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How Mo Salah went out of his way to please Liverpool fans in Marbella

The preparations are in full swing as the Liverpool squad buckles up for their major night. Yes, it’s the Champions League final against their Premier League rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.

As their 6-day training camp is underway, the fans keep visiting their hotel in Marbella, Spain. It is in this Spanish town that the Reds are preparing for the ultimate showdown.

Warming Up To The Fans

The fans are hoping to catch some action before the team heads off to Madrid. Liverpool stars are surely taking their precious time out to interact with their supporters.

Roberto Firmino & Sadio Mané each spent approximately 2 to 3 minutes interacting with the fans. But Mo Salah took it a notch higher.

https://twitter.com/bpmmarbella/status/997807317742772225?s=19

The Liverpool man socialized with the crowd for more than 25 minutes. With the absence of other major stars in the finals of UCL, Salah is the biggest name to look forward in the final.

Football fanatics are used to seeing mega-stars like Messi, Ronaldo, Buffon & Griezmann in the UCL Finals.

But this year’s dramatic Champions League season witnessed the rise of teams like Ajax who thrashed out two of the biggest contenders: the defending champions, Real Madrid & the Italian champions, Juventus.

As if that weren’t enough, we watched in awe the departure of Manchester City & Barcelona.

With that the champion of every European country: Germany, Spain, France, Italy, England & others departed one by one. What they left behind were the EPL rivals Liverpool & Spurs.

Reds Vs Blaugrana

Salah almost stumbled out of this season when he got injured in the semi-finals against Barcelona. In the 2nd leg, he encouraged his team from the stands, sporting a t-shirt with the slogan “NEVER GIVE UP”.

It was an emotional moment for Salah as his team played in his absence against the Spanish champs. His support aided them to recover from a 3 – 0 loss in the 1st leg. The Reds ended up scoring a 4 – 0 in the return leg, robbing Barcelona off their Champions League dream.

Last Summer’s Dream

The Egyptian was deprived of his victory in the Champions League final against Real Madrid last year.

Liverpool lost their talisman after an encounter with Sergio Ramos. Salah was taken off the field in tears & just like that the night went against Liverpool. The score read 3 – 1 in favor of Los Blancos as they collected their 13th UCL trophy on that eventful night.

A single injury took away all of Salah’s dreams last season. He would surely hopes nothing of the sort happens again.

Hence his extra attention towards his supporters to comfort them that this time nobody can knock him down. This time he’s not going out without a fight!

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Blog

Roberto Firmino drops filthy no-look pass in training – Spurs aren’t ready for this

In a grab from the Liverpool striker’s Instagram story, the Brazilian forward could be seen creating a pin-point accurate pass at training – without even looking at the ball.

Famous for his skills and tricks on the pitch, Firmino is no stranger to such quirks. The popularity of his videos online in which he completes outrageous skill ‘challenges’ with ridiculous ease are a great example of this.

Firmino is also well known for his ‘no-look football’. He looks one way and shoots the other, confusing defenders and creating chances. He has also scored outlandish no- look goals.

Why Firmino can ‘no-look’ but the Spurs need to keep their eyes peeled :

Firmino went out of action for 3 weeks following Liverpool’s first leg defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League semi finals.

He missed the final game of the Premier League season as he was undergoing treatment for a groin injury . However, reports suggest that he is recuperating fully and has already joined the squad before the final.

Pochettino’s boys at Tottenham too deserve credit for their turnaround victory against Ajax. They may be high on confidence and spirit, but the news of Firmino’s addition will not help them breathe easy.

The Liverpool striker has 16 goals to his name in the season thus far. He makes clever runs behind defences and assists magnificently. Added to his obvious talent is this ridiculous skill.

Check out the no-look pass in training below –

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Bride & groom ban attendees from watching Liverpool v Spurs final during their wedding

Marriage is a sacred union between not just the couple who are in love but also their families & friends. And our loved ones will go a long way to make sure that the couple get their deserved blessings. Right? Well, add another ingredient to this equation & the game changes completely.

