Sadio Mane scored his 100th goal for Liverpool as the Senegal forward once again found the net against Crystal Palace, creating Premier League history in the process.

A loose ball after Mohamed Salah had seen a header saved by Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita allowed Mane to smash Liverpool ahead just before half-time at Anfield on Saturday.

The goal came towards the end of an opening 45 minutes that saw Jurgen Klopp's side have 14 attempts, including a remarkable close-range miss by Diogo Jota when he had the goal at his mercy.

However, Mane finally broke the deadlock to reach his century in all competitions for the Reds, doing so in his 224th appearance since his arrival from Southampton in 2016.

The 29-year-old becomes the 18th player to make it to the milestone for Liverpool, doing so faster than club legends Kenny Dalglish (241 games), Ian St John (270) and Kevin Keegan (318).

Salah sits third on the list when it comes to fastest by appearances, the Egyptian reaching his 100 in 159 outings. Only Roger Hunt (144) and Jack Parkinson (153) managed to do so in fewer games.

As for Mane, he has now scored in each of his past nine league appearances against Palace – no player had ever previously scored in that number of consecutive games against a single opponent in the competition.

The only other player to have previously scored in eight straight games against an opponent was Robin van Persie, the former Arsenal and Manchester United forward doing so against Stoke City.

In total, Mane has scored 10 times for Liverpool when facing the Eagles, unsurprisingly the most against any single team on his way to three figures.

Could Raheem Sterling leave Premier League champions Manchester City?

The Englishman has slipped down the pecking order in 2021-22.

LaLiga giants Barcelona are reportedly ready to offer Sterling regular football.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA INTERESTED IN STERLING

Barcelona are targeting a loan move for Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, according to Sport.

Sterling has fallen out of favour under Pep Guardiola this season, leading to speculation over his City future.

The England international is reportedly open to reunion with former City team-mate Sergio Aguero at Barca.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Independent claims Manchester United are prioritising a move for West Ham's Declan Rice. The Red Devils are eyeing Rice to partner Paul Pogba, who himself is the subject of transfer speculation. Out of contract at the end of the season, Pogba has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Juventus.

Lazio are interested in free agent Dani Alves following his Sao Paulo exit, reports Calciomercato. The former Barca and Juve full-back terminated his contract and reportedly met with Brazilian rivals Flamengo.

- Fabrizio Romano says Roma are preparing a new five-year contract for Lorenzo Pellegrini, who has been linked with Premier League clubs.

- Serie A champions Inter are weighing up a move for Torino defender Bremer at the end of the season, says Calciomercato. The Brazilian has also been linked with United and Liverpool.

- According to Calciomercato, City have not given up on signing Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic. The Serbia international forward was linked with City as well as Tottenham, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid before the transfer window closed.

Luka Jovic is on the radar of Juventus, per Calciomercato. Jovic is out of favour at Madrid, with the Serbia international originally tipped to return to Eintracht Frankfurt on a permanent basis.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Thiago Alcantara is "like a world-class golfer", while insisting there is much more to come from the Spaniard at Anfield.

Thiago joined Liverpool from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich amid plenty of fanfare ahead of the 2020-21 campaign but the Spain international experienced a mixed start to life on Merseyside, where injuries hampered his maiden season.

The 30-year-old midfielder has featured in three of Liverpool's opening four Premier League matches, starting once, while he came off the bench in Wednesday's Champions League victory over Milan.

A year on from his arrival, Klopp hailed Thiago ahead of Saturday's clash with Crystal Palace.

"The start was not perfect," Klopp told reporters during his pre-game news conference. "He got Covid, got injured early which of course makes things much more difficult. But he showed what kind of player he will be for us. There is much more to come of course.

"It has been a year, but if you want it is only half a year because of all the things which happened. Coming to a new club, in the most difficult period in all our lives, he settled really well. His family is here, he loves it here, he was in the middle of the team very quickly. He's a really good character, really good personality and obviously a world-class player. It is all fine!"

