Fabinho

Klopp angry with Brighton in Liverpool’s narrow win; Alisson red card

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Jurgen Klopp wasn’t too happy with Brighton and Hove Albion after Liverpool’s narrow 2-1 win at Anfield on Saturday.

The Premier League leaders momentarily extended their lead at the top to 11 points but had to play the last 15 minutes plus stoppage time with 10 men after Alisson was sent off for a deliberate handball.

Adrian came off the bench to go in goal but as he was setting up his wall for the ensuing free kick, Lewis Dunk took it quickly and slotted it home with Adrian out position. Klopp wasn’t best pleased with Brighton’s sportsmanship.

“I think in a situation like this, when you have sense for human beings, you don’t do it like this,” Klopp said. “It was very clever from Brighton but the goalkeeper has just come on and is trying to set the wall. They are trying to get used to each other and the referee lets it go like this. We cannot change it but for me it’s not 100 per cent right.”

Discussing Alisson’s red card, which means he will be suspended for the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Wednesday, Klopp admitted he hadn’t seen the incident.

“I think it was handball but I haven’t seen it. There was no offside and then it is a tricky situation. Alisson is a front-footed goalkeeper. We want that from him. He wanted 100 per cent to head the ball but the other player got there earlier so we can’t change that,” Klopp said.

He also praised Adrian, despite the goalkeeper coming on, conceding right away and then spilling a simple shot on goal.

“Virgil [van Dijk] was probably man of the match with the two goals but Adrian is for me – to come in to a game like this and make two saves. Even the goal kicks are difficult with cold feet! We were not prepared for that situation so I am completely happy,” Klopp said.

Liverpool now face Everton, Bournemouth and Watford in their next three Premier League games as they continue to grind out narrow wins and are dealing with injuries to Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Joel Matip, plus Alisson is now out.

Klopp’s side are making this title bid look very easy, on paper, but recent results prove they are able to dig deep and grind it out.

10-man Liverpool edge past Brighton

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10-man Liverpool edged past Brighton and Hove Albion despite a late scare at Anfield.

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Jurgen Klopp‘s side were flying in the first half as two Virgil Van Dijk headers set them on their way but Brighton were dangerous throughout and especially after Alisson was sent off.

Liverpool’s star goalkeeper was sent off for a deliberate handball and from the resulting free kick Lewis Dunk made it 2-1. Substitute goalkeeper Adrian had a tough time late on but managed to hold his nerve as Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points, momentarily.


3 things we learned

1. Van Dijk stands tall: He beat Brighton’s towering defense to score two headers in the first half and without Fabinho ahead of him and Matip alongside him, VVD put on a show. He was the leader in attack and at the back for Liverpool and when they went down to 10 men late in the game their leader stood tall.

2. Brighton not clinical enough: On another day Graham Potter‘s side should have scored three or four. Dunk missed a big chance in the first half and they squandered several opportunities. Brighton play some very good stay from box to box but must be more clinical if they’re going to get to the next stage.

3. Alisson adds to Klopp’s woe: Liverpool will now have to do without Alisson to add to Klopp’s woes, as he was put in a terrible situation by his defenders. He didn’t need to handle the ball, but the way Adrian played when he came on proved this is now a big problem for Liverpool going forward.

Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk – Dominant at the back, especially late on, and popped up with two headers in the first half. With Joel Matip, Fabinho and now Alisson out, VVD has to step up once again in the coming weeks. A superb overall display.


A bright start at Anfield saw both teams have chances as Mooy and Connolly combined to cause havoc, while Liverpool’s front three were looking as dangerous as ever.

Roberto Firmino forced Mat Ryan into a fine save down low and from the ball then broke for a free kick as Alexander-Arnold’s cross found Van Dijk who nodded home.

Soon after Firmino and Mane were both denied by Ryan as Liverpool put their foot down on the accelerator, and then a second arrived in very similar fashion to the first.

A corner from the left found Van Dijk as he beat Shane Duffy and flicked home his and Liverpool’s second goal of the game with his meaty Dutch forehead.

Mane almost squeezed in another before half time as Liverpool totally dominated, but Brighton had a few chances as Davy Propper forced Alisson into a decent stop, then Lewis Dunk shanked an effort wide when wide open at the back post and the Seagulls put the hosts under pressure late in the first half.

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At the start of the second half Brighton continued to impress as Dunk flicked a header inches wide.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain almost wrapped up the win in style as he cut inside but Dunk denied him with a brilliant block.

Then, all hell broke loose.

A long ball over the top found Leandro Trossard who tried to lob Alisson but the Brazilian goalkeeper handled outside his box and was shown a straight red card. From the resulting free kick Lewis Dunk rolled in a bizarre finish to make it 2-1, and substitute goalkeeper Adrian was put under severe pressure late on.

Adrian denied Aaron Mooy but almost spilled a routine effort into his own goal as Liverpool held on for their 13th win from their first 14 games this season.

Fabinho out until January with ankle ligament damage

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LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool says defensive midfielder Fabinho will be out until January with an ankle injury, putting more strain on the Premier League leaders with a packed schedule coming up.

[ MORE: Unai Emery fired by Arsenal ]

Fabinho went off injured in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday with ankle ligament damage.

