Curtis Jones revealed he had been frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities at Liverpool before scoring an incredible Merseyside derby winner at Anfield.

Teenage midfielder Jones was playing for the fourth time this season for the European and world champions, who are 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.

With plenty of competition for places in the Liverpool team, Merseyside-born Jones has found the lack of regular action tough.

He certainly took his opportunity on Sunday, though, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 FA Cup third-round win over Everton, beating England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from 20 yards in spectacular fashion.

"I just go out there and try to play my game," Jones told BBC Sport. "I've had a bit of a tough time - maybe not tough, but frustrating at times.

"Being on the bench, I got a bit of a taste and then I'm on the bench again. There's times where in my head I'm begging to come on.

"I just tried to go out there and show what I'm capable of doing. Hopefully, I've topped that off with a good performance and, as everyone would say, a great goal."

Adam Lallana, captain after James Milner's withdrawal through injury early on, had sympathy for Jones but reminded his midfield colleague he was "playing for the best team in the world".

Lallana said: "[The youngsters] have been absolutely brilliant this season, their performances in training and games like this.

"It's frustrating at times for them because they obviously want to play.

"It's times like this that they get the opportunity to show what they're capable of. As the manager's said, they're more than ready to play.

"It's frustrating because they're playing for the best team in the world. That's a fact.

"They're training with us day in and day out, and I'm delighted [Jones] took his opportunity - as did everyone else."

Jones added of his emotions: "I can't really [describe it]. For me, it's huge just being around these [players] every day and learning from the experienced ones, the ones that have had a great career.

"There's world-class players in our team, as you can see, and I learn every day. I think it showed out on the pitch."

Takumi Minamino is likely to make his Liverpool debut in a Merseyside derby FA Cup clash against rivals Everton, according to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

Versatile forward Minamino, who can also operate in a deeper midfield role, is not eligible to play against Sheffield United in the Premier League on Thursday after signing from Salzburg.

Liverpool will have the same squad that battled to a 1-0 home win over Wolves when the Blades head to Anfield with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho and Dejan Lovren not ready to return to action, while they have no fresh injury concerns.

But when Liverpool host Everton in the tie of the FA Cup third round on Sunday, Japan international Minamino is in line to make his first appearance for the recently crowned world champions.

"He will come into contention for Everton," Klopp told a news conference. "He's not allowed to play against Sheffield United.

"From the next moment, we're thinking about the squad. He was here yesterday and enjoyed it a lot, Sadio [Mane] and Naby [Keita] with the Salzburg DNA, it was really nice. 

"I'd like to be a new player in that group as they are really welcoming with open arms, it's really nice and he felt that. His English is OK, German is really good, that helps me but not the team. 

"We can talk, didn't too much yesterday but it's important he settles. We signed the player that was at Salzburg, just be who you are. We're looking forward to it. 

"We signed him, the guy who played like crazy against us [in the Champions League], be like that and it's fine. We'll see how it goes but in this period especially it will not be 15 weeks until we use him, it's not how it is. 

"Is he the finished article? I don't know. We start learning about him and it's what we want to do. He'll play but how many minutes I don't know."

Klopp, who indicated Liverpool are unlikely to make further signings in the January window, called for patience with Minamino.

"It would be crazy, really nice if you could give him time," Klopp added. "We have a really good team and offensively we have some of the probably best players in the world.

"He can play different positions. At the last press conference we spoke and my friends at the Daily Mail made a headline, 'he's really good, I have no clue where to play him'. 

"I wanted to say we have many options for him. I don't know when he starts or where but I don't have to know at this moment. We want to see his natural skills so will not fill him with information, we want him to be as natural as possible. All the people need to give him a bit of time.

"I asked [ex-Salzburg boss] Marco Rose and he was very positive, so he can start now, will learn English quick, speaks a little bit already.

"He was in the rondo with the English guys and there's a lot of talk, he didn't get a word with [James] Milner, Robbo [Andy Robertson], Trent [Alexander-Arnold] speaking. Not sure an English guy would understand them but he will adapt. Now he's here and he will work."

