FA Cup: Liverpool dumped by Wolves As Arsenal set to host Man United in fourth round

Liverpool have been knocked out of the FA cup after losing 2-1 to Wolves in the third round.

Raul Jimenez opened the scoring for the Wolves in 38th minute before Divock Origi restored parity, six minutes after the break. However, Wolves had the final say thanks to Reuben Neves strike in 55th minute.

Meanwhile, Manchester United’s caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s will face Arsenal away in the FA Cup fourth round, with the boss aiming to win the competition for a third time.

Solskjaer was in the starting line-up for United’s semi-final victories over the Gunners in 1999 and 2004.

He went on to lift the trophy with the Old Trafford club on both occasions.

Monday night’s draw confirmed Arsenal as the home team.

It again recreates the classic match-up in the final 40 years ago which Arsenal won 3-2 thanks to Alan Sunderland’s late goal.

fa cup draw

Other notable ties include two all-Premier League clashes — Crystal Palace against Tottenham and Manchester City versus Burnley.

Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, who won the FA Cup under Antonio Conte last season, host either Championship Sheffield Wednesday or League One Luton Town.

Non-League Barnet, the lowest- ranked club left in the competition, were handed a home tie with Brentford.

Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham will face AFC Wimbledon, the League One side they beat 3-1 in the Carabao Cup third round in August.

That saw Pellegrini secure his first win as Hammers boss.

The winner of the replay between Newcastle and Blackburn takes on Watford at home.

Everton face a trip to London to play Millwall.

-Dailymail

Neymar hits winner as Liverpool lose to PSG to dent their hopes of reaching last 16

So, after three successive away defeats in this season’s Champions League, Liverpool need to do something that normally comes quite naturally to them.

A decent win at home against Napoli in a fortnight and Jurgen Klopp’s team will make it to the last 16. Victory by a 1-0 score — or by two goals — will do it largely because tied teams are separated by head-to-head record.

Liverpool have a chance and we are in for another stellar night at Anfield. They have been asked bigger questions in Europe in the past and found answers.

That, however, is pretty much where the good news starts and ends. This looked a tough group at the outset and that is how it has turned out.

Nevertheless, Liverpool have made a bit of a mess of things in the Champions League so far and nobody would have expected that after their run to the final last time round.

In three away games, Liverpool have shipped five goals and nobody won anything at this level defending as they did here at times against an exuberant and occasionally exhilarating Paris Saint-Germain side.

They were 2-0 down after 37 minutes and it could have been more. To be only a goal down at half-time after James Milner’s penalty was something of a miracle.

They had been embarrassed for an hour at Anfield in September before belatedly making a game of it. In the end, they lost 3-2.

Here was their revenge and they celebrated as though they had achieved something special. Still to travel to Belgrade for their final game, PSG are not yet sure of qualification, but it would be a surprise if they messed it up.

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Mane joins Salah and Firmino by signing new long-term contract worth over Sh20M a week

Sadio Mane has handed Liverpool a significant boost by signing a new long-term deal and committing his future to the club.

Liverpool let the Senegal international know at the end of last season they would be only too happy to be begin contract talks, in recognition of the role Mane played in their run to the Champions League final – he scored in every knockout round, as well as against Real Madrid.

Having already secured the signatures of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, both of whom had their deals significantly enhanced, Liverpool let Mane know they wanted him to reward him in the same for the progress he had made.

Mane, who initially signed terms for five years when he arrived from Southampton in 2016, made it clear to Liverpool that there was no need for them to rush the business, as he had no thoughts of playing for anyone else. He was linked to Real Madrid in July but the story had no substance.

Dialogue continued, though, between Michael Edwards and Mane’s agent Sascha Empacher – who also represents midfielder Naby Keita – and they formalised an agreement, which significantly increased his wages to more than £150,000 per week.

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s head coach, is a huge fan of Mane and believes he can become one of the best players in his position in the world.

The 26-year-old, meanwhile, is settled on Merseyside and the contract extension will run to the summer of 2023.

Now the deal for Mane is completed, Liverpool will have the nucleus of their squad on long-term deals.

Jordan Henderson, the club captain, was the most recent player to extend his contract. He missed England’s win over Croatia last Sunday but is aiming to be available for tomorrow’s trip to Watford.

Mane told the club’s website: ‘I am very happy, very happy to extend my time at Liverpool.