The Brazilian has started all five of Liverpool’s games in the Champions League this season and 12 of 13 in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Who are the favorites to replace Emery at Arsenal? ]

Liverpool has 10 games to play before the end of the year — six in the PL, a Champions League match against Red Bull Salzburg, two games at the Club World Cup and one in the League Cup.

Klopp reacts to Napoli draw, worries about Fabinho injury

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Jurgen Klopp says the problem was the crosses, you see?

Liverpool drew Napoli 1-1 at Anfield on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League, failing to clinch a berth in the knockout rounds with one match day to spare.

The Reds’ boss figured Napoli would close down the middle of the pitch, and had a plan for it, but it just didn’t come off.

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“They closed the center so we needed to come from the wing,” Klopp said, via the BBC. “The plan is one thing but the boys have to execute it, and they crossed too early. We take that, it was always a hard one.”

Liverpool will advance with a draw or better in Austria against Red Bull Salzburg on Dec. 10. It could also advance with a loss if Napoli fails to beat Genk in Italy.

Salzburg lost 4-3 at Anfield during the first meeting but carries three away goals in case it wins and a tiebreaker is required. Napoli just needs a draw.

Klopp figured Napoli is celebrating despite failing to hold onto its Dries Mertens-supplied lead.

“In (the Napoli) dressing room they feel like they are already through and maybe they are. Everybody here thinks, ‘Oh my God, it will be tough’ and it will be tough, that much is clear.”

Predictably and understandably, Klopp joined the online chorus claiming Napoli played negative football.

“The way Napoli set up, it didn’t help that they scored, they could follow their plan all the time, we had to increase pressure all the time. We were not brilliant but we put pressure on them. I was not happy with the last 15 minutes of the first half. Second half it was just intense and of course it’s not easy, they really defended the goal they had.”

Klopp also recognized that he’s got a bigger problem, potentially, in the form of an injury to influential midfielder Fabinho.

The Brazilian had played every minute of the UCL group stage and has gone 90 minutes in all but two of their 13 Premier League matches.

“The biggest things is the Fabinho injury, that’s massive. It’s early and we all hope it’s not too serious but it’s pretty painful and in an area you don’t want to have pain, around the ankle.”

That doesn’t sound great, but Liverpool supporters can hope it’s simply a matter of Klopp being extra candid (which is why we love him).

Liverpool draws Napoli, takes UCL fate to last match day

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Napoli drew Liverpool 1-1 on Wednesday to push the Reds’ knockout round qualification hopes to the final match day.

Liverpool will advance with a draw or better in Austria against Red Bull Salzburg on Dec. 10. It could also advance with a loss if Napoli fails to beat Genk in Italy.

Salzburg lost 4-3 at Anfield during the first meeting but carries three away goals in case it wins and a tiebreaker is required.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Dries Mertens scored in the first half, but Dejan Lovren leveled the score in the second half.

Premier League teams would love to have a word with Napoli, or subscribe to their diet or something; The Serie A side has now a 2-1-1 record against the reigning UCL champs dating back to last season.


Three things we learned

1. VAR doesn’t save Reds from opening concession: There were two reviews of Dries Mertens opener, but neither stopped the “1” from staying on the visitor’s side of the scoreboard as the Belgian scored for the second-straight match against Liverpool. Mertens timed his run perfectly well, though at first glance it looked like offside would be the call. Also, as good as the finish was, it was helped by a rare mistake from Alisson Becker. The Liverpool goalkeeper was married to his post.

2. Reds have trouble getting going: Napoli’s plan was to punch Liverpool in the mouth. No, literally. The Neapolitan set had the Reds off balance in the first half hour or so, but goalkeeper Alex Meret was called upon twice in the final 10 minutes to keep the advantage 1-0. The second half was much better, and the Reds could’ve found more than their lone tally.

3. Fabinho injury a worry: Liverpool’s midfield monster walked off the pitch and straight into the tunnel with an apparent hip injury. He was already going to miss this weekend via suspension, so if it’s something small he’ll have some time to heal before the Merseyside Derby on Dec. 4. If it’s not something small, the Reds will have some problems navigating a terribly congested December.

Man of the Match: There wasn’t a true star in this one. Obviously Lovren and Mertens delivered the goals, and Kalidou Koulibaly was good at the back for Napoli. But we’ll give it to James Milner, who left in the 78th minute with an assist to go with 89 percent passing, two tackles, three aerials won, and two dribbles.


Napoli took the lead when Van Dijk was momentarily hobbled while rising above Mertens for an aerial win.

Mertens took off as Napoli gained possession, and the Belgian’s run to meet a Giovanni di Lorenzo through ball was immaculate in beating the line set by Andy Robertson. As noted above, Alisson wasn’t at his best and would’ve needed to be in order to stop a terrific strike.

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Liverpool came to life and might’ve won a penalty due to some Sadio Mane tomfoolery that the referee was correct to dismiss as embellishment (no card, though). The Senegalese star would later rifle a shot that Meret turned away to keep it 1-0 heading to the break.

Mohamed Salah pumped a shot into Meret’s belly at the hour mark as Liverpool fought for an equalizer. Oxlade-Chamberlain then cued up Roberto Firmino for a header that was probably put off by Kostas Manolas.

Liverpool found its answer off a corner kick, James Milner sending it in and Lovren finishing the play.