Everton winger Anthony Gordon must "be careful" about developing a reputation for diving after the youngster was denied a penalty in the 2-0 loss to Liverpool.

That is according to former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher, who hailed Gordon but expressed concern for the 21-year-old potentially gaining a deceitful image among Premier League referees.

Gordon was cautioned for an apparent dive in the first half at Anfield following a Naby Keita challenge inside the area, before he saw penalty appeals for a foul by Joel Matip waved away after the interval.

While suggesting his alleged play-acting might be an issue with referees, Carragher believes the latter incident should have seen Gordon - and Everton - awarded a spot-kick.

"He's got to be careful Anthony Gordon," he said on Sky Sports. "He's a great lad, a great player – he was one of the best players on the pitch [on Sunday], caused Liverpool all sorts of problems.

"But he's got to be careful of that. It's not the first one [dive] and it will be in the referees' heads and maybe he hasn't got what he deserved because of a few incidents in three or four other games but that's a stonewall penalty [the Matip foul]."

Fellow pundit Graeme Souness echoed Carragher's comments as he suggested Liverpool players will immediately have been pressuring Stuart Attwell following Gordon's first-half booking.

"In the very first few minutes when he [Gordon] dived to try and get a penalty," Souness added. "You can bet, if we're players out there, we're getting in the referee's ear – 'he's a diver ref' – so you're planting the seed as well."

However, Everton manager Frank Lampard questioned whether his side would have received different decisions away from Anfield.

"I think they both could have been penalties but you often don't get them at Anfield," Lampard told BBC Sport.

"The fact there's contact and he gets booked is crazy. The second one was a foul [anywhere else] on the pitch. Sometimes you don't get them here."

In his post-match news conference, Lampard added: "If that was [Mohamed] Salah at the other end, he gets a penalty. You don't get them here. That's the reality of football sometimes."

Gordon, meanwhile, was infuriated.

"The second one for me was the strongest, I've gone one-on-one with him and I've got the better of him and he's stood on my foot which has caused me severe pain and I've gone down," Gordon told Sky Sports when asked about his two penalty claims.

"The first one I've watched back, I've felt the contact and went down, but I can see why he hasn't given it but it's certainly not a yellow card or a dive because there's contact."

Defeat left Everton in the relegation zone after 32 matches for the first time since April 1999, following Burnley's win over Wolves, and the Toffees are 50 points behind Liverpool – the joint-biggest lead the Reds have had over their Merseyside rivals.

Lampard also expressed his pride in Everton's performance, with their game plan clear – their 32 passes in the first half was the fewest by a team in the first half of a Premier League game since November 2006 – before Liverpool's quality told in the end.

"They're in a different area to us. They're near the top of the table, they've been together a long time and have a strong style of play," he said.

"We had to be organised and disciplined. I couldn't ask for more at half-time except taking our chances. I'm proud and happy with the performance. We have to take that spirit forward to the final games."

Sean Dyche deserves a statue outside Turf Moor after his dismissal by Burnley, according to Brentford head coach Thomas Frank.

Burnley opted to sack Dyche on Friday, with the announcement a surprise despite the Clarets' relegation battle – they are 18th in the table and four points adrift of safety.

Dyche's side had managed just one win from their past seven matches, with five defeats in that streak, but many have questioned why Burnley parted ways with their manager after nearly a decade-long association.

He guided the Clarets to five straight survivals in the Premier League, having previously followed promotion in his first season with relegation back to the Championship.

Dyche, who led Burnley into Europe for the first time in 51 years, was also the longest-reigning manager in the league but now becomes the 10th different boss to lose his job in the top tier this season.

Frank believes Dyche's efforts should be celebrated as he expressed confusion over the decision of the Clarets board.

"They got promoted. They got relegated. They got promoted again. They've been here, what, six or seven years in the Premier League? It's remarkable what they've done," he said.

"Sean Dyche and his coaching staff, everyone involved with the football club, have done an unbelievable job. Sean Dyche deserves a lot of credit – they should build a statue of him outside Turf Moor.

"I remember there was one year when [you thought], 'How can he not be Manager of the Year?'. So, I think he's done a top job."