‘It is a great day for me and now I am looking forward to everything – to helping the team, to helping the club achieve our dreams and, especially, to win trophies.

‘I’ve always said, when I knew I had a chance to come here I didn’t have to think twice. The right club in the right moment and with the right coach as well. I came here and was very happy. For me, I have made the best decision in my career.’

-Dailymail

Boost for Liverpool as Neymar and Mbappe are injured ahead of PSG clash in the Champions League

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are doubts for Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League clash with Liverpool next week after coming off injured in friendlies for Brazil and France on Tuesday night.

Supporters who bought tickets for Brazil v Cameroon at Stadium:MK to see Neymar were left bitterly disappointed as he came off injured after eight minutes.

Mbappe, playing for France in a friendly against Uruguay in Paris, was forced off after 36 minutes with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.

It casts doubt over their availability for two of Paris Saint-Germain’s next games but Neymar posted on Instagram after the match: ‘Thanks for all of the messages wishing me a good recovery. I think it was nothing serious.’

Following the game, Brazil manager Tite refused to comment on Neymar’s injury. Staff for the Brazil team added that it was PSG’s place to confirm the severity of the injury, not theirs, although team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar had told Brazilian channel Globo TV during the game that it was too early to tell whether he would be out.

‘He came off complaining of pain,’ said Lasmar. ‘He felt a discomfort, he will need a bit more time to evaluate it and take a scan, but in principle it is not a serious injury.’

PSG host Toulouse in Ligue 1 on Saturday before hosting Liverpool a week on Wednesday.

Neymar started the international friendly in Milton Keynes but was forced off went he went down with a problem.

He seemed to be troubled by a pain in his thigh before being replaced in the eighth minute of Brazil’s game against Cameroon at the Stadium:MK. Brazil’s doctor Rodrigo Lasmar could not determine the extent of the injury at such an early stage.

He was replaced by Everton forward Richarlison with over 80 minutes left to play.

Fans had held banners ahead of kick-off asking for the Brazilian’s shirt and boots.

He limped off the pitch before being embraced by head coach Tite.

He appeared to be having trouble putting any weight on his right leg as he went down the tunnel.

Neymar’s PSG team-mate Maxim Choupo-Moting, who was playing for Cameroon, said the star man’s injury is concerning.

He said: ‘It would be worrying because he is a very important player, as all the players (at PSG) are. No player is more important than the team.

‘He’s a great player though and I hope he is not injured for a long time.

‘I think it’s not too too serious. I hope he will be ready next week for us.’

Mbappe writhed around in pain on the Stade de France pitch after hurdling Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Campana.

He wasn’t able to continue and was replaced by Florian Thauvin.

Neymar’s absence for the majority of Tuesday’s game was a blow for those who had chosen to attend. Children had gathered pitchside pre-match in the hope of getting photos with him and others carried signs asking for his shirt.

-Dailymail

Liverpool stunned as Red Star score twice in opening 30 minutes to blow Champions League group wide open 

Five added minutes had just flashed up on the scoreboard when Jurgen Klopp wearily turned his back on the action and trudged to his seat.

He had seen enough. Liverpool’s manager had spent most of the game with arms outstretched like a scarecrow, screeching his fury, but it had been pointless. Klopp’s team had been wretched.

As he sat down, his thoughts would have turned to how he can make sure Liverpool are not eliminated from the competition that means so much to them. One false move in their last two games, against Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli, and the Reds could be out.

That is the reality following an abysmal 90 minutes in Belgrade, which ended with a superb Red Star side recording their most famous win at this level — thanks to two terrific, unanswered Milan Pavkov goals — since they lifted the European Cup in 1991.

Perhaps Liverpool thought it was going to be a formality. Klopp would never entertain that suggestion and the players would deny it, but this was a display that invited such stinging criticism.

The contest would surely have been different if Daniel Sturridge had snaffled the kind of opportunity in the 17th minute that you would expect him to convert with his eyes closed.

It was at the end of the one Liverpool move before the break that had any fluency. The ball went down the left, from Adam Lallana to Sadio Mane, and the forward’s cross squirted past Andy Robertson to Sturridge. His shot from six yards was high and horrible.

Their first goal arrived following a mistake by Virgil van Dijk, usually a figure of such calm and poise. He fluffed a clearance to Ben Nabouhane, whose shot from 20 yards was turned away by Alisson. From Marko Marin’s resulting corner, Pavkov plundered the first of his two goals.

