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there you have it. Now you can get Summer football match tickets to the Summer matches you want to attend.

Posted in EPL, FA Premier League, German Bundesliga, Portuguese Liga NOS, UEFA

Steve Bruce was delighted with Newcastle United’s attitude as they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

It was a closely-fought contest between the two sides on Friday night. Each team exchanged good chances throughout the game, but they were left frustrated at not being able to find a breakthrough.

They looked set to share the points until Newcastle’s forwards struck to steal all three points late on.


F365 FEATURES: Eight slapstick Premier League moments of the season


In the 88th minute, Joelinton played in his strike partner, Callum Wilson. The Englishman made no mistake as his left-footed shot went under Vicente Guaita and into the net.

Palace were causing Newcastle problems at the time, but the away side struck against the run of play to seemingly secure the victory. Two minutes later, they finished the game off as Joelinton’s effort deflected into the net off of Gary Cahill.

This victory moves the Magpies up to tenth in the table ahead of the rest of this weekend’s fixtures. Palace meanwhile are 13th having been overtaken by Newcastle on Friday night.

In his post-match interview, as cited by BBC Sport: Bruce said he was pleased with how his side responded to a tough week as they beat Crystal Palace on Friday night:

“Both teams find it difficult to score a goal and we were looking for that little bit of quality. We weren’t clinical enough and I thought it was going to cost us but then we got it for the goals. Callum [Wilson] is a goalscorer and he has that instinct, That’s his seventh goal now and that’s a tremendous return.

“There is no disputing that Joelinton has found it difficult but I’ve said many times that some take a little more time than others. But we’re delighted he’s scored a goal.”

“I’m delighted with the attitude. It’s been a difficult week but we’ve responded in the right way.”

Bruce praised Joelinton for his impressive showing after the game:

He added: “We created a few opportunities and missed the right pass and that little bit of quality. That bit of quality the two strikers did show they have both scored from. Winning late on is not a bad trait to have. The players have responded at the end of a tough week.

“It doesn’t matter about the price tag and where you come from, sometimes you need time. In Joe’s case, the price tag and number nine shirt meant he struggled at times. But the kid wants to do well. He has a lot of opportunities tonight but we are starting to see him now with his strength.”

Liverpool were meant to run out of steam. David Moyes wasn’t supposed to still be in a job. Oops.

The post Bruce ‘delighted’ with Newcastle after ‘difficult week’ appeared first on Football News -.

Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has praised ‘highly gifted’ substitutes Jamie Vardy and James Maddison after they helped Leicester to qualify for the Europa League round of 32 with a 3-3 draw against Braga.

The Foxes went behind in just the 4th-minute as Al Musrati scored from outside the box. Harvey Barnes equalised five minutes later before Paulinho scored a second for Braga.

Luke Thomas scored his first goal for Leicester in the 78th-minute to bring the English side level.


READ: Ferdinand makes Liverpool transfer claim over Werner


Despite his effort, they found themselves behind for a third time as Fransergio Barbosa scored late in the game.

Jamie Vardy stepped up in the 95th-minute, scoring from a Marc Albrighton cross to level things up and send Leicester through to the round of 32.

Speaking after the late drama, Rodgers told reporters: “It’s great to qualify, confirming qualification is obviously great for us. That was the objective at the beginning and now the next ambition is to go on and win the group, so that’s what we’ll look to achieve.

“With so many games coming up at least we now know we can manage the squad and maybe give players a rest, but we are still hungry.”

Rodgers brought on Maddison and Vardy just after the hour mark to improve their attack.

Speaking about the subs, he said: “Our plan was to play the system we were in, and if we had to chase the game we would change the shape to 3-1-4-2 and those players would change the dynamic of the game. They are highly gifted players and they made a big difference.

“In the first half we were too slow in our movement, too static and we weren’t aggressive enough. In the second half, we were outstanding. We changed our system, as we had talked about before the game.