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher labelled the decision a "joke", as he posted on Twitter: "If you [Burnley] had given him a decent budget you would never have had a worry about getting relegated."

Veteran Roy Hodgson, who is attempting to battle the drop with Watford, was similarly bemused by the news.

"Of all the people in the league, he would have been one of the ones I would have thought most likely to survive anything like this, so I have no idea what's happened," Hodgson said.

"Something must have happened because you don't part company with a manager like Sean Dyche after all the fantastic things he's done for that club over the last 10 years. He has built the club."

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter also added he was "surprised", while Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Dyche.

"He gave the club a really clear identity, he's managed to keep the team, with one of the smallest budgets, consistently in the league," the Arsenal boss said. 

"I wish him the best of luck and as always with colleagues, it's sad when you see those decisions."

Jamie Carragher hailed Liverpool’s "mentality" after they twice fought back to seal a 2-2 draw with Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

The Reds remain just a point behind Pep Guardiola's side with seven games remaining after Sadio Mane's goal early in the second half.

Diogo Jota had earlier cancelled out Kevin de Bruyne's deflected opener, before Gabriel Jesus restored City's advantage.

Mane's fine strike meant City had scored the first goal and not gone on to win in the Premier League this season for the first time this season, the reigning champions having done so in all 22 games when scoring first prior to the visit of Jurgen Klopp's men.

Carragher, who made 737 appearances for Liverpool between 1996 and 2013, was impressed with his former's side ability to dig in for a draw after being blown away by City in the first half.

"From Liverpool's point of view, the mentality to come out in the second half and turn it around after that first-half display was impressive," he said on Sky Sports.

"It looked like they didn't have any energy in the first half, but their mindset changed. I don't think they did anything particularly different. They still played a high line.

"Considering how good City were in the first half, to then come out and give that performance and match them – maybe be even better than them for the first 30 minutes in the second half – was so impressive."

The result meant Liverpool are now winless in five Premier League matches against City (D3 L2), which is their joint-longest run without a victory against them along with a five-game run between November 2011 and December 2013.

Despite that, former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane said Klopp's men deserve plenty of credit for their performance. 

"We saw today the different qualities, City outstanding first half and Liverpool showed their quality second half," he said. "All the talk was it would not be decided today [the title] but they played like it was going to be. It was like a final. I think a draw was a fair result.

"What impressed me with all these top-quality players was their desire to keep going for their win at the end. No team was going to dominate for long spells as there is so much quality on both sides.

"Liverpool showed their character in the second half. But then City had great chances as well. A great reminder to us all of what this game is about."

Mohamed Salah could ruin his Liverpool legacy if he leaves and is not "sensible" in his contact negotiations, according to Reds great Jamie Carragher.

Salah has starred for Jurgen Klopp's side since joining from Roma in 2017 for £34million (39m euro), but uncertainty remains over his future with his contract set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Reports suggest the Egypt forward, who has won the Premier League Golden Boot award twice, is looking to be made the highest-paid player at the club by a considerable distance.

Liverpool appear unwilling to budge on their wage structure, though Klopp previously suggested he is "happy" with how the ongoing negotiations are going.

Carragher pointed towards former Reds talisman Fernando Torres as he urged Salah to be cautious in how he approaches the discussions, otherwise he risks tarnishing his reputation.

"I don't think Liverpool will up their offer at this moment," Carragher said on Sky Sports ahead of what is being billed as the Premier League title decider between Manchester City and Liverpool on Sunday.

"But I think Mo Salah should be sensible, he and his representatives should understand the situation they have at Liverpool.

"He will still be getting an amazing contract. But the football he's playing now, he's playing for one of the best managers in the world, one of the best teams in the world.

"What he's done over the last four or five years makes him one of the greatest players to ever wear a Liverpool shirt. And I just think it would be sad if he was to move on, maybe to a rival in this country.

"I think he'd lose his legacy, if you like, at Liverpool. If you look at what happened to Fernando Torres, going to Chelsea... I just don't think it'd be great for his career.

"Where could he go that's better than Liverpool right now? I don't think there is anywhere."

