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Joe Gomez ready for Liverpool return

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Joe Gomez has handed Liverpool another huge boost in their quest to win the Premier League title.

The England international, 21, has been out since suffering a fracture to his lower left leg during a win at Burnley in December.

Initially, Gomez was only going to be out for a few weeks but complications have since arrived and he has had to have surgery and further treatment to rectify the issue.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg at Porto on Wednesday (Liverpool have a 2-0 lead from the first leg), Jurgen Klopp revealed Gomez is now available for selection and has travelled with the team to Portugal.

“Absolutely [he looks strong]. Ox and Joe both did really well at Leicester, it was a brilliant game by all of the boys, to be honest, I watched it back. It looked really good,” Klopp said. “It’s clear they still need time to get full match fitness but it’s nice to have them back and now Joe first as an option. He played right full-back, we need him as this option as well. We all know he played a wonderful season at the centre-half position until his injury, but he can play both and it’s good to have him.”

Klopp now has a lot of options in defense, as Joel Matip has stepped in and played pretty well alongside Virgil Van Dijk over the past few months, as losing Gomez for a pivotal stretch of the season was a big concern for Liverpool. Even though Matip has filled in well, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson are clearly Liverpool’s first-choice back four.

With Dejan Lovren out with illness, getting Gomez back is a big deal for Liverpool as the composed center back was developing a superb relationship with VVD in the heart of Liverpool’s defense. However, with only TAA as a right back option and the likes of James Milner having to fill in there at times, it seems likely Gomez will rotate in that full back role in the final weeks of the season rather than disrupt the Matip-VVD partnership.

Mark this down as another big plus for Liverpool in their quest to win the league title for the first time since 1989-90.

In other injury news, Klopp also confirmed that Lovren is out of the game against Porto, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain needs more fitness work, Adam Lallana has returned to training and Jordan Henderson is fit after a slight ankle knock against Chelsea.

All in all, good news for Liverpool as they enter a season-defining 10 days.

Salah leads Liverpool to crucial win against Chelsea (video)

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  • Liverpool go top of the table
  • Mane, Salah both score
  • Hazard hits post, misses key chances

Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield on Sunday as Jurgen Klopp‘s took another huge stride towards winning their first-ever Premier League title.

In an even game, Sadio Mane put Liverpool ahead in the second half and moments later Mohamed Salah scored a Goal of the Season contender from distance to seal the win. Eden Hazard missed two glorious chances after that, but Liverpool held on for victory.

With the win Liverpool move two points clear at the top of the table on 85 points, although they have played a game more than second-place Man City. Chelsea remain on 66 points in fourth place, but their hopes of finishing in the top four took a hit.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Liverpool started brightly and Mane whipped in a cross which found Salah at the back post, but his shot on goal was saved by Kepa.

Hazard was caught by both Fabinho and Joel Matip early on and forced Alisson into a low save, while Naby Keita pushed an effort towards danger but Kepa again saved comfortably.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Jordan Henderson‘s shot deflected off David Luiz and looped over as Liverpool pushed hard for an opener in the first half. Willian broke free on the counter and smashed a shot just wide as the game opened up at the end of the half.

Mane then curled a shot wide after Salah surged into the box, while Chelsea lost key defender Antonio Rudiger through injury as the German international couldn’t recover from an early knock.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Liverpool started the second half well and went ahead after Jordan Henderson dinked a cross to the back post which Mane nodded home. Anfield went wild as the home side were worthy of their 1-0 lead.

There was just two minutes and 22 seconds to wait for the next goal, and Salah scored a simply amazing goal. The Egyptian winger cut in from the right and smashed an unstoppable effort into the far top corner which sparked pandemonium at Anfield.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Roberto Firmino then flashed a shot wide and Hazard then had two glorious chances to pull a goal back for Chelsea. The Belgian forward was clean through on goal and beat Alisson, but his shot hit the post, and moments later Alisson denied his scuffed effort and then Cesar Azpilicueta broke free but his cutback couldn’t find a host teammates in the box.

Liverpool settled themselves down late in the game to hold on for the win, as Klopp’s men moved back to the top of the table and handled their biggest remaining test comfortably.

Klopp beams with pride after Liverpool’s Munich masterclass

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is suitably impressed with his squad after a complete 3-1 defeat of Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the UEFA Champions League.

Save an own goal, the Reds really were that good.

[ RECAP: Bayern 1-3 (1-3 agg.) Liverpool ]

“I don’t know a lot of teams who come here and win in the manner we won tonight,” Klopp said on TNT’s post-match coverage. “For us that’s a big step.”

Scoreless after one leg, it was 1-1 at the break thanks to a wonderful goal from Man of the Match winner Sadio Mane, who’d later add another, and a Joel Matip own goal.

Already ahead on away goals, the Reds kept coming for Manuel Neuer and Bayern.

