Manchester City more dangerous to Liverpool than Barcelona or Real Madrid, says Phil Thompson

Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-0 in the first leg at Anfield (Picture: Getty)Phil Thompson has explained why he would feel ‘more comfortable’ for Liverpool to play Barcelona or Real Madrid with a three-goal lead than Manchester City.

First-half goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane saw Liverpool take a firm grip on their Champions League quarter-final at Anfield last week.

Pep Guardiola’s City, who are on the verge of winning the Premier League title, were completely outplayed and must overturn a three-goal deficit to reach the semi-finals.

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Despite Liverpool’s dominance in the first leg, club legend Thompson is wary of City’s attacking threat and says he would rather face Barcelona, Real or Bayern Munich with a three-goal cushion.

He told Sky Sports: ‘Liverpool have to score because my worry is that if we can score three goals in 45 minutes, with the qualities that they have shown all season, then they can do the same.

‘It is incredible that you can be 3-0 up and be nervous as hell, but I would feel more comfortable against Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich with a 3-0 lead.

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‘They had numerous chances to finish United off in the first half on Saturday and I can’t see them being that wasteful again, so this tie is definitely not over.

‘However, I don’t think they will be able to score five. People will say they did it before against us, but that was against 10 men. City have the capability to score three, but Liverpool also have ability to not only score once, but twice.’

Liverpool sensation Salah took his goal tally for the season to 38 in the first leg at Anfield but then hobbled off with a suspected groin injury.

Manchester City were outplayed last week (Picture: AFP)The Egypt forward looks to have given Jurgen Klopp a major boost ahead of the trip to the Etihad on Tuesday, however, after training with his teammates on Monday afternoon.

‘I think one of the big things is Salah has to play and having that three-pronged attack gives us that edge,’ Thompson added.

‘If we’re missing a player who has scored almost 40 goals then that is obviously going to be a blow. You will always miss that so it imperative that he plays.

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‘Because of the Chelsea result on Sunday, it would take a massive implosion not to qualify for the Champions League, so I think as long as he is feeling like he wants to play, I’d say let’s go for it.

‘I think you’ve got to be a little more concerned without him, but this is not a one-man team. Yes our forward players have been our main men, but in the first leg it was the three midfielders who took the initiative.’

MORE: Mohamed Salah trains with Liverpool to boost Man City appearance hopes

Jurgen Klopp warns Liverpool to prepare for Manchester City ‘thunderstorm’

Manchester City will need to overturn a three-goal deficit against Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has warned his players to prepare for a Manchester City ’thunderstorm’ as Liverpool look to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Liverpool are the overwhelming favourites to progress in Europe after last week’s stunning 3-0 win at Anfield, but Klopp is taking nothing for granted against Premier League champions-elect City.

He said: ‘I saw the City v United game at the weekend. It was one of the best first halves I ever saw. It was like a thunderstorm.

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‘Then, in the second half, they change the game. After the first goal, one team gains rhythm, another team loses rhythm. The game changes.

‘We can go through all scenarios: they score early, we score early and all that stuff. It is not to plan like this. I cannot tell the boys, “Boys, score early”. Well, I can, but I am not sure that it really helps. It is all clear.

‘We have to think about football, what we have to do, where we have to do it. The boys knew after the [first] game. This is half-time. The game is not over.

Mohamed Salah scored his 38th goal of the season in the rout at Anfield (Picture: Reuters)‘We are in the lead, nothing else. Being in the lead is not winning. We need a little bit more from this game.’

Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane were all on target for Liverpool in an incredible first-half display at Anfield.

The Reds were less impressive after the break but did not appear overly troubled as City failed to score a crucial away goal.

The only downside from a Liverpool perspective was an injury scare to talisman Salah, who hobbled off holding his groin after scoring his 38th goal of the season.

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Klopp said on Monday that he would leave it late before deciding whether the Egypt sensation would start the second leg in Manchester.

‘There is no secret. He felt something, whatever it was,’ Klopp said of Salah, who trained with his team-mates on Monday.

‘It was five days ago. The boys deserve a lot of respect for their performance from the first game. Now let us play and enjoy and we will see what happens in the second game.’

City boss Guardiola, meanwhile, has told his team they will need to play the ‘perfect game’ to overturn their three-goal deficit and progress in the Champions League.

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‘The only way to play good football is to be positive,’ he said. ‘To go through you have to make the perfect game, create chances and concede few chances.

‘The chances we receive, we have to defend well. We have 90 minutes and anything can happen. All we are going to do is try.

