Tag: Raheem Sterling

Premiership: Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle

Raheem Sterling, Joe Allen provide goals as Liverpool ease by Newcastle

Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen scored as Liverpool kept their Champions League qualification hopes alive with a 2-0 win over Newcastle on Monday night.

With striker Daniel Sturridge unavailable following a knock against Blackburn last week, Sterling provided the opener in the ninth minute by skipping through the Newcastle defence and sending a curler into the top corner.

Liverpool controlled most of the game, but Newcastle did have two good chances in the first half.

Referee Lee Mason denied a major penalty shout when Ayoze Perez appeared to be tripped up in the box, and shortly afterward Simon Mignolet was called into action to make a diving save from an Ayoze header just before the break.

Joe Allen pounced on a loose ball in the 70th minute to double Liverpool’s advantage.

The points were sealed when Moussa Sissoko was sent off with a second yellow card in the 83rd minute for a dangerous tackle on Lucas Leiva that could have been given as a straight red.

Liverpool are four points back of Manchester City in fourth with six games to play.

Read more at ESPN

Euro 2016 Qualifier: England 4-0 Lithuania

Harry Kane scored 79 seconds into his England debut and Wayne Rooney moved a step closer to Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time goal scoring record in a routine Euro 2016 dismissal of Lithuania at Wembley.

Kane – with 29 goals for Tottenham this season – emerged as a substitute after 70 minutes with England already on the way to a fifth win from five qualifiers with goals from Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling.

The stage was set for the 21-year-old but even the man with the Midas touch in front of goal this season would have struggled to believe he would score with his third touch as a full England international, heading in Sterling’s cross at the far post.

It was the final flourish on an England win that was little more than a formality in a group that surely provides the safest of passages to France next summer.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Southampton 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool moved to within two points of a Champions League place by scoring with their first two shots on target at fifth-placed Southampton.

Philippe Coutinho scored with a 25-yard curler in the third minute.

Southampton had two early penalty appeals turned down, as challenges on Filip Djuricic by Emre Can and Joe Allen went unpunished.

Raheem Sterling also had a penalty claim rejected, but made it 2-0 when Matt Targett failed to clear a cross.

Liverpool are the only team not to have lost a Premier League match in 2015 and are well placed to push for top-four finish in their final 12 matches.

The result saw Brendan Rodgers’ side leapfrog Tottenham into sixth and left them three points behind third-placed Arsenal.

They had to ride their luck, though, to hold on to the early lead given to them in spectacular fashion by Coutinho.

The Brazil midfielder gathered Lazar Markovic’s pass and hit a third-minute strike that bounced in off the underside of the crossbar.

Liverpool had already survived a penalty appeal by that point, as on-loan Benfica midfielder Djuricic burst into the area and appeared to be pushed over by Can, but referee Kevin Friend gave nothing.

Southampton were appealing in vain again within a minute of Coutinho’s goal, as Djuricic looked to have been fouled by Allen, with Eljero Elia’s follow-up shot saved by Simon Mignolet amid the confusion.

The visitors had a penalty claim of their own rejected when Jose Fonte took Sterling’s legs from underneath him – although the defender could argue he got the ball first.

There was more controversy before the break, with Mignolet appearing to handle just outside the box as he raced out to stop Elia reaching Nathaniel Clyne’s through ball.

Markovic, despite his assist for Coutinho’s goal, looked uncomfortable in the left wing-back role as Liverpool wobbled defensively, and Rodgers’ decision to replace him at half-time with Alberto Moreno gave the visitors a more solid look.

The hosts failed to open the Reds up as they had done in the first half, and conceded a second when Moreno broke down the left after Morgan Schneiderlin had given the ball away, and Targett’s scuffed clearance fell for Sterling to sweep in.

By then, Southampton had run out of ideas, and Rodgers’ side had a fourth successive victory secured.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Bolton 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool secure late win at Bolton thanks to fine Philippe Coutinho strike

Philippe Coutinho celebrated his new five-year contract with an added-time winner as Liverpool kept their FA Cup hopes alive in a dramatic late turnaround at Bolton.