A post that suddenly popped up on Mumsnet website & eventually on Twitter itself, took the Twitterati by storm. A woman has narrated a tug of war in her life as her friend’s marriage is about to take place on the night of the Champions League final this year when Liverpool is going to fight off Tottenham Hotspur.

Apparently a large number of the wedding attendees including her husband are from Liverpool itself. Her friends who are getting married, have put out a notice banning all to watch the game on that day on any device.

Also they made sure to let everyone know that they are not going to screen it either. Now, the husband of this lady has decided to decline the wedding invitation & so has a few others.

Wedding is sacred but football is life, as many of us believe. Barring fans to watch Champions League Final just so they can attend someone else’s wedding is too much to ask for especially when your own club is playing.

Jacqui Oatley, a sports presenter, commentator & journalist, posted this issue on Twitter.

Since then a lot of people have started putting up their point of views. While most people are against the bride & the groom, there are some who believe that their wish should be kept.

Another Twitter user has commented, “Our wedding was on the Champions League final last year – lots of family/friends are Liverpool fans, we didn’t care if they watched it – in fact I watched some of it myself!” Such situations test our friendship.

Well, the couple should have thought twice before “banning” the wedding party to stream the match. As funny as this sounds, for a football lover it’s no joke.

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Blog

No respite for Alexis Sanchez as Man Utd star gets compared with Mo Salah’s daughter online

Alexis Sanchez’s move from Arsenal to Manchester United in January 2018 hasn’t gone as many would have expected. After having a few amazing seasons at Arsenal, he has looked a shadow of his former self at United. The Chilean has endured a miserable 2018/19 season and that has led to his future being in doubt at Old Trafford

Manchester United sacked Jose Mourinho midway through the last season and replaced him with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Despite a change in the scenery, Sanchez failed to hit the mark. In fact, in his 20 appearances for Manchester United in the recently concluded Premier League season, he has only scored 1 goal.

When Makka Salah stole the limelight at Anfield

In recent events, Mohamed Salah shared the Golden Boot trophy with Sadio Mane and Pierre Emerick- Aubameyang. He was awarded the trophy post-match, after Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Wolves.

While all the attention should have been on him, it was in fact his daughter, who not only stole the show, but also stole the hearts of the Anfield faithful.

Makka Salah took to the pitch after the match was over, with a ball at her feet. She then proceeded to run towards the goal and score in an empty net, which was followed by applause from the fans, who were delighted at such a sight. She then repeated the entire process, scoring again at the Kop end.

How Alexis Sanchez is being trolled online

Many took this opportunity to mock the former Barcelona star and compared how the 6-year-old girl has managed to score more goals in a single appearance than Sanchez has managed this entire season.

With Solskjaer rumored to be promised a massive war chest for the coming transfer window, a massive overhaul can be expected of the United squad. And with Sanchez performing so poorly this season, he may well be on his way out of Manchester United.

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The Liverpool statistic OptaJoe labeled as ‘crazy’

The 2018/19 edition of the Premier League ended few days ago as Liverpool came astonishingly close to winning the title, getting narrowly beaten by Manchester City with just a point separating the two sides.

It was a record-breaking season for the Reds as they amassed the 3rd highest points tally in Premier League history and were still being unable to win the title.

One of the records, which largely went unnoticed, was the number of goals Liverpool players scored by using their heads.

Liverpool went on to score 19 headed goals in the Premier League, which was way more than any other team in the division.

And according to OptaJoe, who labeled the statistic as ‘crazy’, Liverpool’s record of scoring headed goals is only bettered by that of Wimbledon, who managed to score 22 headed goals back in the 1995-96 season.

Arguably the best full-back pairing in the Premier League

A massive reason for all the headed goals Liverpool scored this season is the full-back duo of Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Arguably the best full-back pairing in the Premier League currently, both TAA and Robbo delivered pin-point crosses in the box with precision throughout the entirety of the season.