‘We have 90 minutes plus extra time and what we have shown this year – even in the last game – is we can create a lot of chances in the last few minutes.’

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Jurgen Klopp chasing Liverpool transfer targets – but will not move for Manchester United star Marouane Fellaini

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will bolster his options in the summer (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp is keen for Liverpool to strengthen his options in midfield this summer but will not pursue a move for Manchester United contract rebel Marouane Fellaini.

The Reds are enjoying another promising season under Klopp, climbing to third in the Premier League and flourishing in the Champions League.

But the German boss knows more spending will be necessary at the end of the season to continue competing with the likes of Man United, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

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On Sunday, reports in France claimed Liverpool had expressed interest in a shock move for United midfielder Fellaini, who is expected to be on the move in the summer.

L’Equipe claimed the Reds had joined Paris Saint-Germain and Besiktas in the race to sign Fellaini, drawing up a three-year deal for the Belgium international.

But the Daily Mail say that while Klopp wants Liverpool to sign midfielders this summer, the club are not looking at Fellaini as a potential target.

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The Reds will not pursue a deal for Marouane Fellaini (Picture: Getty)PSG are known admirers of the divisive 30-year-old, however, and will hope to secure his signature on a free transfer after United had multiple contract offers knocked back.

Fellaini has endured a frustrating season at Old Trafford, missing multiple games due to injury, including Saturday’s stunning derby victory at the Etihad.

Liverpool travel to Manchester City on Tuesday evening hoping to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League after last week’s first leg finished 3-0.

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Klopp was keen to play down his team’s tag as overwhelming favourites at Monday’s press conference, telling reporters: ‘When we lost here 5-0 at the beginning of the season, everybody saw the quality of City even when we were one man down.

‘I am not interested in the favourites label. This is again a big test for both teams and I’m really interested to see how we cope with that.’

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Mohamed Salah trains with Liverpool to boost Man City appearance hopes

Mohamed Salah takes part in the session (PA)Mohamed Salah has trained with the rest of the Liverpool squad, providing the clearest indication yet he’ll be involved against Manchester City tomorrow.

The Egyptian scored the opening goal in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final but was forced off in the 52nd minute at Anfield with a groin injury.

He then missed the 0-0 draw with Everton over the weekend.

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Speaking earlier today, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he was hopeful Salah would be fit for Tuesday’s encounter. The German said the 25-year-old’s participation in this afternoon’s training session was key.

‘Not sure 100 per cent. He was with the fitness coach yesterday training,’ said Klopp.

‘Now I am here, at 5pm we train at Melwood and we will see if he can be part of training. I’d say rather yes than no. Then we wait for the reaction and make a decision tomorrow.’

Salah was involved in the session and looked fresh, leading to an expectation he will play at the Etihad.

Salah emerged with Virgil van Dijk (PA)More: Liverpool FC

Liverpool head into the second leg as strong favourites to progress, knowing that an away goal will virtually kill the tie.

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Fernando Torres announces Atletico Madrid exit with next move unknown

Fernando Torres on the bench for Atletico Madrid (Getty)Fernando Torres has announced he will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker is out of contract in the summer and with his first-team opportunities already limited, he’s decided to move on.

The 34-year-old has stated his desire to continue playing, but a decision on where he will do that is yet to be taken.

‘I’d like to take this opportunity to confirm that this is my last season at the club,’ Torres said

‘I felt I should let the fans know, as they have given me so much love and affection.

‘Both the club and I knew that this moment was going to come.

‘I think it is the best moment, accepting the reality that I am in, you see the prominence that I have in the team and maybe it is time to make way for others.’

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Torres has started rarely this season (Getty)Torres’s opportunities became increasingly limited after Diego Costa returned to the club midway through the season. This term, he’s made just three starts in La Liga, with a further 17 off the bench. It’s yielded a return of just two league goals.

‘For me it is very difficult to say goodbye to this club for the second time, because my head and my idea was to hang up my boots here.

‘But things do not always work out the way you want. I feel very well and I want to continue playing.

‘I do not know if in two, three or five years I’ll look for a different situation.

‘I do not have any team or competition [decided], since we have made the decision not long ago.

‘So now we listen to the proposals and among these proposals we will have to decide.’

Torres with Simeone (Getty)There have been reports in Spain that Torres doesn’t see eye-to-eye with manager Diego Simeone, however the striker played down any talk of that.

‘My relationship with Simeone is normal, it’s professional,’ he said.