The Brazil international committed his long-term future to the club on Monday and marked the occasion with only his third goal of the season in the second additional minute to seal a 2-1 win.

Raheem Sterling had equalised in the 85th minute as Wanderers buckled under the pressure of having to play the last 25 minutes with 10 men after Neil Danns’ dismissal following Eidur Gudjohnsen’s disputed penalty.

It kept alive the hope of a fairytale ending to Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool career before he flies off to join Los Angeles Galaxy, with the final falling on the day of his 35th birthday.

The Liverpool captain was making his 700th appearance, becoming only the third person to reach the landmark for the club after Ian Callaghan (857) and Jamie Carragher (737), in this tie but for once he was not the one to influence proceedings.

But for a long time it looked as though it would be a miserable occasion for the midfielder as Neil Lennon’s team produced a similarly admirable defensive performance to the one which had earned them a goalless draw at Anfield, and for 85 minutes it looked like being the perfect gameplan.

With injury denying Emile Heskey another chance to face his former club, defender Matt Mills started the match as a makeshift striker alongside Eidur Gudjohnsen.

His lack of experience in the position was reflected by the pre-match odds, which had him at 50-1 to score with midfielder Darren Pratley, out for six weeks with a hamstring injury, rated a better bet at 20-1.

As in their first meeting, chances were at a premium for Wanderers and the best, as at Anfield, fell to Gudjohnsen who ballooned over from Josh Vela’s cross, and David Wheater who headed straight at goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Liverpool, as you would expect, created the greater number of opportunities, with Sterling planting a shot against the post after being given far too much time to turn and pick his spot by the Bolton defence.

It was a rare error of judgement in the first half as they restricted the visitors to weak efforts from Gerrard, Coutinho (twice) and Sterling.

Dorian Dervite produced the tackle of the match early in the second half to dispossess Sterling just as he was about to pull the trigger having raced on to Coutinho’s pass as the hosts’ defending continued to keep the Premier League side at bay.

If Liverpool were frustrated by their opponents then they were infuriated by referee Roger East’s decision to award a 59th-minute penalty.

Skrtel was naive in dangling a leg but the 19-year-old Clough showed the nous of an old pro in taking full advantage to go down from minimal, if any, contact.

Gudjohnsen drilled home from the spot but Bolton soon found themselves down to 10 men when Danns was sent off for a second bookable offence for a foul on Joe Allen.

Daniel Sturridge was sent on to find a goal in the final 20 minutes, just as he had on his comeback against West Ham on Saturday, but it was Jordan Henderson, another substitute, and defender Emre Can who came closest, with the former’s volley deflected on to a post by Wheater and goalkeeper Andy Lonergan finger-tipping the other on to the crossbar.

Sterling was the saviour five minutes from time as he slotted Can’s pass through Lonergan’s legs – Liverpool’s 700th FA Cup goal – before Coutinho bent one into the top corner from distance as Bolton’s resistance eventually broke and the Reds booked a fifth-round tie at Crystal Palace.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Liverpool 2-0 West Ham

Daniel Sturridge scores on Liverpool return in win over West Ham

Striker Daniel Sturridge enjoyed the perfect return from injury as he scored within 12 minutes of coming off the bench to give Liverpool’s Champions League ambitions a timely boost.

The 25-year-old had been missing for five months — 33 matches and 3,030 minutes of football in total — with thigh and calf injuries but showed he had lost none of his clinical finishing skills with an angled strike past Adrian to complete a 2-0 victory over West Ham.

His short-term stand-in Raheem Sterling had scored his fifth goal in 10 matches, which is not a bad return for an only-recently converted centre-forward, to put the Reds on the road to victory but Sturridge applied the finishing touch to put the result beyond doubt.

Sturridge’s 22-minute run-out, having replaced Lazar Markovic, could not have gone better and it ensured another England striker did not grab the headlines on his return to Anfield.

