Liverpool final fixtures after Newcastle win over Brighton leaves Champions League path clear for the Reds | soccer4u
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Liverpool final fixtures after Newcastle win over Brighton leaves Champions League path clear for the Reds



Liverpool final fixtures after Newcastle win over Brighton leaves Champions League path clear for the Reds

Liverpool still have a chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League ahead of the final few games, but their hopes have been dashed by Newcastle.

Liverpool’s path to next season’s Champions League qualification became a little clearer after Newcastle United’s meeting with Brighton on Thursday.

The Reds are just a point clear of the Premier League’s top four, although with Newcastle and Manchester United one game down, Jürgen Klopp’s side needed one or both to drop points in their remaining two games.

Heading into the weekend against an impressive Brighton side, Thursday looked to offer one of the best chances for one of those Newcastle oversights.

Eddie Howe’s side made no mistakes, however, with a Deniz Undav own goal setting them up before Dan Burn’s header made it 2–0. Undav halved the deficit after the break, but Callum Wilson and Bruno Guimarães scored late on to leave the Magpies poised to secure a top-four finish.

Like Liverpool, Newcastle now have just two games left, while Manchester United have three more to go.

Liverpool’s remaining fixtures — Aston Villa (H), Southampton (A).

Liverpool’s remaining fixtures — Aston Villa (H), Southampton (A).

Manchester United’s remaining fixtures — Bournemouth (A), Chelsea (H), Fulham (H).

Newcastle’s remaining fixtures — Leicester City (H), Chelsea (A).

If they are to stand any chance of finishing in the top four, Liverpool will of course need to win both of their remaining games. Their final two fixtures are favorable in that respect, although a tough game at home to Aston Villa has been made a little harder by the news that Klopp will be banned from the touchline.

Even with victories in those two games though, the top four will still be firmly in Newcastle and Manchester United’s grasps.

Having seen off Brighton, Newcastle can secure their place in the Champions League with victory over Leicester on Monday. Given what Liverpool faced when they came up against the Foxes, you’d have to think the Magpies have their spot at Europe’s top table all but booked already.

That leaves Manchester United as the Reds’ only realistic hope of catching. Both sides play at the same time on Saturday, so there might be a few Liverpool fans keeping one eye on the action at Bournemouth while at Anfield.

Having secured their safety, you wonder how big a threat Gary O’Neil’s side will pose to United, and with two home games to end the season, the fixture list does look to be kind for Erik ten Hag’s team.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s over for Liverpool’s top-four hopes. United have looked a little shaky in recent weeks, and with an FA Cup final on the horizon, players’ minds might just be drifting towards Wembley.

As it is though, heading into the weekend, Liverpool’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League look as though they may have now ended. It all comes down to whether Manchester United can hold its nerve.


Alisson ranking in Golden Glove race defies logic as Liverpool man can still catch David de Gea

Alisson ranking in Golden Glove race defies logic as Liverpool man can still catch David de Gea

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has kept three successive clean sheets to move back into the frame for the Premier League Golden Glove award, which he won last year.

Liverpool didn’t have to work all that hard to preserve its clean sheet away to Leicester City on Monday night.

The Foxes could only muster four shots over the course of the game, posting an expected goals tally of just 0.5 (as per FBRef).

After going five straight matches without a shutout, Liverpool has now strung together three on the bounce, having beaten Fulham and Brentford 1-0 in its previous two games.

The Reds could yet match their best sequence of the campaign (five from mid-February to early March) if they keep out Aston Villa and Southampton.

Goalkeeper Alisson was seemingly out of the running to win the Golden Glove, the prize he shared with Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson last season after keeping 20 clean sheets, but is now back in the equation.

He’s moved up to second in the leaderboard on 14, with only Manchester United’s David de Gea (16) ahead of him.

De Gea must concede in all three of United’s remaining games — Bournemouth (A), Chelsea (H) and Fulham (H) — for Alisson to have a chance of sharing the award once again, and the Brazilian knows his hopes will be extinguished if he lets in another goal himself.