“Youri (Tielemans) came on and dictated the tempo of the game. In the second half we were excellent with the ball and Youri and James (Maddison) were the catalysts for that.”

The post Rodgers praises ‘highly gifted’ subs as Leicester go through appeared first on Football News -.

Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Liverpool deserved to lose a “difficult” game against Atalanta.

The Reds fell to a disappointing defeat to the Italian side in Group D on Wednesday night. Klopp’s side never got going in the game and they failed to register a shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.

Atalanta were clearly the better side. Their hard work was rewarded in the second half with two goals in just four minutes.


F365 SAYS: Klopp cannot blame the fixtures for a record Liverpool low


Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens got the goals to secure Atalanta a historic victory over Liverpool at Anfield.

Despite this result, Liverpool remain top of the group. But Ajax’s win over FC Midtjylland leaves the Dutch side and Atalanta just two points behind Liverpool.

Klopp’s men host Ajax next week before they face Midtjylland in their final group game on December 9.

The Liverpool boss spoke with BT Sport, as cited by BBC Sport, after the game, and he insisted that Atalanta deserved all three points:

“It was not a good game. From both teams, didn’t create a lot, until they scored the goals.

“A deserved defeat in a difficult game. The ref didn’t whistle a lot and that makes it even more difficult, for both sides. It was unbelievably intense and you need some breaks.

“When the first half is gone, you usually settle but for some players who didn’t play for a while it was very intense for them. We didn’t find a way in the game.

“Easier to talk about a good game. We had moments but not real chances. It could happen to other teams. You ask us to go Saturday at 12:30, which is nearly a crime. That is nothing to do with the result, but congratulations to you.

“Thumbs up, no injuries and we go again.”

Liverpool were meant to run out of steam. David Moyes wasn’t supposed to still be in a job. Oops.

The post Klopp: Liverpool ‘deserved’ to lose against Atalanta appeared first on Football News -.

Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes his players ‘enjoyed themselves’ in their 4-1 Champions League victory over Istanbul Basaksehir.

The Red Devils got off to an electric start with some devastating attacking moves.

They went ahead in the 7th-minute through midfield maestro Bruno Fernandes.


Prick of the Week No.10: Liverpool’s army of Buzz Killingtons


The Portuguese international scored a thundering half volley from the edge of the box.

He scored again 12 minutes later after a shocking error from Basaksehir keeper Mert Gunok.

The Turkish shot-stopper dropped a United cross, allowing Fernandes to slot the ball home from close range.

Marcus Rashford then scored a penalty in the 35th-minute after being brought down in the box. That put Solskjaer’s side in the driving seat heading into half time.

Surprisingly, United failed to continue their impressive play in the second half as Basaksehir grew into the match.

The United defence gave Demba Ba multiple chances to score, although the former Chelsea man failed to convert.

Deniz Turuc scored a free kick in the 75th-minute to give the Turkish side some hope.

But Welsh international Daniel James scored on the counter-attack in stoppage time to secure the three points.

Speaking after the match, Solskjaer said: “I felt first half we saw the intent straight away, they wanted to play and they enjoyed it. It’s a Champions League night at Old Trafford, you’d expect them to enjoy themselves. We scored some very nice goals, I’m pleased.”

Speaking about recent signings Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek, he said: “The two are getting used to how we want them to play. Donny can play in different positions and Edinson is a good old fashioned number nine and we haven’t had that for a while.”

Despite being on for a hat trick, Fernandes gave the penalty to Rashford. When asked about this, Solskjaer said: “Marcus is a very good penalty taker and Bruno is very confident, if Bruno wants to give it to Marcus then why not? Anthony Martial took one against Leipzig too – why not share it around?”

Injuries to Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were two of the only negatives on the night. Solskjaer said about them: “Hopefully they’ll be ready for the weekend. It’s ankle for Aaron and back for Victor. There was no point taking anymore risks.”

The Red Devils now need one point from their final two games to progress into the next stage of the Champions League.

