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A scoring drought is a striker's worst nightmare: How do you break the curse?

Tue, 23 Apr 2019 12:30:00 GMT

Romelu Lukaku has struggled at times with Man United, enduring two droughts this season of at least six weeks. Fernando Torres was struggling. Having scored 72 goals in his first three seasons at Liverpool, he had found the net just once in the first 10 games of what would turn out to be his final half-season at Anfield, in 2010-11. With Torres' confidence through the floor, his Liverpool manager at the time, Roy Hodgson, tried something unusual to get the goals flowing again for the Spaniard. In training games, according to an interview with former Liverpool defender Daniel Agger a couple of years...

LIVE Transfer Talk: Liverpool move for Lille's Pepe and Leverkusen's Brandt

Mon, 22 Apr 2019 03:18:00 GMT

The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs is closed, but you can click here to review all the deals. Transfer Talk will continue to scour the world's media and set correspondents loose to see what's on the agenda for the summer. TOP STORY: Liverpool move for Pepe and Brandt Liverpool aren't having too many problems up front this season, but they need a reliable backup for Roberto Firmino and have reportedly made a move for Lille striker Nicolas Pepe. TRANSFERS ESPN's step-by-step guide to a transfer Why were Chelsea given a transfer ban? FC Exclusives - Solskjaer eyes five United signings - Barcelona set to sign De Ligt - Herrera to join PSG - Chelsea track Paranaense's Guimaraes - Real's Varane considering future Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton...

Premier League review: Liverpool, City the gold standard as United, Spurs and Arsenal struggle

Mon, 22 Apr 2019 01:17:00 GMT

Nick Miller recaps another wild weekend in the Premier League, as Man United were hammered, Liverpool and Man City kept up their title challenges, and Tottenham and Arsenal lost. Jump to: Jones, Smalling not good enough | Mustafi a liability | Vardy happy again | Rafa doing well | TOTW Ludicrous standard of the weekend March 3, which was 50 days ago, was the last time one of the top two dropped points in the Premier League -- 12 flawless games between them. You have to go back as far as January...

Georginio Wijnaldum, Joel Matip earn top marks as Liverpool handle Cardiff, go top of the table

Sun, 21 Apr 2019 11:17:00 GMT

A Georginio Wijnaldum volley and James Milner penalty gave Liverpool the win they needed to stay ahead of Manchester City in the table. Alexis Nunes and Paul Mariner share their thoughts on Liverpool's win over Cardiff which keeps the Reds on top ahead of Man City's derby match. Liverpool kept their cool in the South Wales heat and eventually wore down plucky Cardiff in a 2-0 victory. The home side were defending valiantly and the Reds had been wasteful in a first half they dominated, but the breakthrough eventually came via a cracker from Georginio Wijnaldum. A late James Milner penalty then made the game safe and sent Liverpool back to the top of the table. Positives The maturity of the side continues to impress. Liverpool's supporters might be nervous, but the players...

Liverpool's incredible title quest now rests in the hands of archrivals Man United

Sun, 21 Apr 2019 11:07:00 GMT

A Georginio Wijnaldum volley and James Milner penalty gave Liverpool the win they needed to stay ahead of Manchester City in the table. Alexis Nunes and Paul Mariner share their thoughts on Liverpool's win over Cardiff which keeps the Reds on top ahead of Man City's derby match. CARDIFF, Wales -- Liverpool have done their bit, but if Jurgen Klopp's team are to end the club's 29-year wait to become champions of England again, they now really need a favour from their biggest rivals. And therein lies the crucial weakness in Liverpool's title ambitions: their hopes and dreams lie in the hands of a listless Manchester United. A team requires many elements to become Premier League champions, and considering Liverpool are on course to end this season with 97 points, there...

'Liverpool' among most popular passwords guessed by hackers in UK

Sun, 21 Apr 2019 01:06:00 GMT

Shaka Hislop wasn't too impressed by Manchester City's win over Tottenham but says they have proven they can hold off Liverpool in the title race. Liverpool may have the best defence in the Premier League this season -- but don't count on them if you want to keep secure in everyday life. The National Cyber Security Centre in the UK conducted its first "cyber survey," which will help inform government policy and give guidance on how to keep your details safe online. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);;js.src='';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); The survey found that "Liverpool" was one of the more popular passwords, with a staggering 280,723 instances of Jurgen Klopp's side being used to prevent unwanted access to...