Newcastle United’s Nick Pope (13 clean sheets) is the only other ‘keeper in contention, with the Magpies due to play three more games, but his chances are even more remote. says: It seems remarkable that Alisson ranks so high given Liverpool’s defensive woes this season. The Reds have already conceded 42 goals, their joint-highest haul across Jürgen Klopp’s seven full seasons in charge.

The Golden Glove has been handed out since 2004/05 and, in that time, only one goalkeeper has won it while shipping more than 40 goals — Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczęsny in 2013/14.

The average tally for the victor stands at just 29.6, which emphasizes that this is something of a freak year.


Nicolò Barella sends Liverpool a Champions League reminder as two more should make transfer list

Nicolò Barella was as classy as ever in helping to book Inter Milan’s place in the Champions League final, but others may have caught Liverpool’s eye too.

In theory, there was little to be learned from the Champions League semi-final that could not have been gleaned from watching Serie A this season. But in reality, the exclusively Milanese affair offered plenty of transfer intrigue for outside observers.

In an increasingly data-driven industry, there is still room for the intangibles. One of the biggest is how players deal with pressure. For Liverpool, participants in three of the last five Champions League finals, it was fascinating to see how Nicolò Barella got on with a place in club football’s biggest game on the line, in a derby very much out of the ordinary.

A starter in Italy’s European Championship triumph over England, it’s not as though Barella has not proved himself on this kind of stage before. But if nothing else, this was another reminder that his quality can leave a stamp on any game.

Barella turns up very strongly in the numbers, as it happens, but it does feel like he is the timeless sort of player that needs to be watched to be fully appreciated. He glides around the football pitch, finding space for himself and creating it for others, and he seems blessed with the kind of awareness that cannot be taught.

With Liverpool having backed away from Jude Bellingham, watching Barella in action for Inter in the semi-final was a prompt that this is the closest it will get to a like-for-like alternative. Neil Jones confirmed recently that Jürgen Klopp’s side is ‘very, very admiring’ of the midfielder, even if a transfer is considered something of an outside shot at this stage.

But while he was the jewel in the crown of this Champions League tie, players from both sides of Milan left an impression. Liverpool could do worse than running the rule over a number of them.

The new role for Trent Alexander-Arnold raises a number of interesting transfer questions for Liverpool. It certainly makes ‘hybrid’ full-backs inherently more attractive — whether that is someone who can tuck in as a center-back as well, or someone who can step into midfield. Denzel Dumfries partially ticks both boxes.

He is certainly attacking enough to deputize for Alexander-Arnold in his traditional full-back role. He proved that from his wing-back base against Milan; a sharp pull-back created a great chance for none other than Barella in the first half, although the offside flag eventually went up for an offense earlier in the move. But he would also be more than capable of tucking in behind the number 66, having accumulated a handful of games in the center of the defense.

Dumfries even has a couple of games as a defensive midfielder to his name, suggesting he could serve as the kind of versatile cover Klopp needs — especially with James Milner set to move on. At 27, the Dutchman is older than the classic Liverpool signing, but he is two years younger than Milner was when he first arrived at Anfield. He is also only a year older than the widely-coveted Barella. Particularly in a squad role, there could be many years of helpful service ahead.

Nicolò Barella was a classy presence as Inter booked its place in the Champions League final. 

Many expected Rafael Leão might be one to stand out, having been forced to miss the first leg. But only recently back to fitness, he was unable to shine, with Dumfries combining well with Matteo Darmian to keep him mostly quiet.

In the end, one of the Milan standouts was apparent one-time Liverpool target (per the Express) Sandro Tonali. Inter spent a long time in the ascendency, but the Italian midfielder was central to the moments where the eventual winners were rocked.

Determined to look forward and find a route to goal, his progression and particularly assist numbers over the past year reflect that reality. He is also reasonably defensively active. It would be an altogether different class of midfield signing to someone like Barella, but his brave showing in the Champions League suggests it may also be an astute addition.

Inevitably, though, Liverpool’s focus will be drawn to Inter, thoroughly deserving of its place in the final. Barella’s audition against one of Manchester City and Real Madrid will be truly fascinating, and Anfield scouts could do worse than keeping an eye on Dumfries too.


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