Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp reacts brilliantly to Roberto Firmino receiving man-of-the-match award following win over Newcastle

14 Sep

Liverpool continued their winning run at the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season after overcoming Newcastle at Anfield.

The Reds ran out 3-1 winners thanks to a brace from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah’s strike after Jetro Willems’ brilliant strike gave Steve Bruce’s side an early lead.

Liverpool have won their opening five matches of the 2019/20 Premier League season
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However, the star player in the game was Roberto Firmino, who caused all sorts of problems for the Magpies defence.

And what makes the Liverpool No.9’s performance all the more outstanding is the fact that he started the game on the bench.

He came on for Divock Origi in the 36th minute after the Belgian twisted his ankle in the early stages.

It was 1-1 at that stage and Liverpool’s level rose dramatically when Firmino came on and he provided the assists for their second and third goals.

Firmino was in spellbinding form
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After the game, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp explained that Firmino was on the bench as he featured in both of Brazil’s matches during the international break where he clocked up a lot of air miles as they were played in Miami and Los Angeles.

Firmino was given the man-of-the-match award and Klopp was unsurprisingly gushing about the forward’s display.

On Firmino getting man-of-the-match, Klopp said: “I like it! Well deserved my friend!”

Below you can see the hilarious clip.

Klopp also went on to explain that Firmino could have started the game, however, the German elected to give his frontman a rest.

He told talkSPORT’s Sam Matterface: “In training it was clear that he [Firmino] didn’t NEED a break but when the situation is like this [after an international break], you make a change when the player is not already injured.

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Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this weekend

  • Norwich vs Man City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Huddersfield vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Barnsley vs Leeds (Sunday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT

“We need to try to be sensible, they [the Brazil team] flew around the world and played in very difficult circumstances.

“He played in both games I think and I think they were in Miami and LA but it’s not a holiday!

“That was the only reason but we knew we could bring him in when we needed him.”

Norwich vs Man City team news: Kevin De Bruyne drops to the bench as John Stones regains start

14 Sep

John Stones has regained his place in the Manchester City starting XI for Saturday evening’s trip to Norwich, while Kevin de Bruyne drops to the bench.

Second from bottom face second from top – and you can listen to commentary LIVE on talkSPORT at 5:30pm – the last of our three commentaries on GameDay.

De Bruyne has been rested
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City have unsurprisingly made a good start with their 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham the only points they’ve dropped in their opening four matches so far this season.

However, they’ve been dealt a serious blow, with Aymeric Laporte ruled out for up to six months due to a knee injury.

The centre-back was stretchered off during the recent victory over Brighton and has since undergone successful surgery on his right knee.

Guardiola did have some positive injury news at his press conference, however, confirming John Stones is fit to replace Laporte.

And the England defender starts for just his second appearance of the season, as he bids to regain favour under Guardiola.

Meanwhile, De Bruyne is given a rest following his hectic schedule, while Ilkay Gundagon returns from injury to start.

For the visitors, they’re without star defender Max Aarons due to injury, while in-form Teemu Pukki leads the line.


Listen to Norwich vs Man City live on talkSPORT


Confirmed XIs

Norwich: Krul, Byram, Amadou, Godfrey, Lewis, McLean, Tettey, Emi, Stiepermann, Cantwell, Pukki.

Subs: Hanley, Heise, Drmic, Fahrmann, Srbeny, McGovern, Idah.

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Rodri, Silva, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling.

Subs: Bravo, Gabriel Jesus, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Foden.

 

Liverpool continue winning start to season as Sadio Mane brace and Roberto Firmino excellence sees Reds beat Newcastle

14 Sep

Roberto Firmino produced a man-of-the-match performance as he helped Liverpool beat Newcastle 3-1, despite the fact the Brazilian didn’t even start the game at Anfield.

The visitors took an early lead through Jetro Willems’ stunning strike but two goals from Sadio Mane gave the Reds the advantage at half-time.

Firminos and Mane celebrate after Liverpool’s second goal
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Mohamed Salah’s second-half goal sealed the victory but all the plaudits have to go to the sensational Firmino.

The hosts were sluggish at the start though, and they found themselves behind on seven minutes when Willems’ rasping effort flew past Adrian.

Dutchman Willems received the ball in a seemingly non-threatening position on the left but he cut inside before rifling the ball into the top corner.

Willems gave Newcastle a surprise lead
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Unsurprisingly, this caused Liverpool to raise their game and they were somehow denied a penalty on 25 minutes when Jamaal Lascelles flung Joel Matip to the floor after grabbing him by the neck inside the box.

This got the Reds to up their intensity even more and they found themselves level moments later through a well-taken curling effort from Mane following good work on the left from Andy Robertson.