The post Solskjaer: Man Utd players ‘enjoyed themselves’ in UCL victory appeared first on Football News -.

Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Both Ralph Haenhuttl and Nuno Espirito Santo will point to missed chances and periods of supremacy in the 1-1 draw at Molineux to claim their side deserved victory. Neither did, but it was a game full of the tactical intrigue we have come to expect from two of the Premier League’s greatest strategists.

Southampton games used to be a bit dull. Under Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino, Mark Hughes, even in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s early days as manager, before he’d had a real chance to get a grip of the side, a Saints game would often pass us – and more crucially, them – by. That is now never the case.

The proactivity is the big difference. Players don’t sit off, waiting for something to happen, they swarm around the opposition like Covid deniers to irrelevant flu statistics on social media.

It means that whoever they’re playing against have to show real quality on the ball to keep it, get out of the holes Southampton force them into, and find the space that must be elsewhere.

Wolves were able to carve out those hard-earned opportunities on Monday. Alex McCarthy’s international disregard was again brought into focus through a number of smart stops. A double save very early on to deny Leander Dendonker was particularly noteworthy.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Stuart Armstrong. He’s far from a fashionable midfielder. Being Scottish doesn’t help in that regard, neither does playing for Southampton for that matter. In the absence of Danny Ings in particular, they’re a team in which it’s difficult to pick out individuals, such is the set of non-negotiables to which they all must subscribe.

And Armstrong is the epitome of that dynamism, desire and energy that Hasenhuttl requires. But he’s so much more than the tryhard he can sometimes be portrayed as. He plays nominally on the right of a midfield four, but he’s most dangerous infield, either in the spaces behind the midfield or on the half-turn.

He played a beautifully disguised ball that Theo Walcott should have done better with early on, and it was his strength and foray past a defender that led to Southampton’s goal.

It was a tap-in in the end for Walcott, after a clipped cross to the backpost by Moussa Djenepo and a low fired ball back across the box from Che Adams. Southampton deserved the lead at that point. Adams and Walcott were a consistent threat and Adams’ wonderful control, turn and lofted through ball should have been finished by Walcott to secure the victory.

But he shot wide and Wolves capitalised. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had until then struggled to come to terms with playing a back four: an alien formation utilised due to the absence of Conor Coady. But they deserve huge credit for the way they grew into the game, learning very much by doing.

Nuno’s side don’t press to the same extent as Southampton. They wait for their moment to increase the tempo, going for the kill when a game appears to be drifting, luring the opposition into a false sense of security. Hasenhuttl’s side chase the ball like a dog after a bone, while Nuno’s players were cat-like: circumspect and thoughtful.

Amid tired legs and minds it was 34-year-old moggie Joao Moutinho that inhaled the catnip. He took control of the midfield in the last 30 minutes, snapping into challenges and – of course – using it effectively to create opportunities for the forwards, that were suddenly buoyed by the space a flagging Southampton were affording them.

Adama Traore – who had been doubled and tripled up on – started to have a bit of joy, but without the end product that has gone a bit missing again this season. And Raul Jimenez was allowed into a groove that predictably proved to be Southampton’s undoing.

A quick pass from Moutinho, who had won the ball in midfield, found Jimenez, who was afforded rare space to expertly turn and shoot off the post, with newly introduced Pedro Neto there following up to equalise.

Wolves were very much in the ascendency and will look at the end of this game and their 20 shots with nine on target (their most since their return to the Premier League) and see this as an opportunity missed.

But a point each was fair, after a thoroughly entertaining game that confirmed both of these teams as genuine European qualification contenders and their managers as among the hottest properties around.

 

Will Ford is on Twitter

The post Nuno’s Wolves pounce but can’t kill Ralph’s dogged Saints appeared first on Football News -.

Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

1) ‘This is absolutely not normal,’ was one of the conclusions drawn when these two sides last met. Leicester were second and unbeaten at home by Boxing Day of 2019, with one of the best defensive records in the Premier League. Liverpool summarily dismantled them in a 4-0 win that effectively sealed the title before the year was out.

