Jurgen Klopp press conference: Liverpool boss provides promising Alisson injury update, lauds Adrian and hails free signing of Joel Matip

27 Sep

Alisson is close to making his long-awaited comeback from injury – but he will NOT be ready to play in Liverpool’s clash with Sheffield United on Saturday.

The Brazil goalkeeper has been sidelined since suffering a knock during the Reds’ opening day defeat of Norwich, with Adrian deputising superbly in his stead.

Initial reports suggested Alisson would be out of action until after the second international break of the season, which ends on October 15 with Liverpool facing Manchester United five days later.

Alisson’s injury has kept him out since early August
Getty

However, Jurgen Klopp has provided a promising update which suggests the glovesman could be back before expected – though not as early as this weekend.

Alisson looks like he is close, but the final word is with the medical department,” said Klopp. “He’s not in contention for tomorrow.

“Maybe he can train with the team from Sunday on. Really close.

“I’m not a doctor, I take their information. Alisson’s injury was serious but in the last two weeks he progressed really, really well.

“Credit to the medical department. They have waited long enough to start him training.”

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Klopp also had high praise for central defender Joel Matip, claiming his arrival at Liverpool on a free transfer three years ago is one of the best pieces of business the Reds have done during his tenure.

“With the challenges you have, you grow,” Klopp added. “He was always an incredible talent. He played at 18 for Schalke and he was an outstanding player early in his life.

“Consistency issues at certain points but he has grown, developed.

“In a world of big fees, Joel on a free transfer is one of the best pieces business we did. He is in a really good moment and that is really cool.”

Klopp also discussed Adrian’s performances in goal, Sheffield United’s tactics, and Liverpool’s youngsters during his press conference. You can read the best bits, below…



On back-up goalkeeper Adrian

“Adrian’s progress has made everything easier. He is doing a brilliant job and makes everything easier 100%. We can’t rush injuries, we try not to do it. We don’t like to task risks. We will see when Ali ready and Adrian is our goalie for now.”

On Liverpool winning 15 successive Premier League games

“We don’t think about it. Only moment I think about it is in press conferences. We don’t mention it, it is just the next game. Thank God we lost time to time so we still know how it feels that is important.

On facing Sheffield United

“We are considered as a top team we don’t want to behave like one. The only advantage they have is their stadium, it is not allowed they fight more, run more. We go there for the first time and I am really looking forward to it.

“When the other team has the ball everyone is involved in defending. That is the plan and it’s normal. Hopefully we have the ball a lot and we have to do something with it.

“These second ball fights are so important. It is about being ready and aggressive and we have to show this. It’s a complex job but it is not the first time against a team like. Sheffield United are settled and they are quite impressive. It’s their stadium.”

On Liverpool’s youngsters

“I think they are ready for more. We need to find the right moment. It was a really nice. For Harvey [Elliott], he was the most obvious. We are not in doubt about these boys and we know what we want to do with them. The best thing is they have all the time.

“They have to be patient. When you let them off the leash they are ready for some really nice football games. We prepare them not for one Premier League game but a Premier League career. A few steps to go, no problem with that. Really nice signs on Wednesday, for sure.”

On James Milner’s future

“Unbelievably important to us. He is Mr Professional, that is how it is. Serious in what he does but a funny guy. Against MK Dons, five kids and you have six seniors. No chance [of complacency] while Milner is there. He is a role model for the team.

“He looks like he has a few more years in him, but contract talks, we don’t talk about here. Not even about Milner.”

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Alisson close to return from injury as Liverpool goalkeeper hails performances of Adrian

25 Sep

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson is ‘nearly there’ in his recovery from a calf injury.

The Anfield no.1 has been sidelined since the opening day of the Premier League season, when he limped off during the Reds’ 4-1 defeat of Norwich.

Alisson limped off on the opening day of the season
Getty Images

Summer signing Adrian has deputised while Alisson recovers, but has managed just one clean sheet, against Burnley in August.