Minamino's arrival could push Adam Lallana down the pecking order with Klopp unwilling to give any update on whether the 31-year-old will sign an extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the season.

"Everything about Adam Lallana, Adam Lallana knows and I know. I'm really happy, he's in sensational shape," Klopp said. 

"He's a very important player at the moment and in the future, we will see. Most important thing is he is 100 per cent fit. He is in a perfect place."

Liverpool cannot afford to take their foot off the gas in pursuit of a maiden Premier League title, according to midfielder Adam Lallana.

Jurgen Klopp's side restored their 13-point lead at the top of the table, with a game in hand still to play, courtesy of a slender 1-0 win over Wolves at Anfield on Sunday.

Sadio Mane scored the only goal of the game, the 42nd-minute strike awarded by the Video Assistant Referee after match official Anthony Taylor initially blew for handball against Lallana in the build-up.

Wolves then had a goal ruled out by VAR for a marginal offside against Jonny after Pedro Neto had fired home, while Diogo Jota had two good chances to score in the second half.

Lallana conceded Liverpool had to ride their luck to pick up a 10th league win in a row and has urged his team-mates to not become complacent.

"It was a massive three points, a gritty three points at times," he told Liverpool's official website.

"We'll look back when we analyse the game and we can do better, we can improve better mentally and physically. I think we can make life easier for us, keep the ball better.

"But that's the attitude we want to have. We don't want to just win and think, 'Ah, we got away with that'.  I think we can be better and I think it's important we have that attitude moving forward.

"We can't take our foot off the gas. We've got a couple of huge games at home in the next week - Sheffield United, who have had a fantastic season, and then the derby in the cup. 

"It's important we recover because we've had a few injuries and it's important that we get everybody back fit as quickly as possible. We want to maintain that form going into the New Year and keep Anfield a fortress."

Lallana made just his third league start of the season in the win over Wolves, coming into the side as the only change from the 4-0 win at Leicester City on Boxing Day.

And with youngsters Neco Williams, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones among the subs, Lallana talked up the importance of everyone chipping in over the coming weeks.

"It's a squad game and I've said before that we're going to need everybody," he said.

"We've got a few injuries at the time being and three or four kids on the bench - it's a great experience for them being involved and so close to what's been a special season so far."

Adam Lallana said Liverpool are addicted to winning trophies as the Champions League holders look to add the Club World Cup to their collection.

Liverpool face Copa Libertadores champions and Brazilian giants Flamengo in Saturday's Club World Cup final in Doha.

It is another chance for Premier League leaders Liverpool – who are on track to claim their first league title since 1990 – to celebrate silverware under Jurgen Klopp, having won the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup this year.

Liverpool attacker Lallana said: "It's massive. We are European champions and to be world club champions as well – there's not many people who can say that.

"We are going to give it our all. It's like an addiction: you win one medal and you want to win another. You want to win more."

Liverpool booked their spot in the Club World Cup decider after edging Monterrey 2-1 thanks to Roberto Firmino's last-gasp winner.

Flamengo, who beat River Plate in the Libertadores final, overcame 10-man Al Hilal 3-1 in the semi-finals.

"It will be a very tough game," Lallana said. "I'm sure Bobby [Firmino] and Alisson will give us some inside info into them.

"We watched them the other day. They were very dynamic, very aggressive, physical, and we will have to recover quickly. Another trophy is up for grabs so bring it on. It's all about recovery now.

"It's a good job it didn't go to extra time. We will get in the ice baths, get the massages and all guns blazing for Saturday."

Jurgen Klopp hopes Liverpool's fringe players can step up following the blow of Fabinho's ankle ligament injury.

The Brazil midfielder will be sidelined until the new year after suffering ankle ligament damage during Wednesday's 1-1 Champions League draw at home to Napoli.

Fabinho is the only specialist option in the holding role at Klopp's disposal, although Georginio Wijnaldum showed his adaptability by dropping back against the Serie A side.