Sunday was not quite as emphatic a statement. Leicester at least had a few opportunities this time and avoided one of those ten-minute collapses Liverpool tend to induce in an opponent. But this was perhaps as impressive, if not more so, than that victory 11 months ago. They hosted a team that had already made themselves at home as visitors to Elland Road, the Etihad and the Emirates. Jurgen Klopp was without two first-choice midfielders, including his captain, as well as his talismanic right-back, two best defenders and most effective goalscorer. Liverpool dominated one of the closest supposed challengers to their throne in a breathtaking display of control and authority. That Aston Villa defeat was even more of an absolute aberration than first thought.

 

2) There were two particular passages of play that underlined the gulf in quality. The build-up to Diogo Jota’s goal featured 30 passes with Leicester chasing shadows and every Liverpool outfielder having at least one touch. The second half started with a similar sequence, the hosts stringing together 16 passes to create another shooting opportunity for Jota. The opposition’s only touch from kick-off to the effort going over had been Wesley Fofana winning a header that Georginio Wijnaldum instantly recovered and recycled.

It must be knackering to face, both physically and mentally. The levels of concentration and skill required to suppress it should not be understated. This once chaotic Liverpool team has evolved into a patient predator that will wait for its moment to strike instead of ever forcing the issue. Five years of masterful coaching and phenomenal recruitment has come to this.

 

3) That is perhaps the greatest trick this Liverpool team has pulled: luring every team into thinking managers simply need time and understanding to build something special and realise their grand vision. The example of Klopp and how Liverpool tolerated years of trophyless frustration under his guidance before finally taking their brilliant true form is so often given in defence of coaches – sometimes by them – as proof that all they need is a similar level of trust and belief to create a foundation for such success.

It is a false equivalence. Even ignoring the fact Klopp and Liverpool have never taken a single step back from season to season since his appointment, he and they are the obvious exception to the rule. It is the modern version of pretending a manager should be given as long as he wants because Manchester United once kept the faith with Sir Alex Ferguson and he returned that loyalty with a sport-defining dynasty. Klopp is not as good as the Scot was, but his is every bit as unattainable and unrealistic a blueprint to follow.

 

4) Brendan Rodgers can console himself with the fact that Leicester were improved from their submissive display last December. They forged far more chances and really ought to have equalised through Harvey Barnes in the first half. James Justin was a fine outlet on the left and almost scored. Jamie Vardy was an utter nuisance throughout.

It sounds incredibly patronising but for five minutes or so in the second half they were excellent, having three unanswered shots around the hour mark, cutting off every passing lane, pressing as a unit and penning Liverpool back. Rodgers tried to capitalise on their period of superiority by bringing on Cengiz Under and Dennis Praet, changing from a back five to match up in midfield and showing more attacking intention. It was a justified decision designed to solidify the change in momentum, a call any good manager would have made.

Liverpool simply absorbed everything and returned it with interest in a final quarter of an hour that featured them hitting the woodwork twice, scoring a third goal and preserving their clean sheet. It summed up the futility of facing them in this mood quite neatly.

 

5) It is difficult to pinpoint one standout performance from the hosts. A welcome byproduct of Virgil van Dijk’s unfortunate injury was to remove a perceived reliance on any one player. Every teammate has stepped up in his and the other absences since, be they direct replacements or established starters already in the team.

The reaction to the incident that sidelined Van Dijk was overblown. So much so that David Coote was removed from officiating duty for this very match as Liverpool remain perturbed by his handling of the Merseyside derby. But it has reinforced their team unity and strengthened a siege mentality that might well have gone understandably stale after the holy grail was finally found after a 30-year search in the summer. They look every bit as focused as last season. It might perversely be the best thing that could have happened to them.

