Harvey Elliott has been inspired by working alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but now he sees the duo as part of the competition for first-team opportunities at Liverpool.

Elliott was handed his full Premier League debut by Jurgen Klopp in Saturday's 2-0 win over Burnley, becoming the 10th youngest player start a top-flight game for Liverpool and the youngest since Ben Woodburn in April 2017.

The 18-year-old previously appeared for Fulham aged just 16 years and 30 days, making him the youngest player to appear in Premier League history.

However, after a positive loan spell with Blackburn in the Championship last term, Elliott is back at Anfield and proving he can fit right in to Klopp's team.

"The first few training sessions after I first arrived at Liverpool was like, woah, I am actually training with these guys," Elliott responded to The Athletic and BT Sport about Salah and Mane.

"Going from watching them live on TV to seeing them in person and training alongside them, you really realise what a presence they bring. They are world-class players but we're all here to fight for a place in the team.

"We're all competing for the same thing. Now I look upon them as my competition. I learn a lot from them.

"They are great inspirations to kids around the world — and to me too — with what they have been through and what they've achieved. I want to achieve big things like they have."

Used in a midfield role against Burnley, Elliott produced three key passes – the third-most of any Liverpool player – and completed 90 per cent of his attempted passes in the opposing team's half. Only Trent Alexander-Arnold, who set up Mane to make it 2-0, attempted more (42).

Teenager Elliott knows he must keep on improving to challenge Salah and Mane, who became the fifth player to hit 50 home goals for Liverpool with his second-half strike at Anfield.

"Even to this day I'm not as quick as I’d like to be," he admitted.

"You can never be happy with what you are, you always need to push yourself. I still need to improve my speed, especially when you look at players like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane."

Asked about being versatile, he explained: "It’s what players need in their game, being able to adapt to different positions.

"It gives me more of a chance of getting into the team. It’s been a challenge to adapt.

"It's a case of getting your head around knowing where you need to be, how and when you need to press, knowing who you are needing to deal with on their team. I'm enjoying playing somewhere else."

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool's reaction to the concession of an early goal after they came from behind to beat Manchester United 4-2 at Old Trafford.

The Reds looked set for another disappointing visit to the home of their bitter rivals when Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring after just 10 minutes on Thursday evening.

But goals from Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah either side of a Roberto Firmino brace rendered a further Marcus Rashford effort irrelevant and handed Liverpool their first Old Trafford win since 2014.

And it was the mental strength shown in the aftermath of the early setback that most pleased Klopp.

He told Sky Sports: "We reacted really well on their goal, it was unlucky in that moment but it was a bit like we started the game to be honest. 

"The defending in that moment, letting Bruno, half right side, coming inside - there was nobody. 

"He could have used his left, could've used the outside of his right foot and it was unlucky in the centre but the defending in that moment wasn't good. 

"They overloaded the wings obviously and we didn't adapt well to that in the first 15 minutes or so. 

"Then we got control and from that moment on we could play what we want to play. That was absolutely okay and second half even better.

"Great fight, good game, intense, how a derby should be, and since I'm at Liverpool the first win at Old Trafford. 

"Good timing, I would say! We needed it, we fought hard for it, we deserved it and so all good."

Chelsea's defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday opened the door for Liverpool to claim a place in the Champions League spots with four wins from their last four games of this season.

But, while it is one down as far as that aim is concerned, Klopp is expecting the remaining three Premier League fixtures to throw up plenty of challenges.

"It was necessary. Without this result we don't have to talk too much about it," he added.

"We are still in the race, that's all that we could have done tonight, we did that and now we have a very intense period playing the next three games in a week.

"In three days West Brom, Burnley with supporters, and then Crystal Palace at home, which we are looking forward to for different reasons because our supporters are there then hopefully.

"We have to recover quickly and to go again."

If there was one small blot on a good evening for Liverpool, it was an apparent spat between Klopp and substitute Sadio Mane at full-time.

Asked about the Senegalese's refusal to acknowledge his manager when leaving the pitch, he said: "There's no problem. 

"Yesterday I made a late decision in training to decide Diogo. I explain things usually but there was no time for that.

"That's all. It's all fine."

Liverpool took charge of their Champions League last-16 tie with RB Leipzig as they claimed a 2-0 win in the first leg in Budapest.

Julian Nagelsmann's side, who pipped Manchester United to a place in the knockouts, looked far from comfortable in the unfamiliar surroundings of the Puskas Arena, where Tuesday's game was held to due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Mohamed Salah's 24th goal of the season put Liverpool ahead after a mistake by Kevin Kampl, and Sadio Mane doubled the advantage when Nordi Mukiele gifted him an opportunity.

