Solskjaer Vows To Stay As Man Utd Boss Despite Liverpool Thrashing

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks on from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on October 24, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted he is the right man to manage Manchester United despite a historic hammering by Liverpool on Sunday as Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 rout at Old Trafford.

For the first time in Premier League history, United trailed 4-0 at half-time and lost by five goals without scoring at home for the first time since 1955.

The Red Devils have now taken one point from a possible 12 in the league to fall to seventh, eight points off leaders Chelsea.

“I do believe in myself, that I am getting close to what I want with the club,” said Solskjaer.

“The results lately haven’t been good enough, that brings doubt in anyone’s mind, but I’ve got to keep strong and believe in what we’ve been doing.”

Naby Keita started the rout before Diogo Jota doubled Liverpool’s lead inside 15 minutes.

READ ALSO: Salah Hits Hat-Trick As Liverpool Humiliate Man Utd

Salah then took centre stage to take his tally for the season to 15 goals in 12 appearances and become the top-scoring African player in Premier League history in the process.

To round off a miserable day for United, Paul Pogba lasted less than 15 minutes as a second-half substitute as he was shown a straight red card for a reckless lunge that forced Keita to leave the pitch on a stretcher.

Liverpool’s first victory in front of a crowd at Old Trafford under Jurgen Klopp moves them back above Manchester City into second, just a point behind Chelsea.

“What we did in the last third was insane. Pressing high, winning balls, scored wonderful goals,” said Klopp after Liverpool’s record away win against United.

“The result is insane. I asked if there was one like this in history and if there isn’t then it will take a while (to beat).”

By contrast, United’s hopes of a first league title since 2013 already look over.

That gap is likely to grow in the coming weeks with Tottenham and City to come in the next fortnight before an international break.

Whether Solskjaer will still be in charge come November is now in serious doubt as he has completely failed to form a balanced team from a talented collection of star players.

“In the last few weeks we’ve hit a brick wall,” added Solskjaer. “The performances haven’t come, the results haven’t come. We’ve conceded too many easy goals and that’s a concern.”

Salah teed up Keita to open the floodgates after just five minutes with a composed low finish past David de Gea.

United came from 2-0 down at the break to beat Atalanta 3-2 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

But former midfielder Paul Scholes’ warning after that match that Liverpool would be 4-0 up in 45 minutes if handed the same space to attack into came to fruition.

Jota justified his selection ahead of Sadio Mane as he stretched to turn in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross to double Liverpool’s advantage.

Salah has now scored in 10 consecutive games and overtook Didier Drogba with his 105th Premier League goal when the Egyptian turned home Keita’s cut-back with the United defence all at sea.

Liverpool inflicted further punishment before the break when Salah smashed home at De Gea’s near post.

Salah then completed his hat-trick with another cool finish five minutes into the second-half after Jordan Henderson’s pass dissected the United defence once more.

Cristiano Ronaldo thought he had pulled a goal back only for a VAR review to catch him in an offside position.

Another VAR check saw the end of Pogba’s brief cameo for a horrendous studs-up challenge on Keita that forced the Guinean off.

Solskjaer sacrificed Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford to try and stop the bleeding as Old Trafford emptied during the final half-hour.

De Gea ensured Liverpool failed to match their record margin of victory against United with an incredible save from Alexander-Arnold’s drive.

However, that did not subdue the mood among the travelling fans as they mockingly chanted for Solskjaer to remain in his job.

Salah Hits Hat-Trick As Liverpool Humiliate Man Utd

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring their fifth goal, his third during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on October 24, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Liverpool inflicted a historic hammering on Manchester United as Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 win at Old Trafford on Sunday, leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clinging to his job.

For the first time in Premier League history, United trailed 4-0 at half-time and failed to score in a hopelessly one-sided contest. The Red Devils have now taken a run of one point from a possible 12 in the league.

Naby Keita started the rout before Diogo Jota doubled Liverpool’s lead inside 15 minutes.

Salah then took centre stage to take his tally for the season to 15 goals in 12 appearances and become the top-scoring African player in Premier League history in the process.

To round off a miserable day for United, Paul Pogba lasted less than 15 minutes as a second-half substitute as he was shown a straight red card for a reckless lunge that forced Keita to leave the pitch on a stretcher.

Liverpool’s first victory in front of a crowd at Old Trafford under Jurgen Klopp moves them back above Manchester City into second, just a point behind leaders Chelsea.

By contrast, United’s hopes of a first league title since 2013 already look over as they remain eight points off the leaders.

