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Liverpool 'step up interest' in Italy star

Tue, 03/04/2018 - 11:09

Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Nicolo Barella after being impressed by the Italy U21 international's performances for Cagliari this season.

The Reds will make a move for the 21-year-old midfielder this summer, according to La Nuova Sardegna.

Inter Milan are also keen and the report labels them as a the front runners for his signature.

Jurgen Klopp is looking for a new midfielder. Naby Keita will arrive in a £60m move from RB Leipzig, though Klopp is keen to add more strength in depth as he transitions to a flat midfield three behind his prolific attacking trio.

Source: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool join chase for Valencia starlet Torres

Tue, 03/04/2018 - 11:00

Liverpool are monitoring the progress of Valencia winger Ferran Torres amid competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea.

The talented Spain U19 international only turned 18 in February and has already attracted enquiries from Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Liverpool scouts have followed him playing for his country since last year and in Valencia's first team where he has made 10 appearances this season.

Click here to read more of this story on MailOnline

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Kuyt urges Reds to 'show who we are' in Anfield leg

Tue, 03/04/2018 - 10:17

Being drawn to play at home first gives Liverpool an opportunity to 'show who we are' in a Champions League quarter-final Dirk Kuyt expects to be decided by the finer details.

Anfield will host the first leg of the Reds’ last-eight clash with Manchester City on Wednesday, with the second match taking place at Etihad Stadium six days later.

Traditionally, it is seen as favourable to have the second leg of a European tie at home but, with the memory of January’s thrilling 4-3 Anfield victory over City in the Premier League still fresh, Kuyt doesn’t think Jürgen Klopp’s team have been disadvantaged by the order of the games.

“Because it’s football it’s difficult to say. Everyone always tries to predict football but nobody does really!” the former forward told Liverpoolfc.com, after being asked whether playing at home first or second makes a difference.

“That’s why football is such a great game, nobody can predict it. Always people say, ‘it’s better to play away first’, but if you get beat 3-0 in the first game then you don’t even have to bother playing the home game anymore!

“For example, if we beat City in the first game with maybe one or two goals difference, then the mental game at City will be totally different. 

“You just have to give everything in those kinds of games. I think it’s great to play the first game at Anfield, to show who we are in the same style we did in the league game. Then we will have a great chance to win at Anfield, and we will see [what happens] when we go to the City stadium without any fear.”

Highlights: LFC's 4-3 win over City

Kuyt knows from personal experience that the power of Anfield can influence the outcome of contests with Europe’s elite.

The Dutchman was, of course, a leading protagonist in several huge continental ties during his six-year Liverpool career, with his knack of popping up with vital goals on such occasions one of the reasons for his enduring popularity among the club’s supporters.

The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Arsenal were beaten over two legs in Kuyt’s time on Merseyside as Rafael Benitez’s side established themselves as mainstays in the latter stages of the Champions League.

And the 37-year-old explained that even opponents of the highest calibre can be left in awe of Anfield’s ‘unique’ atmosphere on big European evenings.

“First of all the crowd is amazing, and also the history of the Champions League nights is something you can feel even before the games,” he said.

“It’s unique [and] I’m not only speaking for myself. For example, when I was with the national team and I was speaking with guys like [Arjen] Robben or [Wesley] Sneijder or [Robin] Van Persie, they also felt the same - only they were wearing the wrong colour shirt!

“They had the same feeling. When I was playing at Anfield, I was feeling so strong and especially on Champions League nights. The crowd is going to get behind the team from the first second until the last, even before the game it all starts. Those days are the days I miss the most.”

Stats: LFC v MCFC in the 17-18 Champions League

City’s loss at Anfield earlier this year represents their sole Premier League defeat of the season, and Kuyt has urged Klopp’s players to produce a display of a similarly high standard to that memorable afternoon this time around.

“Everyone knows that Manchester City have done a great job so far in the Premier League, but Champions League games are just a home game and an away game and even more a game of details than any other game,” the former Netherlands international continued.

“I think the lads have shown a great performance in the league at Anfield [against City], it was one of the best performances of the season with a great result, and if they can do the same they have a great chance to qualify. 

“Of course it is very difficult because City is not only one of the best teams in the Premier League, but also one of the best in Europe. But I think at Anfield, Liverpool doesn’t have to be afraid of any team. 

“If I speak for myself, in the past when I played in the Champions League nights we also played against very big teams like Real Madrid or Barcelona and of course, if you looked to those kinds of squads they sometimes had more quality than us but we were playing at Anfield, the crowd was behind us and we really played like a team and that was what was bringing us so far. 

