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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has stated he is ready to recruit again this summer as the Reds gear up for an assault on the Premier League following their astounding Champions League triumph last season.

Klopp’s troops missed out on the top-flight title as Manchester City pipped them to it BUT they did capture European football’s top prize making it an incredible SIX times they have managed to do so.

Klopp will no doubt make a few astute signings but it is one home-grown player who has been handed many plaudits of late thanks to a scintillating season all for the Anfield cause. That player is Trent Alexander-Arnold, still aged only 20, a graduate of the Kop academy. And is perhaps extra special that Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Conor Coady has chosen to heap praise on the young defender.

That’s because Coady, too, came through the youth ranks at Liverpool before he moved on. And he has pointed out just how massive an achievement it is for Alexander-Arnold to have not only broken into the first team but become an important cog in the glorious Reds machine.

In an interview with the official Liverpool website, Coady said:

“It’s incredible. People have to realise how tough it is to make it at such a big club like this and realise what he has actually done. How he has gone about his business is absolutely brilliant. You see how much he loves Liverpool Football Club, I’ve heard him talk plenty of times saying he wants to go on to be Liverpool captain, he wants to spend his career at Liverpool, this is his club – and you really believe him when he says it.

“I hope people realise how tough it is to make it at a club like this, because it is tough, and the achievement is remarkable. The Barcelona game, the corner, will live in every Liverpool fan’s mind for many, many years. To have that confidence to do that in front of the Kop was special.”

Meanwhile, one of Klopp’s targets is said to be on the verge of a switch to Merseyside from Real Betis. Highly-rated left-back Junior Firpo, who is aged 22, has a €50million release clause in his contract and it is being reported that the German coach is close to activating the trigger. It comes after Alberto Moreno, an understudy to Scotland international Andrew Robertson, departed after his deal expired.

Elsewhere, it looks increasingly likely that Marko Grujic is set to spend another term out on loan. The Serbian midfielder has been with Cardiff and Hertha Berlin over the past year and a half or so and is said to be developing well. His stint in the Bundesliga has alerted a number of potential suitors throughout Europe and it is expected that a deal with a new club can be concluded sooner rather than later.

The post Rich praise totally deserved for Liverpool hero Alexander-Arnold appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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He only ever wanted to play football at the top level. He dreamed of winning glittering prizes. And ply his trade and collect medals, in particular, for Liverpool. So, when Fabinho made his move to Anfield from AS Monaco at the beginning of last summer, he could at least start to see his vision materialising.

But, for one reason or another, the Brazilian ace didn’t feature for Jurgen Klopp’s side as much as he might have hoped. Adjustments had to be made, of course, both on the pitch and in terms of integrating at a new club, in a new country. Slowly but surely the hard-working midfielder started to feature in the plans of the Kop boss.

And his season concluded as a resounding success when he played a hugely influential role as the mighty Reds beat disappointing Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the Champions League final in Madrid earlier this month. Yes, he and his team-mates had missed out on the Premier League title — which the Anfield giants have never won — but they had their hands on Europe’s biggest prize — and for a sixth time, too!

Reflecting on his season, the £40million capture, who is aged 25, told the official Liverpool website:

“Overall I think my first season at Liverpool was good. In my first season I knew there would be a learning and settling-in period. I went through this. It didn’t last that long but I remember it wasn’t easy starting afresh, I was left out for a few matches.

“Even though I was telling myself that I needed to work hard and be patient, it’s not easy being out of the team. But that’s in the past now, I started playing more. The more you play, the more you can enjoy your football. I think I became an important part of the team, I gave the manager another option he could depend upon. So, I think it was a really good season.”

Meanwhile, Klopp looks like he will waste little time in adding to his squad as her prepares for the new season and the challenges that it will present. And one of his supposed targets is said to be Real Madrid’s attacking midfielder Marco Asensio — aged 23 — who is reportedly available for around £85million.