If that was bad, worse was to follow. Liverpool’s midfield was getting overrun, but the feeble way in which Gini Wijnaldum was brushed aside after James Milner had squandered possession deserved punishment and Pavkov duly obliged.

 With Wijnaldum frantically trying to get back into position, Pavkov held out his arm to fend off the Holland international and unleashed a shot that ended up in Alisson’s net before the keeper had even finished his dive.
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Gerrard hands No 8 shirt to Naby Keita as Liverpool’s £52m signing is finally unveiled

Naby Keita has recalled the moment he was given his Liverpool No 8 shirt from former incumbent and club icon Steven Gerrard and vowed: ‘I’ll try to do as much as he did – that’s my motivation.’

Keita will be officially unveiled as a Liverpool player next week following his pre-agreement with RB Leipzig last summer.

The 23-year-old will become the first player to wear the iconic shirt since May 2015, when Gerrard left the club for MLS side LA Galaxy.

Keita has revealed how he was surprised by the club’s former under-18s manager during his first visit to their Melwood training base once his move had been confirmed.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: ‘It was an incredible day for me. He gave me the No 8 jersey. When it happened, it was a surprise and I didn’t expect it.

‘When he came in, I looked and him and said, ‘wow’ because he is a legend. He is somebody who always showed respect, who gave his all on the pitch, somebody who is loved here.

‘If somebody like that gives you his shirt number, it’s not to play around with, it is to try and do as much as he did – that’s my motivation.’

keita

WHO HAS WORN THE NO 8 SHIRT DOWN THE YEARS?

Keita will become the 43rd person to wear the No 8 shirt in Liverpool’s history.

Gerrard took ownership of the number in 2004/05, the same year he lifted the Champions League trophy in Istanbul. Previously he had worn No 17 since bursting onto the scene in 1998.

Before Gerrard, the No 8 jersey belonged to former England striker Emile Heskey from 1999 to 2004.

It has also been worn by the likes of Jamie Redknapp, Steve McManaman, Jan Molby, John Aldridge, Ian Rush, Graeme Souness and Alan Kennedy.

WHO IS NABY KEITA?

  • Keita was born in 1995 in Conakry, the capital city of Guinea.
  • He played for his hometown club Horoya from the age of nine before leaving for FC Istres in France in 2012.
  • Keita scored 11 goals in 23 games in his first season as a professional footballer in Ligue 2, earning a move to Red Bull Salzburg.
  • He spent two years there, striking a friendship with Sadio Mane in the process, before joining sister-club RB Leipzig in June 2016.
  • It was there he began to shine and became one of the most sought after midfielders in Europe.
  • A dynamic, box-to-box central midfielder, Keita scored 17 goals in 71 appearances in Germany.
  • In August 2017, it was announced a deal had been struck for Keita to join Liverpool in July 2018.

-Dailymail

Juventus confirm Can on free transfer from Liverpool as German midfielder touches down in Turi

Juventus have confirmed the imminent signing of Emre Can on a free transfer after the midfielder was pictured arriving in Turin.

After failing to agree a new deal with Liverpool, Can has decided to make the switch to Serie A.

Can joined Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in 2014 and made 167 appearances for the club, the last of which came in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last month.

It is anticipated that Can will be the second arrival at Juventus in this transfer window after the club also signed goalkeeper Mattia Perin from Genoa.

Liverpool previously confirmed Can’s departure and have already acted to strengthen their midfield ahead of next season by securing the signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho from RB Leipzig and Monaco respectively.

EMRE CAN’S SENIOR CAREER

2011–2013: Bayern Munich

2013-2014: Bayer Leverkusen

2014-2017: Liverpool

2018: Juventus

The Reds had attempted to persuade Can to remain at the club but it soon became apparent that his future lied away from the club.

Last season Juventus won the Serie A title as well as the Coppa Italia, although they went out to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

‘This is a giant of a team’: Fabinho relishing Liverpool move after £44m deal

Liverpool have wasted no time in making a statement of intent after swiftly concluding a £43.7million deal to sign Monaco star Fabinho.

The Brazil international will officially join the club on July 1 but arrived on Merseyside on Monday with his agent, Jorge Mendes, to complete his medical and agree personal terms that will keep him at Anfield until June 2023.