Klopp added: "He played more often at Munich in a double-six role, but for us it's a complex position; you have to be offensive, you have to be defensive, you have to be between the lines, you can drop into the last line to receive the ball, but not always. 

"But he is such a natural footballer it is not like we have to give him 15 or 16 different things to do in the game. I don't ask him for constant runs beyond the last line. He is a playmaker, obviously, who can sometimes be a little deeper, but he must be there in the two ‘interesting’ lines of the opponent as well.

"He has great vision and can change things with his passing. In a closed area with his passing he is really good, and he can chip balls into each area like a golfer, actually. A good golfer. A world class golfer! He does that without even thinking. 

"I love the way he plays. It's a complex position to be the number eight for us. We have different skill sets and we use different skill sets from time to time when we think a particular skill set makes more sense against a particular opponent."

Liverpool are on the longest current league unbeaten run in the top four tiers of English football, going 14 league games without defeat since a 1-0 home loss against Fulham in March (W11 D3).

Klopp's Liverpool have had more shots than any other Premier League side this season (100). Their 30 attempts against Leeds United last time out brought up their 100, making them just the second side since 2003-04 to have 100-plus shots in their first four games of a season, after Chelsea in 2009-10 (109).

Brighton and Hove Albion star Yves Bissouma believes he is the best midfielder in the Premier League amid links with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Bissouma has flourished in England since joining Brighton from Ligue 1 outfit Lille in 2018, attracting interest from a host of Premier League teams.

As his future continues to make headlines, the 25-year-old Mali international highlighted his ability.

"I don't want to be arrogant, but it's me because in my head I am working to be the best," Bissouma told BBC Sport.

"So I cannot say another name, I know in the Premier League there are so many good midfielders, but for me, it's me because that gives me the confidence and the energy to work hard to show people I am here and I am Bissouma.

"I just want to be focused on football, to play in every game, every week to be good, to help my team win and the rest we will see."

Last season, Brighton's Bissouma topped the Premier League list for tackles won among midfielder with 68 in 36 appearances.

Bissouma won possession on 271 occasions – a number only bettered by Tottenham's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (296), Southampton star James Ward-Prowse (288) and Manchester City's Rodri (285) among midfielders.

He also ranked fourth for duels won (227), behind West Ham's Tomas Soucek (364), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (264) and former Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish (231).

His 64 interceptions were only eclipsed by Burnley midfielder Josh Brownhill (69) and Wolves star Ruben Neves (65) in 2020-21, while Bissouma had the fifth most recoveries (271).

Jurgen Klopp warned Liverpool that they cannot waste any opportunity to pick up points if they are to compete for the Premier League title this season.

The Reds are on the longest current unbeaten league run in England's top four tiers (14), last losing in March at home to Fulham.

Liverpool have also won their last eight games against Saturday's opponents Crystal Palace, scoring 24 and conceding just five times.

However, Klopp insisted his side must not pass up any chance to collect three points if they are to set the pace with their title rivals.

"I am not too much in the other teams' situations, but it's a good start for us," Klopp told reporters at Friday's news conference.

"We have played some good football but if you want to be around the top spots you have to and you cannot waste points. That's how it is. We just have to keep going."

Klopp also provided injury updates on Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, after the latter was rested for their 3-2 Champions League win over Milan on Wednesday.

"If you like we're still in extended pre-season for him [Virgil van Dijk]," he continued. "I don't want to talk about injuries, but Ibou [Konate], Joe [Gomez], Joel [Matip] all have had injuries. Now we just make sure we have a proper pair on the pitch

"I cannot help people who don't see the quality of Joel. He was unlucky with injuries. He's tall and it can look a bit edgy but he's always been incredible for us. We need his quality, we have four or five top-class centre-backs and that is good and necessary."

