Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was ecstatic with the efforts of Divock Origi in his side's 2-0 win against Everton on Sunday.

Origi was subbed on in the 60th minute with the game goalless before Liverpool broke the deadlock just two minutes later through an Andy Robertson header.

The Belgium striker capped off his performance by sealing victory from close range in the 85th minute.

Origi has scored six goals against Everton in all competitions for Liverpool, which is twice as many goals as he has scored against any other side for the Reds, who remain a point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.

His finish also marked the striker's 11th goal as a substitute in the Premier League, the outright most by a Liverpool player, overtaking Daniel Sturridge's 10.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the victory, Klopp heaped praise on Origi.

"[Origi] is a world-class striker," he said. "He's our best finisher, definitely – he always was, and everybody [at Liverpool] would say the same. 

"You see him do these kinds of things in training, and then he's not in the squad because of the quality of other players. It's really hard. 

"We will never miss a player like him because if he leaves, he will explode wherever he goes… he is a legend and will stay a legend forever. 

"He doesn't always make the squad which is ridiculous, but he is there when we need him every time… everything that we did in the second half, without Divock, wouldn't have happened."

Klopp went on to highlight the depth of this Liverpool squad, with players that are unlucky to not be playing more minutes.

"The group lives because of the boys that don't always play – they are the strongest players ever," he added.

"[Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Harvey] Elliot, [Takumi] Minamino, even Rhys Williams. They are in great shape, but the way they behave is why we do these kinds of things."

Liverpool moved back to within a point of Premier League leaders Manchester City with a battling 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday thanks to second-half goals from Andy Robertson and Divock Origi.

The Reds were frustrated for the best part of an hour by Merseyside rivals Everton, who dropped into the relegation zone ahead of kick-off following Burnley's earlier win over Wolves.

Neither side registered an attempt on target in an at times feisty first half, but Robertson made the all-important breakthrough after 62 minutes with a header from close range.

Origi added a late second against his favourite opponents as Jurgen Klopp's side made certain of a 12th win in their past 13 top-flight outings to stay within touching distance of City with five games left to go.

The records and statistics are there to be broken, so we are told, and never was that more true than on Everton's most recent trip to fierce rivals Liverpool in February 2021.

An early Richarlison strike and Gylfi Sigurdsson's late sealer from the penalty spot earned Everton a 2-0 win, snapping the Toffees' 22-year wait for victory at Anfield.

That success, coming on the back of a 20-game winless run away to Liverpool in the Premier League, gave Everton bragging rights and moved them level on points with the Reds.

Fourteen months on from that game, though, and the fortunes of the rival clubs could not be much different.

While Liverpool are still on track for an unprecedented quadruple of Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Champions League, relegation is a real possibility for Everton.

The stakes could not be much higher in this latest encounter at Anfield, then, in a contest that will have huge permutations at both ends of the division.


Liverpool targeting rare derby double

That aforementioned defeat in this corresponding fixture last season was the only time Liverpool have lost to Everton in their past 22 Premier League encounters.

The Reds eased to a 4-1 win when the sides last met four months ago, but only once in the past 10 seasons – in 2016-17 – have they completed the league double in this fixture.

While Everton have struggled for victories against their neighbours, they have at least managed to claim plenty of draws down the years.

Indeed, no Premier League fixture has finished level more often than this one, with the sides playing out 24 draws in total.

Red cards and late drama

The Merseyside derby is also out in front in another couple of categories, namely the most red cards issued, proving this game lives up to its reputation as being a fierce contest.

Twenty-two red cards have been dished out in 59 previous Premier League encounters, which is five more than any other fixture.

Liverpool versus Everton has also witnessed the most 90th-minute winners in the competition's history, with five goals being scored in added time at the end of a game.

They don't like Sundays

On the form book alone, Everton do not stand a chance this weekend. 

The Toffees have lost 10 of their last 11 away league games, including each of the last six, which is their worst-such run since going eight without a point in 1994.

Unsurprisingly, then, Everton have won fewer away points than any Premier League side this term with just six, whereas Liverpool's 42 home points is more than anyone else.

Yet Sunday may just be the best time for Frank Lampard's men to face the team from across Stanley Park.