‘I’ve always said that I’m not going to participate in any division with Simeone.

‘There is no problem with the coach, nor with anyone in the club, it’s a decision that is exclusively mine.’

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The club have announced they will pay a special tribute to Torres during their final game of the season.

In two spells at the club he’s scored 126 goals for the club.

MORE: Virgil van Dijk unconcerned with potential retaliation from Manchester City fans

Liverpool hero aims dig at Arsenal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain mismanagement

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been in good form (Picture: PA)Danny Murphy has aimed a dig at Arsenal’s backroom staff for their failure to manager their players properly after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recent upturn in form at Liverpool.

The former Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham central midfielder has been impressed by the England international’s performances under Jurgen Klopp and believes that he was mismanaged at the Emirates.

Klopp has previously said that the 24-year-old almost needed a new pre-season after his arrival from the Gunners at the end of the summer transfer window in a £40million deal, and Murphy believes that comment was telling.

‘Oxlade-Chamberlain, people spoke about him “oh he’s too much money,”‘ Murphy told talkSPORT.

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Wenger let him leave (Picture: REUTERS)

Oxlate-Chamberlain scored a stunner at Anfield (Picture: Getty/AFP)‘I’ve always been a fan of Ox by the way. Look how fit he looks now in comparison.

‘They talked about when he went to Liverpool he couldn’t play for a while, they had to give him another pre-season.

‘That tells you something about Arsenal.’

The Ox will hope to be part of a Liverpool side that faces Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday night, having scored a fine long-range goal in a 3-0 win at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah – who faces a race against time to be fit for the second leg – and Sadio Mane also got on the scoresheet, with Liverpool heading to the Etihad with a three-goal advantage.

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Virgil van Dijk unconcerned with potential retaliation from Manchester City fans

Virgil van Dijk is a leader on the pitch for Liverpool (Picture: PA Wire)Virgil van Dijk has insisted he and his Liverpool team-mates will not be intimated by any hostile reception from Manchester City supporters at the Etihad.

Liverpool fans threw bottles and objects at the City team bus when it arrived at Anfield for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final last week.

There is talk online that City supporters will look to replicate a similarly hostile environment for the second game on Tuesday night.

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Anfield has become a fortress for Liverpool this season, but Van Dijk assured supporters the away atmosphere will not affect him or his team-mates.

He said: ‘I can’t comment on what happened before the game. I had no control over that. We just need to be ready for the football match. That’s the only thing we can have influence on.’

Liverpool released a statement condemning the actions of the supporters who attacked the City bus, while Uefa has opened an investigation into the incident.

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(Picture: Getty

Liverpool have a 3-0 lead from the first leg (Picture: EPA)City’s stars insisted they were not affected by the hostile arrival, but Liverpool did demolish the soon-to-be Premier League champions 3-0.

The Reds drew from an electric atmosphere inside Anfield and scored three goals in the first half hour.

Jurgen Klopp has insisted Liverpool will not change their approach despite coming into the second leg with a huge lead.

Liverpool 2017/18 Fixtures

Manchester City (Champions League) (A) – Tues April 10Bournemouth (H) – Sat April 14 West Brom (A) – Sun April 22Stoke City (H) – Sat April 28Chelsea (A) – Sun May 6Brighton (H) – Sun May 13

Jurgen Klopp and his side executed the perfect game plan in the first game (Picture: PA)

(Picture: Reuters)‘The quality of City was clear. We all know about Pep, best coach in the world,’ he said.

‘It was clear they would be outstanding but there is no perfect football team in the world.

‘They have it most consistently, that is why they will be (league) champions, but we know they can concede goals.’

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Virgil van Dijk sends warning to Liverpool team-mates ahead of Manchester City showdown

Virgil van Dijk has helped Liverpool improve at the back (Picture: Getty)Virgil van Dijk has urged his team-mates to adopt the right mind-set when they take on Manchester City on Tuesday night.

Liverpool take a 3-0 lead to the Etihad for the second leg of the quarter-final and are firmly in the driving seat after a wonderful display at Anfield.

City have to attack in the second, but Van Dijk does not want his team-mates’ mentality to slip.

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The centre-back believes Liverpool need to fight fire with fire and not sit back against City.

‘It’s pretty clear that defending a three nil here is going to be a strange situation,’ Van Dijk said ahead of the game.

‘We need to come in with the mindset it’s 0-0. We want to win the game and we want to score goals.

