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Liverpool round-up: Firmino scores, Fekir rumours false and Salah injury update

Josh Kerr

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Photo: Getty Images

Firmino scores, Coutinho returns

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino came off the bench for national side Brazil as Verde-Amarela strolled to a 2-0 victory against Croatia at Anfield.

The goal was scored on familiar territory for the 26-year-old who has now taken his Anfield tally up to 15 for the season.

Former Reds talisman Philippe Coutinho also returned to Merseyside for the first time since his £142 million move to Barcelona in January.

The Brazilian magician started in-front of the Anfield faithful and received a positive reception from the Merseyside fans.

Dejan Lovren also featured in front of his home fans, starting for Croatia, but was on the losing end as Zlatko Dalic’s side prepare for the summer World Cup in Russia.

(Photo by Philippe Desmazes/Getty Images)

Fekir rumours false

It has been concluded that the rumours surrounding Nabil Fekir’s potential medical at Liverpool this weekend are in fact false.

The Reds are not in talks or negotiations to sign the Lyon midfielder but are determined to bring the highly-rated playmaker to Merseyside.

Reports in France suggested that the 24-year-old was due for a meeting in Merseyside on Sunday for talks with hopes that a medical could be undertaken.

However, the report was a little premature as Liverpool confirmed there hadn’t been any movement in the Fekir deal just yet.

Despite the rumours being false, Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side are determined to bring the Ligue 1 ace, who fired 23 goals and provided eight assists in 40 appearances, to Anfield.

Salah update

The PFA and the Football Writer’s player of the year Mohamed Salah has provided a positive injury update ahead of the World Cup later this month.

The Egyptian winger took to Twitter to provide positive news for his beloved national side as he continues to prove his fitness after sustaining a shoulder injury in the Champions League final.

“Good feelings” was the message from the Liverpool winger, who was pictured in the gym working on his left shoulder.

The 44-goal superstar is confident he can still contribute for his national side in the competition with the Pharaohs in Group A alongside hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uraguay.

A previous Twitter post on May 27th highlighted Salah’s confidence of being fit in time to make the World Cup.

The post read: “It was a very tough night, but I’m a fighter.

“Despite the odds, I’m confident that I’ll be in Russia to make you all proud. Your love and support will give me the strength I need.”

The World Cup kicks off on June 14th with Egypt’s first game taking place the day after in a clash against Uraguay.

I am a freelance sports journalist currently studying sports journalism at Staffordshire University with a passion for all things football. I'm a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club, as well as my local side Forest Green Rovers. I've worked for online newspaper VAVEL UK as well as a media assistant for Chester FC in the Vanarama National League.

Liverpool

One to Watch: Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold oozes confidence vs West Ham

The 19-year-old picked up exactly where he left off last season.

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Arnold
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Trent Alexander-Arnold was again in fine form as Liverpool begun their Premier League season with a dominant 4-0 win at home to West Ham.

He simply picked up from where he left season, oozing confidence as he patrolled the right side – camping himself in West Ham’s territory as Liverpool dominated the match.

The Englishman’s exceptional passing ability was the main feature of his performance.

He touched the ball 99 times and completed 58 of his 69 passes, with one delightful line-breaking pass standing out.

This ball, played through to Naby Keita as Liverpool broke forward in the build-up to their first goal, highlighted how dangerous Alexander-Arnold’s passing range when he is given time to raise his eyes and play diagonal balls through midfield.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

This diagonal pass split West Ham’s entire midfield open, sending Keita on a burst that culminated in Salah putting the Reds 1-0 ahead.

It was symbolic of the mentality Klopp instils in his players, making them feel confident taking risks to set attacks in motion.

In this instance, the 19-year-old could easily have recycled the ball to a centre-back, but his team were rewarded for his courage in possession.

Defensively, he was also quite active, completing four of his five tackles and making a solitary interception.

Again, having West Ham camped in their own half suited Alexander-Arnold as he was able to press up the pitch and win the ball early in typical Liverpool fashion.

He continues to prove why he is so important to this Liverpool team, and highlights why Nathaniel Clyne cannot get close to first-team football.

