Brendan Rodgers “disappointed” after defeat to Southampton, will Suárez return sooner?

1 Comment

Following Liverpool’s first defeat of the Premier League season against Southampton on Saturday, manager Brendan Rodgers was left shell-shocked by his sides display.

The Saints left Anfield with a  deserved 1-0 win, inflicting Liverpool’s first defeat in 13 games in the process. And the home side never really looked like winning.

“We never got going, in terms of our tempo. We were nowhere near it,” Rodgers said. “Having not lost for a long-time in the league, we’ve been on a real tremendous run. But we never really got going from the first whistle”

(MORE: Liverpool 0-1 Southampton: Lovren’s header gives Saints shock win)

Liverpool looked solid in the first half, but despite Steven Gerrard’s 20th minute free kick that was superbly saved by Southampton’s Artur Boruc, the Reds hardly threatened Saints’ goalkeeper for the rest of the game.

And then the pivotal goal came in the 54th minute as Southampton defend Dejan Lovren scored a header from a corner. That was something that upset Rodgers.

“We are disappointed with that,” Rodgers said. “To lose a goal from a corner is a real blow. We will recover from it… we are disappointed.”

So, as it stands, Liverpool are still top of the table. But wins for Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City or Manchester United on Sunday will see the Anfield club relinquish their stranglehold on top spot.

Following their 2-2 draw with Swansea on Monday, cracks are beginning to show in Liverpool’s play. With a real lack of creativity and spark missing against Southampton. You could put that down to them missing the injured Philippe Coutinho… but you could also say that Rodgers’ side remained stubborn and tried to play out from the back. Even though the Saints pushed high up the pitch and gave Liverpool’s defense plenty of scary moments throughout the win.

But Rodgers has an ace up his sleeve.

Towards the end of the defeat to Southampton on Saturday, the TV cameras panned to the players lounge to see a smiling Luis Suárez sat watching on.

He can return to action next week as Liverpool play Sunderland away in the league, or, as fate would have it, in the League Cup clash with fierce rivals Manchester United on Wednesday.

Suárez is back, and after losing to Southampton, Liverpool need him to return to the team sooner than they expected.

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund wins in Stoger’s managerial debut

Twitter/@Sanchooo10
Leave a comment

For the first time since late September, Borussia Dortmund has won a league match, while Leipzig’s slip up opens the door for Bayern Munich to extend its lead in Germany’s top flight.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, level on points with Man United ]

Here’s a brief look at all of Tuesday’s Bundesliga action.

Mainz 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

10 points separates Dortmund from league leaders Bayern Munich, who also have a match in hand, but for the moment, the bleeding his stopped. BVB picked up a crucial win on Tuesday to end its domestic woes upon manager Peter Stoger’s debut. The side’s drought stretched over an eight-match winless period. Second-half goals from Sokratis and Shinji Kagawa moved Dortmund into the top four, while Mainz remains 15th in the league table.

 

Wolfsburg 1-1 Red Bull Leipzig

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig’s form continues to slide downward after the second-place side dropped points in its fourth straight match across all competitions. The road side’s fortunes were dampened early on when Paul Verhaegh converted from the penalty spot, however, Marcel Halstenberg did manage to pull a goal back for Leipzig in the 52nd minute. Leipzig’s misfortunes carried on in stoppage time though when Dayot Upamecano was sent off after picking up his second yellow card of the day.


The rest of Tuesday’s scores

Hamburg 1-2 Frankfurt
Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

Albano Angilletta/ANSA via AP
Leave a comment

MILAN (AP) Inter Milan scraped into the Italian Cup quarterfinals after the Serie A leader was taken to penalties by third-division Pordenone on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, moves level on points with Man United ]

Pordenone goalkeeper Simone Perilli pulled off several saves in regulation time to keep the game scoreless, and he almost proved to be the hero during the shootout, stopping two penalties.

But Inter prevailed 5-4, with Yuto Nagatomo tucking away the final spot kick.

Both sides hit the woodwork during the 120 minutes.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti rang the changes, and only Milan Skriniar and Matias Vecino remained in the starting 11 from Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Juventus.

[ MORE: Burnley moves into top four after win over Stoke ]

However, he was forced by desperation to bring on Marcelo Brozovic at halftime as well as star forwards Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi.

Report: Cosmos coach Savarese to be named new Timbers manager

Twitter/@usatodaysports
Leave a comment

In a time where NASL’s status moving forward is hanging in the balance, one of the league’s top managers is set to make the jump to Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan ]

According to ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman, New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese is set to be named the next Portland Timbers manager.

Savarese will take over for the recently departed Caleb Porter, who stepped down from his head coaching role with the Timbers in November.

The former professional player spent five seasons in MLS during his career, including stints with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the Red Bulls), as well as the New England Revolution and the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 46-year-old has managed the Cosmos from 2013 to present, and guided the NASL side to three Soccer Bowl titles in that span.

Report: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

First Dax McCarty ahead of the 2017 season, and now Sacha Kljestan?

It seems as though the New York Red Bulls could be on the verge of trading away yet another club captain this offseason.

[ MORE: LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman ]

According to Metro, Los Angeles FC is close to trading for Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan.

The U.S. Men’s National Team attacker has led Major League Soccer in assists over the last two seasons, and has served as an integral piece in the Red Bulls midfield since joining the club in 2015.

The Red Bulls made Kljestan club captain ahead of the 2017 season when former midfielder Dax McCarty was traded away to the Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money.

Kljestan spent the first five seasons of his MLS career with now-defunct side Chivas USA, before playing in Europe Belgian club Anderlecht.