EPL

Liverpool boss Klopp defiantly vows to 'knock down' Alexander-Arnold critics

By Sports Desk March 17, 2022

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp launched a passionate defence of Trent Alexander-Arnold, telling his critics he will "knock them down".

Goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino secured the Reds a 2-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday, a result that moved the Reds to within a point of Manchester City at the summit in a tightly contested Premier League title race.

But before the visitors took hold of the game at Emirates Stadium, Alexander-Arnold found himself on the wrong end of several smart Arsenal breaks spearheaded by Gabriel Martinelli.

Klopp, however, remained highly defensive of the right-back's efforts, hailing his capabilities and insisting any player can have difficulties defending against a player with the talents of Martinelli.

"If anyone says Trent can't defend, they should come to me and I'll knock them down," he told Sky Sports. "I cannot hear that anymore, I don't know what the boy has to do.

"Both teams had spells of possession where the other team was patient, closing the centre, didn't want to step out but we had to.

"In the moment where we defended forward like in the second half, the wingers defended the width. apart from the diagonal balls to Martinelli, which Trent defended incredibly.

"Martinelli is such a talented boy, it's really tricky [to defend against him]."

Alexander-Arnold has often figured as a critical flashpoint for pundits and fans away from Merseyside over the past few years, arguably due to the heavy competition for his spot in the England national team setup.

Having been dropped at the start of 2021 by Gareth Southgate, he earned a recall for Euro 2020, only to miss out on the tournament through injury.

Alexander-Arnold is expected to be included when Southgate names his latest squad on Thursday, ahead of the Three Lions' friendlies with Switzerland and the Ivory Coast.

Related items

  • Italy must be 'meaner' against Spain after nervy win over Albania – Spalletti Italy must be 'meaner' against Spain after nervy win over Albania – Spalletti

    Italy must be "meaner" when they face Spain in Thursday's heavyweight Group B clash after starting Euro 2024 with an unconvincing win over Albania, says Luciano Spalletti. 

    The Azzurri were stunned by the fastest goal in European Championship history on Saturday as Nedim Bajrami put them behind within just 23 seconds, but goals from Alessandro Bastoni and Nicolo Barella saw them rally for a 2-1 win.

    The defending champions enjoyed 68.3 per cent of the possession, created five big chances to Albania's two and recorded 34 touches in the penalty area to their opponents' seven. 

    However, they still had to survive a major scare at the death as Gianluigi Donnarumma turned Rey Manaj's attempted lob wide, clinching the three points.

    After seeing Group B rivals Spain thrash Croatia 3-0 earlier on Saturday, former Napoli boss Spalletti knows more will be needed from Italy next time out.

    "There are a number of things we still have to improve because we thought we were better than we were in too many situations," Spalletti told reporters.

    "We need to be meaner. We are neat and tidy in the way we build things up, we would free up a man, but then you need to go and hurt the opposition. 

    "We thought we were brilliant at just keeping possession. We need to move the ball a bit more quickly, because we did so badly on occasions tonight, but against Spain there will probably be chances to play the ball forward more.

    "Because they tend to be more aggressive in their bite and press, there might be greater scope to actually play in behind their defensive line."

    Italy have now won their opening game on each of their last three appearances at the Euros (also 2016 and 2020), having only done so twice in their first eight (five draws, one loss).

    They have also gone unbeaten through 10 games at the tournament for just the second time (seven wins, three draws), previously doing so in their first 10 between 1968 and 1988 (four wins, six draws), lifting the trophy in 1968.

  • Ronaldo insists Portugal 'deserve to win' Euro 2024 Ronaldo insists Portugal 'deserve to win' Euro 2024

    Cristiano Ronaldo says Portugal "deserve to win" Euro 2024, as the skipper issued a rallying cry to the 2016 champions.

    Roberto Martinez's side are among the favourites to go all the way in Germany, where they begin their campaign against Czechia on Tuesday, before facing Turkiye and debutants Georgia in Group F.

    Portugal were the only nation in qualifying to progress with a 100 per cent record as they won all 10 of their matches, scoring 36 goals and conceding just two, though their impressive form stalled with defeats against Croatia and Slovenia in recent friendlies.

    Ronaldo, who netted 10 times in qualifying, is set to become the first player to feature in six editions of the European Championship, in which he already holds the record for most appearances (25) and goals (14).

    The 39-year-old is joined by the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Rafael Leao and Goncalo Ramos in a star-studded squad he feels are more than capable of going all the way and landing a second European crown.

    "I believe that this generation deserves to win a competition of this magnitude," said Ronaldo, who captained Portugal to glory eight years ago. "Semi-finals? I hope we can go further.

    "We have to go step by step, live in the moment, be calm, work as well as we have until now, believe that it is possible. We know it's a short competition, but the team is ready.

    "It's getting off to a good start, which is essential. I feel ready, I've prepared myself for this competition.

    "It's my sixth European Championship, it's about enjoying it in the best possible way, playing well and making sure the team can win."

  • Georgia ready to 'write a new page of history' at Euro 2024 - Kvaratskhelia Georgia ready to 'write a new page of history' at Euro 2024 - Kvaratskhelia

    Khvicha Kvaratskhelia says Georgia are ready to "leave our mark" and "write a new page of history" on their major international tournament debut at Euro 2024.

    Willy Sagnol's side, who qualified via the play-offs after beating former champions Greece on penalties, are the only debutants in Germany, where they commence their campaign against Turkiye on June 18.

    The Crusaders will also play Portugal and Czechia in Group F, with Kvaratskhelia insisting he and his team-mates are not appearing in the tournament just to make up the numbers.

    The Napoli winger, who helped the Partenopei to the 2022-23 Scudetto, scored four goals for Georgia during qualifying, in which he also completed the joint-most dribbles along with Belgium's Jeremy Doku (both 44).

    On being considered his nation's talisman, the 23-year-old said: "This is a very big responsibility, and I am grateful when my work is appreciated.

    "There are a lot of Georgian footballers who could become the best player of the country; every one of us tries to be a team, and individual success is less important to us at the moment.

    "We are very focused and will do our best to succeed. It's a pleasure for me to play at Euro 2024. These are unforgettable moments and emotions which we will remember for the rest of our lives.

    "It was the greatest dream of every Georgian to become a part of such an important tournament, and it was the happiest day for all of us when we achieved it.

    "But we didn't come here just to attend; we wish to leave our mark on Euro 2024, to write a new page of history. We will do our utmost for this. Our team is very focused and ready for this tournament."

    When they face Turkiye, Georgia will be aiming to become the fourth European Championship debutants since 2012 to win their maiden match at the finals after Ukraine (2012), Wales (2016) and Finland (2020).

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.