“Hopefully Liverpool can do the same this year against Manchester City.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp: We have a lot of things Man City don't like

Tue, 03/04/2018 - 10:04

Jürgen Klopp has every faith that his Liverpool team will make life 'unpleasant' for Manchester City when the teams contest the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie this week.

Pep Guardiola's men have been the dominant force in the English top flight this season, winning 27 of their 31 games thus far to give themselves a chance to clinch the title in early April.

That remarkable domestic record sees City go into the two-legged meeting with the Reds as a formidable obstacle to progress to the last four of Europe's premier cup competition.

However, Liverpool remain the only team to inflict a Premier League defeat upon the leaders this term - something which Klopp believes bodes well for a European rematch.

"We have a lot of things Man City don't like. That's the reality," he told UEFA.

"The way we attack the opponent, the way we defend high is unpleasant. If we do that well they will have some difficulty coping with it. 

"I think there will be plenty of coaches, young coaches all over the world, watching these games in order to find a solution for how to play well defensively, and by doing that also giving yourself the chance to become dangerous on the attack against the best teams like Barcelona, and also Man City at the moment. It will be very exciting.  

"There's no guarantee this will work, in the end it's the lads on the pitch who will decide the game. But it will be no surprise if there is magic on the right and left sides, and that we'll always be on the left when the ball is on their right, and on the right when the ball is on their left. 

"The thing is that this is actually predictable, but unfortunately, at the very highest level, it will happen with great pace and [with] the best technical skills executed by the players' legs in this case. 

"The pace and wit of the game, it will be very thrilling, no doubt about that, but we still have a few days left to prepare."

[embedded content]

Klopp acknowledges that his players will need to be 'courageous' in the face of inevitable reminders of their opponent's immense quality to stand any chance of winning.

Key to that, according to the German, will be moving on quickly from mistakes made during the game and making the most of possession in positions where City's backline can be put under pressure.

He added: "For those who have seen our two clashes in the Premier League this year, and in the last few years as well since Pep arrived - and, to be honest, before his era - they know that it's always an exciting match. And that's the way football should be.

"The main focus probably won't be on the result, instead it'll be about doing more things right than the opponent, because you can't simply defend against Man City and hope that they won't score on the day. They're just too good. 

"You have to be courageous, take the initiative, do your thing and, whenever they have the ball, be very compact and very quick. So from a football perspective, this is definitely a very interesting clash.

"In football, how do you lose courage during a game, since normally you're going to be full of that courage before the game? You lose it in a game when the opponent does something you didn't expect, like having a chance which surprises you [or] making two, three crosses in unusual situations. 

"When you feel the opponent's power like that, you tend to lose your courage a bit. But when you have the ball yourself you have to exploit the space the opponent gives you. That's what I mean by courage. Having the courage to make mistakes, to be able to accept or ignore them and in the next moment, to take the initiative. That's actually the plan for every football match. 

"But the better your opponent, and Man City surely are of the very highest quality, the more difficult it gets. Nonetheless, you have to grasp it."

2017-18 2017-18

Klopp also can't wait to experience the unique atmosphere generated by Anfield on a European night when City come to town on Wednesday.

But the Reds boss insisted that the passionate support in the stands must be allied to 100 per cent effort on the pitch to make any difference to the end result.

He continued: "It's incredibly important. And I'm also happy to be there. We've already enjoyed some of those magical European nights and [they are] simply terrific, I must say. And this time it'll be fantastic again. However, just that alone won't help in the end.

"We just need to give it our all, as simple as that. We need to give it our all. If we can do that, then we'll have our chances. And that's fair, I'm fine with that.

"If we don't achieve that, then we don't stand a chance. In that case, Manchester City will deservedly reach the semi-finals. At the moment, we're focused on how we can give it 100 per cent. Then, the atmosphere can make the difference.

"For the time being, it only makes sense to imagine that we'll give it our all on the pitch, as will Manchester City. It will definitely be a quarter-final worth watching."

Categories: LFC NEWS

Boss backs Mohamed Salah for Player of the Year prize

Tue, 03/04/2018 - 09:41

Mohamed Salah is '100 per cent' worthy of being named Player of the Year but Jürgen Klopp has urged the Liverpool star to enhance his chances by continuing his stunning form.