“It’s the best way of defending, yeah? Keeping the ball and attacking the opponent. We tried to do that in the first half.”

“We scored a wonderful goal but we didn’t play enough football actually. We didn’t keep the ball in the right places. We wanted to be direct and use our speed in behind, but not constantly. It’s not a race, like let’s go Sadio and Mo. We wanted to control it more, and that’s what we did in the second half.”

Klopp is encouraging his men to enjoy the moment and not worry too much about Friday’s draw. They’ll get back to work Thursday ahead of a weekend Premier League match at Fulham, but the fiery German and his crew will be all play on Wednesday night.

Off television, Klopp had this to say about getting the better of his longtime nemesis dating back to his time at Borussia Dortmund (and Mainz).

“I didn’t just want to beat Bayern. I wanted to win with Liverpool. I am sure I will have a lot of fans happy from Dortmund and if I can help them, then that’s great too.”

Mane leads Liverpool past Bayern Munich (video)

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
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  • Mane bags brace
  • Gnabry, Lewandowski force Matip own goal
  • Milner finds Van Dijk for goal

Sadio Mane scored two goals and was an all-around menace as Liverpool defeated Bayern Munich 3-1 at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday to score a berth in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals after a scoreless first leg.

Virgil Van Dijk also scored for the Reds, who conceded via a Joel Matip own goal in the win.

The quarterfinal draw is Friday morning. Four of the eight quarterfinalists are from the Premier League.

Andy Robertson picked up a yellow card in stoppage time, and will miss the first leg of the next round.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Liverpool made an early change when Jordan Henderson was hurt, bringing Fabinho into the XI.

Out of nothing, Roberto Firmino lashed a shot wide of Manuel Neuer’s far post.

Liverpool then took the lead on a horrible mistake from Neuer, as Mane turned him inside out on the edge of the 18 and swept a shot across the line.

Robert Lewandowski then bounced a shot to Alisson, as Bayern knew it would need to score twice without conceding.

Neuer stopped a marauding Andy Robertson at the near post in the 34th minute.

It all went level in the 39th minute, as Serge Gnabry cooked Robertson and Joel Matip‘s desperation bid to clear Gnabry’s cross toward Lewandowski went into the goal.

David Alaba zipped a free kick over the wall that Alisson Becker saved, and it remained 1-1 into halftime.

Mohamed Salah stung the palms of Neuer with a 50th minute rocket, as Liverpool looked for a goal to put victory firmly in its grasp.

Lewandowski then just missed a Gnabry cross before Bayern gave the Reds a pair of corner kicks.

The second was James Milner‘s assist on Van Dijk’s thumped back post header, and Liverpool was in very good shape with a little more than 20 minutes to play in Munich.

Salah could’ve earned a penalty after contact in the box but fought through it and had a chance denied by Bayern.

Substitute Renato Sanches missed wide with an 83rd minute effort to tie the second leg.

And in the end, Mane was just too much. The Senegalese star completed his brace in the 84th minute.

Liverpool stay second, draw at Everton (video)

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  • Liverpool drawn 4 of last 6 PL games
  • No derby win for Everton in 19 games in all comps
  • Pickford denied Mohamed Salah in first half 

The 200th Merseyside derby in the league ended in a 0-0 draw, as Everton held Liverpool at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Liverpool had the better chances throughout as Jordan Pickford denied Mohamed Salah, with Marco Silva‘s Everton putting in a battling display to grab a point.

With the draw Liverpool remain in second place in the Premier League table with nine games to go, but Jurgen Klopp‘s side are now one point behind leaders Man City. Everton are in 10th on 37 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Everton started well as Gylfi Sigurdsson‘s cross was cleared by Virgil Van Dijk, while at the other end Mohamed Salah curled a shot on target which Jordan Pickford saved rather easily.

Salah then had a glorious chance to give Liverpool the lead as he went clean through but Pickford denied him superbly as a massive chance came and went for Liverpool.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

In a scrappy first half where Everton struggled to gain control of the ball, Theo Walcott got in-behind Andy Robertson on one occasion but skied his effort.

The first big chance of the second half went Everton’s way, as a corner from the left found Calvert-Lewin but Alisson saved his header.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Salah was then played in by Joel Matip and was clean through but Michael Keane made a wonderful last-ditch tackle to deny the Liverpool forward.

Roberto Firmino and James Milner came on for Liverpool and soon after a massive chance arrived as Virgil van Dijk’s header across goal found Fabinho but Lucas Digne cleared at the crucial moment.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Richarlison, on as a second half sub, caused Liverpool plenty of problems on the break and his cross just evaded Bernard late on as Everton pushed for a winner.

At the other end Matip nodded a corner wide as a tense encounter ended even, with Everton by far the happier team as they stymied Liverpool’s attack.