Ben Woodburn

Getty Images

Klopp: ‘It means so much’ to Liverpool players

Leave a comment

Few fans and pundits gave Liverpool even a half a chance to come back and tie Barcelona, better yet win the match in regulation. And yet, that’s what Liverpool did.

Following Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Barcelona to advance to the UEFA Champions League Final, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praises his team for their fight, effort, and heart to multiple media outlets.

The whole game was too much. It was overwhelming,” Klopp said to BT Sport following the match. “We played against maybe the best team in world. Winning is difficult but winning with a clean sheet, I don’t know they did it. It’s unbelievable.

“I saw James Milner crying on the pitch after the game. It means so much to all of us. It’s the best phase of football. There are more important things in the world. But creating this emotional atmosphere together is so special. It’s all about the players.

“The mix of potential and unbelievable heart is just a mix I never saw before. You have to be confident in a game like this. Divock and Shaq didn’t play a lot. Putting a performance in like that, it was so important. It shows what’s possible in football. It’s so nice. It’s really nice.”

Despite many Liverpool fans feeling miserable after Barcelona’s 3-0 first leg win, Klopp was feeling confident. He seemed to know that if Liverpool could just be a little more clinical, they’d be just fine. It turns out he was right.

Liverpool didn’t just play heavy metal soccer with a high line for the first 15 minutes of the game, it played that way for all 90 minutes, and Barcelona couldn’t keep up.

“Things got on top of us after those two quick goals,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde told reporters. “We didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet and they rolled us over really. It’s a terrible result for our fans and for ourselves. It’s really, really unfortunate, but credit to Liverpool.

“We tried to sit a little bit deeper, but the tie ended for us with the fourth goal. We couldn’t respond.”

But even with Liverpool on the front foot all night, Klopp admitted it took some ingenuity and creativity to break Barcelona down. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking and both of Divock Origi’s finishes took both skill and a confident mentality, while Georginio Wijnaldum showcased the never-say-die attitude that is a hallmark of Klopp’s sides.

“We had to be serious,” Klopp said. “But we needed to be cheeky as well. It was necessary. Barcelona defend predictable things well. But you need to be unpredictable at moments. I saw the ball flying in the goal, I didn’t see the corner. I didn’t see who took the corner. Ben Woodburn said ‘what happened?’”

Oxlade-Chamberlain returns to Liverpool training

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The long road to recovery is almost over for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

That sentence will be music to the ears of Liverpool fans.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 25, suffered a serious knee injury in the UEFA Champions League semifinal win against Roma last April and has been out for almost 10 months.

But the Reds revealed that the Ox took part in the first part of a team training session on Tuesday during their warm weather training camp in Marbella, Spain.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rhian Brewster, Ben Woodburn and Nat Phillips all took part in the session but James Milner, Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum did not take part.

Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez remained back in Liverpool with the former a big doubt for the upcoming game against Bayern Munich with a hamstring injury. That is not great news with Virgil Van Dijk suspended for the first leg versus Bayern on Feb. 19 at Anfield, thus meaning Joel Matip is Klopp’s only fit center back right now.

“The boys had to do a bit of core work, passing and the rondos and it’s nice [they could be involved],” Klopp said. “These things Ox can do, and Rhian can do, and Ben can do and Nat Phillips could do most of them. That’s all good. This afternoon they will have to do their own stuff again and hopefully we can integrate them step by step.”

The initial timeline for Ox’s return stated that he would miss the entire 2018-19 campaign. However, if he can return for the final few games of this campaign it would provide Liverpool with a huge boost in their battle for the title and a deep run in the UEFA Champions League.

The photo gallery below is well worth a flick through, as Klopp’s side went on a bike ride and the German coach looks to be lifting the spirits as his side have slipped off of top spot in recent weeks.

With Bayern and Manchester United in their next two games, Liverpool know a pivotal moment has arrived in their season.

UEFA qualifying wrap: Spain tops Italy, Woodburn paces Wales

Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ben Woodburn‘s debut for Wales was probably everything he could have ever hoped for, and much more.

The Liverpool youngster helped Wales to a 1-0 win over Austria on Saturday, as the 17-year-old scored a tremendous strike from distance with 16 minutes remaining in regulation. The victory puts Wales two points behind Ireland for second place in Group D, with three matches remaining in the Road to Russia.

[ MORE: Messi could opt to become a free agent next summer ]

Meanwhile, the day’s most high-profile matchup came when Spain met Italy, however, it was the Spanish that came away victorious. Isco’s first-half brace and a late finish from Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata helped La Furia Roja to a comfortable 3-0 win over Italy, and all but ensured Spain’s place in the top two in Group G.

