Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp does not expect goalkeeper Alisson to be ready to return immediately after the international break after he sustained a shoulder injury in training. 

The Brazil international was left out of the Reds' squad for Sunday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Sunday and will now miss his country's World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru.

Klopp says Alisson suffered the injury in a collision with another player and believes he will be out of action for at least a few weeks. 

"It was an incident in training; very unlucky," Klopp told Sky Sports. "Two players clash with each other; one gets up, one doesn't. The one who didn't get up was Ali.

"We don't know 100 per cent but he cannot play today. We have to do further assessments but he's injured, let me say it like this. Now we hope it will go really quickly.

"It's an international break. I'm pretty sure after that he will not be ready, then we have to see week by week."

Alisson believes Liverpool are "on the right path again" after admitting the reigning Premier League champions had let their lofty standards slip.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds were crowned with a record seven games to spare in the 2019-20 season but, perhaps unsurprisingly, their form dipped in the closing weeks, winning just five of their nine league fixtures upon the restart in June.

The new campaign began with a shaky 4-3 victory over newly promoted Leeds United, yet Liverpool looked more like the team who ran away with the title when seeing off Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Sadio Mane scored twice and, playing against 10 men, there was a welcome clean sheet for goalkeeper Alisson, who saved a second-half penalty from Jorginho.

The Brazil international was particularly pleased with the way his team-mates approached what was a difficult game against opponents who finished the previous campaign in the top four.

"We know that we dropped a little bit, we don't know why," Alisson told Sky Sports.

"It wasn't something we wanted to do but we knew we had to go back to our path if we want to be competitive this season for the title, because I believe this season the level is higher.

"It is just the beginning of the season, we had a difficult game against Leeds, it was an open game where anything can happen. It was 4-3 and a good game for anyone who is watching football, but a really hard game to play

"Then you have Chelsea away and it's a tough opponent and then the way we went to the pitch from the mental perspective, I really liked this. I liked the intensity of the game, I liked the way we defended also, the opponent had some opportunities to score but it was from the quality of the opponent.

"But what I liked was our mentality on that game. I think we are on the right path again."

Liverpool will aim to maintain their 100 per cent record in the league in the early stages of the 2020-21 season when they host Arsenal on Monday.

The Gunners recorded a 2-1 home victory over Klopp's side back in July, then also prevailed on penalties in the Community Shield following a 1-1 draw at Wembley Stadium.

Fabinho was "a monster" in Liverpool's 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea on Sunday, according to Alisson.

With Joe Gomez and Joel Matip injured, Fabinho moved into the centre of defence alongside Virgil van Dijk and was on song at Stamford Bridge, with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp describing his display as "outstanding".

The Brazilian was key to helping the visitors keep a clean sheet that was preserved by compatriot Alisson saving Jorginho's penalty.

While Sadio Mane scored a double, it was Fabinho's work at the other end in keeping Chelsea newcomers Timo Werner and Kai Havertz quiet that most impressed Alisson.

"He was a monster," Alisson told the club's official website. "Unbelievable, but it's what I expect of him.

"If it's a surprise for you I would be surprised, because he is a top player. Anywhere he played, from number six or centre-back, he always does his best and his quality permits him to play in different positions.

"He's a really smart player on movements and also one-v-ones. That was needed against Werner, against Havertz and the other players with really good quality, so I congratulate him as he was in my opinion man of the match."

The game in west London proved to be a far more straightforward outing than Liverpool's season opener against newly promoted Leeds United, in which Klopp's men left it late to secure a dramatic 4-3 win at Anfield.

It means the Reds have kicked off their title defence with back-to-back victories, with Arsenal their next opponents in the top flight on Monday.

After an impressive close season in the transfer market aiming to bridge the gap to the top of the Premier League, Chelsea got an uneasy look at how that chasm appears on the field as Liverpool eased to a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Even before Andreas Christensen's game-changing red card for a professional foul on Sadio Mane during first-half stoppage time, Jurgen Klopp's champions had dictated matters.

That state of affairs only became more skewed after half-time as Thiago Alcantara announced his Premier League arrival with a passing clinic against depleted opponents.