Power Rankings: Barcelona, Liverpool remain on top; Ajax climb, Juventus fall

Fri, 19 Apr 2019 08:05:00 GMT

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe makes the case that Liverpool's attacking prowess could have the potential to overwhelm Barcelona in the Champions League semis. ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes Tottenham and Ajax will be the tie of the round, after both sides reached the semifinals in dramatic fashion. The ESPN FC panel says Lionel Messi alone makes Barcelona favourites over Liverpool. Are the Reds good enough to stop him? ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes Manchester United got a dose of reality following their three-goal defeat in Barcelona. ESPN FC's Craig Burley credits Ajax for teaching Juventus a footballing lesson over two legs in their Champions League quarterfinal tie. The Champions League semifinalists occupy the top four spots, while Juve's bad week is reflected by their tumble. Plus, Arsenal and Chelsea are in! (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);;js.src='';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV, which airs daily on ESPN+.

Liverpool face tricky task to win at Cardiff, Man United's sole focus is top four

Fri, 19 Apr 2019 12:18:00 GMT

W2W4 previews the weekend's Premier League action by highlighting its most compelling storylines ... Liverpool's task at Cardiff becomes much harder After Liverpool's rather less dramatic European progression, Jurgen Klopp insisted that his selection of Divock Origi ahead of Roberto Firmino in the starting XI had nothing to do with Sunday's Premier League fixture against Cardiff. But it wasn't a significant stretch to wonder if Cardiff's crucial win over Brighton on Tuesday impacted his choices:...

UEFA Champions League final four: Why Barca, Liverpool, Spurs and Ajax will or won't win it all this season

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 08:49:00 GMT

It's a cliche because it's true. With just 270 minutes (plus extra time) left to play, anyone can win the Champions League. Liverpool were in the final just a year ago and Barcelona were the last team not named Real Madrid to actually win it. Ajax and Tottenham look like the longshots but have earned their places by taking down Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Juventus in the past two rounds. Plus, thanks to the fact that the quarterfinal and semifinal draws were made at the...

Liverpool's new 2019-20 pinstripe kit a tribute to Paisley (and Nicol -- sort of)

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 06:25:00 GMT

The pinstripes on the new kit hark back to the 1982-83 campaign, when ESPN's own Steve Nicol made his debut. Liverpool have unveiled their new kit for the 2019-20 season which is very much an echo of the club's glorious past. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);;js.src='';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk'));

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino does the simple things right and that's why he's so important

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 01:23:00 GMT

In simple terms, it was the classic Plan B: a backup striker coming off the bench to get on the end of a teammate's cross and nod home in the closing stages. Except for the fact that Liverpool had already wrapped up their 6-1 aggregate win in the Champions League quarterfinal tie against Porto by the time Roberto Firmino headed goalwards in the 77th minute. And that their substitute centre-forward isn't the classic Plan B at all, but a slender, mobile centre-forward once considered a false No. 9. Firmino...

Premier League has competitive issues with 'big six' but it still tops Europe for excitement

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 01:20:00 GMT

Whatever the outcome of a captivating Premier League title race, the losers will surely go down as the unluckiest runners-up ever. It's unprecedented for any team to top 90 points and not become champions, but that's almost certain to happen this year. Indeed, Liverpool could get to 97 points and still not end their 29-year run without a league title. - W2W4: How will City and Spurs recover after UCL epic? - Ogden: City need to refocus or a historic season could become a failure Manchester...

Liverpool show again they can win 'by any means necessary' to set up a showdown with Barcelona

Wed, 17 Apr 2019 04:06:00 GMT

PORTO, Portugal -- If the apocalypse comes and all life is wiped out, Liverpool will be right there next to the cockroaches. They're the side that won't go away. They're the side that in the space of a year has turned from a reckless teenager into a furrowed-brow 30-something, from a side just as liable to blow teams away as explode into one that wins by any means necessary, grinding out results when you didn't think them possible. -- Mane 9/10, Fabinho 8/10 as Liverpool ease into semifinals A 4-1...