Torres formed a formidable partnership with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard after joining in 2007, scoring 81 times in 142 appearances, but his relationship with the Anfield faithful turned sour when he joined Chelsea in 2011.

That move coincided with a downturn in the former Spain forward's career and Carragher believes Salah could face a similar problem, though the centre-back is hopeful the forward will stay.

"I still believe he will sign, I think this is the best place for him," he said.   

"It's not as though Mo Salah came to Liverpool as a superstar, he became a superstar at Liverpool and I think Jurgen Klopp, the way his team plays brings out the best in him.

"I don't think it would be a sensible move for him if he was to move on, I really don't. I think it would be better for him and obviously the club if he could put pen to paper."

Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool can go on and take the Premier League title from Manchester City, following their 2-0 win over Arsenal on Wednesday.

The Reds moved to within one point of City after goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino claimed the three points from the Emirates Stadium.

Since a 2-2 draw with Chelsea in January, Jurgen Klopp's side has reeled off nine straight league victories, setting their match at City in April up as a potential title decider.

With that game in mind, Carragher believes the Premier League title is up for grabs, saying while working as a pundit for Sky Sports: "It's 50-50, because of the situation, the game is at the Etihad.

"This is the first time I've ever felt Liverpool can win the league at any time this season. I've always said City, before a ball was kicked.

"That Chelsea game, 2-2, when Liverpool after that game found themselves 11 points behind Manchester City – and Graeme [Souness] in the studio said Liverpool were still in this race – I thought it was well done."

Since Liverpool's draw with Chelsea, City have only lost one league game in their past eight – a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham in February, though a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on Monday allowed the Reds to make up further ground.

Given the quality of the two contenders, Carragher believes the title race is more down to Liverpool’s ability to apply pressure with their current form, than a dip from City.

"Man City aren’t in bad form or losing lots of games or dropping lots of points. Because these teams are so good now, just drawing a game feels like a loss," he added.

"We are watching two of the best teams we have ever seen in the Premier League and a draw is a defeat now. A draw now feels like the end of the world because you’re just expecting these teams to just win.

"I just feel like the signing of [Luis] Diaz, not just as an individual but what he's done to Liverpool. What Liverpool brought off the bench [against Arsenal] is much better than the year they won the Champions League [2018-19] and the year they won the league [2019-20]."

Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool's EFL Cup triumph can be the "springboard" to achieve a remarkable quadruple after they edged Chelsea for a record ninth win in the competition.

Jurgen Klopp's side sealed their first EFL Cup for a decade with a thrilling 11-10 penalty shoot-out victory following a goalless encounter at Wembley Stadium.

Having pressed back into contention for the Premier League, and still in the FA Cup and Champions League, the Reds are looking at a potentially unprecedented silverware haul.

Former Reds defender Carragher certainly believes they can taste further success in the coming months, and hopes their victory over Thomas Tuchel's Blues can launch them onto more glory days this season.

"It can be a springboard," he told Sky Sports. "Liverpool are involved in four trophies, they've won the first one, it's going to be really tough to win the other ones, but this could be a really special season.

"Not just for this group, but Liverpool's history as a club - to getting close to winning three or four trophies, it could be really special, and this could be the start of it."

Another former Liverpool player, Jamie Redknapp, raised concerns about Tuchel's decision to bring Kepa Arrizabalaga on specifically for the shoot-out, with the Spaniard not saving any of Liverpool's 11 penalties and skied the one he took over the bar.

"I hope it puts to bed the idea of bringing on goalkeepers on for shoot-outs," Redknapp told Sky Sports. "[Edouard] Mendy's one of the world's best goalkeepers, and then you bring on Kepa instead. [It's] ridiculous.

"I didn't like his behaviour when the penalties were being taken, and then he took one of the worst penalties you'll ever see. I don't understand why you'd do it."

Manchester United made a mistake by re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo, and would be making another error by keeping him at the club next season, so says Jamie Carragher.

Ronaldo ended a six-game goal drought in United's 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this week, his worst such run since January 2009, but talk has focused upon whether the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's return to Old Trafford last year has improved the Red Devils.

Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford have both denied reports of a rift in the United dressing room, while there has been speculation that the 37-year-old will leave at the end of the campaign.