Having won 14 straight home Premier League matches on that day of the week, Liverpool have since won just two of their last seven Sunday fixtures, losing two of those.

Salah out to shine

Amid ongoing questions over his future, Mohamed Salah returned to form by scoring his first goals in seven matches for Liverpool in the midweek win over Manchester United.

Everton need no telling of Salah's eye for goal as the Egypt international was on target twice in December's reverse fixture, with Jordan Henderson and Diogo Jota also netting.

Salah is now out to become the first Liverpool player since Dick Forshaw in 1925-26 to score multiple goals in both league meetings with Everton in a single campaign.

All eyes may be on Salah, but back-up striker Divock Origi has also inflicted his fair share of pain on Everton.

Origi's five Premier League goals against Everton are the most he has managed against a single side, and three of those have proved to be the winning strike.

New investment at Milan could see the Italian powerhouse target the best players across Europe's top clubs.

Milan have entered into exclusive talks with Bahrain-based asset manager Investcorp over a takeover.

The Rossoneri have been linked with Real Madrid's Marco Asensio and Isco and Liverpool's Divock Origi already.

TOP STORY – STERLING ON MILAN WISH LIST

Milan are monitoring Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

The England international is among a list of players that Milan would like to sign amid a reported lucrative takeover by a Bahrain-based organisation.

Sterling's current contract with City expires in 2023, but the Daily Mail claims he would turn down the Italian move.

 

ROUND-UP

 Christian Eriksen is gaining interest from former employers Tottenham after a good run of form, although his agent is set to meet with Brentford at the end of this season to formalise his future, claims Fabrizio Romano.

– Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will hold talks at the end of this season to discuss his future having struggled for opportunities, reports Football.London.

– Jose Mourinho's Roma will open talks with Nemanja Matic's representatives as the Serbian midfielder prepares to leave Manchester United, reports Nicolo Schira.

– Manchester Evening News claims Manchester United have revived their interest in Villarreal defender Pau Torres.

Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly opened talks with Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte, who has a clause to leave Spurs at the end of the season.

Conte's contract with the North London club runs until the end of the 2022-23 season, after replacing Nuno Espirito Santo in November last year.

However, while the specific terms of that contract are unclear, it reportedly allows for a departure pending certain circumstances. 

TOP STORY – PSG TARGET CONTE AS POCH REPLACEMENT

According to Calciomercato, Paris Saint-Germain are set to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino and are already in the process of looking for his replacement.

Their primary target appears to be Antonio Conte  - who is reportedly tempted by the contract - which is forcing Tottenham into action, to persuade him to see out his deal. 

The 52-year-old is not the only candidate according to the report, with Massimiliano Allegri and Zinedine Zidane also among the potential hires.

Tottenham accounted for Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday, but earlier last week, Conte said he would discuss his future with Spurs at the end of the season. 

ROUND-UP

- Per reports from Kicker, Robert Lewandowski is yet to extend his contract at Bayern Munich, despite Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic's public claims the club wants him to stay. With the Polish striker entering the final 18 months of his current deal, agent Pini Zahavi is looking to secure his future at Sabenerstrasse.

- According to Globo, Edinson Cavani's potential move to Botafogo has fallen through due to the Uruguayan striker's wage demands. Battling injury, Cavani's playing time at Manchester United has failed to see continuity under Ralf Rangnick.

- Nicolo Schira is reporting Milan are getting closer to signing Divock Origi from Liverpool, in order to bolster their stocks up front. Origi's representatives and Milan have met and are looking to progress discussions.

- The Mirror is reporting Lord Sebastian Coe is joining a consortium for the potential takeover of Chelsea, after Roman Abramovich's assets were frozen by the United Kingdom government.

Aaron Ramsey has not had the best of times since moving to Juventus.

The Wales midfielder joined Juve from Arsenal in 2019 on a four-year deal.

Ramsey has only managed 70 appearances in an injury hit two and a half years with Juventus.

 

TOP STORY – RAMSEY TO LEAVE JUVENTUS IN JANUARY

Aaron Ramsey is set to exit Juventus in the January transfer window, reports Sky Sports.

