Liverpool keeper told ‘to be the hero’ in ‘whirlwind’ EFL Cup win

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher says he was told to “try to be the hero” before pulling off the penalty save that won his side a place in the Carabao Cup quarter finals.

The 20-year-old made his second start of the season in a pulsating 5-5 draw against Arsenal at Anfield, denying Dani Ceballos in what proved a decisive moment in the penalty shootout that was sealed by Curtis Jones.

And Kelleher says his team-mates and coaches told him he had nothing to lose.

“As soon as the final whistle went, all the focus was on trying to save in the shootout,” Kelleher told Liverpool’s official website.

“Some of the lads and the coaches said to me, ‘You’ve nothing to lose, just try to be the hero.’ And luckily I did it in the end.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind. I’m obviously happy but it’s just hard to sum it up at the moment. It has all gone by quite quickly. It’s just unreal, to be honest.”

Kelleher says the spirit shown by Jurgen Klopp’s senior stars is reflected throughout the squad.

“[The fighting spirit] goes right through the whole squad. We have a never-say-die attitude and we showed that once again, coming from behind on a few occasions.

“[Divock Origi] scored an unreal goal to keep us in it. It just goes right through the whole squad that we’ll never give up.”

The young goalkeeper also praised the Anfield atmosphere on his home debut for the club.

“It was unbelievable tonight. Once you hear [the fans] singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and you’re actually playing, it’s quite surreal. It’s just an unreal feeling. It’s class.”

Liverpool have been drawn away to Aston Villa in their Carabao Cup quarter-final, but an alternative date will need to be arranged as it clashes with their Club World Cup commitments – with Klopp warning the EFL they need to take their busy schedule into consideration.


Mourinho reveals what he wants from next club amid Arsenal link

Jose Mourinho has revealed he wants a club where he can “play to win” as he eyes a return to football management.

The former Manchester United boss has been linked with a host of top European clubs, most recently with Arsenal as pressure mounts on under-fire Unai Emery.

Emery, who’s Arsenal side lost 5-4 on penalties to Liverpool after a 5-5 draw in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, isn’t in immediate danger of being sacked.

But should Arsenal be considering Mourinho as a replacement, the Portuguese has clearly outlined what he’s looking for in his next club in an interview on

Mourinho told The Coaches’ Voice: “The only thing that I know is what I don’t want, and what I don’t want is crystal clear. What I want, the general profile of course, but I can’t say clubs or countries.

“I am quite pathological in this sense that I have to play to win, and then if I win or I don’t win that’s my problem, and the players’ and the club’s and the structure.

“But I need a project where the feeling is I play to win.

“If someone gives me a wonderful, incredible, amazing, 10-year contract and tells me ‘the objective of the team is to stay in the first part of the table, if you finish seventh or eighth or ninth it is perfect, that’s not for me.

“That’s my nature. Of course sometimes I remember what I won before, but it’s not me, so my next is to fight to win.”

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Carragher sends message to Emery over Ozil after Liverpool defeat

Jamie Carragher has told Unai Emery he must start Mesut Ozil in the Premier League after he impressed for Arsenal against Liverpool.

Ozil made just his third appearance of the season as Arsenal were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Premier League leaders Liverpool.

The chaotic match finished 5-5 after 90 minutes and Liverpool held their nerve to convert all five penalties and book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Ozil produced an impressive performance at Anfield, playing an influential role in two of Arsenal’s five goals before his surprising 65th-minute substitution.

Emery has hinted at Ozil’s inclusion against Wolves in their upcoming Premier League game and Carragher insists the German playmaker has to start more games.



He told Sky Sports: “I’m not Ozil’s biggest fan you cannot tell me he is not good enough to get into this Arsenal team as this isn’t a great Arsenal team.

“The criticism with Ozil is whether he can take them to the Premier League title or the Champions League, but at the moment Arsenal are going for the top four.

“So he’s got to be in the team or best XI. No one is doing anything consistent for Arsenal at the moment, not just Ozil.

“If you look at the front three, I am sure they would love to have Ozil feeding them.

“Arsenal are in a position where so many players are not at the top of their game that they almost have to put up with what Ozil doesn’t do.”

On the thrilling cup tie, Carragher added: “Some of those young players especially on the Liverpool side, that’s the greatest night of their life.

“They’re starting their careers, who knows where it’ll go, but I’d be surprised if there are more exciting games that they play in their career than tonight.

“I thought the young players on both sides were in some ways better than the senior ones, the senior ones made a lot of mistakes that led to goals.”


