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Schalke next for Reds

Last Updated: 19/03/2027 12:00pm

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Will Virgil Van Dijk end his Liverpool career with scenes like this?

After seeing off one German side, Liverpool have to see off another one if they are to be in final four of this season's UEFA Champions League.

The Reds face Schalke 04 in the quarter-finals with Anfield hosting the first leg.

Reds manager Mark Duell took time away from his England duties to comment.

"It's not the easiest draw but then again all games at this level aren't easy. That's why it's called the Champions League.

Schalke will be respected like any team we face, but we know we have enough about us to make the semi-final. Whichever team wants more over the two legs, will prevail. It's as simple as that."

There's an all-English last eight tie as Manchester City take on Chelsea, whilst Premier League leaders Manchester United are paired up with Barcelona.

The first legs will be played on the 6th and 7th April, with the second legs on 13th and 14th. In other news, Dutch international Jeoren Heerkens and highly rated youth prospect Ged Whalley have signed new deals which will keep them at Anfield until the summer of 2031 and 2029 respectively.
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Kane on the spot as England make bright start

Last Updated: 22/03/2027 9:00pm

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Harry Kane bagged three goals in the two games to take him to 94 international goals


Harry Kane inched closer to 100 international goals as the Spurs legend helped the Three Lions to a winning start in their European Championship qualifying schedule. The veteran, 33, showed that goalscoring is a knack when he netted in the games against Scotland and away to Austria.

The campaign began against the Auld Enemy on a cool March evening at Wembley, and it took Kane just eight minutes to get off the mark. After Ryan Sessengon swung in a left wing cross, Delé was pushed by John Souttar, leaving referee Felix Zwayer no hesitation to point to the penalty spot. Kane assumed responsibility, and placed his kick into the corner out of the reach of Robby McCrorie.

Two goals in four minutes just before half time swung this tense contest in England's favour. In the 38th minute, another Sessengon cross which was met by a looping header from Delé into the top corner. Then in the 42nd minute, an inch perfect cross from skipper Trent Alexander-Arnold and a booming header from Kane for 3-0.

Scotland competed well, and were rewarded with a Scott McKenna strike that arrowed home when the England defence didn't deal with a corner. It just proved to a consolation for David Moyes' Tartan Army as England were home and hosed by then. The game saw the introduction of Marseille's Aaron Wan-Bissaka as a 73rd minute substitute, a first senior cap for former Crystal Palace defender.

Henderson; Alexander-Arnold ©, Gomez, Rice, Sessengon; Cook, Dier; Harrison, Delé, Rashford; Kane. Substitutes: Foden (for Cook 55), Laycock (for Gomez 67), Wan-Bissaka (for Alexander-Arnold 73).

Three days later, the squad travelled to Vienna for their first away trip of the campaign. The Three Lions showed one change that started against Scotland, Wolves Anthony Davies chosen to partner Declan Rice in central defence after Joe Gomez picked up a knock against the Scots. Austria were vibrant and dangerous in attack, and it took them 12 minutes to open the scoring on a soaking Vienna night when Schopf's corner was glanced in at the near post by Friedl.

England drew level five minutes later. A twisting and turning run from Marcus Rashford saw the Manchester United drill in a low, inviting cross and Delé rammed home from close range. Yet Austria were back in front immediately, Ole Alderding's cross and a perfectly placed header beyond Dean Henderson by Marcel Sabitzer.

The Three Lions had to dig deep, and drew level again in the 42nd minute. Rashford swung in a free-kick and Rice powered home a header beyond Stankovic. Then just as the teams looked to go into half time level, England were awarded a penalty following Lamier's push on Delé. Kane stepped and produced yet another penalty right into the bottom corner.

Both sides gave it everything as the game continued to ebb and flow, and England thought they had a fourth in the 62nd minute. Alexander-Arnold with the cross from the right, and Delè volleying home. However, the Spurs man's celebration was muted for an assistant flag's for offside on Rashford. It looked harsh from everyone was stood from.

Duell also introduced yet another new face to international football in that second half, West Ham United's Martin Murray winning his first senior cap as a 57th minute substitute for Lewis Cook.

Henderson; Alexander-Arnold ©, Davies, Rice, Sessengnon; Dier, Cook; Harrison, Delé, Rashford; Kane. Substitutes: Murray (for Cook 57), Clark (for Dier 66), Laird (for Sessengon 72)

The Three Lions next game is on Wednesday 2 June 2027 when they face Italy in the semi-final of the UEFA Nations League at the Emirates Stadium.
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UEFA Nations League is coming home! 

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2026-27: March Summary (Part Two)


Welcome to the second part which details how we fared in the Premier League for the month of March.

MATCHDAY 31 - Saturday 27 March 2027
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With a huge April ahead of us, I opted to ring the changes for the televised game against a Palace side that are fighting to stay up. We made five changes from the side that defeated Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup ten days ago, and to be honest I could have made more. Two of those changed personnel combined to open the scoring after just five minutes; Reiss Nelson wriggled his way in the penalty area before teeing up Roberto Firmino to beat Lee Mullen with a low shot at the near post. Four minutes later, we had a second. Andrew Robertson crossing from the left to the back post where Nelson volleyed across Mullen and into the opposite corner. Palace were posing a few questions and making us work hard for the points.

We should have put the game out of sight when we were awarded a penalty five minutes after half time when Hefti baulked Rodri whilst challenging for a Venegas free kick. In the absence of Thomas Lemar and Romelu Lukaku; Trent Alexander-Arnold assumed the responsibility but his effort was weak and easily saved by Mullen. That gave Palace the extra lift they needed to think they could get something out of the game, and with 19 minutes to go they got within one when Monreal brushed Van Dijk aside as if the legendary Dutchman was a complete noob before squaring the ball across the penalty area for Turnbull to sidefoot home via the post and an Alisson glove.

But we held on, yet it wasn't easy.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Rodri; Tielemans, Venegas; Nelson, Woodburn; Roberto Firmino. Substitutes: Camara (for Venegas 66), Fernando Almeida (for Woodburn 66), Lukaku (for Roberto Firmino 79), Tierney, McCarthy, Salah, Ballard.
Booked: Vallejo
Man of the Match: Reiss Nelson (Liverpool)
Attendance: 53,744

MATCHDAY 32 - Wednesday 31 March 2027
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We began the month with a 3-3 draw in our Premier League campaign; we finished it the same and once more we had to come from behind to do with two late goals. There was one change from the side that won 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace four days previous, Jesús Vallejo was replaced by Daniel Ballard. The newcomer unfortunately looked all at sea in the opening half so much so that I ended his misery early by substituting him at half time. In fact, he made a mistake that led to the opening goal after 17 minutes with a loose pass to Martins and some swift passing saw the ball find its way to Mario César who had the simplest of finishes.