That gap is likely to grow in the coming weeks with Tottenham and City to come in the next fortnight before an international break.

Whether Solskjaer will still be in charge come November is now in serious doubt as he has completely failed to form a balanced team from a talented collection of star players.

The Norwegian will wonder what might have been had Bruno Fernandes not fired over a glorious chance to open the scoring on three minutes.

But soon the defensive cracks that have blighted United’s season began to appear.

Salah teed up Keita to open the floodgates after just five minutes with a composed low finish past David de Gea.

United came from 2-0 down at the break to beat Atalanta 3-2 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

But former midfielder Paul Scholes’ warning after that match that Liverpool would be 4-0 up in 45 minutes if handed the same space to attack into came to fruition.

Jota justified his selection ahead of Sadio Mane as he stretched to turn in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross to double Liverpool’s advantage.

Salah has now scored in 10 consecutive games and overtook Didier Drogba with his 105th Premier League goal when the Egyptian turned home Keita’s cut-back with the United defence all at sea.

Cristiano Ronaldo was lucky to avoid a red card as United’s frustrations bubbled over in first-half stoppage time when he was booked for lashing out at Curtis Jones in a sign of what was to come as the home side lost their discipline.

Liverpool inflicted further punishment before the break when Salah smashed home his 14th goal in 12 games this season at De Gea’s near post.

Salah then completed his hat-trick with another cool finish five minutes into the second-half after Jordan Henderson’s pass dissected the United defence once more.

Ronaldo thought he had pulled a goal back only for a VAR review to catch him in an offside position.

Another VAR check saw the end of Pogba’s brief cameo for a horrendous studs-up challenge on Keita that forced the Guinean off.

Solskjaer sacrificed Fernandes and Marcus Rashford to try and stop the bleeding as Old Trafford emptied during the final half-hour.

De Gea ensured Liverpool failed to match their record margin of victory against United with an incredible save from Alexander-Arnold’s drive.

However, that did not subdue the mood among the travelling fans as they mockingly chanted for Solskjaer to remain in his job.

Ronaldo’s Duel With Salah Takes Centre Stage As Man United Face Liverpool

A cardboard cut out of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo is held by Manchester United supporters during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah will go head to head for the right to be billed as the Premier League’s top dog when Manchester United face arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp risked irking United striker Ronaldo ahead of the crunch clash when he hailed Salah as the best player in the world last weekend.

The Egypt forward has been in superb form, with his sublime strikes against Manchester City and Watford already goal of the season contenders.

But Ronaldo hasn’t been far behind with a series of crucial goals underlining his superstar status.

While Paris Saint-Germain duo Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe can also stake their claim to be the world’s best, in the Premier League there is little doubt that Ronaldo and Salah are the main men.

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah celebrates after he scores his team's fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 1, 2020. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah celebrates after he scores his team’s fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on February 1, 2020. PHOTO: Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

So who will be this season’s preeminent force?

Sunday’s crucial showdown at Old Trafford will go some way to deciding that question.

Without a win in their last three league games, United are four points behind second-placed Liverpool.

United need Ronaldo to continue his knack of rising to the big occasion, while unbeaten Liverpool hope Salah can continue his blistering streak.

Salah has scored 12 times in 11 games this season, with Ronaldo netting six times in eight matches since returning to United from Juventus in August.

Salah became the first Liverpool player to score in nine consecutive games after striking twice in the Champions League win at Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Just 24 hours later, Ronaldo stole the European spotlight with the late headed winner that completed United’s fightback from two goals down to beat Atalanta 3-2.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer naturally leans towards his player in any debate about the best of the best.

But he admitted Salah’s red-hot run makes him a fearsome proposition.

“I’ll always back Cristiano in any competition. He’s unique. That being said, Salah, at the moment, he’s on fire,” Solskjaer said.

“We know we have to be at our best to defend against him. We have to focus on them for 95 minutes to keep a clean sheet.

“I’m a big fan of Liverpool’s front three. We have to enjoy the players, though not Salah on Sunday, of course.”

– True greatness –

Asked to debate the virtues of the pair on Friday, Klopp took a diplomatic approach as he highlighted each star’s quality.

“Why should we compare Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah? Obviously both are world-class players, so that’s how it is,” he said.

“Even when Ronaldo’s left foot is not that bad, I would say Mo’s left foot is probably better.

“Maybe then Cristiano in the air is slightly better and the right foot is probably better.

“But speed-wise they are both pretty quick, very desperate to score goals, so maybe that’s it.”