Mane gave his own lesson in clinical opportunism with both goals, even if Kepa Arrizabalaga's problems were almost as influential - on both Chelsea's demise and, in all likelihood, his immediate future.

Frank Lampard claimed afterwards that the 90 minutes were not without plus points for the Blues, with another lively Timo Werner showing giving a tantalising indication of how much the Germany forward might enjoy England's top flight.

PASS MASTER THIAGO MARKS HIS ARRIVAL

Losing skipper Jordan Henderson at the interval might have compromised Liverpool's strong position in the match, but former Barcelona and Bayern Munich playmaker Thiago demonstrated the extra dimension he can lend to Klopp's winning machine, albeit in a match where the pattern was already established by Chelsea's numerical disadvantage.

Thiago completed 75 passes of 83 attempted (90.4 per cent), more than any Chelsea player over the course of the contest. Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic - the closest thing to Thiago equivalents in Lampard's line-up - were both substituted in the 79th minute having completed 43 and 58 passes respectively.

Since Opta began collecting full passing data in 2003-04, the Spain international's 75 passes are the most made by a player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes.

Thiago's impact helped Liverpool to improve their 53.5 per cent share of first-half possession to 68 per cent in the second period. The visitors outstripped their 301 first-half passes with 458 after the break.

ALISSON UNDERLINES TALE OF TWO KEEPERS

Despite the free-scoring nature of the season, Opta's metric tracking errors leading directly to goals has only recorded three overall. Kepa is now responsible for two of those.

As Edouard Mendy seemingly closes in on a move to Stamford Bridge from Rennes, the Spain goalkeeper's race appears to be run.

At the other end of their home pitch, Chelsea's hierarchy were able to look ruefully at how things might have panned out. Alisson was understood to be a target to replace Thibaut Courtois before Liverpool got their man.

The Brazil number one made three saves, including an exceptional stop from Jorginho's 75th-minute penalty.

It was the first time Jorginho failed from the spot in nine attempts for Chelsea, excluding shoot-outs, and Alisson's first such stop from three faced since signing from Roma in 2018. In this age of the VAR keeping an eagle eye on keepers straying from their goal line, it was no mean feat.

WERNER SOUNDS ANOTHER WARNING AS MANE SETS STANDARD

As was the case when Jorginho converted his spot-kick against Brighton and Hove Albion, Werner drew a foul in the area to land the opportunity. The former RB Leipzig star is the first player to win a penalty in each of his first two Premier League appearances since Stamford Bridge favourite Eden Hazard back in 2012.

An early dart inside from the left channel suggested Werner might get plenty of joy out of makeshift centre-back Fabinho. However, the Brazilian's four tackles, four interceptions and 12 instances of gaining possession were the best of those numbers returned by any Liverpool player.

Werner's pace and directness is a huge part of his appeal and he has been quick to bring those attributes to Chelsea. His 20 sprints were more than any other player on Lampard's side, with his top speed of 32.27 kilometres per hour quicker than any of his team-mates.

If the £47.5million acquisition can hit the heights that have become customary for Mane, Lampard will be a very happy man indeed.

The Senegal star has scored in each of his past three Premier League away games for Liverpool and his match-winning brace was the 13th time he has converted more than once in a top-flight fixture.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson paid tribute to manager Jurgen Klopp for his impact on the Premier League champions and is convinced the German is just getting started.

After 30 years without a league title, Liverpool finally ended their drought this season, blowing away the competition as they finished 2019-20 18 points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

Their haul of 99 points is the second-highest in the competition's history, while they wrapped it up with seven games to go – a feat no side has ever accomplished before.

Liverpool also won the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup this term, but their Champions League defence ended at the hands of Atletico Madrid in March, Chelsea knocked them out of the FA Cup and Aston Villa beat a second-string side in the EFL Cup while the first-team competed for the global crown last December.

Nevertheless, Alisson felt it had been a draining season and he put that down to the drive of Klopp and his plans to keep improving the club's fortunes.

"This was one of the most exhausting seasons I've ever had," Alisson told ESPN Brasil. "I don't know if it was due to the pandemic, the longer season... It was also one of the seasons I played less games because of injuries.