The Egyptian struck an 84th-minute winner for the Reds at Crystal Palace on Saturday to upgrade his statistics to 37 goals in 42 appearances since joining the club last summer.

Many suggest it will be a straight fight between Salah and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne when individual accolades are handed out at the end of the campaign.

The two men are set to be key protagonists as Liverpool and City face off in the Champions League quarter-finals, too, with the first leg at Anfield on Wednesday night.

And while Klopp is backing his own player for top recognition, the boss argued Salah can hammer home his claim by maintaining such prolific levels until May.

“I think Mo would deserve it 100 per cent,” he said. “As his manager, I’d say, ‘come on, prove it by playing at this level for the rest of the season’. That’s how it is.

“Both players have played an outstanding season with obvious highlights; scoring goals and creating chances – which is what everyone wants to see.

“I am happy that I don’t have to make this decision. Yes, Mo would deserve it. But if I said now that Kevin de Bruyne should have no chance I’d be lying. He’s a fantastic player and City will be champions, so he has a trophy. Maybe we can at least win the other one.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch: Can Ox recreate Gerrard's Real Madrid stunner?

Tue, 03/04/2018 - 09:06

Steven Gerrard versus Real Madrid at the Kop end.

Those words will conjure memories of a goal of the highest quality, scored by Liverpool’s captain as the Spanish giants were hammered 4-0 at Anfield in the last 16 of the Champions League in March 2009.

But can Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replicate Gerrard’s brilliant strike nine years on?

With the help of Sadio Mane as Roberto Firmino watched on, the Reds’ No.21 attempted to do just that at Melwood recently in the latest of BT Sport’s ‘Goals Recreated’ series.

“What a finish - on the half-volley, Stevie G!” exclaimed Oxlade-Chamberlain as the current Liverpool trio watched a replay of Gerrard thumping his shot beyond Iker Casillas.

Did the 24-year-old manage to produce a carbon copy? Find out below...

Categories: LFC NEWS

‘It’ll be intense, high-tempo, a massive occasion’

Mon, 02/04/2018 - 18:00

Doing battle with Manchester City for a place in the Champions League semi-finals is a prospect that excites Andy Robertson.

“I think you see the way the two teams play, it’s going to be intense, it’s going to be a high-tempo game,” the Reds left-back told Liverpoolfc.com ahead of Wednesday’s last-eight first leg.

“Whether Man City are better than us on the night or whether we’re better than them on the night, that’ll still be there, the high tempo. It might come down to one mistake or whatever and we just hope it’s not us.”

Pep Guardiola’s City have visited Anfield once already this season, of course. That Premier League fixture in January produced seven goals and, ultimately, a thrilling 4-3 win for the hosts.

Unsurprisingly, Robertson is targeting another impressive display this time around, which he feels would give Liverpool the opportunity to earn a positive result ahead of next Tuesday’s second leg in Manchester.

“Our concentration levels have to be 100 per cent and hopefully if we can put in a similar performance and get the better of them and take our chances like we did at crucial moments, then hopefully we can have a win going into the Etihad because it’s always better to have something to protect,” the Scotland international said.

Relive the best bits of LFC 4-3 MCFC

Liverpool may be the only team to have beaten City in the Premier League so far this season, but Robertson has nothing but respect for the quality of Guardiola’s champions-elect.

“I think it will be such a hard game. It’s the quarter-finals of the Champions League and I think if we’d have got any of the teams it was never going to be easy,” the 24-year-old continued.

“It doesn’t get much harder than Man City, arguably one of the best teams in Europe just now. 

“But we managed to get the better of them at Anfield a couple of months ago and if we can take anything out of that performance then we managed to show their weaknesses, especially in that 10 minutes when we scored three goals.

“But they also showed our weaknesses by scoring three goals, which obviously we weren’t happy with and in a two-legged tie that might not have been good enough. 

“We look forward to it, it’ll be a massive occasion. The fans will be loud as usual and I’m sure they’ll try to make it hostile for Man City and hopefully give us a lift from it. 

“If we can do that then we’ll just look to put in a good performance and hopefully get a good result to take to the Etihad in the following week.”

Stats: LFC v MCFC in this season's Champions League

Both teams placed an emphasis on attack during January’s league meeting at Anfield, and Robertson expects their respective approaches to be comparable this time around.

“I don’t think you can really comment on that until the actual game because we don’t know how they will set up,” he explained.

“Obviously they have the advantage of having the second leg at home so they might change it, but I think Man City have got a way of playing and they’ve not changed it in any Premier League game so far.