It is the ability to propel a team to silverware that defines true greatness and, on that front, Ronaldo has the edge, for now.

While Salah has won one Premier League title with Liverpool, Ronaldo is a three-time English champion, not forgetting his combined four league titles at Real Madrid and Juventus.

Salah has one Champions League crown, but Ronaldo has lifted Europe’s elite club prize five times.

Salah, whose contract expires in 2023, is reportedly looking for a new deal that would make him one of the Premier League’s highest paid players alongside Ronaldo.

Liverpool will surely have to bow to the 29-year-old’s demands, given he has scored 137 goals in 214 games for the club since joining from Roma in 2017.

Ronaldo has such longevity that even Salah might not be able to match all the Portugal legend’s achievements.

The 36-year-old has amassed 124 goals in 300 United appearances over his two spells with the club.

He has also won the Ballon d’Or fives times and is the record goalscorer in both the Champions League and international football.

However, Klopp believes Salah has the right character to stay at the top for years to come.

“Mo is incredibly professional. He’s really the first and very often the last out of all the players,” Klopp said.

“He’s constantly interested in all the different things he has to do to improve. He has still a lot to give, 100 percent.”

AFP

Salah Wants To End Career At Liverpool

Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah eyes the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on October 19, 2021. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP
Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah eyes the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on October 19, 2021. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

 

Mohamed Salah has told Liverpool he wants to stay for the rest of his career, but the Egypt forward insisted the success of his contract negotiations with the club “doesn’t depend on me”.

Salah’s current contract expires in 2023 and Liverpool are trying to finalise a new long-term deal.

The 29-year-old has so far been unable to come to terms with the Reds amid reports he wants wages that would make him one of the Premier League’s top earners.

That has sparked fears Salah will leave Anfield eventually, a concern fuelled when he flirted with Real Madrid last season.

READ ALSO: Haaland Out For ‘Several Weeks’ With Hip Injury

But, on the eve of Liverpool’s clash with arch rivals Manchester United on Sunday, Salah put the ball in his club’s court as he said he would stay forever given the chance.

“It doesn’t depend on me, but if you asked me I would love to stay until the last day of my football career,” Salah told Sky Sports on Friday.

“But I can’t say much about that, it’s not in my hands. It depends on what the club wants. It doesn’t depend on me.

“At the moment, I can’t see myself ever playing against Liverpool. That would make me sad.

“It’s hard. I don’t want to talk about it, but it would make me really sad and at the moment I don’t see myself playing against Liverpool, but let’s see what will happen in the future.”

Salah has been in superb form for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season, scoring 12 goals in 11 appearances in all competitions.

He is the first Liverpool player ever to score in nine successive games in all competitions and he also became the fastest player to score 100 goals for Liverpool in September.

Salah’s majestic goals against Manchester City and Watford recently were considered early contenders for goal of the season.

 

AFP

UCL: Salah Delivers Again As Liverpool Beat 10-Man Atletico

Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on October 19, 2021. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP
Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on October 19, 2021. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Mohamed Salah continued his blistering run of form on Tuesday by scoring twice in a 3-2 victory over 10-man Atletico Madrid as Liverpool took charge of Group B in the Champions League.

Salah gave Liverpool the lead with another splendid goal at the Wanda Metropolitano after dancing past three Atletico defenders and firing in to make it nine consecutive games the Egyptian has scored in.

But a wild contest in Madrid had several twists and turns still to come as Naby Keita doubled the advantage only for Atletico to strike twice before half-time, Antoine Griezmann pulling his team back into the match and leaving Liverpool looking temporarily dishevelled.

Yet Griezmann was sent off in the 52nd minute for a high foot into the face of Roberto Firmino and Liverpool made Atleti pay, a clumsy challenge by Mario Hermoso on Diogo Jota giving Salah the chance to win the game from the spot.

READ ALSO: Klopp Not A Fan Of Atletico Style Despite Respect For Simeone

Even with 10 men, Atletico thought they might have snatched a draw late on as Luis Suarez, on off the bench, prepared to take a penalty against his former club with his first touch.

Instead, referee Daniel Siebert infuriated the home crowd by cancelling his decision after consulting the replay.

Liverpool move five points clear at the top of the group, with Atletico seemingly left to scrap it out with Porto for second place. They have four points each.

Between his two goals, Salah was often on the fringes of a game that was high on adrenaline but low on craft and creativity.

Yet the 29-year-old proved the difference again, adding his 11th and 12 goals of the season and showing why many now have him as favourite for the Ballon d’Or.