"We got out of the Champions League early, but I think this exhaustion comes from just giving everything we have every time. Klopp has a great portion of that, just telling us what the main objective is.

"We also care about how we are going to get to that objective – training, just how he manages our training sessions.

"He trusts us to do what he wants us to do, on not only training sessions, but also a day-to-day basis.

"He is a passionate guy and he shows that. He wants to win and make Liverpool an even greater club."

Alisson believes it will be important to maintain the values that have got Liverpool to where they are, with unity – rather than relying on individual prowess – behind much of their success.

"Our group is certainly very strong," he continued. "Each player has so much quality individually, and we have at least four players always at the top, the best in the world in their positions, and that makes it a special team. But what really makes a difference is the way we play together.

"We think as one, we all have the same objective, and that is doing everything we can to get those goals, laying it all out mentally and physically."

Goalkeeper Alisson has revealed how he feels part of the Liverpool family thanks to the club's efforts to help him settle into life on Merseyside.

The Brazil international has enjoyed two hugely successful seasons with Jurgen Klopp's Reds since his arrival from Roma in July 2018.

After lifting the Champions League trophy at the end of his debut campaign, he helped Liverpool end a 30-year wait for a league title this year, albeit injuries and a suspension restricted him to 29 top-flight appearances.

The 27-year-old cost what was then a world-record fee for a keeper - Chelsea surpassing it soon after for Kepa Arrizabalaga - but has proved his value to the newly crowned Premier League champions since.

It is not just on the pitch where Alisson feels right at home, though.

"At this moment it means everything," he told the club's website as part of their 'Champions' series.

"The biggest part of my achievements in football I achieved for this club, through this club, individual and my team-mates, so it means a lot to me and my family. 

"Since we arrived here we could feel that it's a different club, a club who treats you as a family and can give you all the support that you need to play football, to stay focused on playing football. 

"So, we are comfortable here. We love being here. We also love the warmth that we receive from the supporters, they are part of this family as well."

Alisson's primary objective is obviously to keep the ball out of the net, yet he did manage to help Liverpool in attack when registering an assist in the league.

It was his quick clearance that set free Mohamed Salah for the second goal in the closing moments of Liverpool's 2-0 win over Manchester United in January. The first team-mate to celebrate with the scorer? The keeper who had set him up, of course.

"That was a big moment. For my whole life everybody will remember that goal, that assist," Alisson said, before going on to discuss his knee-sliding celebrations as he raced to join Salah. 

"I think the run, they remember more about the run! That is something that I never did before. I always like to celebrate with myself. 

"I try to stay focused on the game and I know that was the last minute of the game. Then the game was closed with that goal.

"I just felt from inside and I couldn't hold myself any longer and then I just ran to celebrate together."

Jurgen Klopp championed Jordan Henderson as an "inspiration" to future Liverpool captains after taking over the armband following Reds great Steven Gerrard's departure and leading the club to an historic Premier League title.

When Brendan Rodgers appointed Henderson as his skipper in 2015, it appeared a daunting task for the former Sunderland midfielder because of who he was replacing.

Gerrard had been club captain for 12 years and became a homegrown hero having joined the Reds' academy as a nine-year-old, but he opted to spend the final year of his career in MLS with LA Galaxy.

Many felt it was a significant step down for Liverpool, with Henderson a player who has often polarised opinion in terms of his abilities.

But he remained an important player even following Rodgers' departure, which came shortly after handing Henderson the armband, with Klopp retaining him as the team's leader.

Although a knee injury will prevent Henderson from seeing out the final weeks of the 2019-20 season, he has still led the club to a maiden Premier League title and first top-flight crown in 30 years, and Klopp feels it highlights he has been a success in replacing Gerrard.

When asked if the Premier League triumph makes Henderson one of the club's all-time great captains, Klopp said: "He is, absolutely, but you know all the other captains of this football club.

"So, he's the only captain I've had here, so I'm overly happy this decision was made before I came in, so it's cool.

"How it always is in life, you have to grow in new roles, he had to do that. It was the most difficult job you can have, to enhance, because honestly, in whatever manner, the person doing the job after Steven was always going to be difficult, but he grew into the role and now I think he's an inspiration for the next generation of Liverpool skippers.