Four minutes later and the Hammers thought they had a second when Scot Simon Matthews prodded home a rebound but César was in an offside position when the effort was struck. Yet they did go at half time 2-0 ahead with a goal six minutes from the interval, Matthews pass in between Van Dijk and Ballard, Alisson was caught like a rabbit in headlights and César rolled in his second of the game into the empty net. Harsh words were exchanged at the interval, we had our unbeaten record under me seriously under threat. We got within one in the 56th minute when Venegas fed Ben Woodburn who shrugged off the attentions of Prokhoda first before squeezing an effort under Horn. Lifeline!

The Hammers regained their two goal lead in the 69th minute when Zambo Auguissa connected beautifully at the far post to a Masuaku corner to volley into the far top corner, Alisson no chance. Time seemed to be against us but like a never say die boxer, we picked ourselves up off the canvas to score twice in the final six minutes. First of all in the 84th minute, Galeno's defensive header from Mohammed Salah's corner landed at the feet of Andrew Robertson, yeah the left back was up there in the penalty area, and the Scot got his feet sorted before lashing the ball into the roof of the net. Then two minutes later, a cross from Alexander-Arnold was headed first time by Woodburn to spark absolute scenes. We had gotten out of jail somehow.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Ballard, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Rodri, Tielemans, Venegas; Nelson, Woodburn; Roberto Firmino. Substitutes: Tierney (for Ballard HT), Lukaku (for Roberto Firmino 66), Salah (for Nelson 71), Camara, McCarthy, Fernando Almeida, Vallejo.
Man of the Match: André-Franck Zambo Anguissa (West Ham United)
Attendance: 56,868
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2026-27: March Standings and Awards


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We're still in the hunt mathematically for the title but we needed to be winning every game in March to really stay in touch with the Manchester duo. Drawing with Everton, and West Ham particularly have left us behind the eight ball so to speak.

Whilst I am pleased with the never say die spirit in the group, that draw at the London Stadium has really damaged our title ambitions. Both United and City have a game in hand on us and a chance to pull away from us and make what was potentially a three horse race, a two horse race. We're gonna need some major favours off others if we are to win our first league title since 1990.

In hindsight, I should not have made as many changes for the starting line up for the Palace and West Ham games but we have a massive April coming up and it was a chance for some of the fringe guys to show me what they can do and give me food for thought as they say. Unfortunately, the fans concern about Daniel Ballard seems at the moment, justified. The Northern Irish internationalist had an absolute stinker at the London Stadium. Hopefully he can turn a corner and become a mainstay next season and justify his £10 million price tag. One player that left us this month was Chilean Renzo Arioli who has joined IF Elfsborg of the Swedish Allsvenskan league on loan for the rest of the season. The Swedes also have an agreed £7.5 million fee at any time if they want to make this permanent.

Awards-wise, we won nada. The nearest we got something was a second place in the Goal of the Month thanks to Mateo Kovacic's stupendous effort in the derby against Never-ton. And that was as good as it was.

April is going to be huge make no bones about it.
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2026-27: April Preview


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So here we have it, the penultimate month of season nine.

The month begins with the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup, a trip back to Wembley to face Mats Gren and his Arsenal side. This is probably the draw we didn't want to face at this stage in the competition, but we always seem to lift our game when things are set against us. If we are to win the famous old trophy, we will do this the hard way and that means knocking out top notch London sides such as Chelsea, in the round previous, and now the Gooners. A trip back to the national stadium awaits the winners and a place in the showpiece finale against Watford or Burnley who contest the first semi-final.

Then it's a jump back into European competition as we play host to Schalke 04 in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final. Another step up in quality for me and the team, with a place in the final four awaiting the eventual winners. Virgil's suspension was thankfully for only a single game so we will have him back for this game, so we will have our top stars available to us. The objective will be simple mind: score goals at one end, and shut the door on the Germans at the other. Away goals helped us last round, we don't want to go to Gelsenkirchen knowing we will need a positive result there to progress.

Our Premier League progress comes next as Wolves visit Anfield in a game that both us want to win so much. Wolves want the points in the hope that it will propel then towards a top four finish, whilst we want to get back on the winning track after that 3-3 draw at West Ham. That result in the London Stadium did us more harm than good, it was a big help to United and City but for us it has made us those hopes of winning the league that much slimmer than it was. Then comes the second leg against Schalke 04...

Then if things were tough, comes a game that means so much, a trip down the East Lancs Road to Old Trafford to face United. United have just appointed Diego Simeone's successor as I type this preview, a certain German known as Jürgen Klopp. If the game wasn't as spicy as it was then this just adds more to it. United thumped us 4-0 at Anfield at the start of December which sparked the journey towards to the sacking of Christian Streich and my eventual appointment. It'll be nice to inflict this kind of beating back to the Red Devils but the appointment of Klopp just made this task that bit harder. I've never managed against one of his sides before so I'm going to go into this one completely blind.

Whatever we have to do to win, I'll be out to make sure revenge is certainly a dish best served cold, and give our fans their pride back.

The United game is the second of four successive away games as we finish April on our travels. We then have a quick turnaround before it's the long away trip down to the South Coast to face a Southampton side that can be equally brilliant or abysmal depending on how they turn up. This game was supposed to be in the middle of the month but our Champions League exertions mean it has been moved to this new face. We then finish this month with another hard away game, this time to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City. The Foxes are tough to beat at any point of the season so if we can take points off them then all will be good. Then that leaves just two league games in May to finish off the campaign.

Oh and there might be a Champions League semi-final against whoever in there too. The games certainly come thick and fast, thank heavens we do have those international breaks. But if you want to manage at the top level then this is what you have to deal with, nothing is handed to you on a platter for sure.
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By siepod 03 April 2021 - 19:07 PM UTC

UEFA Nations League is coming home! 


Easy on, we are a work in progress!
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2026-27: April Summary (Cup Competitions, Part One)


Welcome to the first summary of our Cup progress in April 2027.

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QUARTER FINAL STAGE FIRST LEG - Tuesday 6 April 2027
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After disposing of one German side in the round, we faced a second Bundesliga side in the quarter final. The objective was simple though, win but look to keep a clean sheet into the bargain. I made two changes from the FA Cup semi-final team as I tried to keep as many players as fresh as possible. Coming into the side were French starlet Karim Camara and Reiss Nelson at the expense of Rodri and Venegas. It was a tough decision to leave the in form Mexican out but with so many huge games ahead, I was trying to protect him.

