Liverpool Eye Merseyside Derby Boost After Euro Flop

Liverpool Beat Belgrade 4 - 0 In Champions League Clash
Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (2nd R) celebrates with Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (2nd L) and Brazilian midfielder Fabinho (L) after scoring their third goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League group C football match against Red Star Belgrade at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 24, 2018. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp must lift Liverpool’s shattered spirits as the Reds aim to bounce back from their latest European setback in a crucial Merseyside derby against resurgent Everton on Sunday.

Marco Silva takes Everton to Anfield with the blue half of Merseyside looking for their first victory on their hated neighbours’ turf since 1999.

Everton enter the weekend in sixth place in the Premier League, having recorded five victories and just one defeat in their last seven games.

Their optimism stands in contrast to the first real signs of problems in Klopp’s camp this season.

While Liverpool remain unbeaten in the league, and stood two points behind leaders Manchester City ahead of the weekend fixtures, successive away defeats in their Champions League group at Red Star Belgrade and Paris Saint-Germain have raised questions about their trophy-winning potential.

Roberto Firmino was the latest member of last season’s impressive Liverpool forward line to come in for criticism following a 2-1 defeat in Paris on Wednesday which leaves his team facing an anxious final group game against Napoli as they seek to guarantee progress to the knock-out stages.

The Brazilian forward has managed to hit the net only three times in 13 Premier League games to date this season and, in comparison to his 15 last terms, Firmino’s productivity has certainly dipped.

Among many factors put forward for Liverpool’s slight drop off in attacking prowess, fatigue seems one of the most obvious, with Klopp adamant that he will maintain strong bids for success in both the Premier and Champions Leagues.

Liverpool have played 18 games in both competitions to date, with Firmino and Mohamed Salah having featured in every one of them. Sadio Mane has missed just one.

Winning formula 

But, after starting the season with seven consecutive wins inside the opening six weeks, Liverpool have won five times in 12 league and cup games in the 10 weeks since.

Reds defender Virgil van Dijk is at a loss to explain Liverpool’s issues of late, but he refuses to panic.

“We don’t need to think we are a s*** team, basically. It can happen. But the frustrating thing is how we conceded the goals and then it’s always difficult to come back,” he said.

“I don’t know if there’s any explanation for that right now because I can’t think of one, otherwise we should have used it already.”

Liverpool remain 11 points ahead of Everton and haven’t lost to the Toffees since 2010, but their slump has come just as their local rivals have put together their best run of the campaign.

Following a disappointing time last season, in which Everton struggled through three different managers in Ronald Koeman, caretaker David Unsworth and then Sam Allardyce, Silva finally appears to have discovered a winning formula at Goodison Park.

Silva’s summer swoop for Brazilian Richarlison from his former club Watford has proved an unqualified success with the 21-year-old forward the club’s joint leading league scorer with six goals.

Significantly, two of Everton’s three defeats have come when Richarlison has been missing from Silva’s line-up, an indication of his importance to his new team’s style of play.

Everton’s other principle attacking talent, and joint-leading scorer is Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The Iceland midfielder has recovered from a disappointing debut season on Merseyside and is back to the form that made his name at Swansea.

“He is understanding better now what I want, the moves he has to do, what positions and spaces on the pitch he has to receive the ball,” Silva said.

“He’s a very good player with a lot of quality who can arrive well in the box, like I like. And he is a fantastic professional to work with.

“He gives 100 per cent every day on the training ground and it is easy to understand how he can work as well during the match.”

AFP

Mane’s Late Strike Earns Liverpool Derby Win

sadio-maneSadio Mane struck a stoppage-time goal to claim victory for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Monday night.

In a frenetic first half at Goodison Park, dominated by an industrious home side, Ramires Funes Mori had the best chance, steering a free header wide from an Everton corner.

After the break Liverpool went into the ascendancy, with Roberto Firmino denied when through on goal by Maarten Stekelenburg, who later went off injured.

Funes Mori had another headed chance but directed it straight at Simon Mignolet, while Stekelenburg’s replacement, Joel Robles, saved well from Firmino’s late volley.

The winner came in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Mane reacted fastest to Daniel Sturridge’s shot hitting a post.

The result moves Liverpool to second, six points behind Chelsea while Everton are ninth.

Everton manager, Ronald Koeman told BBC Sport: “We are really disappointed to concede in extra time. The eight minutes killed us.

“We have to wait to see about Maarten Stekelenburg’s injury – we will know more tomorrow – and James McCarthy has a hamstring injury.

“I know exactly how fast Sadio Mane is, he reacted so well. We did not deserve to concede this goal.

“Maybe Ross Barkley was lucky, it was a hard tackle.”

Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp told BBC Sport: “I don’t agree it was a poor first half. Maybe not the best football – you have to adapt to Everton’s wild game. A game like this you have to interrupt their rhythm with passing.

“In the second half it was clear they couldn’t do the same. We were better, we didn’t give one chance away I think.

“The goal was not the hardest shot from Sturridge, but hard enough. It was a wonderful feeling.

“I don’t like the flares too much. I’m a little bit scared about this. It was a long, long stoppage time. We gave them no chance.”

Liverpool: Ancelotti Or Klopp To Manage At Anfield

LiverpoolLess than 24 hours after Brendan Rodgers was sacked by Premier League club, Liverpool, speculation is already rife that either Juergen Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti would be the new manager at Anfield.

Liverpool terminated the contract of Rodgers on Sunday, just eight games into the English Premier League season, with the five-time European champions languishing in 10th place.

The announcement came three hours after the team had drawn 1-1 at Everton in the Merseyside derby, leaving them with only three wins from their first eight league games this term.

Klopp has been without a club since he left Borussia Dortmund at the end of last season, while Ancelotti also left Real Madrid after finishing second best to Barcelona in La Liga and the Champions League.

Former manager, Rodgers, who took over in June 2012, led Liverpool to second place in the 2013-14 campaign, when they led the title race with three games to go, but lost out to Manchester City.

Liverpool’s Rodgers Bullish Ahead Merseyside Derby

Rodgers-liverpoolLiverpool Manager, Brendan Rodgers, remains confident heading into Sunday’s Merseyside Derby, despite another disappointing result in Europe.

A 1-1 draw at home to Sion has put the spotlight firmly back on the Liverpool boss, who made seven changes for their first home Europa League match.

But Rodgers who is expected to recall striker, Daniel Sturridge, insists Goodison Park holds no fear.

According to him, his team is fully focused on getting all three points, despite Everton’s marginal lead of one point on the Premier League table.