Georginio Wijnaldum

WATCH: Liverpool’s Wijnaldum scores rocket on Netherlands duty

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Georginio Wijnaldum is given a bit more freedom from his club than his country, and loves every minute of it.

Netherlands beat Belarus 2-1 on Sunday at the Dinamo National Olympic Stadium in Minsk, and the Liverpool midfielder supplied both goals including a smashing effort from distance.

[ MORE: Neymar injured again ]

Wijnaldum, who turns 29 next month, gets a short pass and takes a touch to the middle of the park before unleashing this shot about 25 yards from goal.

He’s now scored in three of his last four EURO qualifiers, and has seven goals and three assists in his last 10 caps.

Wijnaldum now has 15 goals in 60 career caps.

The Dutch are three points ahead of Germany and Northern Ireland with 15 points, though the Germans can join them on 15 with a defeat of Estonia this afternoon.

Wilder: Sheffield United wasted chance to beat Liverpool

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is not taking any moral victories from a 1-0 home loss to league-leading Liverpool, and he’s not shielding his young star goalkeeper after a howler deciding the match at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

[ MORE: Recap | Klopp reacts ]

“If he wants to play for the top teams, he wants to play for England then he needs to do better,” Wilder said of Dean Henderson, who watched a fairly routine Georginio Wijnaldum shot go through his hands, off his backside, and into the goal.

“He needs to concentrate more, it’s a disappointing day for him. I am not going to put my arms around him, simply he needs to do better.”

Those thoughts mirror Wilder’s overall take on the loss, as the Blades could’ve easily equalized if Leon Clarke and his attacking teammates had their finishing boots on.

Chances were there, and Liverpool was not on its game. Wilder was asked if he was proud of his Blades.

“I’m not bothered about the pride. I’m bothered about the result. It’s three points when Liverpool had an off day. Whether that was our shape, or our attitude towards the game. We missed an opportunity to get a big result today and that’s been in our changing room that that’s happened.”

My kind of manager. On a day Sheffield United could easily have patted each other on the back, its hometown hero is making sure his men know it blew a chance to collect a point or three which could prove invaluable in the race for relegation. And that mindset may prove to be just as vital to those hopes.

Klopp: Liverpool still ‘spot on’ when not at its best

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Both Jurgen Klopp and Georginio Wijnaldum agree: This wasn’t a fun win for Liverpool, but acquiring all three points is another good sign for Liverpool.

The Reds beat Sheffield United 1-0 on Saturday thanks to a grievous error from Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson. The Manchester United loanee lost Wijnaldum’s shot between his legs, and Sheffield United couldn’t take advantages of the opportunities opened up by the Reds back line.

[ RECAP: Blades 0-1 Liverpool ]

“A few years ago we would not have been able to win these games,” Wijnaldum said. “It could be a really important three points. It’s really good to keep collecting the points.”

Jurgen Klopp was asked about his visible frustration on the touch line, as the Reds never really found their form over the course of 90-plus minutes. Bailed out indeed.

“I’m frustrated not any more,” Klopp said. “We started well. You have to do the same things again and again. It starts with the center halves. How we take the ball, how we pass the ball. They are little things.

“Usually you draw a game like this, or you lose it maybe with a set piece, but we were concentrated absolutely over 95 minutes for set pieces, which is very important. They are really strong in that. They have six or seven different routines. The boys were really spot-on, and we didn’t play our best football, sorry for that.”

That’s the right take, and it took a howler for Liverpool to get all three points. There’s a team of destiny feel about the Reds this year. Looks a bit silly to the eye, but it’s heading into the win column nonetheless.

Liverpool stay perfect, edge past Sheffield United

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It was far from pretty but Liverpool secured their seventh-straight Premier League win on the trot to start the season, as Georginio Wijnaldum‘s second half goal was enough to see them past a spirited Sheffield United side on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

The Blades were compact and tough to break down at Bramall Lane, but a mistake from goalkeeper Dean Henderson was the difference between the teams.

With the win Liverpool move on to 21 points for the season and are momentarily eight points clear atop the Premier League table. Jurgen Klopp‘s side have now won 16 games on the spin in the PL and are unbeaten in 24 matches.


3 things we learned

1. Liverpool grind out another win: It hasn’t been pretty for most of this season, but Liverpool lead the PL and have won seven games on the spin to kick off the campaign. Klopp’s men struggled to get going against the Blades and a lucky goal won them the game. You need a lot of luck to win the title and Liverpool have made the most of it early in the season.

2. Brilliant Blades hold their shape: Chris Wilder‘s side should be commended for their superb defensive display which gave Liverpool a real headache. Their overlapping center backs forced Liverpool to change their formation and switch wing backs, as they held their shape defensively and were a threat when they did go forward. There were so many positives for the Blades to take from this defeat.