Diego Simeone’s plan seemed to be to have Thomas Lemar doubling up with Yannick Carrasco when Salah moved into threatening positions but in the eighth minute, Salah just nipped past both of them.

He collected the ball far out on the right towards the corner flag, danced inside Carrasco, Lemar and then finally Koke before unleashing from the edge of the box, his shot deflecting off James Milner.

Atleti had barely paused for breath when Liverpool made it two, this time Felipe with some uncharacteristically limp defending, his wild clearance plopping up to Keita, who whacked it first time on the volley into the net.

Liverpool were faster, stronger and cutting through Atletico almost at will but little by little the home side resisted and found their way back.

A chipped pass from the impressive Joao Felix had to be poked out of Carrasco’s reach at the back post and from the resulting corner, Atleti pulled one back.

Lemar wriggled round the back of Keita and his cross bypassed everyone in the area before landing with Koke, who did well to shoot low into the crowd, where Griezmann diverted in.

The wait for a VAR check gave Simeone a second chance to thrash his arms towards the home crowd, with Atletico believing again.

Felix scuttled clear but Alisson blocked the finish and then Felix surged past Keita on the left touchline.

Prodding inside to Griezmann, the gap was not obvious, but Virgil van Dijk had his angles wrong and the Frenchman’s first touch was decisive, piercing him through Liverpool’s defence and offering space for a cool finish.

Lemar and Carrasco both went close either side of half-time and Atletico appeared to have the initiative, Liverpool’s early authority lost.

But Griezmann’s red card changed the complexion again, the striker sent off after lifting his foot high enough to connect with the side of Firmino’s head, even if his eyes were fixed firmly on the ball.

The dismissal spoiled the flow as Atletico, and Simeone, looked for every chance either to squeeze a Liverpool red card from Siebert or waste time.

They looked like they might hold on for a point until Hermoso blinked in the 76th minute, his clumsy challenge on Jota under a high ball in the area prompting Siebert to point to the spot.

Jan Oblak jumped right, Salah rolled left.

AFP

Klopp Not A Fan Of Atletico Style Despite Respect For Simeone

File Photo: Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp. LEE SMITH / POOL / AFP

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he still finds it hard to warm to Atletico Madrid’s style of play despite his deep admiration for the Spanish champions’ coach Diego Simeone.

Klopp hit out at Atletico’s defensive tactics when Simeone’s men won 3-2 after extra-time at Anfield in the Champions League last-16 in March 2020 to progress 4-2 on aggregate.

The German excused that outburst on Monday, saying it showed his frustration at being forced to play the game with a full crowd just days before the coronavirus pandemic shut down European football for months.

“I was angry, disappointed about a lot of things with the world in the moment,” said Klopp. “Then we had to concentrate on football in a really strange circumstance.

“Diego Simeone is doing everything right. He is the current Spanish champion. He is at Atletico for I don’t know how long, but very successful there.”

Klopp said he respected what Atletico had achieved but preferred a different style of football.

“Do I like it? Not too much but that’s normal because I prefer a different type of football,” he said. “Other coaches prefer other styles of football so nobody has to like it — it just has to be successful and that is what Atletico are for sure.”

Liverpool are unbeaten in 11 games this season, thanks in large part to Virgil van Dijk’s return from knee ligament damage.

The Dutch captain was injured last October by a wild lunge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in a bad-tempered Merseyside derby.

Van Dijk resisted the temptation to rush back to represent his country at Euro 2020 and Liverpool have reaped the benefits as he has slotted back at the heart of the defence.

Simeone said the Dutchman’s return has given the Reds the “security” they lacked last season to attack more freely.

But Van Dijk himself believes he still has some way to go to get back to his best.

“I don’t think there are a lot of examples of players coming back from an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), a complex knee injury, that’s back to his best after a year, so I’ve work to do,” said Van Dijk.

“I want to be as good as I can be for the team I play for, the fans I play for and the country I play for. The only thing to get there is play games and get more confident in the things you do.

“It’s going the right way and I’m feeling fine so there is always room for improvement.”

Liverpool are on course for the Champions League last 16 after winning their opening two games ahead of the trip to Madrid.

Atletico needed a late turnaround to beat 10-man AC Milan in their last European outing, but are also well-placed on four points from two games in Group B.

 

African Players In Europe: In-Form Salah Equals Drogba Record

File Photo of Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah. (Photo by Peter Byrne / POOL / AFP)

 

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah equalled the Premier League goals record for an African when he scored in a 5-0 rout of Watford at the weekend.