While having the defensive trio fit again to call upon, speculation persists over Mohamed Salah's future, with talks ongoing over a new contract for the Reds' talisman.

But Klopp is just focused on Salah's output on the pitch after he became the fifth-fastest player to reach 100 Premier League goals with his opener against Leeds United last time out.

"There's nothing to say, especially from me, I am not involved," he said.

"Obviously I am interested in how sharp he [Mohamed Salah] looks. He's spot on, really good. Nothing else to say."

The Premier League table already looks to be taking shape, with a thrilling title race potentially in store.

And fantasy leagues are no different, with the best players quickly racking up early-season points to pull clear.

Want to avoid being left behind? Why not take a look at our Opta-powered picks for matchday five...

 

ALISSON (Liverpool v Crystal Palace)

Liverpool have started the season in fine form and Alisson has been central to their defensive solidarity, which has seen them keep three clean sheets in four games.

Since the start of last season, only Hugo Lloris (7.7) has prevented more goals than the Brazil goalkeeper (6.2) according to expected goals on target data, while only two can boast a better save percentage than his 74.2.

Crystal Palace may have cruised past Tottenham last time out but beating Alisson will provide a different challenge and the Liverpool man could be a guarantee for much-needed clean sheet points.

JAMES TARKOWSKI (Burnley v Arsenal)

Burnley are winless this term, but James Tarkowski remains a wonderful bargain option for your shaky backline.

While the Clarets may concede against Arsenal, Tarkowski offers returns at the other end of the pitch and boasts the highest xG (4.3) among Premier League defenders since the start of last term.

Only the more expensive Andrew Robertson, Joao Cancelo and Trent-Alexander Arnold have had more touches in the opposition box in that time period, too, meaning the centre-back could prove an alternate option on matchday five.

VIRGIL VAN DIJK (Liverpool v Crystal Palace)

From one end of the budget to the other, Virgil van Dijk may set you back but he has been the Premier League's most dangerous defender so far.

The centre-back has produced nine shots, with only Cancelo (13) and Alexander-Arnold (11) managing more opposition-box touches among defenders than Van Dijk's 11.

Given Liverpool look likely a good bet for a clean sheet as well – conceding only five goals in eight straight wins against Palace – Van Dijk could provide a perfect double threat despite the off-putting outlay for the Netherlands captain.

ABDOULAYE DOUCOURE (Aston Villa v  Everton)

Abdoulaye Doucoure may not be your typical fantasy midfielder in the ilk of Mohamed Salah, Bruno Fernandes or Paul Pogba.

However, the Everton midfielder is in fine form and provides a wonderful budget option, having been involved in four goals in his past four games in the competition for the Toffees.

Aston Villa have managed just two shutouts in their past 16, too, so Doucoure's box-to-box prowess could cause carnage once more at Villa Park.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Burnley v  Arsenal)

Some fantasy players may have given up hope with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he repaid the faith of those loyal to him with a goal against Norwich City last Saturday.

The Gabon forward, who many discounted after a poor last campaign, will be central to Mikel Arteta's revival and he has netted eight times in seven top-flight matches against Burnley.

Given Burnley have not kept a clean sheet in their past seven and Arsenal attempted 30 shots last time out, Aubameyang could provide more returns at Turf Moor.

SADIO MANE (Liverpool  v Crystal Palace)

Salah appears the obvious option as always for the visit of Crystal Palace; however, Sadio Mane offers an alternate differential at Anfield.

Liverpool have fired in 100 shots already this term – just the second side to register a century in their opening four Premier League games since 2003-04 – and Mane has accounted for 22 of those.

The Senegal star has also scored in each of his past eight against Palace, making him one of the best picks for matchday five.

DANNY INGS (Aston Villa v Everton)

Danny Ings has been a fantasy favourite from the start of the season but has not delivered as of yet with Aston Villa.

That could change against Everton, however, as the Toffees are his favourite opponent having scored five top-flight goals against them.

