UCL: Liverpool become fourth EPL side to reach quarters following win over Bayern

Liverpool are through to the quarter finals of the champions league after beating Bayern Munich 3-1 in the return leg of round of sixteen to complete a clean sweep for English Premier League clubs in the league.

Goals from Sadio Mane who scored a brace and Virgil Van Dijk were enough to give the Reds the deserved victory at Allianz Arena.

‘Klopp is used to winning with offside goals’: Pellegrini hits out at Liverpool boss after 1-1 draw

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his second goal to put the last 16 tie to bed to send Bayern Munich crashing out at home

The result means at least half of the teams in the quarter final draw are from the premier league and two could face each other in the last eight.

Then there were four. It was 2009 when English football last made up half of a Champions League quarter-final draw. Liverpool were first through the door that time, beating arguably the greatest name in European football; Real Madrid.

That was good. This, if anything, was better. This was one of the finest results by any English club in Europe, given that Liverpool had drawn the home leg.

‘It is not the result we dreamed about’ – Klopp reacts following Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Bayern

Mane is hugged by his Liverpool team-mates as his brace helped Liverpool sail into the quarter-finals of Champions League

Liverpool’s forwards are far superior – particularly Sadio Mane in his current form – and Munich’s defence was never as comfortable as they had appeared at Anfield. Add to this Tottenham’s home and away wins over Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City’s ten goal aggregate against Schalke and this was an emphatic statement by English football – but Liverpool’s win was the pick of the bunch.

Elsewhere, Barcelona eased to the last eight with a 5-1 win over Lyon.

The quarter final draw will be held tomorrow at 2pm in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be assessed ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League last-16 second-leg home tie with Rennes.

The midfielder took part in a warm-up with the rest of the Arsenal squad in training yesterday but has been struggling with a mild back strain.

He played the full 90 minutes of the first-leg tie away to Rennes last week but was not in the squad for Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday.

Unai Emery’s side need to overturn a 3-1 deficit against Rennes in order to reach the quarter-finals.

Two horse race! City and Liverpool win as Chelsea condemn Spurs to another loss

Liverpool yesterday thrashed Watford five nil to remain on top of the league table and a point ahead of rivals of Manchester City.

Two first half goals from Sadio Mane put the Reds on the driving seat with Divock Origi and Virgil van Dijk added three more goals after the break.

Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero’s penalty was enough to give City a one nil win over West Ham. Manchester United bounced back to winning ways with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace with Romelu Lukaku getting a brace.

Arsenal were in sensational form as they thrashed Bournemouth 5-1 courtesy of goals from Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Laurent Koscielny and Alex Lacazette.

Across London, Chelsea put behind their Carabao Cup final woes as they dimmed Tottenham’s title hopes with a two nil win at the Stamford Bridge.

The defeat to Spurs now means that the title race is now between two horses; Liverpool and Manchester City.

It has taken until the end of February and a week before Shrove Tuesday, but finally the race for the 2018-19 Premier League title is a two-horse affair.

After 180 goalless minutes against Bayern Munich and Manchester United, Liverpool surged back to their attacking best with five goals against Watford.

Battered and bruised from 120 gruelling minutes in the Carabao Cup final, Manchester City escaped from the visit of West Ham with three points thanks to a Sergio Aguero penalty.

-Dailymail

 

‘It is not the result we dreamed about’ – Klopp reacts following Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Bayern

Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool only had themselves to blame after their Champions League hopes were left hanging in the balance.

Bayern Munich played with the composure of a team who have reached the Champions League semi-finals eight times in the last decade and they summoned an excellent defensive performance to secure a 0-0 draw.

But Klopp believes the result would have been different had his side’s passing been sharper, particularly during the first half when Sadio Mane missed the game’s best chance and fired wide with only Manuel Neuer to beat.

Sadio Mane missed one of the clearest chances to score in the first half, screwing a shot wide

The Germans will be favourites to progress to the last eight but Klopp was not too disheartened with the scoreline and is confident his team have enough to get through, provided they recapture their sharpness in the Allianz Arena on March 13.

‘Our problem was that our last pass was not our friend,’ said Klopp. ‘There were 10 or 12 passes where it was on a plate. How it is in situation like this is that I’m sure Bayern will feel better but day by day it will feel better for us and worse for Bayern.

‘If we had won 1-0 what would have changed? Nothing. It’s not perfect but good enough to work with. It is the best draw (not conceding an away goal). A 0-0 would have been enough for us. So it is not perfect but good enough.’

Liverpool have lost every game they have played away from home in Europe since last April – the semi-final in Rome, the final in Kiev then three group games – and before they go to Germany they have a sequence of demanding Premier League assignments.

‘It is not the result or the game we dreamed about and nobody will remember this game in 20 years,’ said Klopp, who will at least have Virgil van Dijk back from suspension. ‘In Germany, we say it is like the Homburger Shooting, a big ballyhoo before the game and then not much happens.

‘It was an intense one, you saw the respect both teams have for each other. I didn’t see when we watched Munich before, like the full backs stayed in their half and Gnabry defended on the wing so there was a lot of respect.

-Dailymail

City back on top! Laporte and Jesus shoot Everton to turn heat on Liverpool

Manchester City are back on top of the English Premier League following their two nil win over Everton in the English Premier League.

A goal in each half by defender Aymeric Laporte and forward Gabriel Jesus were enough to give City all the three points as the hunt for the English Premier League title intensified.

‘Klopp is used to winning with offside goals’: Pellegrini hits out at Liverpool boss after 1-1 draw

City have sixty two points, same with Liverpool who have a game in hand. However, the Reds could go on top of the league with a win over Bournemouth on Saturday, twenty four hours before City take on Chelsea in a mouth watering clash at the Etihad.

Job done. In different circumstances, Manchester City’s performance might have raised the odd eyebrow. They can certainly play better and did so as recently as Sunday. But some nights are about the result, and the result alone. Nights like this one, when three points restored City to the top of the table. How they got there is immaterial; which is probably just as well.

Mohamed Salah risks losing Liverpool the title with his diving antics

December 15, 2018, was the last day that ended with Manchester City in first place, so the timing is important, too. Liverpool have had it their way for the best part of two months, but no more. By defeating Everton, City overhauled them on goal difference and it may well be nip and tuck like this for the rest of the season.

-Dailymail

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.

-Dailymail

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.
-Dailymail

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