The fee would use up a large chunk of the transfer budget being made available to the German coach but with a galaxy of stars having proved they are up for the task, he wouldn’t want to disrupt his squad too much — and adding one or two might just fit the bill. The Spain international, who has been capped by his country 22 times, is said to be unsettled in Madrid and would welcome a move to Merseyside.

The post How Liverpool ace Fabinho became vital clog for Klopp in triumphant Champions League campaign appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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There is no doubt about it, Liverpool is one of the best teams in the UK. No matter which competitions we enter, we manage to do well in it. Our players represent their national teams all over the world and they come together to form an amazing team at Anfield. Here are some of the reasons why we are the best.

The Coach

Our coach, Jürgen Klopp, is one of the best managers in the world. If you ever needed proof of that, just take a look at our record from the 18/19 season; we scored the third highest total number of points in the division and the most number of points without actually winning the title. None of this would have been possible without Klopp at the helm. He is a gifted manager and he knows how to get the best possible game out of the players.

The Fans

Liverpool fans are some of the most passionate you will ever meet. We come from all walks of life but we are all united by this incredible team. The Kop is the best place to be during a match. You will hear singing and feel the excitement ripple through like nothing you have ever known before. No-one knows how to motivate their team like the Liverpool fans do, and that is for certain. Whether we are heading to an away game or placing a cheeky wager at RubyBet, we know for certain that Liverpool is going to come out on top.

The Players

Liverpool’s reputation means that we can attract some of the world’s best players to our ranks to ensure that we keep on winning. No matter who we come up against, we know that we have a team who can compete with them. We have had players like Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard, Mo Salah, and more. These fine players all allow us to keep on winning and keep on loving the team no matter how the match falls.

The Song

If there was ever four words to sum up Liverpool F.C. they would be “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. This song is something which unites every single one of the supporters no matter where they happen to be. If you are a Liverpool supporter, you will know this song. It has brought us comfort in the difficult times and helped us reach victory. It is played before the matches and is even emblazoned on the badge of the team itself. This song is one of the things which makes Liverpool so great.

It is clear that Liverpool is one of the most well-loved teams in football. We have fans all over the world and we are ready to take on any team we could ever hope to face. If you are yet to see a game played in Anfield then you need to take a trip to Merseyside to see it. You won’t ever regret the first time you see Liverpool play a match.

The post Why Liverpool F.C. is Consistently One of the Best Teams in the UK appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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He may well have missed out on snaring a Premier League title winners’ medal when Liverpool were edged aside by champions Manchester City, but right now Jordan Henderson isn’t too bothered.

Because Reds skipper Hendo got his hands on the ultimate trophy in European club football when Jurgen Klopp’s side won the Champions League and he lifted the pot aloft after the 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Estadio Metropolitano, Madrid on Saturday.

The triumph, which came about thanks to goals from Mo Salah — a spot-kick on two minutes when Moussa Sissoko handballed — and a Divock Origi strike on 87 minutes — gave the Anfield giants their sixth European Cup.

And, as the dust settled on the victory parade around the streets of Liverpool yesterday, a breathless Henderson took stock on what has been an amazing season, and a truly amazing achievement.

He told the club’s official website:

“It was obviously emotional. We’ve come a long way as a team and had so many knock-backs. To finally get over the line is an amazing feeling, something special and one we’ll remember forever. It was very nice to know we have come back from so many disappointments, and finally got over the line and won a big trophy. It is an amazing night and hopefully we can use this to win more in the future. It gives us confidence to know we can win the Champions League and together we can move forward and hopefully win more trophies as well.”

Central midfielder Henderson, who switched to Merseyside from Sunderland in 2011, added that he hoped snaring the silverware would be just the start of a successful stint for the club.

He said:

“I am 28, I want to achieve a lot, keep improving as a player, I want the team to keep improving, I want to win more, that is all my focus is on now. That’s the idea, we hope this can give us a lot of confidence. The big trophies, the big nights. I want to enjoy this moment but also when we come back pre-season we will be focused on looking in the future.”