The omens are in Ings' favour, too, given he has managed to score against Everton with all three of his previous Premier League clubs – could he make it a fourth with Villa?

Could Jurgen Klopp and Robert Lewandowski be set to work together again?

The pair enjoyed a successful partnership at Borussia Dortmund.

Now, Klopp is reportedly trying to lure the Bayern Munich forward to Liverpool.

 

TOP STORY – KLOPP WANTS LEWANDOWSKI REUNION

Liverpool are targeting Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, according to Fichajes.

Lewandowski worked with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund before joining Bundesliga rivals Bayern in 2014.

There has been talk Lewandowski could be ready for a new challenge amid links to Real Madrid and Manchester City, though Klopp is reportedly determined to reunite with the Poland international.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bild claims Dortmund have identified Chelsea forward Timo Werner as a possible option to replace Erling Haaland. Club are queueing up to sign Haaland, with City, Manchester United, Bayern, Liverpool, Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all reportedly interested. Should Haaland leave Dortmund, the Bundesliga outfit reportedly see former RB Leipzig star Werner as a potential successor.

- Fabrizio Romano says Inter forward Lautaro Martinez is nearing a contract extension at San Siro. He has reportedly turned down offers from Tottenham and Atletico Madrid.

Bayern, Inter, Real Madrid and Tottenham are interested in Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter, reports Calciomercato.

Chelsea are looking to sign Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to new contracts, according to Romano.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted Divock Origi will be remembered as a club legend, lauding the forward following Wednesday's thrilling Champions League victory over Milan.

Origi has often taken a backseat to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino but the Belgian started and impressed in Liverpool's 3-2 win against Milan at Anfield midweek.

In his first start since January, Origi teed up Salah's equaliser as Liverpool kicked off their Group B opener with maximum points on Merseyside, where Jordan Henderson settled the contest.

Klopp hailed Origi, who only started six matches last season after Liverpool braced for the 26-year-old's exit in 2021-22.

"Divock is a great guy, that's how it is, and in 10 years' time when we look back he will be a Liverpool legend, but he is too young to be already seen as a legend now so he has to play football," Klopp told reporters.

"To be 100 per cent honest, of course I thought he would maybe leave in the summer, but the football world is a crazy place and people obviously forgot how good he is.

"I said it, it is really difficult to get into this team. That's just how it is and I have to decide about different positions, who I bring on, how I want to react before a game. That's why Div was not in, he did nothing wrong. He trains, he gives everything and sometimes you still don't make it into the squad.

"That really can happen, especially when everybody is fit. But for tonight he was the right player to do it and he did really well. He was not injured, he had cramps, that's normal and so now let's see. It's just nice, I'm really happy I could give him the opportunity and that he used it like he did."

Liverpool have won their opening home game in seven of their last eight Champions League campaigns (D1), last losing such a match in October 2007 (1-0 against Marseille).

Under Klopp, Liverpool have only lost one of their 13 group-stage games in the Champions League at Anfield (W10 D2) – 2-0 against Atalanta last season.

Liverpool have averaged 2.5 goals per home game in the group stage since the German took charge (33 goals).

Stefano Pioli insisted Milan learnt a "valuable lesson" following their entertaining 3-2 defeat to Liverpool upon the club's return to the Champions League.

Milan were featuring in the Champions League for the first time since 2014 and the seven-time winners threatened an upset at Anfield, where the visitors surprisingly claimed a 2-1 half-time lead.

Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz both scored within two minutes of each other on the stroke of half-time to stun Liverpool, who had Mohamed Salah's penalty saved by Mike Maignan following Fiyako Tomori's ninth-minute own goal.

But Salah redeemed himself with an equaliser three minutes into the second half before Jordan Henderson's first Champions League goal in seven years settled the Group B thriller on Merseyside.

