Andy Robertson

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Liverpool: Spurs matches the ‘toughest games we’ve played’

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Liverpool’s star fullbacks have different takes on how last season’s final in Kiev affects Saturday’s match in Madrid, but they agree on one thing: The opposition is a huge challenge.

Many have installed the Reds as favorites to win the European Cup against Tottenham Hotspur, but both Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold remember the dogfights against Spurs this season.

[ MORE: 3 key battles in UCL Final ]

Liverpool won both battles 2-1 but walked away with plenty of respect for the defeated North London side. Here’s Robertson, from the BBC:

“I don’t think they’re underdogs. When we’ve played in the Premier League it’s been the toughest games we’ve played. We know we can cause them problems. Both have very good squads, it is who shows up better on the day. For me it’s very even.”

Alexander-Arnold said it’s going to be a tactical battle and “very difficult for both sides.”

But when it comes to what the 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in 2017-18 does for the club, well, the boys are at odds.

Robertson claims last season’s loss is “irrelevant,” though he admitted the players can use that experience (so perhaps not entirely irrelevant, Andrew).

Alexander-Arnold, on the other hand, sees it as fuel.

“It would be daft to forget what happened last season, we learnt a few things from Real Madrid in Kiev and how they beat us. We’ve matured as a team, shown how we can win games, hold onto leads and keep clean sheets.”

Klopp thrilled with Keita performance, Ox return as Liverpool cruises

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is the right man to have in charge for this particular Premier League challenge.

The Reds won again on Friday to go back atop the league, but will not win the league if they win out and Manchester City does the same.

[ RECAP: Liverpool 5-0 Huddersfield Town ]

When you’re talking a 97-point season that doesn’t end with silverware aloft, you’re talking crazy; Yet that’s what stands before the Reds.

Take it from Andy Robertson, who collected another two assists in the 5-0 defeat of Huddersfield Town.

“We’re onto 91 points and normally that’s enough to win the league,” he said. “I think it’s going to take 97 or 98 and that’s incredible. We’ve fought the whole way, but whoever falls short will be gutted. But it’s something we can be proud of and not sure we could have done any more.”

That feeling is almost a pre-emptive gutting — not exactly possible, we know — but Klopp has done a magnificent job of framing each win for what it is and not in the context of, “But what about Man City?” ad nauseum.

Then again, it isn’t remarkable given the subplots of Friday’s win. Klopp saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain make his long-anticipated return from injury, and Naby Keita scored before the 15th second ticked off the clock at Anfield.

Here’s Klopp on “The Ox,” who missed a chance which would’ve sent Anfield into delirium. From Sky Sports:

“It was nearly heartbreaking when he missed the chance, but you saw him smile. He’s such a wonderful person. He’s a better person than player. Imagine that. He’s a really good player and as a guy he’s outstanding. We’re so happy for him.”

And here’s Klopp on Keita, who is finally finding his footing after getting limited chances to shine in his first season since transferring from RB Leipzig.

“He’s a complete midfielder,” Klopp said. “Today it was his best game in all defending situations he was so difficult to deal with. He’s so quick in small spaces, you can’t stop that. And I don’t know how many balls he blocked tonight. People were asking me what about Naby Keita and we always thought we signed him for next year. He needed time to adapt but thank God he has done it this season.”

Man City, Liverpool go 10-of-11 on PFA Team of the Year

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LONDON (AP) Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is the only player not from Manchester City or Liverpool to be selected in the Premier League’s Team of the Year for the 2018-19 season.

City had six representatives — Ederson, Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero — while Liverpool had four, although Mohamed Salah wasn’t among them despite being tied for the top scorer in the league.

Pogba was picked for the team, which is voted for by Premier League players, despite having an up-and-down season. He was dropped for the final matches of Jose Mourinho’s tenure and has had a dip in form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in recent weeks.

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard wasn’t included, despite being on the six-man shortlist for the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Year award.

Team of the Year

Goalkeeper: Ederson (Manchester City)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Andy Robertson (Liverpool)

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Fernandinho (Manchester City)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Stars and duds from Liverpool-Tottenham Hotspur

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There are many talking points from Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Sunday.

[ MORE: Match recap | 3 things ]

This was a match rife with mistakes and squandered chances, and there was not a man who was perfect.