The Egypt forward has netted 104 times in the world’s most watched domestic league, matching the total of former Ivory Coast attacker Didier Drogba during two spells with Chelsea.

Salah showed why he is one of the most in-form players in the world with a stunning solo effort as he danced between four defenders to score for the eighth consecutive game.

Here, AFP Sport highlights Africans who starred in the major European leagues.

ENGLAND

SADIO MANE, MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

Mane became just the third African player to score 100 Premier League goals after Drogba and Salah as Liverpool overwhelmed Watford. Salah was the provider for Mane’s landmark effort with a brilliant pass for the Senegal attacker to slot home his sixth goal of the season.

PATSON DAKA (Leicester)

Zambia forward Daka grabbed his first Leicester goal as the Foxes inflicted more misery on Manchester United with a 4-2 win. Daka has played just 39 minutes of Premier League football since his mid-year move from Salzburg, but made his mark off the bench with the final goal of the game in stoppage time as he tapped home at the back post from a free-kick.

EDOUARD MENDY (Chelsea)

The Senegal goalkeeper repelled a late Brentford barrage to secure a 1-0 win. The European champions needed Mendy to make three stunning saves to hold out for a victory to take them back to the top of the table. “He’s a world-class goalkeeper and is the one we’ve got to thank,” said Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

ITALY

VICTOR OSIMHEN (Napoli)

The Nigeria forward scored his fifth Serie A goal of the season as Napoli defeated Torino 1-0 to maintain their perfect start to the season. Osimhen headed in after 81 minutes, making the most of an attempted clearance that ricocheted off team-mate Eljif Elmas. “It was the most important goal of my career,” said Osimhen. “The atmosphere at the stadium was incredible. The fans pushed us forward and we managed to get the three points.”

GERMANY

TAIWO AWONIYI (Union Berlin)

Fresh from his international debut, the Nigeria forward bagged his fourth goal in three games to hand Union a surprise 2-0 win over Wolfsburg. The home crowd sang Awoniyi’s name after he put Union ahead just after half-time by scoring his sixth league goal this season. “He is our life insurance”, said goalkeeper Andreas Luthe.

IHLAS BEBOU (Hoffenheim)

Togo striker Bebou opened his Bundesliga account for the season with two goals in Hoffenheim’s 5-0 thrashing of Cologne. Bebou scored in the first half and doubled the lead after the break with a neat backheel to send Hoffenheim on the way to their second-highest Bundesliga victory.

ODILON KOSSOUNOU (Bayer Leverkusen)

Ivory Coast defender endured a torrid afternoon at the back as a young Leverkusen side were put to the sword by league leaders and reigning champions Bayern Munich. Kossounou and his teammates were powerless to stop Bayern’s marauding front line in the first half, as Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Mueller and Serge Gnabry smashed in four goals in seven minutes. The 5-1 win sent Bayern back to the top of the table.

FRANCE

KAMALDEEN SULEMANA (Rennes)

The Ghanaian teenager scored a magnificent solo goal to take his haul for the season to four in a 3-0 victory at Metz. Sulemana, who started both World Cup qualifying wins over Zimbabwe, poked the ball through the legs of a defender before smashing in via the crossbar as Rennes put the game out of reach by half-time.

VITAL N’SIMBA (Clermont)

The Angola-born Democratic Republic of Congo defender bagged his first Ligue 1 goal to give promoted Clermont a memorable 1-0 win over reigning champions Lille. N’Simba crashed home a powerful low drive from 20 metres to end a run of seven games without a victory for his side.

Lebanon In Blackout As Power Stations Run Out Of Fuel

This file photo taken on July 10, 2021, shows the Deir Ammar power station in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. Lebanon was plunged into a total blackout today after two main power stations went offline because they ran out of fuel, the state electricity corporation said. Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP

 

Lebanon was plunged into a total blackout Saturday after two main power stations went offline because they ran out of fuel, the state electricity corporation said.

The Mediterranean country is battling one of the planet’s worst economic crises since the 1850s, and has in recent months struggled to import enough fuel oil for its power plants.

State electricity in most places is barely available for an hour a day amid rolling power cuts, while the fuel needed to power private back-up generators is also in short supply.

“After the Deir Ammar power station was forced to stop producing power yesterday morning (Friday) due its gasoil reserves running out, the Zahrani plant also stopped this afternoon for the same reason,” Electricite du Liban said in a statement.

This led to the network’s “complete collapse without any possibility of restoring it for the time being”, it said.