Firmino’s replacement Divock Origi was forced off after picking up a knock in the early stages and the Brazilian came on to a round of applause from the Liverpool faithful.

The Brazilian’s impact was immediate and Liverpool took the lead just before the break when Firmino pick-pocketed Christian Atsu before sliding in Mane, who put the ball in the net after Martin Dubravka spilled it straight into the Senegal international’s path.

With Firmino playing, Liverpool looked much better and nearly extended their lead just after the break but Georginio Wijnaldum’s inventive effort looped just over the bar.

However, Newcastle had chances and should have levelled when Emil Krafth found himself in oceans of space in the box but the Swede blazed his effort high.

Dubravka made great saves to deny Trent Alexander-Arnold and Robertson but Liverpool did make it 3-1 thanks to Salah’s goal and some more great play from Firmino.

The Egyptian played the ball to Firmino, who held it up before setting Salah through on goal with a clever flick and Salah couldn’t miss as Liverpool continued their 100 per cent start to the season.

Newcastle could not cope with Firmino and Liverpool at times
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Tottenham vs Crystal Palace confirmed team news: Injury-hit Spurs without Sanchez, Walker-Peters and Sessegnon

14 Sep

Tottenham are without several key players for the London derby against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Saturday is GameDay at talkSPORT, with live commentary from noon til night, and our coverage continues on talkSPORT 2 in north London.

Pochettino will have to make do without several key players
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Spurs are winless in their last three games, while Palace currently sit fourth after a surprisingly bright start to the season.

The Eagles have an excellent recent record away to top six sides, having beaten Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United on their travels, and they were also the last team to win at Liverpool.

Mauricio Pochettino will be without Giovani Lo Celso for the next six weeks, due to an injury picked up on international duty, and the Tottenham boss is also unable to call on defenders Ryan Sessegnon, Kyle Walker-Peters and Davinson Sanchez.

Despite missing out on the first three matchday squads, Serge Aurier makes his first appearance of the season at right-back.

Meanwhile, Tanguy Ndombele is only fit enough to start on the bench against Palace, who welcome back Mamadou Sakho to the starting XI following a lengthy lay-off.

Ndombele is not fit enough to start
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Confirmed XIs

Tottenham: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Lamela, Eriksen, Son, Kane.

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Cahill, Sakho, Van Aanholt, Kouyate, Milivojevic, Townsend, Zaha, Schlupp, Ayew.


Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

Liverpool’s best player? Roberto Firmino lights up Anfield and produces incredible piece of skill

14 Sep

Roberto Firmino has the Midas touch.

Liverpool’s No.9 was a surprise omission from their starting line-up as they take on Newcastle at Anfield – a game you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT now.

Firmino has arguably been Liverpool’s best player this season
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However, with the Reds’ Champions League opener against Napoli on Tuesday night to have an eye on, perhaps Jurgen Klopp’s decision to rotate the side is a good one.

Firmino did come on earlier he may have expected (36 minutes) after his replacement, Divock Origi, came off with an injury sustained during the early stages of the match.

The Premier League leaders had got themselves into a spot of bother before Firmino’s arrival with Jetro Willems’ stunning pile-driver giving Newcastle an early lead.

Without Firmino, the Reds lacked the same panache up front but found themselves level just after the 25-minute mark through a delightful curling effort.

Minutes later, the Brazilian entered the fray after Origi couldn’t go on.

And just like when he came on in the Super Cup against Chelsea, Firmino’s impact against the Magpies was instant.

In typical Firmino fashion, he robbed Christian Atsu of the ball in a dangerous position, before sliding the ball to Mane, who eventually put the ball in the net just before half-time.

Firmino played a huge role in the second goal for Liverpool
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And while Mane is likely to get most of the plaudits, there’s no doubting that without Firmino’s presence, Liverpool are noticeably not as dangerous.

His impact on the goalscoring form of Mohamed Salah was also proven, with the Brazilian providing an incredible assist for the crucial third goal.

You can watch the magical piece of skill below:

Mohamed Salah makes fun of ‘feud’ with Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane using hilarious viral video

14 Sep

Mohamed Salah posted a hilarious tweet poking fun at his mini-bust-up with Sadio Mane at Burnley.

The pair fell out during the 3-0 victory at Turf Moor when Mane lashed out at his team-mate for declining a pass.

But Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that the duo have put the incident behind them ahead of Saturday’s visit of Newcastle – live on talkSPORT.

And Salah reiterated this with a hilarious tweet, in which he features as an excited infant alongside Mane.

Two toddlers run towards each other along a pavement before hugging and waddle off together laughing, with the faces changed to show smiling Salah and Mane.


Listen to Liverpool vs Newcastle live on talkSPORT


Meanwhile, ‘Klopp’ looks on as a proud parent in the background.

