Gary Neville had suggested on previous occasions that Liverpool were on a declining path. That the heights the Reds had reached in previous seasons would be difficult to match.
However, the former Man United right back has now, in a stunning admission, backpedaled from his statement. The reason for this is due to what Liverpool did over the weekend.
Due to Liverpool FC’s latest addition to the silverware cabinet at Anfield, Gary Neville has said he was ‘wrong’.
The Reds won their historic ninth League Cup when they beat Chelsea on penalties by 10-11. Regardless of the result, the match was a thriller and one for the history books despite ending scoreless.
Thanks to Kepa Arrizabalaga absolutely sky-ing his penalty, Liverpool just edged it in the shoot-out.
Such a victory will add a huge boost to Klopp’s team’s morale, after they put themselves just 6 points behind City. Although, the Reds have an extra game in hand.
Neville said back during the start of the season: “They are not the team they were two years ago. They are a good team by the way – they will win a lot of games. They’ll go close.”
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) February 28, 2022
Like most of his contemporaries, the ex-England defender had expected Liverpool to out for the count this season. Nevertheless, Liverpool bounced back this season in stunning form after a troublesome last season.
In a massive backpedal, Neville has eaten up his words. “I thought Liverpool were in decline,” he said.
“I thought Liverpool were in decline.”
“In decline from a very, very high place. They were one of the best teams that you’ll see in Premier League a few years ago when they won it.
“What I think they’ve done is dip off that level a little bit, but now it feels like they’re coming back and they could have an incredible season this year.
“They could go on to win the Premier League, they’re still in the Champions League, they’ve obviously got a trophy to play for today – I think the winner of this trophy today will be in good stead for the rest of the season.”
Klopp, Pep sing each other’s praises ahead of English ‘El Clasico’
Just before Sunday’s all crucial fixture, Jurgen Klopp has showered his rival Pep Guardiola in high praises. The German has called his Spanish compatriot Pep Guardiola the best manager in the world.
Not sure many Reds fans would agree with that one, though. The Gaffer’s comments came after Pep Guardiola jokingly admitted to overthinking allegations in the Champions League.
Klopp defends Pep Guardiola in the press
Guardiola commented that the solution to his overthinking might be to just ‘play with 12 players.’ This comes as City have blown away their huge lead in the league over Liverpool from the start of the year.
Jurgen Klopp when asked about Guardiola’s comments, he went onto explain what Pep actually meant. Read what the German said below.
“It was ironic! I saw there was a story in Ecuador this week which claimed I didn’t understand Luis Diaz. You[journalists] have a responsibility on this planet.
If you want to talk to us then please do us a favour and help us. Pep said ironically, ‘I overthink, and I like overthinking’.”
Not only this, the German then went onto claim Guardiola is the best manager in the world.
“Pep is the best coach in the world. I think we would all agree on that and it might be a coincidence that it didn’t work out in the Champions League so far. If anybody doubts him, I have no idea how that could happen.”
The Bromance goes both ways, as well. Pep has several times termed Klopp’s Liverpool as the toughest team he’s ever encountered.
Guardiola says Klopp makes world football a ‘better place’
When asked about he thinks of Klopp’s comments, Pep denied that he thinks he’s the best. He further said he’d love to have a drink with the German if City won the game, jokingly.
“Jurgen makes world football a better place to live. His message, he is a huge competitor.”
Over the likes of SAF’s Man United, Jose’s Madrid and Inter, and even Simeone’s Atleti. Needless to say, Klopp rightly deserves that praise. Out of all those managers, Klopp has the best record against Guardiola.
Many have termed this game as the biggest in recent English history and dubbed the English ‘El Clasico’.
The duo are evenly tied at 9 wins each and 4 draws out of their 22 encounters throughout the years. The game is setting up to be a potential title decider with Liverpool in red hot form currently.
Match Report: Two tight finishes see Liverpool get over Arsenal
It was a game of close margins as two close finishes from Jota and Firmino saw Liverpool through against Arsenal. Check out the match report, opinions and tweets from last night’s game here!