Next up for the Reds hierarchy is the task of securing coach Klopp to a long deal. Liverpool chairman Tom Werner summed up exactly how much love and respect there is at the club for the German boss.

He said:

“Jurgen is a brilliant coach but just as importantly he is a humble and caring man. When the players threw Jurgen in the air after our victory, they were acknowledging what all Liverpool fans know – he is beloved by all who appreciate football.”

As for Klopp, he said he was overwhelmed by the devotion shown by the 750,000 fans who gathered in the city to cheer on their heroes in the victory parade. He said:

“I don’t know exactly how many people live in Liverpool but it does not look like there is a lot of space for fans of other clubs. It is incredible. If you are a young kid, which do you support? There are not a lot of opportunities or options other than Liverpool. You see in the eyes how much it means. It is really intense.”

The post Happy Hendo eyes more success for Champions League winners Liverpool appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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Running Manchester City so, so close to claiming the Premier League title and reaching the Champions League final wasn’t beyond the realms of credulity at the start of the season as far as Liverpool star Andy Robertson was concerned.

The young Scottish defender, a rear-guard revelation for Jurgen Klopp’s outfit in this campaign, says he believed it was possible when the season began all those months ago. Now, after missing out on the top-flight crown to City, the Reds are preparing for the Champions League final next Saturday when they face Tottenham Hotspur in Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

And Robertson will bid to put the disappointment of last season’s final — when the Anfield giants lost 3-1 to real Madrid in Kiev — behind him this time of asking.

Speaking to the club’s official website, he said:

“I believed it was possible, but it was all about how we used the disappointment of getting beat in the final. Luckily, we used it to our advantage. We used that as motivation. We used it as motivation in pre-season — more so to get all the fitness in our legs, so we’re ready and the determination to get off to a good start in the season.

“Luckily we did that. I think teams can go one or two ways if they have that disappointment — it can easily set them back and they can struggle. Luckily, we’ve not done that whatever happens in the final. But obviously we hope that we don’t have that feeling anymore because I still remember how I felt for even days after the cup final. It wasn’t a nice feeling but you want to be on the winning side — of course you do. We’ll be doing everything to not have that feeling again this year.”

Responding to an observation that the Liverpool squad have a core belief in their objectives which allows them to battle through the toughest of games, the full-back, who is aged 25, said:

“This team has been tested all season and people have questioned whether we can keep up with City, keep going with our title charge and keep going in the Champions League — ‘should we concentrate on one of them?’

“Of course, we just fell short in the Premier League but we did keep up with Man City. We took them right until the last day and they won it by a point. I think I said after the game, credit goes to them but we did push them and we had a hell of a season and, of course, disappointment. But it’s one we can look back on with pride when the time comes.

“Now we need to try to go and get a trophy because we feel that with everything we’ve put in this season then it would be amazing to cap it off like that. The way the fans have conducted themselves this season as well, they deserve a trophy after the disappointment of last season and obviously the last day of this season. We hope that we can do that for them and we hope we can do it for the club. That’s got to be our motivation.”

The post Robbo keeps eye firmly on Reds’ Champions League glory bid appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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It is fair to say Liverpool star Alisson Becker has played a huge part in what has been an incredible season for Jurgen Klopp’s men. And, of course, there is more to come with the Champions League final next month in Madrid against Tottenham Hotspur.

And while the Reds keeper has enjoyed heaps of praise for his various gravity-defying saves he has pulled off for the cause, the Brazilian ace is quick to pick out his team-mates for a pat on the back.

As Liverpool look to win their sixth Champions League trophy, the Samba custodian believes the amazing unity within the Anfield squad is notable, adding:

“Of course, my teammates played their part as well and that’s what makes it so special, to be part of that group and to be able to help them. They are such incredible players.”