"And it's nice to be part of this development as well, because he became a man age-wise and then a real, proper captain and that's how it should be, and on top of that he improved as a player.

"He was always a good player but he made big steps in his game as well, and that's why you are massively under pressure from outside, expectations and stuff like this, it's a pretty interesting achievement I have to say, it's not easy to do, and he did it, so he should - after his career, when he looks back – have lots of reasons to be proud."

With Liverpool already champions, there is little left for the Reds to play for as a collective, but some players are still in with a chance of claiming individual prizes.

Alisson is in the hunt for the Golden Glove, while Mohamed Salah – and, to a lesser extent, Sadio Mane – are outside bets for the Golden Boots.

While Klopp would not want too much emphasis to be put on such accolades, he does acknowledge their importance and he feels they would reflect the success of the team.

Liverpool face Burnley at Anfield on Saturday.

"If Ali wins the Golden Glove, that means we have obviously - I don't know how many games - have a [lot of] clean sheets, which would really help us," Klopp said. "And if we provide the winner of the Golden Boot, it means we have a lot of goals, and that helps, absolutely.

"I'm not in doubt of that. My players don't need individual targets to be highly motivated, but they [the awards] don't disturb, they're absolutely helpful rather than anything else, but in the end it's all about winning a football match, that's what the boys really want.

"If it was different, I would tell them it's not okay. Personal accolades are important, really important, but it's always first and foremost about winning matches, not about the other stuff, but it's nice when you can win both."

It may have taken a few months longer than it should have because of the coronavirus pandemic, but at long last Liverpool are Premier League champions.

Manchester City's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Thursday finally made it mathematically impossible for Pep Guardiola's men to catch the Reds, leaving Liverpool to celebrate a first ever Premier League title.

Having come close to ending their barren run a few times over the past three decades before falling short, Liverpool were plagued by suggestions they may not be able to handle the pressure in their quest to claim a first league championship since 1990.

But in reality this was a forgone conclusion for a long time, having dropped points just once in their first 27 league matches this term.

Following confirmation of their historic achievement, we crunched the Opta numbers and looked at the key areas of their squad this season.

Dynamic and dependable at the back

Liverpool's excellence in attack is obvious – few clubs in Europe can boast a more effective front three, but at the back they are similarly impressive.

Virgil van Dijk is the key figure, of course, and the Dutchman has led by example from the back again this term. He has started all 31 of Liverpool's matches, the only Reds player to do so, and he has helped keep a league-high 14 clean sheets.

But Alisson's importance is also easy to highlight. The Brazilian missed a chunk of the season due to injury, yet he's only two shy of Van Dijk in the clean sheet stakes.

But in the modern game there is more to defenders than just ensuring the opposition don't score – full-backs are expected to be creative, and Liverpool embody that perfectly.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has laid on 12 assists this season – a figure bettered only by Kevin De Bruyne – and created 78 chances, 29 more than the Reds' second most creative player. On top of that, Andy Robertson has eight assists to his name, the joint-fourth best in the league.

Henderson the unsung hero in midfield

Throughout his career, Jordan Henderson has polarised opinion – but the only point of view that counts here is Klopp's, and the data shows the former Sunderland star's influence.

Since Klopp joined the club, Liverpool's win frequency in the league is 13 per cent better with Henderson in the team than when he is absent.

Indeed, their solitary league defeat this term – at Watford in February – came when Henderson was not in the team.

Henderson has played 125 Premier League matches for Klopp, losing just 11. In the same period, the Reds have lost 10 times from just 50 games without him.

He may not attract the plaudits like those scoring and creating the goals, but there's little doubt his functionality helps Liverpool and aids their more technically gifted superstars.

Triple threat

Is there a better front three in world football than Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah? While difficult to absolutely prove, they are undoubtedly vital to this Liverpool team.

All three are in double figures for goal involvements, with Firmino on 15 (eight goals, seven assists), 22 for Mane (15 goals, seven assists) and Salah in front with 24 (17 goals, seven assists).

Salah has found the net every 137 minutes in the league this term, the best in the team, though Mane's 25 per cent conversion rate is significantly better than the Egyptian's 17 per cent.

