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Liverpool vs Barcelona: The ball boy who helped Reds complete a Champions League miracle

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Trent Alexander-Arnold has been hailed as a genius for the quick corner kick that led to Liverpool’s fourth and deciding goal last night. Yet to begin to understand the pursuit of impossible it is best to start with the instructions and the even spread of information. 

Liverpool’s match analysts had noticed last week in the Camp Nou how Barcelona’s players moaned and became distracted whenever a free-kick or a throw-in was awarded against them, even if the decision was blatantly the correct one. This made Jurgen Klopp recognise the possibilities. And so, he filtered a message through the club. It proves that he certainly had not given up – that Liverpool’s recovery was not purely borne out of adrenaline and special oils. His belief was not blind. It translated into plans and schemes.

Carl Lancaster is a coaching mentor at the club’s academy in Kirkby and amongst his responsibilities is the co-ordination of ball boys. He had told them to serve Liverpool’s players as swiftly as possible on Tuesday morning. Oakley Cannonier did not forget and with eleven minutes to go, he fed Alexander-Arnold while Barcelona’s defence fidgeted amongst themselves 20-yards away. It seemed astonishing they were blissfully unaware of what might happen considering Liverpool had already shown their bulldozing intent.

Cannonier is a 14-year-old initially from Leeds who once in a while prepares with two age bunches over his regular dimension. Whatever occurs in his profession or life from here, he will recollect his job in seemingly the most amazing triumph in Liverpool’s whole history, where Klopp’s group demonstrated their ability to decrease the godlike to hopeless wrecks and men of rock to goo.

It had implied such a great amount to Lionel Messi, he was crying as he stepped out into the abyss past to the medication testing region. Tears, in the interim, had tumbled from James Milner’s ragged looking eyes. In the changing area subsequently, the midfielder sat topless with his shirt depleting on the floor, half-grinning not by any means recognizing what to state or do.

Georginio Wijnaldum had welled-up as well. He was furious that he’d been left out of Liverpool’s first XI. Inside ten minutes of his introduction at half time, he’d touched the ball six times. He’d scored twice. In front of the TV cameras, the Dutchman – usually so eloquent and able to find the right words – could not.

While Wijnaldum passed up a beginning spot here, it was Jordan Henderson’s turn six days sooner in Barcelona. That the two players developed so persuasive mirrors Liverpool’s creativity, just as their assurance. In the 25th moment, Henderson, without a doubt, had appeared to be dead. On the floor. Not moving. Dead. A portion of the midfielder’s faultfinders may ask how an individual can bite the dust if he’s never truly lived? In spite of agony in his knee, Henderson rose. In the fifth moment of damage time, he was all the while running: charging at rivals and scaring them, just as thunder had charged his body.

“I was struggling a little bit when I got a whack on the knee, it was dead,” he admitted. “The doctor said just keep it moving. I managed to get to half time and I had a bit of treatment, took painkillers, all that stuff which helped. There was a jab and tablets. Both. Everything. I said: ‘just give us everything.’ So I managed to get through it and the crowd helped as well and keep us going.”

He could not really compute the outcome happened either. The best night of his career, he called it. “It was unbelievable. From start to finish I thought the lads were amazing. The atmosphere was amazing. It was just unbelievable.

“We were 3-0 down but still took confidence from the performance (in the first leg). Still believed that we were the better team over there, though it is hard to say that when you get beat 3-0. But in the changing room we had belief we could hurt them.”

Can there really be a more appropriate captain for Liverpool at this moment? A player written-off, but never by coaches. A team written off, but never by their fans. A city written off, but never by its inhabitants.

“I think we proved quite a few people wrong tonight,” Henderson declared. “We showed that if you never give up and you keep trying you can produce special things.”

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Jose Mourinho Says He ‘Had No Effect’ in Win on Tottenham Debut

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After very nearly 11 months out of football, Jose Mourinho is back – with a grin.

Having supplanted Mauricio Pochettino on Wednesday as lead trainer of Tottenham Hotspur, Mourinho had a quick effect as objectives from Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane verified a 3-2 win for Spurs in a London derby against West Ham United in the Portuguese’s first game in control.

Michail Antonio’s second-half strike and a stoppage-time objective from Angelo Ogbonna decreased the shortage for West Ham, however Spurs’ first away success since January moved them up to 6th in the Premier League table, however the London group dropped to ninth after Saturday’s later games.

“I was very happy for an hour,” Mourinho told BT Sport. “Playing well, we were bringing things to the game we had trained on a little bit but we spoke a lot about it. “I think we are lucky that I have so many years of Premier League experience that I told the players at half-time: ‘Even if the score is 3-0, on the 85th minute, the game will be open.’ “But for the last 20 minutes, fatigue came in. Coming from their national teams. All the emotions, losing their manager, another one comes, start working with me. “The most important thing was to win. Doesn’t matter how, the three points were fundamental for us.”

A changed man

Prior to Saturday, Mourinho had last been seen on the touchline just under a year ago as the manager of Manchester United. He cut a despondent figure during United’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool, and two days later, he was sacked. All the charisma and charm that was usually associated with Mourinho seemed to have ebbed away during his time at Old Trafford. But following a break away from the game — during which he spent time as a Sky Sports pundit — the 56-year-old seems revitalized.