The outcome of the all-English final is still in the balance, of course, and fans up and down the country are preparing to splash their cash at the bookies to back just what they think will unfold on the night. Bookies can, too, take advantage of free bets where they can find all the very latest and best of offers that are available like up to £100 in bet credits by Bet365 or bet £10 get £30 by William Hill. Bookmaker 888Sports has 49/50 odds for Liverpool winning the next fixture against Tottenham, while 29/10 in favour of a Tottenham win. Draw has 5/2. But when it comes to Premier League title race, Man City is bookmakers favourite with 8/11 odds. So why not have a look and find out what the current favourite free bet promotions and bonuses are and sit back having made your predictions in eager anticipation of the forthcoming Champions League Final.

However one thing that isn’t being disputed is the way in which the Reds fought back from a first-leg 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in the semi-final — enjoying a mind-blowing 4-0 win at home to progress to the showpiece final, which is being staged at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, home of Atletico Madrid.

And Allison, who joined Liverpool in 2018 from Roma for a fee of £66.8 million (making him the most expensive goalkeeper of all time), says he will always be able to cherish the memory of playing in such a wonderful match. He said:

“That memory will be with me forever, it’s a story that I’ll be telling my children and my grandchildren. I’m just hoping that we can see this story through, God willing, to get the title, which is our main objective.”

The victory over Barca and Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest player of all time, owed a lot to the off-the-scale atmosphere at Anfield that night, as so often is the case at the home of the Reds. And the bond between the fans and the team isn’t lost on the former Inter Milan keeper.

He added:

“It’s incredible. I played here against Liverpool and I experienced the power that the fans gave to the team on the pitch. They put a lot of pressure on you, it’s not easy playing here against our team.

“Now that I’m playing here I’ve experienced the amazing things that we have achieved in this Champions League, qualifying for the final in the way that we did, returning from a difficult defeat that many people thought was impossible. It was achievable through God’s blessing, the work that we put in and a lot of dedication, plus the support from the fans on the night which was incredible.”

The post Alisson heaps praise on incredible bond in Liverpool camp ahead of Champions League final appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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Liverpool will face Tottenham in an all-English Champions League final after the Londoners pulled off a stunning victory over Ajax in the semi-final.

The two Premier League sides will meet in Madrid following the amazing turnaround from the Reds to beat Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield the night before to hand them a 4-3 aggregate score having lost 3-0 in the first leg in the Nou Camp a week earlier.

The rampant Reds pulled off the gobsmacking triumph over Messi and Co. without attackers Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino — although both Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri grabbed their chances to contribute, and did so in some style and with great effect.

Origi grabbed the first and fourth goal of the goals in the 4-0 win — and Shaqiri delivered the assist for Georginio Wijnaldum’s header that cancelled out the Spaniards’ three-goal haul from the first leg. Unbelievably, the equaliser was Wijnaldum’s second strike within the space of two minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute for Andy Robertson.

And Virgil van Dijk has paid tribute to the stars who helped change the game on the night and set up a mouth-watering final – one for which boss Jurgen Klopp will already be preparing. Van Dijk told the club’s official website: “I think Divock was unbelievable, Shaq was a different level. Everyone has the confidence to fill in the job.

“Obviously everyone has different qualities but you have to use them and, in this game, we showed it a lot. Divock was outstanding and was very important for us, keeping the ball. If you see how Gini comes on after obviously a little disappointment of not starting, I think it’s outstanding. We can all be proud because everyone plays a part in it.”

Meanwhile, Xherdan Shaqiri says the heart-stopping victory was an “Unbelievable performance” cheered on by “unbelievable fans”. He added: “I never saw this in my life. It was something special on the night, a special night at Anfield definitely. It’s crazy, it’s crazy, it’s unbelievable what we achieved. It’s difficult to speak about this crazy game because we are still full of adrenaline in our bodies, celebrating.

“I’m just really proud of this team, for these fans – they push us all year. All year they are behind this club and the fans are something really special. I saw people crying and that’s given me something special. I don’t know what to say. It’s just incredible what we achieved today for these fans. They are behind us. I’m very proud of this team because we are a really, really good team – not only on the pitch, off the pitch, too, we are a good team. I’m very proud of this team.”