 

6) After all, it’s not as if losing Van Dijk has weakened their defence. A first Premier League clean sheet since he was ruled out means Liverpool have conceded two goals from open play in their last seven matches with a variety of different central defensive combinations. That decision not to reinvest in January already seems justified.

Joel Matip was solid. Fabinho alongside him was absolutely faultless. Alisson has a remarkable ability to make crucial saves after having huge amounts of time with little or nothing to do. One of the best counter-attacking teams in the country was thwarted by supreme individuals fitting diligently into an impressive system. Who else remembers when the high line was discussed in hushed, disapproving tones for fear of ridicule?

 

7) So much of Liverpool’s success is down to the tactical intelligence and malleability of their players. Fabinho, the defensive midfielder excelling at centre-half, had obvious traits that were easily transferable to a slight positional change. But Wijnaldum’s seamless transition from potent attacking threat for his country to tireless midfield workhorse for his club is ludicrous. It requires immense acuity.

James Milner might be the best of all. For just over 50 minutes he was fantastic at right-back, a fine Trent Alexander-Arnold impression ensuring Liverpool lost none of that attacking dimension. The removal of Naby Keita for Neco Williams facilitated the captain’s subsequent move into central midfield. His first action there was to instantly release Sadio Mane beyond Fofana, who forced a fine save from Kasper Schmeichel and a clearance off the line from Christian Fuchs.

Klopp is brilliant. But these players deserve so much credit for their understanding of what is asked of them. Not even mid-game positional shifts faze them in the slightest.

 

8) On the point of Milner, how strange that Leicester focused on the right-hand side he patrolled so well. The graphic that flashed up in the 25th minute showed that 70% of their attacks had come down that flank, yet only once had he really been beaten. Even then Fabinho came across to cover after Justin evaded both the Englishman and Matip.

There was not much Rodgers could have done to affect the course of this game in reality. Liverpool were without their first-choice right-back so targeting that position was an understandable tactic in theory. But that rather ignores the 18-year career of one of the most astute and hard-working players ever. If only Leicester had someone in charge that had signed him or something. They could have done with a better grasp of the supposed weak point they tried to exploit.

 

9) Fofana is great fun. Not entirely convinced he is a centre-half on this showing, as Mane constantly out-thought him and Roberto Firmino snatched his soul with a wonderful turn before hitting the post in the second half. But he was a real force on the break with a skill set that could well lend itself to a slightly more advanced role.

There was one instance in the 12th minute, when he tackled one player and released the ball out to the left before haring towards the Liverpool box, only for Justin to overhit a simple pass with Fofana unmarked, that made him seem wasted in defence. A little later he evaded both Keita and Wijnaldum with a run beyond the halfway line to start the move for the chance Barnes should have scored. Six interceptions seems more like the work of a progressive midfielder than a partner to Jonny Evans. Plus moving him forward would reduce the likelihood of each mistake he makes resulting in a shot.

 

10) Don’t know why that Matip situation was not given as a handball when penalties have been awarded this season in similar circumstances. There will be no further comment at this time.

 

11) One thing came to mind when watching Jota trying to catch his breath as Milner waited to take a corner both men had combined to win, one bound for the head of Evans. It was his interview after the Atalanta game in which he scored a hat-trick, and the response to being asked whether he was “playing the best football” of his career.

“Well, I’m playing in the best team in my career so far, that’s for sure,” came a thought-provoking and mindful reply. It begged more questions: how many other players are capable of scaling up from teams in the upper or mid-table to the genuine elite? And why do some teams view such signings as beneath them? Liverpool’s front line was comprised of players purchased from Wolves, Southampton and Hoffenheim, who impressed at a certain level and showed enough to suggest they could be elevated even higher in a suitable system with world-class coaching. It is a credit to their scouting and recruitment team – but an equally damning indictment on those who still insist on shopping at Waitrose when there are bargains to be found at Asda.

