Reina wants Barcelona switch


Pepe Reina has spoken again of his desire to seal a return to Barcelona next Summer.

PIThe Reds keeper, now 31, is currently spending the season on loan at Italian club Napoli under the guidance of former Kop boss Rafael Benitez.

He left Barcelona to join Villarreal before moving to Anfield in 2005 and he wants to go back and take over the number one shirt that eluded him for much of his first spell with the Catalans.

“I would love to return to Barcelona. To play at Barca is a privilege.” Reina is quoted as saying.

“I was fortunate to play there once and I consider myself privileged to have done that.”

Rodgers believes Suarez right to stay


Brendan Rodgers has spoken of his delight at seeing Luis Suarez perform so well for the club this season and says that his striker was right to remain at the club.

lsSuarez had seemed destined to depart Anfield in the Summer and was the subject of a £40m bid from Premiership rivals Arsenal – and he asked the club to allow him to speak to the current table toppers.

The Uruguayan appears to have moved on from that desire and has smashed thirteen goals already in the league in just nine games after missing the start of the season thanks to suspension after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic late last season.

And Rodgers believes that the forward is very happy with life at the club and does not want to move on in the upcoming transfer window.

“Luis is extremely happy at Liverpool.”  he said.

“We don’t want to regurgitate things from the past. It was a difficult summer, he understood where we were at and that we want to keep our best players here.

“He is absolutely loving life at Liverpool here at the moment; he’s certainly up there with the top players in the world at this moment.

“He certainly feels vindicated for wanting to stay here. Hopefully in the coming years he can achieve what he wants to achieve and play at the top level of the game.”

Suarez happy at Anfield


Luis Suarez has said that he is happy with life at Anfield and will do all he can to get Champions League football for the club.

suarezThe Uruguayan striker scored four goals against Norwich City in the Premiership clash last night to get the team back on track after a 3-1 loss at Hull on Sunday.

And the Premier League’s top scorer has said that he feels he is in the best league in the world.

“When I’m happy off the field I’m at home in the Premier League and it is the best league out there,” he told Spanish newspaper Marca.

“Yes, I am happy here and I will continue.

“The main thing is Liverpool are in the top four after a long time. I will help the team get it (Champions League football).”

Suarez has now scored thirteen goals in just nine league games after missing the first six through suspension.

Liverpool 5 – 1 Norwich

Luis Suarez

It was the Luis Suarez show at Anfield as the first four of the match’s five goals came from Liverpool’s number seven.

Brendan Rodgers had called for his team to react to the shocking loss to Hull City, and the reaction came straight away with Suarez knocking down the door after 15 minutes. It was another 40 yard bomb from Suarez who saw the keeper off his line and dropped the ball cooly into the back of the net for the early one-nil.

Norwich’s frustrations showed early in the twentieth minute with Bradley Johnson picking up the first booking of the match.

The frustrations continued shortly after in the 29th minute when Luis Suarez was present again from Philippe Coutinho’s set piece that saw Suarez flick a left footed volley into the back of the net. Two-nil ‘Pool.

Joe Allen lost a bit of his cool and picked up the second booking of the match a few minutes later, and then a few minutes after that Luis Suarez made history. Suarez is the first player in the history of the Premier League to score three hat tricks against the same team. Suarez running down the left wing was surrounded on both sides by defenders, but a clever flick over the defender left him with open space on the left side of the box and rocketed a volley in for the hat trick just 35 minutes into the match.

Gerrard picked up a booking for kicking out two minutes from the half and that would be the last action of the first 45 minutes.

The home side went into cruise control after the half, but Norwich would not give up their goalkeeper Ruddy making one or two great saves to keep Norwich only down by three.
But the score wouldn’t remain as such when Luis Suarez scored another marvelous free kick from 20 yards out for his fourth goal of the match, and the goal that put his scoring record above nine other teams in the Premier League.

Credit to Norwich City who never gave up the fight scoring the ball from a poorly defended cross. The aforementioned Bradley Johnson was the scorer. Ten minutes from time Luis Suarez was involved in yet another goal, but this time as the assister when his low cross from the left side of the box met the foot of young Raheem Sterling to score the final goal of the match.

After 92 minutes the whistle blew for full time with the scoreboard showing Liverpool 5, Norwich 1.

Liverpool’s next match is home at Anfield on 7 December when they host East Londoners West Ham United.

Eight days later The Reds will make the trip down to London and to White Hart Lane to visit struggling Tottenham Hotspur.

Gerrard liking playmaker role


Steven Gerrard has said that he is enjoying his role as playmaker in the Liverpool midfield this season.

rodgerThe club captain scored a pinpoint free kick against Hull on Sunday in the shock 3-1 defeat, but has also played a part in many Reds goals this season.

“If you play around good players, they make good movement and put themselves in good positions.” he said.

“My job, and what the manager wants me to do from my position, is to try to create and be a playmaker in there.

“Maybe I’m playing a little bit deeper this year but I can still get into areas where I can hurt the opposition. That’s what I’m trying to do.

“We do work on set-pieces. It’s a part of my game that I’ve tried to work on all my career – to put good deliveries into the box.

“I’ve been putting the ball in really good, inviting areas and the forward players and defenders have been finishing them off.

“The statistics in football, when it comes down to set-pieces, are huge and can be the difference between winning big football matches and where you finish at the end of the season.