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Solskjaer picks out two Man Utd stars after impressive Cup win

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saluted Marcus Rashford’s wonder-strike and picked out “outstanding” Brandon Williams after Manchester United’s EFL Cup win over Chelsea.

Rashford crashed in an unstoppable drive from 30 yards to secure a 2-1 win at Chelsea and a place in the last eight.

Chelsea had hauled themselves level through Michy Batshuayi after Rashford opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

But the England international’s stunning free-kick ended Chelsea’s seven-match winning streak and made it three wins on the bounce for United.



“We’ve travelled a lot in the last week,” Solskjaer said on Sky Sports. “We’ve got a good team spirit and camaraderie. It shows the character of the team.

“We get the games where we want them. We’ve been leading 1-0 in many games and not kicked on. Today we were excellent, with fast flowing football. That’s Manchester United. We’re trying to get back to that.

“Marcus has that strike in him. I’ve seen him in training so many times.

“When you give young lads the experience, like Brandon Williams got tonight – and the kid was outstanding – it’s only going to help them.

“We know we’re not the finished product, we’re a work in progress and keep trying to improve.”

Defeat meant Chelsea failed to get a measure of revenge on United for their 4-0 defeat on the opening day of the season.

The teams have gone in opposite directions since then, with United struggling for form while Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League and joint top of their Champions League group.

However, United took a 25th-minute lead after Daniel James won the spot-kick, the winger getting across Marcos Alonso in the area before tumbling to the deck.

Rashford may have missed a penalty against Norwich at the weekend, but he showed no sign of nerves as he calmly sent Willy Caballero the wrong way.

They got their equaliser on the hour mark, Batshuayi nodding on Caballero’s clearance before turning away from Harry Maguire.

The Belgian frontman outstripped Maguire and Victor Lindelof before firing past Rojo and into the corner of Sergio Romero’s net.

But Rashford settled the match in the 73rd minute in spectacular fashion, lifting his shot over the wall and underneath Caballero’s crossbar before sliding on his knees in celebration in front of a delirious away end.


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West Ham land Colombia international Sanchez from Fiorentina

The 32-year-old returns to the Premier League after a previous spell with Aston Villa

West Ham have confirmed the signing of Colombia international midfielder Carlos Sanchez from Fiorentina.

The 32-year-old joins the Hammers on a two-year deal after spending the second half of last season on loan at La Liga side Espanyol.

Sanchez returns to the Premier League after spending two seasons with Aston Villa between 2014 and 2016. 

He becomes West Ham’s ninth summer signing and second of transfer deadline day, after striker Lucas Perez joined from Arsenal. 

“I’m very happy to be here. I’m very excited and looking forward to achieving lots,” Sanchez said in a club release.

“I decided to come here because, first, it is the Premier League, second, it’s a beautiful club and the fans are always helping the club and, third, for me it’s an amazing opportunity and an amazing project the club are leading, being ambitious and keen to achieve good things.”

Sanchez has been capped 88 times by Colombia and has featured at two World Cups, including this summer’s tournament in Russia. 

“Carlos is a very experienced player whose career I have always followed closely and with admiration,” West Ham director of football Mario Husillos said.

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“He has great quality as a holding midfielder. He can also cover other positions but it is as a defensive midfielder that he really excels.”

Houston and Philadelphia set to face off in U.S. Open Cup final

LAFC came up just short in their bid for a final in their first season as a club, while Philly dominated the Fire

The Philadelphia Union and the Houston Dynamo will face off in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup final after the two sides won out in the semifinals on Wednesday. 

Cory Burke scored twice for the Union as they ran to a dominant win over the Chicago Fire in the first semifinal. 

After a scoreless first half Burke slotted home the opener just before the hour mark, pulling down a clipped pass from Alejandro Bedoya and finishing well to put his side in front. 

Burke’s second of the night came in the 77th as he split two defenders to double the lead before C.J. Sapong padded the scoreline with his late strike. 

The win puts the Union into the Open Cup final against the a Dynamo side that had to survive penalties in a semifinal win over expansion side LAFC. 

Diego Rossi put the visiting side in front early on, but Houston quickly regained control of the contest, Andrew Wenger scoring six minutes later and Mauro Manotas putting the home side in front 25 minutes in. 

When Memo Rodriguez netted in the 75th minute Houston looked assured of a place in the final, but Rossi had other plans. 

The Uruguayan pulled his club back to within one in the 78th to set up the late drama, but it took until the fifth minute of stoppage time for the 20-year-old to find the equalizer with a superb looping header to make it 3-3.