READ ALSO: Afghans Flock To Iranian Border, But Few Can Cross

In this file photo taken on June 23, 2021, a technician controls an electric switch board connecting homes to electricity generators in a suburb of Lebanon’s capital Beirut.  Joseph EID / AFP

 

It was the second such complete outage reported by EDL since the start of the month, after a similar incident last Saturday.

A source at the energy ministry told AFP that all was being done “to find a way out of the problem”.

EDL said that a fuel oil shipment was expected to arrive on Saturday evening, and was expected to unload at the beginning of next week.

Restoring electricity is one of the many tough tasks facing Lebanon’s new government, formed last month after 13 months of political wrangling.

Several measures have been launched in a desperate bid to keep the lights on.

Lebanon has reached an agreement towards bringing Jordanian electricity and Egyptian gas into the country via war-torn Syria, while Shiite movement Hezbollah has separately started hydrocarbon deliveries from Iran.

This file photo taken on April 3, 2021, shows a partial view of the damaged Lebanese Electricity Company (EDL) headquarters in the capital Beirut. Anwar AMRO / AFP

 

The state is also bringing in some fuel oil for power stations in exchange for medical services under a swap deal with Iraq.

The international community has long demanded a complete overhaul of Lebanon’s loss-making electricity sector, which has cost the government more than $40 billion since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

AFP

Liverpool, Man City Share Points In Four-Goal Thriller


Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (L) challenges Manchester City’s Spanish midfielder Rodrigo during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England, on October 3, 2021.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Pep Guardiola said Manchester City’s pulsating 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday exhibited why he believes the Premier League is the best in the world.

The points were shared between the two sides that have dominated English football for the past four years after a breathless second-half that saw City twice come from behind having dominated the first 45 minutes.

Liverpool weathered that storm and hit the English champions with a sucker punch when Sadio Mane opened the scoring just before the hour mark.

Phil Foden levelled before Mohamed Salah looked to have won the game with a moment of individual brilliance as he jinked around four defenders before firing past Ederson.

However, Kevin De Bruyne’s shot that deflected in off Joel Matip nine minutes from time salvaged the point Guardiola’s men at least deserved.

“What a game! That is the reason the last years Man City and Liverpool were always there because we try to play in this way,” said Guardiola.

“That’s why the Premier League is the best. It was really great. Unfortunately we couldn’t win, but we didn’t lose.”

A share of the spoils leaves the title race tantalisingly poised with Liverpool a point behind leaders Chelsea and City two points off the top in third.

It could have been much worse for City as a 0-0 draw at home to Southampton two weeks ago left them three points off the top of the table ahead of two of the most daunting away trips in the Premier League either side of a Champions League trip to Paris Saint-Germain.

However, rather than being cut adrift from the contenders to take their title, they have laid down a marker in schooling Chelsea on their own patch last weekend and doing the same to Jurgen Klopp’s men for the majority of a thrilling contest.

“The way we played at Stamford Bridge, in Paris and today shows we are a great team,” added Guardiola.

Jurgen Klopp admitted he was happy to hear the half-time whistle as City failed to turn their dominance in the first 45 minutes into goals.

Alisson Becker twice saved one-on-ones with Foden, who also saw strong penalty appeals for a push by James Milner waived away, while De Bruyne headed over a glorious chance at the back post.

READ ALSO: Messi Suffers First PSG Defeat In Loss At Rennes

Sucker Punch 


Manchester City’s Spanish midfielder Rodrigo (R) challenges Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England, on October 3, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

But Klopp reorganised his troops at the break to turn the game into a far more competitive contest in the second-half.

“I was more than pleased when I heard the whistle for half time because we had to adjust a lot of things and we did,” said Klopp.

“Second-half was completely different. If we only played the second-half I would have loved to have win, but with the first half I am happy with the point.”

Mane hit City with the sucker punch as Salah skipped past Joao Cancelo and played in the Senegalese to slot calmly into the far corner.

Anfield was suddenly stirred and Liverpool’s players crashed into challenges in response as they didn’t allow City to get into the rhythm they enjoyed before the break.

However, one slick move from Guardiola’s men finally saw them find the net to level 21 minutes from time.

Gabriel Jesus skipped across the face of the Liverpool box before finding Foden, who this time drilled the ball low into Alisson’s far corner.

Guardiola was then infuriated as Milner avoided a second yellow card after chopping down Bernardo Silva.

And moments his later his mood soured even more when Salah’s stunning solo goal swung the game in Liverpool’s favour.

