Liverpool news: One player’s arrival at Anfield has changed Jurgen Klopp’s side – Crooks

Liverpool news: One player’s arrival at Anfield has changed Jurgen Klopp’s side – Crooks

Van Dijk become the world’s most expensive defender when the Reds splashed out £75m for his signature in January 2018.

The Dutchman came straight into Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI, helping them reach the final of the Champions League in his first few months at Anfield. Van Dijk started the 2018/19 campaign off the way he ended last season’s as he helped Liverpool keep a clean sheet in their 4-0 win over West Ham on Sunday. And BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks was impressed with the 27-year-old’s desire to motivate his team-mates when the Reds were 3-0 up against the Hammers. “Liverpool’s game against West Ham was no longer a contest after 55 minutes,“ Crooks said. “The home side were 3-0 up and their forwards had the Hammers by the throat. “Meanwhile Van Dijk was telling his fellow defenders, in no uncertain terms, that nothing short of a clean sheet would do. “That’s the difference between Liverpool prior to Van Dijk’s arrival and the team that currently exists. “Moreover there’s something of the Alan Hansen about the way he conducts himself on a football pitch. “Apart from the obvious stature, the Dutchman always looks composed, elegant and plays with his head not just his heart.”

A brace from Sadio Mane, and goals from Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge ensured a comfortable three points for the Reds with West Ham struggling to create many chances. Many expect Liverpool to be the biggest challengers to champions Manchester City in the race for the title, but Van Dijk has played down the hype surrounding his team at this early stage. “We’ve seen the media writing about us as the new champions and stuff but we don’t really look at those things,” said Van Dijk. “We need to just focus game by game. “We want to do well. We want to achieve greater things so we need to be ready for any challenge, any battle that comes to us. “We are very well prepared, we were looking forward to this game and I think everyone could see it. “For us it is key that we don’t look too much at other teams. We need to look at ourselves and be ready every week for any opponent we face.

That is key at the moment.” Liverpool will be looking to make it two wins from two when they take on Crystal Palace next Monday (8pm).

 

Cristiano Ronaldo and England duo among contenders for Uefa goal of the season

Cristiano Ronaldo and England duo among contenders for Uefa goal of the season

Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Real Madrid against Juventus in last season’s Champions LeagueEngland internationals

Lucy Bronze and Elliot Embleton have been nominated for Uefa’s goal of the season award, along with Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s nomination is his overhead kick for former club Real Madrid against new employers Juventus in the Champions League quarter-finals. Bronze’s selected effort is a volley for Lyon against Manchester City. Embleton’s strike came in a European Under-19 Championship group-stage victory over Turkey. They are part of a shortlist of 11 goals, one from each of Uefa’s main competitions over the past 12 months.

A goal from Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen in Denmark’s World Cup play-off win over Republic of Ireland is also nominated. Ronaldo’s goal has been chosen ahead of Real forward Gareth Bale’s spectacular overhead kick in the Champions League final win over Liverpool.

You can watch and vote Now on UEFA web site.

Salah, Mane and Sturridge on target as Liverpool beat West Ham United 4-0

Salah, Mane & Sturridge on target as Liverpool beat West Ham United 4-0

Mohamed Salah got Liverpool up and running as they comfortably dispatched West Ham in their first Premier League fixture of the season. The Egyptian tapped in a 19th-minute opener from Andy Robertson’s cross on his return to action for the Reds at Anfield. It took the visitors almost half an hour to fashion a chance of note as they struggled to stem the Liverpool attacking tide. Liverpool’s new goalkeeper Alisson, signed for £66.8m from Roma in the summer, comfortably saved a Fabian Balbuena header, one of only two efforts on target for the Hammers.

As the pressure built, the hosts doubled their advantage when Sadio Mane turned in James Milner’s cut-back after being left unmarked six yards from goal. The Senegalese forward added his second and Liverpool’s third early in the second period. Mane appeared marginally offside as he collected Roberto Firmino’s pass, but the flag stayed down and he drilled his effort beyond new West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. New signing Naby Keita, a £50m acquisition from RB Leipzig, impressed in midfield for Jurgen Klopp’s side. He contributed to Liverpool’s first goal and delivered the kind of driving performance that Steven Gerrard once produced wearing the number eight shirt.