“It’s important that we keep scoring from set-pieces, but also that we tighten up and become more aggressive and ruthless when we’re defending our own goal.”

Rodgers demands instant response


Brendan Rodgers is confident that his side can avoid the indignity of losing two games in a row by getting a positive result against struggling Norwich City tonight.

The shock defeat at Hull on Sunday has seen the manager demand an instant response from his players and they have the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways with Norwich and West Ham visiting Anfield this week.

“In the time I’ve been here we’ve never lost two games on the spin and that’s really down to the positivity of the players and how they can bounce back and recover after a defeat.” he said.

“It’s that type of league; if you lose a game, you can drop a few places. If you win a couple of games on the spin, it will keep you up there.

“Our idea was to get through to the midway point being in and around the top positions, which we have been until now.

“The league has shown this year, as much as any other time at this level, that it’s very unpredictable and the scoreline (at Hull) probably suggested that.

“But you can’t dwell on it. You’ve got to refocus and reset and go again and that’s what we will look to do.”

Barcelona confirm Reina interest


Barcelona vice-President Josep Maria Bartomeu has stated that Pepe Reina is on their shortlist of two goalkeepers to replace current number one Victor Valdes next season.

RUntitledeina, who is spending this season on loan at Italian club Napoli, thought he would be moving to Camp Nou this past Summer only to see the deal fail to materialise as Valdes cancelled a move to French giants Monaco.

Bartomeu revealed that Barca chiefs are waiting for Valdes to decide where his future lies before making their plans certain, but Reina and Borussia Monchengladbach stopper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen have both been closely looked at as replacements.

“We have been looking for a goalkeeper since Valdes announced he wanted to leave.” he told RAC1.

“We are in highly advanced negotiations. If Valdes says officially where he will go to in January, we will announce the new goalkeeper for Barcelona.

“Our idea is to sign only one goalkeeper. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Pepe Reina are within our range of options, which is already very small.”

Valdes has already publicly spoken of his desire to move on from Barcelona once his contract retires at the end of the season.

Pellegrini writes off Reds


Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has said that he doesn’t believe Liverpool, or Tottenham Hotspur, are genuine title contenders this season.

mpCity are currently third, above Liverpool in fourth, but sit six points adrift of Arsenal, who are current pacemakers.

The Chilean coach still believes that his side are stronger contenders for the title despite being six points off the pace being set by surprise package Arsenal.

“The Premier League is very close this year,’ he said.

“There are six clubs challenging, with very little difference between one team and another.

“We have a lot of points to fight for, and I think at the end it will be between Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City.”

Hull City 3 – 1 Liverpool


Liverpool walked away from the KC Stadium humiliated after suffering a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Hull City.

The defeat is Liverpool’s third of the season, and sees them drop down to 4th place in the Premier League table. The starting XI did look unusually weak – Philippe Coutinho had picked up a knock and joined Daniel Sturridge on the bench – but with the level of opposition that is no real excuse.

Liverpool started the game slowly – a theme that was to continue through all but short patches of the game. They had the lion’s share of possession in the opening exchanges but did little with it, and gave the ball away cheaply on a couple of occasions.

One Curtis Davies effort excepted, the home side hadn’t really looked too threatening themselves, but they got the breakthrough with a large slice of luck on 20 minutes.

Jake Livermore had the Liverpool goal in his sights after being played through by a neat one-two just outside the box. He struck his effort from the edge of the box, but the shot took a wicked deflection off Martin Skrtel, and looped over the head of the helpless Simon Mignolet.

The setback seemed to spark some life into Liverpool, and the scores were level seven minutes later. Steven Gerrard lined up a free-kick on the edge of the box after Jordan Henderson was brought down, and the skipper made no mistake in placing the ball in the bottom corner of Allan McGregor’s goal.

Liverpool started to put some good passing football together, but were still guilty of letting their opponents through on goal too easily. Ultimately neither side could find a second goal before the end of the first half, though the Reds probably looked slightly the more likely to.

Any small progress made in the first half was reversed after the restart though, and Liverpool looked devoid of ideas. Brendan Rodgers was forced to introduce Coutinho to try and freshen things up, but whilst the Brazilian showed a few flashes of skill his introduction was not enough to greatly change the flow of the game.

Disaster struck on 71 minutes, as the Liverpool defence made a shambles of clearing their lines. The ball eventually broke for David Meyler, who drilled the ball past Mignolet into the bottom corner.

The humiliation was completed with three minutes to go when Skrtel managed to head Tom Huddlestone’s shot into his own net. A day to forget for Liverpool players and fans alike, who will no doubt be glad the chance for redemption falls in just a few days.

Mirallas expected red card


Everton attacker Kevin Mirallas has said that he expected to be shown a red card on Saturday after his horrific challenge on Luis Suarez.

mirallasThe Belgian international caught the Uruguay forward high on the leg, which left stud marks and bleeding behind, and thought that referee Phil Dowd would produce the red card and give him an early bath.

Brendan Rodgers has stated his disappointment at seeing Mirlass receive only a yellow card for the tackle, while Everton boss Roberto Martinez has defended his player.

Mirallas himself has said that he fully expected to be given his marching orders.

“When I made the challenge the first thing I thought was that it was going to be a red card,” Mirallas told reporters.

“I was genuinely going for the ball but I know I caught him on the knee and I said sorry straight away.”