The Reds are now unbeaten in six away games against Bundesliga opposition stretching back to 2002, and Jurgen Klopp's men will be firm favourites to progress to the quarter-finals.

Liverpool nearly fell behind after just five minutes, Dani Olmo's diving header hitting the inside of the post from Angelino's cross.

The away side looked the most threatening as they began to take control, and Peter Gulacsi was alert to block a Salah effort from close range before Roberto Firmino fired a shot into the side-netting.

Mane then headed over from six yards from a Firmino cross, and the Senegalese thought he had set up his strike partner to nod in the opener after errors from Dayot Upamecano, but the ball had gone out of play.

Christopher Nkunku had barely been involved in the first half but he could have given Leipzig the lead early in the second, Alisson saving well after the striker ran onto Olmo's throughball.

It was Salah who broke the deadlock 53 minutes in, drilling past Gulacsi after a dreadful backpass from Kampl, and it soon got worse for Leipzig.

Mukiele made a complete mess of a simple clearance forward by Curtis Jones, and Mane had time to stride into the box and slot home.

Angelino had a chance to pull a goal back but sliced his attempt badly, summing up a poor game for last season's semi-finalists.

What does it mean? Fragile Liverpool give season huge boost

Injuries and recent form - they had won three of their previous 12 games in all competitions - will have had Liverpool fans feeling a little anxious before meeting the side second in the Bundesliga.

However, a display of supreme authority, helped by an erratic approach from Leipzig, put Klopp's men in total charge of this tie and could well have provided a timely boost in confidence.

Leipzig will hope for better in the second leg, but their previous visit to England ended in a 5-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Salah at menacing best

Salah should perhaps have scored sooner but he made no mistake with his clearest chance of the game.

He spent the rest of the game harassing a deeply unsettled Leipzig defence in a hugely impressive, committed performance.

Nagelsmann's men in a muddle

Leipzig were on a six-game unbeaten run at home in this competition and it was unfortunate for them that this game had to be relocated to a neutral venue.

Still, that does not explain the horribly haphazard nature of their performance. Two defensive errors led directly to the goals, Mukiele could have been sent off before his mistake, while Bayern Munich-bound Upamecano misplaced 20 passes from centre-back.

What's next?

With the return leg not until March 10, Liverpool's more pressing concern is a derby with Everton on Saturday. Leipzig head to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga a day later.

Liverpool have received a triple fitness boost for their clash with Manchester City as Sadio Mane, Alisson Becker and Fabinho return from injury to start.

Fabinho is back following a three-game absence necessitated by a muscle issue, while Mane returns after a similar problem forced him to miss the Reds' last two fixtures.

Alisson, meanwhile, is back in goal after illness kept him out of the midweek defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield.

That trio's availability accounts for three of the hosts' four changes, with 20-year-old midfielder Curtis Jones replacing the experienced James Milner the other.

Manchester City, meanwhile, make two changes to the starting XI that beat Burnley in midweek, with Pep Guardiola opting against naming a recognised striker as Gabriel Jesus drops out for Phil Foden.

At the back, Aymeric Laporte makes way, with Oleksandr Zinchenko his replacement.

 

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left Bruno Fernandes out of his starting line-up for Sunday's FA Cup clash with Liverpool.

Fernandes, who has been United's shining light since arriving from Sporting CP almost 12 months ago, was only a substitute for the fourth-round game.

This season he has scored 15 goals and supplied nine assists in 28 games across all competitions from his advanced midfield role, but there have been questions asked about his form in recent weeks.

He has just one goal and no assists in four Premier League appearances since the turn of the year.

Into the United team went former Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek as Solskjaer decided the game presented a chance to rotate his squad, making five changes to the side that won 2-1 at Fulham on Wednesday.

Solskjaer explained why Fernandes did not start, saying on BBC One: "It's rotation in the squad.

"Donny needs to be playing games as well and it's a big game for Donny to come into.

"He's done nothing wrong when he's been around the club so I'm looking forward to seeing him in there."

Premier League leaders United also brought in goalkeeper Dean Henderson, centre-back Victor Lindelof, midfielder Scott McTominay and forward Marcus Rashford, as David De Gea, Eric Bailly, Fred and Anthony Martial dropped out.

Liverpool also showed five changes as Jurgen Klopp looked for a response to Thursday's shock 1-0 home defeat to Burnley, which ended a 68-game unbeaten run at Anfield in the Premier League.

Teenage centre-back Rhys Williams came in for the absent Joel Matip, while James Milner and Curtis Jones were selected as Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dropped to the bench.

Sadio Mane and Divock Origi were also substitutes as Klopp gave starts to Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, with the Old Trafford clash coming a week on from these two sides battling out a dreary goalless draw at Anfield in the league.

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