved about Suarez was his intensity and he was aggressive, whereas while Mo is intense with his closing down he's not as aggressive.Salah scored an incredible four goals against Watford in Liverpool's 5-0 win Salah scored an incredible four goals against Watford in Liverpool's 5-0 win
"However, this is as good if not better, especially because it is his first season here whereas Suarez was in the league for a few seasons before really producing."
Thommo is, however, wary that it will be difficult for the winger to maintain such a high level of form as defences focus on halting his threat.
"Obviously all the comparisons to Lionel Messi are being made because of that low centre of gravity and the way the ball sticks to his left foot, but Messi has obviously delivered consistently at the highest level," he said.Thommo says Salah must replicate his form across several seasons to justify Lionel Messi comparisons
"We've lauded it on Salah but greatness is something that comes over the seasons and it will maybe be harder next season as defenders get wiser to him.
"There's been a lot of players who have second-season syndrome, so it will be interesting to see if he hits the ground running after the summer."Could you win the next Super 6 jackpot?
Enter your scoreline predictions now for next Saturday's round of the free-to-play game.
Emre Can has come in for criticism on social media on Wednesday for allegedly asserting his “big club” status, but the German’s quotes seem to have been misconstrued by English media.
The Echo subsequently ran a reaction piece with supporters lambasting the 24-year-old as a “big-time Charlie” who is “already at a big club,” and “rates himself more than most.”
However, in extended quotes translated by LFC Transfer Room it transpires that Can was significantly more flattering of his current club than initially reported.
“Jurgen Klopp has been asked a lot of times about my future but he tells me as long as it doesn’t affect me, it’s OK,” he said.
“I have enough self-confidence to say my qualities are sufficient to play for a big club next season.”
But while Can continued to list La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A and even Ligue 1, along with the Premier League, as potential destinations on expiry of his contract, he maintained no decision had been made.
He went on to hail the influence of Jurgen Klopp, saying “I like our tactical play, the early press, the direct play forward,” and stresses that “Liverpool FC still feels like family.”
“What counts for me is that I’m an integral part of the team and at a club with a chance of winning the title,” he added.
“That’s what every footballer dreams of because that’s the reward of your hard work.”
It would be remiss to suggest Can has pledged his long-term future to Liverpool at this stage, but similarly it is unjust to take his quotes out of context.
Can has set his sights high, and is clearly keeping his options open ahead of the summer, but his admiration for Klopp, Anfield and his current club shines through.
The Reds are on an upward trajectory under Klopp, and while they are out of the title race this season they should not be ruled out of contention for next term.
“During my first pre-season in the USA I realised how many fans this club really has,” Can recalled.
“No matter where we went, thousands of people were there. That’s when I realised what massive history this club has.”
The No. 23 plainly acknowledges Liverpool as a “very big club,” and while he may still leave at the end of the season, there is no indication his mind is made up yet.
Debutant Adam Lewis helped England U19s to a 4-1 victory over Hungary on Wednesday.
The Liverpool U23s left-back, who also captains the Reds’ U18s side, played the full 90 minutes and impressed on his bow for the Young Lions in their opening U19 European Championship qualifier.
England fell behind shortly before half-time at the Telekom Arena in Skopje, Macedonia, but hit back emphatically in the second period with goals from Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho sandwiching a Reiss Nelson brace.
Lewis played a part in Mount’s equaliser soon after the break and Nelson’s second of the game, which put Keith Downing’s team 3-1 up late on.
England now face Latvia on Saturday and Macedonia on Tuesday as they bid to reach the Euros finals, which take place in Finland in the summer.
Liverpool legends Michael Owen, Steve McManaman and Jason McAteer attempted the 60-Second Volley Challenge, ahead of Saturday’s clash.
The trio all still have plenty to do with the Reds due to their jobs in the media, with McAteer working for LFCTV, and Owen and McManaman often at Anfield for BT Sport.
While some find it hard to label Owen and McManaman club legends, due to both joining Real Madrid under a cloud, their efforts at the club should never be forgotten.
All three will be turning out for the Liverpool Legends this weekend, when a team of Bayern Munich greats head to Merseyside (Saturday, 3pm kickoff), with Xabi Alonso representing both sides.
As a bit of fun, the former Reds heroes partook in the challenge displayed above, which sees them attempt to score as many volleys as possible in one minute.
With Steven Gerrard, Gary McAllister and Ian Rush all watching on, the pressure gets to McManaman, who manages to find the net just twice, with many of his efforts typically lackadaisical.Liverpool Legends Squad vs. Bayern Munich
1 – Jerzy Dudek
1 – David James
3 – Bjorn Tore Kvarme
4 – Jason McAteer
5 – Daniel Agger
6 – Phil Babb
6 – John Arne Riise
7 – Steve McManaman
8 – John Aldridge
8 – Steven Gerrard
9 – Ian Rush (player-manager)
9 – Robbie Fowler (captain)
10 – Luis Garcia
10 – Michael Owen
11 – Vladimir Smicer
14 – Xabi Alonso
15 – Patrik Berger
16 – Dietmar Hamann
18 – Dirk Kuyt
21 – Gary McAllister
23 – Jamie Carragher
For someone who famously scored a volley in the 2000 Champions League final for Madrid against Valencia, it was a pretty poor attempt.