Italian transfer supremo Gianluca Di Marzio claimed that Ramsey is likely to return to the Premier League, having already turned down an offer from Burnley .

Newcastle United have been linked with Ramsey, along with Everton.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich will consider swapping Kingsley Coman with Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele in the off-season, reports L'Equipe. Coman's contract expires in 2023 and negotiations on a new deal have stalled.

- Sky Sports have reported that Newcastle are contemplating a bid for Lucas Digne. The full-back is set to leave Everton this month after a falling out with Rafael Benitez, though supposedly prefers a move to London, with Chelsea and West Ham also said to be interested.

- Everton, meanwhile, hold an interest in Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff and have already made a bid, according to the Daily Mail and Sky Sports.

- Paris Saint-Germain may look to sign Lyon's Lucas Paqueta next off-season, so say L'Equipe.

- Manchester United are determined to secure Wolves' Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves in January, according to The Sun.

- Lazio have opened talks with Liverpool on a deal for Belgium international forward Divock Origi, claims LazioNews24.

- According to Sky Sports, five Premier League clubs have held talks with Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho.

Paul Pogba's club future continues to be a major topic of speculation.

The 28-year-old is into the final year of his Manchester United contract.

Pogba has flirted with the idea of an extension but has been stalling on a decision.

 

TOP STORY – REAL AND PSG HOME IN ON POGBA

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are both ready to ramp up the race to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United, claims Marca.

Pogba is running down his United contract, meaning he will be a free agent in mid-2022.

Real and PSG will rekindle their interest after new United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said Pogba should not need to be convinced to stay.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani has offered his services to Juventus, according to Calciomercato. The Uruguayan veteran has also been linked with Barcelona.

- Barcelona are plotting moves for Chelsea's trio Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic and Antonio Rudiger, reports Mundo Deportivo.

- Milan are circling to sign Liverpool's super-sub Divock Origi as they seek a long-term replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, claims Tuttomercato. Atalanta are also interested.

- Calciomercato reports that Roma are considering a move for Spezia midfielder Jiulio Maggiore. The 23-year-old is out of contract in 2023 and valued at €8m (£6.8m).

- Roma are also interested in a move for Norwich City's Max Aarons, according to Corriere dello Sport. Tottenham and Everton are also in the race.

- Lyon are interested in a move for Villarreal's Arnaut Danjuma, claims Todofichajes. Manchester United and Barcelona are also tracking the ex-Bournemouth winger.

Jurgen Klopp hailed his record-breaking Liverpool following their 2-1 win over Milan as the Reds made it six wins from six games in the Champions League.

Liverpool became the first English team to win all six Champions League group-stage games in a single season thanks to Tuesday's triumph at San Siro.

Despite only Alisson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane retaining their places in the starting XI from last week's Premier League win at Wolves, Liverpool still preserved their perfect record in Group B.

Salah and Divock Origi struck to cancel out Fikayo Tomori's 28th-minute opener in Milan, where Liverpool were already assured of the knockout phase pre-match.

 "Honestly, I don't feel pride a lot in football because most of the time I expect good things to happen, to be honest, but tonight fills me with a lot of pride," Klopp told reporters post-match.

"It was an exceptional performance. I don't mean that because we won six games, the reason is especially this game because it was so good. With that many changes, it's easy for me to make the changes, but in the end, the boys have to then be confident enough to show how good they are.

"I saw so many good football things tonight, it was absolutely incredible. As a side effect, we won all the games, which is absolutely incredible and is just another chapter in the history of this wonderful group of players."

Salah scored his 20th goal of the season in all competitions for Liverpool, in his 21st appearance – he the first player to score 20-plus goals in five consecutive campaigns for the Reds since Ian Rush (six between 1981-82 and 1986-87).

Liverpool's Salah has been involved in 29 goals in all competitions this season (20 goals, nine assists), more than twice as many as any other Premier League player.

Origi, meanwhile, scored his first goal in 15 Champions League games, since netting the Reds' second in their 2-0 final victory over Tottenham in June 2019.

"In football, it's all about: again and again giving everything," Origi said. "The results come by doing the right things at the right time in the right moment. Being in the moment.