Alisson, who was named men’s goalkeeper of the year at the Best FIFA Football awards on Monday, has moved from sessions in the gym to training outside.

“I’m in a good way, I think we are nearly there,” he told Liverpool’s official website.

“I can go outside to the pitch to do some goalkeeper work and I feel very well.

“I feel confident and I think now it’s just about getting all my power, all my confidence to come back and do what I love to do.

“It’s massive [being fit enough to work outdoors again] because if I look back, two weeks ago I couldn’t even walk properly. Now I’m running, jumping on my right leg that was injured so I’m really happy for that.

Adrian has deputised in goal for Alisson in recent weeks
Getty Images - Getty

“It’s great. When you are a player you want to have the contact with the ball, with the guys on the pitch, the routine of training. It’s what I love to do.

“The games, the atmosphere at Anfield, the away games, all games when I watch on the TV, I just think how I want to play, I want to be there, I want to help my team-mates. I’m looking forward [to being back], I can’t wait any more!”

Adrian joined Liverpool four days prior to the Norwich game and has since helped them win the UEFA Super Cup and remain unbeaten in the league.

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“I think the boys are doing very well, all the team [and] Adrian especially,”Alisson said.

“He’s a special guy who came late in the season, he just came and shows everyone his value, not just as a player but as a person and that is the more important thing.

“He is doing very well on the pitch. I have peace to recover in a proper way so it’s better for everyone.”

Real Madrid quartet named in Best FIFA Awards Men’s World XI 2019, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi also make the cut

23 Sep

Eden Hazard was one of four Real Madrid players to make it into the Best FIFA Awards Men’s World XI which was announced on Monday night.

The Belgian international played a starring role in former side Chelsea’s Europa League triumph last season, with Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Luka Modric were also included in the team, with two members of Liverpool’s Champions League squad also making the cut.

Eden Hazard celebrates winning the Europa League with Chelsea in May
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Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk were both crucial to the Reds’ sixth European Cup success in June.

Meanwhile, Barcelona and Juventus – like Liverpool –  have two inclusions from their respective sides.

Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong are Barca’s representatives – though the Dutch midfielder was part of the Ajax time which got to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19.

The same goes for Matthijs de Ligt who captained Ajax before switching to Juventus, while Cristiano Ronaldo unsurprisingly also get the nod in this star-studded side.

Joining Messi and Ronaldo in attack is teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, who flies the flag for Paris Saint-Germain.

Best FIFA Awards Men's World XI

Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker

Defenders: Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo

Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe

 

 

Manchester United should view Liverpool as a role model in transfer market with Van Dijk and Alisson signings making them title contenders, says Neville

17 Sep

Gary Neville has suggested Manchester United need to take note of Liverpool’s recruitment policy to return to the top.

Jurgen Klopp’s side – Champions League winners last year – have turned into Premier League title challengers in recent seasons thanks to the signings of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and Fabinho.

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool chiefs have spent wisely in the transfer market since 2016
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The trio arrived in 2018 and played crucial roles in Liverpool’s Champions League triumph, and in the title race that saw them miss out in success by a point.

And Man United legend Neville believes his old club should take a leaf out of their bitter rivals.

Neville told Sky Sports: “The spine of the [United] team is [David] De Gea, [Victor] Lindelof, [Harry] Maguire, [Nemanja] Matic, [Ashley] Young, [Juan] Mata. All the young players have massive potential.

“Manchester United somehow have got to find a spine. All championship winning teams have strong spines.

“Liverpool’s spine has come from Van Dijk at £75million, [Roberto] Firmino’s £30million, Alisson, a fantastic goalkeeper, and Fabinho. The recruitment has got to be good to support these players.

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Liverpool bought Van Dijk, Fabinho and Alisson and they were transformed overnight. Manchester United get the right three players in that group and they won’t be far away.”

Neville reckons United are starting to recruit smartly after years of overspending in the transfer market.

The club signed Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dan James during the summer – three players who have impressed so far at Old Trafford.