“They came to Anfield and played the exact same, they’ve went to Old Trafford and played the exact same when maybe people thought they would go a bit more defensive-minded and they’ve not done it, so we need to prepare for everything. We know the way we’ll play and hopefully that’s enough on the night.”

Wednesday’s game is sure to be played out amid a partisan atmosphere at Anfield - and that is something Robertson and his teammates are relishing.

“Anfield’s a special place as it is on a normal game but I think the fans really take to the Champions League and the atmosphere they have is magnificent, really,” he continued.

“The last home game they went to we were 5-0 up [v Watford], it was a sell-out and they still made a lot of noise, but I think this one will be on a whole new level and I think all the boys are looking forward to it.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool to battle rivals for Atletico Madrid stopper

Mon, 02/04/2018 - 17:43

Liverpool and Arsenal are reportedly set to fight Real Madrid for Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak in the summer.

Oblak has forged a reputation as one of the world’s top stoppers and has kept a La Liga-best 19 clean sheets so far this season.

The Slovenian is under contract at the Wanda Metropolitano for another three years but Atletico face a battle to keep hold of him.

Real Madrid have been backed to make a raid on their cross-city rivals this summer as they look to replace current No 1 Keylor Navas.

The latest reports from Spain indicate two Premier League big guns will enter the scrap to secure his services too.

According to Mi Otra Liga, Liverpool and Arsenal are interested in prising Oblak away from Atletico Madrid when the transfer window reopens.

Real, Liverpool and Arsenal could all look to activate the £88m (€100m) release clause written into Oblak’s contract.

But they are not the only clubs keen on the 25-year-old, who started his career in his homeland with Olimpija Ljubljana.

Paris Saint-Germain are tracking Oblak too as they look to sign an upgrade on goalkeepers Alphonse Areola and Kevin Trapp.

Mi Otra Liga indicate Oblak is looking for a fresh challenge away from Atletico, where he’s spent the past four years.

And Atletico are said to be ‘trembling’ about his prospective departure from the Wanda Metropolitano.

Source: Daily Express

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool trying to beat United in race for Barcelona star

Mon, 02/04/2018 - 15:47

Liverpool are reportedly the latest club to be showing an interest in sealing the transfer of Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti ahead of the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.

According to Don Balon, Liverpool are one of a number of clubs to have made their interest in the France international known, which follows quotes from the player himself saying it’s not just United who are after him.

The Spanish outlet also mention the possibility of a shock approach from Barca’s fierce rivals Real Madrid, but the club will surely do all they can to prevent such a disastrous move.

Umtiti has been superb since moving to the Nou Camp last season and it’s little surprise to see so many top clubs showing an interest in him amid doubts over whether he’ll sign a new contract.

His current deal includes a €60million release clause that many will see as a real bargain in this market.

United and Chelsea will not want to miss out on the 24-year-old, with both of those clubs also having issues of their own in defence this season as they’ve badly struggled to keep up with Manchester City in the Premier League whilst also both failing to get beyond the last 16 of the Champions League.

Source: CaughtOffside

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Roma director refuses to name price for Liverpool target

Mon, 02/04/2018 - 14:24

Roma's sporting director Monchi has reiterated that the club has no intention of selling Liverpool target Alisson this summer.

The Brazilian goalkeeper has been reportedly indentified as Jurgen Klopp’s top priority this summer to finally solve the Reds’ issues in goal.

Roma director Monchi has reiterated their stance on Alisson’s future, however, insisting he will not be sold. "I am honestly a little tired of talking about Alisson’s future, as I get asked this in every interview now," he told Mediaset Premium.

"We have not received any offers and have no intention of selling. We are happy to have Alisson, we want to enjoy him. I don’t want to name a hypothetical price-tag for him, because when someone doesn’t want to sell, he doesn’t name a price."

Alisson will decide his future at the end of the campaign, before heading off to the World Cup. The 25-year-old is expected to be Brazil’s first-choice in Russia ahead of Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson who has excelled in his first season in the Premier League.

Source: Metro

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Categories: LFC NEWS

50 Men Who Made LFC: Elisha Scott

Mon, 02/04/2018 - 13:13

The legend of Elisha Scott will live forever in Liverpool folklore.

Widely regarded as one of football’s greatest ever goalkeepers, his remarkable career with the Reds spanned a record-breaking 22 years and he remains one of the most famous figures to have represented the club.

