Monthly Archives: January 2014

Brendan Rodgers praises Liverpool’s attacking display

Liverpool 5-3Liverpool won at the Brittania stadium in an enthralling encounter which finished 5-3 to the Reds.

Rodgers was keen to praise that attacking play that Liverpool produced, but also wanted to address the problems that Liverpool had at the back.

Liverpool cruised to a 2-0 lead thanks for a own goal from Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross and Luis Suarez latching onto a loose back header from Shawcross, but Liverpool were pulled back to 2-2 before half-time thanks to goals from former Reds Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam.

Liverpool then took the 4-2 lead through a penalty from Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez’s 22 goal of the season, Stoke then pulled the game back to 4-3 through Jonathon Walters to make for a agonising finish but Daniel Sturridge on his return scored the goal to finish Stoke off.

The Reds boss told Sky Sports: “I thought they were brilliant. To come here and get five goals and put in the work and the effort is fantastic. I’m delighted for the players.

“We went out in the second half and we went again. That shows the character of the team.

“We spoke briefly afterwards, we made mistakes without being cut open and we need to tidy that up. But we were really exciting going forward.”

Liverpool’s third goal at the Britannia came from the penalty spot, after a contentious decision as Raheem Sterling went down under light contact from Marc Wilson.

Rodgers accepts that his side were slightly fortunate to be given the decision, which infuriated Stoke boss Mark Hughes.

He added: “I thought it was soft. It was one where, if you’re the attacking team, you’re happy to get it.

“I’d call it a ‘Spanish penalty’, one where the attacker goes into the defender – the defender obviously doesn’t get the ball – but the contact puts him over.

“Everyone around us won yesterday. We just have to control our own destiny.”

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Rubin Kuzan reject Yann M’Vila loan bid

M'VilaReports in Italy claim that Liverpool and Napoli have both had a loan move for Rubin Kuzan defensive midfielder Yann M’Vila rejected.

Yann M’Vila was spotted in the crowd in the Merseyside derby, but later insisted that his friend Mamadou Sakho invited him to the game.

Liverpool wanted a short term loan deal in January before buying him permanently in the summer, While Napoli  were also rejected in the loan bid for the player that has impressed during his time in Russia.

Reports in Italy also claim that Napoli are keen to talk to Rubin Kuzan officials in the next week as they look to tie up a permanent deal for M’Vila after their loan bid was also rejected.

It is not said as to whether Liverpool will discuss a permanent move for a player that will improve the Liverpool ranks sufficiently.

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Aspas a wanted man, as Liverpool target Burnley striker Danny Ings

Danny IngsAccording to a number of reports Liverpool are looking at bringing in a new striker to cover for Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, which could leave Iago Aspas even further down the pecking order.

Aspas has struggled at Liverpool since signing in the summer for 7.7million from Celta Vigo, scoring just his first senior competitive goal in Sundays FA Cup win over Oldam.

Swansea City are keen on Aspas due to the injury that has ruled Michu out till around February, while Valencia are also said to hold a strong interest. Both teams are looking at a loan deal in January, but Liverpool will want to sign another striker if they do let Aspas go.

Liverpool have just three senior strikers at the club with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge both guaranteed games if they are both fit, but need cover for them both and that has linked the Reds with Burnley hotshot Danny Ings.

Ings has netted 20 goals so far to lead Burnley to a surprise promotion chase to the Premeir League. Liverpool will face strong competition for Ings signature though as Premier League rivals Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Stoke are all keen on the striker.

Burnley will struggle to keep hold of Ings if a bid of above 5million is made as they have recently lost Charlie Austin to QPR for 5million.

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Steven Gerrard: Premier League glory would top Champions League triumph

gerrard aSteven Gerrard has claimed that a Premier League winners medal would top Liverpool’s Champions League triumph in Istanbul in 2005, as Liverpool continue their title bid.

Liverpool are currently sat in fourth place just six points of the league leaders Arsenal, with the Liverpool skipper claiming that this is the closest Premier League title race in years, and it can only help the Reds there first Premier League trophy.

Gerrard helped Liverpool claim Champions League glory in 2005 against AC Milan in one of the best matches of all time as Liverpool came from three goals behind to draw 3-3 and win the game on penalty’s, but it is the prestigious Premier League trophy that Gerrard now craves.

Gerrard has been at Liverpool for 16 and a half years and has yet to win the Premier League, the Liverpool skipper claiming words would not describe his feeling if Liverpool were to become champions.

“[Winning] it scares me really,” Gerrard told Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreves in an exclusive interview.

“I don’t know how I’d handle myself. When I won the Champions League, for the week after, talk about being on cloud nine, all your clichés, it’s even better than that.

“If I could add a Premier League title to my collection it would probably be the best day of my life besides my kids being born; I think it would almost top the Champions League because it’s the one I haven’t got.”