Despite leaving England empty-handed, Milan head coach Pioli – whose Rossoneri have won their opening three Serie A games this season – was relatively upbeat post-match.

"This was a valuable lesson that will help us going forward. The team was motivated, we expected Liverpool to start strong, but were a bit too static and couldn't get past their first press. When you don't have the ball, you run into danger," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

"It was a very good game of football, it's a pity we lost the game, because a strong start here would've been very important.

"I leave Anfield aware this team can grow more and we still need that extra step up in terms of details, because those are what make the difference in the Champions League.

"We lost because on a set play we cleared the ball to the edge of the box and that is not what we ought to be doing."

Rebic became the seventh Croatian to score on his Champions League debut and the first since Miroslav Orsic for Dinamo Zagreb in September 2019.

Meanwhile, team-mate Diaz (22 years and 43 days) is the youngest player to score on his Champions League bow for Milan since Yoann Gourcuff in September 2006 (20 years and 64 days against AEK Athens).

"Liverpool deserve credit for their intensity and quality, above all in the first 25 minutes," Pioli said. "We had been able to turn it around and the real regrets are the two goals we conceded in the second half. Along with Liverpool's quality, we also made mistakes on those two goals.

"Hopefully, in future we'll face teams with slightly less quality and won't concede in those situations."

Milan are winless in their past nine European away games against English opposition (D4 L5), since a 1-0 victory against Manchester United in February 2005.

Pioli – whose Milan visit rivals Juventus on Sunday – added: "What disappoints me and we must work on is that we can do better, because we allowed Liverpool some give-and-go situations that we usually defend better against.

"We could've created a lot more problems for the Liverpool forwards and made it more difficult for them."

Jurgen Klopp felt Liverpool "got carried away by our own football" as they let a lead slip against Milan before recovering to win 3-2 in their Champions League opener.

An own goal from Fikayo Tomori gave Liverpool the lead in the ninth minute at Anfield before Mohamed Salah saw a penalty saved by Mike Maignan.

Two goals in the space of 110 seconds turned the game on its head, however, with Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz putting Milan, playing their first Champions League game since 2014, 2-1 up at half-time.

However, Salah atoned for his penalty miss three minutes after the restart and a superb long-range effort from Jordan Henderson, his first goal in the competition for 2,485 days, settled matters for Liverpool to send them top of Group B.

Klopp made four changes from the Premier League win over Leeds United, with Joe Gomez starting in defence and Divock Origi up front.

And he felt the alterations had an impact on Liverpool losing control of the match for a brief period.

He told BT Sport: "We started incredibly well. We played a super, super game. An intense game but football-wise as well. We played in all the spaces we had to play and didn't give them anything until... I'm not sure exactly. We got punished for it in the last few minutes of the first half but it started earlier.

"We got carried away by our own football. We didn't keep it simple anymore, offensively and defensively we were not organised anymore.

"When we are organised, Fabinho is incredible and he can pick up all the challenges we need him for. When the spaces are too big, even he cannot solve it anymore.

"They played in between and scored two goals. But it did not feel like we cannot come back. It was clear that we had to immediately get back to how we started and then we scored wonderful goals, to be honest. Both were incredible.

"It is deserved but we had 10 minutes where Milan nearly changed the whole tie.

"It is the football I want to see in most moments. We are experienced in the competition, or should be. It was a little bit the changes as well that we just weren't compact anymore.

"Now we won I can say that the changes was the right thing to do because playing every three days is just not possible with the same guys. The guys who came on did incredibly well.

"That is our pick from pot four. AC Milan in a really good moment. It is a tough group. That is why it is important we won this game. It does not decide anything but it gave us a winning start."

Jordan Henderson's long-range strike gave Liverpool a winning start to their Champions League campaign as they beat AC Milan 3-2 in a Group B thriller.

Liverpool appeared set for a comfortable victory when Fiyako Tomori inadvertently put through his own net in the ninth minute of Milan's first Champions League match since 2014.

However, the Rossoneri are a much-improved team under Stefano Pioli and, after Mike Maignan saved a Mohamed Salah penalty, they took the lead through quickfire goals from Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz late in the first half.

Salah, though, atoned for his failure from 12 yards by equalising three minutes into the second half and Henderson's first Champions League goal for seven years ensured they took maximum points from an enthralling clash.

Liverpool were rewarded for a fast start that saw Divock Origi and Diogo Jota go close when Trent Alexander-Arnold played a neat one-two with Salah and his cross-cum-shot deflected past Maignan by Tomori.

While there was little he could do to prevent the opener, Maignan kept Milan in the game when he dived to his right to keep out Salah's spot-kick and then to deny Jota on the rebound after Ismael Bennacer was deemed to have handled in the area.

The Reds' dominance eventually dissipated and their failure to extend the lead was punished with two goals in the space of as many minutes that turned the game on its head.

Rebic levelled matters with a composed finish at the end of an intricate move, finding the bottom-right corner, and Diaz then tapped into an empty net after Theo Hernandez had seen his shot cleared off the line by Andrew Robertson following great work from Rafael Leao.

Milan had the ball in the net again soon after the restart but Simon Kjaer's effort was rightly ruled out for offside in the build-up. Salah, by contrast, was able to stay in line with the last defender and meet Origi's clever lofted ball with an improvised side-foot finish to restore parity.

And an enthralling clash swung back Liverpool's way once more as Milan could only clear a corner as far as Henderson, whose magnificent half-volley left Maignan with no chance.

Pioli's men could not find a reply this time, with Kjaer's near-post flick-on from a corner the only scare as a Liverpool side that looked fragile for much of the night shut up shop effectively.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to Simon Kjaer ahead of Wednesday's clash with Milan, saluting the defender for his composure and humanity in response to Christian Eriksen collapsing at Euro 2020.

Eriksen collapsed during Denmark's European Championship opener against Finland in June, with Kjaer the first on the scene to place his team-mate in the recovery position before leading the rest of the team in the formation of a protective shield around the Inter man as he received treatment.

The 29-year-old midfielder was subsequently taken to hospital and it was later confirmed he had suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch, but medics were able to resuscitate him.

Eriksen was fitted with a pacemaker before returning home, though it remains unclear if he will ever play again.

Kjaer received widespread praise for his quick-thinking at such a crucial juncture, with he and the eight medics involved hailed the "true heroes of Euro 2020" and presented with the 2021 UEFA President's Award by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin last month.

Kjaer is expected to be in the Milan team that will play the club's first Champions League match in seven-and-a-half years at Anfield, and Klopp hopes Liverpool fans recognise the defender's exploits.

"I am usually more keen to focus on my own players rather than an opponent, but tonight I must make an exception," Klopp wrote in his programme notes.

"This evening it is possible that Simon Kjaer will line up against us and this is a person who I think has the respect of the entire football and sporting world.

"You recognise true leadership in a crisis. I think the world acknowledges this now more than ever with everything that goes on around us.

"Like millions of others, I was rocked by the scenes that unfolded at the European Championship in the summer when Christian Eriksen fell ill during Denmark's opening group game.

"There were many heroes that night, not least of all the remarkable medical professionals for the Danish national team, in the stadium and subsequently at the hospital. But Simon shone that traumatic day for his own conduct.

"The image of the Danish players shielding their team-mate as he was cared for will, in my opinion, forever be one of the most iconic in sporting history. It showed the best of humanity. Compassion, care and love for their friend.

"Honestly, I have no idea how he managed to not only keep his own composure in that situation, but to have the clarity of mind to make the decisions he did in that moment. His conduct humbles us all.

