Crystal Palace 0-2 Liverpool 2018 | First loss for Sakho & Tomkins as defensive pair

If this was probably a game in the 2016/17 season, or even last year, Liverpool would’ve probably dropped points. However Jurgen Klopp’s 2018/19 Reds are being talked about as title challengers to Pep Guardiola’s all conquering City, and they picked up an important win against a strong Palace side at Selhurst Park on Monday night. Klopp named an unchanged side, choosing to keep faith with the XI that had dismantled West Ham at Anfield on the opening weekend.

Crystal Palace had NEVER lost in 15 previous Premier League games when they had Sakho and Tomkins starting together. That record was broken by Liverpool, with goals from James Milner (another from the penalty spot) and Sadio Mane giving the visitors all three points.

Sadio M

(via Twitter)

Palace gave a good account of themselves in the first half and were unlucky not to go ahead when Andros Townsend’s fizzing shot from distance rattled the woodwork. They instead went behind after Mo Salah was brought down in the box (a controversial call as many thought he had dived). Up stepped Milner to convert the spot kick and Liverpool were 1-0 up at the break.

Liverpool didn’t make the game safe until the death when a breakaway move on the counter found Sadio Mane in space. Patrick van Aanholt did well to make up distance, but Mane somehow managed to evade both his and the opposition keeper’s attentions before slotting into an empty. 2-0 to LFC, and game, set and match.

Liverpool will be at home to Brighton on Saturday evening. The Seagulls stunned Manchester United at the Amex on Saturday.

Ragnar Klavan Cagliari- Liverpool defender moves to Serie A

Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan has completed his move to Serie A side Cagliari. The Estonian international has transferred for a reported fee of £2m.

Despite injuries to Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren (the Reds had Joe Gomez partnering VvD in their first game of the season), Klopp agreed to sanction the Klavan move, with youngster Nat Phillips having earned the gaffer’s confidence.

Klavan will be best remembered by Reds fans for his last minute goal against Burnley at Turf Moor- Liverpool’s first of 2018, and the first goal by an Estonian in the Premier League.

Cagliari’s opening game of the 18/19 Serie A season will be away at Empoli.

Klavan

(via Twitter)

Three Liverpool players in Brazil squad to play USA & El Salvador

Three Liverpool players- Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, have been called up to the Brazilian squad for next month’s friendlies against the United States and El Salvador. Former Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho has been called up as well. The list doesn’t include the Man City quartet of Ederson, Danilo, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho, but the United duo of Fred and Andreas Pereira are present.

Brazil reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup before losing to Belgium.

Full Brazilian squad:-

Alisson, Hugo, Neto
T. Silva, Marquinhos, Dede, Felipe, F. Luis, A. Sandro, Fabinho, Fagner
Casemiro, Fred, Arthur, Lucas Pacqueta, Renato Augusto, Andreas Pereira, Coutinho
Neymar, Willian, Firmino, D. Costa, Everton, Pedro Continue reading

500th Premier League victory for Liverpool as Hammers swept aside

Despite West Ham’s awful past record at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp would’ve been a tad worried ahead of this clash- the latter had spent almost £100m in the summer window, and in Manuel Pellegrini, had acquired a manager who was Premier League proven- the Chilean was Man City gaffer when they won the league title in 2014.

Most of those fears were unfounded as the Reds coasted to a 4-0 win at Anfield. They were electric in the first half, and took their foot off the pedal in the second, with the game over as a contest by the hour mark. Perhaps the best debut Alisson could’ve asked for in goal- he barely had a save?

How did Naby Keita perform?

Very, very well. He has the same jersey number as the legendary Steven Gerrard and showed enough to indicate he could be a club legend if he stays long enough.

Where did Liverpool play Keita?

Keita started on the left side of a three man midfield, with Wijnaldum in the cnetre and Milner on the right. When Sadio Mane was substituted, Keita moved ahead to play on the left side of Liverpool’s three pronged attack.

Naby Keita

(via Twitter)

Check out Keita’s role in Liverpool’s first goal and the tactics they employed to get him into space.

Mane was equally impressive scoring twice (one of them was offside though!)

How did Joe Gomez go?

Gomez was chosen to partner Van Dijk in the absence of Lovren and Klavan, and gave a decent account of himself, shutting out Marko Arnautovic.

How did James Milner play?

Milner seems to be ageing like fine wine. He started the game as Liverpool captain, handing the band to Henderson when the latter came in. As a teenager with Leeds, Milner’s first game was against West Ham, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself against Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

As good an afternoon as Jurgen Klopp could’ve asked for. Salah with the opening goal, Mane with two, and Sturridge with the last, scoring with his first touch off the bench!

James Milner Man of the Match vs West Ham Stats- First league game of LFC 18-19 season

James Milner was named Man of the Match for Liverpool’s opening day of the season win against West Ham. The veteran, playing on the right side of a three man midfield, had the most touches, most passes, most crosses and most distance covered among his Reds teammates.

122 touches
102 passes
57 passes in opposition half
93% pass accuracy
7 crosses
12.55 km distance covered by Milner

James M

Fabinho, Keita & Alisson- Could this be the season for the Reds?

Another Premier league season is kicking off and many of the top sides have been busy in the market as they look to challenge for the top four and title. Liverpool, as is customary with them in recent years, have been busy investing in the squad as they look to continue their rise that included a memorable run last season to the Champions league final. The final was a game that firmly indicated that Liverpool needed a top class goalkeeper and they have sorted just that. They have signed Brazilian number one Alisson for £65 million from Roma which is a big price tag so pressure will be on him from the get go to perform. Along with Alisson, they’ve landed Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri, which takes their spending in this window to nearly £175m (and counting!) Continue reading