Sadio Mane scores, Fabinho bosses midfield as Liverpool smash Porto to reach UCL semis

Wed, 17 Apr 2019 03:10:00 GMT

PORTO, Portugal -- Liverpool comfortably booked their place in the semifinals after seeing off a spirited early onslaught by hosts Porto and then running away with it to win 4-1 for an aggregate score of 6-1. The win sets up a mouthwatering clash with Barcelona and a reunion with former stars Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho. Positives The front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all got on the scoresheet and look to be hitting peak form at the perfect time.
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Has Liverpool's win over Chelsea swung title momentum away from Man City? PLUS: Humiliation for PSG

Mon, 15 Apr 2019 09:23:00 GMT

After another action-packed weekend in soccer, Gab Marcotti reflects on the big talking points in his latest edition of Monday Musings. Jump to: LFC title charge | Lille thump PSG | Man City march on | Lazio-Milan drama | Man United win ugly | Juve easing up? | Barca take it easy | Dortmund win again | Spurs get rest | Bayern lose Neuer Has the title race momentum swung back to Liverpool? There was a literal slip, by Andy Robertson, but not a metaphorical one, and that's what...

Champions League quarterfinal second legs: Predictions and key battles

Mon, 15 Apr 2019 02:30:00 GMT

Last week's first legs in the four Champions League quarterfinals offered up a contrast of games that all entertained in their own way and, crucially, kept the ties alive into their respective second legs. Can Liverpool hang on at Porto? Will Manchester City thrash Tottenham? We get you ready for the second legs. Jump to: Man City vs. Tottenham Porto vs. Liverpool Van Dijk, left, and Liverpool seem destined for the semifinals. Can Porto stop them? AGGREGATE SCORE: Liverpool lead 2-0 WHEN: Wednesday 4/17, 3 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. BST WHAT WE LEARNED FROM THE FIRST LEG: Porto never...

Weekend numbers: Paul Pogba's best-ever season, Raheem Sterling's magic touch

Sun, 14 Apr 2019 10:30:00 GMT

The race for the 2018-19 Premier League crown promises to go down to the proverbial wire. A Raheem Sterling brace set up Manchester City's 3-1 win over Crystal Palace, Liverpool responded with a thrilling 2-0 defeat of Chelsea at Anfield. Brilliant stuff. Lower down in the table, Manchester United eked out a 2-1 win over West Ham United at Old Trafford to stay in contention for a top four spot.  Meanwhile, across continental Europe, two giants of the game squandered chances to seal their respective...

Premier League weekend review: Mohamed Salah's rocket steels Liverpool

Sun, 14 Apr 2019 05:47:00 GMT

Nick Miller recaps another wild weekend in the Premier League, as Mohamed Salah ensured Liverpool held their nerve, but Chris Hughton's Brighton lost theirs. Jump to: Raheem's brilliance | Ole 'got away with it' | Fredericks the klutz | Bravo ugly Toon | Team of the Week | Saints hit the jackpot | Not so Brighton Goal of the weekend There was a the briefest fraction of a second where Kepa Arrizabalaga might have thought he could get to Mohamed Salah's rocket, but then the ball seemed to swerve...

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane all 9/10 as Liverpool get a big win vs. Chelsea in title chase

Sun, 14 Apr 2019 12:44:00 GMT

ESPN FC's Craig Burley breaks down what Sunday's Premier League results mean for Liverpool and Manchester City in the title race. Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah scored in Liverpool's dominant victory over Chelsea, moving the Reds back ahead of Manchester City. A brilliant second-half display took Liverpool back to the Premier League summit. A Sadio Mane header and a stunner from Mohamed Salah had Anfield bouncing and provided the perfect response to Manchester City's win at Crystal Palace earlier in the day. Positives Jurgen Klopp claimed beforehand that what happened in 2014 would have no bearing on this game, and he was right. The fans might be scarred by the memory of that loss to Chelsea, but the players clearly paid it no heed. This was a performance...

If Liverpool go on to win the Premier League, Salah's goal to beat Chelsea will be the defining strike

Sun, 14 Apr 2019 11:43:00 GMT

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah scored in Liverpool's dominant victory over Chelsea, moving the Reds back ahead of Manchester City. ESPN FC's Craig Burley breaks down what Sunday's Premier League results mean for Liverpool and Manchester City in the title race. LIVERPOOL, England -- There have been some special goals that have gone on to define a title-winning campaign, and only time will tell whether Mohamed Salah's unstoppable left-foot strike for Liverpool against Chelsea earns its place alongside those scored by the likes of Eric Cantona, Sergio Aguero and Robin van Persie during the Premier League era. But on a day that felt like being a momentous one in the race for the title before a ball had even been kicked, Salah's goal, which sealed a 2-0...

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