Liverpool maintain 100% start with nervy win at Leicester

Liverpool maintain 100% start with nervy win at Leicester

Sadio Mane has had a hand in four goals in his last four league games against Leicester (two goals, two assists)Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Alisson’s horrendous error “was clearly going to happen one day”, after his side maintained their 100% start to the season with victory at Leicester. Klopp’s team looked on course for a comfortable win when, after Mo Salah had uncharacteristically missed an open goal, Sadio Mane pounced in the penalty area to poke Liverpool in front after only 10 minutes. Liverpool’s position looked even more secure when Roberto Firmino stole in on James Milner’s corner to double their advantage with a header on the stroke of half-time – but they then proceeded to make life difficult for themselves. And the main culprit was Alisson, the £67m summer signing from Roma, who was embarrassed as he gifted Leicester a goal after 63 minutes when he was robbed by Kelechi Iheanacho while inexplicably performing an elaborate turn with the ball at his feet in the area, Rachid Ghezzal scoring following the ensuing chaos.

Leicester pushed for the equaliser but Liverpool closed out victory to make it four wins out of four at the start of a league season for the first time in 28 years – and leave keeper Alisson the most relieved man inside the King Power Stadium. “It was clearly going to happen one day,” Klopp said of Alisson’s error. “I didn’t think it was going to happen in the next match [after his successful showboating against Brighton last time out, when he chipped an on-rushing attacker]. It’s all OK. He knows he could have cleared the situation. “I said last week we need to get used to it. Don’t constantly give the goalkeeper the ball, there are other solutions. He’s a fantastic goalkeeper who makes fantastic saves and of course in this situation he did not do what he should have done, but it’s all good.” Leicester 1-2 Liverpool: Alisson knows what he did wrong – Jurgen KloppLiverpool win – but suffer in victory Liverpool can call on an old saying to bolster their confidence even further after making it four wins from four at the start of the Premier League season – namely that it is a sign of champions that you can still win when well short of your best. And this certainly applied here with Klopp’s side mediocre for long periods, yet still emerging victorious in the face of Leicester’s spirited challenge. Liverpool opened in the sort of blistering fashion that has blown teams apart in the past, with Salah missing an open goal even before Mane pounced on a rebound off Harry Maguire to score after only 10 minutes. They then, surprisingly, became subdued and went into their shell, only to score against the run of play as Firmino guided in Milner’s corner on the stroke of half-time. Liverpool looked rocky under pressure as Leicester stepped up the pace after the break, with even the normally unflappable Virgil van Dijk rattled as he was put under a thorough examination. They could not control midfield, while Salah was, for once, totally out of sorts and could have had no complaints when he was eventually replaced by Shaqiri. For all that, Liverpool dug deep and secured another three points in a season when they and Klopp know there will be little or no margin for error.

On another day Salah will shine, their defence will be in control and goalkeeper Alisson will not make the sort of horrendous error that turned up the heat on Liverpool even further. There will be days throughout Liverpool’s season when the result will over-ride the performance – and this was undoubtedly one of them. Alisson has to learn quickly Rachid Ghezzal’s goal was the first club goal Alisson had conceded since last season’s Champions League semi-final second leg.

Alisson has already raised eyebrows and attracted attention for his confidence with the ball at his feet, notably his willingness to audaciously chip an oncoming Brighton attacker during last weekend’s victory at Anfield. There is, however, a time and a place – and the time he chose at the King Power Stadium was definitely not it. Alisson was trying to be too clever by half when he embarked on a dainty turn and backheel as Iheanacho chased down Van Dijk’s slightly wayward back pass. For all the modern thinking, this was an occasion when the big boot should have been applied – as manager Klopp’s emphatic gesture on the touchline subsequently suggested. Alisson decided otherwise, played himself straight into trouble and the whole calamity ended with Ghezzal scoring. It gave Leicester the sort of opportunity that could have proved very costly. Liverpool have suffered enough at the hands of goalkeeping errors, such as those of Loris Karius in the Champions League final, so this moment will have revived some uncomfortable memories. Liverpool spared Alisson’s blushes by holding on for the three points but you suspect the Brazilian will be on the receiving end of a sharp reminder from manager Klopp not to repeat those sorts of mistakes.

Liverpool news: Reds legend reveals secret behind resurgence at Anfield

Liverpool news: Reds legend reveals secret behind resurgence at Anfield

That’s the view of former Liverpool striker John Aldridge, who saw Jurgen Klopp’s side beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Monday to make it two wins from two.

Liverpool have been tipped as the closest challengers to Manchester City this season having reached the Champions League final last year. Goals from James Milner and Sadio Mane earned the win at Selhurst Park to follow up on a 4-0 win over West Ham on the opening weekend. It means the Reds are the only team yet to concede in the Premier League with Virgil van Dijk looking secure at the back alongside new goalkeeper Alisson. And Aldridge believes the influence of both has been key to how secure the Anfield outfit have been in recent months. “We look calmer, a lot more in control and we don’t panic,” Aldridge said on LFCTV. “The centre-halves and goalkeepers we’ve had in the past do panic when things aren’t going right. “But with Van Dijk and the goalkeeper, who is as cool as a cucumber, it gives such a calming effect to everyone. “We’ve got a very good spine now. Wijnaldum had a good game against Crystal Palace and the spine compared to a year ago is excellent.” Klopp has led Liverpool to three finals since taking charge, being beaten in each one.