The Egyptian danced around Cancelo, Silva and Aymeric Laporte before firing on his weaker right foot high past Ederson.

Guardiola was then booked for taking his protests too far, but five minutes later he was screaming in celebration as De Bruyne’s effort from the edge of the box deflected in off Joel Matip.

Liverpool had the best chance to win the game in an end-to-end finale, but Rodri blocked Fabinho’s goal-bound effort after Ederson flapped at a free-kick.

AFP

Liverpool, Man City Battle For Premier League Supremacy

Liverpool's Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (C) heads home the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on May 8, 2021. Zac Goodwin / POOL / AFP
Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (C) heads home the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on May 8, 2021.
Zac Goodwin / POOL / AFP

 

 

Liverpool and Manchester City resume their rivalry for top spot when they go head to head in the Premier League this weekend, while Chelsea and Manchester United aim to get their title challenges back on track.

Under Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, City and Liverpool have become the dominant forces in English football, sharing the past four Premier League titles between them.

City, who have won three of those, delivered a warning shot to the pretenders to their crown with a hugely impressive 1-0 win at Chelsea last weekend.

But it is Liverpool who boast the only unbeaten record after six games and find themselves a point clear of City, Chelsea and United, even though they dropped two points at Brentford last week.

City ended their long wait for a win away to Liverpool in emphatic fashion with a 4-1 victory in February but they have not won in front of a crowd at Anfield since 2003.

Fatigue could take its toll on Guardiola’s men after a draining week. Three days after their statement win at Stamford Bridge, the English champions were beaten 2-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital.

Liverpool, by contrast, were able to ease off the gas long before the end of a 5-1 Champions League win over Porto.

However, the Reds will be without right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad announced Thursday with a groin problem.

“Obviously when you have something with your muscle, it’s not likely for Sunday,” said Klopp. “No muscle injury heals that quick.”

Everton threat to United

United needed all 95 minutes to edge past Villarreal in their midweek Champions League game, emerging as victors thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s dramatic stoppage-time winner.

The late intervention from the Portuguese superstar stopped the rot for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men after a run of three defeats in four games.

But in truth United were lacklustre again, relying on goalkeeper David de Gea, who produced a string of vital saves.

Everton head to Old Trafford level on points with Solskjaer’s men after an impressive start to life under Rafael Benitez.

The Toffees are more than capable of following the example set by West Ham and Aston Villa, who have both won at the Theatre of Dreams in recent weeks, unless United show significant improvement.

Chelsea made a brilliant start to the season under Thomas Tuchel, picking up where they left off after beating Manchester City in the Champions League final in May.

City exacted a measure of revenge at Stamford Bridge last week and Chelsea slipped up again in the Champions League in midweek, losing 1-0 to Juventus.

But Tuchel’s men appear to have a relatively straightforward task as they seek to return to winning ways against winless Southampton at home.

Nuno needs response from Spurs

Just three weeks after topping the Premier League table, Nuno Espirito Santo’s position as Tottenham manager has been questioned by fans following three dismal league defeats on the spin.

Spurs have lost to Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal by a combined score of 9-1 to fall back into the bottom half of the table.

Nuno is yet to conjure the best from star forward Harry Kane, who failed to force a move away from his boyhood club during the transfer window.

And he has so far failed to instill the defensive organisation that was his calling card in three seasons at Wolves.

Another defeat when in-form Villa visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday would leave the Spurs faithful restless over the international break.

Fixtures (all times GMT)

Saturday

Manchester United v Everton (1130), Burnley v Norwich, Chelsea v Southampton, Leeds v Watford, Wolves v Newcastle, (all 1400), Brighton v Arsenal (1630)

Sunday

Crystal Palace v Leicester, Tottenham v Aston Villa, West Ham v Brentford (all 1300), Liverpool v Manchester City (1530)

Klopp Expects Goal Spree To End Against Man City

File Photo of Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp. LEE SMITH / POOL / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp admits he fears Liverpool’s goal spree will come to an end in Sunday’s Premier League showdown with Manchester City.

Klopp’s side crushed Porto 5-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino each netted twice in Portugal and Sadio Mane also scored.

It was the sixth successive match that Liverpool had scored three or more goals, only the third time in the club’s history the feat has been achieved.

They have scored 20 times in 17 days and have 26 goals in their first nine fixtures to equal a club record for a top-flight campaign set in 1922 and replicated only one other time in the 2016-2017 season.

But Reds boss Klopp knows it will not be so easy to run riot when Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions visit Anfield this weekend.