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Liverpool

Liverpool round-up: Klopp’s West Ham reaction; Klavan bid rejected; Lovren latest

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Jurgen Klopp reacts to Liverpool‘s West Ham win

Liverpool opened their Premier League campaign with a record equaling win over West Ham United thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane twice and Daniel Sturridge. The victory took the team straight to the top of the table with one game played and 37 more to go.

“A very good start, for sure. Yes, it’s a start – perfect as well because we won the game. For us it was not perfect, but really good. West Ham will play for sure a good season, but they are not then the Uniteds, Citys and all that stuff. That’s how it is, they know that and we know that and we have to be ready week in, week out for all the different challenges. Expectation – ours is the highest, but that changes nothing.”

Jurgen Klopp was impressed.

The Reds were dominant up against Mauricio Pellegrini’s Hammers, who were never at the races. Having taken a two goal lead before half-time, Mane added a second before Sturridge scored with his first touch despite coming on as a late substitute.

Newcastle wanted Klavan

News has emerged that the Reds turned down a deadline day bid from Newcastle United for Estonian defender Ragnar Klavan. The report comes from The Chronicle, who say that former Anfield boss Rafa Benitez was keen on the central defender as a cheap option to strengthen his squad.

However, Jurgen Klpop decided that the team could not do without the 32-year-old, who is currently unavailable for selection due to an injury problem. That is despite the fact that his contract is set to expire in 2019, though Klopp has previously said he would like to retain his services.

Lovren set for weeks out

Dejan Lovren returned from the World Cup suffering from a stomach problem and remains sidelined by the issue, as Jurgen Klopp has now confirmed. The German revealed that the Croatian was already struggling towards the end of the season but played through the pain expecting that it would clear up when he had time off after the summer break.

“I am pretty sure it will settle in the next one, two or three weeks. In that time he can probably for sure train already, but not the full programme, so that will then take time. In the end, it is serious but not that serious, so it’s not that we need to be afraid that it will take him until whenever. In the moment he is not available, that’s true.”

Klopp provided an update after facing West Ham.

However, that has not been the case and the coach has now revealed that he faces one to three weeks on the sidelines with the issue. Joe Gomez excelled in his place on Sunday and looks set to retain that position.

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Crystal Palace

Premier League Team of the Week I: Featuring Crystal Palace and Liverpool favourites

Who made The Boot Room’s Team of the Week for Game Week 1?

The Boot Room

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Crystal Palace and Liverpool enjoyed away wins on the opening weekend of the Premier League season while Everton gave newly promoted Wolves a quick reminder of the tough task they face on their return to the top flight.

Following the weekend’s action, The Boot Room picks its six-a-side Team of the Week.


Crystal Palace duo Wayne Hennessey and Aaron Wan-Bissaka make up the defensive line, with both impressing in the Eagles’ 2-0 victory over newly-promoted Fulham.

The former made six saves in-between the sticks to ensure a well-deserved clean sheet, while the latter successfully nullified the attacking threat of the talented Ryan Sessegnon, ensuring last season’s Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year barely had a sniff all game. Meanwhile, he also turned creator for his side’s second goal of the afternoon.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Liverpool’s James Milner‘s imperious display ensures him a spot in midfield for the week. As the Reds strolled to a 4-0 victory over West Ham United at Anfield, the 32-year-old dominated proceedings, bettering his peers in seven key areas, including recording more touches of the ball than any other player on the pitch.

Keeping him company in midfield is Wolves talent Ruben Neves. Like Milner, the 21-year-old Portugal star was central to his club’s efforts throughout the opening week. He demonstrated his immense talent and a level of maturity beyond his years as he lead his side to a 2-2 draw, chipping in with a goal and an assist.

In attack, Everton’s Richarlison seems like a man who is clearly going to thrive on the pressure of performing at Goodison Park, at least if his debut for the Toffees is anything to go by. His well-taken brace against Wolves ensured a ten-man Toffees side emerged with a least a point in their first competitive outing under Marco Silva.

Finally, Liverpool star Sadio Mane proved he is not willing to fall quietly into Mohamed Salah’s shadow at Anfield with a terrific week one performance. The Senegalese forward was in red hot form as he netted a superb brace to pick up where he left off last season following his goal in the Champions League Final defeat to Real Madrid.

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