Group I remains completely up for grabs after the day’s action, as four teams sit within three points of one another at the top of the group. Ukraine, Croatia, Iceland and Turkey are all still in the running for a place in Russia next summer, while Finland and Kosovo’s hopes are all but dashed.

Here’s a look at all the results from around European qualifying on Saturday.

Group D

Georgia 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Serbia 3-0 Moldova
Wales 1-0 Austria

Group G

Albania 2-0 Liechtenstein
Israel 0-1 Macedonia
Spain 3-0 Italy

Group I

Finland 1-0 Iceland
Ukraine 2-0 Turkey
Croatia vs. Kosovo (Abandoned)

2017 Golden Boy nominees: Pulisic, Carter-Vickers included

Getty Images
1 Comment

The U.S. national team has two teenage stars nominated for the prestigious Golden Boy award for 2017.

[ LIVE: Stream every PL game live

Both Christian Pulisic and Cameron Carter-Vickers have been selected among the contenders, as well as a host of youngsters from the Premier League.

Italian outlet Tuttosport run the competition each year and in 2016 Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanchez won the accolade (he is also a nominee this season again) which crowns the best player under the age of 21 who is playing in a top-tier league in Europe.

Pulisic, 18, has starred for German giants Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League this season as well as becoming a key player for the USMNT. Looking down the list of almost 100 contenders, Pulisic is sure to be one of the favorites for the award alongside Kylian Mbappe of Monaco, Gianluigi Donnarumma of AC Milan and Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City.

Carter-Vickers, also 18, has become a regular member of Mauricio Pochettino‘s squad at Tottenham Hotspur and the young center back has featured in five games for Spurs this season. His development behind the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld continues and he is highly-regarded both in the U.S. and in England.

The likes of Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, AC Milan, Real Madrid, PSG and Manchester City have multiple nominees with City having Gabriel Jesus, Tosin AdarabioyoPablo Maffeo and Enes Unal on the list.

Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah from Manchester United are included in the list of nominees, plus Stoke’s duo of Sobhy Ramadan and Thibaud Verlinden are included.

Ben Woodburn from Liverpool, Everton’s Tom Davies, Dominic Solake of Chelsea, Sunderland’s Joel Asoro and West Brom’s Jonathan Leko also got the nod.

Below is a full list of the nominees which you can vote on here.


2017 Golden Boy nominees

Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur)
Ben Woodburn (Liverpool)
Tosin Adarabioyo (Manchester City)
Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Manchester United)
Tom Davies (Everton)
Pablo Maffeo (Manchester City)
Joel Asoro (Sunderland)
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
Jonathan Leko (West Bromwich Albion)
Sobhy Ramadan (Stoke City)
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Dominic Solanke (Chelsea)
Enes Unal (Manchester City/Twente)
Thibaud Verlinden (Stoke City)

Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
Mile Svilar (Anderlecht)
Alban Lafont (Tolouse)
Lazar Karevic (Ofk Grbalj)
Antonis Stergiakis (Slavia Sofia)
Luca Zidane (Real Madrid)
Theo Hernandez (Atletico Madrid/Alaves)
Matthijs De Ligt (Ajax)
Diogo Dalot (Porto)
Julen Arellano (Barcelona/Osasuna)
Pol Lirola (Sassuolo)
Cristian Manea (Mouscron)
Adrian Marin (Villarreal/Leganes)
Aaron Martin (Espanyol)
Paolo Medina (Real Madrid)
Jorge Mere (Sporting Gijon)
Felix Passlack (Borussia Dortmund)
Malang Sarr (Nice)
Dayot Upamecano (RB Salzburg/Leipzig)
Erik Andersson (Malmo)
Claude Adjapong (Sassuolo)
Maxime Baila Lopez (Marseille)
Nicolo Barella (Cagliari)
Aymen Barkok (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Vahan Bichakhchyan (Shirak Gyumri)
Pape Cheikh (Celta Vigo)
Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina)
Ante Coric (Dinamo Zagreb)
Daniel Da Silva (Roma)
Amadou Diawara (Napoli)
Mikkel Duelund (FC Midtjylland)
Sergei Eremenko (Basel)
Kolbeinn Finnsson (Groningen)
Christian Frydek (Sparta Prague)
Ianis Hagi (Fiorentina)
Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)
Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer Leverkusen)
Nanitamo Ikone (Montpellier)
Bozhidar Kraev (Levski Sofia)
Manuel Locatelli (AC Milan)
Arne Maier (Hertha Berlin)
Jean-Victor Makengo (Caen)
Emre Mor (Borussia Dortmund)
Manu Morlanes (Villarreal)
Valentino Muller (Altach)
Ruben Neves (Porto)
Abdelhak Nouri (Ajax)
Abdulkhadir Omur (Trabzonspor)
Javier Ontiveros (Malaga)
Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad)
Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich)
Gerson Santos Da Silva (Roma)
Ferran Sarsanedas (Barcelona)
Jari Schuurman (Willem II)
Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht)
Idrissa Toure (Schalke 04)
Daniil Utkin (Krasnodar)
Nikola Vlasic (Hajduk Split)
Sam Schreck (Bayer Leverkusen)
Cristian Rivera (Eibar)
Fabian Benko (Bayern Monaco)
Jean-Kevin Augustin (PSG)
Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund)
Kasper Dolberg (Ajax)
Breel Embolo (Schalke 04)
Malcom Filipe (Bordeaux)
Jose Gomes (Benfica)
Nedim Hadzic (Sarajevo)
Alexander Isak (Borussia Dortmund)
Dejan Joveljic (Red Star Belgrade)
Dawid Kownacki (Lech Poznan)
Lazaros Lamprou (Panionios)
Christopher Nkunku (PSG)
Jens Odgaard (Lyngby)
Rui Pedro (Porto)
Ezequiel Ponce (Granada)
Alejandro Pozo Pozo (Sevilla)
Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
Borna Sosa (Dinamo Zagreb)
Sander Svendsen (Molde)
Timur Zhamaletdinov (CSKA Moscow)
Justin Kluivert (Ajax)
Youssef En Nesyri (Malaga)
Kylian Mbappe (Monaco)

Stoke 1-2 Liverpool: Coutinho, Firmino launch comeback

Leave a comment
  • Goal each for Coutinho, Firmino
  • Stoke led 1-0 through Walters
  • Liverpool move on to 63 points
  • Stoke winless in four

Liverpool launched a steely second half comeback at the bet365 Stadium to keep their Premier League top four hopes on track

Jonathan Walters have Stoke the lead just before the break but two half time subs changed the game for Liverpool with Philippe Coutinho equalizing and Roberto Firmino scoring a stunning volley to win it for Liverpool, their first away win of 2017.

With the victory Jurgen Klopp‘s side move to 63 points, nine points clear of fifth-place Arsenal, while Stoke remain on 36 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Stoke started well with Xherdan Shaqiri having the ball in the back of the net but he was offside, then Glen Johnson surged forward but couldn’t get his cross right and Erik Pieters had a shot well blocked as Liverpool struggled to get going.

The chances kept coming for the Potters too.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Stoke continued to push forward before half time as Arnautovic was set free over the top but slammed his effort into the side-netting at the near post as half of the stadium thought he’d scored. Liverpool barely got forward in a woeful first half for the Reds as the Potters pinned them back.

Then a moment of real controversy arrived as Ben Woodburn went down in the box under a challenge from Pieters but no penalty was awarded and then Stoke took the lead moments later.

Shaqiri skipped past a tackle and clipped the ball into an unmarked Walters who nodded home at the near post. 1-0 to Stoke and Klopp was misery personified on the sidelines as both Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan were caught out.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At half time both Coutinho and Firmino came on for Liverpool, replacing youngsters Alexander-Arnold and Woodburn, and Klopp’s changes paid off. Big time.

After the break Dejan Lovren hit the crossbar with a header, while Stoke should have scored through Charlie Adam by Simon Mignolet denied him superbly.

Liverpool pushed hard to get back into the game but Stoke looked dangerous on the break and were calling for a red card for Klavan who hauled down Shaqiri but no second yellow card was handed to him.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Coutinho recovered from sickness and jumped off the bench to turn the game as he equalized with just under 20 minutes to go. Liverpool smelt blood in the water.

Less than two minutes later Georginio Wijnaldum‘s superb long ball forward found Firmino and the substitute smashed home an unstoppable volley to turn the games on its head and make it 2-1 to

Moments later Mignolet pulled off a superb stop as Arnautovic whipped in a cross from the left which Berahino connected with at the back post but Liverpool’s Belgian goalkeeper clawed the ball away brilliantly.

Liverpool held on for the win as Klopp and his players celebrated a major comeback and a major step towards a top four finish.