Substitute Daniel Sturridge rounded off the scoring with his first touch, 24 seconds after coming on, to ensure Liverpool recorded their 500th victory in the Premier League era. It also maintained their fine Anfield record against West Ham, who have now won just one of their past 46 top-flight visits. Liverpool underline title credentials Liverpool finished fourth last season, 25 points behind Premier League champions Manchester City. However, the nature of their emphatic Champions League quarter-final victory over Pep Guardiola’s side in April, coupled with a league win over City, suggested they could challenge them this term. Liverpool’s attacking prowess has not been in question in recent times. The front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane contributed 91 of the club’s 135 goals last season and they were on song again as Liverpool put four goals past West Ham for the fourth time in a row. Salah’s instinct to find the right position allowed him an easy first, while Mane’s intelligence brought him off the wing into central positions for both his goals. Klopp compared his team to “Rocky Balboa” in the build-up to this game but the depth of his substitutes’ bench and this result may soon see them shed that tag. The German introduced new signing Xherdan Shaqiri, England midfielder Jordan Henderson and Sturridge from the bench but still had midfielders Adam Lallana and Fabinho in reserve.

Tough opening assignment for Hammers If last term turned into a tale of Premier League survival, the arrival of new manager Manuel Pellegrini and 10 summer signings was supposed to bring renewed optimism to West Ham supporters. The Chilean has promised a return to attacking football, after some supporters perceived the style of play in recent seasons as a departure from the ‘West Ham way’. An opening fixture at Anfield was hardly a barometer to judge early progress though. The Hammers have lost more top-flight games against Liverpool than any other side and despite spending around £100m on new recruits this was always going to be a difficult assignment. Pellegrini utilised five of his new faces – Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Balbuena, Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere – from the start on Merseyside. Wilshere was starved of possession in attack, failing to touch the ball in the Liverpool penalty area, and Anderson was withdrawn in the second half after failing to make an impact. Man of the match – Sadio Mane (Liverpool) Sadio Mane was a constant threat for Liverpool and scored twice with his two shots on targetWhat they said – ‘better than I could have expected’ Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told Match of the Day: “We played as good as possible today and we extended a really good pre-season into the Premier league. “It was good, not surprisingly good, but it was better than I could have expected because I saw a lot of pre-season hope on the pitch. “The performance of all the boys and the midfield of James [Milner] and Georginio Wijnaldum was outstanding. ”

It’s only the middle of August and then in September the games will come. The future of football will be rotation. We need to be ready and have that quality. “I told the boys one or two could be disappointed but that will change, if they make the best of their time.” West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini told Match of the Day: “We knew before the game that our start was very difficult. In our first few games we need to play some of the big teams. “It’s difficult to play when you concede four goals. We started the second half and the referee didn’t see a clear offside. “We need to win our second game. We need to work during the week and try to win three points at home. We not only have nine new players, but three or four players who were not completely fit in pre-season. “We need to improve in attack and continue working. I am sure next Saturday we will see a team that is trying to win.” Match stats – Mane emulates Barnes Liverpool are only the second side in Premier League history to score four or more goals in four consecutive games against a single opponent, after Tottenham v Stoke. West Ham have lost their season opener 12 times in the Premier League, more than any other side. West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has lost more Premier League games against Liverpool than he has against any other opponent in the competition (P7 W2 D0 L5). Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in five goals in his three Premier League meetings with West Ham for Liverpool (four goals, one assist). Salah has scored 20 goals in his 20 Premier League games at Anfield for Liverpool. Only Andrew Cole and Alan Shearer (both 41 goals), have scored more in their first 50 Premier League appearances than Salah (35).

Sadio Mane is the first Liverpool player to score in three consecutive opening top-flight fixtures since John Barnes between 1989-90 and 1991-92 What’s next? Liverpool go to Crystal Palace on Monday, 20 August (20:00 BST) while West Ham host Bournemouth on Saturday (15:00 BST).

 

Rangers stroll to win despite McCrorie red

Rangers stroll to win despite McCrorie red

Goldson, left, doubles Rangers’ lead against St Mirren at Ibrox

If there were similarities between the managers, there were none to be found between the teams at Ibrox yesterday as Rangers, reduced to ten men after only half an hour, saw out a comfortable victory against St Mirren.

Two goals up when Ross McCrorie was given a straight red card for his late lunge on Nicolai Brock-Madsen, the home side retained the upper hand and could have added to their total in a match that maintains their early momentum under Steven Gerrard. He and Alan Stubbs, his St Mirren counterpart, come from the same area of Liverpool and played against each other in the Merseyside derby, but you wonder how many goals would have separated them here had it not been for that first-half dismissal. Want to read more? Register with a few details to continue reading this article

 

England U20s Women Score Bizarre Goal In 6-1 Thrashing

England U20s Women Score Bizarre Goal In 6-1 Thrashing

This summer football didn’t quite make it home, as hard as Gareth Southgate’s team tried, but as ever in this current generation there’s still a chance for one of the young England sides to win their World Cup and with this luck on their side they might.

England haven’t won the World Cup since 1966, as you’ve probably been reminded often enough during this wonderful summer, but of course that’s very specifically the men’s team. When Gareth Southgate’s men reached the semi-final, the first time the men have done so since 1990, many were ready to remind everyone that the women’s side managed it in 2015. They, of course, were right but the women aren’t the only ones with recent success as the under 21s, 20s, 19s and 17s all having their own successes in the last year and a half with Toulon Tournament, Euros and World Cup wins. We thought, for a short time, this summer that Southgate, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire et al might finally bring us some success but it didn’t happen of course.

