Liverpool put in a solid display at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, as the Merseyside club beat the Gunners 4-3 in their opening fixture of the new Premier League campaign. Though Arsenal did have their chances of scoring some goals in the match, they failed to do so once again, with Theo Walcott missing a penalty. However, the England international did make up for his mistake by giving his side the lead, but the chances missed did cost the north Londoners three crucial points.
Further, for the visitors, there were some superb performances on display from the likes of Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho and debutant Sadio Mane, which helped them overcome Arsene Wenger’s side on the night.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his side can keep up the good work in the upcoming days and maintain the kind of form that they showcased in their outing at the weekend.
Here are three players from his current squad who can help the German boss ensure qualification for European football in the current campaign:
3. Loris Karius:
Simon Mignolet looked really weak against the north London giants in the opening fixture, as he lacked the confidence to command his defensive line. Apart from Moreno, if there is one weak link at the back, it has to be the Belgian keeper. With the former Germany U-21 international amongst the Liverpool ranks, it is high time to send Mignolet back to the bench and employ the available option in hand. The 23-year-old former Mainz goalie can prove to be a huge asset for the Premier League outfit if used properly.
2. Sadio Mane:
A player who impressed one and all with his debut for his new club was winger Sadio Mane, who can play a vital role in making Klopp’s side a top contender for not just a top four finish, but the league title as well. The winger scored a brilliant individual goal in the match against Arsenal, replicating his superb form from his days at former club Southampton, which even stunned the former Borussia Dortmund manager for a few seconds and the celebration that followed was just amazing to watch. Klopp knows what the player can do and will be hoping that this form does not fade away anytime soon.
1. Philippe Coutinho:
The man of the match against Wenger’s side was unarguably Liverpool’s best player, Philippe Coutinho. It was his contribution that helped them win some crucial games last season as well, though they unfortunately could not win titles. However, if Coutinho can now combine well with his team-mates this season, he will surely make a huge difference to their cause and help them qualify for Europe and more. It will be interesting to see how the Brazilian international performs in the upcoming days, with the fans definitely expecting more of the same from him.
“Ended his career”- Some Liverpool fans react to this star dominating Man Utd ace
Twitter reacts to Roberto Firmino turning Wan Bissaka inside out
Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino is no stranger to the highlight reels. The Brazilian has had conjured numerous moments of magic in a Red shirt that have been part of countless highlight reels.
Early in the second half of the match against Manchester United, the Liverpool striker turned United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissake inside out ending with the defender landing flat on the Anfield turf.
Picking up the ball on the left, Firmino ran at Wan-Bissaka and cut across the defender numerous times completely flatfooted him.
Wan Bissaka is considered by some to be the best defensive right-back in the league and has also been compared by United fans to Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Reds faithful would have enjoyed Firmino showing the world that the United defender still has some ways to go before being compared to Liverpool’s wonderkid.
The move coincided with a sustained period of dominance where Liverpool had 7 chances in the opening 9 minutes of the second half.
Virgil van Dijk gave Liverpool the lead in the first half with a towering header from a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner. Firmino looked to have doubled the Red’s lead only for the goal to be controversially ruled out for a Van Dijk foul on David de Gea.
Giorginio Wijnaldum had the ball in the back of the net after a fine passing move,but the goal was once again ruled out for offside.
Twitter reacts to Firmino’s skill against Wan-Bissaka
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Loan watch: Find out how the young Liverpool starlets are faring
Loan Watch: Find out how the Liverpool loanees fared this week
With the first-team squad setting higher standards with every match, some of Liverpool ‘s promising talents have had to go out on loan to get more playtime to further their development.
We take a look at how these players fared this week
Rhian Brewster (Swansea City)
It was a home debut to remember for Rhian Brewster as the youngster scored his first senior goal in Swansea City’s 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic. (h/t Sky Sports)
Nathan Byrne had given Wigan lead, only for Brewster to bring the Swans level with a clinical finish at the 19th-minute mark.
Swansea ended up winning the game 2-1 courtesy of an Andrew Ayew goal in the second half. It has been a promising start for Brewster at the Liberty Stadium and is hopefully just the start of bigger things to come.
The Swans are currently 6th in the Championship table and look set to at least make the playoffs for Premier League promotion.
Sheyi Ojo (Rangers)
The 22-year-old winger came on as a second-half substitute as Rangers defeated Stranraer 2-0 in the Scottish Cup at Ibrox. The youngster played the last quarter of the game as Steven Gerrard’s side go through to the 5th round where they will face Hamilton Academical.
Ojo has made 22 appearances for Rangers this season and has scored 2 goals. (h/t Whoscored)
Harry Wilson ( Bournemouth)
It was a frustrating night for the Welsh winger as he was sacrificed for Simon Wallis in the 34th minute. The substitution was the consequence of a tactical reshuffle effected by the sending off of Steve Cook.
The night got worse for The Cherries as they lost 1-0 and now find themselves in very real danger of being relegated. Wilson has played 22 times for Bournemouth this season and has scored 6 goals.
Herbie Kane (Hull City)
It was a bad day at the office for Herbie Kane as the midfielder played the full 90 minutes in the Tigers’ 1-0 loss to Derby County.
The defeat leaves Hull 6 points off a playoff berth.
Kamil Grabara (Huddersfield Town)
Grabara played the full 90 minutes as he kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw against Brentford. Huddersfield could have really done with a win and are looking at the prospect of back to back relegations if their form does not pick up soon.
Marko Grujic (Hertha Berlin)
Grujic played the full 90 minutes in a 4-0 mauling against Bayern Munich at home. Hertha Berlin were outplayed as the German champions ran riot at the Olympiastadion Berlin.
Grujic has impressed at his loan spell and is likely to be recalled in the summer. Hertha are currently 14th in the Bundesliga table, just 2 points away from the relegation playoffs.
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Loris Karius (Besiktas)
Loris Karius also faced defeat as Besiktas were beaten 2-1 by League leaders Sivasspor in the Turkish Sper Lig. The defeat leaves Besiktas in 7th,10 points off their opponents at the top.
The goalkeeper looked certain to sign for Besiktas in the summer. With Besiktas unable to secure funds for his signature. It is likely that he will now return to Liverpool at the end of the season. (h/t Mirror)
Liverpool star aiming for quick return from injury
Injured winger Xherdan Shaqiri hopes to return to action soon
Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri is aiming for a quick return to action after missing the victory over Manchester United due to injury. (h/t Liverpoolfc)
Injuries have severely limited the Swiss winger to just 9 appearances this season. The latest being a knock that kept him out of the clash against Manchester United. Shaqiri has fine memories of the fixture, having come off the bench to score a brace in the corresponding fixture last season.
The player refused to explicitly state a return date but hopes to be back as quickly as possible.
Shaqiri has expressed his frustration at his persistent injuries. He hopes to put his troubles behind him as the Reds compete for the Premier League, Champions League and the FA Cup.
Preparing for an Audition?
Shaqiri has found himself reduced to a marginal role even when fit, making some sections question his future at the club.
The player had been linked with a move to Italian giants Roma and AC Milan in the January transfer window. The move seems unlikely after Klopp stated that no first-team players will leave the club in January.
With games coming thick and fast, Klopp needs all the players at his disposal as Liverpool chase domestic and European glory. Shaqiri will hope to play a key role in the club’s success further increasing his stock in the transfer market.
If the Swiss international is to move on next season, he will find no shortage of suitors if he makes a name for himself this season.
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Shaqiri joined Liverpool from Stoke City in 2018. He went on to score a number of important goals as the Reds set a club record points total in the League and also won the UEFA Champions League.