EPL

Jones dedicates Liverpool goal to grieving Alisson

By Sports Desk February 28, 2021

Curtis Jones dedicated his goal at Sheffield United to Liverpool team-mate Alisson, whose father died in tragic circumstances in Brazil.

Alisson was not included in Liverpool's squad as the reigning Premier League champions stopped their slide with a 2-0 win over the struggling Blades on Sunday.

It was reported that Jose Agostinho Becker drowned on Wednesday while swimming close to his holiday home. The 57-year-old was declared missing and, following a search, his body was found.

Jones scored the opener at Bramall Lane, with Kean Bryan's own goal then securing a much-needed victory for the Reds.

"It's been a difficult time for myself and the rest of the team, but I'm happy that I got on the scoresheet and I'd like to take this time to say that this goal is for Ali's dad, actually," Jones told Sky Sports.

"So, may he rest in peace and if Ali sees this, this is for you bro."

Asked how difficult the news had been for Liverpool's squad, Jones replied: "He's a strong lad, a big part of the team of course.

"He's not here today, we miss him for sure. I'd like to give the goal to him, his dad and the rest of his family."

Jones' goal was his second in the Premier League, and his first away from Anfield, while the 20-year-old midfielder also became the youngest Liverpool player to score a top-flight goal on the road since Raheem Sterling against Burnley in 2014.

"I'm a player that likes to assist and score goals – I think the right time is now," Jones added. "We've had good games but not scored as many goals as we'd like.

"Today was a good example of it all coming together. It was a good performance."

Jones finished with a game-high four goal attempts, with three of them on target, while his passing accuracy of 96.3 per cent was better than that of any other player who started the game.

It was a display which came as no surprise to Jurgen Klopp, who said it is vital that Jones – who was involved in both goals – starts to produce at the top end of the pitch on a consistent basis.

"A top player, no doubt about that. That's why he was playing. He was very important," Klopp said.

"We have talked about him being involved in more goalscoring situations as well, that's clear. Everyone has space for improvement. Tonight he was involved [in the goals] – that's good."

Related items

  • Van Gaal named Netherlands head coach as he returns for a third spell Van Gaal named Netherlands head coach as he returns for a third spell

    Louis van Gaal has returned to football management after being named as the new head coach of the Netherlands.

    The 69-year-old, who announced his retirement in 2019, is back for a third spell in charge of the national team as their World Cup qualifying campaign prepares to resume next month.

    His first appointment since leaving Manchester United back in 2016, he takes over following the departure of Frank de Boer, who stepped down after the Netherlands' last-16 exit from Euro 2020.

    Van Gaal, who will be assisted by Danny Blind and Henk Fraser with Frans Hoek serving as goalkeeping coach, was first in charge between 2000 and 2002 but stepped down after failing to secure qualification for the World Cup.

    He returned for a second stint in 2012, guiding his nation to third place at the World Cup in Brazil two years later before departing for Old Trafford.

    Van Gaal's first match back in charge sees the Dutch travel to Norway on September 1 in a World Cup qualifier.

    Currently second in Group G with six points from three matches, the Netherlands then play back-to-back home games against Montenegro and table-topping Turkey.

    Van Gaal said: "Dutch football has always been close to my heart and the national coach is, in my opinion, a key position for moving our football forward. 

    "Moreover, I consider it an honour to coach the Dutch national team. There is little time until the next qualifiers, which are immediately crucial for participation in the World Cup. 

    "The focus is, therefore, 100 per cent on the players and the approach. After all, that's what I'm assigned to do. It's good to be back. 

    "I have already spoken to a number of players and together with the KNVB (the Dutch Football Association), the technical staff has been assembled. I'm really looking forward to getting the job done together."

    Nico-Jan Hoogma, KNVB director, added: "In the coming months, we will be tasked with qualifying for the World Cup. For this, we have a minimum preparation period. 

    "In view of this job, we were looking for a coach with exceptional qualities, who can also anticipate quickly. 

    "With his experience and track record at the highest level, we have that coach in our eyes with Louis van Gaal. The contact was made quickly and we have spoken many times since then. 

    "In the last few days, we have been able to carefully put the finishing touches together. We are happy that Louis is taking on this job."

    A league winner in three different countries, having secured domestic titles while at Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Van Gaal has enjoyed a hugely successful managerial career.

    He also won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, then guided Bayern to the final 15 years later.

    Van Gaal won 27 of the 44 games he oversaw during his first two spells with the Netherlands, drawing 13 and losing just four.

  • Real Madrid midfielder Kroos set for spell on the sidelines Real Madrid midfielder Kroos set for spell on the sidelines

    Real Madrid look set to be without Toni Kroos for the start of the new season, with the midfielder confirming he has been suffering with a pubic bone issue.

    Madrid confirmed on Tuesday that Kroos, who retired from international football following Germany's disappointing showing at Euro 2020, had been diagnosed with a pubalgia – a strain or tear of the soft tissue in the groin.

    Kroos subsequently revealed on Twitter that he had been suffering with the problem for some time.

    "After several month (sic.) of problems on my pubic bone I think it's time to give it a rest and work on it to be well prepared for a long season. Back asap as always," the 31-year-old tweeted.

    On Wednesday, reports in Spanish publication AS suggested Kroos could be out for around a month.

    Even if the estimation proves incorrect, Kroos seems highly unlikely to be able to play in Carlo Ancelotti's opening LaLiga match of his second stint in charge of Madrid.

    Los Blancos, who face Milan on Sunday in their final pre-season friendly, take on Deportivo Alaves on August 14. They then travel to Levante and Real Betis before the first international break of 2021-22.

    Kroos made 28 league appearances last term, scoring three goals. 

  • Bailey completes Villa move amid continued Grealish speculation Bailey completes Villa move amid continued Grealish speculation

    Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported £30million fee.

    The Premier League club announced at the end of July that an agreement was in place with Leverkusen, with the player now completing his medical and agreeing personal terms on a contract that runs through to 2025.

    A Jamaica international, Bailey scored 15 goals and provided 10 assists for the Bundesliga side across 40 appearances in all competitions last term.

    The 23-year-old becomes the second big-money signing for Villa ahead of the 2021-22 season, following on from the arrival of Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City. Ashley Young has also re-joined the club on a free transfer.

    "Leon is a hugely exciting young striker with great pace and creativity," Villa boss Dean Smith said of Bailey, who scored 39 goals for Leverkusen after joining from Genk in January 2017.   

    "He has enjoyed a successful career at Leverkusen and we are now looking forward to watching him show his skills and talents for Aston Villa in the Premier League."

    It remains to be seen if Smith will have Jack Grealish as part of his first-team squad once the transfer window closes, however, as Villa’s captain has been heavily linked with a move to champions Manchester City.

    Villa have a pre-season friendly against Sevilla on Saturday before opening the new season with a trip to promoted Watford on August 14.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.