Schalke had former Reds midfielder Emre Can in their side and the German was determined to come back to Merseyside and leave a winner as he went close on a number of occasions to opening the scoring. With 11 minutes to go, the majority of Anfield thought we had scored but Nelson's strike thudded against the woodwork with the visiting keeper beaten all ends up. It was poised on a proverbial knife edge, and just like the FA Cup semi-final three days prior, we had to endure a significant amount of time added-on. Then came the drama in the first minute of injury time, Tierney crossed from the left and Ginter was adjudged to have baulked Lukaku illegally. Penalty to Liverpool.

Cool as the proverbial cucumber, Lemar stepped up and blasted it beyond Nübel despite the keeper going the right way. The crowd went bananas, such a timely strike from the magic man once more. But Schalke could have grabbed a vital away goal minutes later when Ginter met a Samardzic corner kick with a towering header. Thankfully for us, it went over the bar instead of under it. A slender advantage to take to Gelsenkirchen in eight days time.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold , Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; de Jong, Camara; Nelson; Lemar, Woodburn; Lukaku. Substitutes: Heerkens (for Alexander-Arnold 62), Tielemans (for Camara 67), Fernando Almeida (for Woodburn 75), Robertson, Stevens, Salah, Rodri.
Booked: Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk
Man of the Match: Reiss Nelson (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,074

QUARTER FINAL STAGE SECOND LEG - Wednesday 14 April 2027
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With such a fine margin separating the two sides, we knew we had to get a result in Gelsenkirchen to make the final four of this season's Champions League, we could ill afford thinking that the sole goal would be enough. We decided to match our hosts like for like with a 4-2-3-1 formation and play as if we wanted to win on the night as well as overall. Almost 5800 away fans were in the Veltins Arena as we took on the might of the home side, and after 19 minutes, those fans were celebrating a vital away goal. Lemar, scorer of the penalty at Anfield, played a corner to Lukaku outside the area and his pass into Trent Alexander-Arnold who in turn touched it onto de Jong and his low shot went through a forest of blue and red to nestle into the corner of Nübel's goal.

The team were told not to rest on this and try and kill their hosts off with a second, and this arrived just as the fourth official was preparing to show their board. Venegas swung in the left wing free-kick and de Jong planted home another header home from six yards out; he's becoming pretty adept at these. The silence from the home fans was deafening and the visiting fans started to do a conga in celebration. We had to face and repel increased home pressure in the second half but we did that when we needed to stand up and be counted.

The question was next, who would we get the semi-final draw?

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; de Jong, Tielemans; Woodburn, Venegas, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Rodri (for Tielemans 50), Nelson (for Woodburn 70), Fernando Almeida (for Lukaku 79), Robertson, Stevens, Salah, Heerkens.
Booked: Tielemans
Man of the Match: Frenkie de Jong (Liverpool)
Attendance: 61,783

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SEMI FINAL - Saturday 3 April 2027
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We knew we would have to do the hard way if we were to make another FA Cup Final, and an absolute classic semi final ended with a dramatic winner. With one eye on the Champions League quarter final three days later, and also mindful of the Gooners threat, I adopted another new formation which had Rodri sitting in front of the back four, Frenkie de Jong as a central midfield playmaker whilst Ben Woodburn, Eduardo Venegas and Thomas Lemar supported the lone striker of Romelu Lukaku. It was a formation that I felt gave us the best chance of winning.

The teams put on an absolute clinic, and it was surprising that we went in at half time goalless. Ten minutes after the restart, the deadlock was broken though when some neat interplay saw Lemar feed Venegas who dug the ball out of his feet to pick his spot with a placed effort beyond Cuesta. Yet Arsenal responded in the way with their top scorer Wladimir on the mark; the Brazilian hotshot putting his side 2-1 to the good with a quick three minute burst between the 67th and 70th minutes. That first goal of his being a penalty awarded against Kieran Tierney who hauled back Emile Smith-Rowe as the England internationalist broke away - Tierney somehow escaped with a few stern words when I feared red was gonna be the outcome.

So time to dig into those reserves again if we wanted to progress, and the never say die spirit surely rose again as we made it 2-2 with seven minutes left to play. Lemar with the inswinging corner and de Jong headed in from six yards out. All to play for now, and it looked like we would be heading towards extra time as we entered deep inside stoppage time (not that we wanted it). Then the magic man came up with yet another magical goal in the fourth minute of five added on to send us through to the Final. Nothing seemed to be dangerous when Wladimir tripped Lukaku on the right hand edge of the box, a typical striker's challenge, but Lemar superbly curled his free-kick around the wall and into the top corner via the post, Cuesta no chance.

Tell me Ma, me Ma, I want no tea, no tea, because we're going back to Wembley! Tell me Ma, me Ma!

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney; Rodri; de Jong; Woodburn, Venegas, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Salah (for Woodburn 60), Camara (for Rodri 70), Robertson (for Van Dijk 87), Roberto Firmino, Stevens, Fernando Almeida, Gough.
Man of the Match: Wladimir (Arsenal)
Attendance: 90,000

We now face Watford in the showpiece Final after the Hornets defeated Burnley in the other semi-final; the Hertfordshire side winning that 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw after 120 minutes play. Central defender Leonardo Balerdi scored the winning kick whilst 18 year old reserve team keeper Cliff Worgan saved two Clarets penalties.
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Rivals lie in wait for Reds at semi-final stage

Last Updated: 16/04/2027 12:00pm

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Liverpool reunion for Jürgen Klopp?

Liverpool and their fans are set to be reunited with a familiar face and now foe after the draw for the semi-final stage of this season's Champions League was made in Nyon today.

Lying in wait for the Reds are arch-rivals Manchester United, and Jürgen Klopp. The German is set to be appointed by the Red Devils in the next few days after he confirmed that he was leaving his current role for a new challenge in a familiar surroundings following an interview in Spanish newspaper Marca. Klopp, 59, spent almost eight years on Merseyside before moving back to his native Germany in the summer of 2023 to take charge at Bayern München.

His stay in Germany lasted just one season where he picked up the German Super Cup before he was acquired by Real Madrid the following summer to replace Carlo Ancelotti in the Spanish capital. Klopp has a couple of La Liga titles to his name from this sojourn in Spain but it seems like United will be his next stop.

Current Reds chief Mark Duell had this to say on the draw:
"That's some draw, some draw.

We knew that as soon as we had disposed of a very good side in Schalke, the next challenge would be even tougher. That's how the Champions League works. There was a chance that it could be either (Manchester) City or (Manchester) United; and the latter is what the draw has presented us with.