"Of course, for the outside world there's a lot of speculation but for us it's having training from tomorrow – recovery – then training again and again and again. At the end of the season, we'll see how we end – but obviously, we want to end in the highest way possible."

Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi scored in a 2-1 victory over Milan as Liverpool became the first English team to win all six Champions League group games in a single season.

Although they fell behind to a Fikayo Tomori strike, the Reds rallied to round off a perfect group-stage campaign.

And this result meant Milan not only failed to join their opponents in the next round but also missed out on a Europa League spot.

Liverpool saw out a historic win – their first at San Siro against Milan – with little trouble.

Despite knowing the stakes, Milan wasted much of the first half-hour showing too much respect to a Liverpool team whose many changes were evident in their disjointed play.

But when the first real chance of the game finally came, it went to the hosts, and they took it to give a raucous home crowd a deserved moment of release.

Tomori is unlikely to have many easier opportunities than a five-yard tap-in that came about when a corner somehow squirmed past three Liverpool defenders.

To their credit, the visitors improved immediately, and they were soon level courtesy of a cool Salah finish after an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain effort had been parried.

Liverpool kept up that new standard following the break, taking the lead for the first time 10 minutes after the restart.

Fresh from scoring a late weekend winner at Wolves that saw him described as a "legend" by manager Jurgen Klopp, Origi was in the right place again to head home after Sadio Mane had been denied.

With his team looking comfortable, Klopp looked to protect his big hitters, with Mane and Salah making way for Naby Keita and Joe Gomez.

But those changes did little to disrupt the visitors' rhythm, or encourage Milan to push for the win that could have saved their European season.

Chelsea slipped from first to third in the Premier League over the weekend after a costly defeat at West Ham, which included a bizarre late winner for the hosts.

Divock Origi was told to "Be Divock" by Jurgen Klopp, so duly went and scored a 94th minute winner for Liverpool at Wolves, while Ralf Rangnick achieved something his fellow German didn't in his first game as interim boss at Manchester United.

Antonio Conte and Steven Gerrard also continued their positive starts to respective gigs at Tottenham and Aston Villa in a sentence that feels like it's straight from your favourite football management simulation game rather than real life.

With all that and more, here are some of the weekend's quirky stats from the Premier League...

 

Chelsea Hammered

Did he mean it? Arthur Masuaku says no but your West Ham supporting mates say yes.

Masuaku's kick of the ball in the 87th minute at the London Stadium flew past Edouard Mendy to inflict Chelsea's second league defeat of the season, toppling them from the summit of the Premier League.

It was the Frenchman's first Premier League goal in his 96th appearance for the Hammers, from his 29th attempt at goal, if you can even call it that.

The 3-2 defeat was Chelsea's first in the Premier League after leading at half-time since December 2018 against Wolves under Maurizio Sarri – they had been unbeaten in 48 league games when ahead at half-time before Saturday (W40 D8).

It is no time to panic for Blues fans, though. The future looks bright with all their talented young players, accompanied by Brazil's answer to Steve Buscemi with a skateboard over his shoulder.

Aged 37 years and 73 days, Thiago Silva became the oldest player to score for Chelsea in the Premier League, breaking Didier Drogba's record from April 2015 against Leicester City (37 years, 49 days).

The Late Late Show with Divock Origi

You could say there was an air of inevitability about it as Divock Origi arrived on the Molineux pitch in the 68th minute on Saturday.

The Belgian is a man who arguably deserves a statue more than a starting place at Anfield, having scored just once in the league prior to this game since the last day of the 2019-20 season, but who has famously bagged late goals just when his team has needed them.

His dramatic strike in the closing seconds of this game was Liverpool’s 39th winner scored in 90+ minutes in the Premier League, at least 13 more than any other side. It was also his 10th as a substitute in the Premier League for the Reds, with no player having netted more from the bench for the club in the competition.

It felt harsh on Wolves, though they had hardly done much to bother their opponents at the other end of the pitch, having just three shots in this game, their fewest in a Premier League match since March 2019 (two vs Chelsea).