Manager Jurgen Klopp should also be commended on how the fullbacks have improved over the past 2 years. Andrew Robertson, who arrived from Hull City in 2017 for just 10 million euros, is now one of the best left-backs in the world, while home grown Trent Alexander- Arnold is well on his way on being a club legend just at the meager age of 20.

In Klopp’s system, the fullbacks are able to push high up the pitch, due to a defensive midfield cover. This allows them to fire crosses into the box, and with the likes of Firmino or Mane lurking in the penalty area, the crosses get converted a significant number of times.

Both Robertson and Alexander-Arnold have reached double digits in terms of assists, with them registering 13 and 15 assists in all competitions respectively.

Sadio Mane- Liverpool’s most complete forward

One of Liverpool’s key players, and a part of the famous front 3, Sadio Mane was crucial in Liverpool’s title charge and their quest for a 6th Champions League crown.

More importantly, he was clinical for the side during Salah’s rare goal drought. He finished the season with an incredible 22 goals and shared the Premier League Golden Boot award with Salah and Aubameyang.

So what makes Sadio Mane Liverpool’s, or even the Premier League’s most complete forward?

Of all the world class forwards that play in the Premier League, including Aguero, Kane and Aubameyang, Sadio Mane is the only player to have scored 5 goals with his right foot, left foot and head!

He has scored 6 goals via headers this season. No Liverpool player has managed more than him.

What’s next for Sadio Mane and Liverpool

Mane will hope to continue his excellent form for Liverpool when they face Tottenham in next month’s Champions League final. With his excellent dribbling skills and clinical finishing, he will definitely be a thorn in Tottenham’s defense.

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Blog News

NBCSN commentator goes wild with Game of Thrones references before Liverpool-Newcastle kick-off

It is true when people say that watching a football match at a stadium is a feeling like no other. The atmosphere, the noise, the fans and the collective power is electric, deafening and empowering to the club that finds its home at said stadium.

But for those less fortunate, watching the game on the TV is the next best thing, with commentators really bringing out a perspective of the game that is like a breath of fresh air.

For those watching the game in the comfort of their homes, commentators really are the unsung heroes of the broadcast. Travelling up and down the country to call games, doing tons of research right up till the final seconds till kick-off and keep us gripped to our seats with words that fuel a plethora of emotions in us, the commentator’s job is one that is overlooked, but one that gives us a lot of memories to savour.

One such commentary came from an NBCSN commentator before the kick-off between a game between Liverpool and Newcastle United in the Premier League.

Right before the kick-off, he produced a moment of brilliant commentary that was fusion between the current situation in the Premier League to the popular TV show Game of Thrones(GoT). It certainly is well worth the listen, as he brings out multiple GoT references during his monologue.

https://twitter.com/chidudeh/status/1124751584007794688?s=03

The commentary got a rapturous reception online, given that both the PL and GoT are very popular and are soon to be winding up. Liverpool went on to win the game 3-2 in a topsy-turvy affair at Newcastle.

The win took Liverpool to the top of the table with City yet to play, after which the title would be decide on the final day of the season. The show-stealer, however, was the pre-kickoff commentary.

One would imagine that the commentator pulled an all nighter getting that piece set up for the big game. And his efforts did not go in vain, as he served up a delight.

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Blog News

New footage shows Luis Suarez running straight towards Andrew Robertson after Messi’s goal

Love him or hate him, we can all agree that Luis Suarez is one of the deadliest strikers in the world right now. After making waves at Ajax, he became one of Liverpool’s talismanic strikers before making the move to Catalonia in 2014 to spearhead Barca’s front line.

But it’s not just goals that he is talked about, for Suarez has a reputation of being “controversy’s child”. Almost as well known for his antics as he is for his attacking prowess, Suarez is difficult to keep quiet.

Controversies such as the racial abuse of Patrice Evra, handling the ball on the goal-line to deny Ghana a goal in the FIFA WC and biting incidents of Chiellini and Ivanovic have marred a stellar career.

