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Liverpool season review 2018-19: Klopp reaches the pinnacle by winning the Champions League

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Liverpool opinion: Liverpool 2018-19 season review – Klopp finally reaches the pinnacle of football

What a season Liverpool had as they won their first trophy under manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds had come close on several occasions to break Klopp’s duck but the German finally won the one trophy that had eluded him, the Champions League.

The 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid was the perfect manner to finish the season and it erased two sets of memories.

One was the loss in the final of the competition last season as Real Madrid won and the second was narrowly missing out on the Premier League title.

Liverpool lost the league by just one point despite amassing 97 in the season. They were beaten just once in the campaign, with Manchester City picking up the three points at the Etihad.

Next season is going to be another fantastic ride for us but there were several great moments from this campaign too.

Player of the season

Almost every Liverpool player was fantastic throughout the season or at least in chunks. Georginio Wijnaldum was excellent at the start and Sadio Mane kept scoring the goals when Mohamed Salah couldn’t.

The Egyptian still shared the Golden Boot with Mane (and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang). Alisson was an excellent signing while Fabinho came into his own in the second half of the campaign.

Our full-backs kept providing the assists throughout the season but Virgil van Dijk was on another level. The Dutch defender made it impossible to go past him and picked up several individual honours.

He was excellent in the Champions League final too, and the scary prospect for our rivals is that he is just 27 and will improve in the coming years.

Game of the season

This was a tough one to pick, thanks to several crazy moments in the season.

The win against Everton with Divock Origi scoring a late winner was one of the highlights of the season. The Belgian did the same against Newcastle to keep us in the race for the Premier League title.

The atmosphere at Anfield against PSG and Napoli were fantastic while we thrashed Arsenal 5-1 at home to prove our title credentials.

However, only one game stands out and that has to be the 4-0 win over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final second leg.

Liverpool came into this clash on the back of a 3-0 defeat at the Nou Camp but a brace each from Wijnaldum and Origi were enough to dump the Catalans out and there were crazy celebrations at Anfield that night.

The Champions League final was the bigger result given we won the trophy, but defeating Barcelona in the manner we did made us believe that the Champions League was coming home.

Player who failed to deliver

Liverpool didn’t have many players who did not showcase their ability this season, however, there was one star that just could not get going.

Adam Lallana is possibly the most technically gifted player we have in the team but his injury record over the past two years didn’t help him break into the side.

Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana against Burnley

Even when he did, the former Southampton star looked out of sorts or rusty. Lallana gave it his all for the team this season but it just wasn’t enough as the rest of his teammates kept getting better with time.

Disappointment from the season

Nothing really, apart from missing out on the Premier League title. However, the Reds gave it their all, lost just one game, and City won the Premier League crown by a mere point.

Liverpool were excellent in the campaign and there is nothing that can be pointed out as a disappointment.

Goal of the season

There were two goals that stood out in the season given their importance in the league context.

Both came against Chelsea, with Daniel Sturridge scoring a late equaliser at Stamford Bridge and Mohamed Salah scoring the second with a rocket at Anfield.

Sturridge’s goal ensured we remained unbeaten at the start of the season and kept the pressure on Manchester City, while the second goal gave us hope that City will drop points later in the campaign.

The winner is Sturridge’s effort, just by a whisker, as the Englishman hadn’t played too many minutes before he walloped the ball home past Kepa Arrizabalaga with the seconds counting down.

Final words

Klopp had promised to win something with the club in four years and he achieved that with our sixth Champions League crown.

We pushed City for the Premier League crown all the way and will be back for a second stab at that title.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

That is the one trophy which Liverpool want more than anything else, and we seem geared up to fight hard for the Premier League when the season starts in a few months.

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African sensation stalling on Serie A move as he wants to join Liverpool

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Liverpool FC transfer news: Pepe stalling on Napoli move as he wants to join Reds

Ivorian sensation Nicolas Pepe is stalling on a move to Napoli because he wants to join Liverpool, according to Napolista (h/t Liverpool Echo).

The 24-year-old had an excellent campaign for Lille last season as they finished second to Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1.