I've heard rumblings that (Jürgen) Klopp is to become their new manager in the next few days, and that will add extra spice to proceedings if true. In my career, I've never faced a club coached by such an illustrious figure and to pit my wits against him promises to be a test indeed. Ironically we have, if you want to call it that, a dress rehearsal against them in the Premier League tomorrow lunchtime but that will have no bearing on the Champions League game bar a possible psychological effect.

I am so looking forward to this game as much as anyone and nothing will give me extra pride to see off our rivals and make the Final at the end of May in Amsterdam. Hopefully we can grab a result at Old Trafford, squeak an away goal or two, and harness the Anfield energies to make that Final showdown against whoever wins the other semi-final."

The other semi-final pits Bayern München against Manchester City; and the games will be played the 27th and 28th April 2027 for the first legs. The second legs are set for a week later.
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If you're still reading this then thank you so much, I'm hoping to have some more updates in the next few days.

Season nine is almost complete.
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2026-27: April Summary (Part One)


Welcome to the first part which details how we fared in the Premier League for the month of April.

MATCHDAY 33 - Saturday 10 April 2027
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Our first game of the penultimate month was a home encounter with a Wolves side on the fringes of the fourth Champions League spot; so we had to perform if we wanted to avoid Arsenal catching us. The game kicked off early due to the Grand National race meeting a few miles north taking place same day. We made two changes from the side that defeated Schalke in midweek, Youri Tielemans and Eduardo Venegas returning to the starting eleven in place of Karim Camara and the rested Thomas Lemar. We also kept faith with the 4-2-3-1 formation used against the Germans.

The game was an entertaining one with the main difference being the finishing, as we took our chances and Wolves didn't which enabled Alisson to record his 14th Premier League clean sheet of the season. We took the lead in the 25th minute, Tielemans laying the ball off to Frenkie de Jong whose low drive from the edge of the area found the net via the inside of the far post at the Kop end. The lead was doubled four minutes later when Venegas received a return pass from a short corner routine with Romelu Lukaku to stride on unchallenged by the visiting defence before drilling a low effort across Lafont and into the far corner.

Two late goals added the gloss. In the 78th minute, Kieran Tierney's goalbound effort was blocked but Venegas smacked in the rebound for his second of the match and our third. Then a couple minutes later we had our fourth of the afternoon, a classic counter attack seeing Venegas weight a pass into the path of substitute Fernando Almeida who curled a beautiful effort around Lafont into the far corner. Job well done!

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; de Jong, Tielemans; Nelson, Venegas, Woodburn; Lukaku. Substitutes: Rodri (for Vallejo 57), Salah (for de Jong 64), Fernando Almeida (for Lukaku 73), Lemar, Stevens, Robertson, Heerkens.
Booked: Tierney
Man of the Match: Eduardo Venegas (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,704

MATCHDAY 34 - Saturday 17 April 2027
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After the midweek heroics in Gelsenkirchen, we faced our old rivals United in a North West derby that would have a massive bearing on the Premier League title's destination. We knew if we won then we would stand as good a chance to deny United a sixth successive crown. United had stuffed us 4-0 at Anfield earlier in the season, before my time, and this was also to be a dress rehearsal for the impending Champions League semi final at the end of the month. To try and stifle United, I adopted a 4-2-1-2-1 formation with Tielemans supporting the wingers and Lukaku from deep in central midfield. Unfortunately my skipper was to have his worst game for me since I took charge.

Both teams created a multitude of chances, 41 between them. Predictably United had the best of them but it took the home side 28 minutes to break the deadlock when Argentine Gustavo Bonanno picked the ball up on the left wing before advancing unchallenged into the penalty area and then hammering an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net; Alisson rooted to the spot. Seven minutes later, they were 2-0 ahead when the prolific Mario Ricci collected a Kai Havertz pass, shrugged off Van Dijk like he was an amateur, and finished with ease. We were in danger of being humiliated once more such was the incisiveness of United's play.

Harsh words were said at the interval, some of them unprintable, to gain a reaction and to be honest we were a lot more improved in that second half. We reduced the arrears in the 61st minute when Thomas Lemar started and finished a well crafted move with a shot he bent around De Gea for his 100th goal in Liverpool colours. United's attacking process saw them restore their two goal advantage in the 68th minute, Dalot charging down the right wing before putting in a deep cross that Havertz nodded down to an unmarked Marcus Rashford and the England internationalist placed an effort around Alisson into the bottom corner.

But we were unwilling to lie down and scored a second with quarter of an hour to go. This time Lemar turned provider with an inch perfect corner that was met by a bullet header from Kieran Tierney. Chance of a draw beckoned if we could get a lucky break. However, fate decreed otherwise as United clinched the points to put them on the brink of the title with a fourth three minutes from time. Arthur's corner was headed goalwards by Wöber but parried away by Alisson only for it to strike the back of the head of Tierney and roll agonisingly over the line. No way back after that. But the second half at least gave me some hope for our Champions League game. It was the first time I had tasted defeat since becoming Liverpool manager.

Team: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; de Jong, Rodri; Tielemans, Fernando Almeida, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Venegas (for Tielemans 57), Salah (for Fernando Almeida 66), Heerkens (for Alexander-Arnold 81), Nelson, Stevens, Robertson, Woodburn.
Booked: Rodri, Tierney
Man of the Match: Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Attendance: 75,635
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2026-27: April Summary (Part Two)


Welcome to the second part of two which details how we fared in the Premier League for the month of April.

MATCHDAY 35 - Wednesday 21 April 2027
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The games kept coming and coming, and a long trip south to St Mary's was next on the agenda. I made four changes to the side that had lost to United, and one of those changes was in central defence as young centre back Richard Warburton was given his full Premier League début. The local lad had done well in an FA Cup tie against Leyton Orient so I felt it was a good enough chance to showcase himself in the top flight; and to be honest he acquitted himself well again.

We took the lead in the 10th minute when Lemar, playing in the "hole" role, fed Lukaku who struck the ball first time low into the bottom corner and end a personal goal drought which had lasted for the best part of ten hours gameplay. The relief on the big Belgian's face was plain to see. Saints were pressing us but the defence was holding out considering it had three alterations to it. The lead was doubled in the 29th minute, Reiss Nelson with the assist this time into Lukaku who again found the net with a first time finish albeit this one went in off the post.