And he was at it again when Barca played Liverpool in the UCL semi-final first leg at the Camp Nou, although it came in less drastic circumstances. Instead, Suarez wheeled away in celebration as he scored Barca’s first goal of the night.

This left Reds fans irritated and hurt, as it was a bitter pill to swallow for them, who supported the Uruguayan through thick and thin during his time in Merseyside.

There was no love lost, as Barca’s number 9 celebrated in delight instead of having muted celebrations against his former employers.

But while that was the talk of the town, there was another incident that went under the radar that involved Suarez and Andrew Robertson.

During the celebrations Barca’s third goal (Messi’s sublime free-kick), Suarez can be seen giving it to the Liverpool left-back as he joined in on celebrations with Messi and co. The Uruguayan appears to run straight towards Robbo, in an attempt to taunt him as he does so.

Barca won the home leg 3-0 thanks to Suarez’s goal and Messi’s brace. And with Suarez playing villain in the first leg for his antics, he is sure to get the welcome Reds fans believe he deserves when he steps out onto the Anfield turf for the second leg.

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Blog Football

Lionel Messi truly put this criticism of him to bed with Liverpool display

It’s an age old debate. Who’s the best player in the world? The question that everyone wants an answer to, but the answer is one that is rarely universally accepted. But what really defines the best player in the world?

We have the obvious qualities: consistency and impact, be it through goals, assists, defensive prowess or clean sheets. Other characteristics could be leadership, grit, and panache, to name a few.

Crucial factors are individual honors and trophies, both for club and country. Over the past decade or so, the title for best player in the world has been a battle of the attackers, with Messi and Ronaldo fighting it out to be the best.

Both of them are serial winners, individually and collectively for their teams, and both push each other to strive for greater heights.

Being the lethal attackers that they are, they have provided us with some break-neck battles and tons of goals and memorable plays.

And while fans debate who is the best of these two, one question comes up more often than not, and it’s answer is one we may not receive.

Can Lionel Messi do it in the Premier League? This is probably what differentiates Big Ron and Messi, given that Ronaldo has played in different leagues and experienced different cultures and flourished in all of them, during his time at Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid and most recently, at Juventus.

Defying age, Ronaldo seems to have the advantage over Messi in the pursuit for the answer to this question, with Messi being the one-club man that he is at Barcelona.

It truly has been his one criticism, whether he would be able to achieve and maintain his otherworldly levels in England.

But Leo’s numbers against big English sides seem to give us a fair idea of what he could achieve in the Prem.

The stats that surfaced after Barca’s 3-0 semi-final win over Liverpool (in which he was extremely influential) suggest that Messi could just ace it in England. One stat compares his goals to games tally against England’s big 6 to that of Ronaldo’s, while another shows us that this season, he has more goals against the PL’s top 6 than any other PL player!

https://twitter.com/AhmadShabir08/status/1123701362745851904

The significance and takeaway of this must not be undermined. Messi’s goals and top-notch performances against the best in England, have come at crucial stages in Europe’s elite club competition.

Not to mention, of late, Leo has been unstoppable against England’s UCL participating crew, as this season alone he’s bagged two goals each against Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester United. If he can do it against the best, one would be led to believe that he could do it against the rest.

Messi’s numbers speak for him, and while we may never see him in the Prem, we have a visual of how he would fare in England. In a hypothetical situation where Messi joins the Premier League, which club would suit him the most?

 

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Blog Football

Klopp’s comments fuel Barca fans to smash their attendance record at Camp Nou

The Champions League semi-final clash between Barcelona and Liverpool was always going to be a cagey affair. Both the teams have previously won 5 Champions League titles and will be going after their 6th one. A tie of such intensity will obviously attract a lot of attention towards both the teams and their respective managers.

It is always natural for players and managers to play mind games before such a big game. Such was the case for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp perhaps when he recently said in an interview, that his players should not be overawed by the magnitude of the Camp Nou, stating that the iconic stadium was not a football temple, and that it was just a ‘football stadium’.