One particularly sore loser will have been skipper Conor Coady. Although a former Liverpool player, he will have been hoping his heroic goal-line block of Diogo Jota's effort, with an xG of 0.604, would have at least secured a point for his team, particularly as the ball hit him square in the Divocks.

 

King Ralf

There had not been such anticipation about the future of Manchester United since that bloke Ole was at the wheel. Remember him?

United's interim gaffer Ralf Rangnick became the sixth German to manage in the Premier League as he stood in the Old Trafford dugout to see his new team beat Crystal Palace, and he was the first to win his debut game in charge in the competition (Felix Magath, Klopp, Jan Siewert, Daniel Farke and Thomas Tuchel all failing to do so before him).

Following the 1-0 success, six of the last seven managers (including caretakers) have won their first game in charge of the Red Devils in all competitions, with Louis van Gaal being the only exception (he suffered a 2-1 loss against Swansea City at Old Trafford in August 2014).

United also kept their first clean sheet at home in all competitions since April against Granada in the Europa League, having conceded in 15 consecutive home matches prior to Sunday.

Fred's impressive winner was his second goal of the season in 12 Premier League matches, as many as he scored in 76 appearances in his first three seasons in the competition beforehand.

More capital chaos for Canaries

After their 3-0 defeat at Tottenham, Norwich City have now lost 12 of their past 13 Premier League games in London (W1), conceding 29 goals and scoring just three.

Antonio Conte became the third Spurs manager to win his first three Premier League home games, after Ryan Mason and Harry Redknapp, but will be hoping that Kane will start to find the net again soon, with the England captain having only scored once in 13 league games this season.

Norwich manager Dean Smith felt his team were hard done by, and perhaps he had a point when you consider how close the xG of the contest ended, with Norwich's 1.33 only just behind Spurs' 1.52. It was little surprise that Conte's men were more deadly in their finishing though, particularly with Son Heung-min about.

The South Korea forward has been directly involved in 50 per cent of Tottenham’s league goals this season (six goals, two assists), with only Teemu Pukki (63 per cent) and Emmanuel Dennis (55 per cent) being involved in a higher share of their side's tally.

Son both scored and assisted in a single Premier League game for the 19th time. Since 2015-16, only Mohamed Salah (22) has done so more often in the competition.

 

Steve Gerrard, Gerrard, seems management isn't hard

Doing a stellar job at Rangers is one thing, but Steven Gerrard's management capability was really going to come under the microscope when he moved south to the Premier League.

It is still early days of course, but so far, the former Liverpool and England midfielder must be wondering what all the fuss was about as he saw his Aston Villa side win again with a 2-1 victory against Leicester City and his former boss Brendan Rodgers.

Having only won three of their first 11 Premier League games of the season under Dean Smith (D1 L7), Villa have since won three of their first four under Gerrard, with the only failure coming in the narrow 2-1 defeat at home to champions Manchester City.

Gerrard emphasised on his arrival that he wanted to improve the defence, but Ezri Konsa must have thought he meant at the other end as he bagged a brace on Sunday. In his 216th professional appearance in all competitions, Konsa scored twice in a game for the first time. In doing so, he was the first defender to score a brace for Aston Villa in a Premier League match since Ciaran Clark against Arsenal in November 2010.

Leicester, meanwhile, are now the first side to both score and concede a goal in 15 consecutive away games in England's top flight since Burnley from April 1961 to March 1962 (16 in a row).

Jurgen Klopp described Divock Origi as a Liverpool "legend" after the Belgian's stoppage-time strike snatched a dramatic 1-0 win against Wolves at Molineux.

The Reds had been frustrated by a stern home defence on Saturday, before the super-sub came on to fire the only goal of the game after good work from Mohamed Salah.

The win saw Liverpool leapfrog Chelsea in the Premier League table after the Blues lost 3-2 at West Ham earlier in the day.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Klopp was effusive in his praise of Origi, saying: "Divock Origi, the legend, finished it off and it's a great story. He's an incredible striker. For different reasons he did not play that often, but I hope one day he finds a manager that plays him more than I do.

