Monthly Archives: February 2023

Real Madrid Haunt Liverpool On The European Stage

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to continue their resurgence this season by taking revenge against Real Madrid in the European Champions League.

Klopp’s squad finally showed improvement in a campaign that was almost completely destroyed.

Liverpool recorded back-to-back wins – over Everton and Newcastle – to rekindle their chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle put them just six points behind their opponents who are fourth in the league, with Liverpool one game less.

Liverpool will host Real at Anfield tomorrow for the first leg of the last 16 round of the European Champions League.

It will be decisive in Klopp’s ability to lead Liverpool to a second Champions League title under his management.

Liverpool, six-time champions of Europe’s elite competition, should have enjoyed more Champions League success under Klopp’s guidance, but Real were the main obstacle.

The Spanish giants beat Liverpool in the 2018 final, knocked them out in the quarter-finals in 2021 and won the title last season with a 1-0 victory in the final in Paris thanks to a goal from Vinicius Junior.

Liverpool have failed to beat Real since winning in the last 16 of the 2009 Champions League.

Last year’s defeat ended their failure to chase a quadruple title, a mission that only yielded success in the FA Cup and League Cup.

With this year’s Champions League final set to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, he is sure to invoke fond memories for Liverpool where they beat AC Milan for the 2005 edition of the championship.

The Reds are definitely looking forward to returning to Ataturk Stadium, but they first need to overcome Carlo Ancelotti’s men

Barcelona, Manchester United To Prove Their Status

BARCELONA: Barcelona will await the arrival of Manchester United early this Friday morning in a clash that has twice graced the final of the Champions League but this week is somewhat embarrassing in the play-off round of the Europa League.

The Catalan side were knocked out of Europe’s premier competition at the first hurdle as Manchester United finished as runners-up in their Europa League group stage, pitting the two against each other.

Despite the high status of both teams who once held the title of giant, they are among the most improved teams and are at the best level of performance in the continent.

Barcelona and Manchester United are both being built by great coaches Erik ten Hag and Xavi Hernandez who aim to quickly return to Europe’s elite stage.

The teams last met in 2019 as United slumped after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson while Barcelona’s decline began again.

Five-time Champions League winners Barca won the quarter-final 4-0 on aggregate, but the only player United will likely face near Camp Nou is goalkeeper Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona have since overhauled their entire squad at their expense last summer, sparking criticism after being knocked out of the Europa League.

Robert Lewandowski is a dangerous striker signed by the Catalan squad while Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen have already confirmed their status as key defenders among the best in Europe.

Barcelona have conceded just seven goals in La Liga this season, keeping 16 clean sheets in 21 games and Xavi’s side are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions.

Xavi took over the team in November last year and led the team from mid-table to second place in the league.

“It’s been over a year since Xavi came and a lot of things have changed, maybe even the mentality and the way we defend,” Ter Stegen said this week.

“(Xavi) has a plan, maybe it takes longer than expected, but you see the results step by step. We have a better idea to do it on the pitch and this is the key to success.”

Liverpool, United Deserve To Be Awarded EPL Title

LONDON: The English Premier League (EPL) title should be awarded to Manchester United and Liverpool after Manchester City was accused of violating financial regulations.

The Premier League today claimed City, owned by Abu Dhabi-controlled City Football Group (CFG), breached financial rules more than 100 times over nine seasons.

After the news broke, Liverpool and United supporters insisted their teams should be awarded the Premier League title in a year in which they finished second behind Pep Guardiola’s side.

Liverpool are just one point behind City in the 2018-19 and 2021-22 seasons. The Reds were also two points behind City in the 2013-14 season.

United were denied the 2011-12 league title by City on goal difference thanks to Sergio Aguero’s dramatic win in the final league game.

One Liverpool supporter wrote: “If found guilty there should be points deducted. We only have one title instead of three because we are competing against teams who break the law.”

Another Reds supporter wrote: “Give the Premier League title to the second place team in 2013-14, 2018-19 and 2021-22 as punishment.”

United supporters also said: “Give Manchester United and Jose Mourinho the 2017-18 Premier League title.”

Manchester United To The League Cup Final

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said winning a trophy was a necessary step at Old Trafford after the team beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 earlier this morning then won 5-0 on aggregate to reach the League Cup final.

Anthony Martial and Fred scored for Ten Hag’s side in the final 17 minutes of the semi-final with United facing Newcastle at Wembley on February 26.

Three managers have left the club since United last won a trophy under Jose Mourinho in 2017.

But Ten Hag is now just one game short of ending the drought in his first season at the club.

“I think we have a good squad, so we want to maintain a high standard,” said the Dutch manager. “You have to bring it in every game.

“We are Manchester United. When you are a United player, you have to live up to that standard.”

The advantage collected by the Red Devils when they won 3-0 at the City Ground in the first round when Ten Hag could rotate the squad since United are still involved in four tournaments.

He made six changes from the squad that beat Reading 3-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup last Saturday with Marcus Rashford among those rested on the bench.

Wout Weghorst came close to breaking the deadlock before the break when the Dutchman’s header went wide but the game opened up more after Ten Hag made a change after an hour.

“We have a lot to do this season, so far I hope everyone can play,” said Ten Hag.

“If you want to win trophies, you need all of them to perform. You saw tonight that we can bring a new dynamic from the bench.”