Liverpool great and Sky Sports pundit Carragher has now questioned the wisdom of signing Ronaldo, and predicted that keeping him at the club next season could cause more harm than good.

"Cristiano Ronaldo's invaluable contribution to Manchester United's Premier League win over Brighton was another reminder of his unparalleled appetite for goals", Carragher wrote in The Telegraph.

"But it does not change this reality: United made a mistake re-signing Ronaldo last summer. It will be a bigger one keeping him next season.

"Given the cost of signing such a superstar as Ronaldo (an estimated £500,000 a week), it is not a smart investment."

Ronaldo has struck nine Premier League goals from chances equating to 11.3 expected goals (xG) since returning to England, putting him one ahead of compatriot Bruno Fernandes at the top of the club's scoring charts.

His finishing has, therefore, been better than would be expected from the chances that have come his way. For example, his opener against Brighton on Tuesday had an xG of just 0.07, essentially giving Ronaldo just a seven per cent chance of scoring.

But with United drawing successive league games before their win over Brighton, Carragher is unsure whether the forward was ever the right fit for the current needs of the Red Devils, who are without a major trophy since 2017.

"How can I, or anyone, credibly criticise someone who has won five Champions League titles and scored over 800 goals?" Carragher continued.

"But if you sign Ronaldo right now, it is short-term recruitment expected to deliver instant success.

"United are way off the pace domestically, and it would be a major surprise if they win the Champions League. That is why Ralf Rangnick is openly speaking about the need for United to sign another striker before next season."

United are fourth in the Premier League table, but fellow top-four contenders Arsenal, Wolves, and Tottenham all have multiple games in hand, as Rangnick tries to salvage Champions League football from what is quickly becoming another underwhelming campaign.

Jamie Carragher does not believe former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard will use Aston Villa merely as a "stepping stone" to the top job at Anfield.

But Carragher also knows Gerrard would love to become Liverpool manager one day if he first made a success of his new role with Villa.

Gerrard was confirmed as Villa's latest head coach on Thursday, replacing Dean Smith at the helm at Villa Park after a five-game losing streak.

Smith led his boyhood club back into the Premier League and reached an EFL Cup final, winning 39.6 per cent of his 139 games in charge in all competitions.

Gerrard has had a rather different task at Rangers in the meantime, finally cutting short Celtic's run of consecutive Scottish Premiership titles at nine by triumphing in 2020-21.

Rangers were unbeaten in the league in that campaign, which included a career-best nine-game winning streak in all competitions for Gerrard between September and November 2020.

At one of Scotland's two premier clubs, the former Liverpool captain had an outstanding 64.8 per cent win rate across 193 games going back to 2018.

This success has prompted talk of a return to Merseyside, where Jurgen Klopp is under contract until 2024 but Gerrard is seen as a viable long-term successor.

Yet Carragher, a prominent Liverpool star alongside Gerrard, does not believe his old friend is simply waiting for that job to open up.

"I think it's disrespectful to Stevie and I think it's disrespectful to Aston Villa that this comes up," Carragher told Sky Sports.

"I know this is the question for everyone, but I can assure you that Aston Villa as a football club are no stepping stone for anyone. They've won a European Cup, the biggest club in the midlands, one of the biggest clubs in the UK.

"I'm sure everyone is well aware that one day, if it worked perfectly, Stevie would like to manage Liverpool, but I can guarantee you Stevie would only want to manage Liverpool if he merited it, and also the club's supporters would think that and the football club themselves. 

"Liverpool are not in a position to give a job in the future to someone just because they had a great playing career.

"If Stevie does amazingly well at Aston Villa and is qualifying for Europe, maybe could add a Carabao Cup, maybe that would put him in the equation then for Liverpool.

"But Liverpool, along with Manchester United, along with Man City, Chelsea, they will be attracting the best managers in the world. That's obviously a challenge for Stevie to make himself one of the best managers in European or world football and then, I'm sure, he'll have a great shout.

"But if he doesn't get there, I don't think Stevie would be wanting to take a job if he felt that maybe someone else could be better at Liverpool, and I don't think the club would either.

