Aaron Ramsdale was on stunning form in goal for Sheffield United but Liverpool eventually ended their Premier League slump with a second-half strike by Curtis Jones and an own-goal by Kean Bryan
And that concludes Super Sunday. Surely, Sky are going to let Graeme, Roy and Jimmy Floyd go home soon? Thanks as always for reading and emailing, and why not sign up for The Fiver while you are here? Bye for now.
Chris Wilder speaks: “I think you’ve got to be at your best to beat Liverpool ... still one of the top sides in England, in Europe ... you have to be on top of your form, and at the moment, we’re not. Aaron’s kept us in the game first-half ... but if a team like us is going to get a result against Liverpool, your goalkeeper’s got to play well.
“Another goal that goes with a catalogue of incredibly poor goals ... individual mistakes ... a mistimed tackle that led to the first goal. And we’ve got enough bodies around the ball for the second goal to cut that out, and obviously it’s a deflection, and you’re 2-0 down against some top players, and it turns into a long 20 or 25 minutes.
Jürgen Klopp has a chat: “The plan [at half-time] was to keep going, do the same stuff again, and Sheffield United, in the moments we played exactly like we wanted to play, they couldn’t deal with us, and we arrived pretty much alone in front of the goalie. But Ramsdale played an incredible game, made a few outstanding saves ... when you know that Sheffield United lost a lot of games here, but all by the smallest margin you can get, it’s clear these games stay exciting until the end. First-half, we should have scored three times, I think. Then we scored the two goals, and I think Robbo [Andy Robertson] could have had a hat-trick tonight, pretty much, so that just shows that how we created was really good, and the finishing was in the end good enough for today, but we know we can improve that still.
“I get it 100 per cent that people ... that we get criticised ... but it’s just about the performance that makes it so tricky. We can’t fight like other teams, just standing deep, let them come, and then try to set a counterattack, that’s not how we can get back on track, we have to be dominant, and deal with the situation, and deal with the disappointments in a game, the frustration in a game that you miss a chance ... in other games we maybe would have reacted differently ... but tonight we stayed on track, kept playing, and scored in the right moment and that always helps.
Richard Jolly was our man on the scene at Bramall Lane this evening - read his match report here:
He was very good indeed.
Curtis Jones, who scored Liverpool’s first goal just after half-time, speaks: “It’s been a difficult time for myself and the rest of the team but I’m happy that I got on the scoresheet ... I’d like to take this time to say that this goal is for Ali’s dad actually - may he rest in peace, and if Ali sees this, this is for you, bro.”
“He’s a strong lad, a big part of the team, he’s not here today but we miss him for sure, and I’d like to dedicate my goal to him, his dad, and the rest of his family.
Job done for Liverpool. That became a convincing display by Klopp’s men - and Aaron Ramsdale was the only thing that stopped them from being three or four goals up by half-time. Alexander-Arnold was arguably the man of the match - he seemed to be everywhere. Mané was also excellent - the pick of Liverpool’s front three - even if it was Firmino who forced in the second goal. Kabak had a couple of worrying moments in defence - especially the own-goal in the first half that was ruled out for offside, by inches, against McBurnie.
Sheffield United put up a good fight - Wilder admitted before the match that they are playing for pride at this stage - but Liverpool’s superior quality always looked likely to bring all three points.
87 min: Mané takes on Ampadu and beats him fair and square. Ampadu slides in clumsily and gets nowhere near the ball, but Mané stays on his feet. The co-commentator consequently nominates Mané for the Nobel Peace Prize. Into the final two minutes and Klopp’s men have this wrapped up.
83 min: Keïta and Wijnaldum combine neatly in midfield, and a ball is slid up towards Mané, who can’t get on the end of it.
Stat attack: That own-goal by Bryan was Liverpool’s 7,000th top-flight goal.
79 min: Salah just wide! Jones releases Robertson on the left, Robertson pings a low cross across goal, and Salah meets it at the far post but can’t turn it into the net, succeeding only in sending his effort behind from a tight angle. Fit-again Naby Keïta comes on for Liverpool, Billy Sharp comes on for the Blades. With the amount of attacking that Robertson and Alexander-Arnold have done from the full-back positions, this almost looks like the dominant Liverpool of last season.