Unfortunately for Rossi, his heroics would all prove to be for nothing, as Houston held firm in extra time and took a 7-6 win in the shootout.

The final also ensures there will be a first-time USOC champion, and neither side as ever won the cup. 

In Canada, the first leg of the 2018 Canadian Championship final ended in a 2-2 draw and was once again full of late drama. 

The Whitecaps had shockingly taken the lead despite playing a man down for the entire second half, Felipe having been sent off just before the break. 

Erik Hurtado’s 84th minute strike looked to be the winner for Vancouver, but Doneil Henry’s own goal six minutes into stoppage time proved to be a heart-breaker for the home side, which now faces the task of topping TFC at BMO Field in Toronto. 

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Klopp pieced together Liverpool's £177m spending spree before Champions League final

The Reds boss claims to have already identified his top targets for the summer transfer window before the 2017-18 campaign came to a close

Jurgen Klopp’s transfer plans went perfectly this summer, with the Liverpool boss having mapped out a £177 million ($226m) spending spree before the Champions League final.

While many domestic rivals faced frustration in the latest transfer window, with Manchester United epitomising those struggles, those at Anfield acted swiftly and decisively.

A deal for Naby Keita had been in place for several months, but Fabinho was brought on board in a surprise move which left rivals trailing in the Reds’ wake.

Klopp also snapped up Swiss forward Xherdan Shaqiri and made Alisson the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, prior to Chelsea’s signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga, with supposed weaknesses addressed and greater depth added.

All of that was pieced together before suffering a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in May, with the man at the helm on Merseyside telling reporters: “The Champions League final had absolutely nothing to do with our transfer business.

“Everything was already fixed and clear what we wanted. All decisions were made to that point already. I think our areas were obvious.

“If Alisson was not on the market, we don’t move for a goalkeeper. He was on the market so we went for it.

“That we wanted to have more options offensively – that was clear long before the final. I think Shaqiri is a fantastic example of how you can do it.

“He ticks different boxes, he can play wide, he can play No. 10, it looks like he can play eight too and that is cool.

“As for Fabinho, we knew a bit longer that Emre [Can] would not extend his contract so Fabinho was clear as a target, but not clear that we would get him.

“Naby was clear. One left, one came in. Phil [Coutinho] left before then Naby came in. It is not the same type of player but it is a similar position at least.”

Liverpool get their 2018-19 Premier League campaign underway at home to West Ham on Sunday.

Expectation has risen heading into that contest on the back of a positive summer, with the Reds now being widely tipped to provide the biggest threat to reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

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'I always give my best for the people that trust me!' – Is there a rift between Pogba & Mourinho?

The midfielder scored in the win over Leicester City but his post-match comments, and activity on social media, suggest he may not be completely happy

Is there a rift between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho?

The midfielder, who won the World Cup with France in the summer, was a surprise starter against Leicester City in Manchester United’s Premier League opener, opening the scoring for his side in a 2-1 win.

Rumours of a move to Barcelona and Juventus have surfaced in recent weeks, however, and Goal understands the Red Devils are unwilling to let the 25-year-old leave this summer .

There have also been persistent murmurings of a broken relationship with Mourinho, with Pogba having failed to hit top form in a 2017-18 season that saw United finish 19 points behind Manchester City in the table.

Indeed, Pogba stepped up and played a starring role to help France win the World Cup, scoring in the final victory over Croatia.

And he demonstrated just how important he is to United on Friday night, scoring from the spot to put Mourinho’s men in front early on and generally controlling play in the middle of the park throughout .

Praising his “monster” performance after the game having handed the armband to Pogba, Mourinho told reporters: “[It] was not hard [to pick Pogba from the start]. 

“The decision belonged to him, because Andreas Pereira comes from Valencia bench as a winger to play number six; Fred had 10 days training, Ukrainian league, comes direct to Old Trafford; Ander Herrera injured.

“I had only two options: Scott [McTominay] or Paul, but if I play Scott I play two kids and a new player, so I asked Paul and he put himself available for the team and he was very, very good for us.”

Pogba, though, posted a cryptic message on Instagram after the match, with his reference to “no matter what’s going on” suggesting that something may not be quite right regarding his situation at the club.

He wrote: “I’ll always give my best to the fans and my teammates no matter what’s going on.”

The Frenchman also declined to mention Mourinho when speaking to reporters after the game, insisting that he gives his all in every match for the fans, his team-mates and those that trust him.

He said: “Of course it makes me proud, it makes me happy to wear this [armband] at a big club like Manchester United.

“Like I always say, I always give my best for the fans, for my team-mates, for the people that trust me.”