All three have a habit of being decisive when it matters too. No one in the entire league has scored more winning goals than Salah (seven), though Mane and Firmino are just behind him with six.

Similarly, Mane's 15 goals have led to 18 points, a Premier League-high in 2019-20.

Liverpool have been utterly ruthless this season, their remarkable 23-point cushion after 31 matches undeniable proof of their relentlessness and brilliance.

Having achieved levels of consistency that have effectively never been seen before in the Premier League era, one has to wonder what it will take to stop Klopp's Reds.

Jordan Henderson says a lack of cutting edge cost Liverpool in Sunday's "disappointing" Merseyside derby stalemate with Everton.

In the absence of injured forward Mohamed Salah, Liverpool struggled to create any clear-cut chances at Goodison Park in their first match back following a three-month hiatus.

It is just the third time the runaway leaders have dropped points in the Premier League this term and skipper Henderson admits an improvement is needed against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

"I think we can be a lot better, of course. We know that but there were still some positive things that I thought were good," he told Liverpool's official website. 

"We tried to adapt to the situation but overall obviously we are disappointed because we wanted to come here and get the three points. 

"But there are still plenty of positives, a clean sheet and I thought we defended really well. We just lacked that bit in the final third.

"The intensity was pretty good with the counter-pressing with the ball higher up the pitch. I thought that was good. 

"We were unlucky with a couple of injuries and hopefully they are not too bad. Overall, we've just got to take it, move on and try to be better in the next game."

Jurgen Klopp confessed after the match that Liverpool were "lucky" to escape with a point after Alisson Becker made a fine save late on to deny Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

And Henderson reserved special praise for the Brazil international, who now has a joint-high 11 clean sheets in 21 Premier League appearances this season.

"He has been outstanding all season and he's come up with a brilliant save as well to keep us with a clean sheet, so that was important for us," he said. 

"But, overall there's still a lot of positives. Like I said, in the final third I think we can be a little bit better and more clinical but we'll get ready now for Wednesday."

"Every game in the Premier League is tough and each team. You look at our next game against Palace, who performed well on Saturday, so every game we play will be tough.

"We've just got to perform as best as we can and try and win as many games as we can."

Despite being held by Everton, Klopp's side boast a 23-point lead on Manchester City having played a game more than their closest challengers, who they face next week.

Liverpool heroes Ian Rush and Steven Gerrard sent messages of support to the king of the Kop, Kenny Dalglish, after the Scot tested positive for coronavirus.

The news was announced on Friday, in a message from Dalglish's family that said the 69-year-old is asymptomatic.

Scotland great Dalglish had been attending hospital on Wednesday for treatment on an infection when he was tested for COVID-19 and "unexpectedly" was shown to be carrying the virus.

Rush, who partnered Dalglish in Liverpool's attack in the 1980s and is Liverpool's record scorer, wrote on Instagram: "Wishing a speedy recovery to the best...Sir Kenny Dalglish. Get well soon #YNWA"

Gerrard captained Liverpool during Dalglish's second spell in charge at Anfield, which ended in May 2012, and the pair have a close relationship.

Now manager of Rangers, Gerrard wrote: "Get well soon king."

Liverpool's current goalkeeper Alisson sent his well wishes, writing: "Love from Becker family to Sir Kenny Dalglish!!"

Reds past and present, Robbie Keane and James Milner, both sent "Get well soon Sir Kenny" messages, echoed by former England striker Gary Lineker and the Scottish Football Association.

Celtic, the club where Dalglish began his playing career, said: "Sending our love and best wishes to @kennethdalglish following tonight's news. Get well soon, King Kenny."

Newcastle United and Blackburn, who he also managed, also rallied behind Dalglish.

Former Blackburn centre-back Colin Hendry, who helped Dalglish's team to the 1994-95 Premier League title, backed the Scot to return to full health.

Hendry wrote on Twitter: "To one of the biggest influences on my career ...my boyhood idol .. my then manager .......King Kenny. Another match you'll win ...I'm sure xx"

The coronavirus pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar on Saturday with more major events and competitions being disrupted.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the globe, it has resulted in the postponement of competitions worldwide as governments attempt to combat the pandemic.