 

12) Rodgers was at pains to balance the “narrative” of Liverpool battling injuries by presenting his own list of Leicester absentees after the match. Only the most stubborn fool would deny that Wilfred Ndidi, Caglar Soyuncu, Ricardo Pereira and Timothy Castagne might have made a difference.

But his worst performers were all bona fide regulars. Evans was abysmal, his baffling own goal almost compounded with another in the second half while his distribution was poor. Youri Tielemans was sloppy in possession, more rushed than usual by Liverpool’s midfield. Barnes remains so very wasteful. James Maddison only partially atoned for an anonymous first half with his improvement in the second. Rodgers would have had more of a point if it was the stand-ins letting him down.

 

13) Schmeichel at least gave a wonderful account of himself with some admirable resistance. The two keepers put in antithetical but excellent performances: Alisson the serene last line of defence and his opposite number more of a Boromir in the face of constant onslaught. His nine saves featured some fine athleticism and acrobatics but also sublime decision-making. It feels as though Schmeichel is never really considered among the league’s best players in his position but he absolutely is.

 

14) It seems telling that Liverpool committed 15 fouls spread across nine players and received no bookings, while Leicester managed six between four and had both Justin and Nampalys Mendy yellow carded. The tactical foul ground has been tread countless times before with regards to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham and the many supposedly nefarious teams that came before them but Klopp has recognised the usefulness of the art too.

Liverpool have committed 91 fouls to Leicester’s 88 this season. Yet the former have received seven bookings – the fewest in the Premier League this season – to the latter’s 21 yellow cards, which is the division’s most. So many prospective Leicester moves were countered at the source with a simple trip or obstruction. So few Liverpool attacks were stopped with such nous at any point.

 

15) Andy Robertson deserves a mention: he was brilliant. So too was Mane, who is at a similar stage of baffling under-appreciation as Mo Salah. These are talents who have achieved so much and make it look so easy that they risk it being taken for granted.

Yet the leader in those stakes for this game must be Curtis Jones, slotting seamlessly into the country’s best team despite not exiting his teenage years for another couple of months. To not look even vaguely out of place in this side, helping fill the voids left by Jordan Henderson, Thiago and even Fabinho, is quite something. Let’s call this a defeat for John Barnes and a resounding victory for the alien concept of being patient with a young player, letting any opportunities present themselves and watching him grasp them with maturity and confidence. Why loan him out to start 25 games at West Brom when he can be meticulously coached in Liverpool’s exact style, playing a little less but learning exponentially more?

 

16) Then there’s Firmino, whose goal will only placate the critics for so long. He has looked tired at times, sloppy in possession and tired out of it. The emergence of Jota only forced the issue further; those debates would have been undermined completely if Divock Origi was the only alternative. But this was much closer to the Firmino of years gone by. His goal was a more quantifiable measure of his impact – and particularly welcome after hitting the post when it seemed as though he would never score again – yet the things that really define him were all there: the link-up play, the insatiable work-rate, the skill.

One of the inevitabilities of team sport is the constant demand to improve and refine. When a team emerges that is so clearly operating at a much higher level than anyone else it emphasises how silly it is: they could not possibly be doing so well if any of their composite parts was not performing to their manager’s standard. Each of us are guilty of being swept away by the current of popular opinion at times. Bear with me, but it might be that Klopp has a better idea of what

Matt Stead

 

The post 16 Conclusions: Liverpool 3-0 Leicester appeared first on Football News -.

Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was relieved to seal a first home league win of the season as West Brom boss Slaven Bilic left Old Trafford bemused by the officiating.

Having only picked up one point from their opening four matches at Old Trafford, the video assistant referee’s intervention played a key role in Saturday’s hard-fought 1-0 win against the promoted Baggies.

Referee David Coote awarded West Brom a penalty early in the second half, only to overturn the decision after watching back Bruno Fernandes’ challenge on Conor Gallagher on the advice of the VAR.

The Portuguese midfielder was soon involved in penalty drama at the other end, with man-of-the-match Sam Johnstone saving the spot-kick awarded after Darnell Furlong handled.