Owen steps up and immediately puts his former club and international team-mate to shame, levelling the scores quickly before finishing with a respectable total of four.
McAteer is last up, and in cocksure mood as ever, but he can only score three times, with some tremendous goalkeeping on show from U23s stopper Andy Firth.
It means a happy, and clearly competitive, Owen goes home the victor, although the puffing and wheezing going on suggests some fitness work is required before Saturday.
Why not attempt it with your mates!
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dominic Solanke took part in a ceremony at St George’s Park to honour the 14 England internationals who served their country during the First World War.
The Liverpool duo joined representatives from England’s youth and women’s teams to plant trees that will create a permanent memorial to the footballers at the FA’s national football centre, in support of the For Club and Country project.
To find out more about For Club and Country, click here.
Ahead of gracing the Anfield pitch once more against Bayern Munich on Saturday, former Liverpool strikers Robbie Fowler and Dirk Kuyt took a special look back at the Legends' last outing in order to test their commentary skills.
The prolific duo, who are part of a 21-man Reds squad that will help raise funds for the LFC Foundation this weekend, warmed up for the big game by describing last year's 4-3 win over Real Madrid.
A confident Fowler takes the lead in hailing himself as fit enough to still play first-team football, while Kuyt politely laughs along and offers more earnest thoughts on the game.
And, inevitably, Jason McAteer comes in for some stick for his performance against the Galacticos last time out.
Watch the video below to decide for yourself whether Robbie and Dirk have a future in the commentary booth...
Liverpool FC Legends will take on their Bayern Munich counterparts at Anfield on Saturday in a match organised in support of the LFC Foundation.
And to help raise further funds for the club's official charity, a range of special match memorabilia has been created to allow more fans to get behind this special cause.
Items start from as little as £1 and are available in store and online now. Browse a selection of what's on offer below.
Money raised from the charity game and retail range will help to fund a variety of projects for the LFC Foundation and charity partners. You can watch the match for free, live on the official LFC Facebook page, LFCTV GO, Sky channel 429 and Virgin Media channel 544 (3pm GMT kick-off).
Bayern Munich have revealed their 20-man squad to take on Liverpool Legends in Saturday's hotly anticipated charity match at Anfield.
Managed by World Cup and seven-time Bundesliga winner Klaus Augenthaler, Bayern will count legendary figures such as Lothar Matthaus, Bixente Lizarazu, Roy Makaay and Ze Roberto among their number.
Meanwhile, fresh from retiring last summer, former Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso will represent each of his former clubs for 45 minutes apiece in this weekend's fixture.
Money raised from the charity game will help to fund a variety of projects for the LFC Foundation and charity partners. You can watch the match for free, live on the official LFC Facebook page, LFCTV GO, Sky channel 429 and Virgin Media channel 544 (3pm GMT kick-off).
Confirmed Bayern Munich Legends squad and shirt numbers
1 - Hans-Jorg Butt
2 - Matthias Zimmermann
3 - Bixente Lizarazu
3 - Michael Tarnat
5 - Daniel van Buyten
6 - Martin Demichelis
7 - Roy Makaay
8 - Hans Pflugler
9 - Giovane Elber
10 - Lothar Matthaus
11 - Marcel Witezcek
12 - Uwe Gospodarek
13 - Paulo Sergio
14 - Xabi Alonso
15 - Ze Roberto
16 - Andreas Ottl
20 - Luca Toni
21 - Alexander Zickler
34 - Michael Sternkopf
35 - Zvjezdan Misimovic
Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has played just 81 minutes of football in the past month, with illness prompting a battle for match fitness.
The 27-year-old has linked up with the Netherlands squad for this month’s clashes with England and Portugal, however, along with Virgil van Dijk.
And speaking to Dutch publication De Telegraaf while on international duty, Wijnaldum revealed how he was “hit by a violent infection, which caused me to lose weight.”
Wijnaldum detailed the club doctor’s evasive action in keeping him away from Melwood, in fear that he would “infect other players.”
“It lasted for two weeks,” he said, adding how prescribed antibiotics “made me sicker,” and after making his recovery he has been forced to play catch-up.
“I had to work on my fitness again. I have trained hard, but on Saturday I noticed that I need rhythm for the way I want to play,” he recalled.
“It’s going better, but I’m not as fit as before I got sick.”
His situation is similar to that of Ragnar Klavan, with the centre-back telling Estonian outlet Soccernet how he “lost six-and-a-half pounds” due to a virus in January, before suffering a hamstring injury.
“The timing of the injury was a bit bad—I don’t get injured very often, but I got exactly when the world’s most expensive midfielder is brought in,” he said.
“I gave up my position on a plate. Unfortunately, you can not choose how and when you get injured. After that, I knew that it would be difficult to win my position back.”