The Liverpool boss joined talkSPORT to discuss the incident, claiming Salah and Mane remain the closest of friends.

“There’s nothing left. It’s something we left immediately after the game,” he said.

Mane had to be calmed down by his team-mates against Burnley
Sky Sports

“There was a little talk. It was Monday when we met first after our international break and everything was fine. Training was brilliant, the boys are fine with each other, they like each other! That’s how it is and that’s how it was before.

“Football is high emotions and the only problem that we have is that all of our emotions are shown in public – and I like that.”

Jurgen Klopp EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool boss on talkSPORT teaching him English, Salah and Mane’s friendship, and how nobody liked 2015 side

14 Sep

We love Jurgen Klopp here at talkSPORT – and it turns out the feeling’s mutual.

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT, with live commentary across all three time slots, and Liverpool get us started when they host Newcastle at lunch time.

So we sat down with their manager for a wide-ranging, exclusive interview where he reveals we actually helped him learn English.

He also told us about the relationship between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane following their mini-bust-up against Burnley, and explained why the Reds are sort of like a top-level surgeon.

You can read the best bits below or listen to the full 16 minutes above!

Klopp joined talkSPORT for an exclusive interview
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On talkSPORT teaching him English

“talkSPORT? My English teacher!

“talkSPORT could talk about things I had no clue about, like physics or medicine, but I would still listen to it because the dialects are pretty strange from the people working there.

“But I listened because of that. You know how English people are, they’re very kind, so they speak to me very slow.

“But if people are talking to each other, I can’t follow the conversation unless they talk to me, and I wanted to improve that as well. That’s why I listen to it.

“Even when I only agree with 30 per cent of what the guys are talking about, it’s still interesting because I get the language.

“They talk quick, they don’t think about me understanding, they just talk naturally.

“That really helped me a lot to understand. My English speaking didn’t improve because of that, but understanding – a lot.”

Salah and Mane like each other, honest!

“There’s nothing left. It’s something we left immediately after the game.

“There was a little talk. It was Monday when we met first after our international break and everything was fine. Training was brilliant, the boys are fine with each other, they like each other! That’s how it is and that’s how it was before.

“Football is high emotions and the only problem that we have is that all of our emotions are shown in public – and I like that.”

Mane had to be calmed down by his team-mates
Sky Sports

Not even the team liked the team in 2015 – now it’s so much much better

“When I arrived in 2015, nobody likes this team, not even the team likes this team.

“Now it’s completely different. Everybody likes the team, and the team loves the team.

“That’s a massive difference because the boys feel like they have the right partners.”

Liverpool fans love the current crop of players
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What can Liverpool do differently to win the title?

“We don’t have to be different. We can’t invent a new game, we have to build on things, change things, be more flexible in moments, and be more consistent in moments. There are a lot of things to do.

“In most other jobs in life, if you are a surgeon at the highest level for example, you cannot say, ‘From now on, I will be even better’. Everyone’s still happy that you’re saving lives. That’s exactly how it is with us. It’s already difficult enough to keep the high level.

“With football, with the emotions and the influence outside involved, it’s really dealing with these things always. How can you achieve your own targets? That’s what we did better last year.

“The boys want to be consistent and on the highest level of their career for many years to come, and for me it’s the same.”

The Premier League trophy went to Man City last season
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Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this weekend

  • Liverpool vs Newcastle (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Fulham vs West Brom (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Tottenham vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Norwich vs Man City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Huddersfield vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Barnsley vs Leeds (Sunday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT

Liverpool vs Newcastle confirmed team news: Roberto Firmino benched as Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain start

14 Sep

Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has been left on the bench for the visit of Newcastle on Saturday, with Jurgen Klopp handing starts to Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT, with live commentary across all three time slots, and we begin at Anfield as the Reds host Newcastle at lunch time.

Firmino does not start for Liverpool
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Jurgen Klopp’s men are the only team with a perfect start to the Premier League season and they haven’t failed to win any of their last 14 league games.

Their most recent victory, a 3-0 defeat of Burnley, was slightly overshadowed as Sadio Mane lashed out at Mohamed Salah for failing to pass to him.

Both of them start, as do Origi and Oxlade-Chamberlain, but Firmino is benched after a hectic international break.

While eyes will certainly be on Salah and Mane during the clash, Klopp tells talkSPORT the incident is well and truly in the past.

“There’s nothing left. It’s something we left immediately after the game,” he said.

“There was a little talk. It was Monday when we met first after our international break and everything was fine. Training was brilliant, the boys are fine with each other, they like each other! That’s how it is and that’s how it was before.