A third goal came eight minutes from time, and it was another youth product who provided the assist. Gateshead born winger James Barker marked his first appearance in the Premier League with a dangerous low cross into the six yard box which was anticipated by Lemar six yards out just as Angus Gunn thought he was claiming the ball first. There was to be no clean sheet as German Florian Neuhaus scored in the second minute of five added-on but by then we were home and hosed.

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Vallejo, Warburton, Robertson; Tielemans, Rodri; Nelson, Lemar ©, Woodburn; Lukaku. Substitutes: Fernando Almeida (for Woodburn 65), Barker (for Nelson 72), Salah (for Rodri 78), Tierney, Stevens, Camara, Roberto Firmino.
Booked: Warburton, Tielemans
Man of the Match: James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Attendance: 27,497

MATCHDAY 36 - Saturday 24 April 2027
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https://i.postimg.cc/1zt2sjGb/LFC-202627-Game36.png

April concluded with a tough assignment at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. As we kicked off, we knew it was now a case of battling Manchester City for second as United had wrapped up yet another title: their 26th top flight title and 19th Premier League one since its inception in 1992-93. Dutch duo Van Dijk and Frenkie de Jong returned back to the starting eleven after being rested from the team at Southampton, and it was another hard away game which we had to work for the points.

We were ahead of after just seven minutes when Cuenca fouled Lukaku as they challenged for the ball following a Ben Woodburn cross. Referee Stuart Attwell had no hesitation in saying penalty, and Lemar confidently drilled it into the bottom corner and under the dive of Iczo. It was the Frenchman's 100th league goal of his stellar career. The Foxes equalised in the 29th minute with what some thought was a great individual effort from Mason Greenwood. However from our perspective, it was shambolic as first of all Vallejo allowed himself to be easily dispossessed by the former United man, Jeroen Heerkens was then swatted aside by the same attacker and finally Alisson was beaten easily at his near post.

The match winning goal came three minutes later and it was redemption for Heerkens who produced an accurate cross for Lukaku to continue his goalscoring run and divert it past a leaden footed Iczo. We weren't at our best but a combination of dogged defending and Leicester not taking their chances saw us win a second successive away game. The game also saw the reappearance of Croatian internationalist Mateo Kovacic as a 56th minute substitute following three weeks out with sprained ankle ligaments.

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; Tielemans, de Jong; Nelson, Lemar, Woodburn; Lukaku. Substitutes: Kovacic (for de Jong 56), Venegas (for Lemar 64), Fernando Almeida (for Nelson 71), Alexander-Arnold, Stevens, Tierney, Roberto Firmino.
Booked: Nelson, Van Dijk, Vallejo
Man of the Match: Mason Greenwood (Leicester City)
Attendance: 29,839
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United take early advantage in Champions League semi-final
Last Updated: 27/04/2027 10:00pm

https://i.postimg.cc/j5jxVc2j/DeLigt.jpg
De Ligt: Scored the third goal for United

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI FINAL - FIRST LEG

MANCHESTER UNITED 3 LIVERPOOL 1


It's first blood to Manchester United after they won the first leg of the all-Premier League Champions League semi-final at a rainy Old Trafford. Goals from Mario Ricci, Maximillian Wöber and Matthijs De Ligt gave Jürgen Klopp's Red Devils an important lead over his former side ahead of next week's second leg at Anfield.

It is an advantage that United really deserved after controlling this first leg from start to finish. The Red Devils carved out chance after chance and could have easily won by a more convincing margin.

United took the lead after 20 minutes when Leon Bailey's through ball was collected by Ricci, and the Italian hotshot rounded Alisson to slot home his 30th of the season and repay another huge chunk of the £104 million transfer fee United paid Juventus last summer.

Seven minutes later, the Italian turned provider for United's second of the night. A left wing corner was flighted in by Gustavo Bonnano to Ricci and he nodded it down into the path of Wöber who drilled his effort into the net to hand his side a huge advantage. Liverpool were at sixes and sevens and simply couldn't contain the Premier League champions.

Yet they showed some spirit in the second half, and halved the deficit with twenty minutes left on the clock. Reiss Nelson played in former United man Romelu Lukaku whose angled drive was beaten away by David De Gea but the Belgian poached away the rebound into the gaping goal.

However, United restored their two goal advantage with a third goal in the 77th minute when De Ligt flicked home a Bailey corner into the top corner. Liverpool's night was compounded when star midfielder Eduardo Venegas limped off with suspected pullet ankle ligaments seconds before the De Ligt goal and England captain Trent Alexander-Arnold also looked in some discomfort as the teams shook hands at the final whistle.

United - De Gea; Dalot, De Ligt ©, Wöber (Luiz Felipe 78), Riveros; Bailey (Rashford 78), Arthur, Pogba, Bonanno (Vinicius Junior HT); Havertz; Ricci. Unused Substitutes: Woolley, Rajkovic, Itter, Heatubun.
Liverpool - Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Vallejo, Van Dijk © (Robertson 66), Tierney; Rodri, de Jong; Salah (Nelson 57), Venegas (Kovacic 77), Lemar; Lukaku. Unused Substitutes: Fernando Almeida, Stevens, Heerkens, Camara.
Booked: Riveros
Man of the Match: Leon Bailey (Manchester United)
Attendance: 75,635
Referee: Tobias Welz (Germany)
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2026-27: April Standings and Awards


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Well not long to go in the 2026-27 season.

United have secured yet another title, their sixth in succession. City have slipped up after making an incredible start under Tuchel, and not even the loss of Diego Simeone to rivals Chelsea has halted the United juggernaut. Whatever we do then we know we will be playing in the Champions League next season but quite at what stage, remains to be seen.

We are destined to finish no lower than third which considering the team were mid-table when I took over; represents a large step forward for the Club.

However we know we will need to spend on reinforcements in the summer but don't have the spending power to match the Manchester duo but if we can get some decent quality in then we might be there or thereabouts in 2027-28. The good news to come out of April was that we have managed to squeeze extensions to Alisson, Mohammed Salah and Andrew Robertson. Their experience will be more than useful as we build for the future.

As you can see, the bottom three are already decided. Stoke and Burnley are automatically promoted from the Championship, although the title went to the Potteries on goal difference. Neither could match my points total with Preston it has to be said. The third spot will come from either West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town and Brighton who are going to battle it out in those dreaded play-offs. Of the four, I wouldn't mind Albion actually...

Of the loan players that we have out, Patrick Roberts has been in superb form at Stoke City and is probably the one that shone brighter than most. I'm hoping that the Potters will decide to shell the agreed the £12.75 million fee at the end of the loan period if not beforehand now they've got promotion. Yet the fact he's on £110K a week here, means he's gonna have to take a possible pay cut for that to happen. The others are doing alright but none as good as Roberts.