Exactly four years to the day Liverpool signed Andy Carroll in a still staggering club-record 35 million pound deal but having been unceremoniously dumped by Brendan Rodgers the big front man arrived with a point to prove.

The only points he made in the first half, however, seemed to come from his elbow as he caught Emre Can in the mouth and Markovic in the face either end of the half.

His first indiscretion, which left the Germany Under-21 international with a bloodied mouth, appeared to carry more intent than the second, accidental knock, but referee Andre Marriner saw nothing he felt warranted a foul.

Aside from one header, easily saved by Simon Mignolet, at a corner that was the sum effort of his afternoon.

After the break his clumsiness continued when he was booked for catching Emre Can with a late, sliding tackle. He appeared to injure himself and was replaced by Carlton Cole soon after.

Liverpool showed many familiar traits; quick passing, neat build-up until the final third and a lack of threat inside the penalty area.

Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana — back in the starting line-up for the rested Steven Gerrard — and Markovic (twice) had their best opportunities while Sterling wanted a penalty just before the break after Joey O’Brien appeared to haul him to the floor.

However, the West Ham defence could not get near the England forward for his goal six minutes after half-time when he slotted Coutinho’s brilliant through-ball past Adrian.

It had all the hallmarks of a genuine striker’s cool finish and was a reflection not only of Sterling’s continued improvement in front of goal but also the growing understanding between himself and Coutinho, another of the Reds’ bright young things.

Rodgers has frequently described the Brazil international as a “magician” and his ability to produce the trickery to unlock defences as tight as West Ham’s will be something Sturridge will relish as he makes his way back into the action.

He certainly took full advantage after coming off the bench in the 68th minute.

Having received a rapturous reception from an Anfield crowd starved of his goal threat for far too long he rewarded them with an angled strike after exchanging passes with Coutinho.

It was almost like he had not been away but it was evident there was some rustiness when he snatched at the rebound from fellow substitute Jordan Ibe’s shot.

Where Liverpool would have been now had Sturridge been fit for the majority of the season is a hypothetical debate but this result meant they moved ahead of their opponents, who have not won at Anfield since 1963.

Where they are now is eyeing a Champions League spot, buoyed by the return of their first-choice goalscorer, with fourth-placed Southampton just points away, albeit with a match in hand.

Read more at ESPN

League Cup: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea

Liverpool and Chelsea all square after Capital One Cup semi-final first leg

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho still has not won a semifinal against Liverpool after Raheem Sterling’s flash of brilliance earned the Reds a deserved 1-1 draw in the opening leg of their Capital One Cup clash.

During his first spell in charge, the Stamford Bridge boss came off second best in last-four clashes against the Merseysiders in the Champions League, twice, and FA Cup.

The League Cup can now be added to that after Eden Hazard’s 18th-minute penalty was cancelled out by the England international on the hour.

It will not matter to the Portuguese manager, however, as he will be confident they can get the job done in next week’s second leg.

Yet Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers, formerly a member of Mourinho’s coaching staff, and his side will have gained great confidence from this performance.

They restricted the visitors, lining up with the Premier League’s leading scorer Diego Costa, to just one shot on target all game.

The downside was Liverpool created 19 chances, six on target, but could only come away with a draw.

Pre-match, Rodgers said he felt they could go to Stamford Bridge and win and that will now be required, by whatever means necessary, but the advantage remains with Chelsea.

Considering the history between the clubs there was plenty of simmering tension in the first half but it never transferred into real chances.

Just three shots on target were registered, with Chelsea’s solitary effort the penalty.

It came about through Emre Can’s naivety, which in some ways is understandable considering he was only thrust into the left-sided centre-back in a three-man defence on Boxing Day.

His first mistake was to allow Cesc Fabregas to skip past him far too easily to reach the byline, his second was to compound his error by trying to recover the situation by connecting with Hazard.

It may not have been the hardest of challenges but referee Mike Atkinson pointed to the spot and Hazard sent Simon Mignolet the wrong way.

It was familiar storyline, last seen back in April when Mourinho’s side derailed Liverpool’s title bid after capitalising on Steven Gerrard’s slip and then defending the life out of the game.

