BREAKING NEWS: Alexander-Arnold to miss Euro 2020 with thigh injury

By Sports Desk June 03, 2021

Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss Euro 2020 after suffering a thigh injury against Austria on Wednesday, England have confirmed.

The Liverpool full-back was the subject of much media speculation ahead of Gareth Southgate's decision to cut his preliminary squad to a selection of 26 earlier this week.

Alexander-Arnold was picked, however, along with three other players capable of playing right-back in Kyle Walker, Reece James and Kieran Trippier.

However, as fate would have it, the 22-year-old will miss out after all, having gone off injured late on in the 1-0 win over Austria after clearing the ball.

Southgate said after the friendly at Middlesbrough – which England won 1-0 – that it "was not a good sign" to see Alexander-Arnold need assistance to walk around the sidelines, and further assessments on Thursday revealed a grade two quad tear.

Alexander-Arnold faces around six weeks out, meaning he will be unable to take part in the Euros – which for England start on June 13 against Croatia – and will instead withdraw from the squad.

Southgate will not confirm a replacement until after Sunday's friendly against Romania.

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    Liverpool were in typically ruthless form on Saturday as they brushed aside Southampton 4-0 at Anfield.

    The result meant Jurgen Klopp's men became just the second English top-flight team to score two or more goals in 17 consecutive games in all competitions, after Sunderland in 1927.

    Elsewhere, rock-bottom Newcastle United's winless start to the Premier League season continued as they were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

    Steven Gerrard secured his second consecutive win since taking over as Aston Villa boss, with his side sealing a 2-1 away win at Crystal Palace.

    Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United played out a goalless draw at the Amex Stadium, as did Norwich City and Wolves at Carrow Road.

    Here, Stats Perform looks through the pick of Saturday's Opta facts…


    Liverpool 4-0 Southampton:Jota at the double for rampant Reds

    Liverpool have now scored 39 goals in their 13 Premier League games this season – their highest total at this stage of a top-flight campaign.

    Diogo Jota got them on the way with their earliest goal in the Premier League (one minute and 37 seconds) since Naby Keita netted against Huddersfield Town in April 2019 (15 seconds).

    Another from Jota and a strike from Thiago Alcantara put Liverpool 3-0 up at the break, before Virgil van Dijk rounded off the scoring early in the second half.

    Netherlands international Van Dijk's goal was created by Trent Alexander-Arnold, who earned his 40th Premier League assist. Only Wayne Rooney (22 years and 200 days) and Cesc Fabregas (21y 188d) have reached such an assists total in the competition at a younger age than the Liverpool right-back (23y 51d).

    Salah reached 150 Premier League goal involvements by setting up Jota's second, reaching that total (108 goals, 42 assists) in just 171 games. Only Alan Shearer (148 games) and Thierry Henry (163) have got there in fewer games.

    Southampton, meanwhile, have lost more away games (14) and conceded more away goals (47) than any other side in the Premier League side this calendar year.


     

    Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United: Gunners cruise against Howe's beleaguered men

    The Gunners continued their fine home form under Mikel Arteta with a routine win against Eddie Howe's struggling side.

    Since Arteta's first home game in charge in December 2019, only Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have won more points at home in the Premier League than Arsenal (67).

    Bukayo Saka got them on their way before Gabriel Martinelli added a second just 93 seconds after coming on as a substitute. It was just Martinelli's second Premier League goal at the Emirates Stadium and his first since January 2020 against Sheffield United.

    The Magpies, meanwhile, became the sixth different team to fail to win any of their opening 13 games to a Premier League season, with four of the previous five sides suffering relegation (only Derby County in 2000-01 survived).

    Crystal Palace 1-2 Aston Villa: Gerrard's winning start continues

    This victory meant former Rangers boss Gerrard became only the second manager to win his first two Premier League games in charge of Villa, after John Gregory in February-March 1998.

    Matt Targett scored the opener for Villa with his first Premier League goal in his last 75 appearances in the competition, the full-back having not netted since getting a late winner against Brighton in October 2019.

    John McGinn then added a second, the Scotland international already equalling his best goal tally for a full Premier League season (three in both 2020-21 and 2019-20).

    Marc Guehi pulled one back in stoppage time, but it was too late to prevent the Eagles suffering a first defeat in their last eight Premier League games (W2 D5), since a 3-0 away loss to Liverpool in September.

    Norwich City 0-0 Wolves: Smith maintains unbeaten start

    Dean Smith followed up a win in his first game in charge of the Canaries last weekend with a hard-fought point at home.

    Norwich have now taken seven points from their last three Premier League games (W2 D1), more than they had in their previous 25 in the competition (W1 D3 L21).

    The Canaries have also kept two clean sheets in their last four Premier League home games – as many as in their previous 26 at Carrow Road in the competition.

    It is perhaps no surprise they could not find a way past Wolves, with only Chelsea (five) and Liverpool (four) keeping more away clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Bruno Lage's men (three).