Signed as a rookie 17-year-old, he established himself as Liverpool’s undisputed first choice between the sticks in the early 1920s and missed just three games as back-to-back First Division titles were secured.

Possessing the ‘eye of an eagle, swift movement of a panther and clutch of a vice’, his fame spread way beyond the confines of L4.

Renowned for his expletive-filled tirades against opposition forwards and even his own defenders, the Ireland international enjoyed a great rapport with Kopites of the time and was the subject of the first reported individual player chant at Anfield.

Even when the glory years dried up, Scott’s popularity never once waned. Supporters protested to prevent a potential move to Everton and tears were openly shed the day he finally left.

Click through our 50 Men Who Made LFC countdown below

Categories: LFC NEWS

Mane on 'difference-maker' Salah, City clash and Palace comeback

Mon, 02/04/2018 - 12:19

Mohamed Salah’s rich vein of goalscoring form will not be stopping any time soon if Sadio Mane has anything to do with it.

Liverpool forward Salah took his tally for the season to 37 in just 42 appearances with a customarily-cool late winner in the Reds’ hard-fought 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The prolific No.11 has plundered 16 goals in his last 13 starts across all competitions and leads the way in the races for both the Premier League’s Golden Boot and European Golden Shoe prizes.

And Mane, who kick-started Liverpool’s come-from-behind win at Selhurst Park with a well-taken equaliser early in the second half, is confident that his teammate can continue scoring as Jürgen Klopp’s side strive to progress in the Champions League and seal a top-four finish domestically.

“Mo can make the difference in tight games,” the Senegal international said.

“He’s a great player and he helps us to win games. He showed his quality. Everybody is happy to have Mo in the team.

“We are going to help him to score even more goals for us. We want to give him more assists.”

Watch: Sadio and Mo inspire Palace turnaround

Next up for Liverpool is the first leg of their mouth-watering Champions League quarter-final tie with Manchester City at Anfield on Wednesday.

“City is a very big game but everything is possible,” Mane continued. 

“We play at Anfield. We’re going to do our best.”

Despite being behind at half-time versus Palace, Mane remained upbeat about the Reds’ chances of mounting a fightback that eventually transpired courtesy of goals from himself and Salah.

“I’m someone who believes in myself, and I believe in the qualities of my teammates,” the forward said.

“I know what they can do. At 1-0 down I was thinking ‘we can come back’. We did the job.

“We got our reward in the end and we deserved to win. It’s a big step towards the top four. We are going to take it game by game.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

'I never experienced an excitement like at Anfield'

Mon, 02/04/2018 - 11:25

Every Liverpool supporter knows the stories about those famous European nights at Anfield, the ones where a unique atmosphere generated by a special stadium inspired men on the pitch to inconceivable feats.

Saint-Etienne ’77, Chelsea ’05, Borussia Dortmund ’16: fans lucky enough to have witnessed such fabled victories talk of evenings where foundations shook, world-class opponents wilted, and those in red grew.

Of course, even fewer people have had the good fortune to experience Anfield’s best as a player – and John Arne Riise is one of them.

The Norwegian, part of Rafael Benitez’s legendary Champions League-winning team, knows just how influential the Reds’ home ground can be when it comes to upsetting the odds in Europe.

And, speaking to Liverpoolfc.com ahead of Jürgen Klopp’s current crop facing Manchester City in their quarter-final first leg, Riise attempted to articulate exactly how it feels to take part in one of those momentous fixtures.

He explained: “It starts on the morning of the game - you’re feeling it.

“When you come to the ground on the bus from the hotel, you feel the fans, and then in the warm-up, something happens to your body; the adrenaline, the energy and the atmosphere.

“Standing in the tunnel touching the ‘This Is Anfield’ sign, then you go out for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ you just feel it’s louder, it’s more compact, it’s dark [with] the floodlights.

“In 2005 against Chelsea, the second leg, I remember it to this day. I think the fourth official put up six minutes of injury time and I was so tired I couldn’t even walk almost, I thought: ‘It’s never going to happen’.

“But it gives you extra energy to play at Anfield, I never experienced that anywhere in the world apart from Anfield, that kind of excitement to play.”

Watch: Anfield celebrates 2005 semi-final win over Chelsea

As for the tie itself, Riise acknowledged that runaway Premier League leaders City can lay claim to be favourites for progression given their level of performance this season.

However, the former defender insisted the Anfield factor could be crucial to the Reds’ hopes of making it to the tournament’s last four.

He added: “City has played some football in the Premier League this season that I’ve never seen before. They look so strong!