Captain Jordan Henderson is another experienced option who can operate in front of the defence for the Premier League leaders, and either man reverting to that position would create opportunities in attacking midfield.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed since returning from a serious knee injury and won back his place in the England squad, while Naby Keita, Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri have all had their opportunities limited by form and fitness issues.

"We have guys with a lack of minutes for different reasons like Shaq and Naby," Klopp told reporters ahead of Saturday's home game against Brighton and Hove Albion.

"We don't have the biggest squad in the world and now we have two defensive players in Joel [Matip] and Fabinho with long-term injuries.

"It's not cool. They all will play. It’s time to be there for all of us and all the boys especially.

"In our preparation for the Napoli game, we watched the game last season and Hendo played in that position then. Gini played in the position already. Adam Lallana played in the position.

"We can change system, we can do different things. Losing a player with the quality of Fabinho is big, massive, really bad. but we are not the only team in the Premier League with injuries.

"It's not cool but it was clear Fab couldn't have played all the games from now until March anyway."

Fabinho's injury is particularly ill-timed as Liverpool enter a busy December that includes their jaunt to the Club World Cup in Qatar after a decisive final Champions League Group match at Salzburg.

"December is always a tough period. We have had wonderful Decembers, but very average Januarys," Klopp added.

"So it is about going through and getting as many points as you can."

Could Jose Mourinho find a new home at a third Premier League club?

According to one report, the ex-Chelsea and Manchester United manager is keeping a close eye on Tottenham and the uncertainty that lingers over Mauricio Pochettino's future.

The potential of a job opening in north London might even lead to him turning down a big-name former employer.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO SETS SIGHTS ON SPURS

Jose Mourinho has told friends he is "confident" of being offered a return to Real Madrid but may hold out for the Tottenham job, according to The Sun.

Zinedine Zidane is in his second stint in charge of Madrid, while Mauricio Pochettino has spent more than five years at the Spurs helm.

The report suggests it is the latter position that Mourinho covets more, meaning he "would not necessarily accept" another spell in the Spanish capital.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United could launch a January move for Gareth Bale, reports The Sun. According to the newspaper, Real Madrid know of United's interest in Wales winger Bale and would be happy to let him leave the Santiago Bernabeu, providing they can do a deal that involves Paul Pogba moving in the other direction.

- Spanish outlet ElDesmarque reports news that could complicate any Bale-Pogba exchange, stating that although Madrid are indeed keen on France playmaker Pogba, so too are the player's former club Juventus, with Cristiano Ronaldo said to be supportive.

Paris Saint-Germain are rumoured to be United's strongest rivals for Jadon Sancho and the Ligue 1 side could make a surprise play for another England international. The Mirror claims PSG are interested in poaching Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana on a free transfer. His contract is due to expire in 2020.

- Premier League champions Manchester City will look to sign Kingsley Coman from Bayern Munich if Leroy Sane agrees on a move to the Bundesliga giants, according to Sky Sports. Coman, 23, joined Bayern from Juve in 2015, initially on loan.

- Mainz are seeking a new head coach and the Bundesliga club are reported to be targeting former Cologne boss Achim Beierlorzer. Kicker reports Mainz want a new face in charge by early next week, and Beierlorzer is said to be in the frame. The club sit in the relegation zone after eight defeats in 11 games this term. Beierlorzer would be making a rapid return to bench duty if he lands the job, having left Cologne on November 9.

Jurgen Klopp has praised Adam Lallana for making the most of his opportunities but remains unsure if the midfielder will still be a Liverpool player next season.

The 31-year-old was preferred to the likes of Fabinho, Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Saturday's 2-1 comeback victory at Aston Villa.

Lallana was replaced six minutes from time with Liverpool a goal behind at Villa Park, but Klopp was pleased with his performance and said it was an easy decision to start him in holding midfield.

"It was not so difficult because we had a look at the things we needed against Villa and I think you saw how good Adam Lallana worked in that system," he said.

