Date: 22nd August 2017 at 6:30pm
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A selection of Liverpool Football Club-related stories and titbits you may have missed over the past seven days…

Joe Gomez, who made his first Premier League start since September 2015 on Saturday, has revealed the part manager Jürgen Klopp’s half-time team talk played in the 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Gomez told the official website: “[The boss] knows how to get us going and keeps us positive – ‘come on, keep playing’. We knew we had to keep our heads and not get frustrated, keep moving it and [the goal] would come. Eventually, it did. Then it was about us defending and seeing it out. It was very tough. They have great threats up front and their attacking force is very strong. We had to be strong. It was good for us to get the goal in the end and then see it out.”

Weekend debutant Andrew Robertson has labelled making his competitive Reds bow ‘different class’. “It was great,” commented the summer acquisition from Hull City to Liverpoolfc.com. “When I got told I was getting the nod and then you start thinking about playing at Anfield and in front of the fans – you can’t quite imagine it until you’re out there but it was different class. At times they [the fans] were frustrated but so were we and it was important we stuck together, which we did.”

While on the subject of the left-back, he has been named in a 27-man Scotland squad to play World Cup qualifiers away in Lithuania and at home to Malta. The Scots, who are currently fourth in Group F behind England, Slovakia and Slovenia, meet Lithuania on Friday September 1 and host Malta three days later.

The hosting of Palace was extra significant for being the first match staged at Anfield since the stadium’s pitch was relaid over the summer. Explaining the work undertaken, in the matchday programme, grounds manager Dave Roberts said: “The renovation was a seven-week build programme which allowed us to have a five-week growing-in period to get the surface ready for the game. It’s a major piece of work which the whole team are really excited about. As part of the improvements, over 40,000km of artificial grass fibres have been stitched into the layers of sand beneath the pitch, which is composed of 97 per cent organic grass and three per cent artificial grass fibres. The completed pitch now features new irrigation and drainage systems. For the first time we will be able to water the entire pitch in about three minutes.”

Match winner Sadio Mané is likely to attract interest from Europe’s elite if he continues his current goal scoring exploits, so says former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher. Speaking on Monday Night Football, the defender-turned-pundit remarked: “You see the goals that he’s got and his goals record for a wide player is phenomenal since he’s come to the club. All the other players on the list are top strikers in the Premier League. For Mane to be there, it shows his impact… If he carries on the way he is going, the top clubs around Europe will be looking at him because he has been a revelation since he came in.”

Champions League play-off opponents Hoffenheim warmed up for Wednesday’s second leg with a 1-0 home victory over Werder Bremen on Saturday. Andrej Kramarić, who missed a penalty as Liverpool won the first leg 2-1 last Tuesday, scored the only goal of the game in the 84th minute.

Speaking via Bild (translation needed), Hoffenheim midfielder Kerem Demirbay believes his side can overturn the deficit at Anfield. “We’re not Liverpool but we can go there with our chests out and play completely freely,” commented the 24-year-old. “We’re good enough to survive there and score at least two goals. There’s no atmosphere like there is at Anfield. I’m definitely not intimidated. On the contrary, I find it amazing when there`s such a feeling in a stadium. It`s absolutely inspiring. We want to win the game but it’s an extra attraction to write our own success story. It’s a great time to write history.”

Liverpool U23s recorded a 3-0 victory over Sunderland in their first home fixture of the new Premier League 2 campaign at Prenton Park on Sunday. Two goals from Matty Virtue and a Rhian Brewster strike made it six points from six for Neil Critchley’s side. The match also featured Danny Ings getting a further 70 minutes under his belt after two seasons decimated by injury. LFC U23s: Grabara, Whelan, Hart, Phillips, Jones, Williams, Kent (Brewster 45′), Grujic (Virtue 45′), Ings (Dhanda 70′), Ejaria, Woodburn.

Critchley’s U23s have been drawn alongside Stoke City, Charlton Athletic and Bristol City in Group G of this season’s Premier League Cup. The Reds will face each side twice, with the top two teams in the group progressing to the last 16 knockout stage. Dates and times of the games are yet to be announced.

There was also success for the U18s over the weekend as Blackburn Rovers were overcome 3-2 at the Kirkby Academy on Saturday. Despite deservedly leading 2-0 and 3-1, through goals from Edvard Tagseth, Liam Coyle and Glen McAuley, the junior Reds were relieved to hear the final whistle after Blackburn twice hit the post in their pursuit of a late equaliser. LFC U18s: Atherton, Hunter, Lewis, R Williams, Glennon, Coyle, Sharif (Millar, 59′), Tagseth (Camacho, 80′), McAuley (Simmonds, 71′), Jones, Longstaff.

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