“At the same time, Liverpool can cause them problems, they’ve proved it before. Plus, it’s a Champions League night and Champions League nights for Liverpool, especially at Anfield, it’s something different.

“I know the City players know that, Guardiola knows that, the fans and players of Liverpool know it’s special, so they’re going to get extra energy.

“I would say City are the favourites before the tie gets going but not as big favourites as if it was in the Premier League.

“I’m excited for those two games and if you want to win the Champions League you’ve got to beat the best teams and City is probably the best team in the Champions League at the moment.”

Riise also expressed his belief that Klopp’s men have a chance of going all the way in this season’s competition thanks to their difference-makers at the top end of the pitch.

He said: “When we won it in 2005, we were far from the best team on paper, player by player, but we had a team.

“We were working hard for each other, we were compact, we had Rafa, who was a brilliant tactician who put us in the right place at the right time, the right game.

“People might have thought, ‘Why is he playing today?’ but he had a reason for it.

“Now, we have more players who can change a game - like Salah, Firmino, Mane – and we proved if we can play our best football we can beat anybody.

“The way we’ve played lately is absolutely brilliant and I can’t wait for the two legs against City.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

‘A mixture of happiness and sadness’ – Pako returns on LFCTV tonight

Mon, 02/04/2018 - 11:16

Former Liverpool coach Pako Ayestaran recently made an emotional return to the club’s Melwood training base – and the LFCTV cameras were on hand to document the Spaniard’s special visit.

Ayestaran spent three years at Anfield as Rafael Benitez’s right-hand man, helping to mastermind an unforgettable Champions League victory in 2005 and a thrilling FA Cup success a year later.

Describing his feelings upon returning in ‘Back at Melwood… with Pako Ayestaran’, which premieres on LFCTV at 5.45pm BST this evening, he said: “I have quite a strange feeling - a mixture of happiness and sadness. 

“Probably, it was one of the best times of my life, the time I spent here. But it's always great to be here and I come and visit Liverpool quite often.

“I feel like I haven't left the place. I spent so many hours in that corner [of the press room] preparing the meetings and it [feels] like I'm going to go and change now [into] the training kit but it's not going to happen! 

“It's an emotion quite deep inside, but it's a good feeling to be here.”

'Back at Melwood... with Pako Ayestaran' also sees the Reds' former No.2 tour the grounds of Melwood while discussing his lifelong love for LFC, Steven Gerrard’s fledgling managerial career and the road to that incredible win in Istanbul among other topics.

Tune into LFCTV at 5.45pm BST this evening to watch the premiere of 'Back at Melwood... with Pako Ayestaran'. An extended version of this unmissable show will be available on demand on LFCTV GO 24 hours later. Head to liverpoolfc.com/watch for more details.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp: Why I'm different to 'extraordinary' Guardiola

Mon, 02/04/2018 - 10:00

Jürgen Klopp has provided a fascinating insight into the differences between his approach and that of Pep Guardiola, and revealed the tactical qualities he believes combine to make the Manchester City boss' teams 'extraordinary'.

Having first encountered each other in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively, the two esteemed coaches now lock horns in the Premier League with Liverpool and City.

But it is in the Champions League where the pair will contest their 13th and 14th managerial meetings, after the competition's quarter-final draw threw up a mouthwatering clash between two English heavyweights.

Speaking to UEFA ahead of the tie kicking off at Anfield on Wednesday, Klopp underlined his respect for Guardiola as he waxed lyrical about one particular strength of the Spaniard's teams. 

He said: "His teams are always excellently positioned. He always has great teams which make excellent decisions. At Barcelona it was Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Lionel Messi and so on, just to mention the creative players from his time there.

"At Bayern Munich he had fantastic players who made a lot of great decisions. Now, with Gundogan, Silva, Aguero, Sane on the left wing, Sterling on the wing, Gabriel Jesus, they're extraordinary.

"Positioning is important, but this is not witchcraft, it is not unusual just because the wing-backs come inside, but when the players are in position they move every millisecond in order to be available, and when they are, that's when the individual quality of the player becomes important, and they control the ball correctly.

"So they're already well positioned on the pitch, they know what's going on around them, they are very well orientated and they can pass the ball into the next area. That's what makes them extraordinary. And whenever they can't pass they use their pace in order to progress further up. 

"And then the space on the wing is free. When you have one good player in the middle, or three or four good players, you need to know how to defend well. Then, boom, you move the ball to the wings and an incredibly fast player runs towards the goalline and crosses the ball into the penalty area. That's a real challenge, for sure.

