EPL

I wanted to win the league before I was 21 - Sterling on move to City

By Sports Desk May 16, 2019

Raheem Sterling explained why he moved from Liverpool to Man City after he picked up the Football Writers' Association Football of the Year award.

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  • Klopp reveals Keita talks over Liverpool role Klopp reveals Keita talks over Liverpool role

    Jurgen Klopp revealed he had consistently reassured Naby Keita before the midfielder starred when given his chance for Liverpool against Bournemouth.

    Keita scored and provided an assist on his first start of the Premier League season in Saturday's 3-0 win at the Vitality Stadium.

    A £53million signing from RB Leipzig in 2018, Keita has had his difficulties since arriving at Anfield and Klopp said he frequently spoke to the Guinea international regarding his standing at Liverpool.

    "Naby is sitting outside and thinks 'why don't I play?’ I get all that," the Liverpool manager told UK newspapers.

    "So we stayed in contact, we talked and we spoke a lot about it, but in the end of course the player needs to have this evidence that the coach or the manager still believes in you.

    "Naby had injuries and the team was and is in really good shape, so then do you change and, if you want to change, we are not flying – it's not like we won all our games 4-0 or 5-0 – so we [have] had to bring on a player who helps defending set-pieces."

    After Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring at Bournemouth, Keita struck before setting up Mohamed Salah for the Premier League leaders.

    As Liverpool's rotation continued for the encounter, Klopp said his squad understood the situation.

    "It's not difficult for me to leave players out," he said.

    "I didn't speak to Sadio [Mane] about it. I didn't speak to Divock Origi. I didn't speak to Bobby [Firmino] or Mo last week. I didn't speak to Hendo [Jordan Henderson].

    "I didn't ask. I just have to make decisions and then next time everyone knows someone else will play.

    "The boys are a really smart group who look at the schedule. They know how it is."

    Liverpool visit Salzburg on Tuesday needing to avoid defeat to reach the Champions League last 16.

  • Guardiola's lowest points haul, clean sheet joy for Liverpool – the Premier League Data Diary Guardiola's lowest points haul, clean sheet joy for Liverpool – the Premier League Data Diary

    Liverpool maintained their charge for a first Premier League title with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth, keeping just a third top-flight clean sheet of the season in the process.

    The Reds remain eight points ahead of Leicester City, who saw off Aston Villa 4-1 to make it eight league victories in a row – their best winning run in their top-flight history.

    But defending champions Manchester City are now 14 points adrift of top spot after tasting defeat in their derby showdown with a rejuvenated Manchester United.

    Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho made it three league wins out of four as Tottenham thrashed Burnley to close to within six points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who lost 3-1 at Everton.

    There were also wins for Newcastle United and Sheffield United, against Southampton and Norwich City respectively, while Watford played out a goalless draw with Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion took a point off Wolves.

    Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's games.

    DERBY DEFEAT LEAVES GUARDIOLA WITH LOWEST POINTS HAUL

    Pep Guardiola admitted City could not cope with the pace of United's attacking trio of Daniel James, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in Saturday's clash.

    City fell two goals behind inside half an hour and, despite Nicolas Otamendi pulling one back late on, they fell to a defeat that surely ends their hopes of retaining the title.

    The loss leaves the reigning champions with 32 points - the lowest return of Guardiola's managerial career after 16 matches.

    Kyle Walker refused to wave the white flag, but no English top-flight side has ever gone on to win the title after being as many as 14 points behind the top side at the end of a day.

    As for United, who beat Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday, they are now unbeaten in five Premier League games and have won back-to-back matches for the first time since March.

    CLEAN SHEET BONUS FOR RUNAWAY REDS

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had extra reason to celebrate his side's win at Bournemouth, having kept a first clean sheet in 14 games in all competitions.

    In fact, toothless Bournemouth - now beaten in five successive games for the first time in their top-flight history - managed zero shots on target at the Vitality Stadium.

    Klopp's men have won 24 of their past 25 Premier League matches, including 15 out of 16 this term, and have scored two or more goals in 23 of those past 25 fixtures.

    Naby Keita marked his first league start of the season with a goal and an assist, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah were also on target.

    Salah's goal took him to 63 in 100 Premier League outings, with Alan Shearer (79), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68) and Sergio Aguero (64) the only players to score more in their first century of games.

    SENSATIONAL SON INSPIRES MOURINHO'S FREE-SCORING MEN

    Tottenham produced a five-star display in their emphatic triumph against Burnley, who suffered their joint-biggest margin of defeat in the Premier League.

    Mourinho saw Tottenham score five goals in his fourth Premier League game in charge, something Manchester United failed to achieve in 93 league matches under the Portuguese.

    Harry Kane bagged a brace, Lucas Moura scored a sitter and Moussa Sissoko netted for the second home game running, but it was Son Heung-min who stole the show.

    Having earlier set up Kane's opener, Son ran from one box to the other and found the net to make it 15 goal involvements in 15 appearances at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

    Dele Alli may not have registered in the one-sided contest, though he provided two assists in a Premier League game for the third time and the first since December 2017.

    VARDY CLOSING IN ON HIS OWN RECORD

    Leicester appear to be the only side standing between Liverpool and a maiden Premier League title success after coming out on top in their Midlands tussle with Aston Villa.

    Jamie Vardy helped himself to a couple of goals as the Foxes inflicted a heaviest home league defeat on Villa since they lost 4-0 to Chelsea in April 2016.

    The 32-year-old became the first player to score in eight consecutive Premier League matches since Vardy himself did so in November 2015 when netting 11 in a row.

    Only one player other than Vardy has scored in eight successive fixtures, in fact - Van Nistelrooy, who did so in 2002 and again in 2003 during his time at Manchester United.

    Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans also registered at Villa Park for Leicester, who have won their past four away Premier League matches by an aggregate score of 17-1.

  • Portmore United, Tivoli score wins in RSPL Portmore United, Tivoli score wins in RSPL

    Defending champions Portmore United and Tivoli Gardens scored victories on Sunday during round 16 of the Red Stripe Premier League.

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