Obviously this attracted a lot of criticism towards Klopp, with many calling for him to apologize for his remark. Even the official Barcelona Twitter account sent out a tweet, with an image of the Camp Nou, following the words ‘ Our home, Our temple, Our fortress’ written in the post.

Nevertheless what has been said against them, the club will always have thousands of fans who will be supporting them. And that is exactly what they did come the first leg of the Champions League semi-final clash against Liverpool on the 1st of May.

Barcelona set a new record for having the highest attendance of the season with a mind numbing 98,299 fans coming to watch the match-

In such a spicy encounter between 2 European giants, the fans can play a key role in influencing the game. On the day, Barcelona fans were in full support of their team, as they ran out 3-0 victors, with Suarez opening the scoring in the first half, followed by a second half brace by their talisman Lionel Messi.

Klopp may as well rue his words, as Barcelona will be heading to Anfield, having already won the La Liga title and with one foot in the Champions League final. While Liverpool on the other hand, will have a tough task ahead, with an away trip to Newcastle United followed by their second leg clash against Barcelona.

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Blog Football

Liverpool fan offers apology to Man Utd for supporting Luis Suarez on the Evra incident

It would be an understatement to say that Luis Suarez is a divisive figure in the world of football.

At best, he is a creative, cunning and clinical striker with great awareness and guile. At worst, he is known for the infamous biting incidents and playing an illegal handball which resulted in Ghana getting knocked out of the 2010 World Cup.

That, apart from the comments he’s allegedly made towards fellow players don’t portray him in the best light possible. But there’s no denying the 32-year-old Uruguayan’s prowess on the pitch, as he is Barcelona’s fifth highest scorer of all time, and has enjoyed significant success at Ajax and Liverpool.

It is his celebrations in the Champions League game against his former Merseyside employers however has brought him under scrutiny again.

Liverpool were battered 3-0 at the Camp Nou, with Suárez scoring and Lionel Messi running riot.

After his goal in the 26th minute through a Jordi Alba cross, Suárez was very vocal in his joy in scoring against his former side, who had supported him throughout the racial abuse allegations and his subsequent ban.

Not only that, he was guilty of rash challenges on some of the Liverpool players, which can be chalked up to the competitive and sometimes brash nature of the Uruguayan centre-forward.

Nevertheless, Liverpool fans were not happy with the player, who was adored at Anfield in the three years he spent there, with some even apologising to Evra for supporting Suárez throughout the aforementioned incident when the Frenchman was at Manchester United.

Twitter user @RockyKlopp wrote, “Honest apologies to @Evra, Luis Suarez is actually inexcusably disgraceful to the game mate. If this is how he treats his ex team, he definitely did mean what he said to an United fan in a racial connotation.”

Following this, there was a barrage of tweets, some defending the forward and accusing the Liverpool faithful of hypocrisy.

Barcelona travel to Anfield with 3-0 lead, looking to seal the tie, while Jurgen Klopp’s men will be looking to regroup and somehow turn this deficit, which would take them to their second Champions League final in two years.

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Blog Football

Dutch analyst Rene van der Gijp’s comments on Lionel Messi’s free-kick are oddly on-point

We have all known for a while that Lionel Messi is one of the greatest, if not, the greatest footballer of the modern era. The Argentine has primarily found competition in a Portuguese winger who currently plies his trade in Italy. But while there still are traces of that epic rivalry, Messi seems to have taken center-stage since Ronaldo’s move to Juventus.

The little magician is renowned for his exquisite control, slaloming runs that terrorize defenses and leave even the best defenders on their backs, perfect passes that set up the play, and assists that could never have been imagined.

But most importantly, it’s the sheer quantity and quality of the goals that leaves the world breathless.

And in this regard, Leo was at it again as Barcelona welcomed Liverpool to the Nou Camp for their UCL semi-final first leg.

Messi rounded off a stellar Barca performance, seeing off Liverpool 3-0. A goal from former Red Luis Suarez and a brace from Messi sealed the deal.

It was the second of his goals that stole the show, with Messi whipping in an astounding pin-point free-kick from 35 yard out. It really was a thing of beauty.