"He's one of the best finishers I've ever seen in my life. In this great team, with our [front] three, he doesn't play all the time, but he is a very positive boy, loves the club, wants to contribute, and he did in an incredible way."

Origi's powerful close-range strike in the fourth added minute was his 10th goal as a substitute in the Premier League for Liverpool – no player has netted more from the bench for the club in the competition.

It was also Liverpool’s 39th winning goal scored after 90-plus minutes in the Premier League, at least 13 more than any other side has managed.

Liverpool manager Klopp insisted Chelsea's result had no bearing on how his team approached the Wolves game, and he appreciated the fight his players showed.

"Other results are not really important, we just want to win football games," Klopp said. "We played three days ago and the derby [when Liverpool earned a 4-1 win against Everton] is easy to focus on as it's the game of the year, then we start the machine again and I like how we fought today."

Liverpool have scored in each of their last 25 Premier League outings, since losing 1-0 against Fulham in March. Their 18-game record run of scoring two or more goals in every match across all competitions has now ended, but victory tasted no less sweet for it.

Origi was asked by Sky Sports what instructions his manager had given him before he replaced captain Jordan Henderson in the 68th minute. He said that Klopp's words had been: "Be Divock. Try and contribute and in the end, help the team."

Origi said: "I try to be in the moment, play by play. Play in the moment. Sometimes you score goals like this and today was a good day!

"We worked so hard to get the three points and being able to get there and keep the momentum going is the best feeling.

"We prepare so much. Honestly, it's the feeling that we had a successful week."

Divock Origi hit a stoppage-time winner to send Liverpool above Chelsea in the Premier League table as the Reds overcame Wolves 1-0 at Molineux.

A dramatic breakthrough arrived in the fourth added minute when Mohamed Salah raced down the right and pulled the ball back for Origi, who controlled, turned and fired past Jose Sa to decide a game that looked certain to finish goalless.

The Reds, who had scored at least twice in each of their last 18 games, dominated possession and had two particularly presentable chances, but they were mainly handled well by a strong Wolves defence until the late drama.

A determined home side grew into the game, and threatened on occasion, with Adama Traore particularly troubling the Liverpool midfield and backline with his power and pace, but ultimately it was not enough to avoid defeat.

After a quiet start, the game came to life around the half-hour mark as Trent Alexander-Arnold and former Wolves man Diogo Jota missed opportunities from crosses, but it was Salah who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half.

The Egyptian was about to tap in an Andy Robertson ball across the box when Romain Saiss somehow nicked the ball away from the Premier League's top scorer at the last moment.

The visitors continued to probe for an opener in the second half and could not believe they were not ahead on the hour. Jota seized on a mistake between Jose Sa and Saiss but inexplicably smashed the ball straight at Conor Coady on the goal-line.

After trying to blow the Wolves' door down, the winner finally arrived when Salah squared for Belgian substitute Origi, who made no mistake to send his team top of the table for at least a few hours.

Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi continued their EFL Cup love affairs as Liverpool edged past Preston North End 2-0 at Deepdale on Wednesday. 

Japan international Minamino made it five goals in four EFL Cup appearances before Origi scored for the 11th time in his 10th start in the competition with an impressively improvised backheel volley. 

Having been fortunate not to go behind in the first half when Sean Maguire, Ryan Ledson and Brad Potts failed to take their chances, Minamino made the breakthrough for Liverpool in the 62nd minute. 

The Premier League giants dominated possession throughout and were sure of a place in the quarter-finals for just the second time in five seasons after Origi somehow flicked the ball home with six minutes remaining. 

Preston initially looked more dangerous despite seeing less of the ball and ought to have taken the lead in the 28th minute when they had three chances in rapid succession. 

Adrian did brilliantly to deny Maguire from six yards after Joe Gomez was dispossessed, and Neco Williams' goal-line clearance kept Ledson out on the follow-up. The rebound fell to Potts, but he sliced his attempt high and wide.  

After wasting a chance at the start of the second half, there was no mistake from Minamino with his next opportunity as he stabbed in a cutback from Williams after a brilliant pass from Tyler Morton released the right-back.  

Kostas Tsimikas then rattled the crossbar with a deep cross and the ball fell to Williams, whose blocked shot sat up nicely for Origi to steer in a spectacular late second. 
 