That iconic twinkle in his eye was back in his introductory media conference on Thursday — during which he called himself the “Humble One.” His new found energy looked to have rubbed off on his Tottenham players, who had arguably looked lethargic in Pochettino’s final few games at the helm. Son’s opening goal in the 36th minute after good work by Dele Alli had Spurs purring and the lead was doubled before half-time as Moura prodded home. Talismanic striker Kane made it three just after the break, wrapping up the three points for Mourinho. Saturday’s victory means Mourinho’s Spurs have won as many points in this game as Pochettino mustered in his final 12 away Premier League games with

“It’s been a tough week for us emotionally, but we knew we had a job to do,” Tottenham midfielder Alli told BT Sport. “We had to perform for the club and our fans, and we had to make sure we got the three points.”

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Liverpool Routs City to Seize Control of Premier League Title Race

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LIVERPOOL, England—Once he completed his triumph lap around the Anfield pitch, and once he’d run down the passage beating the peak over his heart, Liverpool administrator Jürgen Klopp quieted down enough to convey all the standard admonitions.

Obviously, the Premier League won’t distribute any flatware for an additional a half year. Yet at the same time. As any individual who has fixated on the English soccer standings as much as Klopp has can let you know, this circumstance justified some chest-pounding. After an unequivocal 3-1 triumph over Manchester City on Sunday, Liverpool presently has a nine-point hole over the double cross guarding champions.

It’s just November, however as of now the possibility of a first Liverpool title appears to be nearer than it has in 30 years.

“That is insane. Nine points, you can’t envision that incident,” Klopp said. “In any case, it’s not significant, in light of the fact that who needs to be first in November?”

The solution to his inquiry is straightforward: any individual who needs even a black out possibility of beating Man City.

There are as yet 26 games to play—and another gathering between these different sides in April—yet in a battle that was chosen by a solitary point last season, this is a gap. City isn’t even in runner up now, slipping into fourth behind Leicester City and Chelsea, who are every eight points loose of undefeated Liverpool.

The test for Klopp now is to figure how to keep his group on track with such a great amount of runway in front of it. There is a December with up to nine games on the timetable, remembering an outing to the Club World Cup for Qatar. There is the thing that Liverpool plans to be a profound Champions League hurried to come the following spring. Also, there is the indisputable weight of a city so starved for a group title that a whole age of players have collapsed under the weight.

City manager Pep Guardiola stopped short of conceding the title—he’s eccentric, not crazy—but he did slip into the kind of self-flagellation that has tended to accompany his exits from the Champions League in previous seasons, calling Liverpool “the best team in the world” at the moment.

“We have three teams in front who have more chances to win the Premier League than us,” he added.

More stunning than the gap in the standings is the manner in which Liverpool stretched it here on Sunday. Klopp’s team made Guardiola’s City look bereft of ideas. And even when the scoring opportunities came, City’s strikers seemed oddly blunt. Perhaps fourth place—even for a team with City’s recent history—is no longer so far from the club’s true quality this season.

Which is all an issue when you run into Liverpool, in structure and at home. Quickly of high-grade furor toward the beginning of the game, it played soccer at ice hockey speeds. Everything about its methodology was intended to thump City’s mind boggling passing game topsy turvy. It satisfied faster than anybody expected when a ropy City protection neglected to clear the ball, just for Liverpool midfielder Fabinho to lash the ball in from 25 yards.

“On the off chance that you need to win against Manchester City, which is super hard for each group on the planet, you can’t play the manner in which they play,” Klopp said. “Since they’re certainly the best in the manner play—it has neither rhyme nor reason. So we need to push through our way.”

But for all the craziness of watching Liverpool play at Anfield—and watching Klopp vibrate on the sideline—what characterizes this group more than anything is the quiet that goes through its players. Their squeezing is purposeful and tenacious. They cut cross field goes to one another like they’re holding pitching wedges.

Nothing made it more clear than Liverpool’s second objective in the opening 15 minutes. The fullbacks cut up the field with one taking off 50-yard pass, at that point another, before Mohamed Salah topped off the move with a header. Klopp was so consumed by the development that when the last cross glided into the City punishment zone, he really wanted to emulate heading the ball himself.

“I don’t think I at any point saw an objective like this,” he said.

For Guardiola, a fourth season in England is proving the most challenging of his glittering career. This is his lowest points total after the first 12 games at any of his stops in top-tier management. And never before—not at City, not at Bayern Munich, and not at Barcelona—has he ever been more than three points off the top at this stage of a season, according to Opta Sports

His only solace might be that he stared down a seven-point gap to Liverpool last winter and reeled them in. But in a rivalry settled by such fine margins, nine points, even with more time to spare, is starting to look like too many to spot the defending champion of Europe.

At no point in Liverpool’s recent history has it held a nine-point lead over its most serious challenger. The last time was the final day of the 1989-90 season—which is also the last time Liverpool won the title.

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Jimmy Garoppolo to Erin Andrews: “It Feels Great, Baby”

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Jimmy Garoppolo made enough plays during last night’s game against Arizona to preserve San Francisco’s perfect record. He was understandably all smiles during a postgame interview with Fox’s Erin Andrews. Andrews seemed to enjoy it too.

And we love to see pleasant interactions between two professionals, don’t we, folks?

Usually I have a pretty good Spidey sense for how these things are going to play out in the media ecosystem. But this one? It’s a real mystery.

Will Garoppolo be criticized for calling a female reporter “babe” or will it largely be laughed off like it was when Rob Gronkowski did similar? Will there be a glut of thinkpieces asking how the reaction and perception would be different had, say, Lamar Jackson done the same thing? Maaaaaybe.

It’s all very exciting and definitely a worthwhile discussion for someone who is very much not me to have.

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