78 min: Robertson gets in on the attacking action again - Salah floats a cross over and the Scotland international tries to get plenty of purchase on a header, but mistimes it and sends it into the turf. Liverpool are in control of this, even if they look less than commanding in defence.
75 min: Andy Robertson, who has been outshone tonight in the battle of the Liverpool full-backs, slams a shot over the crossbar from an angle. James Milner comes on, for Thiago Silva.
73 min: Seems like Firmino’s strike will be doing down as a Kean Bryan OG.
70 min: For those wondering about Ben Davies, it appears from sources close to the story (Twitter) that he has a fitness issue, which is why he’s not in the squad. Admittedly, there is no mention of that in Liverpool’s team news story on their website, but that’s what I am hearing.
Nice interplay from Mané and Firmino on the edge of the box after Jones is also involved earlier in the move. Firmino runs into the penalty area, and despite being surrounded by defenders, gets his shot away. The ball balloons up off Kean Bryan’s leg and over the helpless Ramsdale, who had already started to dive to his right, and into the net. Firmino looks happy and relieved, as well he might, after missing a much more straightforward chance in the first half. Mané, along with Alexander-Arnold, has been excellent tonight, by the way. He’s been a real handful.
62 min: Kabak allows McBurnie a run at goal from the right, but after initially being caught out, the defender recovers very well to prod the ball out for a Sheffield United corner. Adrián half-punches the corner clear, and Norwood tries a volley from the edge of the box, but it flies wide.
61 min: Peter Oh emails: “Maybe it says something about the influence of VAR, and Liverpool’s woes and poor goalscoring form of late, but when Jones beautifully rifled the ball into the net I had no initial reaction, assuming that the goal wouldn’t count because of an offside flag, a handball from eight seconds earlier, or a piano falling from the sky.”
57 min: McBurnie heads wide for the hosts! It’s a stunning curling cross from Norwood after a good build-up, and McBurnie has a free header at the near post. He surely has to hit the target, at least, but gets too much on it, and sends his header well wide of the post. Poor stuff (the finish, at least - the move leading up to it was excellent).
55 min: Guess who just had a shot wide for Liverpool? Yep, Alexander-Arnold. He appeals a corner, too, but doesn’t get it. Wilder now shuffles his pack in response to Liverpool’s opening goal: Jagielka off, Ben Osborne on. McGoldrick off, Oli Burke on in attack.
53 min: Disallowed goal! Alexander-Arnold creates another chance, and the ball is touched through to Mané, who finishes smartly, but he was just offside.
52 min: TAA is again in the thick of the action. He floats a cultured cross over for Jones to head goalwards, but this effort a comfortable save for Ramsdale.
Alexander-Arnold chases to the touch line, stretches to cut the ball back with his right foot, and it’s half-cleared to Curtis Jones, who calmly strokes the ball into the far bottom corner. Sheffield United appeal for a goal kick, but a VAR check confirms that Alexander-Arnold managed to keep the ball in play. It’s a goal! The Liverpool right-back has had an exceptional game so far, that was really positive play after a good build-up by Klopp’s men.
Start your engines.
Luke Jones emails: “For anyone who wonders if injuries are hurting Liverpool, watch the non-goal Kabak scored at 36 minutes. It’s hard to imagine Alisson and Van Dijk conspiring to kick that ball into their own net.”
“I don’t know if you’re aware of the fact that Klopp was made manager of Mainz 05 on Feb 27th, 2001 and was on the sideline as manager for the very first time exactly 20 years ago today,” writes Mat from Brighton. “The circumstances can only be described as typical for Klopp - he was their fourth manager in 10 months, and was playing for them until he was appointed; the move was so surprising that most people thought it was a joke. But the results were spectacular, he won five of his first six games and took Mainz from the relegation zone to safety. The rest, as they say, is history.”
Lovely stuff. Thanks Mat.