What does it mean? Differing displays for full debutants  

Klopp handed a first senior appearance to Harvey Blair and a full debut to Morton as he made 11 changes from the 5-0 mauling of Manchester United in the Premier League at the weekend.  

Blair was extremely quiet in the front three, getting just nine touches of the ball before making way for Conor Bradley in the 55th minute.  

Morton, meanwhile, looked at home in the centre of midfield, spraying some lovely passes around – one of which was key to Minamino's goal. 

Wonderful Williams 

Making his first start since March having struggled with an ankle injury, Williams proved a difference-maker for the Reds. He made a crucial goal-line block in the first half and played a pivotal role in both Liverpool goals, though he was unable to take a late chance to get on the scoresheet himself. 

Mixed bag for Van den Berg 

Sepp van den Berg may be on loan at Preston from Liverpool, but he started in defence for the hosts and had a mixed outing. He gained possession 10 times, made four interceptions and two blocks – all of which were the most by a Preston player – but no other outfield team-mate gave the ball away more than him (13). 

What's next?  

Liverpool host Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday, with Preston entertaining Luton Town in the Championship on the same day. 

Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino delivered for Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool heaped on more misery for Norwich City by powering to a 3-0 win at Carrow Road in the EFL Cup.

Both forwards scored for the first time this season, Minamino's double sandwiching a fine header from Origi, as Klopp's fringe men proved too good for the Canaries.

There was a scare for Liverpool at 1-0 when Norwich were awarded a penalty, but Caoimhin Kelleher saved from Christos Tzolis as the hosts squandered their best chance.

With Norwich bottom of the Premier League after five consecutive defeats, this was a chance to lift spirits, but it only served as a reminder of their squad's shortcomings.

Liverpool took a fourth-minute lead when Minamino turned sharply inside the six-yard box after Divock Origi headed down a corner from Tsimikas. The Japanese forward fired low past Angus Gunn for the swift breakthrough.

Ibrahima Konate powered a header just over the bar from another corner as Liverpool chased a quick second goal.

Kaide Gordon, a 16-year-old winger, showed promise for Liverpool and cut in from the left in the style of Mohamed Salah before flashing a left-footed shot just wide of the right post, while Curtis Jones shot just over from 18 yards.

Norwich lacked a punch up front and that was summed up by Adam Idah's tame side-footed shot that Kelleher smothered easily, and doubly so when the goalkeeper saved the spot-kick from Tzolis with his feet after 18-year-old debutant Conor Bradley fouled Dimitris Giannoulis.

Security of a second goal came in the 50th minute when Tsimikas played a lovely cross from the byline to Origi on the edge of the six-yard box, and the striker did the rest with a precise header into the right corner.

Origi went close again as he placed a shot just wide, before Gordon smashed the ball over from a presentable chance, 10 yards out, lacking the composure that will come with experience. Minamino showed him the way with 10 minutes remaining, slotting past Gunn after being set up by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona all pursued Erling Haaland in the recent transfer window.

The 21-year-old Norway forward opted to stay with Borussia Dortmund.

But the race will heat up again at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA INTERESTED IN STERLING

Manchester United still want to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and will make a move next European summer, reports the Express.

United made a major transfer splash when they landed Cristiano Ronaldo last month but remain in the Haaland race.

The Red Devils are looking to end their trophy drought and added Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho along with Ronaldo for this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are leading the way in the chase to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund, according to The Sun. The 18-year-old is being pursued by Chelsea and Manchester City too.

- The Sun reports that United are planning a clear-out at the end of this season, including Donny van de Beek , Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial to free up funds.

- Calciomercato reports that Juventus have identified Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic as a transfer target in the January window on loan.

- Ligue 1 club Lens could make a bid for Liverpool's Belgium international forward Divock Origi , claims Fichajes.

- Crystal Palace are interested in signing US international forward Daryl Dike from Orlando City, reports The Sun. Dike is set to command a £18m fee.

- Transfer expert Ekrem Konur claims that Flamengo have tabled an offer to sign Brazilian veteran Dani Alves.

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