A small number of events still went ahead, but sports stars, teams and indeed supporters were otherwise left to find other means of entertainment.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 155,000, we round up all the latest news and updates.

 

Germany's prestige friendly with Italy later this month became the latest football fixture to bite the dust, with the majority of upcoming international matches having now been wiped out.

More major organisations have halted all footballing activities until a later date, including Qatar, Morocco and Egypt.

A small number of competitions, most notably the A-League, Russian Premier League and Mexico's Liga MX, did manage to go ahead as planned.

Indeed, NRL games also avoided the cut, as did a handful of Super Rugby matches before an indefinite ban was put in place later in the day.

Another competition to fall was Australia's one-day international series against New Zealand, which was already being played behind closed doors.

With New Zealand's government introducing strict protocols to attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the Black Caps – along with Super Rugby side Highlanders – returned home from Australia and Argentina respectively in order to beat the new restrictions, which will mean any new arrival to the country, even if they are a citizen, has to self-isolate for 14 days.

With the top-four tiers of English football being shelved until at least early April, there was plenty of focus on the National League as six games were given the green light.

There was some controversy in Argentina as River Plate's Copa Superliga clash with Atletico Tucuman was suspended after the home side refused to open their stadium.

Independiente's tie with Velez Sarsfield was played out in full, albeit behind closed doors, with the hosts claiming a 1-0 victory.

In Italy, Napoli urged their supporters to sing from their balconies in unison as Fiorentina's Patrick Cutrone and two more Sampdoria players tested positive for COVID-19.

Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy revealed a negative test result after recently self-isolating, but Carlo Ancelotti and Angelo Ogbonna questioned the Premier League's handling of the outbreak, while Jordan Pickford denied reports he is self-isolating.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady, meanwhile, claimed the competition should be "void" – a suggestion Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher quickly dismissed.

The lack of football did not stop certain clubs from keeping supporters entertained, though, with LaLiga side Leganes posting live updates of a fictitious match against Real Valladolid, which they won 2-1.

Perhaps inspired by their Spanish counterparts, Southampton got Manchester City involved in an online game of noughts and crosses to help fill the void.

The downtime also gave football stars a chance to recuperate, with Sergio Ramos and Alexis Sanchez among those to post images of their extra-curricular activities.

Others, such as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, opted to use social media to educate their followers on how to properly wash their hands, while Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi used his profile to echo the sentiments of Cristiano Ronaldo in calling for people to follow the guidance of health organisations.

As Ronaldo and Jurgen Klopp were praised by the World Health Organisation for "protecting people from coronavirus", former United States president Barack Obama hailed a host of NBA stars – including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zion Williamson – for donating large amounts to help support arena staff during the league's hiatus.

UFC superstar Conor McGregor labelled the pandemic "a stupid f****** virus", but later moved to clarify his aunt did not die after contracting the disease after previously suggesting as such.

And in more positive news, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe revealed his country still plan for the 2020 Olympic Games to go ahead in Tokyo, starting in late July.

The International Olympic Committee will have the final say, but ABE is confident the Games will be staged "without problem".

Jurgen Klopp, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba received a message of thanks from World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for "promoting health and protecting people from coronavirus".

The Ethiopian politician and academic paid tribute to the trio, along with others from the world of sport who have called for individuals to take responsibility for limiting the spread of the pandemic.

Ronaldo posted a message on Twitter in which he urged his followers to "follow the advice of the WHO", while Klopp told Liverpool supporters to "think about the vulnerable in our society and act where possible with compassion for them".

Pogba told his 39.7 million Instagram followers to "dab to beat coronavirus" - as part of advice to cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than hands - while he also shared WHO resources.

"Thank you Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool FC for your powerful message to the world," Ghebreyesus wrote on Twitter.

"Put people's health first, reduce risks, care for the vulnerable and compassion: this is the WHO way.

"We will win the fight against COVID-19 if we are working together.

"The WHO is grateful for the solidarity being shown by Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool FC, Alisson Becker, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, FIFA, Peter Schmeichel, Andrea Radrizzani, Romain Grosjean and others in the world of sport."

