A selection of Liverpool Football Club-related stories and titbits you may have missed over the past seven days…
Victory over Arsenal on Saturday evening put Liverpool back into the top four and midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who wrapped the game up in stoppage time, is keen to stay there. “We have to make sure at the end of the season we are there,” remarked the Dutchman in quotes published by the Liverpool ECHO. “Now it is good for the confidence but if we are going to do it like we played before: playing well and then playing bad again then it is going to be tough for us to come in the top four. We have to have a good run and be confident we can finish in one of the spots.”
Stand-in captain James Milner was quick to voice his frustration that the Reds don’t replicate such impressive showings more regularly against the top flight’s lesser sides. “We all know how good we are but we have to do it on a more consistent basis,” commented the versatile former Manchester City man to Liverpoolfc.com. “We just need to keep building on that and keep improving but the way we played against a very strong team and dominated, especially the first half, was brilliant and shows how good we are. We just need to keep going on that note.”
Sadio Mané’s first goal in the win over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield has been voted as Liverpool’s Goal of the Month for February. The strike, which beat the Senegalese star’s second goal in the same game, picked up 37% of the total votes cast in a poll conducted by the official website. Sheyi Ojo’s Kop-end curler for the U23s, also against Spurs, finished third.
Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino have both been named in a 23-man Brazil squad to face Uruguay and Paraguay in 2018 World Cup qualifiers later this month. The matches take place on Thursday March 23 and Tuesday March 28 respectively with Brazil currently leading the standings.
Accounts filed at Companies House for the 12 months up to May 31 2016 show Liverpool’s wage bill rocketed by 25% from the year previous and passed the £200million mark for a first time in the process. The Reds shelled out £208,258,000 on salaries for players and staff – more than Premier League rivals Manchester City (£198m) and Arsenal (£195m). The acquisition of Jurgen Klopp and nine new first-team players, including high-earners Firmino, James Milner and Christian Benteke, contributed heavily.
Reds outcast Mamadou Sakho has been earning praise after helping loan club Crystal Palace to a second consecutive victory and clean sheet on Saturday. “You’re slightly concerned when you take a player in the January window who’s been frozen out,” Eagles boss Sam Allardyce admitted in the Guardian after a 2-0 win at West Bromwich Albion. “But then again once you’ve got him fit – and we got him fit really quickly with the way he applied himself – we knew that you can’t play that many games for Liverpool and be a bad player. Certainly the lift he’s given us defensively in the two games he’s played has been exceptionally good.”
Marko Grujić made his first appearance for Liverpool since November as the U23s thrashed Reading 5-1 on Monday evening. The highlight of the comfortable Premier League 2 victory was a double for 16-year-old forward Rhian Brewster. Joe Gomez opened the scoring at Adams Park, with Ben Woodburn and Nathaniel Phillips also on target. LFC U23s: Grabara, Alexander-Arnold, Randall, N. Phillips, Gomez, Stewart, Wilson, Woodburn, Brewster (T. Gomes, 75′), Grujic (Virtue, 60′), Ojo.
Earlier this week, the impressive Brewster had explained why he swapped Chelsea for Liverpool back in 2015. The starlet told the club’s official website: “I was at Chelsea from the age of seven to 14 but then I told them I wanted to look at my options because I didn’t see a pathway to become a first-team player there. There were a few clubs interested but once I knew Liverpool were one of them it was an easy choice? All I want to do is one day play for Liverpool’s first team. I will do all I can to try and make that happen, so if that means doing extra work in training I will do it. If it means not going out with my friends, eating well and working hard every day, that has to be done and I will do it.”
Liverpool U18s claimed an impressive 2-0 victory over Manchester City at the Academy on Saturday afternoon. Goals in either half from Liam Millar and Glen McAuley secured the result for Neil Critchley`s side, who had lost their previous two encounters with the Citizens. LFC U18s: Kelleher, N Williams, Driscoll-Glennon, Masterson, Johnston, Coyle, Simmonds (Adekanye, 66′), Sharif, McAuley, A Lewis, Millar.
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