"For Stevie, I think it's just focusing on Aston Villa and don't worry about anything else."

Whether Gerrard should use his Villa opportunity to put himself in position for a Liverpool move or not, Carragher does not believe the 41-year-old would have been considered had the Reds been looking for a new boss now.

Gerrard won 26 of 53 European games at Rangers, including 12 of 30 in the Europa League proper, but the lack of domestic competition makes Villa a step up, let alone title-chasing Liverpool.

"It's his first job in the Premier League, and when you go into the Premier League for the first time, to get a job as big as Villa is fantastic for Stevie, it really is," Carragher said.

"It gives him a fantastic opportunity to push for European places.

"No manager is ever going to get one of the real plum jobs just on the back of what Stevie's done at Rangers. In the Premier League now, it's a league where every manager in the world wants to manage."

Is Mohamed Salah the best player in the world? Jamie Carragher has no doubt after the Liverpool forward's stupendous goal at Watford drew immediate comparisons with Lionel Messi. 

Former England striker Gary Lineker compared the wonder strike to a Lionel Messi special after the Egyptian put Jurgen Klopp's Reds 4-0 up at Vicarage Road, on the way to a 5-0 win. 

Salah received the ball on the edge of the Watford penalty area and was surrounded by home defenders, but he showed supreme close control to weave a path beyond Craig Cathcart, Juan Hernandez and Juraj Kucka before whipping a clinical finish into the far corner. 

It was a goal that had the hallmarks of a Messi or Diego Maradona masterpiece, with Salah's astonishing footwork leaving the defenders powerless to stop him extending Liverpool's lead. 

"My, my. Mo has morphed into Messi," Lineker wrote on Twitter. 

The goal means Salah has now scored in each of his past eight games for Liverpool; the longest run of scoring in consecutive appearances for the club since Daniel Sturridge in February 2014, also a run of eight matches. 

Carragher's instant verdict was: "Best player in the world right now." 

The former Liverpool defender's excitement was matched by all-time Reds top scorer Ian Rush, who used an Arabic term of approval to describe Salah's goal. 

"Mashallah @MoSalah The best!" Rush tweeted. 

Alan Shearer, the Premier League's record scorer, described the goal as "brilliant", and Liverpool's own Twitter match commentary enthused about the Salah strike. 

It came two weeks after his majestic goal against Manchester City, with Salah said by some on social media to be putting together his own goal of the season competition. 

The effort was his reward for persistence, with Salah's strike his fifth attempt of the game. It was also his ninth goal in seven games in the Premier League against Watford. 

The flow of goals from Liverpool amounted to dismal news for Watford's new boss, Claudio Ranieri. Roberto Firmino grabbed a hat-trick and Sadio Mane also scored, netting in the Premier League for the 100th time. 

Liverpool tweeted: "Words escape us, but we'll try... Salah shows incredible quick feet to escape the attention of three Watford defenders inside the box, before turning Cathcart and sending a curling effort into the far corner." 

Mohamed Salah is already a Liverpool legend and the Reds must tie the forward down to a new contract whatever the cost, according to Jamie Carragher.

Salah recently became the fastest Liverpool player to 100 top-flight goals, achieving the feat in 151 matches – one game fewer than the late, great Roger Hunt took to reach the landmark.

The Egypt forward also became the 30th different Premier League player to hit a century of goals since the competition began in 1992 as he poked in against Leeds United on September 12.

However, the 29-year-old's future remains in doubt, with his current contract due to expire in 2023 and no signs suggesting a new deal is imminently forthcoming.

Former Reds centre-back Carragher, who made more than 700 appearances for Liverpool, explained in the Telegraph how the situation with Salah needs to be resolved quickly.

"The heartfelt tributes to Roger Hunt following his passing are a reminder that the best footballers are often most appreciated long after they stop playing," Carragher wrote.

"Jurgen Klopp said recently you cannot be called a legend until after retirement. There is a tendency to hesitate before recognising true greatness when it is in front of us, and the bittersweet reality is that sometimes only in death is a player's legacy fully acknowledged. 

"Occasionally, we must take more pleasure from those in the modern era who are so freakishly good, they deserve to be spoken about as reverentially as the greats of the past.

