Talk LFC Podcast

An Independent LIVE Podcast for REDS by REDS

Tags: premier league


  1. Sadio Mane 3 Match Ban Upheld By FA

    Sadio Mane will serve the full 3 match ban for getting a straight red card against Manchester City on Saturday.

    The Guinean was given a straight red card for a high foot which resulting in an injury to Manchester City goalkeeper, Edison resulting in his substitution for a facial injury which required stitches.

    Liverpool appealed the punishment which is automatically applied to a player receiving a straight red card on the grounds that it was “excessive punishment”

    The FA met today to consider the appeal and decided to uphold the 3 match ban.

    Mane will now miss the Premier League matches at home to Burnley and away to Leicester City as well as the League Cup game also away to Leicester City.

    Embed from Getty Images

    The ban only applies to domestic competitions and Mane is free to play in Liverpool’s opening Champions League group stage fixture against Sevilla at Anfield tomorrow evening.

    Mane will return for the away league fixture against Newcastle on Sunday October 1st.


  2. Liverpool Have Better Premier League Run In Than Opponents

    Liverpool have a much more favorable end to this Premier League season than any of our rivals for the top four positions. We currently sit in fourth place with 56 points from 29 games while our rivals for the coveted fourth place, Manchester United and Arsenal, sit on 52 and 50 points respectively with only 27 games played.

    While the games in hand may seem like a lifeline to both Man Utd and Arsenal, they are not easy games by any stretch of the imagination. Both Man Utd and Arsenal have to play an away fixture at Southampton while Arsenal also have a visit to the Emirates from a resurgent Leicester City as their games in hand.

    Of the eleven games that Manchester United have left, they have a home tie against league leaders, Chelsea as well as three tough away fixtures against Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham.

    Add to that the congested fixture list which could see them playing a game on average every 3.3 days as they compete on three fronts in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League and it looks like a big ask for them to make top four.

    Arsenal also face Manchester City at the Emirates in their next game as well as an away game at Tottenham and the aforementioned game against Man Utd at the Emirates all before the season ends. They are also still competing in the FA Cup with Manchester City as their next opponents on April 23rd.

    Tottenham will have to square up against both Arsenal and Manchester United at White Hart Lane and are also still involved in the FA Cup with an away tie against Chelsea scheduled for April 22nd.

    Chelsea look all but out of sight with a 10 point lead over Tottenham but they still have tough fixtures at home to Manchester City and an away tie at Old Trafford that Liverpool will be hoping they can take maximum points from.

    Liverpool have taken 20 points from a possible 30 available against or top six rivals this campaign but our final games of the season certainly wouldn’t be seen as difficult as our rivals as we do not face another top six team this season.

    We have home games against Everton, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Middlesborough and away ties against Stoke City, West Brom, Watford and West Ham as our final nine games.

    All of these games are certainly winnable games for Liverpool but for our tendency to perform poorly against the so called lower teams this season which has seen us lose to teams like Burnley, Bournemouth and Swansea during this campaign.

    Reds supporters will be hoping that this trend has now been ended with our scrappy 2 – 1 victory over Burnley at Anfield earlier this month showing that we can grind out a result against the so called lower teams.

    Hopefully this victory and the recent results against Arsenal and Manchester City can instill the confidence that has been lacking at times in Jurgen Klopp’s men this season that will see us through to the end of the season to maintain fourth place at the very minimum.

    It’s now more important than ever that we put the final nine teams that we face to the sword without mercy and that we show the same fight and hunger against this opposition as we did against top six teams this season.

    I, for one, feel that we can not only achieve a fourth place finish this May but that we can mount a genuine challenge for second place.

    All will unfold over the next 10 weeks

     


  3. Klopp: We Are Still In The Battle

    Jurgen Klopp insists that Liverpool are still in the battle for the coveted top four places in this years Premier League.

    The Liverpool boss was quizzed after yesterday’s 1 – 1 draw with fellow top four battlers, Manchester City on whether Liverpool would be made to rue the dropped points to lesser teams during this premier league campaign.

    Klopp responded, “We are still in the battle. That’s how it is. It’s important but we have to improve. I know a lot of reasons why we couldn’t, but it’s a long term project.”

    “If I have to wake up every morning and think ‘Oh my God, we lost the points here and there’, it wouldn’t make any difficult so I don’t do it.”

    “I am really focused on the moment. If I think about something then it’s about the future. The rest in done with analysis.”

    “We could have done better in the other games. There is one outstanding consistent side this year and they will be champions, that’s well deserved and then all the rest fight with all we have for the Champions League.”

    “If we do it then it’s a success, if we don’t then we will be disappointed but it would not stop working and believing in this project. We are really convinced about the circumstances we have and we want to use it.”

    Liverpool face Everton at Anfield on Saturday, April 1st after the international break and Klopp added, “The next game against Everton, they are quite impressive, it’s not only a derby but another very important game.”

    “We send the boys around the world to their national team and hopefully they come back healthy. Then we go again.”


  4. Match Report: Leicester 3 Liverpool 1

    Liverpool lost 3 – 1 to relegation strugglers Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in what can only be described as a lack lustre performance from Jurgen Klopp’s men.

    Liverpool, who haven’t played a competitive game since beating fellow top four challengers, Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 0 at Anfield sixteen days previous were favourites to come away from managerless Leicester with 3 points.

    Leicester put the Liverpool defence under pressure right from the kick off as they looked to play us at our own game by pressing high up the field and the tactic looked to be working as Liverpool failed to maintain any sort of possession in the opening ten minutes.

    Mignolet was called upon twice in the first six minutes to make saves from Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy who look nailed on to score from close range but scuffed his shot.

    It took 10 minutes for Liverpool to register a shot as Joel Matip narrowly missed out on getting on the end of Sadio Mane’s low cross into the six yard box.

    Leicester created more chances in the following minutes calling for Mignolet to to be alert to keep Liverpool in the game.

    Leicester took the lead on 27 minutes as sloppy passing from Liverpool allowed Mark Albrighton to play a first time ball through to Jamie Vardy  to put him one on one with Simon Mignolet. Vardy coolly drove the ball under Mignolet and in to the net to give Leicester a deserved lead.

    The goal looked to have spurred the reds on and they threatened briefly after conceding but it took just nine minutes for Leicester to double their advantage after Danny Drinkwater pounced on a poor clearance to fire home a long range effort from all of 25 yards on 38 minutes.

    Liverpool looked to claw one back before half time and came closest through an Emre Can effort from 20 yards out which Kasper Schmeichel dealt with.

    The second half saw a change to Liverpool’s formation as we switched to three at the back with Emre Can drop into the left side of defence as Milner and Clyne operated as wing backs and we looked more dangerous going forward in the opening ten minutes of the half.

    Coutinho forced a save from Schmeichel in the 54th minute and Mane sprinted into the area in the 56th minute only to have his shot blocked by Robert Huth.

    Leicester made it 3 – 0 in the 59th minute as Jamie Vardy beat Emre Can to get on the end of Fuchs’ cross to head past Mignolet from six yards.

    Liverpool created two chances in the following five minutes to allow shots from Matip who fired into the side netting and Lallana who forced a save from Schmeichel.

    Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana were replaced by Divock Origi and Alberto Moreno in the 65 minute and 2 minutes later, Philippe Coutinho was put through by Emre Can to score from 15 yards.

    Ben Woodburn replaced Lucas Leiva in the 83rd minute but the reds failed to add the Philippe Coutinho’s goal and Leicester took all three points for their first victory of 2017.

    Jurgen Klopp’s men looked a shadow of the team who beat Spurs 2 weeks ago and put in a very half hearted performance to come away with nothing from a bottom half of the table side for the fifth time this season.

    Liverpool failed to adapt to a counter attacking Leicester side who used similar tactics against us last season when they won the Premier League.

    Speaking after the match, Klopp said, “It’s getting more serious now. We all play for our future, myself included. We get judged every day, especially on match days.

    “Of course, performances have influences on things.”

    “I don’t think they aren’t as good as I thought,” said Klopp. “But I think they need my help more to show it every week.”

    “I feel maximum responsibility because I am. I hope I use the word ‘we’ and not ‘they’ because I’m involved in this.”

    “It doesn’t get better. It was not good enough in the beginning, not good enough in the middle and in the end. It was 100 per cent clear what happened with Leicester tonight. Back to their roots, their line-up was clear.”

    “It was clear how emotional the game was because if Leicester didn’t show emotion it would be really strange. It wasn’t that intense but we weren’t ready for this.”

    “15 or 16 days to prepare is not perfect, because of the rhythm. But for defending you don’t need rhythm, you need organisation.”

    “Maybe it looked like at the end that a few players struggled with rhythm, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse or an explanation,” said Klopp.


  5. Klopp: Liverpool Already Working On Summer Signings

    According to the Liverpool Echo, Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Liverpool are already working on a number of transfer deals that will see the squad strengthened in the summer.

    Speaking from La Manga in Spain where the Reds are currently engaging in a warm weather training camp during the prolonged break from domestic football, Klopp said the the amount of business done will depend on whether Liverpool manage to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

    The Echo report that the primary target for Jurgen Klopp in the summer will be Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt and that the there won’t be many in-comings during that window but that those that do come in will be top class editions.

    Klopp said, “We are in talks with different people – players, agents, all that stuff. Not a lot of decisions have been already made at this point. Why should they at this stage? But we are on the way. At the end I’m sure we will have a really good squad.”

    “We already have a good squad and a few more good players will make it even better. There’s a good base.”

    When asked if Liverpool needed Champions League football in order to secure the players on his shopping list, Klopp said, “I actually don’t think so but we will see. We don’t have to talk about the Champions League now because we are not even qualified.”

    “But of course if we are in the Champions League then it would have an influence. We would need a deeper squad and you have to be prepared for that. No question.”

    “Even with the league this season, we could have needed a deeper squad with the injuries we had. But we’re through that now. We will adapt our plans to the number of tournaments we play next year.”

    After the mass exodus of players out of Anfield last summer where 13 players left, it is unlikely that many players will leave the club during this summer’s window.

    “We have a long-term plan but a few things will change because you always have to react to situations. We have to perform until the end of the season and then we will do a review, looking back on the good things and bad things. Then we will make final decisions.”

    Klopp continued, “we don’t block opportunities, we don’t keep someone for just maybe one or two cup games. A few boys were among those who left last summer. I thought we gave them a really good education and they were ready to go somewhere else and play.”


  6. Match Report: Liverpool 2 Spurs 0

    Liverpool showed creativity, composure and discipline by beating Tottenham Hotspur by 2 goals to nil at Anfield today to narrow the gap to second place to just one point.

    It was a tale of two halves as Liverpool showed great qualities in both attack and defence.

    The first half was a case of overloading Spurs and pressing them at every opportunity while the second half was an example of how to contain a team while still managing to create chances.

    Mane showed that Ben Davies was the weak link in Spurs side very early on and Liverpool took full advantage of it down that right hand side.

    From the four tackles Davies attempted during the game, only one was successful and he was caught out for pace and position on a regular basis.

    The first 20 minutes set the tone for the rest of the game. Mane put in a man of the match performance as he drew save after save from Hugo Lloris as well as putting two past him showing exactly what we have been lacking during January while he was away at the African Cup of Nations.

    Any questions of an AFCON hangover were put to bed after 20 minutes with 2 goals in 138 seconds and he continued to prove a thorn in the Spurs defence until he was replaced in the 92nd minute by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

    Spurs never really threatened even though Liverpool were not at full strength at the back.

    Lovren missed today’s game with minor injury and Klavan didn’t play much of a part in training during the week, having suffered with a virus.

    Klavan made the bench but Lucas got the nod ahead of him in the starting line up at the back.

    Lucas made sure Harry Kane didn’t get into today’s game and was replaced by Klavan in the 81st minute.

    Gini Wijnaldum was exceptional today and proved the point that Emre Can and Jordan Henderson should not start in the same line up.

    The second half saw Spurs come into the match a bit more but the frustration grew as did the card count for both Spurs and Liverpool as the game became a lot more scrappy.

    Liverpool just edged the possession with 51% to Spurs 49% but created twice as many chances as Spurs with 10 chances created.

    Liverpool had 17 shots with 13 of them coming in the first half compared to Spurs 7 with a passing accuracy stat of 72% compared to Spurs 70%.

    Speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp praised his players saying, “every single one of them gave everything during the game.”

    “We had to show reaction and the reaction was perfect. “

    He continued by saying that there were a few outstanding performances today, naming Henderson and Wijnaldum as stand out players while also singling out Firmino by saying, “I never saw a better performance from a striker without scoring.”

    When asked about the performance in an interview with BT Sport after the game, Jordan Henderson said, “Even without the ball we looked good.”

    He continued by saying, “We need to play like that every week no matter who it’s against”

    Pochettino on the other hand was very critical of his side’s performance saying, “Liverpool were better and fully deserved the win. We were sloppy.”

    “In the second half we reached the same level as Liverpool but it was too late. We were very poor first half.”

    He refused to single out the defence and said that the whole team was poor.

    When asked about his team’s challenge for the title, he said, “Based on the first 45 minutes, that is not a team ready to challenge for the Premier League”

    Steven Gerrard said in his punditry for BT after the match that, “Liverpool never gave Spurs a chance to breathe today.”

    Liverpool now head into a two week break with our next game away to Leicester on Monday February 29th.

    Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that the time spent with the squad help to achieve his goal of winning the final 13 games.


  7. Liverpool Find Unlikely Backer In Neville

    Liverpool have found an unlikely backer in Gary Neville after the Reds suffered a mid season slump after exits from both the FA and EFL cups and hard to swallow defeats to Swansea and Hull who are both battling relegation.

    Gary Neville has tipped Liverpool to improve over the remainder of the season as their hectic schedule of games has come to an abrupt end.

    Neville said,  “Liverpool had a period where they could pick the same side, they had that week to prepare. The minute that that squad hit three games a week, with the way that they play, was always going to hurt them. You cannot play that way three times a week.”

    “When you are leaving six players back at base, it causes disruption, it disrupts the squad and the squad isn’t good enough.”

    “Liverpool will get stronger as the season goes on. Now they are out of the cups, they are back to that period where they will have a week between games, and that is when they get can get their energy up and become devastating.”

     

    “Next season, when they potentially get back into Europe, they will have to strengthen the squad.”


  8. Video: Klopp Confirms Sturridge Will Not Play Against Bournemouth

    Jurgen Klopp confirmed during his pre-match press conference this morning that Daniel Sturridge will not be included in the squad to face Bournemouth this coming Sunday.

    Sturridge picked up a calf injury which also ruled him out of last weekend’s league game against Sunderland and also the midweek clash with Leeds United in the EFL Cup.

    The Liverpool manager didn’t give anything away in terms of his team selection for this weekend except to say that Adam Lallana was available after training yesterday.

    The manager said, “There will be a few changes, probably. I’m happy about each player that is back in training.”

    “Adam has been training since Thursday; yesterday was the first session and he looked good. We need to see how he reacts to the intensity of the training yesterday – it was quite intense for him, I think, but all good. Having him back is cool.”

    Lallana had missed the last three games after picking up a groin injury during England’s friendly match with Spain last month.

    Roberto Firmino is also fit to face Bournemouth with Klopp saying, “Roberto trained yesterday, too. That’s important.”

    “There’s still a little bit of pain – it’s painful but not that serious. When you can deal with the pain, then everything is fine. He is quite a tough guy, so he came through the session yesterday. Again, we have to see how he reacts and that’s it.”

    The press conference held the expected questions about whether any of the young players who featured last Tuesday evening would be included in the squad, which Klopp dismissed by saying he had no idea.

    Speculation surrounding Daniel Sturridge’s future at the club was also raised with Klopp saying that there would be no players sold from the first team, putting an end to rumours that have surfaced in the media in recent weeks.

    Klopp commented on Bournemouth saying that they played good football and that Eddie Howe was doing a good job. Bournemouth have not won in 5 games since beating Hull 5 – 1.


  9. Video: Klopp Pre Sunderland Press Conference

    Jurgen Klopp held his regular pre match press conference today ahead this weekends premier league fixture against Sunderland at Anfield.

    The topic to dominate today’s press conference was Steven Gerrard’s announcement that he has retired from football and  Klopp fielded the inevitable questions surrounding the Liverpool legend’s future.

    There were however the occasional questions relating to this weekends game.

    Check out the video below for the full press conference.


  10. Liverpool Held To A Draw At St Mary’s

    It was a frustrating afternoon at St Mary’s for Liverpool as Southampton held out for a 0 – 0 draw. Southampton were resolute in defense and did enough to hold off the onslaught from Jurgen Klopp men.

    Liverpool created plenty of chances during the match but failed to convert any of them.

    Despite Jurgen Klopp being able to name a practically full strength side with only Adam Lallana missing from the starting line up, Liverpool were limited in their attacking opportunities and spent the game playing the ball in front of the Southampton defense.

    Sadio Mane had one of the best opportunities of the first half as his perfectly placed shot looked destined to hit the top corner of the net only for Fraser Foster’s outstretched hand ensuring it flew agonizingly wide of the mark.

    Liverpool came out early from half time, knowing full well what was expected of them in the second half but the opportunities remained at a premium.

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    Both Emre Can and Roberto Firmino had clear cut chances which were squandered. Can was actually one-on-one with the goalkeeper and failed to capitalize on the chance.

    Daniel Sturridge replaced Can with 12 minutes left and he did have an impact as he brought an extra edge to Liverpool’s attack, but it came to no avail as Southampton saw out the 4 minutes of injury time to take a point from the league leaders.

    The stats paint a picture of the game in general as we enjoyed 65% of the possession with fifteen attempts on goal as well as eight corners.

    We have now taken 26 points from a possible 33 and managed a second clean sheet of the league campaign so far. We also remain top of the Premier League today on goals scored ahead of Manchester City but Chelsea have a chance to go top by a point should they win their match away to Middlesborough tomorrow.

    League Table 19 Nov 2016

    Current Premier League standings