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So, could the reports of a rift between Pogba and Mourinho be true or are the midfielder’s comments being blown out of proportion?

Kepa hopes Hazard stays at Chelsea

The Blues star has been frequently linked with a move to Real Madrid, but the club’s new goalkeeper hopes that he stays put

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Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga hopes Eden Hazard stays at Stamford Bridge amid reported interest from Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old became the world’s most expensive keeper after Chelsea paid Athletic Bilbao £72 million (€80m/$92m) for his signature , with Thibaut Courtois leaving for Madrid.

Courtois said it would be “fantastic” if Hazard joined him at the Santiago Bernabeu when he was presented to the media on Wednesday, but Kepa is keen for the Belgium attacker to stay put.

“I always like to have the best players in my team,” he said at his first news conference since joining the Premier League side.

“For him [Hazard] this is a personal situation and I’m not sure what he’ll decide but I would very much like the best players around.”

On the record-breaking fee paid for his services, Kepa added: “I don’t really think about the price. It’s not on my mind.

“I’m really happy to be here and I’ll put everything into it to repay the trust they’ve shown in me.

“The only pressure I experience is the pressure I put on myself. I demand a lot from myself.”

Kepa anticipates a smooth integration into Maurizio Sarri’s system having received positive feedback from Pepe Reina, who played under the Italian at Napoli.

“I will be able to adapt and I find Sarri’s style very attractive,” said the Spaniard.

“I have references from players like Pepe Reina at Napoli who knows him and was very positive.

“Maurizio’s style is not unlike the Spanish national team. It won’t be a problem, playing with him.”

The Spain international was aware Chelsea had made “prior offers” to try to pry him away from Bilbao but explained that Athletic had not taken an interest until recently.

“I came back from my holiday on the 23rd [of July] and a few days into my training I knew about Chelsea’s interest in me,” said Kepa.

“There had been prior offers from Chelsea but Athletic doesn’t usually take an interest in this sort of transfer.

“I had been aware of their interest for a few weeks.”

'You cannot judge him on World Cup goals' – Pep backs Sterling after England criticism

The forward regained his goalscoring touch against the Gunners and his manager feels his importance for club and country is beyond doubt

Pep Guardiola defended Raheem Sterling’s World Cup performances after the England forward got back among the goals in Manchester City’s opening 2-0 Premier League win at Arsenal.

Sterling fired the champions into a 14th-minute lead and proved a typical menace for the Gunners’ defence to deal with at Emirates Stadium, where Bernardo Silva completed the scoring with an emphatic finish after the hour.

The 23-year-old started six matches for England in their run to the semi-finals of Russia 2018 and although tenacious, intelligent displays won praise in some quarters, Sterling’s failure to find the net drew a share of criticism.

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He explained his celebration in north London after dispatching a 50th career Premier League goal – cupping an ear as he wheeled away – was in response to those naysayers.

Guardiola acknowledged the often highly charged atmosphere in which Sterling’s performances for his national side are judged but backed him to produce the goods for Gareth Southgate’s team.

“If you judge the players in the World Cup on whether you score a goal or not… I think Raheem has this special relationship with English football, but he is so beloved in the locker room,” the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss told a post-match news conference.

“He made very good things in the World Cup – how he moves and creates spaces for the other ones, runs in behind.

“He likes to score a goal. He tried but I am pretty sure that during the qualification for the European Championship he will be good for his country and sometimes score goals.”

Sterling was thrust straight back into the starting line-up for City despite only returning to training on Monday and Guardiola marvelled at the physical attributes that allow his player to get up to speed so quickly.

“His mum and dad gave him a special body shape,” he said. “He’s small, tiny – so these kind of guys in one week are ready.

“We saw him be good in the training sessions. We needed a guy in that position and he did it well, except the last 20 or 25 minutes when he was a little bit tired. But that is normal.

“There is sacrifice from a lot of the players – Kyle Walker, John Stones, Fernandinho. We trained just one week, two weeks – a short, short time, but the spirit is there and that’s the most important thing.”

At the end of his briefing, the topic of Sterling’s future returned to the agenda and Guardiola reiterated City’s desire to secure a contract extension, with the winger into the final two years of his present deal.

“I am not a sports director. I try to make a good spirit in the locker room and win games,” he added.

“We are delighted with him and we would like Raheem to stay. We count on him. After the difficult season before we arrived we said, ‘you are part of it, we want to help you’.

“We like him to try to be happy. In the end, maybe the agents are not in agreement and it cannot happen. But he knows and his agent knows that we want him a lot.”