“We play against Man City, I don’t think now it makes too much sense to think too much about how many goals we can score against them,” Klopp said.

“We need a complex and complete performance against them to have a chance only and that’s it.

“But I’m really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to playing at home again after a while.

“We have two days more (than the three Liverpool had between Brentford and Porto) to the City game, which will be helpful, and then we will be fresh again and then give it a go.”

Liverpool are the Premier League’s leading scorers with 15, but City, who have already scored five against Norwich and Arsenal, are not far behind and defensively they have conceded just once.

City secured their first win at Anfield since 2003 last season with a 4-1 victory in front of an empty ground during Liverpool’s run of six successive home defeats.

But Liverpool are on an 18-match unbeaten run and Brazil midfielder Fabinho believes the win over Porto was just the confidence boost they needed before facing City, who lost to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

“A performance like this just gives us more confidence for the future,” Fabinho said.

“The next game is against Manchester City at Anfield, so we know Anfield will have a really nice atmosphere.

“These are the kind of games every player likes to play. We just have to play our football, to give everything and we know the fans will be with us.”

AFP

Arsenal Win Again As Liverpool Top Premier League

Arsenal’s Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard (2nd R) scores the opening goal with this freekick during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Arsenal at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP)

 

 

Martin Odegaard scored his first goal since his permanent switch to Arsenal on Saturday to further ease the pressure on Mikel Arteta as Sadio Mane helped fire Liverpool to the top of the Premier League.

Defending champions Manchester City dropped two points at home to Southampton after a 0-0 stalemate while struggling Wolves lost their fourth match in five against 10-man Brentford.

Arsenal were rock bottom of the table before last week’s fixtures but wins against Norwich and now Burnley lifted them to the relative comfort of 12th spot before the late kick-off between Aston Villa and Everton.

Odegaard, who signed from Real Madrid last month after spending part of last season at the Emirates on loan, broke the deadlock in the 30th minute, curling home a free-kick to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at Turf Moor.

 

Arsenal’s Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Arsenal at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP)

 

Arsenal breathed a sigh of relief when VAR overturned a penalty awarded to Burnley in the second half after Matej Vydra tumbled to the turf following a challenge by goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Liverpool forward Mane continued his eye-catching run against Crystal Palace, netting in his ninth league match in a row against the London side to send Jurgen Klopp’s men top of the table with a 3-0 win.

Mohamed Salah’s glancing header from Konstantinos Tsimikas’ corner was kept out by goalkeeper Vicente Guaita but Mane pounced to lash home his 100th goal for Liverpool in all competitions.

Salah doubled the Reds’ lead in the 78th minute before Naby Keita sealed the win with a sweetly struck volley.

Liverpool, champions in 2020, have made an impressive start to the season, scoring 12 goals in their opening five games and conceding just once.

 

Manchester City’s English midfielder Phil Foden reacts following the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Southampton at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

City Drop Points

Manchester City will rue their inability to beat Southampton at the Etihad after consecutive 5-0 home wins.

It could have been worse for them after referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot when Kyle Walker bundled into the back of Adam Armstrong in the area, showing the England international a red card.

But the incident was reviewed by VAR and Moss eventually decided to overturn both decisions.

The build-up to City’s match was dominated by a row over attendance levels at the Etihad, with manager Pep Guardiola urging fans to fill empty seats in comments that irritated some supporters.

But fans were frustrated by battling Southampton, who kept City’s attackers at bay despite relentless pressure.

 

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (C) vies with Crystal Palace’s English defender Joel Ward (R) during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

The home side thought they had snatched victory in the dying minutes after goalkeeper Alex McCarthy saved a Phil Foden header and Raheem Sterling tucked in the rebound but the flag was raised.

Watford beat Norwich 3-1 to condemn the newly promoted Canaries to their fifth consecutive defeat.

Watford took the lead in the 17th minute through Emmanuel Dennis but Teemu Pukki equalised before half time. Ismaila Sarr put the visitors back in front in the 63rd minute and scored again with 10 minutes to go.

In the early kick-off, Ivan Toney scored a goal and created another as 10-man Brentford beat Wolves 2-0 to maintain their impressive start to their first Premier League campaign.

The 25-year-old striker won and converted a penalty before setting up Bryan Mbeumo as the Bees prevailed at Molineux despite Shandon Baptiste’s red card in the second half.

Tottenham host Chelsea on Sunday while Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United travel to West Ham.

 

 

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah removes his shirt as he celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE.

AFP