Only one team has finished outside of the top four with 21 wins in a season, that being Tottenham last season, and with Liverpool having 18 games to go and nine wins to reach that target Gerrard sees no reason why Liverpool can’t be in the Champions League next season.

“That gives us hope, I’m confident we can get that amount of wins to get us in the top four but it’s easier said than done,” he added.

“We’ve got some very difficult fixtures coming up but our home form is very good and if we can click away from home, I’m very confident we can get in there.

“If you offered me fourth spot now, yes [I would take it]. The reason I would take it is we’ve been out of the Champions League for so long, the chance to get Champions League football back here at Anfield, I’d snap your hands off.”

Gerrard was forced to miss the busy festive period through injury and admits it was difficult as it would be for any player, but was more disappointed due to Liverpool’s surprise title challenge so far.

“I think any footballer would echo being out is the worst time, you feel out of it, you don’t feel part of the group, it can be lonely when you’re in the gym doing your rehab,” he said.

“To be back in amongst the group and training and I’ve had some minutes, I’m ready to fire now, hopefully I’ll be in from the start.

“It was made worse because of the games I knew I was going to miss, Spurs away, City away, Chelsea away, three of the biggest games you play when you’re fighting for a top four position.

“When I got the scan results I was told four to six weeks initially, so I knew the whole of the Christmas period I wasn’t going to be available, so it was disappointing but even more so because of the games we were playing.”

Liverpool and England skipper believes that Liverpool can benefit from the closest Premier League table in years, starting against Stoke City on Sunday.

“I think the teams in the middle of the Premier League are very strong now, I think the league is improving year-by-year,” he added.

“It gives us a fantastic opportunity to stay in amongst it. If we find some consistency we believe we can take one of the top four places and that was our aim at the beginning of the season.

“I think from positions four down to 14 you’re in for a hell of a game, you’re not guaranteed to take maximum points.”

Gerrard believes that Liverpool’s away form must improve if they are to become genuine title contenders this season under Brendan Rodgers.

“I think the key is always your home form, over the years we’ve dropped silly points at home, teams have come to Anfield with an attitude of ‘we’ve got a chance’; but if you look at our home form under Brendan, it has been very strong and very consistent,” Gerrard said.

“If you get your home form right, then you can build on your away form. Our away form’s been a little bit inconsistent but that’s what we’re working on and if we can get that right we’ll be a force in this league.”

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Liverpool revive interest in Yarmolenko, as Salah deal looks set to fall apart

YarmolenkoLiverpool’s search for a winger looks set to continue as Liverpool are struggling to conclude a deal for Mohammed Salah with Swiss side FC Basel, if the deal does not go ahead Liverpool are set to revive their interest in 15million rated Yarmolenko.

Liverpool have been strongly linked with Egyptian Salah for a long time now and are struggling to agree a fee for his services. Liverpool want to pay around 7million while FC Basle are looking at gaining 12million for one of the hottest properties in Europe right now.

If the deal fails to materialise then Liverpool look set to turn their attentions to Yarmolenko, who was linked with Liverpool in the summer.

The Ukrainian is rated at 15million, significantly more than what Salah is rated, and has scored 8 goals in 16 appearances for Kiev this season, and has 14 goals in 38 appearances for Ukraine.

Liverpool’s search for a winger looks set to continue as Liverpool are struggling to conclude a deal for Mohammed Salah with Swiss side FC Basel, if the deal does not go ahead Liverpool are set to revive their interest in 15million rated Yarmolenko.

Liverpool have been strongly linked with Egyptian Salah for a long time now and are struggling to agree a fee for his services. Liverpool want to pay around 7million while FC Basle are looking at gaining 12million for one of the hottest properties in Europe right now.

If the deal fails to materialise then Liverpool look set to turn their attentions to Yarmolenko, who was linked with Liverpool in the summer.

The Ukrainian is rated at 15million, significantly more than what Salah is rated, and has scored 8 goals in 16 appearances for Kiev this season, and has 14 goals in 38 appearances for Ukraine.

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Liverpool Target: Yarmoleko

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Daniel Agger out for four weeks with Calf injury

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Daniel Agger is set to be out for up to a month with a calf injury. The Danish defender injured himself in Liverpool’s third round FA Cup win over Oldham FC and told a Danish newspaper that he is likely to miss a month of action.

The news will come as a blow for Liverpool as they try to claim a position in the top four over the next month with vital games coming up against Stoke, Aston Villa, Everton, West Brom anf Arsenal, with it being unlikely that Agger will play a part in any of them.

Brendan Rodger’s squad has been limited over the Christmas period with injuries occurring to Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Jose Enrique, Jon Flanagan, Joe Allen and Mamadou Sakho over the Christmas period.

In better news though for Rodgers Mamadou Sakho and Jon Flanagan could both possibly feature for Liverpool on Sunday against Stoke City, while Daniel Sturridge is in full training now and is also a possibility for Sunday’s game.

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