"It's a game where we had a lot of possession. We had to see how Adam recovered from midweek, but at the moment he is fine. The decision was not so difficult.

"Adam did really well, he played a really good game. In a game like this, you need that kind of deeper playmaker. That's how it is.

"From that position, pass the ball, chip the ball, all that stuff. And he did that. He had a lot of ball recoveries, was good in the air, it was a good game."

Lallana is into his sixth season with Liverpool but is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has emerged as a rumoured target for clubs in MLS and China.

He has struggled with a number of injury issues in recent years and Klopp cannot guarantee the England international will remain at Anfield beyond next year.

"I don't know what happens in May - for anybody, actually - but the best thing as a footballer is when you get the opportunity to play well, to do so. That is what Adam is doing," he said.

"When he came on against Manchester United he was good. He has played really good games and is brilliant in training.

"After a long time with some injuries, he is in outstanding shape physically. That's the most important thing for his career. As for the rest, we will see."

Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane scored late on in Saturday's match as Liverpool stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 28 matches since January.

The Reds came from behind to win three matches in the space of a week in all competitions, having also done so against Tottenham and Arsenal, which Lallana puts down to a never-say-die attitude.

"It's almost like a sixth sense," he said. "We knew at half-time against Villa that, if we got one goal, it's going to count. We got it late but we still had time. It doesn't surprise me that we got a second goal.

"Even though we weren't at our best in the first half, it helps towards the 'never say never'. We've just got that momentum."

Manchester United stopped the rot at Old Trafford and slowed Liverpool's Premier League title charge with a battling performance in a tightly contested 1-1 draw.

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring in contentious fashion with his first goal for United in over a month to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's much-improved side hope of a memorable victory.

United's hope faded with five minutes remaining, however, when Adam Lallana struck for the first time in the Premier League in over two years to claim a share of the spoils Liverpool's second-half display deserved.

Jurgen Klopp's men went into the game as favourites but had to settle for a draw, and the key Opta facts marked significant milestones on both sides of a fierce rivalry which rarely delivers a dull game.

Reds' run falls short of City's record

Victory at Old Trafford would have seen Liverpool equal Manchester City's record of 18 consecutive Premier League wins, set in 2017, but they were denied at the last hurdle.

It was the first time Klopp's side failed to win a Premier League match since their goalless draw with Merseyside rivals Everton in March.

Rashford relishes big-game pressure

Though he made an inauspicious start to the game, wasting early opportunities to attack, Rashford – who scored a wonderful goal in England’s thumping win over Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifying – made amends when he converted Daniel James' cross after 36 minutes.

It was the England forward's 31st Premier League goal for United, of which 11 have come against 'big six' opponents, and his third against Liverpool.

Lallana ends two-year drought

Few Liverpool fans would have held out hope of Lallana grabbing an equaliser after his 71st-minute introduction given that his previous Premier League goal came against Middlesbrough in May 2017.

The 31-year-old was in the right place at the right time to turn Andy Robertson's cross home for his first goal in 29 top-flight appearances.

Solskjaer left to rue more dropped points

While United's performance was warmly received by the Old Trafford crowd, it was not the first time Solskjaer's side have faltered when in a winning position this season.

Indeed, no side has dropped more points from winning positions than United, who have squandered eight, though Solskjaer is the only manager Klopp has faced more than once in the Premier League and failed to beat

Klopp's fighting spirit lifts Liverpool

After a frustrating first half in which they had 56.9 per cent of the possession, Liverpool dominated the second and enjoyed a 77.5 per cent share.

Lallana's late equaliser was the 28th goal Liverpool have scored in the final 15 minutes of Premier League matches since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Premier League leaders Liverpool's winning start to the season was brought to a halt as they drew 1-1 against fierce rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

Marcus Rashford's contentious goal looked set to claim all three points for United in the clash at Old Trafford, but substitute Adam Lallana hauled Liverpool level late on.