"I'm told that Simon's dad is an LFC fan – and if that is the case, he must be bursting with pride that his boy is now recognised worldwide as the epitome of our anthem, 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

"I know our supporters are knowledgeable and generous of spirit and therefore I am sure Simon will feel the gratitude of the home crowd tonight, but for the 90-plus minutes of the game he is again the opponent."

Wednesday's contest will be Liverpool's first Champions League match in front of a home crowd since March 11, 2020, when the Reds lost 3-2 to Atletico Madrid after extra-time and were dumped out of the competition at the last-16 stage.

Klopp feels Liverpool were always lacking something in the absence of supporters through the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, but in his opinion that was always exemplified during Champions League games.

"It will be so cool just before kick-off to hear that Champions League anthem and see the players lined up in front of a full Anfield," he continued. "We missed supporters for every second of every game during the pandemic, but I must admit it was most acute on the European nights.

"Let's have all the noise, all the colour, all the positive energy and all the passion and intensity that is our trademark. Let's give this fixture the stage it deserves. I honestly cannot wait."

Wednesday's match will be the first meeting between the two historic clubs that is not a European final, with their only prior clashes being in the Champions League deciders in 2005 and 2007, winning once each.

Pascal Struijk will serve a three-match ban after Leeds United were unsuccessful in their appeal against the red card shown following a tackle that left Liverpool's Harvey Elliott with a dislocated ankle.

Dutch defender Struijk was sent off in the second half of Leeds' 3-0 Premier League defeat on Sunday after 18-year-old Elliott suffered a nasty injury.

Elliott attempted to lead Liverpool on a counterattack but Struijk halted the move, lunging in and hooking the ball away.

While the tackle initially appeared to be a clean one, with referee Craig Pawson not even awarding a foul, Elliott could quickly be seen clutching his left ankle after his left tangled awkwardly with Struijk's.

The nearby Mohamed Salah desperately ushered medical staff on to the pitch before play was stopped, the Egyptian then recoiling and walking away seemingly in a state of shock.

Teenager Elliott required lengthy medical attention before being carried off on a stretcher and then taken to hospital.

Elliott acknowledged later in an Instagram comment that the injury was a "freak accident" and the tackle was undeserving of a red card, while Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani suggested even a yellow would have been harsh on Struijk.

Yet, Leeds confirmed on Wednesday their appeal has been unsuccessful, meaning Struijk will miss Premier League clashes with Newcastle United and West Ham either side of an EFL Cup game against Fulham.

Lionel Messi is in line to make his 150th Champions League appearance and his first with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Mauricio Pochettino's men travel to Club Brugge and Messi is about to partake in his first European campaign without Barcelona, while Manchester City host RB Leipzig.

Liverpool and Milan renew rivalries in the competition for just the second time since the 2004-05 final between the pair but the Serie A side have a woeful record against English teams.

Inter have a similarly poor record against Spanish teams and they face Real Madrid, with Karim Benzema edging towards another goalscoring landmark.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at the key Opta data ahead of Wednesday's fixtures.

Inter v Real Madrid: Benzema looks to edge past former Galactico Raul 

Inter have lost four of their last five against Real Madrid but Los Blancos have only won one of their previous eight away games against Wednesday's opponents as they prepare for a replay of last year's group stage outing.

However, Inter have not won against a Spanish team in Europe's premier competition since 2010 and Madrid have been victorious in 12 of their last 13 against Serie A outfits.

Carlo Ancelotti has Karim Benzema among his ranks and the forward will appear in his 17th consecutive campaign as he looks for his 72nd goal to move ahead of Raul (71) into fourth in the all-time scoring list.

 

Manchester City v RB Leipzig: Guardiola's group stage dominance

Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 17 group-stage ties and, since Pep Guardiola was appointed, they have lost just three of 30 at this stage of the competition.

The hosts are eyeing their 50th win in their 91st game as they look to become the second fastest to the half-century, while RB Leipzig have lost three of their last four against English opposition.