A League Cup loss to Manchester City on penalties was followed by a defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League final. Real Madrid then stopped Liverpool earning their sixth European crown earlier this year with goalkeeper Loris Karius at fault for two of Madrid’s three goals. And Aldridge admits Klopp needs to start winning the silverware instead of just making the final two. Aldridge added: “He’s only been in the job for two and a half years but you can see the transformation, but we have to start winning these finals.” Klopp himself though has insisted he doesn’t feel under pressure. “We can’t guarantee titles but we can increase the possibility of winning titles,” Klopp told Kicker. “(The goals are) Nothing new.

Only three teams are allowed to finish ahead of us. “We have to ensure that the gap to those three teams is minimal in order to be there at the right moment. But that is very difficult.”

 

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).

 

Liverpool ‘affecting Manchester United’s Harry Maguire pursuit’

Liverpool ‘affecting Manchester United’s Harry Maguire pursuit’

 

Manchester United could have to pay up to £75m for Harry Maguire – because Leicester are reportedly holding out for the same sum Liverpool paid for Virgil Van Dijk. Jose Mourinho has less than a week to add to his squad ahead of the new campaign with the transfer window closing on August 9. Maguire’s valuation has rocketed since his impressive World Cup campaign and Leicester will now hold out for £75m because they view on the same level as Van Dijk. The Dutchman became the most expensive defender of all time when he joined Liverpool in January and Castles claims Leicester want to cash in to the same level.

“From what I’m told, the pricing, if there is to be a price for him, will be £75m – they value him at the same level as Virgil van Dijk,” Castles told the Transfer Window podcast. “That should probably give you an indication about why Jose Mourinho is reluctant to go down that route. “It’ll affect Everton, they’ve gone a long way in negotiations with Barcelona for (Yerry) Mina who they want to sign. “If they don’t get him they’ll have to move elsewhere, and interestingly one of their targets is Marcos Rojo, who United are prepared to sell.

“So, we’ve got these last few days of the window and Manchester United are scrabbling around trying to satisfy their manager to a certain extent, and what they are doing is going to impact on the other Premier League clubs who are chasing a centre-back.” Barcelona defender Mina is also believed to be on United’s target list as well as Toby Alderweireld from Spurs.

How does Liverpool’s transfer window compare to their rivals – and should the Reds be worried?

How does Liverpool’s transfer window compare to their rivals – and should the Reds be worried?

Following Xherdan Shaqiri’s spectacular Liverpool debut against Manchester United on Saturday, supporters have been vocal with their support to the Reds’ transfer business this summer. Initially, the lowest-key addition to Jurgen Klopp’s first team squad, costing just £13million from relegated Stoke City, the Swiss playmaker’s stunning overhead kick against Jose Mourinho’s side left fans salivating with the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season now just over a week away. Naby Keita finally made the move to Anfield after a deal was agreed with RB Leipzig last summer, and the Guinean midfielder has looked worth every penny of his £52.75million transfer fee in early showings and more than capable of taking over Steven Gerrard’s famous number eight jersey.

Elsewhere, where once Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius unconvincingly fought to be Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper, the dilemma over who should start between the sticks is no more following the arrival of Alisson from AS Roma in a £65million world record deal. And finally, the Reds caught many off-guard by bringing Fabinho to Anfield from Monaco in a £39.3million move just days after their Champions League Final loss to Real Madrid, with the Brazilian midfielder going about his business quietly but effectively in pre-season so far. And with Klopp unlikely to add to his ranks before next Thursday’s Transfer Deadline Day, Liverpool’s additions have eradicated issues with problem positions and lack of squad depth, leaving them with a squad more than capable of challenging Manchester City as they look to win a maiden Premier League title and first league championship since 1990. Read More But what of the Reds’ rivals? In a summer disrupted by a thoroughly entertaining World Cup, transfer activity has been slow across the continent with a number of deals going under the radar. So who have the Premier League title contenders brought in, what else do they need and should Klopp’s Liverpool be worried? Manchester City Mohamed Salah greets Riyad Mahrez after Liverpool’s win over Man City Who have they signed?