Incidentally, that goal was his 600th in a Barca shirt, leading wild celebrations from himself and the vast majority of the Nou Camp. Talk about scoring your 600th in style!

https://twitter.com/DigsbyMooose/status/1123691256780152835

Often dubbed as “The GOAT” and believed to hail “from another planet”, Lionel Messi’s free-kick brought out comments from ex-Dutch winger and now TV football pundit, Rene van der Gijp.

Reacting to Messi’s gem of a free-kick, Gijp stated that it must be forbidden to score a goal like that from a set-piece. He also suggested that such a quality goal should warrant a booking.

https://twitter.com/ODDSbible/status/1123881355643883520

One would assume that he means these comments in humor, with the quality of the free-kick and it’s jaw-dropping and near law-defying trajectory leaving all those who witnessed it in awe, being the gist of the comments. Such was the genius of Messi, that it even left Reds manager Jurgen Klopp wonder-struck.

Funnily enough, Gijp’s words do make sense in a way, considering that the man… nay, the phenomenon at the center of it all is Lionel Messi, full to the brim with otherworldly talent.

And as long as we’re served with masterclass after masterclass, we can expect similar statements to be made; all in praise of King Leo, of course!

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Blog Football

Balotelli feels Ronaldo isn’t in the reckoning as football’s best alongside Lionel Messi

There are few players in the footballing world that have had such a controversial past as Mario Balotelli. He has had a relatively up and down career, playing for clubs like Inter Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool and Nice, before signing up for Marseille in January 2019.

From his on field antics to him setting his garage on fire, he always seems to attract attention towards himself and it seems that the Italian is at it again.

Last night Barcelona won 3-0 against Liverpool in a thrilling Champions League semi-final game. Their talisman Lionel Messi scored 2 goals in the match which helped them get one foot in the final.

The second of his goals was a typical Messi goal –  a magical free kick from over 35 yards out. That goal also marked his 600th goal for Barcelona.

While millions were out congratulating Messi on his remarkable achievement, Balotelli took it one step further and took an audacious jibe at Cristiano Ronaldo.

He went on Instagram to congratulate Messi by saying that one must not compare Messi with Ronaldo anymore.

In his post, he doesn’t even refer to Ronaldo by his name, instead referring to him as Juve’s # 7.

The utter disrespect from Balotelli towards Ronaldo has no doubt received criticism from fans all around the world.

It should also be taken into account that Ronaldo reached the same feat just last month when he scored his 600th career goal in a 1-1 draw against Inter Milan.

Although he may not have helped Juventus clinch the Champions league this time around, Ronaldo himself is having a very good season, helping Juventus win their 6th consecutive title.

With both Ronaldo and Messi being the greatest and the most consistent footballers of the last decade, such an attack would most certainly not be appreciated within the footballing community.

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Blog Football

When Lionel Messi made PFA Player of the Year call for assistance

Virgil van Dijk (VVD) was recently named PFA Player of the Year, becoming the first defender to win it since the inaugural Premier League season.

A mainstay in the meanest defense in the league, the footballing world was licking its lips at the UCL semi-final encounter between Barcelona and Liverpool, and particularly, between the unstoppable Lionel Messi and the immovable VVD.

The game was played in the Nou Camp and some interesting events unfolded.

During the game, a lobbed ball was player over to Messi. VVD chased him down but Messi reacted by shielding the ball. While Messi was looking for a play to make, VVD can be seen gesturing to Robertson to assist him in defending against the clever Argentine.

It just goes to show that to defend against the phenomenon that is Leo Messi, even the best player in the Premier League needs a helping hand.

It’s true that Virgil has earned a reputation of being a world-class center-back and probably is the best in the business currently, but it appears as though even he knows that defending against Messi is not a one-man job; if indeed it is possible to defend against European club football’s top goalscorer.