Pepe scored 22 goals and provided 11 assists in the league, and the winger was also a part of the Ivory Coast side that participated in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Nicolas Pepe
Nicolas Pepe

The report adds that the Serie A giants offered €50million plus Adam Ounas for Pepe, however, the Ivorian wants a move to Anfield.

Liverpool having a quiet summer window

The Reds were extremely busy last summer but this time around, they haven’t been too active.

Only Sepp van den Berg has joined the club, and the youngster should feature for the Reds in pre-season soon.

Liverpool have been linked with Pepe throughout the summer, and it is interesting to see that the winger is still with Lille.

Joining Liverpool is a no-brainer for him given that we won the Champions League last season and could do better in the following campaign.

Sepp van den Berg
Sepp van den Berg

The only problem in a move for Pepe would be his position. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane cannot be replaced in the first XI while Roberto Firmino is coming off a wonderful Copa America campaign.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Latest Liverpool transfer news

Pepe would want first-team starts at his next club and that is something Liverpool cannot guarantee him right now.

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Boost for Liverpool as PL club prefers selling star man to Champions League clubs

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Latest Liverpool transfer news: Palace prefer selling Zaha to clubs such as Liverpool and not Arsenal

Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol claims Crystal Palace are open to selling Wilfried Zaha to a Champions League club.

The Express claims that Arsenal saw a £40million bid rejected for Zaha in January, and Palace want at least double of that amount for the Ivorian.

Zaha is one of the best attackers in the Premier League and prefers a move to Arsenal, however, Palace are under no pressure to sell the 26-year-old (h/t Express).

Wilfried Zaha

However, Solhekol believes Palace will only sell if they get the right price, and won’t stand in the way if a top club approaches them.

The Sky reporter was speaking on the Transfer Window podcast and named Liverpool as one club that Palace would not have objections selling to (h/t Express):

“They are saying ‘look, he’s our player, we would understand if he wanted to leave to go and play for a Champions League club, but Arsenal are not a Champions League club’.

“They wouldn’t stand in his way if Barcelona or Real Madrid or PSG or Manchester City or Liverpool were trying to sign him.

“But when it comes to Arsenal, they don’t feel that the attraction there is as much as it would be at a club that was in the Champions League.”

Palace have already sold one star in the summer

The Eagles have been busy this summer and sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United for £50m (h/t Express).

Zaha would be a great addition to the team but he would not be able to replace any of our front three at the moment.

The Ivorian would provide cover to our attackers but he would want to start games regularly after impressing at Selhurst Park.

Read more Liverpool transfer news, click here – Liverpool FC transfer news

Liverpool won the Champions League last season and we seem set to challenge for more laurels in the coming years under Jurgen Klopp.

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“Maybe the time has come” – Liverpool stalwart opens up about chances of landing Ballon d’Or

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Latest Liverpool news: Van Dijk believes a defender can win the Ballon d’Or

Virgil van Dijk gave a lengthy interview to LiverpoolFC.com, where he spoke about celebrating the Champions League win with the Reds and how the team has grown since he arrived at the club.

The former Southampton defender was possibly the best centre-back in the world last season and won the PFA Player of the Year award.

Van Dijk made our defence one of the best in Europe, and the Dutch defender was asked about winning the Ballon d’Or, an award that has been lifted mostly by attackers in recent years:

“It’s an honour if people are talking about it, but what can I do? I have no influence on anything. The people that have an influence on it, they have to decide who’s going to win it.”

The Liverpool star added that he had a great season last time around and wanted an even better campaign in the coming months.

The Dutchman was reminded that the last defender to win the award was Fabio Cannavaro in 2016, and Van Dijk believed that things could change:

“Maybe now, I don’t know. I can understand the fact that normally strikers or No.10s win these kind of awards because it’s more attractive to see. But maybe the time has come to change it.”

Van Dijk in a battle to land the honour

The Dutch defender has been supreme since joining from St. Mary’s and should improve further in the coming seasons.

It will be interesting to see who wins the Ballon d’Or this time. Lionel Messi won the La Liga title with Barcelona while Cristiano Ronaldo won the Nations League and the Serie A title.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

However, Van Dijk lifted the Champions League in the summer and hopefully, a Liverpool player wins the crown.

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