Aaron Ramsdale, the Sheffield United goalkeeper, is MOTM after 45 minutes. He has been busy, and has not put a foot, or indeed a hand, wrong so far. Liverpool have played some nice enough stuff, and Firmino really should have put away that one-on-one opportunity. Liverpool’s transfer deadline day signing Ozan Kabak put through his own net, only to be greatly relieved to see the flag go up for offside against McBurnie. It’s been lively, with both teams going for it, and I’ll be back for more in a few minutes. See you soon.
43 min: Another Sheffield United set-piece delivery causes a certain amount of confusion in the Liverpool area. McGoldrick fashions a header goalwards, but the visitors get rid of it. Liverpool have had the best chances but they don’t look overly secure at the back, as was widely expected.
39 min: Georginio Wijnaldum hammers a shot goalwards, advancing forward for the first time, and Ramsdale saves superbly! The ball then breaks to Firmino, who has a good opportunity to score from close ranger albeit from an angle, but he tries to square it for Mané instead, but it’s a poor option. Ampadu is in position and able to intercept and clear.
36 min: Whoops! A hopeful ball is hooked into the Liverpool area from the left. McBurnie tries to run on to it, but he is just offside. Kabak doesn’t know that, and runs back to try and deal with it. He succeeds only in deflecting the ball past his own goalie and into the net. The score stays at 0-0, as McBurnie was inches offside, but that could have been embarrassing. Seconds later and it’s McGoldrick’s turn to be caught just offside.
31 min: Liverpool are getting closer and closer. Mané makes a nuisance of himself again on the edge of the box - the Blades win it back, but then only half-clear it to Alexander-Arnold lurking on the right. He cuts smartly inside his marker Enda Stevens, and cracks a powerful shot which is flying into the top corner - until Ramsdale sticks out a strong hand and deflects it over. Is the keeper going to have one of those nights? Are Liverpool, come to that?
29 min: Liverpool attack again. Salah finds a route through on the right. Jagielka covers, but can’t stop Salah escaping to hit a side-footed shot from close range, but Ramsdale (yet again) is lively and alert and lunges off his line to make a save.
24 min: Thiago fouls McBurnie, and Sheffield United have a free-kick in a handy spot. It’s taken by Fleck, but no one can get on the end of it, and Mané manages to run it the ball out of defence from deep in the corner. Liverpool stream forward on the counterattack, and when a searching ball is sent into the Sheffield United area, it’s Fleck who has managed to sprint back to provide defensive cover, and pulls off an acrobatic clearance. McBurnie then has a half-chance at the other end, but his shot is blocked.
22 min: Salah, near the right corner flag as Liverpool attack, feeds Alexander-Arnold who bends a brilliant first-time cross deep to the far post. Curtis Jones tries to get on the end of it, and just about does, but he can’t quite control it and Ramsdale rushes off his line again to intercept.
19 min: Mané digs out a good diagonal pass from a central position, looking for the bending run of Firmino, but Ramsdale is alive to the danger and comes to smother the ball. Defences on top so far, aside from that one missed opportunity by Firmino.
17 min: Now Sheffield United have a go, and McBurnie tees up McGoldrick for a deflected shot, which Adrián rather unconvincingly beats out for a corner.
15 min: Mané makes a dart on the left as Liverpool keep possession near the Sheffield United penalty area. His pass out wide for Robertson is overhit, but Robertson manages to win a corner, which comes to nothing.
10 min: Firmino nearly puts Liverpool ahead! A yawning gap opens up in the middle of the Blades’ defence after Mané and Ampadu challenge for a bouncing ball. Firmino bursts through, one on one, and advances into the area, but Ramsdale comes to meet him and spreads himself well, getting down low to save the shot. Firmino should, in truth, have buried that.
7 min: Liverpool’s Andy Robertson goes haring down the left, chasing a long ball, and Sheffield United almost get in a terrible mess with Ramsdale coming out of his area to try and tidy it up and almost tackling his own teammate. The danger passes, though, as Ramsdale manages to clear.
5 min: Phillips gives away a free-kick this time, needlessly challenging McGoldrick from behind. It’s a set-piece for the hosts in a dangerous area. Sheffield United’s Oliver Norwood swings the free-kick in ... and McGoldrick forces a save by Adrián with a header at the far post! He may have been just offside anyway, but a bright start for the Blades.