As for the awards, surprise surprise nothing came our way. Despite having a 75% win ratio, I once more failed to make the top three which is astonishing considering the third placed manager only had a 60% win ratio. Makes you wonder how these decisions are made, eh? The only nomination we got was a second place for Frenkie de Jong in the goal of the month behind Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso. Maybe one day we will sweep all and sundry and get everyone else talking.

One more month to go, but equally as important as the others.
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2026-27: May Preview


https://i.postimg.cc/SxPN9sLK/LFC-May2027-Fixtures.png


So the final month of yet another season, the ninth overall of this career.

We begin May with a tough game at Anfield against Mats Gren and his Arsenal team. By the time we face the Gooners we have had a favour from their biggest rivals, Tottenham. That's because Spurs face Manchester City 24 hours beforehand; and if they beat City then we know full well that we can go second if we equally overcome Arsenal. Tottenham have nothing to play for, just a wee bit of pride, so it will be interesting to see how they approach it.

After the Arsenal gane it's midweek European action back at Anfield with the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against United. They lead 3-1 at the halfway point in this tie. However; we have what might be a priceless away goal to our credit. That means if we win 2-0 on the night then we will advance to Amsterdam on away goals or we win them convincingly which is hardly going to happen. They have so much quality about them in virtually every position, we know we will have to be our best in progress. The Final will be at the end of the month if we somehow make it; will give it our best shot I suppose. And that's all you can do...

Our final Premier League game of the season is at SJP. We have played them three times since I took over, and each one we have won but in Federico De Zan, they have a goalscorer who is doing the hallowed number 9 jersey proud and he's one we will have to keep quiet for sure indeed. Depending on the games in the previous round of matches, we can be in charge of our destiny to finish second or if both us and City have won then we will have to depend on City losing on the final day to secure second. City that day face already relegated Cardiff, which really has a win for City seen as a nailed on banker. Can we finish second?

Unless we have beaten United and made the Champions League Final; our final game of 2026-27 is the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley. Our opponents are Watford, a team that has had a more than reasonable season in the Premier League. The Hornets will be obviously looking to sting us and prevent us from doing a domestic Cup double which would be the perfect way for Virgil Van Dijk and Roberto Firmino to retire on. Barring injuries I am hoping to let both play some part in the showpiece.

Then we start the club rebuild, who to keep and who to let go whilst working throughout summer also on internationals with England! Time certainly never stops....
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Chong double sends United into Final
Last Updated: 05/05/2027 10:00pm

https://i.postimg.cc/65m8xynf/Chong.jpg
Tahith Chong scored twice to send the Red Devils to Amsterdam

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI FINAL - SECOND LEG

LIVERPOOL 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 4 (Aggregate 3-7)


Dutchman Tatith Chong scored twice to ensure that Jürgen Klopp's first return to Anfield as Manchester United boss would be a winning one, and end the Champions League hopes for the home side for another season.

In front of a sell out crowd on rainy Merseyside, United took the lead after 23 minutes to negate Liverpool's away goal eight days earlier. Some patient passing saw Arthur find an overlapping Dalot on the right and the full back advanced with very little challenge before clipping a shot over Alisson and into the bottom far corner to silence the Kop.

United then put themselves really in the driving seat with a brace of goals in two minutes. The first came in the 26th minute when Man of the Match Gustavo Bonanno played in Chong and he placed his shot past a stationary Alisson, and the Argentine got his name on the scoresheet shortly afterwards. That came when Leon Bailey crashed an angled shot against the post before picking up the rebound himself and squaring it for Bonanno to sidefoot into a gaping goal.

Bonanno picked up his second assist of the night on United's fourth goal which arrived seven minutes before half time; weighting a pass into Chong who blasted an angled shot into the roof of the net for 0-4. Liverpool needed a response to get themselves going and reduced the arrears on the night two minutes after that second Chong strike. Top scorer Romelu Lukaku with a superb pass into Fernando Almeida whose first shot was parried by David De Gea but the Portuguese internationalist netted at the second attempt.

Fired up by some harsh words from their manager at the interval, Liverpool gave it a go in the second half. They scored their second of the night in the 58th minute when a low and hard cross from Reiss Nelson was turned into the net by former United striker Lukaku from point blank range. The home side then had over half an hour to try and perform the big comeback. Thankfully for United and their fans, it never happened although Liverpool did have the ball in the net for a third time seven minutes from time: substitute Mateo Kovacic touching in Virgil Van Dijk's goalbound header past De Gea but the Croat was correctly viewed offside.

United now play neighbours City in the Final at the Johan Cryuff ArenA in Amsterdam on 29 May 2027, the Citizens having seen off Bayern München 3-0 in their second leg in Bavaria for a 5-2 aggregate triumph.

Liverpool - Alisson; Heerkens, Vallejo, Van Dijk ©, Tierney (Robertson 81); Nelson, Rodri (Kovacic 53), de Jong; Lemar; Lukaku, Fernando Almeida (Woodburn 65). Unused Substitutes: Ballard, Stevens, Venegas, Salah.
United - De Gea; Dalot, De Ligt ©, Wöber (Luiz Felipe 79), Riveros (Vinicius Junior 79); Bailey, Arthur (Clark 79), Pogba, Bonanno; Chong; Ricci. Unused Substitutes: Rashford, Rajkovic, Itter, Heatubun.
Booked: de Jong, Rodri
Man of the Match: Gustavo Bonanno (Manchester United)
Attendance: 54,704
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
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2026-27: May Summary


Welcome to a summary of the final two games of the season, would we finish second or third?

MATCHDAY 37 - Sunday 2 May 2027
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We kicked off our final home game of the season in a great potential position. 24 hours before we had seen that Manchester City, our rivals for a second placed finish, had slipped to a 1-0 loss at Tottenham thanks to a 27th minute winner from Brazilian winger Kinho. That meant that if we could beat Arsenal, we would move into that all important second place ahead of a final day decider.

With the second leg of the Champions League semi-final just a matter of three days after this game, I opted to ring a number of changes and one of those put us into an early lead after just six minutes. Former Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson with a precise right wing cross for Karim Camara to nod past Cuesta. We doubled the lead in the 21st minute when Camara returned the favour to set up Nelson who created space for himself to drill a low drive past a leaden footed Cuesta.

To be honest Arsenal were pretty terrible, considering they still had a Champions League place to secure for finishing fourth as we dominated them. They did however score with one of their rare attacks in the 72nd minute when Christian Pulisic fed Andy Slater, a player I had had my scouting eye on when he was at Celtic, and the Scot smashed an unstoppable effort past Alisson into the top corner. But we held comfortably after that, the stage was set for a Super Sunday indeed.