Neymar is back in the Brazil squad for their first World Cup qualifiers, but goalkeeper Alisson is missing despite only being ruled out for a week by Liverpool with a hip injury.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Friday that Alisson is set to miss the Reds' next two matches against Bournemouth and Atletico Madrid after sustaining a hip problem in training.

Klopp said the situation will be clear after next week, but Brazil have left him off their list for matches against Bolivia and Peru, to be played on March 28 and April 1, respectively.

Brazil coach Tite confirmed in his news conference Alisson has been excluded from the selection due to injury.

Neymar returns, however, after he missed their previous matches in November due to fitness issues of his own, though Tite seemed frustrated when asked about the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

"Hopefully all high-level athletes are at their best and that I have to answer 300 questions about why one player and not the other," he said.

"I want to have difficult decisions all the time, that everyone is in good form, Neymar included."

Notable inclusions are Bruno Guimaraes, Felipe and Everton Ribeiro.

Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is in line for his first cap, Felipe is hoping to get only his second and Flamengo's Everton Ribeiro has not represented the Selecao since the 2015 Copa America.

"In the case of Everton, he returns because he has great form in his creative process," Tite said. "Bruno Guimaraes had a great championship last year for Athletico Paranaense, we followed him in the Under-23s and in Lyon, this consolidates, strengthens.

"It is likewise with Felipe. We followed two games that were emblematic of Atletico Madrid, against Liverpool and Valencia."

Brazil squad in full:

Weverton (Palmeiras), Ederson (Manchester City), Ivan (Ponte Preta); Dani Alves (Sao Paulo), Danilo (Juventus), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain); Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Fabinho (Liverpool); Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Gabriel Barbosa (Flamengo), Everton (Gremio), Richarlison (Everton), Bruno Henrique (Flamengo).

Liverpool number one Alisson is the best performing goalkeeper in the Premier League according to a metric from Stats Perform.

Looking at clean sheets, goals conceded and save percentages only provides a limited analysis of a keeper's performances, as the metrics can be biased by team and defensive strengths.

The expected goals on target (xGOT) model moved things forward and provided a comparison to the performance of an 'average' keeper, but with each of them facing different shots it was difficult to compare the values.

By taking goals conceded away from the xGOT, Vicente Guaita is the best-performing keeper, preventing 6.6 goals (an xGOT of 29.6 minus the 23 goals he has conceded, excluding own goals), while Alisson has a differential of just 0.3 (an xGOT of 6.3 minus the six goals conceded).

The Stats Perform Goalkeeper Index, however, builds on the xGOT model, personalising the estimates to each keeper and simulating how they would perform over the exact same sample of shots.

On top of the start and end location of shots, the index considers a keeper's historic ability to make saves based on factors including shot destination (left, middle or right of the goal) and the angle to the shot trajectory (straight at them, to the left or to the right).

Premier League keepers have faced 2,108 shots this season and the Goalkeeper Index simulates how many goals every number one would have conceded against that set.

When looked at on a game-by-game basis, as well as in comparison to the league average, the impact becomes clear.

At the top of the Goalkeeper Index is Alisson, who is expected to prevent 0.58 more goals per game than the league average – putting him comfortably clear of Manchester City counterpart Ederson (0.27) in the rankings.

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris' back-up Paulo Gazzaniga (0.16), Manchester United's David de Gea (0.16) and Bernd Leno (0.13) of Arsenal round out the top five.

At the other end of the scale for keepers to play in at least 10 games, Southampton keeper Angus Gunn is expected to concede 0.50 more goals per game than the league average.

Alisson would therefore be expected to prevent 1.08 more goals per game than Gunn.

The Brazil international has conceded one goal every 214 minutes in the Premier League this season. If he maintains his form, he could break Petr Cech's record for minutes per goal conceded by a keeper in the Premier League (242).

Dreams of Premier League glory began to feel like an inevitability at Anfield as Liverpool beat Manchester United on a weekend that saw Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester City drop points.

Jurgen Klopp's side dispatched their old rivals with goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, leaving Reds supporters full of confidence after Burnley came from behind to beat third-placed Leicester 2-1 at Turf Moor.