Riyad Mahrez [Leicester City] £60m What else do they need? The most dominant champions the Premier League has ever seen having won an astonishing 32 of their 38 games, it’s safe to say Manchester City are in a pretty good place already as they look to defend their title. Sergio Agüero continues to score goals for fun but also to battle with injury each season too, while Gabriel Jesus is coming into the campaign off the back of an underwhelming World Cup so an extra option up front would not go amiss. Elsewhere, another option at left-back is a possibility as Benjamin Mendy continues to feel his way back from the anterior cruciate ligament that saw him miss the majority of 2017/18, with Danilo and Fabian Delph not natural replacements despite filling in last season. Should Liverpool be worried? In a nutshell, yes. Manchester City became the first side to claim 100 points last year and will no doubt once again be the side to beat, with Riyad Mahrez adding further strength to an already breathtaking armoury. Liverpool and Klopp know what it takes to beat Guardiola’s side in one-off games, but it remains to be seen whether they can do it over a 38-game season. Manchester United Jose Mourinho speaks to Referee Ismail Etfath at halftime of the pre-season friendly match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Michigan Stadium on July 28, 2018 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Who have they signed? Lee Grant [Stoke City] Undisclosed Fred [Shakhtar Donetsk] £47m Diogo Dalot [Porto] £19m What else do they need? A lot if their showing against the Reds last Saturday and Jose Mourinho’s bottom lip is anything to go by! The Portuguese manager has spoken publicly saying he believes he needs at least two more signings and remains confident of landing at least one. With Anthony Martial heavy linked towards the exit door and Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford not yet back in training following their own World Cup exploits, a further body in the attack could be the priority. Meanwhile, with Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling all unconvincing, could World Cup hero Harry Maguire be the man to partner Eric Bailly after also impressing for both England and Leicester City? Should Liverpool be worried? An on-form Manchester United remain a great threat, and it is easy to forget they still finished second last season despite what was perceived as a poor season. Boasting one of the best goalkeepers in the world in David De Gea, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba will both return to Old Trafford high on confidence following impressive World Cups. And with Alexis Sanchez also now settled after joining the club back in January, Mourinho boasts an impressive squad on paper, boosted by the arrivals of Fred and Diogo Dalot. But football is not won on paper. Liverpool will be confident of finishing ahead of their great rivals as things stand. Tottenham Hotspur Mauricio Pochettino

Who have they signed? N/A What else do they need? With the focus being on securing the futures of the likes of manager Mauricio Pochettino, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Tottenham have yet to move in the transfer window but are yet to lose any players either. Links to Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Valencia’s Geoffrey Kondogbia remain, while Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose have both been mooted to move on in the past. Replacements for any departures would be required but Tottenham still boasts one of the more balanced squads in the division. Should Liverpool be worried? With focus switching to the latter stages of their Champions League run, Liverpool slipped behind Tottenham in the table last season, while the Reds also found out how deadly Pochettino’s side can be with their Wembley horror show back in October. But as things stand, Liverpool have strengthened. Spurs have not. Well-matched last season, they remain contenders but Klopp’s side may now just edge it. Chelsea Jorginho of SSC Napoli celebrates after scoring a 2-2 goal during the UEFA Champions League group F match between SSC Napoli and Manchester City at Stadio San Paolo on November 1, 2017, in Naples, Italy.

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Who have they signed? Jorginho [Napoli] Undisclosed Robert Green [Huddersfield Town] Free What else do they need? With the futures of Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, N’Kolo Kante and Willian all still up in the air, things could look very different at Stamford Bridge come to the end of the transfer window. A striker is a necessity with fans unconvinced by Alvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi, while Chelsea continues to be playing catch-up following the eventual appointment of new head coach Maurizio Sarri. Everything else rests on who stays and who goes. Should Liverpool be worried? With Sarri likely to discard Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system, the upcoming season could well be one of transition at Stamford Bridge. Jorginho is a very good signing, Hazard and Kante remain two of the division’s finest talents while Ross Barkley will be looking to make up for lost time after a season to forget last year. Who else Sarri can bring in, who he can keep hold of and how quickly Chelsea can adapt to the new regime at Stamford Bridge will decide how worried Liverpool should be.

 

Liverpool’s New Goalkeeper Alisson Makes Elegant Gesture To Loris Karius

Liverpool’s New Goalkeeper Alisson Makes Classy Gesture To Loris Karius

Liverpool secured his providers forward of the brand new season by tabling a world report deal (£62 million) for a goalkeeper. He is anticipated to switch Loris Karius in the objective for Liverpool’s opening Premier League fixture in opposition to West Ham United. Regardless of being drafted in to grow to be the golf equipment new No.1, Alisson will reportedly flip down the No.1 shirt out of respect to Karius. The German presently wears the No.1 jersey at Liverpool, however, Alisson is ready to go for the No.13 shirt in keeping with Brazilian outlet UOL. Karius throughout pre-season. Picture: PA In the meantime, on Tuesday, Alisson took half in his first Liverpool coaching session, and made a prompt impression by producing heroics between the sticks. He pulled off a surprising save to the delight of Liverpool followers. It could have been his first day, however, the 25-year-old already feels at dwelling. “It has been an ideal day which I had been wanting ahead to,” he instructed Liverpool FC.

Alisson on international duty. Alisson added: “I’ve had a great few resting days with my household, however, all of us could not wait to get the brand new season below method quickly. “It is solely my first day and I really feel at dwelling already! “I’ve met a few of my teammates and had my first-morning session, however, the day is not over but as we’ll keep it up coaching this afternoon.” How will Liverpool’s new stopper fare within the new season?