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Vallejo ©, Rodri, Robertson; Tielemans, Kovacic; Nelson, Camara, Woodburn; Roberto Firmino. Substitutes: Lemar (for Camara 57), Salah (for Tielemans 62), Fernando Almeida (for Roberto Firmino 75), Lukaku, Stevens, Gough, Tierney.
Booked: Vallejo, Rodri
Man of the Match: Jeroen Heerkens (Liverpool)
Attendance: 54,074

MATCHDAY 38 - Sunday 9 May 2027
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The permutation was simple on the final day, a minimum of a draw would be enough to finish second unless City defeated an already relegated Cardiff by seven clear goals at the Etihad. Win and City's result would be immaterial, whilst losing would mean a tense biting of one's fingernails. I chose to field my strongest possible side with the exception of Jesús Vallejo who was given a rest ahead of the Cup Final, Kieran Tierney dropped into central defence alongside Virgil Van Dijk who was playing his last league game in Liverpool red. Andrew Robertson filled in at left-back following Tierney's switch inside.

It had to be said that game was a feisty affair, with the Magpies falling foul of referee Mr Coote as they picked up cards like it was confetti. We slipped down to third when Correia put City ahead in their game after 27 minutes and then the misery deepened when North Korean winger blasted the home side into the lead after 31 minutes. We were looking a shadow of ourselves, and not a team that really wanted that second placed so with the scores remaining as they were at the respective intervals, I couldn't help but launch the hairdryer treatment in the away dressing room to try and get the side galvanised.

Just before the hour we had a goal to draw level when Youri Tielemans pulled away from his marker at a Thomas Lemar free-kick to plant a free header past home 'keeper Odysseas. A further lift came in the 65th minute of the City game when Ruben Loftus-Cheek equalised for the Bluebirds, our fans were dancing. Then Newcastle were down to ten men when Daniel Podence saw red for two yellow cards. But we couldn't take advantage of this, and despite also another final league appearance in Liverpool red from Roberto Firmino this time, it was the home side who scored next in the 81st minute to take the three points on the day.

Good work down the wing by Ortega saw him cross for fellow countryman De Zan to head home on his birthday, the Magpies number nine sneaking in front of Tierney to cement his place as the Premier League's top scorer. Six minutes of time added on followed, four at the Etihad. Who would prevail?

Team: Alisson; Heerkens, Tierney, Van Dijk ©, Robertson; de Jong; Tielemans, Venegas; Nelson, Lemar; Lukaku. Substitutes: Kovacic (for Venegas 67), Roberto Firmino (for Lukaku 79), Rodri (for de Jong 89), Ballard, Stevens, Warburton, Salah.
Booked: Diaz, Ortega, Gustavo, Podence, De Zan, Hwang-Song
Sent Off: Podence (second yellow card)
Man of the Match: Han Hwang-Song (Newcastle United)
Attendance: 57,098
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2026-27: End of the Premier League Season

So we lost the final game of the season, 2-1 at Newcastle: only my second league defeat since taking charge midway through. However, radios were to the ears for the Red Army. how had City fared?

Despite playing more time added-on, two minutes more actually, we finished our game before City. City were drawing 1-1 with already relegated Cardiff at the Etihad, could the Bluebirds do us a favour and help us finish second behind United? Well...

https://i.postimg.cc/1RJBgHsy/LFC-Table-EOS202627-1.png

Well, get in there you Welsh wonders! The Bluebirds managed to hold on for a point at the Etihad which guarantees us a second placed finish and an automatic berth in next season's Champions League (finishing in top four would equally have been just as good). It also gave us a whopping £44.9 million in prize money, which is a major boost to the Club's finances.

Considering that we were in ninth place when I took over at Anfield, and the team had been whipped 4-0 at Elland Road on the opening day, the turnaround has been nothing short of phenomenal. Sure we have changed the formation a few times but it's all about finding the perfect tactic that can beat everyone and anyone. United remain the yardstick we're aiming to surpass but there's some real potential in the squad to make that happen. That said, I know I need to bring a few new players in the summer but won't be held to ransom over fees despite being at such a high profile team these days.

The shopping list will have to comprise of the following:

* A new back up keeper as young Ertem Stevens isn't fully ready for first team action. The candidate ideally will become the number one after Alisson retires which I anticipate will be in the next season or two.
* Two new central defenders
* A defensive midfielder who loves to break up opposing attacks
* A new striker to take the goalscoring burden off Romelu Lukaku.

Other than this, I think we have a good squad behind us. Making a good start to the 2027-28 season is vital, we don't want to be left playing catch up like we have this season as that maybe cost us finishing closer to United.

The hard work begins after the FA Cup Final against Watford.
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Reds secure domestic Cup double!
Last Updated: 05/05/2027 5:00pm

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Lemar: A man of the match performance from the Frenchman

THE EMIRATES FA CUP - FINAL

WATFORD 1 LIVERPOOL 3


On a sunny afternoon at Wembley, a Thomas Lemar inspired Liverpool lifted the FA Cup for the eighth time in their history, their first win in the competition since 2006. The triumph also secured a domestic Cup double for the Reds and their manager Mark Duell.

After Ryan Cassidy had passed up the chance to give Watford the lead after just four minutes; Liverpool made him pay with the opener three minutes later. A long ball from skipper Virgil Van Dijk was brought down superbly by Romelu Lukaku. The big Belgian then showed great composure to wait and then feed the ball to the on rushing Eduardo Venegas who placed his shot beyond Ryan Ferris. Ferris had passed a late fitness test hours before the big kick-off to take his place in between the sticks for the Hornets.

Liverpool continued to dominate and were rewarded with a second goal in the first of two minutes added-on at the end of the first half. Lemar swung in a free-kick and Kieran Tierney was upended by Nathaniel Chalobah as the full back aimed to get his head on it. Up stepped Lemar and he drilled in a perfect penalty to the bottom corner despite Ferris going the right way.

Things got better for the Reds two minutes after the interval with a third goal. The goal owed itself to Mateo Kovacic as the Croatian internationalist put in a dangerous cross that caught out the Hornets defence and allowed Reiss Nelson a simple finish for 3-0. Watford needed a goal to get themselves back into the game and got one three minutes after that Nelson goal. A great counter attack saw Cassidy find Will Hughes who produced a superb placed finish beyond Alisson and into the roof of the net.

