Liverpool Defender Lovren Joins Russian Club Zenit St Petersburg

File photo: Croatia’s defender Dejan Lovren celebrates after winning the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018. Jewel SAMAD / AFP

 

 

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has completed a move to Russian side Zenit St Petersburg for a reported £10.9 million ($14 million) after slipping down the pecking order at Anfield.

The 31-year-old, who joined the newly crowned Premier League champions from Southampton in 2014, made just 15 appearances this season, falling to fourth-choice centre-back behind Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

The Croatian has been troubled with niggling injuries over the past two years.

“Another Liverpool legend who leaves the club, because he was absolutely a very, very important part of this team from the first day since I was in,” manager Jurgen Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.

 

Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (L) celebrates scoring equalising goal during the UEFA Champions league Group E football match between Liverpool and Napoli at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 27, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

“When he was fit, he was very, very, very often in the team. A great player and a great person,” Klopp added.

“Really good, in the air a machine, and I really liked working together with him. It will be interesting to follow Zenit St Petersburg now. I wish him the best of luck.”

AFP

Champion’s League: Lovren’s Equaliser Spares Liverpool’s Blushes Against Napoli

Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (L) celebrates scoring equalising goal during the UEFA Champions league Group E football match between Liverpool and Napoli at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 27, 2019.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Liverpool were made to wait to secure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League as Napoli secured a vital point with a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Wednesday.

Dries Mertens threatened to inflict Liverpool’s first home defeat in the Champions or Premier League since April 2017 with a sweetly struck opener midway through the first half.

Dejan Lovren’s header protected that proud unbeaten run, but the holders still need to get at least a point away to Salzburg on December 10 to secure their passage into the last 16.

Napoli remain a point behind Liverpool but are well-placed to reach the knockout stages as they host winless Genk in two weeks’ time.

The Italians had travelled to Merseyside in disarray with coach Carlo Ancelotti seemingly on the brink of being sacked after a slump in Serie A.

President Aurelio De Laurentiis has also threatened to sell the entire squad and take legal action against the players after they refused his orders to be confined to a week-long training camp earlier this month.

However, the Italians are the only side to have beaten the European champions this season and proved a thorn in Liverpool’s side again.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were unsettled by the early loss of Fabinho to injury and were unhappy when the visitors opened the scoring on 21 minutes.

Mertens leaned into Virgil van Dijk as the Dutchman headed clear and was left on the ground holding his side.

Napoli played on and when the ball was played forward again Mertens was unmarked to run through before beating Alisson Becker from a narrow-angle.

After a VAR review for a potential foul and offside, the goal was allowed to stand and there were a few more nervy moments for the home fans before Van Dijk got back to his feet and was able to continue.

READ ALSO: Barcelona Secure Champions League Last 16 Spot

Klopp grew increasingly frustrated on the touchline as Liverpool failed to find their rhythm before the break.

However, a talking to from the German-inspired a second-half turnaround.

Kalidou Koulibaly bailed out his goalkeeper with a clearance off the line from Roberto Firmino after Alex Meret dropped a simple cross into the box.

Mohamed Salah was left out of Saturday’s late win at Crystal Palace due to an ongoing ankle problem and again looked far from his best.

The Egyptian snapped at his best chance from Andy Robertson’s cross before Firmino headed another good opportunity wide.

It seemed a matter of time before the equaliser arrived, but when it did it came from an unlikely source as Lovren rose above Mertens to power home James Milner’s corner.

Again a VAR check was needed as Mertens this time claimed to be the victim of a push, but the goal stood.

Liverpool have made a habit of scoring late to soar clear at the top of the Premier League, but there was no late drama this time round to leave the Reds with work to do in Austria.

AFP

‘Liverpool Can Match Arsenal ‘Invincibles’, Says Lovren

Croatia’s defender Dejan Lovren celebrates after winning the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between Croatia and England at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 11, 2018.
Jewel SAMAD / AFP

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren says the Premier League leaders can go through the whole season unbeaten, matching the achievement of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ in 2003/04.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are one point clear of defending champions Manchester City after 14 wins and three draws from 17 games.

“Hopefully we can be unbeaten until the end of the season,” said Lovren, buoyed by Sunday’s victory over arch-rivals Manchester United.