Neville added: “I’ve been so critical of the recruitment in recent years.

Virgil van Dijk cost Liverpool £75million in January 2018
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“They’ve got to stop that. It looks like they’ve gone back to a strategy of signing young.

“United’s average age has gone down to 24, there are eight academy players in the squad. It’s a step backward but it’s one to go forward.’

“[Radamel] Falcao, [Angel] Di Maria, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger and [Alexis] Sanchez. They’ve spent and wasted tens and hundreds of millions of pounds on these players. They’ve got to stop that.

“United are basically going to have to have three or four good transfer windows.”

Neville thinks United could challenge for the Premier League title in two years’ time if they get their recruitment right.

In a Twitter Q&A session on Tuesday morning, he said: “Earliest with perfect recruitment 2021/22.”

England players Jadon Sancho, 19, and 22-year-old James Maddison have been recently linked.

Sancho has been at Borussia Dortmund since leaving Man City in 2017 and has taken the Bundesliga by storm and scored 12 goals and created 14 last season.

Already this term he has recorded four assists in four games, while Maddison scored seven goals for Leicester last season and recorded as many assists.

Jurgen Klopp press conference: Liverpool boss cannot provide Alisson return date, says Napoli stadium situation is ‘not too cool’

13 Sep

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp remains in the dark over when goalkeeper Alisson will return from injury.

The Brazilian, who has excelled for the Reds since his £67m move from Roma last July, was forced off with a calf complaint during the first Premier League game of the season against Norwich last month.

Klopp will not rush Alisson back from the treatment table
Getty

Klopp remains hopeful his no.1 goalkeeper could return after next month’s international break, but says he won’t be putting any pressure on the 26-year-old to rush back.

“He’s improving but we cannot put any pressure on it,” the German said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Newcastle.

“It was a really serious injury in the calf and it’s now much better. That’s good for us and good for him but we don’t know exactly.

“The target was always after the next international break he could be ready but we don’t know.

Hopefully everything will be fine for the rest of the season, that’s the plan.”

Klopp also discussed other injury news, the visit of Newcastle to Anfield, and the state of Napoli’s stadium ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash during his press conference.

You can read all the key talking points, below…


Klopp on Naby Keita’s injury

“Naby is close. He could be in training when we come back from Napoli next week.”

Klopp on ‘very difficult’ Newcastle test

“Off season it was really difficult with Rafa leaving. For Steve for sure it is a difficult job. He has done fantastic so far – close games and good results as well.
“(They’re) very difficult to play. They kept pretty much the same style as last year.

Steve Bruce is one of the few Premier League managers who enjoys facing Liverpool
Getty Images - Getty

“I think 24/25 per cent possession at Tottenham but always really good, scored a wonderful goal, defended with a big heart and good organisation.

“That’s what we had to prepare for and that’s what we did. It will not be easy.”

Klopp on the Napoli changing room farce

“I trust UEFA enough to think that they will sort something and we will have a shower and a space where we can change. I hope it will be organised like this but I don’t know.

Napoli are expected to be handed the dressing rooms back on Friday
Twitter @sscnapoli

“I don’t want to make it bigger than it is. If it would look like it looked on a few pictures we saw, that would be not too cool, but, as long as the pitch is still there and all the rest as well then we could play.

“We cannot change it so we only go there and accept the circumstances and go out and play football.”

Klopp on squad morale

“We have to make sure we have a wonderful atmosphere in the group. We work hard for that and we try to keep that. We just try to improve all the time.

“This club is wonderful and it’s just the atmosphere hasn’t always been like this. The players like each other a lot.”

Klopp on Liverpool’s incredible home record in the Premier League

“We don’t think about [the home record]. We know as well, records are there to be broken.

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“Each team could have done it but we were mostly better and deserved it. Only thing I’m concerned about is how we can be in a better mood and shape than Arsenal. That was a high level.