3 min: Both teams are feeling their way into the match. Nat Phillips wins a free-kick while going for a clearing header. Liverpool have possession, and Trent Alexander-Arnold sprays a glrorious crossfield pass from right to left. But no clear chance to speak of for either team - yet.
Let battle commence.
Tonight’s Liverpool keeper, Adrián, has conceded 10 goals in his two Premier League games this season. Which will give Wilder’s men some hope - added to the much-mentioned stat about all the different centre-back pairings that Klopp has used, 18 in all competitions.
Kick-off is a mere five minutes away.
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Jürgen Klopp is asked about the centre-half pairing: “We have to change the game plan, because it’s a different team ... we had four sessions to train on all the things we think is necessary ... it must be enough ... First and foremost we have to defend ... McBurnie and McGoldrick are both physical, strong players. It is always tough against Sheffield United.”
Chris Wilder speaks: “It’s a huge challenge ahead of us [against Liverpool], but one we’re looking forward to and enjoying ... the team has had the right attitude, all the way through ... even the most optimistic of Sheffield United fans will say it’s going to be a huge challenge to get the results [to stay up]. For me, individual, team, club pride is always at stake.”
Thanks for all your emails.
“Liverpool have got to change this wingbacks with rocket-packs, diagonal zingers into the box thing they do,” writes Simon. “It’s read by everyone and only works if mischief is created. The attackers don’t seem to latch on to these balls with great regularity anymore, or worse, other teams deal with it. Liverpool’s issue is attacking creativity rather than defensive despair.”
If you missed Keane v Redknapp on Spurs earlier, check it out, it was brilliant:
Roy Keane v Jamie Redknapp
Things have got heated already on Super Sunday as the pair argue over Tottenham's form and hopes going forward.
Watch live now on Sky Sports PLpic.twitter.com/NH8agUdJM2
David Hytner’s report from Chelsea nil Manchester United nil is here:
Over on Sky Sports they are discussing a penalty claim for Manchester United against Chelsea in that 0-0 draw.
“I don’t like players who chase down referees,” smiles Roy Keane. “You’ve got to give them a bit of breathing space.”
McGoldrick & McBurnie up top.
Here's how the Bladesmen line-up for tonight's game against Liverpool.#SHULIV
Two changes for the hosts, with Oliver Norwood and David McGoldrick coming back into the team. Liverpool’s first-choice goalie, Alisson, is absent following the death of his father. Adrián starts in goal, with Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak forming the central defensive partnership, and a front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané.
Sheff Utd: Ramsdale, Ampadu, Jagielka, Bryan, Baldock, Norwood, Lundstram, Fleck, Stevens, McBurnie, McGoldrick. Subs: Sharp, Mousset, Lowe, Burke, Foderingham, Osborn, Brewster, Ndiaye, Maguire.
Our line-up to face @SheffieldUnited ⚽️
Alisson is absent on compassionate grounds, while Jota misses out due to illness.
Chelsea and Manchester United have just finished playing out a Stamford Bridge stalemate:
Sad news to begin this evening: the former West Ham manager and England coach, Glenn Roeder, has died aged 65:
Jürgen Klopp has something of a knack for memorable quotes. “Confidence is a small flower and obviously someone has stamped on it,” the Liverpool manager reflected following last month’s home defeat by Burnley. Even in a worst-case scenario, Klopp would not have envisaged that loss against Burnley beginning a sequence of four consecutive home defeats: Brighton, Manchester City and Everton, most painfully from Liverpool’s point of view, have all stormed the Anfield fortress since. If heavy-metal football is what Liverpool play, to borrow another famous Kloppism, they are currently enduring their Some Kind of Monster phase. Their best result of late came on the road, a 2-0 Champions League win against RB Leipzig, so perhaps a trip to rock-bottom Sheffield United is just what they need in order to plant the seeds of a spring revival.
As for Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United, it’s hard to remember a time they were last in full bloom, even if they have improved after a relentlessly miserable run before Christmas. The Premier League’s 20th-placed team have notched up just 11 points and currently sit 12 adrift of 18th-placed Fulham. But this evening’s assignment against the champions does not look nearly as intimidating as it would have done just a few months ago. Team news, pre-match reading and more coming up.Continue reading...