Next up, on Sunday the Reds can still pip Manchester City — who are at Brighton — for the title at home to Wolves and still possess a chance of securing the title. And Shaqiri added: “The season is not finished yet. We play at home and it’s obviously going to be an amazing atmosphere. I can’t wait to play on Sunday and to make the last game of the season a nice one. You never know what happens.”

The post Klopp plots to trump Tottenham in Champions League final after stunning Barca victory appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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I’ve always wanted to write about the idea that Steven Gerrard quit too soon. This article will explore the argument that had the former Liverpool captain carried on just a few seasons longer, he could have ended on a high note and helped Klopp’s side get over the line for some vital silverware.

Gerrard quit a year after Liverpool’s amazing 2014 exploits where they came one win away from winning the title. Of course, the Scouser would never have predicted the charismatic German’s arrival but quitting at 34 years of age, nearly 35. He could have gone on longer, in my opinion.

The world of sport science has now changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Tennis players are playing well into their thirties such as Federer who is still playing wonderful tennis at the age of 37. He looks after his body and fitness and also has key breaks to set himself up for the major tournaments. This worked well this year winning the Miami Masters 1000, which is one of the major titles outside of the Grand Slams.

Meanwhile, Gianluigi Buffon maybe a goalkeeper but he’s still playing for PSG. Teddy Sherringham played till he was 42 years old at West Ham and the likes of Paolo Maldini played till he was 39. David Beckham and Andrea Pirlo are other examples.

If last month’s Liverpool legends v AC Milan taught us anything, it was that one player on the field, Stevie G, still had it.

Liverpool Legends 3-2 AC Milan | Fowler flick, Pirlo free-kick and a Steven Gerrard winner - YouTube

Now imagine if he had prolonged his career by three-four years. He could have been apart of Jurgen Klopp’s dressing room, a dynasty even. Klopp has made Liverpool major Premier League contenders and a major force on the European stage in the Champions League. And Gerrard could have been a part of that.

Steven Gerrard - Most important goals ever HD (English Comment) - YouTube

I believe deep down, Liverpool’s talisman will probably regret throwing in the towel so soon.

Yes, the argument could be that Liverpool don’t need him or their playing well anyway. Okay. However, if Gerrard had been in the dressing room, he could have surely influenced events such as the three finals Liverpool lost under Jurgen Klopp. They could have won one or two of those easily with Gerrard driving them on.

Like he did in the Champions League final in 2005 where he rallied his team to come back from 3-0 down to 3-3 as the likes of Jerzy Dudek, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, Luis Garcia, Xabi Alonso, Djibril Cisse and Milan Baros won Liverpool their fifth European Cup.

They may not have had the best team, but they had the biggest heart.

HD Steven Gerrard Goal vs Olympiakos - YouTube

That Champions League win wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for Gerrard’s goal and virtuoso performance against Olympiakos in the group stages.

The same goes for 2006 when Benitez’s men were 3-2 down against West Ham in the FA Cup final with 2 minutes of the match to go and up pops Steven Gerrard with an injury time thunderbolt. I will never forget that goal. It was a classic.

Incredible Gerrard Goal in Classic Final | Liverpool 3 - 3 West Ham (2006) | From The Archive - YouTube

While his one-club loyalty is commendable and Liverpool fans will always adore him for that. He also won the treble in 2001 of Worthington Cup (League Cup), UEFA Cup (Europa League) and the FA Cup with Gerard Houllier at the helm alongside players such as, Gary McAllister, Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher.

You could even argue that Jamie Carragher should have carried on an extra year and helped Liverpool in the 2013-2014 season. Maybe he could have made a difference with his defensive and leadership skills for the team.

Back to Stevie G. Liverpool would also not have finished in the top four so consistently in the Benitez era had it not been for Gerrard’s commanding leadership skills.