All the meaningful possession had been the hosts, with Philippe Coutinho showing he could add desire and influence to his talents with the ball.

The fleet-footed Brazilian left the experienced John Terry trailing in his wake with one shuffle and had a shot deflected over.

In between he pulled the strings in the zone 20 yards outside Chelsea’s penalty area, showing an improved relationship with central striker Sterling.

Gerrard’s dipping drive from 30 yards, only just tipped over by Thibaut Courtois, was their best chance although the last action of the half had an incensed Rodgers encroaching on to the pitch claiming a penalty after the ball appeared to hit the hand of Costa laid on the floor.

With a lead in the bag, Chelsea did exactly what Mourinho asked them to in terms of recovering their shape whenever they lost possession and then hitting on the counter-attack.

The Portuguese had planned exactly for this eventuality — you could almost say inevitability — by bringing Jon Obi Mikel in alongside regular midfield colossus Nemanja Matic.

When Rodgers talks about a box in midfield he is referring to it in an attacking sense. Mourinho employed his own box but this one 20 or 30 yards deeper.

Very rarely was there more than 15 yards between Chelsea’s midfield pair and central defenders Terry and Gary Cahill, shutting down the space Coutinho and Gerrard, in a more advanced role, wanted to work in.

The invention had to come from deeper and when Jordan Henderson slid a pass down the centre Sterling went past Matic before the Serbia international could react, raced past Cahill into the area and beat Courtois.

It was the first goal Chelsea’s mean defence had conceded in 341 minutes and all of a sudden the visitors were properly under the cosh.

This seemed to be the game the 22-year-old Coutinho came of age and his run set up Gerrard to hit the post with a placed left-footed shot before the Brazil international forced Courtois into a low save and Martin Skrtel headed over.

Chelsea’s goalkeeper was by far the busier and was at his best to save from Henderson and then react quickly to block Sterling’s rebound before palming away substitute Adam Lallana’s volley.

The Belgian’s performance may just prove to be the one that takes them to Wembley.

Read more at ESPN

League Cup: Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool

Raheem Sterling nets brace to help Reds through over Bournemouth

Raheem Sterling’s first goals since mid-September helped Liverpool end a miserable seven days with a place in the Capital One Cup semi-finals at the expense of Bournemouth.

The England winger had endured a 22-game goal drought for club and country until he set Liverpool on their way to a 3-1 away win with a close-range header.

Lazar Markovic, fresh from his controversial red card as the Reds exited Europe, grabbed the second before a trademark Sterling run ended with his fifth of the season to put the smiles back on the faces of supporters after their Old Trafford defeat.

Dan Gosling, who memorably netted a cup winner to beat Liverpool in his Everton days, pulled a goal back and then rattled a post as the Championship leaders relinquished their 12-game unbeaten run.

The majority of the sold-out crowd arrived with expectations that their table-toppers could pile more misery on Brendan Rodgers and they almost took an early lead against a strong Liverpool line-up.

Left-back Adam Smith, one of six Bournemouth changes, saw an effort blocked by Martin Skrtel before Callum Wilson side-footed wide having done all the hard work to create an opening.

After those escapes Liverpool began to kick into gear, with Adam Lallana forcing his former Southampton team-mate Artur Boruc into a fine save from 20 yards.

Baily Cargill is yet to make a Championship start but Cherries boss Eddie Howe kept faith with the youngster, a regular during this competition, and he caught the eye with a fine block to deny Sterling after he had scampered through the hosts’ half.

The visitors were beginning to pin Bournemouth in their own half and that sustained pressure eventually told in the 20th minute when Jordan Henderson headed Markovic’s delivery across goal for Sterling to nod in.

It was no surprise when Liverpool doubled their lead seven minutes later. Philippe Coutinho’s low near-post shot was kept out by Boruc but the ball fell straight to Markovic, who calmly chalked up his first Liverpool goal.

Free-scoring Bournemouth carved out a huge chance to cut the deficit with the game’s next move – only for Yann Kermorgont to fire his effort over the crossbar.