A game of narrow margins and Jurgen Klopp’s Reds always know how to pull off results out of those. In the blink of an eye, two neat finishes of the highest order changed the complexion of the game in the span of eight minutes.
The first half of the game was even, as many had expected but without any goals. One could say Arsenal were even the better team till the first goal, but goals are the most vital.
3 things guaranteed in life, death, taxes and Jota scoring against Arsenal.
— Chunkz (@Chunkz) March 16, 2022
At the 54th minute mark, a pinpoint threaded pass by Thiago Alcantara found its way to Jota.
The Portuguese was running at the Arsenal defense and kept doing so, before smashing the ball into a small pocket of space left by Ramsdale near post.
📊 STAT: Diogo Jota's last three appearances at the Emirates Stadium:
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) March 16, 2022
Diogo Jota has scored seven times against Arsenal since moving to Liverpool, with 5 of those at the Emirates. He truly loves himself a game against the Gunners, doesn’t he?
Just a little later, Firmino put in a cheeky outside boot to finish off the game. Robertson got the ball after a failed clearance by Saka, and the left-back ran with the ball till he put it on a platter for the Brazilian, who finished it with rather ease.
Firmino’s movement in such a small area to operate is why he’s elite. Small margins and more depth. LFC to win the title. Our boys did good, we getting there 💪🏾
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) March 16, 2022
Arsenal are a good team, it’s certainly a fact that Arteta’s changed their whole outlook and aura. However, Liverpool never seemed to be moved or at unease during the whole game and they showed it in the 2nd half.
A night when you saw exactly why Jurgen Klopp loves Roberto Firmino, why everyone loves Alisson Becker, and why you should never doubt this Liverpool team.#LFC
— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) March 16, 2022
Almost as if this was a game between Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool of 16/17 versus the current one. A team in the ascendancy against a team settled, sure of itself and brimming with the demeanor of champions.
MATCHDAY: Liverpool go to the Emirates in crucial title fixture
Read up the matchday preview as Liverpool visit the Emirates in one of their most crucial games in the league. Liverpool’s trip to Emirates is set up to be increasingly important in the upcoming title race.
Matchday Preview: Liverpool travel away to the Emirates to face Arsenal
Liverpool will be going away to the Emirates to keep up their push for the Premier League this season. If they snatch a win here, they can in touching distance of the league leaders.
The Reds currently sit at second place in the league, a point less than leaders Man City. However, since Pep’s team played a goalless draw against Crystal Palace earlier this week, Reds have their best chance to close the distance.
Arsenal, on the other hand, will be looking to cement their top four spot ahead of Man United. Arteta’s men are impressing on all fronts recently, as proven by their 5 consecutive win streak in the league.
Fans are gearing up for the game to be a cracker, with immense attacking talent on display on both sides.
Venue: The Emirates
Time: 8:15 pm local time
Referee: Michael Oliver
Reds supporters will be delighted to hear that Moh Salah is back in contention for the game, possibly. All this comes after the Egyptian suffered a foot injury in Liverpool’s weekend game against Brighton.
However, It still remains to be seen whether he can make the starting XI or not. If not, Klopp will have to choose between Jota or Firmino.
📺 Jurgen Klopp on Mo Salah's injury record:
"He’s worked on his body, it’s his body but obviously you cannot, there’s no miracles. Players are more vulnerable than others and Mo has obviously the right mindset, the right attitude and the right body for it as well.” 🔴 pic.twitter.com/8MkFinxd2m
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) March 15, 2022
Possible Starting XIs
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mane, Diaz
Arsenal: Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Lacazette, Martinelli
Result Prediction: Liverpool to edge it out at the Emirates
Arsenal 2 – 3 Liverpool
While Arsenal have been on an impressive run as of late, Liverpool are on an even better streak. With the Reds clicking at the right time of the season, we expect them to exploit Arsenal’s defensive woes.
The Gunners have been left exposed at times at the back due to their high press up the pitch. Opponents haven’t fully cashed in on that weakness, but Jurgen Klopp and his men are a different caliber altogether.