Everton fan slapped with stadium ban for shouting abuse ahead of Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool at Anfield

19 Sep

Everton fan John O’Brien has been hit with a three-year stadium ban for abusive comments he made at Anfield ahead of last season’s Merseyside derby.

O’Brien, 21, was found guilty of a public order offence and fined £850 on Wednesday after a foul-mouthed tirade prior to Liverpool’s Premier League clash with the Toffees on December 2 last year.

O’Brien’s comments were made at Anfield before last season’s Merseyside derby
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The game ended in dramatic style as Divock Origi scored a 96th-minute goal to secure a 1-0 win for Liverpool.

A police spokesman said O’Brien, 21, was apprehended after ‘shouting offensive comments’ before kick-off at Anfield.

The details of what O’Brien said have not been released by the police.

The two rivals met again in March and drew 0-0, a result which proved costly in Liverpool’s title charge as they finished a point behind Manchester City.

The Reds have started the 2019/20 Premier League in perfect style, winning all five of their opening games, while Everton have taken seven points from their first five games.

Liverpool will host Everton on December 4 in the next Merseyside derby before the reverse fixture on March 14, 2020.

Liverpool news: Rafa Benitez defends decision to chase Gareth Barry ‘which led to Xabi Alonso’s Anfield exit’

30 Aug

Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has defended his decision to chase Gareth Barry at the expense of losing Xabi Alonso in 2009.

At the time, Barry was thriving for Aston Villa in the Premier League, while Alonso starred for the Reds.

Gareth Barry enjoyed a successful spell at Manchester City
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Benitez made Barry a top transfer target following the 2008/09 campaign, but the former England midfielder opted to sign for Manchester City.

And after Barry’s move to City, Alonso joined Real Madrid in a £30million deal ahead of the new season.

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In a Q&A session held by The Athletic, Benitez, who managed Liverpool for six years between 2004 and 2010, was asked for his ‘thoughts on chasing Gareth Barry, which led to Xabi Alonso leaving’.

The Spaniard replied: “The Barry story is something that still people don’t understand.

Xabi Alonso won the Champions League trophy in 2005
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“Barry had been playing for years at his maximum level and, at this time, he could play in three positions – midfielder, winger and left-back.

“We had [Javier] Mascherano, Lucas Leiva and [Steven] Gerrard with experience, and selling Alonso was a way to make some money and balance the team.

“Barry wasn’t to replace Alonso, he was to give us something different that we didn’t have at this time.”

Barry won a Premier League title and an FA Cup with City, before joining Everton on a permanent deal in 2014.

Meanwhile, Alonso enjoyed success with Real Madrid, winning a Champions League trophy and LaLiga title before retiring in 2017.

Liverpool could expand Anfield with plans to take capacity beyond 60,000

5 Jun

Liverpool are thought to be considering an expansion to Anfield that would take the capacity past the 60,000-seater mark.

The club has existing planning permission to add nearly 5,000 seats to the Anfield Road end of the ground and that would take the stadium to just shy of 60,000.

Liverpool are considering an expansion to Anfield
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This planning application expires in September, however, and the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, are believed to be considering their options.

There are indications they will opt to allow those plans to expire and refine them before submitting fresh designs.

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The Times report that the owners could pursue a bigger project that would take the capacity beyond 60,000.

The last major redevelopment of Anfield was completed three years ago when 9,000 extra seats were added to the Main Stand.

It was funded by a £100million loan from FSG, which is being repaid incrementally.

Whatever the decision on improvements to the stadium there is sure to be more demand for tickets than the club can supply.

This was illustrated by the 750,000 people who lined the streets of Liverpool for their Champions League trophy parade.

The club’s immediate priority is on their new £50million training facility in Kirkby, which is currently being built.

It will be opened in 2020 with next season the last Liverpool will spend at Melwood.

Anfield is currently the sixth largest stadium in the Premier League, with a maximum capacity of 54,074. It will move into the top four for capacity if redeveloped past the 60,000-seater mark, with Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Spurs’ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and Manchester United’s Old Trafford the only grounds that can currently hold more than 60,000 people.

Liverpool: Watch amazing drone footage of Anfield under the floodlights

31 Oct

If there is one thing Liverpool can boast about, it is the Anfield atmosphere.

The famous ground, built in 1884 and first occupied by Liverpool eight years later, is widely regarded as one of the best stadiums in the world.

Where does Anfield rank amongst the all-time great stadiums?
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It takes on an increased reputation – becoming something almost mythical – on those famous European nights under the floodlights.

Last season the Reds stunned Manchester City on their home turf, netting three times in the first half to all but knock Pep Guardiola’s side out the Champions League, while Anfield has already played host to a stunner of a match this term, with Liverpool beating Paris Saint-Germain courtesy of an injury-time winner from Roberto Firmino.

Anfield is a sight to behold when the floodlights flicker into life, and being at the ground for an evening match is an experience for the bucket list.

And while talkSPORT.com cannot provide that service to you, we can bring you some amazing drone footage of Anfield under the floodlights, courtesy of our friends at Dugout.

You can watch the stunning video below…