Liverpool have made an initial payment to the Ligue 1 side of £39.4million, with add-ons worth £4.3million being triggered around objectives such as qualifying for the Champions League.

He will replace Emre Can, who is seemingly bound for Juventus when his contract expires, and Fabinho will be the first addition of an ambitious summer overhaul that is likely to see the Champions League finalists spend £150million on new additions.

Jurgen Klopp is determined that the momentum gained from the run to Kiev, which secured Liverpool prize money of £67.71million, will not be lost and other targets include Lyon’s £60million-rated playmaker Nabil Fekir and Alisson Becker, the Roma goalkeeper.

But the first move has been swift and impressive. Liverpool enquired about Fabinho last summer, at the time they asked Monaco to be kept abreast of developments for Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Benjamin Mendy, and have continued to follow him.

Fabinho, who had been linked with Manchester United and Paris St Germain among others, was clearly impressed by Liverpool’s form in Europe this season and he has immediately set his sights on winning silverware.

‘I am really excited about this move,’ Fabinho said. ‘This is something that I always wanted – this is a giant of a team. The infrastructures of the club look exceptional.

‘A football club of this size coming after my services? I didn’t have to think that much about coming over.

‘I will try to create my own history at this football club. Hopefully, on a personal level, I’m able to win titles with this club. I will try to grow and learn and improve myself, and to be part of the club’s history.’

-Dailymail

Liverpool manager calls for “big balls” from his boys as they face Real Madrid

Among other talents, Jurgen Klopp has a way with words. English may be his second language but Klopp delivers perfect summations of his teams and what they stand for, his articulation echoing the panache of the best polemicists.

Remember Borussia Dortmund and their heavy metal? On the eve of Liverpool’s biggest match since 2005, he did it again.

Big balls football. That was Klopp’s assessment of Liverpool’s progress to the Champions League final. He didn’t make it sound crude, but brave. He did not make it appear unsophisticated, but courageous. And he is right. That is what it took to bring Liverpool to Kiev. It took cojones the size of melons, it took resolve and passion and a willingness to risk.

skysports-jurgen-klopp-liverpool-premier-league-football-staring-stare_3935192
It took balls. And will again on Saturday night, when Liverpool must stop Real Madrid winning an unprecedented third straight trophy in the modern Champions League era.

Just retaining it last year was a first; a third would put Madrid in the company of Ajax and Bayern Munich, and the first Real Madrid team to dominate the continent, with five straight wins between 1956 and 1960.

It is a different competition now. Arduous and longer, an endurance test which is what makes Real Madrid’s run such an achievement.
It was May 13, 2015, when they were last eliminated from this competition, at the semi-final stage by Juventus, which is why they start this final slightly favoured.

At some stage on Saturday, it is reasoned, it will dawn on Liverpool’s squad that they are playing the biggest game of their lives, and that has a strange effect on even the coolest heads. Real Madrid, meanwhile, have been here before, three times for some. Only the location changes. If it’s a Saturday in May it must be Kiev — or Cardiff, Milan, Lisbon…

Hence the need to go big. For all of Madrid’s apparent advantages, Klopp is buoyed by what he saw against Manchester City and Roma, the cavalier nature of Liverpool’s victories. ‘We not only came through, it was not 0-0 there and 1-0 at home,’ he said. ‘I really loved it. At home it was like — wow, what was that? It was a new kind of level in the Champions League.

‘It was not that we were so much better, but it was different, so brave, the power we had against Manchester City for example — it was big balls football.

‘There are so many things you have to bring to the pitch to win a game at that level. You remember the goals, you remember the chances, sometimes not even the chances, just the goals. But we had so many game changing moments. Unbelievable, and we showed them to the players after because nobody really thinks about them. You have a challenge here, pass the ball there, and then three passes later we score a goal — but it was the challenge that started it.

‘Porto is one in my mind. Mo Salah in midfield, chasing a player from behind, gets the ball back and passes.

‘The goal against Sevilla was a counter press, Salah again, surprisingly in a challenge, but then getting the ball before a deflected goal. So many things. Maribor at the end was 7-0, but what made it 1-0 was Mo again, chasing the left back after a very average pass from somebody else. These game-changing moments, we had them 500 times and we need them again.

‘Not waiting for something, not hoping for something — no. Change the game when you can, that’s it.’