"Mohamed Salah is such a footballer.

"There is no sign that [a new contract] is imminent. Worryingly, it is possible Salah will leave on a Bosman free transfer.

"It would be a serious mistake to let the situation drag on that far.

"I understand it is not as straightforward as saying 'just give the player what he wants' without thoroughly considering the financial consequences. The cash has to come from somewhere.

"It is well documented how Liverpool run their business, and they do not want to set precedents that will cause long-term financial damage by agreeing wages in excess of £400,000-a-week.

"My counter-argument is that exceptional players warrant being treated as an exception."

Indeed, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Alisson, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk have all secured new long-term deals at Anfield.

But Salah remains in wait to seal a new contract with Jurgen Klopp's side and Carragher, who believes the former Roma and Chelsea forward has already achieved legendary status, implored Liverpool to complete negotiations.

"Klopp vowed captain Jordan Henderson's deal would 'get sorted' after a brief stalemate and it immediately was, yet says he is 'not involved' with Salah's negotiations," he continued.

"That seems odd. If there is a sound reason for not resolving the Salah contract situation with the same urgency, it is yet to be satisfactorily explained.

"Whenever we talk about Liverpool's renaissance, we often focus on the influence of Van Dijk and Alisson, taking the team to another level.

"That’s fair, but we should not forget that the foundations were in place because of the immediate impact of Salah, who was already on his way to scoring 44 goals in his first season when Van Dijk signed.

"Twenty-five years from now, fans will examine this era and consider how lucky they were to witness Salah’s goal feats. They will rewatch the videos and see his statistics with a sense of awe.

"I hope they will not look back and ask this: Why on earth did he leave before he had a chance to beat Roger Hunt’s record?"

Ian Rush, John Aldridge and Jamie Carragher were among those to pay tribute to Roger Hunt on Tuesday after he died aged 83.

The former Liverpool and England international passed away on Monday following a long-term illness.

Hunt won the World Cup with England in 1966, playing all six matches and scoring three times. He earned 34 caps for the Three Lions.

He joined Liverpool in 1959, firing 41 goals in 42 games to drag them out of the second tier and into the First Division under the stewardship of Bill Shankly.

The forward managed 285 goals in 492 games for the club, which was a record until Ian Rush surpassed the haul in 1992, but no player has ever scored more league goals for the Reds than Hunt's 244.

And Rush led the tributes to an Anfield legend, posting: "Very sad to hear of the passing of Sir Roger Hunt, someone I would always look up to. He was a fantastic goalscorer and a true gentleman on and off the pitch. My thoughts are with his family. May he rest in peace."

John Aldridge, another Liverpool goalscorer, used to play with Rush up top and he echoed his strike partner's sentiments.

"I'm absolutely gutted to hear of the passing away of one, if not the best LFC [Liverpool] strikers Sir Roger Hunt," Aldridge wrote on Twitter.

"What a striker and a true gentleman, I had the great pleasure of being with him on many occasions. RIP my Nu 1 [number one] legend and hero."

Phil Thompson grew up idolising Hunt before making his debut at Anfield, where he would later become assistant manager, and posted his condolences to social media.

"What an awful day, the passing of my true hero who I'm glad to say became a friend," Thompson said. "A humble man and a legend of the game. RIP Sir Roger."

While ex-Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher added: "RIP Sir Roger Hunt, one of the greatest goalscorers our club has ever seen. Sir Roger along with the other legends from the 60s made LFC the club it is today."

Former club Liverpool, who Hunt enjoyed an 11-and-a-half year spell with, joined a host of names paying tribute to the 83-year-old, posting: "The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool FC are with Roger's family and friends at this sad and difficult time."

While Reds head coach Jurgen Klopp hailed a Kop legend, who "comes second to no-one in his importance in the history of Liverpool FC", FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham promised a fitting tribute for Hunt at England's next home game.

"English football has lost another great with the passing of Roger Hunt," said Bullingham.

"On behalf of the FA, our thoughts are with his family and friends today. Twice a league champion with Liverpool, either side of a memorable FA Cup success in 1965, Roger will always be treasured by fans across the country as one of our World Cup winners of 1966.