3. Henderson makes another costly error: He is 22 years old, and Henderson will progress. But he’s now made a couple of errors in his first season as a Premier League goalkeeper and he’s still growing up. He was devastated after the game-winner went in and after at the final whistle. He has the quality to be a PL player, but he has to develop the concentration.

Man of the Match: Fabinho. He stepped in to stop Sheffield United on so many occasions and on a day when Liverpool’s attack faltered, Fabinho


United set up in a defensive 5-3-2 formation and were tough to break down, as Liverpool struggled to get going in attack. At the other Callum Robinson dragged an effort wide as the home fans were buoyed by a good start.

Mohamed Salah was quiet but curled wide, as Liverpool began to find their feet and fine a little more space.

A long ball over the top found Mane who was clean through on goal but he shanked a glorious chance over the bar, much to the relief of the Blades defense.

Robertson and Robinson both went close, as the latter should have done better with a header in the box after a fine cross from Enda Stevens. Right on half time Firmino found Mane but his shot crashed off the post and out.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half Liverpool had to switch their shape as they couldn’t break the Blades down, with Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold swapping flanks as wing backs and Fabinho momentarily dropping into midfield.

But it was Sheffield United who had a host of chances to take the lead, as Ollie McBurnie and Oliver Norwood went close and Liverpool’s defenders were throwing themselves heroically in front of the ball.

Then came the moment which decided the game, and one Henderson will not want to see again.

A routine shot from Georginio Wijnaldum was straight at the Sheffield United goalkeeper but the ball somehow squirmed through his grasp and over the line. A horrible moment for the youngster, on loan at Sheffield United from parent club Man United.

As the Blades pushed forward in search of an equalizer late on, Salah went clean through but Henderson made a superb stop with his foot to somewhat make amends for his error.

In the final minutes Sheffield United came close to grabbing a point but substitute Leon Clarkes skied a chance over the bar, even though he looked to be just offside when the cross came in.

Liverpool overcomes early blip, dominates Newcastle

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Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool overcame an early concession to continue its brilliant start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 win over Newcastle United at Anfield.

Roberto Fimino set up Mohamed Salah for Liverpool’s third goal, as the Reds look very ready for their trip to Napoli to start the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

The Reds are the fourth team to win 14-straight top flight matches in English history.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jetro Willems scored a terrific 7th minute goal for Newcastle, which was unable to produce another goal despite a gilt-edged chance for Emil Krafth.

Liverpool is now 5-0, the only perfect team in the league, while Newcastle’s four points through five matches have them above the drop zone for now.


Three things we learned

  1. Soothed, soothed Sadio — Mane’s two goals came in very Mane fashion; The drama of last match week behind him, the Senegalese winger curled a powerful shot home for his first goal, and put off Dubravka with his pace and industry to produce an easier second. This will be exactly what Liverpool wanted: A quick cleansing of whatever residue was left by his very public displeasure with Mohamed Salah, although it is a little bit of an eyebrow raiser that they didn’t celebrate together much over the course of three goals.
  2. Almiron absent — There were not too many signs that Miguel Almiron’s Paraguay goal, his first in 27 appearances for club and country, snapped him out of his slump. Over 67 minutes, the ex-Atlanta United man continued his PL struggles: 64 percent passing, just one successful dribble, and 30 total touches.
  3. Firmino the Man — It’s not often a first half sub makes the opposition feel worse about its chances, but the game changed when Roberto Firmino entered the match for injured Divock Origi. He created a few beautiful moments, none better than the dizzying assist to Salah.


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Newcastle took a shock lead with a vicious counter attack, Christian Atsu getting behind the back line to collect a long ball before playing Willems into the box for a thunderous shot.

It was all Liverpool going forward, and Jamaal Lascelles was very fortunate not to have conceded a penalty for a foul of Joel Matip in the box.

Mane made it 1-1 within moments, as Liverpool finally got its first shot on target. Andy Robertson fed Mane for a rocket of his own in the 28th minute, as Jonjo Shelvey could not catch up with the Senegalese star.

An Atsu giveaway sent the ball and Mane toward goal, and Martin Dubravka failed to collect the ball with a slide as Mane leapt over him. The striker was there to tap home the loose ball.

Georginio Wijnaldum nearly scored a sensational goal in the 49th minute when he used the outside of his boot to nearly writhe a shot around Dubravka.

Great work from Atsu was nearly redemptive for the score line, as Emil Krafth couldn’t settle the cross and could not take advantage of a slow-to-react Virgil Van Dijk.

The Reds could’ve put it to bed twice in the next five minutes, Firmino unable to head an Alexander-Arnold cross past Dubravka and Robertson missing wide from an acute angle.

Firmino’s assist on Salah’s goal was magnificent, and the match was over with 17 minutes to play.