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Lucky Lovren, honest Van Dijk – 5 talking points from Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City

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Liverpool Manchester City Georginio Wijnaldum

Liverpool ended their tough run of games with a 0-0 draw against Manchester City. This game didn’t have many clear-cut chances but thankfully, Riyad Mahrez decided to send his penalty to the moon rather than the back of the net.

Surprisingly, it was Virgil van Dijk that gave the penalty away, despite us giving Dejan Lovren his first Premier League start of the season.

Our attack was non-existent and Alisson had to do a bang-up job to keep a couple of low City shots out. Nevertheless, we didn’t lose to our title rivals and are tied on the same number of points as Chelsea and City.

Liverpool head into the international break having played Chelsea (twice), City, Tottenham, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain. And both our losses this season came in cup competitions.

This City game wasn’t something to tell your grandkids about but there were some important points to discuss.

1) The lack of creativity is killing Liverpool

Where do I begin? Our front three can’t catch a break this season. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane already look gassed while Mohamed Salah is trying his best but to no avail.

The Egyptian had one decent chance in the game but blasted the ball over the bar in the second half. What seems to be missing is someone who can unlock defences and get the trio running. We had Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doing that last season, but have no one doing it this time around.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Liverpool

Even Naby Keita was subdued, despite coming on earlier than expected. The link between the midfield and attack has gone missing at times this season, and this is the only problem we have in our current XI.

2) Klopp should make changes earlier

We spent so much money in bringing players in the summer and then Klopp isn’t willing to change things up at Anfield. Liverpool weren’t great in attack and we could see that the attack needed some freshening up.

While the German did bring on Daniel Sturridge late in the game, we had the X-Factor, Xherdan Shaqiri sitting on the bench.

Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool

The former Stoke City man has looked great for us, and it was a major surprise why he wasn’t given any minutes against the Blues.

Klopp needs to change things up a bit when it isn’t going right on the pitch and it is a little concerning why we aren’t rotating the side around and ensuring some of our top stars get more rest.

3) Lovren was incredible and lucky

Dropping Trent Alexander-Arnold to the bench and playing Dejan Lovren as the central defender would have certainly raised a few eyebrows before the game.

The Croatian is a quality defender but this was his first Premier League start of the season. The former Southampton defender hadn’t played much since the World Cup final, and facing Manchester City would have been the worst team to face, given their attacking threat.

Dejan Lovren Mohamed Salah

However, Lovren was excellent and won, more or less, every single battle he faced. There was the one moment early on when he seemed to tap Sergio Aguero from behind and it looked like a penalty but barring that, Lovren made a fantastic return to the side.

4) Refreshing honesty from Van Dijk

In a time and age when players hide their mistakes and try to blame others, Virgil van Dijk was open about his foul on Leroy Sane which gave City their penalty.

The Dutch defender was a little slow to the ball and the penalty was the right call. Van Dijk spoke after the game and admitted the referee was right in giving City the spot-kick.

Van Dijk might not have been this honest had we lost the game but he still was in top form as City barely had a kick.

This possibly was his only mistake so far in the season and hopefully, the Dutch star learns from this and doesn’t go diving in all the time.

5) Liverpool still far better off than last season

Liverpool haven’t won any of their last four games and have only scored twice. That would mean pandemonium for some but let’s put things into perspective.

We are still top of the league and unbeaten. We have a couple of easier games in the Champions League, after our last-minute loss to Napoli. We don’t have to worry about the extra games from the League Cup. And, we have already played Chelsea, City and Tottenham this season.

It has been a crazy season so far, with the fixture schedule but we have shown that we are better than last season.

The performances aren’t as brilliant but the numbers don’t lie. Last season, after eight games, we had 13 points in the Premier League, this time, we have 20.

We had drawn four times and lost once in our eight games last season, this time we have six wins and a couple of draws.

The Reds had three clean sheets last time from while this season, we have five from eight games. Even in the Champions League, we are better off.

The Reds had drawn their opening fixtures last season while we have a win and a draw against tougher opposition this time.