«Многие списали «Ливерпуль» со счетов. Ничего страшного. Несмотря на все наши проблемы, мы недалеко от приятных мест в таблице.
План был в том, чтобы продолжать делать все то же самое. Когда мы играли так, как хотели, они не могли с нами справиться. В первом тайме мы могли забить трижды. Те моменты, что мы создали, были очень хороши. Завершение атак сегодня было достаточно хорошим, но можно прибавить.
Это нормально, что нас критикуют, списывают нас. Все в порядке.
Суть была в том, чтобы показать, что мы все еще на месте. В четверг нам играть с «Челси», мы должны это снова показать. Нам нужно выигрывать матчи, мы знаем это. Без этого не попасть в Лигу чемпионов. Сегодня мы сделали это, мы идем дальше».
О голе после удара Фирмино, записанном как автогол
«Фирмино забил, какая разница? Для него это считается. Мне без разницы, будет ли это учитываться в статистике», – сказал Клопп.
Liverpool have specialised in creating history in recent years but there could be a sense of relief they did not make more. The prospect of a fifth straight league defeat, a fate they had not suffered since 1953, loomed as long as Aaron Ramsdale produced an inspired performance to underpin Sheffield United’s committed one. But once Curtis Jones struck, Liverpool could start to savour the winning feeling and Kean Bryan’s own goal ensured the last match of February brought Liverpool’s first points.
Triumphs against the bottom club are rarely as welcome but the champions have at least revived their quest to qualify for the Champions League. “We needed the points to get in contact with the teams above us so it was very important,” Jürgen Klopp said. “It’s normal that we’re criticised. Plenty of people have written us off; that’s fine. With all the problems we have had we’re still around the exciting places.”Continue reading...
В воротах «красных» играл Адриан Кастильо, так как Алиссон пропускал матч из-за смерти отца.
Испанец вышел на поле впервые с 21 октября и провел свой первый в этом сезоне АПЛ сухой матч.
Статистику Адриана можно изучить здесь.
"Ливерпуль" отреагировал на четыре поражения подряд в Премьер-Лиге, обыграв на выезде последнюю команду дивизиона в лице "Шеффилд Юнайтед" — 0:2.
В стартовый состав "клинков" вернулись Оливер Норвуд и Дэвид Макголдрик, заменив Криса Бэшема и Билли Шарпа.
Главный тренер "красных" Юрген Клопп дал передышку Алиссону, который лишился отца. Место в воротах занял Адриан. Травмированного Джордана Хендерсона заменил Натаниэль Филлипс.
Адриану пришлось вступить в игру уже на пятой минуте, когда Макголдрик бил головой почти в упор, однако испанский голкипер сыграл четко.
Не менее четко сыграл Аарон Рамсдейл, визави Адриана, спустя пять минут отразив удар Роберто Фирмино из пределов штрафной площади.
Дальнейшие события первого тайма превратились в бенефис Рамсейлда, который поочередно не позволил отличиться Кертису Джонсу, Мохамеду Салаху, Тренту Александер-Арнольду и Джорджиньо Вейналдуму.
Хозяева до перерыва огрызнулись срикошетившим дальним ударом Макголдрика, когда "Ливерпуль" выручил Адриан, да автоголом Кабака — но после офсайда.
В начале второго тайма Рамсдейл все-таки капитулировал. Александер-Арнольд выполнил прострел от лицевой линии, а защитник "клинков" неудачно отбросил мяч прямо под удар Джонса — 0:1.
Спустя шесть минут Мане из центра штрафной площади поразил чужие ворота, однако гол не был засчитан из-за офсайда.
И все-таки "Ливерпуль" забил второй гол. На 65-й минуте Фирмино сыграл в стенку с Садио Мане на подступах к штрафной, затем вошел внутрь площадки и нанес удар с рикошетом — 0:2. Правда, этот гол записали как автогол Кина Брайана.
В остатке матча "клинки" уже не сопротивлялись. У "красных" были шансы на третий гол, однако не сложилось.
"Ливерпулю" прервал свою ужасную серию, но обыграл всего лишь худшую команду дивизиона и сделал это не без труда — говорить о выходе из кризиса преждевременно.