Van Dijk and co’s efforts to keep Messi at bay went in vain, as the little magician pitched in with two goals, including a sumptuous free-kick as Barca ran out 3-0 winners at the Nou Camp, despite a dominant Liverpool display in the second half. Ex-Liverpool talisman Luis Suarez was the other goalscorer in the game, not holding back on celebrations against his former employers.

When asked in an interview after the Porto game on how Liverpool would defend against Barca and in particular, Lionel Messi, VVD said that he doesn’t know and that it has to be a collective effort.

And while strength in numbers is a good thing, it didn’t work out for Liverpool and they now have a mountain to climb for the second leg at Anfield.

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Blog Football

Messi masterclass, Van Dijk exposed, Salah missed an open goal, Liverpool battered and without an away goal

Lionel Messi and his brand of magic made it a night to remember when Liverpool travelled to the Camp Nou for the first leg of their semi-final tie.

The 31-year-old was the catalyst for yet another brilliant performance by Barcelona, netting twice in the second half to put his side firmly in control ahead of the away leg.

https://twitter.com/PrimeLM10_/status/1123807533699936260

Jurgen Klopp made four changes to the side that won against Huddersfield on Sunday, with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Fabinho and James Milner coming in for Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge.

The hosts made three changes, with Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi and Sergi Roberto coming in for Arthur, Ousmane Dembele and Nelson Semedo.

It was a tight and entertaining first half, with both sides creating chances. Naby Keita picked up a knock to the groin in the 24th minute and had to be substituted for Jordan Henderson.

Opportunities flying at both end, Jordi Alba took control in the 26th minute, whipping a dangerous cross towards the path of an onrushing Suarez, who ran between two centre backs and flicked the ball over Alisson to score.

The Reds should have equalised in the 35th minute, as an advancing Mane failed to keep his effort below the crossbar.

Liverpool started the second half on the front foot, looking to establish their dominance and get back a goal. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen denied James Milner twice and another Mo Salah effort in between to keep Barcelona’s edge.

But it was not to be, as Barcelona doubled their lead in the 75th minute through Messi, who latched on to a deflected ball from Luis Suarez’s initial effort hitting the crossbar, slotting it in past Alisson.

Liverpool’s defence was looking vulnerable throughout the game particularly with Virgil van Dijk not being able to stamp his authority on the game.

Messi showed his game changing genius again in the 82nd minute, when he struck a sumptuous free-kick from 35 yards, against a hapless Alisson who was at full stretch, putting the game past Liverpool.

https://twitter.com/Barca_Clips/status/1123821184200658944

Salah missed a golden chance to equalize when he hit the post, with an open goal staring at the Egyptian forward.

With Van Dijk being criticized for not being his absolute best, especially during the first & the second goal and Salah missing to score the crucial away goal for Liverpool, the Reds were truly battered at Camp Nou and have a daunting task at home if they want to reach the final of the UEFA Champions League 2018/19 at Madrid on the 2nd of June.

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Blog Football

Jose Mourinho – Man Utd didn’t back me like Pep and Klopp were

Widely known as ‘The Special One’, Jose Mourinho has won numerous trophies during his time in Spain, Italy, Portugal and England.

His stint at Manchester United, it is fair to say, ended on not-so-good terms. He was criticized for his lack of attacking football, his public shaming of players, and most importantly, his refusal to play Pogba in the starting line up.

While doing punditry work for Bein Sports, the Portuguese hit back at the Manchester United Board, saying that they did not back him like how Manchester City backed Pep Guardiola, or how Liverpool backed Jurgen Klopp.

When looking back at his time at Manchester United, there is little proof that goes in favor of Mourinho. In his 3 years at the club, he had 5 transfer windows.

According to the Guardian, in those transfer windows, the club spent upwards of 350 million euros on 11 players.

It should also be noted that out of those 350 million euros, United spent 90 million Euros in 2016 in a world record transfer to bring Paul Pogba from Juventus to United.

Although that may be the case, the signings that United had made may not have been the signings that Mourinho would have wanted.

The lack of a Sporting Director at United means that the responsibility of getting new players goes to Ed Woodward, who, one would probably associate with having more of an eye for the business side of the game rather than what goes on the field .