There was a surprise result at St. James' Park on Saturday, Frank Lampard's Chelsea dominating for long periods against Newcastle United but succumbing to a late Isaac Hayden goal in a 1-0 defeat.

There were late goals at the Etihad Stadium, where Sergio Aguero thought he had won it with a brace, only for Fernandinho to put through his own net in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

The weekend's Opta data offers detailed insights into the stories behind those results, as well as Wolves' dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Southampton at St. Mary's.

 

ANFIELD FULL OF HOPE AFTER BACK-TO-BACK HOME WINS OVER UNITED

They are no longer saying it quietly: Liverpool fans firmly believe the title is theirs after watching their side beat United on Sunday.

The victory marked the first time Liverpool have claimed consecutive home Premier League wins over the Red Devils since winning three in a row between September 2008 and March 2011 and there was an air of invulnerability around Anfield at the final whistle.

Liverpool have taken 91 points from a possible 93 in their last 31 Premier League matches, winning 30 and drawing just one, while United have now lost nine of their last 16 top-flight away games (W3 D4 L9).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have failed to score in eight of those games and they gave Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson little to do despite creating a number of goalscoring opportunities.

Alisson kept himself busy by becoming the first Reds keeper to assist a Premier League goal since March 2010, when Pepe Reina laid on a goal against Sunderland.

 

 


LATE HAYDEN WINNER LEAVES LAMPARD'S BLUES REELING

Chelsea have lost as many Premier League games this season as they did in the entirety of 2018-19 after Hayden scored in the 94th minute to snatch victory for Newcastle over Lampard's inconsistent Blues.

Four of Chelsea's eight league defeats this season have come in their last eight matches and supporters making the trip to Tyneside had reason to be fearful of their side coming unstuck.

Chelsea have now lost five of their last seven top-flight trips to St. James' Park but defeats to teams managed by Steve Bruce have been a rare occurrence - this was only the second time he has beaten the Blues in 23 games against them as a manager (D5 L16).

Prior to Hayden's strike, Newcastle had not scored a last-minute winner since Ayoze Perez struck against Tottenham in December 2015.

It was Hayden's third Premier League goal and came in his 70th appearance in the competition, his last coming in February 2019 against Wolves.

 

POROUS CITY PAY FOR ERRORS AT THE BACK

City came from behind to lead with three minutes left in their clash with Palace but conceded at home in the Premier League for the 12th time this season as the Eagles secured a point at the death.

Pep Guardiola's men have now conceded as many goals at home in the league as they did in the whole of last season and this was their third draw of the 2019-20 season - in their title-winning campaign last term they only drew twice.

Aguero's double inside five minutes marked the Argentina international's 250th and 251st goals in all competitions for the club in his 360th appearance, but Fernandinho became the first City player to score a Premier League own-goal since Nicolas Otamendi against Huddersfield Town in November 2017.

The scoring was opened by new signing Cenk Tosun, who netted in the 39th minute to become the fourth Turkish player to reach 10 Premier League goals after Muzzy Izzet, Tuncay Sanli and Tugay.

Palace are ninth in the table after four consecutive draws - the last time they drew as many Premier League games in a row was in 1992-93 when they started the season with the same sequence.

 

WOLVES EMERGING AS COMEBACK SPECIALISTS

When Raul Jimenez scored from the penalty spot at St. Mary's he pulled Wolves level after they had been two goals down, but there was even better to follow for Nuno Espirito Santo's men.

Jimenez scored again in the 76th minute, taking his tally to 19 goals in all competitions this season and clinching three points for Wolves that means they have now picked up 18 from losing positions in the Premier League this season - seven more than any other side.

Falling behind after 15 minutes to a Jan Bednarek goal was nothing new for the visitors, who have conceded first in 16 league games this season including each of their last seven in a row.

But Jimenez has been directly involved in 28 goals this season and after Shane Long netted his 54th Premier League goal to make it 2-0 to the Saints, Pedro Neto scored for the second time in his last three league appearances to tee up the Mexico international for a memorable brace.

Jimenez now has 19 goals and nine assists to his name in all competitions this season, giving him more direct goal involvements than any other top-flight player in 2019-20.

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