Andy Robertson was very, very good, but a part of the Spurs equalizer. Danny Rose was a Spurs star, but flubbed a late bid to send in a beautiful cross.

Stars

Andy Robertson — The Liverpool left back not only served up an assist while habitually cooking Kieran Trippier, he blocked a seemingly surefire Christian Eriksen equalizer.

Roberto Firmino — This was about so much more than the opening goal — though what a header! — as the Brazilian striker served as a calm playmaker and a bully on the ball.

Georginio Wijnaldum The least celebrated of a safe midfield, Wijnaldum was the best of the bunch and went 90 minutes in the win

Danny Rose — Has been in fine form for club and country, and was a big part of several promising moves coming from Spurs’ left side. Almost was removed from this list for a horrid 87th minute blunder on a scoring chance, but was just too important over the first 87.

Christian Eriksen — Inventive and undeterred, his spinning assist was a just reward for his day’s work.

Lucas Moura — Struggled for much of the first half, but scored the equalizer and took a very smart tactical yellow with Salah on the break in the 79th minute.

Duds

Hugo Lloris — The match-deciding goal is entirely on him, even if it ends up going over the line via an otherwise steady Toby Alderweireld.

Kieran Trippier — As noted in the Robertson blurb, Trippier was very poor on the flank. His quick pass on the equalizer helped, but

Alisson Becker — A fine parry in the second half, but mostly looked out-of-sorts in a big spot.

Moussa Sissoko — Here for one reason: Sprung for a 2v1 with Heung-Min Son, he dribbled toward the defender until a pass was impossible before blazing an effort nowhere near the goal. Son could’ve helped by running away from goal, but my goodness.

Harry KaneThis was going to be “Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah,” but it felt like kicking a dead horse to put Salah here for struggling when he, along with Lloris, produced Alderweireld’s own goal. Kane was largely absent for a star striker, and working hard doesn’t get you the plaudits when you’re a Golden Boot chaser. So maybe Mohamed Salah should be here, too, having scored just once in nine matches.

Lloris error pushes Liverpool past Spurs (video)

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  • Firmino puts Reds ahead
  • Robertson stars at left back
  • Moura provides equalizer off quick restart
  • Salah forces late Spurs own goal

Pickford/Origi. Now Lloris/Salah. You need a little good fortune to win a title fight.

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris‘ late mistake and myriad missed chances doomed Tottenham Hotspur and kept Liverpool’s title hopes in order as the Reds won 2-1 at Anfield on Sunday.

Lloris couldn’t hold onto a Mohamed Salah shot and Toby Alderweireld unwittingly put it in the goal.

Lucas Moura‘s second half goal answered Roberto Firmino‘s tally, but Spurs had several big missed chances before Salah prodded the o.g.

Liverpool keeps its two-point advantage on Manchester City, the latter having played one less game, while Spurs remain on 61 points. Tottenham is level with fourth place Manchester United.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

High speed was the name of the game, and a Harry Kane flick and Christian Eriksen pass forced Virgil Van Dijk to concede a corner with a fine sliding intervention.

Lucas Moura took an extra touch in the 11th minute as Spurs wasted a chance to test Alisson Becker, who had a shaky first minute.

Liverpool’s first chance came in the 16th, and the Reds punished Spurs through Firmino’s header of a terrific Andy Robertson cross.

Trent Alexander-Arnold swung an effort at goal two minutes later, but it went wide of the frame.

Dele Alli tore into a 33rd chance that just missed the frame, a rare moment of Spurs promise.

Mane curled a shot wide in the 37th as Liverpool reasserted control.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

Spurs again controlled the early stages of a half when play resumed, but Liverpool stayed structured and stout at the back. Spurs were also a bit sloppy in the final third.

Alisson parried Kane into the path of Eriksen, whose shot was blocked by Robertson for a corner. Liverpool dealt with that, but quickly gave the ball back to Spurs.

Moura shook the game at the end of a quick restart, as Trippier and Eriksen both moved the ball square for the forward to blast back Alisson.

Alexander-Arnold just missed putting the Reds back in front in the 76th minute with a splendid swirling left-footed effort that Hugo Lloris tipped over the bar.

Moussa Sissoko then led a 2v1 break and dribbled toward Heung-Min Son and his marker before blasting over the goal. Dele Alli would curl a chip just wide of the upper 90 minutes later.

Then, this: