Sadio Mane appears to be full of confidence ahead of Liverpool‘s clash with Mexican side Monterrey in the Club World Cup tomorrow.
The Senegalese international has plenty of reasons to be confident as well with his club absolutely flying in every single competition that they are competing in this year.
Mane has played no small part in the Reds’ successes himself with the pacey striker finding the net on 13 occasions and has provided a further 9 assists in his 23 appearances as Klopp’s men march towards England’s crown.
After winning the Champions League last year, Liverpool look bent on lifting the Premier League trophy this time around and have already built up an impressive 10 point lead at the summit.
As they look to win their illusive 19th league title, Mane has urged Reds supporters to stay positive and had a fantastic message for them before leaving for Qatar.
While he hasn’t gotten off to the greatest of starts this season by his own lofty standards, Roberto Firmino reminded everyone of his outrageous talents with an absolutely crazy bit of skill during the 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday.
Firmino put in another resolute display for the club and played a crucial part in securing the 3 points which extended Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League to 10 points.
While his workrate and dedication remains world class, the robust Brazilian hasn’t quite hit the heights of previous campaigns as far as numbers are concerned and has just 4 goals and 4 assists to his name so far.
Regardless of whether he finds the net or not, the 28-year-old is still considered an instrumental part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the club and was one of the few players who dazzled the home fans in an otherwise quiet first-half against the Hornets.
The Brazilian played a huge role in the build-up to Mo Salah’s opener by producing an absolutely jaw dropping no-look acrobatic pass to find Mane which left the Anfield crowd roaring for more.
To say that Liverpool have been in fine form this season would be a massive understatement with Klopp’s men still unbeaten almost half way into the campaign with an astounding 13 wins in 14 Premier League matches.
While catching a glimpse of Liverpool’s bright red colors might bring back some unhappy memories for most Barcelona fans after the events of last year’s UCL semi-finals it seems two of their players have been taking advantage of the Reds’ prowess all this while.
Liverpool fans seem to have stumbled upon the fact when they spotted an interesting conversation between Ousmane Dembele and Carles Alena in an episode of Barca’s new documentary ‘Matchday’.
The episode which was presumably shot before last year’s semi-final clash between the teams shows the duo admitting to always using the Reds whenever they play the popular football sim FIFA while the rest of their teammates were watching Liverpool’s quarter final clash with Porto.
Most fans would also agree with Dembele’s acknowledgement of Roberto Firmino’s qualities in the game with the Brazilian playing a huge part in the Reds’ sucess in the real world as well.
The information that the star duo would pick Liverpool ahead of Barca, albeit for a video game, seems to have delighted the Reds supporters with one fan quickly posting a clip featuring the conversation on Twitter.
Most FIFA players would agree! Check out a clip of the conversation here:
Barcelona players were watching Liverpool’s first leg against Porto.
Dembele said “If I was on FIFA, I’ll always pick Liverpool. Firmino is very good right?”
A distasteful post on a social media platform became too costly for an Aston Villa fan as his employer company dismissed him from his job on the basis of the post.
The chain of events started when Matthew Sabin, a self-proclaimed fan of Aston Villa, posted a tweet in the aftermath of Saturday’s Premier League encounter between Aston Villa and Liverpool.
Liverpool won the match by scoring in the final minute of injury time. Sabin, in his post, attacked the referee’s actions in an obnoxious manner. His attack on the Merseyside club and its fans were even more filthy and offensive. He even mentioned the Hillsborough disaster in an insensitive and hateful manner.
The wordings certainly did not go well with the Liverpool fans as they virtually gathered in numbers and contacted Sabin’s employer company J S Wright & Co.
The Birmingham based company readily took notice of their grievance and issued a statement where they distanced themselves from Sabin’s personal tweet and condemned the post.
Later they issued another statement where they reiterated their earlier position and claimed that Sabin has been dismissed from his job due to his inappropriate behavior on social media.
Sabin has deleted the controversial tweet and has apologized in another tweet for his earlier behavior. He tagged his action as a ‘heat of the moment’ error of judgment. Later, his page was found to be deleted.
Liverpool central midfielder Naby Keita ran rampant against a helpless Genk side in his side’s UEFA Champions League third group stage match of the season, the signs of which were evident from the very manner in which he started the game.
As soon as Liverpool kicked off at the Cristal Arena in Belgium, a long heave was sent towards Genk’s goal only to be cleared by a header, sending the ball in Keita’s direction.
The number eight, standing poignantly in the opposition half, simply turned himself around to meet the ball with his back and send it rolling towards explosive fullback Andy Robertson.
To think the highlight reel moment came in the eighth second of the pulsating match and was pulled off with such composure would undoubtedly make even Ronaldinho proud.
Keita ran the game for his team pulling strings all around the pitch as the reigning champions put in a dominating performance.
An Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain brace and a goal each from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane helped them come away with an easy 4-1 win, but it was undoubtedly Keita who was the unsung hero of the match.
The 24-year-old ended up with 110 successful passes on the night and yet it was his first touch of the game that would be remembered for a long time to come by the Anfield faithful.
Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita’s impressive 13-minute cameo not only saved the Reds’ day against Manchester United, but also gave him a start in yesterday’s UEFA Champions League outing against K.R.C. Genk.
The 24-year-old Guinean footballer made the best of this opportunity by setting the record for most passes completed by any footballer in an away match this season.
His tally of 110 successful passes came with an outstanding 93% success rate. Mainly due to his unsung heroics, Liverpool could return with a 4-1 win over the Belgian side.
Keita started the game on the left flank of the midfield as Liverpool played with a 4-3-3 formation. His confidence was evident as on the 8th second of the match as Keita made an outrageous pass using his back.
After the 2nd minute goal, scored by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Belgian side tried to return into the game.
But it was Keita whose non-stop performance set the tone for Liverpool’s midfield.
His typical box-to-box play reminded all the viewers why he is so often compared to N’Golo Kante by Liverpool fans.
As time passed, Keita grew in confidence and stamped his authority on the game. If 12 recoveries showed his defensive contribution against Genk, 29 successful final third passes comment on his influence over the attacking aspect of Jurgen Klopp’s side.
It is not at all surprising that Keita finished with most successful final third passes, most ball recoveries and jointly was the most successful tackler.
Even after this fabulous performance, Keita’s place is not secure in the starting line-up against Tottenham on Sunday as he probably have to fight for a position in the midfield against Oxlade-Chamberlain, who himself finished the match with a brace.
Besides a goal against their biggest rivals, Marcus Rashford also grabbed the limelights for out-muscling Virgil van Dijk to the floor as Manchester United’s improved display so nearly brought a surprise victory against Liverpool on Sunday.
The striker looked to be in great spirits as he hung out with South London rapper Youngs Teflon after the game.
And it seems the duo had a right laugh at the expense of the Dutchman as Youngs took to his Twitter account and uploaded a photo with the caption “Right after we laughed at the VVD challenge”.
The rapper has continually laced his music with football references since starting out.
Disappointed not to win but much better from us and good to get on the scoresheet.
His obsession with football has seen him reel off bars in a number of tracks and freestyles down the years, with the Manchester United fan often vocal on Twitter about the game he loves most. He even has a track named “Marcus Rashford”.
Rashford, meanwhile has been under pressure in recent weeks after enduring a dry spell in front of goal for Manchester United with many fans and pundits questioning his ability and hunger to lead the line for United.
But the 21-year-old turned in a good performance for United against Liverpool.
Rashford found the net to give his side a lead in a game few gave them a chance of getting something out of, but Adam Lallana’s late goal saw the contest finish 1-1.
The result is a much-needed boost for Rashford and United, who have been off the boil this season.
Rashford will get another chance to prove his number 9 credentials this Sunday when United travel to Carrow Road to take on newly promoted side Norwich City.
The 30-man shortlist was announced for this year’s Ballon d’Or prize was announced on Monday which features Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk.
While Virgil van Dijk is this year’s favourite to win the Ballon d’Or after inspiring Liverpool to a Champions League victory against Spurs in the final, Messi as always will one of the strongest contenders to claim the prize once again.
Messi had another prolific season that yielded 36 goals and 13 assists in La Liga. His goals and assists led Barcelona to another La Liga title and he dragged Barcelona to the Champions League semi-final where they lost to eventual winners Liverpool.
We take a look at the some of the famous footballers, managers and pundits who have all recently come out and said that Lionel Messi should win the Ballon d’Or.
Virgil van Dijk
Despite the Liverpool and Dutch defender being the favourite to claim the Ballon d’Or Van Dijk still believes that Messi is the best player and he deserves it as long as he is still playing.
He recently said “Messi is the best player in the world. He deserves it as long as he plays. I don’t think there is any case, he is the best player in the world.”
The 20-year-old might be tearing up defences in Ligue 1 and will no doubt be a huge contender to win the Ballon d’Or in the future but he is no doubt that Messi is still the best player in the world right now.
The French international will be one of the contenders to win the prize this year after scoring a staggering 33 goals in the League last season for PSG 11 goals more than Arsenal’s new signing Nicolas Pepe who finished 2nd with 22 goals
When asked Who do you think should win the Ballon d’Or?
Mbappe said “Messi. Despite the elimination, it does not change anything. He is the number one.”
The former Liverpool defender is another believer Messi should win the Ballon d’Or
He said “I think Messi should win the Ballon d’Or. He has really cemented himself at that level. Van Dijk is the best in his position, but Ballon d’Or… I think Messi.”
Mane who is one of the contenders to win the Ballon d’Or after having a prolific campaign with Liverpool, jointly winning the Premier League golden boot last season thinks that Messi should just shade it over his team mate Virgil van Dijk.
He said “Virgil is a great, great player but sorry Virgil, it has to be Messi before you”
Fabregas is one of Messi’s best mates and played alongside the Argentinian at Barcelona between 2011 to 2014 before moving to Chelsea and then Monaco.
Fabregas said: “It is difficult, but I think Messi deserves it [ Ballon d’Or ].
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero who plays alongside Messi for Argentina belives that Messi should win the Ballon d’Or as long as he is still playing
“No one other than Messi will be my pick for the Ballon d’Or as long as he keeps on playing”
Frenkie De Jong
De Jong who is playing alongside Messi after moving to Barcelona this season is also included in the shortlist after an impressive season playing for Ajax. The 22-year-old also plays alongside van Dijk for the Dutch national team but believes that Messi should win it over his national teammate.
“Van Dijk or Messi for the Ballon d’Or? Don’t get me wrong, Van Dijk is a great player but you cannot compare him to Messi. Messi is the best in the world.”
Gerard Pique who has shared the dressing room with Messi since 2008 is in no doubt who he would vote for
Pique said “I always said that for me, if you have to vote for the best player, you have to vote for Messi.”
Mourinho who came up against plenty of times as a manager believes that Messi will win the award.
Mourinho said “Messi knows that the Ballon d’Or is waiting for him.”
Luis Suarez who has had an enviable partnership with Messi on the field since moving to Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014 feels that Messi should win the award every year. Suarez is said to have a close relationship with Messi off the field as well
Suarez said “The truth is that Messi deserves it every year.”
Moreno who is the current manager of the Spain national team has already revealed who he is going to vote for
Moreno said “Messi is football. I voted for him in the FIFA Best. He is the best in history, as was the best player this year.”
Former Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis who always been vocal about Messi being the best player in the world after facing plenty of times with Atletico Madrid believes that if Messi does not win the Ballon d’Or it will lose its credibility.
“The award is for the best player in the world. The best player in the world is Messi. Today, last 2 years ago and 3 years ago. From the moment that Messi does not win the award, it loses its credibility.”
Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac has also revealed who he will be voting for
Kovac said “Messi has always got my Ballon d’Or vote.”
The Liverpool defender who can count himself unlucky not be included in the 30-man shortlist after an impressive season for Liverpool believes that Messi is the best player in the world.
Liverpool fans noticed what Sadio Mane did after Adam Lallana’s late equaliser that salvaged a point for the leaders at Old Trafford.
Substitute Adam Lallana saved Liverpool from a chastening loss at bitter rivals Manchester United in a pulsating Premier League clash which had its share of VAR drama.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side headed into this match as underdogs against Jurgen Klopp’s rampant side – little wonder given the visitors had won their last 17 league matches and the Red Devils were just a point off the relegation zone.
United have so often been the scourge of Liverpool at Old Trafford, though, and were on course for a memorable win thanks to Marcus Rashford’s contentious goal, only for late replacement Lallana to secure a 1-1 draw.
It was the first time Klopp’s men had dropped points since March 3, but this game was shaping up to be a whole lot worse for the table-topping visitors.
United dragged Liverpool into a scrap by playing with an intensity so often lacking this season, with their unusually resolute defence providing the platform for a break that saw Daniel James superbly cross for Rashford to turn home.
The visitors were furious that the video assistant referee allowed the goal to stand despite Victor Lindelof’s challenge on Divock Origi in the build-up – frustration that only grew when what would have been an equaliser by Sadio Mane was cancelled out for handball.
Liverpool were missing injured Mohamed Salah but looked sharper after the break and salvaged a late point as Lallana ghosted in at the far post to turn home Andrew Robertson’s cross.
Time was of the essence as Liverpool players looked for a winner after their equalizer and Sadio Mane led the charge as he was seen pushing and urging on his teammates to go back to the middle.
Look at Mane pulling Lallana away to get back in this game. He doesn’t want to settle with a draw, he wanted to win this game. He wasn’t at his best today, but love his mentality. pic.twitter.com/GTzw3gWIxu
James Milner’s added-time penalty snatched a 2-1 win over Leicester on Brendan Rodgers’ first return to Anfield, four years and a day after he was sacked as Reds boss.
It was the third time in a week Jurgen Klopp’s side had edged a game by a single-goal margin after they benefited from a goalkeeping error at Sheffield United last weekend and had to bounce back from letting a three-goal lead slip to beat Red Bull Salzburg 4-3 in the Champions League.
Liverpool dominated the first half but had only Sadio Mane’s 41st-minute goal – his 50th in the Premier League for the club – to show for it after Milner’s raking pass released the Senegal international, who should have doubled their lead before the break.
In the second half, with Klopp’s side unable to gain full control, Leicester hit back through James Maddison 10 minutes from time to set up an anxious finish – but Milner was the coolest man inside Anfield with the seconds counting down, with his 17th success from 19 spot-kicks for the club.
The sheer importance of the win could be seen in the reaction from Sadio Mane, who went down on his knees after Milner converted from the spot –
Harry Maguire became football’s most expensive defender after completing his £80million move from Leicester to Manchester United in the recently concluded summer transfer window.
The England centre-half’s transfer fee eclipses the previous record of £75million Liverpool paid for Virgil Van Dijk.
Comparisons between the two center-backs have been rife since the transfer at the start of August and two sets of fan bases have been going at it against each other to prove who is the better defender.
Maguire’s error during England’s Euro qualifying win against Kosovo
England took another huge step towards Euro 2020 qualification with a 5-3 win on a crazy evening in Southampton.
Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho helped the Three Lions score five before the break, but they wobbled in the second half as Kosovo gave them a scare.
While everything is firing at the top end of the pitch there are still question marks for England about their defensive unit after they allowed Kosovo to score three times.
All three were a direct result of individual errors, which made the evening a little more complicated than it should have been.
Keane and Declan Rice were criminally sloppy in possession and it led to goals while only Harry Maguire knows what he was doing when he went through the back of Vedat Muriqi.
Liverpool fans troll their Manchester United counterparts
Liverpool fans took the occasion to inflict more misery at the Manchester United centre-back-
The idea Maguire is in any way comparable to Van Dijk is laughable. I don’t think he’s as good a defender as Keane. Keane will carry the can though, as thats the first rule for England, blame the Everton player.
Liverpool played Tranmere in their first friendly of the season and the game saw them run out as winners with a comfortable margin of 6-0.
Klopp fielded a young side and handed the captaincy to Divock Origi for the game. He continued where he had left off at the end of the season and scored an absolute beauty.
At the end of the friendly, the Liverpool fans could not get enough of Origi.
As soon as the final whistle blew, a horde of fans invaded the pitch and showed their appreciation and love for him for his prolifics in front of goal when it mattered the most.
Divock origi has endeared himself to the Liverpool fans in the past few months.
First, he scored a crucial 96th minute winner against Everton in the Merseyside derby.
Then he scored a brace in ‘the’ historic comeback against Barcelona, before cementing his status as a Liverpool legend with the second goal against Tottenham that killed the tie for the Spurs and earned the reds their 6th European title.
He recently signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool. Klopp has also revealed that Origi will see a lot more game time this season. This should strike fear in the opponents hearts considering his decisiveness and exploits in tight games.
Check out Origi’s ‘man of the people’ moment after Tranmere friendly below –
While Alisson Becker was regarded as a fine goalkeeper during his time in Rome, it’s fairly safe to say he wasn’t talked about in the same breath as Manuel Neuer or David de Gea when the Reds pushed to sign him in the summer of 2018.
While quite a few eyebrows were raised when he moved to Merseyside in a record €62.5 million move, his doubters were silenced pretty quickly after watching the Brazilian’s heroics for the club.
The 26-year-old has firmly established himself as one of the best in the business in his maiden season with Liverpool and was instrumental as the Reds marched to Champions League glory.
The shot-stopper has proven his worth for the national side as well and has been unbeatable during Brazil’s impressive run to the Copa America final.
And it looks like Alisson saved his best form for the biggest of stages as he had a dream day in the office in the 2-0 win over fierce rivals Argentina yesterday.
No deflections or parrying it away
Alisson had gone 8 games without conceding prior to the semi-final clash and was up against the best player in the world Lionel Messi.
The Brazilian goalkeeper was instrumental when Liverpool pulled off one of the greatest comebacks at Anfield with a 4-0 win against Barcelona back in May.
Lionel Messi would have thought it was payback time when a free-kick was awarded to Argentina during the second half of their clash against Brazil.
But it wasn’t to be as Alisson showed his prowess by immaculately predicting the direction of the free-kick and catching the ball without even breaking a sweat.
Save so good, it had journos quizzing him about a possible Ballon d’Or win after the game
The best players perform on the biggest of occasions and Alisson’s performance against one of the greatest of all time has Liverpool fans convinced that they have the very best in the business between the sticks at Anfield.
Liverpool’s improved transfer strategy has been lauded as one of the most crucial aspects behind the recent success of Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Focusing on young upcoming talent at times rather than going for established superstars has worked wonders for the Anfield side.
The Merseysiders might continue that trend with the recent acquisition of highly rated teenager Sepp van den Berg in a £1.3 million deal that could rise to £ 4.4 million if certain performance related add-ons are met.
The 17-year-old was one of the most wanted young center-backs in Europe with many big shots including Bayern Munich actively looking to secure his services.
But the young Dutchman ultimately chose to join his countryman Virgil van Dijk and should be one of the young defenders to watch in the Premier League for years to come.
While the teenage sensation has been noticed by scouts for some time now, he hasn’t quite been under the spotlight as much as fellow Dutchman Matthijs de Ligt.
The 19-year-old quickly became the most sought-after young talent in Europe after leading a young Ajax team into the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.
De Ligt is expected to move clubs himself, with Europe’s biggest clubs including the likes of Barcelona and Juventus engaged in a tug of war to secure his services .
While the footballing world has been singing praises for his heroics in the UCL, a look at the stats show that his younger countryman is not that far behind the Ajax captain in terms of ability.
A side-by-side comparison of their numbers last season in the Eredivisie shows that the new Liverpool signing is actually performing at a level quite close to De Ligt and even outperforms his stats on certain aspects like interceptions and defensive duels won.
While his team wasn’t on the same level as Ajax in the Eredivisie last year, it seems Van den Berg certainly was close to outperforming De Ligt.
Numbers don’t lie! Have a look at how Liverpool’s new signing ranks against Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt here –
Alisson Becker has enforced himself as the first-choice goalkeeper for Brazil and his heroics today showed us why he’s regarded as one of the best keepers in the world.
After enduring a successful season that saw Liverpool win the UEFA Champions League and finish second with a remarkable 97 points in the Premier League, Alisson now has the chance to add to his success this season.
Brazil are in the semis of the Copa America after defeating Paraguay 4-3 on penalties.
Brazil faced Paraguay in Porto Alegre, the hometown of Alisson. The local boy was decisive in Brazil’s progress to the semi-finals.
Brazil dominated the proceedings. They had possession as well as attempts but a stubborn Paraguay defence managed to keep the score-sheet at 0-0. Paraguay were reduced to 10 men in the 58th minute but Brazil could not capitalize on the advantage.
During penalties, Alisson gave Brazil the perfect start with a save on Gustavo Gomez’ attempt. The teams went on to score their subsequent penalties until Roberto Firmino horrendously shot his penalty wide.
Following Firmino’s miss, Alisson watched Derlis Gonzalez’s effort go wide giving Brazil the chance to decide their own faith. Gabriel Jesus stepped up and comfortably sent Brazil to semi-finals. The whole stadium cheered after what looked like another defeat in the Copa America as they have been suffering in the past 3 editions.
“This is a team that deserved the win today,” Alisson very sportingly acknowledges his teammates in today’s victory. A classy and selfless act by the Liverpool No 1.
Brazil will now wait to see who they face in the semi-final round. Argentina and Venezuela will battle it out in the quarter-final later tonight.
Venezuela have already met Brazil in the group stages and played out a 0-0 draw. Argentina have gone to great lengths to make it into the quarter-finals after a string of disappointing performances.
As favourites of the tournament, Brazil will not pay much attention to whom they have to face. With ridiculously gifted talent and the home support, this could finally be Brazil’s first international trophy victory in 10 years since their Confederations Cup victory in 2009
Superhuman stuff this from the Liverpool goalie! Watch as Alisson makes a couple of very decisive saves during the game –
Mohamed Salah’s rise to fame has been quick and exhilarating, words that can also be used to describe the Egyptian winger.
A Chelsea reject and now winning the Premier League Golden Boot twice in a row, Salah has shown consistency and shut down all claims of him being a “one season wonder”.
Salah along with Jurgen Klopp has been instrumental in changing the atmosphere and life at Liverpool as the club are going nowhere but up and after winning the UEFA Champions League.
Mo Salah is currently fighting for the Africa Cup of Nations in his homeland. The Pharaohs have won both their group games without conceding a goal.
A 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe and a 2-0 win against DR Congo have seen Egypt top Group A. Egypt will play second place Uganda in their final group game.
After the match against DR Congo where Salah added to Egypt’s lead just before half-time, the Liverpool star was swarmed by the Congolese players for selfies.
The incident just goes to show how Salah has managed to impact football in Africa. A player of immense talent who has shown the importance of hard work and will power.
Salah joins the elite list of players from Africa in recent history such as Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure. These players have put their respective nations on the map after performing at the highest level in the European leagues
Just like Mohamed Salah has brought together the whole nation of Egypt with his heroics with Liverpool!