But VAR Peter Bankes ordered a retake after the West Brom goalkeeper strayed off his line, with Fernandes finding the net to seal a narrow 1-0 win.

“We’re delighted to get three points, of course,” United boss Solskjaer said. “First win in league this season and a clean sheet, so we’re happy with that.

“Very tight calls and I think he probably made two right decisions with the pens… three right decisions because Sam was off the line.

“We know we can play better than this and we certainly could’ve made it more comfortable if we’d taken our chances early on.

“When you don’t do that it’s always an edge to the game and we saw it edgy towards the end.

“It was important to get that win, you could see that. We didn’t have composure or quality to get the second goal that would have made it more comfortable.”


READ MORE: How bad would Man Utd be without Bruno Fernandes?


United fell well short of their performance in the 3-1 triumph at Everton before the international break and Solskjaer knows there is plenty of work to do.

“It’s definitely not a step forward performance-wise,” the United boss said.

“We played really well against Everton last time and that was a performance I was really happy with.

“This one is way below par but we got the first win and sometimes the three points are more important than the performance, even though we know to get points and to move up the table we have to play better.

“After an international break it’s never easy because we’ve not really had time to prepare for the game.”

The post Solskjaer admits Man Utd were ‘way below par’ in nervy win appeared first on Football News -.

Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Liverpool will need to pay at least €30 million (£26.7m) if they want to sign young Ajax defender Perr Schuurs, according to reports.

The Reds were first linked with the 20-year-old at the start of November following injuries to several defenders.

Virgil Van Dijk is set to miss the rest of this campaign, while Fabinho is only just back in training.


READ: Klopp refuses to rule out Salah after positive coronavirus test


Schuurs emerged as a target for Reds officials to improve their centre back options for the future.

According to Italian source Sempre Milan (via the Liverpool Echo), Ajax have now told Liverpool their asking price.

The €30 million fee being cited is good considering the player’s potential.

Schuurs has already been likened to Juventus wonderkid Matthijs De Ligt due to his playing style and size.

The report states that Liverpool face competition from Italian side AC Milan for the player’s signature.

Schuurs first came to prominence during the 2019/20 campaign, when he played in the Champions League for the Dutch club.

He’s since played against Liverpool in this season’s competition, which the Reds won 1-0.

Schuurs was impressive during that match and didn’t seem to be overwhelmed by Liverpool’s front three.

He is a calming presence at centre back, similar in a way to Van Dijk.

Standing at 6ft 3in, Schuurs is also a threat from set pieces.

Schuurs could be brought in to provide boss Jurgen Klopp with extra options.

The German has suffered since selling Dejan Lovren in the summer.

Injuries to Van Dijk, Fabinho and Joe Gomez mean they are currently relying on the inexperienced Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.

Joel Matip is their only senior centre back, which could cost them in their next few games.

Schuurs is one potential signing alongside Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig.

The post Ajax set asking price for Liverpool defensive target Schuurs appeared first on Football News -.

Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Mikel Arteta has been full of praise for Marcelo Bielsa ahead of this weekend’s game at Elland Road between Leeds and Arsenal.

Bielsa has overhauled the playing style and ideology at Leeds United. He has done a great job as he spearheaded the Whites’ return to the Premier League.

Leeds have made a good impression so far in the top flight. They have been involved in entertaining games against Liverpool and Manchester City.


The Treble: Jose-Pep power shift, Man Utd to toil, Anfield thriller


They have picked up victories over Fulham, Sheffield United and Aston Villa. But they have recently lost heavily to Leicester City and Crystal Palace.

Arsenal meanwhile have made an inconsistent start to the new season. They sit eleventh, with four wins and four defeats from the opening eight league games.

Last time out they fell to a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa at the Emirates. Arteta and his team will be desperate to bounce back with a win over Leeds on Sunday.

Arteta recently told the Daily Mail that Pep Guardiola recently informed him about the great qualities Bielsa possesses as a coach:

“All positive and incredible things.