Read more: Leicester City interested in January move for this £70,000-a-week Liverpool star

It isn’t all doom and gloom for the Reds as we still haven’t gotten out of second gear. The international break does come at a great time for the players to rest and hopefully, they will come back better than ever in a couple of weeks.

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(Video) Watch Alisson and Roberto Firmino provide hilarious responses in latest “Bezzies”

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Roberto Firmino of Liverpool

Liverpool have come up with another Bezzies video, this time focussing on Brazilian pair Alisson and Roberto Firmino.

We had seen a similar video of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk a few weeks ago, and this one was just as brilliant between the Brazilians.

It started with Alisson answering about what Firmino would take along with him to an island, and the answer wasn’t really that surprising.

The forward answered his wife, which our keeper also guessed correctly. For Alisson’s options, the correct answer was barbecue, which Firmino got right too.

The pair were also asked what is their best body feature and which club they made their debuts for.

There were some great questions in between and Firmino confirmed that his favourite Brazilian player was Ronaldinho and not Ronaldo, while for Alisson it was goalkeeper Taffarel.

Our goalkeeper even predicted that Firmino would be a better keeper than his attacking partners Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

The pair seem to be in great form and in spirits ahead of our crucial tie against Manchester United on Sunday.

Read more: Liverpool interested in signing £70m-rated Bundesliga powerhouse

Hopefully, we pull off a win and stay atop the Premier League table as the games keep coming thick and fast.

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Liverpool interested in signing £70m-rated Bundesliga powerhouse

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Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz

Liverpool face tough competition for the signing of Kai Havertz of Bayer Leverkusen, according to Sport Bild (h/t Mirror).

The 19-year-old has been on fire for the Bundesliga giants this season and has seven goals and five assists in all competitions.

The German also has a couple of international caps to his name and plays mostly as an attacking midfielder.

The report claims that Manchester City, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are all “actively” tracking the rising star.

Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool

Havertz is rated at £70m (h/t Mirror), and he is the next big thing coming out from the Bundesliga. The 19-year-old was phenomenal last season with three goals and eight assists in the Bundesliga and seems set to break that his record in this campaign.

Liverpool have dipped into the German market several times under Jurgen Klopp, and if anyone would have the inside scoop on the 19-year-old, it has to be our manager due to his spell in the Bundesliga.

The Reds could do with an attacking midfielder in the team as we don’t have someone who can do this role. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would be the ideal player for the position but it is unlikely we will see him play any minutes this season due to his injury.

Read more: Liverpool star doesn’t believe the club is “invincible” despite great start to Premier League campaign

We lead the Premier League and made it into the knockout rounds of the Champions League, and with the right signings, there could be some silverware at Anfield this season.

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“It is going to be difficult” – Liverpool star believes Manchester United will be tough opposition

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Liverpool Manchester City Georginio Wijnaldum

Liverpool play Manchester United in the biggest fixture of the weekend, and the Reds have a sizeable lead over their rivals in the Premier League.

We are 16 points ahead of the Red Devils after just 16 games, and another win will keep us at the top of the table ahead of Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp has never defeated the Red Devils during his Premier League career, and Georginio Wijnaldum spoke about the tie.

Georginio Wijnaldum

The Dutch midfielder believed we would put up a quality performance, claiming United are a good team while having a bit of a dig claiming they go out not to lose games (h/t Mirror):

“It’s a nice game. We’ll try to put in the same performance that we did against Napoli.

“Things can happen, everyone can have a bad season, it does not mean they [United] are not a good team with good players. Last season, with the same players, they finished second.

“They have good players, a good manager, and they know how to manage games and win games – or not to lose games! It is going to be difficult.”

Jose Mourinho always seems to have a plan when playing against Liverpool, whether it was his Chelsea days or his United days.

Read more: “You gotta be kidding”, “And he finished the game?” – Liverpool fans react as star defender could be out for 6 weeks

We long for a win over the Red Devils, and with our team in great spirits, a win at Anfield could be on the books.

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