Steven Gerrard's Goal vs Olympiacos - Technical Analysis - YouTube

People may taunt him for the rest of his life about that slip, but he carried that Liverpool team so many times. And achieved so many amazing victories, won trophies. What he achieved at Liverpool is commendable. I for one hope he will be Liverpool manager one day.

Even in 2013-2014 he was contributing a lot to the team. He had more goals and assists than he had done since the epic 2008-2009 season, where Liverpool again came second and came so close to finally winning the title.

At 33, like James Milner now, Gerrard was able to take his game to a whole new level. That extra experience in his thirties and knowledge clearly sharpened and improved his overall game, even if he was a tad slower perhaps. Technically speaking as a footballer, he was stronger than when he was in his twenties.

Liverpool FC 2005 Champions League Winners !!!!!!!!!! A moment in history... - YouTube

Gerrard can take a mean free-kick, a top penalty taker as well and deadly at set-pieces, corners and crosses. That’s how he would have been useful to this Liverpool team currently in 2019, in my personal opinion.

Those four draws (to Leicester City, West Ham, Man United and Everton) that could yet be detrimental to Liverpool’s title bid, could all have been avoided with Gerrard powering Liverpool on and maybe even coming off the bench with a cheeky free-kick or corner or delivery that could have decided the outcome of those matches and given us a sneaky 1-0 win.

Yes, we do have Virgil Van Dijk and James Milner as leaders on the field and Milner from the penalty spot is almost Gerrard-esque but Gerrard could have given us that extra little drop of energy and quality that could have got Liverpool over the line. Both in terms of Klopp’s losing finals as Liverpool manager and the matches that we drew and were unable to win.

Gerrard would have been fantastic for motivating the players at Melwood. Having experienced the close title challenges in 2009 and 2014, Stevie would have known exactly what to say to the players about taking one game at a time. Not listening to the press, ignoring the pressures of the fans and the weight of history and expectation. If anyone was an expert in the modern game, it’s him.

gerrard goal UCL final 2005 - YouTube

Gerrard would also have been a good mentor to the likes of our academy graduates, defenders, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Can you imagine if Gerrard played in last year’s Champions League final? That would have been amazing to see.

The Premiership title was the only trophy to elude Steven Gerrard’s stunning CV. He won everything else but that. Imagine if he was apart of this title chase for his boyhood club. That for me, in a parallel universe, would have been fantastic for all Liverpool fans to see.

To me, the way he was playing at the top of his game in 2013-2014, our third highest goal scorer that season, behind Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, he could have carried that on for a few more years. He could have carried on till this year, till he was 39 in late May 2019 or May 2020 depending on how well he looked after his body.

Steven Gerrard - Irreplaceable - Liverpool FC (HD) - YouTube

As Steven Gerrard looks on and cheers his boyhood team to finally win the title in 2019, after nearly 30 years, he may have a tinge of regret that he didn’t work under Jurgen Klopp, and perhaps prolonging his career and giving it the full chance, it perhaps deserved.

The post Why Steven Gerrard should have prolonged his career and helped Jurgen Klopp achieve Liverpool’s ambitions appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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While Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp still doesn’t know whether or not the rampant Reds will collect any silverware this season, he does know he has the best defender in the league — arguably on the planet — in the shape of Virgil van Dijk.

The towering Dutch centre-back was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year last night. But there is little doubt that the powerful defender would swap the prize for either the Premier League trophy or the Champions League silverware.

It is the latter in which he can have influence first when the Anfield giants go to Barcelona on Wednesday for a mouth-watering Champions League semi-final first left clash at Camp Nou.

Of course, with the abundance of supremely talent players and a certain Lionel Messi, the Catalans are favourites to go through to the final. But that is where Van Dijk would disagree. And Klopp knows he has a gem in the player he signed from Southampton in January 2018.