(Picture: Getty)

Liverpool 2017/18 Fixtures

Manchester City (Champions League) (A) – Tues April 10Bournemouth (H) – Sat April 14 West Brom (A) – Sun April 22Stoke City (H) – Sat April 28Chelsea (A) – Sun May 6Brighton (H) – Sun May 13

‘We defend pretty well, very compact. We showed that in the second half. We need to keep the mindset of winning the game rather than defending a lead.’

City beat Liverpool 5-0 earlier in the season at home and are capable of dismantling any side.

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(Picture: Reuters)The Sky Blues however are still licking their wounds from a 3-2 defeat to Manchester United at the weekend and Van Dijk believes Liverpool are ready to pick City off once again.

‘We feel like we’re in a great moment as a team. We can make it difficult for any team in the world but we have to show it. We have to fight,’ he said.

‘We have played well against them. We defended as a unit, so we’re pretty confident. They need to come, but we need to be ready. Like I said, we want to win the game.’

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Jurgen Klopp rates Mohamed Salah’s chances of facing Manchester City

Mohamed Salah missed Liverpool’s goalless draw with Everton (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp is hopeful that Mohamed Salah will be available for the second leg of Liverpool’s Champions League quarter-final with Manchester City.

The 25-year-old forward scored the opening goal in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory in the first leg but was forced off in the 52nd minute at Anfield with a groin injury.

Salah, Andrew Robertson and Alberto Moreno all missed the Merseyside derby at the weekend but could return at the Etihad on Tuesday evening.

Asked if Salah will be fit to face Pep Guardiola’s men, Klopp told the media: ‘Not sure 100 per cent. He was with the fitness coach yesterday training.

‘Now I am here, at 5pm we train at Melwood and we will see if he can be part of training. I’d say rather yes than no. Then we wait for the reaction and make a decision tomorrow.’

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Earlier on Monday, he told Liverpool’s official website: ‘You can imagine, in this short period between games, it is quite difficult so I have to wait each minute I can and that’s what I’ll do. There’s nothing new in the moment, we will see.

‘We will see in five hours until we train and we’ll know who is involved in that. I don’t know in the moment 100 per cent, but I am quite hopeful we will have a bigger squad than we had at Everton.’

Jurgen Klopp hopes Andrew Robertson will be available (Picture: Getty)

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Klopp revealed that Ben Woodburn has returned to training after a long period on the sidelines.

He added: ‘The guys who were on the bench at Everton – [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bobby [Firmino] and Trent [Alexander-Arnold] from the first-team squad – for them, it was good not to play too long.

‘They are fine, they were fine when I left Melwood yesterday.

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‘With Mo [Salah], [Andrew] Robertson and Alberto, we have to wait a little bit but of course [we have] big hope they will be back.

‘Ben Woodburn is back after a long period and trained yesterday completely normal, which is really good for us.’

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Fernandinho accuses Liverpool of long ball tactics just like Manchester United

Does Klopp just love a long ball? (Picture: EPA)Fernandinho has accused Liverpool of being a long-ball team ahead of Manchester City’s crunch tie with Jurgen Klopp’s men on Tuesday evening.

Pep Guardiola’s outfit find themselves 3-0 down after a humbling reverse fixture at Anfield, but Fernandinho is confident that his side can turn that deficit around.

And as Brazil and City team-mate Danilo said of Manchester United after their shock derby day defeat on Saturday, Fernandinho has claimed that Liverpool love a long ball.

‘They are a team that like to play long balls,’ he said. ‘They try to keep the players around the middle.

Danilo on Manchester United’s long balls

‘There’s a feeling of sadness and disappointment because we played really well. But we must turn the page as soon as possible because we have another big challenge on Tuesday.

‘I could tell you many reasons why we didn’t win. At the end of the day, they scored three goals and we scored two, and that’s what counts. We win together and we lose together.

‘If you analyse the game, we had the ball possession, we had the control, they just used the long balls and scored three goals. We played the same way we have all season, we keep the same level of performance, but today it didn’t work.’

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‘I hope we can solve all the problems we had, especially in the first half, in 10-15 minutes we conceded three goals.

‘Then we can apply our type of game.

‘We have to keep going. What we done this season is amazing. We have another chance in the Champions League, it’s not easy, but we’ll fight for that. We’ll fight until the end.

Fernandinho accused Klopp of playing long balls (Picture: Reuters)

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‘We played them a few times this season. Of course, the first game in Anfield, 10 minutes of nightmare, but after that, we turned it around.

‘We were close to draw the game. In the Champions League it was different. Any game has its own history. Tomorrow will be different.’

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