“We have to make sure they day [the record ends] is far away in the future. We can only give everything tomorrow. We have a chance to win, so we must do it.”

Klopp on Salah and Mane resting over the international break

“It was perfect they didn’t have to go on international. I am happy for them to play for them but I say 500 times, the players who didn’t go, everything is different. A very intense period.

“Sadio and Mo have had time off they needed. They are refreshed that’s how it is and hopefully we can use that.”

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FIFA 20: Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk among top ten players as EA Sports confirms ratings

9 Sep

Gamers from around the country cannot contain their excitement following the release of the FIFA 20 player ratings.

The announcement by EA Sports has gone down brilliantly with Liverpool fans, with TWO Reds stars making the top ten highest rated players in the game.

Virgil van Dijk is on the front of the Champions Edition of FIFA 20
EA SPORTS

Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk have been given a 90 rating, which will come as no surprise following Liverpool’s incredible campaign where they amassed an extraordinary 97 Premier League points and also claimed a historic sixth Champions League title.

Egyptian star Salah moves up to 90 from 89, while Van Dijk, who was crowned the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year last month, has also moved up by one ranking mark from last year’s game.

The top ten ranked players in FIFA 20

1) Lionel Messi: 94

2) Cristiano Ronaldo: 93

3) Neymar: 92

4) Eden Hazard: 91

5) Kevin de Bruyne: 91

6) Jan Oblak: 91

7) Virgil van Dijk: 90

8) Mohamed Salah: 90

9) Luka Modric: 90

10) Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 90

Unsurprisingly, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the two best players on the game, rated at 94 and 93 respectively,

PSG winger Neymar is rated at 92, pipping Real Madrid’s new signing Eden Hazard and Man City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne – who have been given 91 ratings.

Level with Hazard and De Bruyne is Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak who once again dazzled in LaLiga and has been rated as the best goalkeeper in the game with a 91 rating.

Meanwhile, this year’s FIFA 20 demo will be released on Tuesday, September 10.

It will be available on XBOX 360, PlayStation4 and via Origin Access for PC.

In the demo you’ll be able to try out the new VOLTA Football and 11v11 Kick Off.

The Champions Edition of the full game will then be released on September 24 with the Standard Edition following on September 27.


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Liverpool injury update: Report details expected return date for sidelined goalkeeper Alisson

6 Sep

Alisson will be back playing for Liverpool by early October at the latest, according to reports.

The goalkeeper has been sidelined since the opening day of the Premier League season, when he suffered a calf injury during the Reds’ 4-1 defeat of Norwich.

Liverpool opened the season with an excellent win but Alisson’s injury was a big blow
Getty

Summer signing Adrian has deputised while Alisson recovers, with Liverpool refusing to put a time frame on his possible return to action.

But the Brazil international could be back as early as this month, The Athletic’s James Pearce has claimed.

Pearce provided an update on Alisson’s rehabilitation during a Q&A session, confirming the glovesman has started using Liverpool’s anti-gravity treadmill so he can take part in mobility and strength work without stressing his body.

He also suggested a return date of late September or early October, though due to the international break from October 7-15, Alisson may not be seen in a Liverpool shirt again until the trip to Manchester United on October 20.

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A slightly earlier return would mean he’s available for October clashes against Leicester in the Premier League and RB Leipzig in the Champions League, while being back in September could see Alisson feature against Sheffield United as well.

Naby Keita, the midfielder, is also currently sidelined with a muscle issue around the hip area and Liverpool have not yet provided a possible return date for the £52million man.

Premier League players dominate 2019 FIFPRO World 11 shortlist with Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Man City stars all nominated

5 Sep

For the first time since 2009 Premier League clubs have the most players on the FIFA FIFPRO World 11 shortlist.

English teams replace Spanish LaLiga clubs with the biggest representation on the list of 55 footballers announced today.

Raheem Sterling’s performances for Man City have earned him a place on the shortlist
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Premier League champions Manchester City have eight players on the list, including Joao Cancelo who played for Juventus last season, while European champions Liverpool have seven players selected.