“Of course it will be a challenge but this is what we want, this is why we came here to Liverpool, because we know we can do it. Arsenal did it before so why not?”

Liverpool have not won the English top-flight since 1990 but could extend their lead over Pep Guardiola’s City to four points with a win at Wolves on Friday.

Lovren knows their title rivals have few weaknesses and the outcome of the season will most likely come down to who makes the fewest mistakes.

“I’m not sure that they have any weaknesses,” he added.

“Last year they won by 19 points. They know how to manage even when they lose. They also lost one or two games last year and still they managed to be 19 points ahead.”

AFP

Liverpool’s Lovren Says Death Threats Against Family ‘Disgusting’

Liverpool's Lovren Says Death Threats Against Family ‘Disgusting’
Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (L) vies with Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane at Wembley Stadium in London on October 22, 2017. Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP

Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren, heavily criticised for recent defensive blunders, has branded death threats made against his family on social media “disgusting”.

The Croatian posted a direct message on Instagram he had received from a user that read: “I’m gonna murder ur family u Croatian prick.”

The 28-year-old captioned it with “horrible what kind of people we have”.

He added: “I don’t mind when people talk shit about me, it says more about them! But I cannot ignore when my family is threatened. I just can’t and won’t accept that. Disgusting.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp last week defended his player after substituting him just 31 minutes into a 4-1 loss at Tottenham Hotspur.

His performance was widely criticised but Klopp said: “I don’t wish one of you to have your mistakes discussed in public. You cannot even imagine how it feels.

“The boys are in the first place still human beings but you look like you are watching an accident and you are the kind of people standing around with smartphones instead of helping. I’m not this kind of person.

“We had a normal week. Of course, it’s not the nicest week in Dejan’s life but it’s only football. People don’t become a better or a worse person through making a mistake in a football game.

“If I think about Dejan, I have much more positive things than negative things.”

AFP

Incredible Comeback: Liverpool Score Four To Sink Dortmund In Europa

LiverpoolLiverpool have qualified for the Europa League semi-finals with a dramatic fight back to defeat Borussia Dortmund 4-3 at Anfield.

Goals from Origi, Coutinho, Sakho and Lovren helped Klopp triumph in the dying minutes of the game against his former club on Thursday night.

Two quick goals by Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the fifth minute and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the ninth minute half had left Liverpool shocked and on the verge of exit without a fight.

Pressure mounted for the fans as the setback was followed by series of missed chances that left the Anfield faithful frustrated.

The second half started well for Liverpool and the early pressure paid off in the 48th minute through Origi but just when Liverpool thought they were launching a comeback, Marco Reus silenced the home fans with a lovely finish, which left Klopp visibly furious.

Two goals down and three away goals already for Dortmund with less than 30 minutes to play, Liverpool needed three goals without conceding any more goals to win on aggregate, having drawn the first leg 1-1 in Germany.

LiverpoolThey made it 3-4 on aggregate in the 66th minute after James Milner played a one-two with Coutinho on the edge of the box, with the Brazilian star guiding home a great strike.

The Brazilian turned the provider of the equalizer in the 77th minutes as he whipped a corner in from the left-hand side with Sturridge managing to do enough to let the ball run past him at the near post!

Former PSG centre-back, Mamadou Sakho was quickest to react and turned home a close-range finish to make it 4-4 on aggregate.

Anfield went wild and they could only pray a complete miracle. One more goal and Liverpool would be in the semis. Both coaches made changes to make the best of the final minutes of the game.

There were four minutes of stoppage time and the pressure got to Schmelzer who picked up a yellow card for petulance, with Dortmund’s tempers flaring after a free-kick was awarded to Liverpool.

The Reds, however, maintained focus and the free-kick was taken short by Milner to Sturridge, with the latter then feeding the former to the right byline. He hung up a lovely cross, with Lovren rising highest at the back post to guide home a thumping header.

It was the 91st minutes and Liverpool had done the unthinkable; fighting back from being 1-3 down to defeat Dortmund 4-3 and qualifying for the semi-final 5-4 on aggregate.

This could go down as one of the greatest nights in Europa League history.