"He will forever be remembered at Wembley Stadium and we will pay tribute to his memory before our home fixture with Hungary next month."

Raheem Sterling should be named player of the tournament if England beat Italy to win Euro 2020, according to Jamie Carragher.

With the 26-year-old having rounded off last season with just one goal from his last 16 appearances for Manchester City, it was suggested that his England starting place might be under threat.

However, he has come alive at the tournament, scoring the Three Lions' first three goals of the tournament (two of which were winners), grabbing an assist, and winning the penalty that booked a place in the final.

And former England international Carragher believes those contributions have marked him out as the star man of Euro 2020.

"Nobody has been able to cope with Sterling in this tournament," he told Sky Sports. "If England go on to win he will win player of the tournament – he has been outstanding.

"His position was questioned before the tournament after not having his best season at Man City but from what we have seen Sterling always has to be in this England team.

"The pace he provides, the goals he provides. He has become a major goal threat under Gareth Southgate. 

"We can talk about how Italy can stop him, but if he makes runs in behind the centre-backs and the right full-back then he can be a threat.

"An obvious change at some stage would be Jack Grealish coming on and playing down the left and Sterling going down the right to have a go at Emerson from Chelsea, who has not played a lot of football this season.

"He is the one who can cause Italy some real problems."

 

England have yet to concede an open-play goal at this summer's tournament - thanks in no small part to the work of a midfield shield comprised of Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice.

And Carragher thinks their role will be key again in the final if Gareth Southgate's side are to get over the line.

He continued: "Midfield is key for England, if England don’t get the centre of midfield right, that is where they could have a huge problem.

"Italy are really strong through the centre of the pitch – certainly at centre-back and central midfield, there is a lot of onus on England's midfield three in this game. 

"If they perform and can get after the Italians midfield then England have certainly got enough in the attacking areas of the pitch to win the game.

"But midfield is a real strength of Italy so that is where England have really got to get on top and make it difficult, so it will be up to Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice and Mason Mount in there.

"A lot has been made about the centre-back partnership – outstanding,  legendary players for their country and for Juventus [but] you shouldn’t forget how old they are though.

"I think England can out run them basically in this game, the energy from the bench will be vital as it was in the Denmark game. 

"It will be really tight game – I think we are looking at the best two teams in this tournament, certainly on form, so I think it’s the right final."

 

Fenway Sports Group's (FSG) position at Liverpool may become untenable after their attempt to launch a European Super League, according to club great Jamie Carragher, while Gary Neville believes time is up for the Glazer family at Manchester United.

On Sunday, Liverpool and United, along with Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, along with teams from Spain and Italy, announced their intention to join a breakaway competition, sparking furore across the spectrum.

UEFA responded in force, threatening bans to clubs and players alike, with FIFA offering their support.

Governing bodies and football associations also condemned the move, while supporters gathered outside grounds to protest.

In a remarkable shift, the pressure told on Tuesday, with City formally announcing their withdrawal from the competition. Liverpool and United, along with the other English teams, followed suit.

While it remains to be seen what punishment, if any, will be handed out, Sky Sports pundits Carragher and Neville believe the ownerships of their respective clubs may have run their course.

"I'm as angry at Liverpool now as I was yesterday," Carragher said shortly before Liverpool's confirmation they had left the competition.  

"Jurgen Klopp has thrown them under the bus, their own captain has thrown them under the bus, with the rest of the squad. There's nothing left for Liverpool's owners in what they're doing, what they're hanging on for.

"I actually think the situation with Liverpool's owners now – I don't see how they can continue. They can't just leave the club, obviously, it's a business. It's worth a lot of money if they sell it, but I don't see a future for the ownership of FSG at Liverpool anymore on the back of this, and I think they're just making it worse for themselves the longer they hang in."

Joel and Avram Glazer have long been unpopular with United's fanbase, meanwhile. On Tuesday, it was confirmed Ed Woodward – the club's executive vice-chairman – would be leaving at the end of 2021.

Neville added: "Ed Woodward is the trunk of the tree, we now need to go for the roots. [The Glazers] have declared their hand, while they were peacefully sat at the club, never showing their hand.