Tottenham have three representatives – Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Christian Eriksen – while Manchester United have two – David De Gea and Paul Pogba.

N’Golo Kante is the only Chelsea player selected, although Eden Hazard (now at Real Madrid) gets the nod for his performances for the Blues last season.

More than 23,000 professional footballers voted for the 2019 World 11, selecting one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards who were the best in their position during the 2018-2019 season.

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The 11 players who received most votes on their position earn a spot on the World 11.

FIFPRO and FIFA will reveal the World 11 on Monday, September 23 during The Best FIFA Football Awards in the Scala in Milan.

THE 55 MOST VOTED PLAYERS ARE:

GOALKEEPERS (5)

Alisson Becker (Brazil, Liverpool FC)
David De Gea (Spain, Manchester United)
Ederson Moraes (Brazil, Manchester City)
Jan Oblak (Slovenia, Atletico Madrid)
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany, FC Barcelona)

DEFENDERS (20)

Jordi Alba (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (England, Liverpool FC)
Daniel Alves (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain/Sao Paulo)
Joao Cancelo (Portugal, Juventus/Manchester City)
Daniel Carvajal (Spain, Real Madrid)
Giorgio Chiellini (Italy, Juventus)
Virgil van Dijk (The Netherlands, Liverpool FC)
Diego Godin (Uruguay, Atletico/Internazionale)
Joshua Kimmich (Germany, Bayern Munich)
Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal, SSC Napoli)
Aymeric Laporte (France, Manchester City)
Matthijs de Ligt (The Netherlands, Ajax/ Juventus)
Gerard Pique (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid)
Andrew Robertson (Scotland, Liverpool FC)
Alex Sandro (Brazil, Juventus)
Thiago Silva (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain)
Raphael Varane (France, Real Madrid)
Marcelo Vieira (Brazil, Real Madrid)
Kyle Walker (England, Manchester City)

MIDFIELDERS (15)

Sergio Busquets (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Casemiro (Brazil, Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City)
Christian Eriksen (Denmark, Tottenham Hotspur)
Frenkie de Jong (The Netherlands, Ajax/FC Barcelona)
Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea/Real Madrid)
N’Golo Kante (France, Chelsea)
Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid)
Arthur Melo (Brazil, FC Barcelona)
Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid)
Paul Pogba (France, Manchester United)
Ivan Rakitic (Croatia, FC Barcelona)
Bernardo Silva (Portugal, Manchester City)
Dusan Tadic (Serbia, Ajax)
Arturo Vidal (Chile, FC Barcelona)

N’Golo Kante is the only current Chelsea player named on the shortlist
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FORWARDS (15)

Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City)
Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid)
Roberto Firmino (Brazil, Liverpool FC)
Antoine Griezmann (France, Atletico/FC Barcelona)
Harry Kane (England, Tottenham Hotspur)
Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern Munich)
Sadio Mane (Senegal, Liverpool FC)
Kylian Mbappe (France, Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Argentina, FC Barcelona)
Neymar Junior (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Juventus)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool FC)
Heung-Min Son (South-Korea, Tottenham Hotspur)
Raheem Sterling (England, Manchester City)
Luis Suarez (Uruguay, FC Barcelona)

Wojciech Szczesny joked he must be football’s greatest goalkeeper because he kept Liverpool star Alisson and Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon on the bench

4 Sep

Poland should reach Euro 2020 without any problems and that’s because they have Wojciech Szczesny – aka football’s greatest ever goalkeeper – in goal.

That’s according to the man himself, who was in a good mood ahead of his nation’s qualifiers against Slovenia and Austria.

Getty Images - Getty
Szczesny has not held back discussing just how great he is[/caption]

Poland have four wins from four and have conceded no goals, with the Juventus no.1 in goal for two of them and West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski playing the other two.

“In Roma I put on the bench the best goalkeeper in the world, in Juventus the best in history,” he joked with his country’s media while discussing playing with current Liverpool no.1 Alisson and then Gianluigi Buffon.