  • 'These saves were too spectacular' – Klopp tells free-scoring Liverpool to ease Alisson workload 'These saves were too spectacular' – Klopp tells free-scoring Liverpool to ease Alisson workload

    Jurgen Klopp questioned Liverpool's focus despite his side powering to a 4-0 win over Southampton, demanding they tighten up in defence.

    On the face of it, that may have seemed an unexpected response to a crushing win with a clean sheet, but Klopp was right to point to Liverpool offering up golden chances to their Anfield visitors.

    Goalkeeper Alisson saved well from Armando Broja and Adam Armstrong, and Liverpool were arguably flattered by their victory margin as they reached 39 goals from their opening 13 games of the Premier League campaign.

    In terms of expected goals, the metric that assesses the quality of a team's chances, Liverpool finished the game with an advantage of 2.67 to Southampton's 1.34. Those numbers indicate Liverpool impressively over-performed in terms of capitalising on opportunities, while Southampton should have done better.

    Liverpool have only conceded a higher expected goals against (xGA) figure in three Premier League games this season, against the unlikely trio of Manchester United (1.49), Norwich City (1.61) and Brentford (2.72). They beat United 5-0 and Norwich 3-0, and drew 3-3 in a thriller at Brentford.

    "I was not happy with the chances we conceded today, to be honest," said Klopp in his post-game news conference.

    "I have no problem that Ali has to make saves in a football game but these saves were too spectacular. One-on-one with the goalie should not happen twice in a game, for sure not.

    "We have to really work on that. We have to be as stable, serious, ruthless defensively as somehow possible. That gives us then the platform to play football and then we can create and then we can score.

    "It will not be forever like this that we score two goals per game but it happened so far. So, good. But if we win a game 1-0 then I’m happy as well."

    Liverpool have now scored two or more goals in 17 consecutive games across all competitions, making them only the second ever English top-flight club to achieve this feat after Sunderland in 1927 (17).

    They could set an outright record on Wednesday in the derby against former Reds boss Rafael Benitez's Everton team.

    There was plenty for Klopp to enjoy, and he hailed Diogo Jota as "a perfect signing" after the Portuguese forward, acquired from Wolves in September 2020, snatched two close-range goals early in the game to put the hosts in charge.

    "A good subject to talk about," Klopp said. "Diogo: exceptional player, exceptional boy. It was for us two years ago, one-and-a-half years ago, a perfect signing because he has everything that a Liverpool player in this squad needs.

    "He has the technical skills, he has the physical skills and he is very smart and can learn all the tactical stuff pretty quick. On top of that, he can play all three positions; in a 4-2-3-1 he could play as the 10. So, it is very helpful.

    "He has the speed, has the desire to finish situations off really good. I think his goalscoring record is pretty impressive, if I'm right. Unfortunately, he had a big injury last year and that is then never helpful. But he is back, thank God, and fits really well in this team. I'm really happy for him."

    Jota is set for an increasingly important role as Liverpool prepare to lose Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to Africa Cup of Nations duty in January.

    Klopp would love Liverpool to be able to call on Mane and Salah up to and including the Premier League clash with Chelsea on January 2.

    Asked whether it was known yet whether they would be available to face the current leaders, Klopp said: "Not really, it's early for that, we're still talking. Yes [we are hoping]."

  • Bayern Munich 1-0 Arminia Bielefeld: Sane strike sends record-breaking hosts back to summit Bayern Munich 1-0 Arminia Bielefeld: Sane strike sends record-breaking hosts back to summit

    Leroy Sane broke Arminia Bielefeld's resolve as Bayern Munich battled to a 1-0 win at Allianz Arena to reclaim top spot from Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

    Dortmund's earlier 3-1 win at Wolfsburg saw them climb to the summit, but Bayern responded in Saturday's late kick-off to move a point clear ahead of next week's Klassiker. 

    After failing to forge a breakthrough in the first half of a league game for just the second time this term, Sane finally found the net for Bayern with 71 minutes played.

    That was Bayern's 102nd league goal this calendar year – a Bundesliga record – and proved enough to help the hosts bounce back from last week's 2-1 loss at Augsburg.

    Reigning champions Bayern had 11 attempts in the first half, six of those on target, without finding a way past inspired Arminia goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

    The visiting keeper did well to keep out a couple of Alphonso Davies efforts and a volley from Thomas Muller, who earlier had a header cleared off the line by Andres Andrade.

    Sane continued Bayern's wastefulness by missing two big chances early in the second half, but the Germany international eventually provided the opener.

    Collecting a pass from Muller outside the box, Sane whipped a shot past Ortega to give Bayern the goal they craved.

    Arminia held Bayern 3-3 in their previous meeting in February, but the strugglers could not find a response this time and were fortunate not to concede a second when Serge Gnabry's shot came back out off the crossbar late on.

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