The same might be said of Real Madrid and the type of open encounter expected on Saturday night was reflected in the test screens on display around the stadium: 3-3 after 90 minutes, 5-5 after extra time and Madrid to win 10-9 on penalties.

Trent Alexander-Arnold misses the crucial one for Liverpool, apparently, which seems rather harsh on the young man, but, against that, Sergio Ramos gets sent off for Real Madrid. Perhaps UEFA share the rather misguided view of Klopp and opposite number Zinedine Zidane, as two coaches whose teams play off the cuff, lacking the structure and discipline of the tactical maestros.

Asked to appraise Zidane in this negative context, Klopp grinned broadly. ‘That would be really funny, yes, if the two coaches in the Champions League final had no clue about tactics? What would that say about the game?

‘Zidane is one of the best five players of all time and I am longer at Liverpool than he is at Real Madrid and he has the chance to win three Champions Leagues.

‘He is brilliant, just as he was as a player. I saw his teams play a lot and it is fantastic football. It is chaos when it needs to be chaos, and organised when it needs to be organised. It is enough for me that we have a chance against them.’

And Liverpool do have a chance, even if several key factors favour Madrid. Klopp’s team arrive as the tournament top scorers this season and their front three have 29 goals between them. In addition, James Milner (9) and Roberto Firmino (8) have 17 assists, the top performers in the tournament, ahead of Luis Suraez with five.

The idea that all this happens without careful planning and strategy is ridiculous.

Is it enough, however, to overcome Real Madrid’s experience? That is what Klopp cannot know. He cannot predict how his players will react to the occasion, the different tensions in the dressing-rooms. He knows his instinctive feelings, though. He believes his players have the courage to handle it all. ‘When I got to the final with Borussia Dortmund in 2013 I was much more excited,’ he said. ‘I thought that would be my once in a lifetime chance, but now my boys have given me that chance again, because they fought so incredibly hard for this.

‘I have never taken a team to consecutive Champions League finals, so I do not know how that will feel for Real Madrid’s players.

‘Experience is very important. I’m pretty sure that in the second before the game, they will be more confident than we are. But that is not a problem. Experience does not matter when the match starts.

‘We have had two weeks to prepare for this game. You watch Madrid sometimes and you think wow, but they have not played us.

‘That is how it is. We are Liverpool. We’re here because we are Liverpool. This club has in its DNA to go for the big things. We have had the most exceptional run to the final.

‘Sometimes I look and I cannot believe these numbers, these goals, but it is all true. It is us, that is us. So, yes, the experience can be a big advantage, but in games it does not help all the time.

‘We cannot fight on their level with experience, but tactics in football help bring opponents who are better than you on to your level. And then you can beat them.’

He let slip that megawatt grin again. As the sun weakened he was pitchside watching his men play 12 a side on a small size pitch.It was a surprise they had the room, what with those balls.

Source: Daily Mail

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Liverpool fans ‘attacked by hooligans’ in Kiev ahead of Champions League final

Liverpool’s players have safely arrived in Kiev ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final – but some of their fans have not been as lucky, according to reports.

A group of Liverpool supporters having dinner in the Ukrainian capital on Thursday night are reported to have been attacked by masked hooligans.

The fans, who were eating near the Olympic Stadium, are said to have had to hide inside the restaurant, with some suffering cuts and other injuries.

The attack will raise fears of further trouble and violence ahead of Saturday’s game, with even more Liverpool fans expected to arrive.

The reports of fan violence came just hours after the club’s stars arrived in Kiev as they reach the finishing stretch of their preparations for the biggest game of their season.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side looked in high spirits as they touched down in the Ukrainian capital and were greeted by supporters outside the team hotel in the city centre earlier on Thursday. The Reds take on Real Madrid on Saturday night as they bid for a sixth European Cup.

liverpool fans

The players had earlier driven themselves to Melwood for a training session, after which they left their cars and boarded a coach to John Lennon Airport.

Midfielder Emre Can has been included in the club’s 24-man squad for this weekend’s big game.

It could be the last time the Germany international, who has regained full fitness having been sidelined with a back injury since late March, features for Liverpool as his contract expires next month and he has so far turned down all offers of an extension.  Youngsters Curtis Jones, Nat Phillips and Rafael Camacho are also included in the party.

They will hold an hour-long open training session at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Friday evening after Klopp and two players have given pre-match press conference.

-Dailymail