However, we could still have some more silverware in 2018 as the u20 Women’s World Cup is currently going on and the Three Lionesses (presumably) topped their group after smashing Mexico 6-1 on Sunday. They were helped by possibly the flukiest goal going: England actually went 1-0 down in the game against Mexico with Jacqueline Ovalle giving the central American’s a half-times lead in the 37th minute. They then hit back with six goals in just over half an hour of the second period to top the group ahead of Korea, despite the Koreans win over Brazil in the other group game. Alessia Russo scored the equaliser for England on 49 minutes before Chloe Kelly gave them the lead just four minutes later. Lauren Hemp made it 3-1 just past the hour mark before Georgia Stanway scored two minutes later. Hemp wrapped he hat-trick, including forcing the ball into the net by falling onto it, with goals in the 68th and 80th minutes.

England’s quarter final match is against Netherlands on Friday. If winning the World Cup comes down to luck then the young England side might well have it.

Gonzalo Higuain Scores Sublime Goal On AC Milan Debut Against Real Madrid

Gonzalo Higuain Scores Sublime Goal On AC Milan Debut Against Real Madrid

Gonzalo Higuain has scored a stunning strike against Real Madrid. The Argentine striker swapped Serie A allegiances by transferring to AC Milan from Juventus, completing a season-long loan switch. And he opened his account – albeit in a friendly – in superb fashion versus his former team. Higuain picked up the ball from outside Real Madrid’s box before getting it onto his right peg, then unleashed a stinging shot into the bottom corner. What a hit! Needless to say, Higuain’s brilliance got social media talking. Here’s some reaction from Twitter:

How many goals will the ex-Napoli frontman score in the new season?

 

Sevilla threaten to take legal action against Barcelona if Super Cup opponents field too many non-EU players

Sevilla threaten to take legal action against Barcelona if Super Cup opponents field too many non-EU players

Sevilla have threatened to pull out of their Spanish Super Cup clash with Barcelona if the Catalan club’s squad contains more than three non-EU players. The traditional curtain-raiser between the La Liga champions and the Copa del Rey runners-up (Barcelona also won the cup) takes place in Morocco on Sunday evening. But the clash has been overshadowed by the confusion over which players are eligible, The Spanish football association claimed there is no limit to the number of non-EU players but Sevilla disagree. A statement from the club read “Sevilla FC is surprised by the RFEF’s statement 24 hours before the Super Cup. Philippe Coutinho and Malcom are two of Barcelona’s non-EU players

“It has stated that as many non-EU players as desired can be registered, despite the fact that in their last notice for the 18-19 season, only three were due to be permitted, without exception. “The club’s legal department is studying the matter and should FC Barcelona submit a team with more than three non-EU players, it would present possible ground for withdrawal on account of an improper line-up.” Barcelona want to include four non-EU players in their squad; Philippe Coutinho, Malcom, Arthur and Arturo Vidal, and insist Coutinho has now received his Portuguese passport, removing him from the equation. Barcelona defender Gerard Pique meanwhile reckons making the Spanish Super Cup a one-off game rather than a two-legged contest is a welcome development – but his coach, Ernesto Valverde, is not so sure. Lionel Messi is expected to play against Sevilla (Image: Splash News) Pique welcomed the prospect of fewer games – although he conceded that playing the game in Tangier, Morocco, was not ideal. “Anything that shortens the schedule is good for the players,” Pique said. “There are many players who haven’t played even a friendly game because if (they had) we would have had no holidays.

“Every year there are more and more games, especially in World Cup years, so playing one game rather than two is much better.” Pique admitted: “Playing in Tangier means the conditions will not be the best but we will adapt.” Valverde believes this year’s format will make the Super Cup harder to win for his side. “Playing one game makes it more open, as with a second leg you can correct things,” he said.

 

Kepa Arrizabalaga: Chelsea sign Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper in world record deal

Kepa made 53 La Liga appearances for Athletic Bilbao. Chelsea have signed Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for £71m – the highest fee ever paid for a goalkeeper, and a club record transfer. Kepa, 23, arrives at Stamford Bridge after a release clause in his contract was met, with the deal surpassing Alisson’s £66.8m move to Liverpool. He has signed a seven-year contract at the club and replaces Thibaut Courtois, who is set to join Real Madrid. Kepa is second choice for Spain behind Manchester United’s David de Gea. He has spent the past two seasons in Athletic’s first team, making 53 La Liga appearances, and has one international cap. The fee Chelsea have paid surpasses the £60m they spent on Spanish striker Alvaro Morata in July 2017.