Klopp and Guardiola on the other hand, with the help of their Sporting Directors, have gotten the players they desired and are now challenging for major trophies. T

The same cannot be said for Mourinho, who on multiple occasions had come out publicly to express his anger at not getting the players he wanted, especially a center-back.

With United needing an overhaul, the requirement of a Sporting Director is now more than ever.

Read: Man Utd could be looking to emulate Ajax with Rio Ferdinand as Director of Football

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Blog Football

Joel Matip was the best player in Europe last month according to the latest CIES ranking

There’s no doubt that Jurgen Klopp has turned this Liverpool side into one of the top teams in Europe since his arrival at Merseyside back in 2015. The biggest reason behind this amazing transformation is the improvement in the defensive side of their game.

According to Opta, Liverpool have the best defense in the Premier League having conceded just 20 goals all season while keeping 20 clean sheets.

The signing of Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018 for 75 million euros can be considered as one of the best pieces of business done by Liverpool in the last few years.

Not only has he been magnificent in defense, but he also seems to have improved the players surrounding him.

One of those players is Joel Matip. Considered to be the 4th choice center-back for Liverpool at the start of the season, he is now a key figure in the Liverpool starting 11. Such is the improvement in his game, that the performance algorithm being employed by CIES Football Observatory has ranked him as the top player in Europe for the month of April.

Matip is not the only Liverpool player to have been included in the list, with Henderson, Salah, Van Dijk, Mane, Wijnaldum and Keita all present in the Top 10.

With injuries ruling out Gomez and Lovren during the early periods of the season, Matip was asked to step up to the plate, and now with AI also backing his performance, it seems the Cameroonian has delivered more than what was expected.

Not only has he been a solid defensive partner for Van Dijk, but he also has played a key role in the attack at times. Case in point, the video below –

With Liverpool entering the twilight of both the Premier League and the Champions League campaigns, a few more solid performances by Matip may be all Liverpool need to bring silverware back to the Merseyside.

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Mauricio Pelligrino names 2 Barcelona and 3 Liverpool players who can “kill the game in one action”

In a recent interview, current Leganes manager Mauricio Pellegrino spoke on the available threat that both these teams pose and stated 2 Barcelona players and 3 Liverpool players who he thinks can change the nature of the game with just a solitary move. These players are Messi and Suarez for Barcelona and Firmino, Salah and Mane for Liverpool.

If we look at that statement objectively, there is very little to argue about. Both Messi and Suarez have been the most consistent forwards in Barcelona’s front line, with both Dembele’s and Coutinho’s season riddled with either injuries, or some periods of inconsistencies.

When analyzing the players within their respective teams for the upcoming match, we can clearly see why Pellegrino feels that these players can turn the tide of the game.

Both Suarez and Messi have been in top form as of late, with Suarez pitching in with 24 goals and 12 assists in all competitions and Messi notching an incredible 46 goals and 22 assists in all competitions. Such form has helped Barcelona clinch their 26th La Liga title, and their 4th in 5 years. With the title being done and dusted, Barcelona will now shift their complete focus on the Champions league, in search for a possible treble.

Liverpool famous front 3, have also had incredible seasons. Both Salah and Mane landed their 21st and 20th goals for the Premier League season, in their 5-0 destruction over Huddersfield. The only negative from that match, from a Liverpool perspective, was the absence of their number 9 Roberto Firmino.

Having suffered a groin tear during training, he was forced to sit out of the Huddersfield match, with his place being taken by Daniel Sturridge. Although he may not be the most prolific forward, what makes him so crucial to Jurgen Klopp’s team is his work ethic, both on and off the ball, and his ability to drop deep and help build up play.

He now faces a race against time to recover from his injury, and try and be in contention for a place in Klopp’s starting eleven.

https://twitter.com/LFCCouch/status/1123194486421504000

Irrespective of what happens, both Jurgen Klopp and Ernesto Valverde’s men are bound to give us what should be the juiciest tie in recent Champions League history.