The Reds are still unbeaten in the league this season and lead the way, although Manchester City's victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday means the gap is now six points.

Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino will not have been pleased by another unconvincing Tottenham display despite Dele Alli rescuing a point for Spurs against Watford.

Chelsea overcame Newcastle United, while Leicester City got back on the winning trail following their heartbreak at Anfield.

Marco Silva's Everton claimed a much-needed win over West Ham, with Aston Villa beating Brighton and Hove Albion late on. Wolves drew with Southampton and Norwich City held Bournemouth in Saturday's other encounters.

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

 

SEVENTEEN AND OUT FOR LIVERPOOL

Lallana may have scored his first league goal since May 2017, but it was only enough to earn Liverpool a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, as the Reds failed to win for the first time in 18 Premier League matches.

It means, with 17 straight victories, the top-flight leaders fall just short of the Premier League record set by City in 2017.

Jurgen Klopp was furious that Rashford's opener was allowed to stand, though the goal means the England forward has now scored 11 times against "big six" opposition.

It was backs-against-the-wall stuff for United for much of the match, with the Red Devils registering their second-lowest possession figure (32.1 per cent) in a Premier League home match since 2003-04.

Five of the last seven Premier League meetings between the north west rivals have ended level – just four of the previous 36 encounters had been drawn.

JESUS RISES TO THE CHALLENGE AS CITY BOUNCE BACK

City's slip-up before the international break allowed Liverpool to open up an eight-point gap, but Pep Guardiola's side responded in confident fashion on Saturday.

Gabriel Jesus scored his 50th City goal to put the champions ahead at Selhurst Park, with the Brazil international becoming the seventh player to reach that milestone while being coached by Guardiola, joining Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Thomas Muller and Pedro on an illustrious list. 

David Silva added City's second, just 93 seconds after Jesus' opener as Palace succumbed to a 10th home league defeat since the start of last season.

City have now won 12 of their 14 away Premier League games in 2019, three more than any other club this calendar year, while in all competitions they have won 16 of their previous 19 meetings with Palace, scoring 47 goals.

Jesus has been directly involved in 58 goals in his 64 starts across all competitions for the club, including scoring 21 in his last 20 games when featuring in the starting XI.

ALLI SAVES A POINT BUT SPURS' SLUGGISH RUN ROLLS ON

A mix-up between Kiko Femenia and Ben Foster may have allowed Alli to salvage a point for Tottenham against Watford, but Spurs have now won just three of their last 12 Premier League games, keeping just one clean sheet across those games.

Lowly Watford thought Abdoulaye Doucoure's early goal was going to be enough, but the Hornets remain winless in the Premier League this season, failing to win their opening nine league games for the first time since 2006-07, when they went on to finish bottom.

Spurs made seven changes to their starting XI for this match, with Alli rewarding Pochettino for his faith as he scored his fifth league goal against Watford.

Watford lost Danny Welbeck to injury in the fourth minute – the earliest substitution of a starting player in a Premier League match since Daniel Sturridge for West Brom against Chelsea in February 2018.

IT'S...... JAMIE VARDY

After their late defeat at Anfield, Leicester returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Burnley, albeit it was a triumph not without some controversy as Sean Dyche's side had a late goal harshly disallowed by VAR.

Jamie Vardy cancelled out Chris Wood's opener, heading home a cross from Harvey Barnes, who later became the second youngest player to provide two assists in a Premier League game for the Foxes when he teed up Youri Tielemans' winner.

Since Brendan Rodgers' first Premier League game in charge of Leicester on March 3rd, Vardy has scored 15 top-flight goals – two more than any other player.

In-form Leicester have now won four consecutive home Premier League matches for the first time since winning five in a row in May 2017, while the Clarets have won just 16 times from Burnley's 100 away matches in the top tier.

Marcus Rashford's goal in Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Liverpool demonstrated "all the problems with VAR", said Jurgen Klopp.

The England striker put United ahead after 36 minutes of a tightly fought contest at Old Trafford, where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side brought Liverpool's 17-match Premier League winning streak to an end.