"It's actually a mix of Pep's skills regarding these aspects and, of course, the extraordinary skills of his players."

LFCTV GO: Highlights of the Reds' recent win over City

Liverpool's 4-3 win over City in January saw Klopp take his personal record against Guardiola teams to six wins, five defeats and one draw from 12 fixtures.

The Reds boss has clocked up more victories over his Spanish counterpart than any other manager, and believes his chances of adding further successes are aided by the fact that the squads at the pair's disposal are closer in terms of quality than ever before. 

But he does not think their styles of play differ greatly, possession statistics aside. He added: "There's no big difference, actually. It's just that Pep's teams… Pep has always had better teams than me! 

"You can see that now with Manchester City - they have a lot more points than we do. However, that difference has never been as small as it is now. When we coached at Bayern and Dortmund respectively, that difference was really big.

"And when he was coaching Barcelona, I was at Mainz, so that was a completely different situation. They've got a lot more ball possession than I ever had in my coaching career!

"They were always world-class teams and we always had to improve a little bit. That's about the only major difference. When you have more ball possession, you don't need to worry too much about what you need to do when your opponents have the ball.

"That's basically everything. But, apart from that, the difference is not so incredibly large. However, there are always some [differences] at the end of the day."

Categories: LFC NEWS

This week's LFC community events

Sun, 01/04/2018 - 19:10

Check out our schedule of local community events planned by the LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams in the coming week.

For more information on these activities, and the work of the two organisations, follow @LFCFoundation and @Red_Neighbours on Twitter or visit foundation.liverpoolfc.com.

Monday April 2

Premier League Kicks session
Walton Hall Park, 7pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Speke Community Centre, 6pm-8pm (age 11+)

Respect 4 All Ability Counts session (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, 6pm-7pm (age 8-12), 7pm-8pm (age 13+)

Tuesday April 3

Premier League Kicks session
Toxteth Firefit Hub, 5.30pm-6.30pm (age 8-13), 6.30pm-7.30pm (age 14-19)

Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, 6pm-7pm (age 8-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)

Wednesday April 4

Premier League Kicks session
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, 5pm-6pm (age 7-13), 6pm-7pm (age 13-17), 5pm-6pm (age 8-13 girls only)

Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, 6pm-7pm (age 8+)                       

Thursday April 5

Premier League Kicks sessions
Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree, 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-7pm (age 14-17)
Gateacre School, 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)

Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, 7pm-8pm (age 8+)

Military Veterans
Netherton Goals, 5pm-7.30pm

Friday April 6

Premier League Kicks sessions
Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree, 6pm-8pm (age 14-19)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, 6pm-9pm (age 14-19)
Croxteth Sports Centre, 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Wirral Hive, 6pm-8pm (age 13-19)

Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, 6pm-7pm (age 8-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)

Red Neighbours Walking Football
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, 11am-12pm

Red Neighbours Walking Netball
Anfield Sports and Community Centre, 11.30am-12.30pm

Saturday April 7

Respect 4 All (Disability)
Woodchurch High School, 10.30am-11.30am (SLD Child), 11.30am-12.30pm (Ability Counts), 12.30pm-1.30pm (SLD Adults)

Sunday April 8

Military Veterans
LFC Academy, 2pm-5pm

Categories: LFC NEWS

City extend PL winning run ahead of Anfield first leg

Sun, 01/04/2018 - 19:03

Manchester City extended their winning run in the Premier League to five games ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Pep Guardiola’s side, who hold a 16-point lead at the summit, eased to a 3-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday with Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling the scorers.

The win followed successes against Leicester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Stoke City.

Liverpool remain the only side to have beaten City in the league this season, doing so in a seven-goal thriller on home soil back in January.

The two clubs meet in European competition for the first time in the last eight of the Champions League, with the opening match at Anfield followed by a return in Manchester six days later.

Guardiola’s charges face Manchester United in between – and would secure the title with victory – but the Spaniard revealed the games against the Reds will take priority with regards to team selection.

“Now our focus is the Champions League so we are going to adapt the game against United for the Liverpool games before and after,” he said.

