A selection of Liverpool Football Club-related stories and titbits you may have missed over the past seven days…
James Milner, one of the standout performers in Wednesday’s 5-0 Champions League win over FC Porto, has emerged as the competition’s leading assists provider this term. Despite only making three starts, the experienced midfielder now has six to his name, two clear of fellow Premier League stars Dele Alli and Kevin De Bruyne.
The win prompted a rare social media comment from the club’s principle owner John W. Henry, who last spoke publicly about a match back in April 2016 when Liverpool beat neighbours Everton.
In addition to a brilliant hat-trick by Sadio Mané, the last-16 first leg tie saw Mohamed Salah again on target, taking his tally for the season to 30. Discussing his summer move to Anfield from Roma, Giallorossi sporting director Monchi has told Sky Sport Italia: “In the end, with bonuses, we got ?50 million for him, which is a figure I don’t feel is the best for him right now. It’s still double what their first offer was, and at the time we needed to sell and he already had an agreement with Liverpool, so we couldn’t do anything else. The Neymar and Kylian Mbappe transfers changed the market, but at that moment it was necessary that we sell.”
Former Reds defender Daniel Agger has spoken positively about the impact of new signing Virgil van Dijk. Of his fellow centre-back, the popular Dane told Liverpoolfc.com: “I watched him play before and he is a really strong player. Taking the step from Southampton to Liverpool is not always easy, but it’s impressive how he’s started. He looks like he’s going in and looks like he is in charge. As a defender, as a team, it’s important to have a man like that. It’s still early, but I hope he can bring the best out of those around him at the back.”
With no game this weekend, the first team squad is currently warm-weather training in Marbella and playing an active part for the first time this season is right-back Nathaniel Clyne. The England international is yet to feature during 2017/18 due to a back injury but has finally returned to full-training, prompting manager Jürgen Klopp to tell the official website: “Clyney obviously missed football. He loves it. It was a long time; it’s crazy how long it was and nobody could have imagined that, but it’s good to have him back.”
Liverpool FC has submitted a planning application to Liverpool City Council to transform the old retail store in the Kop into a new fan bar. The application seeks permission to convert the vacant space at Anfield into a bar which will feature live music and large-screen TVs for up to 700 supporters to enjoy from four hours before kick-off each matchday. The planning application is expected to be determined by Liverpool City Council in April 2018.
Bayern Munich have confirmed a number of their participants in the forthcoming charity match with Liverpool FC Legends at Anfield on March 24. Familiar names including Hans-Jörg Butt, Lothar Matthäus, Bixente Lizarazu, Sammy Kuffour, Zé Roberto, Giovane Elber, Luca Toni and Roy Makaay are set to feature in the game. The hosts will have the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler, Luis Garcia, and Dirk Kuyt in their line-up, while recently-retired midfielder Xabi Alonso will play a half for each side.
A youthful Liverpool U23s missed the chance to secure a place in the Premier League Cup knockout stages on Tuesday, losing 1-0 to Bristol City at Ashton Gate. The defeat, courtesy of a deflected Opi Edwards free-kick, means the Reds drop to second in the Group G standings but they will still progress if they avoid defeat to Stoke City in their last fixture in the group on February 26. LFC U23s: Kelleher, Masterson, Lewis, Clayton, Gallacher, Dixon-Bonner (Tagseth 89′), Camacho, Kane, Gomes (Millar 78′), Jones, Dhanda.
Liverpool U18s also tasted defeat in their latest outing of the season on Saturday morning. The youngsters were beaten 3-1 by Everton with the damage being done in the first half as the Toffees scored three times to make Glen McAuley’s consolation effort immaterial. LFC U18s: Grabara, N. Williams, Lewis, R. Williams, Boyes, Dixon-Bonner (Larouci 76′), Millar, Tagseth (Brookwell 46′), McAuley, Jones, Camacho (Clarkson 61′).
Gerrard’s team are next in action on Wednesday when they face Manchester United in the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League. The 3 o’clock kick-off will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport 2 and the winner will face either Inter Milan or Manchester City in the quarter finals.
U18s striker Okera Simmonds has joined Blackburn Rovers in a permanent transfer following a successful trial spell with the League One club. The youngster joined the Academy at U13 level and will become part of Blackburn’s U23 squad.
Liverpool Ladies made it a trio of defeats on Sunday when they were comprehensively beaten 4-0 by Manchester City Women in the FA Women’s Super League 1. The result hoists City back above Chelsea to the top of the league standings, while the female Reds are fourth. LFC Ladies: Flaherty, Murray, Turner (Johnson 65′), Ingle, Greenwood, Longhurst (Roberts 86′), Harris (Babajide 65′), Coombs, Weir, England, Clarke.
Bethany England has been named the Women’s Super League 1 Player of the Month for January. The No.11 enjoyed a brilliant start to 2018 by netting six goals in two matches.
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