“So many things attracted me to the club – all the titles the club has won, the other players, the city, the English Premier League,” Kepa said. “It’s an accumulation of things, and I am very glad Chelsea has decided to trust me and to take me in as well.” In January, Kepa signed a new long-term contract with Athletic until 2025, amid interest from Real Madrid. He is the second key player to leave the club this year, after Manchester City signed French defender Aymeric Laporte for £57m in January. “Kepa is a very solid goalkeeper, who can become an even better goalkeeper in the years to come,” European football writer Andy Brassell told BBC Radio 5 live. “He was deemed good enough by the board and (former manager) Zinedine Zidane to be good enough for Real Madrid, but they wouldn’t pay the clause.” A world record – for 20 days Before Alisson moved from Roma to Liverpool in July, Gianluigi Buffon had spent 17 years as the most expensive goalkeeper in world football. The 40-year-old Italian, who this summer left Juventus to join Paris St-Germain, was purchased for 53m euros by Juve from Parma on 3 July 2001.

While that record stood for 6,225 days, the fee paid for Alisson was surpassed within 20 days. Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

 

Claude Puel Brilliantly Trolled Manchester United Over Harry Maguire Transfer

Claude Puel Brilliantly Trolled Manchester United Over Harry Maguire Transfer

Jose Mourinho was likely sat in his hotel room, ordering room service and shouting obscenities at Sky Sports news as Transfer Deadline Day quickly came and went and his mood wouldn’t have been helped by Claude Puel trolling him. Let’s be honest Mourinho isn’t exactly a man who you would instantly connect with having a sunny disposition but with the Manchester United manager desperation to sign a defender may have left him feeling even further in the dumps than usual. Despite signing Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant it hasn’t exactly been a good transfer window for United and the Red Devils found their hands trapped as the window was slammed shut on them.

They tried for the past week to sign a centre-back, arguably not what they needed but what they wanted, with Toby Alderweireld, Yerry Mina and Diego Godin amongst the men they reportedly bid for. Of course missing from that list is ‘ol’ Slaphead himself Harry Maguire. The Leicester City defender was reportedly a £65 million target for the Old Trafford club but the Foxes wouldn’t sell. There was still hope that he would sign, despite the fact the two clubs play on Friday evening, and manager Claude Puel used this fact to troll United and journalists in his press conference:

You can only imagine that Mourinho’s face would have dropped on hearing that and he might have thrown another dart at the picture of Ed Woodward stuck up on the wall of his hotel room.

There was a further embarrassment for United when it came to Godin with reports that the Uruguayan’s agent rang the Premier League club to tell them of his clients interest just so they’d bid and he could then get his client more money. Oh dear Jose, at least you can get your smile back tomorrow against Leicester. The Maguire winner is inevitable isn’t it… Ryan Sidle Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, MMA and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

 

Breaking News: Paul Pogba Demands Manchester United Exit After Agreeing Contract With Barcelona

Paul Pogba Demands Manchester United Exit After Agreeing Contract With Barcelona

The 25-year-old has grown unhappy with life at Old Trafford, according to the Daily Mail, and now wants to move to Spain to play for La Liga giants Barca. Paul Pogba has told Manchester United he wants to leave for Barcelona. And now the board have a decision to make. The manager who looks like he wants out vs a player who wants out because of the manager.

Pogba had a meeting yesterday evening in London with Mino Raiola (not in Manchester). The player told to him that he wants to leave or he won’t play for United. The situation is limit and his only desire is to play in Barcelona. The problem is his replacement.

Pogba re-joined the Red Devils from Juventus for a then world record £89million deal but has told the club in the past 48 hours that he wishes to leave. Reportedly, the midfielder has text executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward informing him of his desperation to leave this summer transfer window – though the club has denied this. It’s thought that Pogba has already agreed on terms with Barcelona on a deal worth £89.5m over a course of five years. He will be paid £346,000 a week, but his agent Mino Raiola has denied commenting on the situation. Despite this, manager Jose Mourinho is eager to keep hold of his man.

The World Cup star said earlier this summer via the Independent: “I am not the coach. You will have to see with him. He made his choices,” stated Pogba, in quotes translated by several UK newspapers. “Have I had talks with him? Not necessarily. He took me off, like that. Like I said, I do my job he does his. I am in Manchester, I have my contract here for now. All the rest is just words. That’s it. I am concentrating on the World Cup. ”

There is the team, the coach has to make his choices. If he thinks he has to put me on the bench because I was not good or he prefers to change the system, it is his choice. This year, I have been on the bench. Pogba has just helped his national side France win the World Cup, in a tournament in which he was one of the standout performers. It’s a huge difference from his time with Man United, where his form has been fleeting, at some points showing off his unbelievable talent, while other times, his head drops and his play becomes lethargic.