“First his work rate, the number of hours that he puts in, the details, and the people around him to support, help and always evolve his ideas, and then who he is as a person. And that’s all really well respected by everybody that works alongside him.

“He has a unique way of training, of putting things together, and making a team play the way that every single player believes in what they have to do, and even if he’s difficult and challenging they still do it.

“I admire him he’s had a really challenging career, but what he’s managed to do – without winning many many trophies – but put a stamp on the football world is a big merit to him.”

Just about all of the greatest uncapped Premier League players ever were pursued by England. And only four of them were English.

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Posted in EPL, FA Premier League

Scotland missed out on Nations League promotion after falling to a 1-0 defeat in Israel.

Manor Solomon scored on the counter-attack a minute before half-time to allow the Czech Republic to leapfrog Scotland and take top spot in Group B2 following their win over Slovakia.

Scotland had enjoyed a dangerous spell before the goal and looked threatening immediately after the break. But some attacking-minded substitutions failed to transmit into chances as Israel held on.


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Steve Clarke’s side had come into November four points clear at the top but consecutive defeats cost them.

Winning the group would have put Scotland in the running for two World Cup play-off places, if needed.

Promotion to the top tier would also have enhanced chances of making Euro 2024.

Clarke picked the same team that started in Scotland’s Euro 2020 play-off win over Serbia last week.

Ryan Christie hit a free-kick into the wall after being fouled in the act of shooting but there was little else in the way of threats at either end in the opening 15 minutes.

Israel got the first shot on target when Sun Menachem got in behind Stephen O’Donnell. He met a deep cross but shot straight at David Marshall from a tight angle.

Scotland began to exert some pressure and created two good chances around the half-hour mark.

Kieran Tierney played a penetrating ball forward and sharp passes from John McGinn and Ryan Jack set up O’Donnell, but the wing-back drove the ball across the face of goal.

Scott McTominay soon whipped in an excellent cross but Ofir Marciano pushed over a backward header from his former Hibernian team-mate McGinn.

Christie then under-hit a lay-off to McGinn after a long ball put Israel in trouble and Scotland had a let-off when Eran Zahavi took a heavy touch as he checked to shoot.

Callum McGregor’s cutback evaded a Scotland shirt before Lyndon Dykes had a header saved, but the visitors were soon caught on the breakaway.

The skilful Solomon was left one-on-one with McTominay, turned him on the outside and fired inside the far post.

Zahavi and Shon Weissman came close for Israel in the opening stages of the second half but Scotland were attacking with purpose. McGinn had two shots diverted for corners and Declan Gallagher headed over from seven yards after getting a clear run at Christie’s delivery.

Christie then brilliantly sent O’Donnell away on a break but Marciano got down well to save the Motherwell man’s powerful strike.

Clarke made a double switch on the hour mark, sending on strikers Leigh Griffiths and Oli McBurnie for McGinn and Dykes.

But, as Israel sat deeper, the openings dried up for Scotland and Clarke made two more changes in the 73rd minute. Scott McKenna replaced Gallagher in a straight swap and winger Oliver Burke came on for O’Donnell to add more attacking threat.

McBurnie soon did well to get a diving header on target from McTominay’s cross but Marciano got down reasonably comfortably.

Burke quickly got some decent crosses in before Marshall kept Scotland’s hopes alive by blocking a shot from Israel substitute Eyal Golasa after a counter-attack.

Chances eventually arrived in the final three minutes but the frustration continued for Scotland.

McKenna headed Andy Robertson’s cross just wide before a long throw fell invitingly for Griffiths but the striker could not get hold of his half-volley and the ball trundled into Marciano’s hands.

If there was any doubt it was not Scotland’s night then it was confirmed when Israel right-back Eli Dasa handled in his box and saw Marciano stop the ball going straight in.

Marciano then parried a Griffiths free-kick six minutes into stoppage-time.

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