On winning the gong, Van Dijk said: “It’s pretty difficult to put it into words. I think it’s the highest honour you can get as a player — to be voted Player of the Year by players you play against every week. It’s special. I’m obviously very proud and honoured to win it. In the Premier League era, only two defenders have won the award. Does that make it even more special?

“It’s special, definitely. If you see the standard of strikers and playmakers we have in the league, it’s unbelievable. If you see the shortlist — what kind of quality there is — it’s very special that players in the league voted for me. I won’t take it for granted.”

And his German coach found time to send the Holland ace a message of support in between preparing his plans for the test against Barca. He told the club’s official website: “I’m really proud it’s the second time in a row I can speak about a wonderful player who won the award for Player of the Season: Virgil van Dijk. Who would have thought that when he started back in Holland? I think not everybody saw immediately what kind of player hides in this giant body.

“But now the whole world is aware of that and I’m really happy I can be a little bit around that development. I would love to think it’s because of me! But obviously it’s not, he was already the player he is now when we bought him from Southampton. It all worked out. From the first moment I was so excited about the opportunity to work together and now you are the man – at least for this season!”

And it wasn’t only Van Dijk who was honoured last night. Another three Reds aces were named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for 2018-19, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Said Mane and Andy Robertson getting the nod.

Klopp says he has “exactly the same pride for Sadio, Robbo and Trent because we all know in the moment we have a pretty special group of players here together,” adding: “That all gave you the opportunity to play the season you played. You deserve the award, no doubt about that, but I think you agree there could have been three, four, five, six more players in the Team of the Year with a Liverpool shirt on.”

The post Van Dijk out to thwart Barca and a certain Lionel Messi… appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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In the annuls of football history you will find various mentions of the phrase “titanic tussle” in reference to two teams battling each other to gain the spoils from the league campaign. Rarely, though, will you find the phrase being applied quite so appropriately than to the current scrap between Liverpool and Manchester City as they both eye the Premier League title.

And Jurgen Klopp’s mighty Reds did their hopes no harm at all last night with a thumping win over already relegated Huddersfield Town at Anfield; a triumph that propelled them back to the top of the pile above City by two points with their rivals having a game in hand. With the tussle in mind, City go to Burnley on Sunday and if they win will leapfrog the Merseyside giants back to the summit — and the lip-smacking rollercoaster of a title fight continues.

Last night it was Liverpool’s turn to set the engines to full power and they did it with pace, energy and no lack of skill as they swept aside the Terriers. The victory came thanks to a brace each for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah after Naby Keita’s early-bird opener in the first minute. Another huge plus point for Liverpool was the first-team return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who came on as a second-half substitute after a year out injured.

As you would expect, Klopp was delighted with the result and the application used to engineer it. He told the club’s official website: “We analysed before the game that these passes, if you can put pressure – you saw the distance of Naby in that situation was pretty big actually, but with two or three really quick steps he was there. I was surprised, so how can the Huddersfield player not be surprised there is somebody?

“Because a second ago nobody was around. It was a brilliant situation of Naby and then the gaps are open. For me, the goal was actually a bit too early. I have no problem with early goals but after all the preparation, all we said about how difficult the game is, I really think the game showed how difficult it could have been if we were not that clinical in the goal scoring situations because Huddersfield did well.

“And after the early goal they did really well; at set-pieces and all that stuff, they were in our half and passing around. We had to defend, because of the early goal, we were always kind of a second too late and we had to close these gaps with hard work. The boys did that, we got the momentum back and then it was our game.

“We played really well, scored wonderful goals, did all the things you have to do against a good but deep-defending side. We scored the goals in the perfect moment: really early, really late and in the middle somewhere. That’s good. The second half, start again, and it was clear Huddersfield are a really proud team that fought for that and didn’t let it happen easily, but we scored wonderful goals and had more chances so it was a brilliant, brilliant night.”

More of the same, please!

The post Klopp’s delight as Liverpool claim top spot after thumping win over Huddersfield appeared first on Friends Of Liverpool.

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