Liverpool appealed for the goal to be ruled out for what they claimed was a foul by Victor Lindelof on Divock Origi before Rashford broke the deadlock, and Klopp insisted after the game that his striker was taken down illegally.

Adam Lallana's 85th-minute equaliser rescued a point for the Premier League leaders, but the draw did not keep Klopp from questioning referee Martin Atkinson's decisions.

"[In the] second half we had good moments," Klopp told Sky Sports. "The first half I did not like.

"We gave United the opportunity to do what they wanted to do, being aggressive and challenges everywhere. It's football, but you have to pass these lines. The opportunities were there.

"They were better in the game than we were. They defended well but at the end United scored a goal which shows all the problems with VAR.

"Mr Atkinson lets the game run because I am sure he thinks VAR will show if there is contact. There is a foul, 100 per cent it is clear it is a foul.

"We cannot change it but in general there is a problem. They still have 60 or 70 yards to run until they scored a goal but still."

The result prevented Liverpool from restoring their eight-point lead over second-place Manchester City, but Klopp praised his side's strong finish to the game.

The Reds were on top in the closing stages and substitutes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Lallana earned special praise from their manager.

"The result is OK, it's not what we wanted before the game but the way it developed we have to be happy because United were for a long time 1-0 up," said Klopp.

"Pretty much everything went against us, but we did not lose. We deserved a point. In the last 15 minutes we were in charge of the game.

"They were purely there to defend against us. It's difficult. We should have done much better.

"When Ox came on it was good, Adam came on and helped us a lot, Naby maybe came on a bit late but had influence. Adam scored [and] that is a wonderful story to be honest."

Jordan Henderson felt Liverpool were unfairly denied a free-kick prior to Manchester United's opener in their 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Marcus Rashford put United ahead in the 36th minute but Premier League leaders Liverpool claimed the goal came at the end of a counter-attack that started after a foul by Victor Lindelof on Divock Origi.

Referee Martin Atkinson let play continue and the decision to allow the effort was upheld following a VAR check.

Liverpool saw a potential equaliser from Sadio Mane ruled out for handball following a video review but substitute Adam Lallana struck with five minutes remaining to earn a share of the spoils.

Asked for his opinion on Rashford's goal, Liverpool captain Henderson told Sky Sports: "I think you know the feeling because you saw our reactions. I just felt referee gave a lot of similar free-kicks to them in the first half.

"That one for me was similar to the one he gave on Marcus early on and he didn't give it for us.

"But we've got to defend the goal better and it's no excuse for us. Our performance level wasn't up to our normal standards so we've got to accept, move on, take the positives, learn from the negatives and keep pushing."

He added: "It could be a big point come the end of the season. We could've been better. We were much better in the second half but if you can't win, don't lose."

The draw saw Liverpool's winning run end at 17 Premier League games, but they still hold a six-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City at the summit.

"If we're going to compete to take the title, we're not going to need just 11, we're going to need a squad and if that's what we can take from today then brilliant," said Lallana.

"It's a point gained. We weren't at our best. People were saying it was going to be an easy three points for us, but it shows it's never the case and form goes out of the window in these games.

"It's huge, we've come to Old Trafford and got a point, we'd probably have taken that at the beginning of the season and we're still unbeaten, so it's a huge positive considering we didn't play our best."

Adam Lallana scored a late equaliser but Liverpool saw their winning streak in the Premier League come to an end with a 1-1 draw at Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's beleaguered side took the lead through Marcus Rashford's controversial opener, with Liverpool claiming Divock Origi was fouled prior to a rapid United break.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp cut an incensed figure on the touchline and his mood hardly improved when Sadio Mane had an equaliser disallowed following a VAR check for handball but, in the absence of the injured Mohamed Salah, his side lacked their usual fluency in attack.

United defended doggedly to hang on to their lead, yet their hard work was undone when they allowed substitute Lallana to tap home Andy Robertson's low cross in the 85th minute.

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