Having struggled with Cardiff’s aerial presence in Saturday’s 5-3 victory, Bournemouth’s defence were facing a completely different threat with Rodgers’ nippy playmakers swarming around behind Sterling.

And Rodgers’ false nine showed his electric pace to create a chance for himself just before the break, only for the diving figure of Boruc to deny Sterling.

The England player would, however, only have to wait until the 51st minute to double his tally. Picking up a pass from Lallana he twisted and turned past Cherries captain Tommy Elphick and found the bottom corner.

Reds goalkeeper Brad Jones had enjoyed a quiet evening on his second successive start in place of the dropped Simon Mignolet until the 57th minute, when the goalkeeper failed to cover himself in glory as the Cherries pulled a goal back. Gosling cleverly stepping through two challenges before squeezing a shot past the Australian.

Sterling missed a gilt-edged chance to claim a hat-trick when he dragged a 67th-minute effort wide from Lallana’s back-heeled pass but that was a rare respite from a spell of Bournemouth domination.

Substitute Ryan Fraser watched his looping header fall wide, Gosling crashed an effort off Jones’ other post and then Ritchie drilled a low effort across goal.

Despite controlling possession Bournemouth could only muster a wayward effort from Simon Francis and a header from Cargill in the final 10 minutes but they bowed out with their heads held high.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Raheem Sterling: ‘I want to be at Liverpool as long as possible’

Raheem Sterling has given the biggest indication yet that he is ready to commit his future to Liverpool by signing a new long-term contract.

Sterling has been the subject of transfer speculation in recent weeks, with manager Brendan Rodgers confirming his club are trying to finalise a new deal for the teenage England international.

Now Sterling has suggested he believed he believes his ambitions can be fulfilled at Anfield. That revelation is a boost for Rodgers, whose team heads to Crystal Palace on Sunday after a difficult start to this season.

“The club has spoken to my representatives and hopefully something can be done really soon,” Sterling told the Daily Mirror. “Hopefully I can achieve the goals I want to achieve here at Liverpool in years to come.

“I am happy to be here for as long as possible.

“The manager gave me an opportunity and I would like to think I have taken it. Hopefully I can be an example to some of the other kids here now, I am proof that Liverpool have a manager who does give young players a chance.”

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Liverpool 2-1 Southampton

Daniel Sturridge scores winner as Brendan Rodgers’ side hold on for win

Bulldozers have gathered outside Anfield over the summer ahead of the much anticipated stadium redevelopment, but Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling are proving firm foundations are in place at Liverpool.

The England duo secured a nervy, scruffy opening-day victory against Southampton with a start to the new campaign that felt like a replica to the last, Liverpool sneaking three points in comparable circumstances as against Stoke City a year ago.

In the highly publicised absence of Luis Su¡rez, Sturridge was the match winner then, too, and the similarity extended to the goalkeeper Simon Mignolet’s late intervention in preserving three points. That was retrospectively acknowledged as an early turning point in a dizzying campaign. There will be no complaints if the next eight months are directed down a similar path.

For Liverpool the comfort was all in the win rather than the performance. The dynamism, speed of movement and nimble footwork that defined much of last season was lacking here, but it is hardly surprising. That will come when there are more miles in the legs.

This was the most typical of opening-day performances where jumping to conclusions beyond the result is hazardous. Indeed Ronald Koeman, the Southampton manager, had as much cause to be comforted in defeat as Brendan Rodgers in victory.

After a summer of gloom at St Mary’s when Southampton hosted its greatest exodus since the Cunard Line was in its prime, there was much to enthuse the Dutch coach.

He had four debutants effortlessly slotting in, and when right-back Nathaniel Clyne cancelled out Sterling’s first-half strike with a thunderous drive into the top corner at the Kop end, Koeman’s side looked more likely winners. Even after Sturridge glanced the 79th-minute winner following a Sterling header, Mignolet was called upon to push Morgan Schneiderlin’s late effort onto the bar.

Read More on The Telegraph