"They were taking money out of the club, leveraging the club, there's nothing we could do about that once the club became a PLC but they attacked every single football fan in this country with what they did.

"The Glazers have no place in Manchester anymore and we have to work hard to ensure that ownership rules in this country are changed, that we have a system whereby this can not happen, whether it's government intervention, an independent regulator, a fan-owned club rule.

"Whatever it is, we have to make sure that this is a catalyst for change. The people have spoken, we were on the brink of anarchy if this continued. These six sets of owners in this country and the other ones in Europe have misread this situation badly."

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher labelled the Premier League giants "an embarrassment" for electing to join football's new Super League.

The Reds, last season's Premier League champions, are among six teams from England to have signed up for the new competition.

They will be joined by Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, with Spain represented by Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and Italy by Juventus, Milan and Inter.

Three further clubs are lined up to become founder members of a competition which could cast doubt on the future of the Champions League.

UEFA and the Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A have attacked the idea of the breakaway competition, along with the respective football associations of England, Spain and Italy.

Former Liverpool defender Carragher wrote on Twitter: "What an embarrassment we’ve become @LFC think of all the people who have come before us at this club who would be equally embarrassed as well. #SuperLeague."

FIFA said it could "only express its disapproval" at the move by the powerful clubs, who intend to carry on competing in their respective domestic leagues as well as playing in the Super League.

World football's governing body called for "calm, constructive and balanced dialogue" over the prospect of a split in the game. It was reported late on Sunday that the clubs involved have all left the European Club Association (ECA), which was previously chaired by Juventus president Andrea Agnelli.

Former England captain Gary Lineker suspects conversations will be held that result in less of a rupture than now appears apparent.

Shortly before the 12 clubs made their expected stance official, Lineker wrote: "Looking forward to the compromise with UEFA and the clubs....which, I sense, is what this is all been designed for. A power play."

Liverpool must wave goodbye to any lingering Premier League title hopes if they cannot beat Manchester City on Sunday, according to Reds great Jamie Carragher.

A slump in form from Jurgen Klopp's injury-hit team has seen last season's champions fall seven points behind leaders City, who have a game in hand.

The Anfield clash could yet turn around Liverpool's season if they can rouse themselves back to last season's high standards.

But Carragher is taking a pragmatic view of the title picture, suggesting Liverpool need to stabilise and make sure of a top-four finish.

His verdict follows Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson saying the champions, who sit fourth, are not currently in title contention after Wednesday's 1-0 home loss to Brighton and Hove Albion.

"Liverpool have to be looking at the top four positions, and to say the obvious, take each game as it comes because the form is so down," Carragher said.

"There are so many changes to the team that you are never quite sure what it's going to be. Alisson was out at the last minute against Brighton and Liverpool are still waiting for players to come back.

"So, I think from now, if you were to offer Liverpool a top-four finish they would take that and shake on it. That should be the mindset for Liverpool because that is what they are aiming for at the moment.

"If they could get back into the title race – and, to do that, they would have to beat City on Sunday – you could maybe see where they are with seven or eight games to go. Hopefully from Liverpool's perspective, City could have some sort of drop."

Liverpool have suffered without Virgil van Dijk, their defensive leader who has been absent since sustaining a knee injury in the derby with Everton on October 17. He is not expected to play again this season.

From the beginning of last season through to that Merseyside derby this term, Van Dijk was ever-present in the league and Liverpool racked up an average of 2.5 points in each match, winning 81.4 per cent of games to end a 30-year wait for an English league title.

But since that Everton draw, the points return has fallen to 1.8 per Premier League game, with the win rate tumbling to 47.1 per cent.

Carragher, who was speaking to Sky Sports' Pitch to Post podcast, described City's form as "out of this world" after Pep Guardiola's men racked up a 13th straight win across all competitions when beating Burnley 2-0 on Wednesday.

That is the longest winning run by a Premier League side since Arsenal also put 13 together in a row between March and August 2002.

But Carragher stressed: "It's impossible to keep that going, City cannot win every single game so I would expect them to drop points at some stage.

"But the problem for Liverpool is that the gap is too big – and it certainly will be if they fail to win at Anfield."

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