“With the distance we have [at the top of the league], we have to be focused on the Champions League and in the middle we have United – who of course we are going to try and beat and try and play – but the line-up will be thinking about Liverpool.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Hummels, Salah and hugs - LFC quotes of the week

Sun, 01/04/2018 - 18:13

Our latest round-up of LFC-related quotes features an honest admission from a Bayern Munich star, the beginning of the build-up to a huge Champions League clash, and insight on management…

“I expected the ball to come to me in that area - last game he also gave me a similar ball in that area and in the end I scored.”

Mohamed Salah saw his winner against Crystal Palace coming once Andy Robertson prepared an 84th-minute cross

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“It feels much better, to be honest - 100 per cent better. It gives you more.”

Jürgen Klopp rated the victory at Selhurst Park higher than a 5-0 result

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“Liverpool has the mentality and an atmosphere in the ground that is similar to Dortmund. He is a powerful coach. He can get people to take to him - the players and the fans.”

Germany legend Lothar Matthäus paid tribute to the work of Klopp

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“What a feeling!”

New Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk scored his first goal for his country in a 3-0 win against Portugal

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“He has all the qualities and attributes that, if he gets the best from this learning period, I am sure he can become a good manager in the future.”

Former Liverpool assistant manager Pako Ayestaran tipped Steven Gerrard for success in the dugout

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“I want to understand the reasons for everything that’s happening - substitutions, positioning, pressing triggers - and I can now appreciate the level of thinking that goes into it all.”

Gerrard himself reflected on that transition from player to manager

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“I don’t think there was a team remaining who wanted to face Liverpool. They work so hard, they play so intense and aggressively with the quality of players they have - especially up front.”

Mats Hummels was glad to avoid the Reds in the Champions League quarter-finals

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“We’re never happy to concede five!”

Daniel Agger proved the competitive nature never disappears, after Liverpool FC Legends’ 5-5 draw with Bayern Munich at Anfield

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“As a manager, you need to know when to give the bear hug and when to give the boot up the backside. He judges that pretty well most of the time.”

James Milner opened up on the boss’ man-management style

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“I think we will see Joe back on the pitch this season.”

Klopp provided a prognosis on Joe Gomez’s ankle issue

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“He's our friend, our boy, our mate, our player having a difficult season already. It’s a big, big blow for us.”

But the manager lamented the injury suffered by Adam Lallana as a substitute at Palace

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“All the decisions are about Liverpool. We have to focus on the Champions League, we have United in the middle but for the line-up we have to think about the Champions League.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will put Premier League business to one side for the two-legged quarter-final with Liverpool

Categories: LFC NEWS

Vote now: Who was LFC's Player of the Month in March?

Sun, 01/04/2018 - 16:47

With Liverpool's March schedule now completed, it is time to choose your Standard Chartered Player of the Month once again.

It was another largely positive run for the Reds, who kicked things off with a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle United at Anfield – Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane the goalscorers.

A goalless stalemate with FC Porto and narrow defeat at Manchester United followed, but Jürgen Klopp’s men bounced back quickly.

Salah struck four as Watford were thrashed 5-0 on home soil, with Roberto Firmino the other man on target, and the Egypt international completed a comeback started by Mane against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

But who was the team’s star man?

Have your say below and stay logged on to Liverpoolfc.com to discover the winner soon.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Ladies bounce back with comfortable win over Yeovil

Sun, 01/04/2018 - 16:30

Laura Coombs, Gemma Bonner, Ashley Hodson and Bethany England were the goalscorers as Scott Rogers’ side bounced back impressively from last weekend’s defeat against Birmingham City.

Already boosted by the return from injury of captain Bonner, the Reds went ahead within a minute of kick-off as Coombs pounced on a clearance to find the net with a volleyed finish.

The 27-year-old turned provider for the Ladies’ second shortly after the quarter-hour mark – and there was a delighted scorer from the scramble caused by her corner.

It was the skipper, Bonner, who forced the ball home to mark her comeback in style and provide Rogers’ team with a welcome advantage.

And two minutes later that lead was increased to three when Hodson, who had been denied by Yeovil goalkeeper Megan Walsh seconds earlier, drove in a left-footer.

Sophie Ingle sent an effort against the post before half-time, too, as the visitors controlled the Women’s Super League encounter for the most part.

They added just one goal to the scoresheet in the second half – England tapped home from close range after Alex Greenwood’s free-kick clattered the woodwork.

Liverpool Ladies: Chamberlain, Harris, Bonner (Murray, 56), Ingle, Greenwood, Longhurst, Coombs, Weir, Hodson, Charles (Babajide, 56), England.

Unused substitutes: Flaherty, Johnson, Clarke.

Categories: LFC NEWS

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