“It turns out that I am the best in the world and in history. If Lukasz [Fabianski] puts me on the bench, he would be the best in history!”

Szczesny made the no.1 position his in Turin when Buffon left for PSG last summer. However, the Juve and Italy legend returned to the club ahead of the current season and, speaking to Polish daily newspaper, Sports Review, the former Arsenal man reiterated he was joking and said another year of learning from the 41-year-old is priceless.

“I’m glad he came back,” continued Szczesny. “Our relationship, when he was in Paris, has not changed much. We were in constant contact. I was also one of the first people to learn about the possibility of his return.

“I must admit that I was very happy about that. I was called from the club and asked if I had any problem with Gigi coming back.

“And anyway, it’s not just a good move for Juventus, but also for me. Possibilities of training with Gigi, talking, watching, sharing insights. This can never be bought anywhere. I would have to be very stupid not to use it.

“When I came to Juventus two years ago, I knew I would be his substitute for a year. I have never been upset because of it. Now he has returned aware of his role. I am delighted he is back.”

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Singapore Day 1. 🇸🇬@gianluigibuffon good to have you back 😎

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And on Alisson, Szczesny never had any doubt his former Roma team-mate would go onto become the best in the business.

The Liverpool keeper was recently crowned goalkeeper of the year at the Champions League draw, and writing on Instagram in 2017, Szczesny said of the Brazil international: “Great guy and a fantastic goalkeeper! Soon to be one of the best in the world!”

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Before leaving for Juve in the summer of 2017, Szczesny was used by manager Luciano Spalletti in Serie A, while Alisson played in European matches.

The Brazilian became the main man upon his team-mate’s departure where he cemented his place as the world’s best, forcing Liverpool to spend almost £70m on him in 2018.

At the time, Roma boss Spalletti commented: “We’ve got two goalkeepers. With Szczesny we have different options and qualities and if he’s not available we have someone who is able to provide cover and show his ability.

“We need both of them, our training games could end 0-0, given how good they both are.”

The players who have made the most individual errors in the Premier League since the start of last season, including Bernd Leno

3 Sep

Arsenal showed plenty of grit and determination to earn a draw against Tottenham in the north London derby last weekend.

The Gunners found themselves 2-0 down after 40 minutes thanks to Christian Eriksen’s opener and Harry Kane’s penalty.

Arsenal showed great character to come back against Spurs
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However, strikes from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw Arsenal earn a 2-2 draw against their rivals.

A massive cause for concern for manager Unai Emery will be the mistakes his players made though.

Granit Xhaka made an unnecessary foul on Heung-Min Son which gave Spurs their penalty while Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno should have done better for Eriksen’s goal.

The German kept out an initial shot from Erik Lamela but could only palm the ball straight into the Dane’s path, who slotted the ball into an empty net.

Leno’s blushes were spared by Lacazette and Aubameyang
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Leno has been culpable a few times since he joined Arsenal in the summer of 2018 but how many errors leading to goals has he made?

Below you can see the top nine players to have made errors leading to goals in the Premier League since the start of last season, with thanks to Opta.

8= Martin Dubravka (Newcastle) – Errors leading to goals: 3

8= Alisson Becker (Liverpool) – Errors leading to goals: 3

The Liverpool stopper is a surprise inclusion in this chart
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5= Sergio Rico (Fulham) – Errors leading to goals: 3

5= Angus Gunn (Southampton) – Errors leading to goals: 3

5= Sol Bamba (Cardiff City) – Errors leading to goals: 3

3= David de Gea (Manchester United) – Errors leading to goals: 4

De Gea hit some bad form towards the end of last season
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3=. Jordan Pickford (Everton) – Errors leading to goals: 4

2. Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth) – Errors leading to goals: 5

1. Bernd Leno (Arsenal) – Errors leading to goals: 6

Leno has made six errors leading to goals in the Premier League
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