City's attacking riches could thrive at Etihad Stadium, too, Ferran Torres has scored four in his last six appearances in Europe - a goal every 90 minutes - and Riyad Mahrez has been involved in 22 goals in 28 starts for Leicester City and his current side in the Champions League.

 

Liverpool v Milan: Istanbul replay ends Rossoneri's seven-year wait

Milan will appear in their first Champions League since 2014, their first fixture a replay of the memorable 2004-05 final that saw Liverpool triumph.

Stefano Pioli's men have won just one of their last 13 against English opponents in European competition, while the Reds have lost just one of their last 12 group-stage games at Anfield in Europe under Jurgen Klopp.

Mohamed Salah (25) is one of two Liverpool players – along with Steven Gerrard (21) – to score 20+ times in the competition but Sadio Mane (19) could join them with a goal on Wednesday to become the fourth African to the 20-goal mark.

 

Club Brugge v Paris Saint-Germain: Pochettino's attacking riches

Paris Saint-Germain have netted 21 goals across six games against Belgian opposition – winning five and drawing once – while Club Brugge have only won one of their six opening games.

Lionel Messi – the second all-time leading scorer in the competition – could make his first PSG continental appearance, having scored 120 goals and provided 35 assists in 149 games for Barcelona against teams from 17 nations.

The visitors also boast half of the six players to be involved in 30+ goals in the competition in the last four seasons, with Kylian Mbappe (37), Messi (36) and Neymar (31) all doing so.

Other fixtures:

Atletico Madrid v Porto:

41 – Diego Simeone has won 41 of the 79 Champions League fixtures he has managed since 2013-14, with only Pep Guardiola (56) picking up more wins in this period.

4 – Porto have won four of their last five away games in the competition, their only loss coming against eventual runners-up Manchester City last term.

Besiktas v Borussia Dortmund:

1 – Besiktas have only collected one win in their last 10 home games in the Champions League and two of four defeats in that run have come against Bundesliga sides.

100 – Borussia Dortmund have a 100 per cent record against Turkish opposition in the Champions League, though all four wins have come against Galatasaray.

Sheriff Tiraspol v Shakhtar Donetsk:

1 – Sheriff Tiraspol are the first ever Moldovan team to feature in the Champions League proper. They are unbeaten in their last nine in European competition.

3 – Shakhtar Donetsk have only been beaten three times in their last 11 games as they went unbeaten against Real Madrid and Inter in the group stages last season.

Sporting CP v Ajax:

36 – Aged just 36, Ruben Amorim becomes the second youngest Portuguese manager in the competition's history, after former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas (33) in 2011.

2 – Ajax have only lost two of 10 games against Portuguese opponents since the inaugural European Cup. However, just two of these games have taken place this century.

Harry Kane's attempt to leave Tottenham did not go according to plan before the transfer window closed.

Despite interest from Manchester City, Kane remains in London with Spurs.

Kane could be prepared to sign another contract at Tottenham…

 

TOP STORY – NEW DEAL FOR KANE?

Tottenham star Harry Kane is open to a contract extension if the offer includes a release clause, according to Eurosport.

Kane wanted to leave Tottenham in the off-season, but a move did not materialise, despite interest from Premier League champions Manchester City.

The England striker, though, could be willing to re-sign on one condition.

Paris Saint-Germain, JuventusReal Madrid and Barcelona have previously been linked with Kane.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus could face competition from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for City forward Gabriel Jesus, reports Calciomercato. Juve are keen to bolster their attack following Cristiano Ronaldo's exit but face a battle should Robert Lewandowski leave Bayern. Lewandowski has been linked with the likes of City and Madrid.

- Fabrizio Romano claims United are planning to offer Luke Shaw a new contract at Old Trafford. However, United are prioritising new deals for Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

Liverpool are among the contenders to sign Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, says 90min. Haaland has been linked with United, City, Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Juve and PSG but 90min claims Liverpool have held talks with his agent Mino Raiola.

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