“Football is high emotions and the only problem that we have is that all of our emotions are shown in public – and I like that.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle will be without midfielder Sean Longstaff, who suffered a freak injury in training earlier this week.

Mane had to be calmed down by his team-mates against Burnley
Sky Sports

Confirmed XIs

Liverpool: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van-Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Chamberlain, Salah, Origi, Mane.

Newcastle: Dubravka, Dummett, Schar, Lascelles, Hayden, Kraft, Shelvey, Willems, Almiron, Atsu, Joelinton.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce reveals Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk nearly signed for him at Hull

14 Sep

Steve Bruce has revealed he nearly signed Virgil van Dijk during his time at Hull.

The Newcastle boss managed the Tigers for four years from 2012 and the Liverpool star was on his radar.

Virgil van Dijk cost Liverpool £75million in January 2018
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But Bruce claims Hull were outpriced in a move for Van Dijk, who joined Southampton for £11.5million from Celtic in September 2015.

The Dutchman is considered one of the best central defenders in the world following a superb 2018/19 season, which saw Liverpool win the Champions League.

Bruce, who takes his Newcastle side to Liverpool on Saturday, in a game which is LIVE on talkSPORT, said: “I could have taken Van Dijk to Hull.

“I had dinner with Kenny Dalglish and the owner of Celtic, Dermot Desmond, in Barbados – I’m name-dropping now – and he waxed lyrical about the best players he’s had.

“He couldn’t understand why nobody had gone for Van Dijk, so we tried to get him before he went to Southampton.

“At Hull back then for £10million I was nowhere near getting him. I tried, but I had no chance at that price.

“We took a few lads from Egypt around that time, but we never looked at Mo Salah to be honest.”

LIVE on talkSPORT

Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Liverpool vs Newcastle (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Fulham vs West Brom (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Tottenham vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Norwich vs Man City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Huddersfield vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Barnsley vs Leeds (Sunday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT

Bruce will be coming up against one of his former players when Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson steps on to the pitch.

The Scotland captain joined Hull in a £2.85million deal from Dundee United in 2014 and lined up alongside Harry Maguire, who has since become the world’s most expensive defender.

Bruce said: “My chief scout Stan Ternent said we’ve got to go for him so we did our homework, went to see him and we took him.

“It was a bit of a gamble, and I remember him arriving with his mum, holding her hand. We had a couple of injuries and I threw him in.

“He had an unbelievable debut and hasn’t looked back. He’s been quite remarkable and is right up there with my best signings.

“I remember once we had a day out and the experienced players played a prank on him. They got him to carry cases of beer on to the team bus, even though they knew they weren’t allowed.

“I gave him a big dressing down and he certainly didn’t make the mistake of doing it again.

“He hadn’t realised the lads were winding him up and the rest of them were all sat at the back of the bus howling with laughter.”

Steve Bruce has an impressive record against Liverpool – can he bring an end to Newcastle’s wretched form at Anfield?

14 Sep

Few fixtures in Premier League history generate such excitement as Liverpool against Newcastle United.

Be it the classic contests from the 90s or the back-and-forth battle at St James’ Park last season, it is a fixture steeped in history and drama.

Thankfully, talkSPORT will bring you live and exclusive commentary of the game from Anfield at 12.30pm on Saturday so you don’t have to miss any of the drama.

Steve Bruce is one of the few Premier League managers who enjoys facing Liverpool
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Liverpool are unbeaten in 23 Premier League home matches against Newcastle United, and have scored in each of those fixtures, scoring 58 times while keeping 12 clean sheets.

The Reds are also unbeaten at home in all competitions since May 2017, when Christian Benteke inspired Crystal Palace to a famous three points against his former side.

It is fair to say the omens for the Magpies are rather ominous, but it appears as though they may well have the perfect man in charge to topple the title challengers.

Steve Bruce can lay claim to having the fifth best record of any manager in Premier League history against Liverpool, winning 27 points.

Steve Bruce lays claim to a fantastic record against Liverpool. *Includes only managers who have bossed 15 games or more against Liverpool
OPTA
Bruce has won 27 points against Liverpool – losing just six times
OPTA

Based on data provided by Opta, of all the managers in Premier League history who have played fifteen games or more, the 58-year-old is only bettered by Harry Redknapp, Martin O’Neill, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho when it comes to facing Liverpool.

In 21 games against the Reds, the former Birmingham, Wigan and Sunderland manager has lost just six times – averaging 1.29 points per game.

He boasts a better record than Arsene Wenger, Sam Allardyce and David Moyes.

Having already beaten Tottenham Hotspur on the road this season, there is no reason why this well-drilled Newcastle side cannot go and draw on Bruce’s considerable expertise to get a remarkable result against Liverpool.


Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – including Liverpool vs Newcastle this weekend.