The game had no further goals after that, but Reds fans were delighted to see one final appearance from Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino. The veteran forward, who is retiring at the end of the season like his captain Van Dijk, came on for Lukaku in the 71st minute to great cheers from the East end of the famous old stadium.

Watford: Ferris; Balerdi, Fry, Luperto, Valencia; Chalobah (Bellocq 79), Doucouré ©; Hughes, Angel Gomes, Semenov (Ziyech HT); Cassidy. Unused Substitutes: Brown, Worgan, Jordan, Downey, Miller.
Liverpool - Alisson; Heerkens (Alexander-Arnold 57), Vallejo, Van Dijk © (Rodri 80), Tierney; de Jong, Kovacic; Nelson, Venegas, Lemar; Lukaku (Roberto Firmino 71). Unused Substitutes: Woodburn, Stevens, Robertson, Salah.
Booked: Valencia
Man of the Match: Thomas Lemar (Liverpool)
Attendance: 90,000
Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Manchester)
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End of season awards


16 May2027

The Premier League have announced the winners of their annual awards. These were as follows:


Golden Glove:
https://i.postimg.cc/VkhmzTKp/PL-Golden-Glove-202627.png

Golden Boot:
https://i.postimg.cc/Ssq54fbH/PL-Golden-Boot-202627.png

Football Writers Player of the Year:
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PFA Player of the Year:
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PFA Young Player of the Year:
https://i.postimg.cc/vmvhrRCS/PFA-YPOTY-202627.png

Goal of the Season:
https://i.postimg.cc/1RdHcrYP/PL-GOTS-202627.png

Team of the Season:
https://i.postimg.cc/rFt9hRv4/PL-Teamofthe-Year-202627.png
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Current Managerial Career Snapshot


Domestic Managerial Jobs:
https://i.postimg.cc/9FMgXzpq/scottishflag.png Edinburgh City: 8 July 2018 - 28 August 2020 (approached)
https://i.postimg.cc/C55yNXP3/Finland-Flag.png Ilves Tampere: 28 August 2020 - 1 December 2021 (resigned)
https://i.postimg.cc/GpWCtgjf/French-Flag.png Le Mans: 25 January 2022 - 24 May 2023 (resigned)
https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/England-Flag.png Tranmere Rovers: 24 May 2023 - 12 July 2025 (approached)
https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/England-Flag.png Preston North End: 12 July 2025 - 22 December 2026 (approached)
https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/England-Flag.png Liverpool: 22 December 2026 - present

International Managerial Jobs:
https://i.postimg.cc/NMgvy51f/welshflag.png Wales Under 21: 9 August 2020 - 12 July 2025 (resigned)
https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/England-Flag.png England: 19 July 2026 - present

Awards Won:
2018-2020 (Edinburgh City): Manager of Month - 7, Trophies Lifted - 2, Manager of the Year - 0*
2020-2021 (Ilves): Manager of Month - 4, Trophies Lifted - 2, Manager of the Year - 1
2022-2023 (Le Mans): Manager of Month - 0**, Trophies Lifted - 1, Manager of the Year - 1
2023-2025 (Tranmere Rovers): Manager of Month - 4, Trophies Lifted - 2, Manager of the Year - 2
2025-2026 (Preston North End): Manager of Month - 4, Trophies Lifted - 1, Manager of the Year - 0
2026-date (Liverpool): Manager of Month - 0, Trophies Lifted - 2, Manager of the Year - 0

* - No Manager of the Year awards in the Scottish League One and Two
** - No Manager of the Month awards in Championnat National
HockeyBhoy
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Stones, Nelson and Armstrong earn England recalls, Foden misses out

Last Updated: 27/05/2027 12:00pm

https://i.postimg.cc/kMbGkrj4/UEFANations-League.jpg


England Head Coach Mark Duell has named an experienced squad for the Three Lions forthcoming games against Italy in the UEFA Nations league semi-final and a friendly at Wembley against Colombia. There are recalls for John Stones, Reiss Nelson and Ricky Armstrong but RB Leipzig attacking midfielder Phil Foden misses out. Foden's absence has come as a surprise, fuelling rumours that he and Head Coach do not see eye to eye.

There is a first ever England call up for Crystal Palace's former Celtic goalkeeper Lee Mullen.


Duell had this to say:

"This latest squad needed a fair bit of experience and I think we have this in spades with the names announced today.

Lee (Mullen) has impressed me this season considering he does not play for any of the big sides and is proof that if you're good enough for your club then you will get recognised in some way. Mason (Greenwood) has been in excellent form for Leicester too, and deserves a recall back to the full squad after his initial cap against Albania last year. This is a squad that has a lot of ability about them and a will to win.

Be in excellent form for your club, and the door remains open. There's bound to be winners and losers in every squad I name, if I could name a 40 plus squad for every international period then I would but it's just unfortunate that some will miss out from time to time. There's no personal vendetta against any player, we're just blessed with so many great players in which to choose our squad from."

The squad is as follows:

GOALKEEPERS:
Jordan Pickford (Everton, 63 caps/0 goals)
Lee Mullen (Crystal Palace, 0 caps/0 goals)
Dean Henderson (Olympiacos, 3 caps/0 goals)

DEFENDERS:
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, 99 caps/6 goals)
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Olympique Marseille, 1 cap/0 goals)
Ryan Sessengon (Manchester City, 37 caps/1 goal)
Steve Grainger (Leicester City, 4 caps/0 goals)
John Stones (Manchester City, 124 caps/6 goals)
Joe Gomez (PSG, 77 caps/5 goals)
Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur, 133 caps/14 goals)
Declan Rice (CF Valencia, 45 caps/3 goals)
Craig Laycock (Southampton, 8 caps/0 goals)

MIDFIELDERS:
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton, 10 caps/0 goals)
Lewis Cook (Leicester City, 44 caps/4 goals)
Ricky Armstrong (Tottenham Hotspur, 59 caps/3 goals)
Dominic Clark (Manchester United, 9 caps/1 goal)
Reiss Nelson (Liverpool, 5 caps/1 goal)
Jadon Sancho (Chelsea, 56 caps/13 goals)
Delé (Tottenham Hotspur, 124 caps/30 goals)

FORWARDS:
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur (141 caps/94 goals)
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United, 136 caps/60 caps)
Eddie Nkeitah (Manchester United, 24 caps/8 goals)
Mason Greenwood (Leicester City, 1 cap/0 goals)

The Italian game will take place at the Emirates Stadium on 2 June 2027, with the Three Lions hosting Colombia at Wembley seven days later. However, should England make the Final of the Nations League then it's likely the Colombia friendly will be cancelled.
HockeyBhoy
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2 hours ago
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