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.

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson insists his rivalry with Liverpool counterpart Alisson only exists on the pitch, despite competing with each other on multiple fronts.

The pair have battled it out for domestic and European honours during their time in English football, while also vying for the number one jersey with Brazil.

Ederson has played second fiddle to Alisson on the international stage, but the 26-year-old believes their intense on-field competition can only be considered a positive.

"I think it's a good sign for all the goalkeepers in Brazil and for the country," he is quoted as saying by several British newspapers.

"You look at Europe and you find two great goalkeepers playing at high level in two of the best clubs.

"I have a good relationship, not only with Alisson, but also with [Roberto] Firmino and Fabinho.

"When we have a day off in the same day, we sometimes gather, we have a barbecue.

"It's difficult with our routine and the amount of games to have the same day off, but we have done it few times before. Our rivalry is only on the pitch."

Ederson claimed bragging rights when City won a clean sweep of domestic trophies last season, including the Premier League title after finishing a point ahead of Liverpool.

The reigning champions are 11 points worse off than the Reds after playing a game more this time around, but Ederson is refusing to give up on a third straight top-flight crown.

"We know the gap is big, but we need to carry on with our job," he said. "We need to keep giving our best on the pitch, trying to win game by game. 

"We know it's going to be very difficult. Liverpool are having a great season, but in football anything can happen. We need to be ready for any outcome."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson says playing in Saturday's Club World Cup final against Flamengo will be a "dream come true".

Champions League winners Liverpool face Copa Libertadores holders Flamengo in a blockbuster clash at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

The Reds are out to win the trophy for the first time, but Brazil international Alisson acknowledged sides hailing from his own country put greater importance on the competition.

Speaking at Friday's pre-match news conference, the ex-Internacional stopper said: "I still watch Brazilian football, especially my former club, and Flamengo are a joy to watch.

"I'm excited to be playing in the Club World Cup final - it is a dream come true. I was a young boy at 14 when I watched my club Internacional win it in 2006 as a fan.

"Now I'm here with this opportunity to win it with Liverpool.

"It's big for Brazilians, but I think it's bigger for the people playing in it. People on the outside don't give value to this competition because it's limited just for the winners."

Alisson produced a number of important saves in the 2-1 semi-final win against Monterrey, keeping Liverpool on course for a maiden triumph in the annual showpiece.

The 27-year-old, named the best goalkeeper in the world earlier this month, is keen to write his name in Anfield folklore by lifting the trophy this weekend.

"Flamengo won the Copa Libertadores and we won the Champions League while many other clubs won big competitions too and that's why we are here," he said.

"We are making this big for us, because this is important to put our name in the history of the club, that this is the first time ever that Liverpool will win it and we do our best."

Flamengo beat River Plate 2-1 in the Copa Libertadores final on November 23 and were crowned champions of their domestic league 24 hours later.

Alisson is expecting a difficult test, adding: "They have shown how good they are by winning the Brazilian league, which is difficult to win. It is a great competition and they play really good football.

"In their last game there were more than 10,000 Flamengo supporters, but this is not just big for them, it's big for us also. We want to win it and we will try to do our best on the pitch."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has said he is "honoured" to have written his name in football history after being awarded the Yachine Trophy at the 2019 Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris.

The Brazil international capped a memorable year for club and country by becoming the first person to win the accolade, given to the best keeper in the world over the past 12 months.

He won the Champions League with Liverpool in June and the Copa America with Brazil the following month, while also claiming the Golden Glove in the Premier League last season with 21 clean sheets.

Having seen off competition from Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ederson of Manchester City to come out on top, Alisson was quick to thank his team-mates for their help.

"I'm so honoured to win this prize," he told reporters. "I believe that, beyond receiving this trophy, there's the fact of being the first one in the history. 

"I guess I wrote my name in football history. Not only me but with the help of God, my family, my team-mates - this is always very important to say. I'm so honoured to be here tonight along with great players."

Alisson ranked seventh in the main Ballon d'Or award, which was won by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for a record sixth time.

Jurgen Klopp hailed the contribution of substitute goalkeeper Adrian to a "special win" after Liverpool beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 despite the late dismissal of Alisson.

Two first-half headers from Virgil van Dijk put the Premier League's runaway leaders on course for a routine success on Saturday, but Liverpool ended up hanging on at Anfield after Alisson was sent off in the 76th minute for handling outside his penalty area.

Adrian was caught out from the resulting free-kick as Lewis Dunk drilled the ball home with the keeper out of position and still setting up his wall.

However, the hosts still claimed three points - equalling their record unbeaten top-flight run in the process - as Adrian denied Aaron Mooy and then avoided embarrassment by regathering the ball after a weak Pascal Gross header had squirmed out of his grasp.

"I'm pretty sure Virgil, of course, with the two goals is probably man of the match, but Adrian is for me man of the match," said Reds manager Klopp.

"Because coming in, in a game like this, and making two saves. One was tricky. And even the goalie kicks, of course, are difficult and anybody who ever did that with completely cold feet, it's just not possible.

"We should have probably done that differently but we were not prepared for that situation, so I am completely happy."

Klopp was seemingly less enamoured that Dunk's goal stood, adding: "I think when you have a little bit of sense for human beings, you don't do it like this.

"It was very clever, of course, of Brighton, but a goalie is coming in, setting the wall, trying to get in contact with the players, and they are all trying to settle a little bit and get used, in a second, to each other.

"He [the referee] let it go like this. He's happy with that and I cannot change it but for me it's not 100 per cent right."

Liverpool's determination not to drop points did delight Klopp, who said: "The boys threw everything on the pitch. I love that. It's unbelievable how much the boys want to win and so it made it a really special win.

"Brighton are a really good football-playing side. They had a lot of possession. We had to work really hard against that and I love that the boys were ready to do that in such an intense week." 

The result means Liverpool are 11 points clear at the top of the table, albeit Leicester City can cut that lead when they face Everton on Sunday.

Talk of diving and tactical fouls has only added fuel to the fire as Liverpool and Manchester City face off in a mouth-watering top-of-the-table Premier League clash at Anfield.

The unbeaten league-leading Reds needed an 87th-minute header from Andy Robertson and an injury-time winner from Sadio Mane to defeat Aston Villa 2-1 last time out and preserve a six-point cushion over City.

Champions City needed to rally themselves to overcome Southampton, after which manager Pep Guardiola stoked the fires by saying of Liverpool's star forward Mane: "Sometimes he [Mane] is diving. Sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute. He's a talent."

It was a suggestion Klopp bridled at and, although Guardiola later sought to clarify the meaning of his comments, Liverpool's German boss could not resist a cheeky jibe at past accusations his rival's side commit "tactical fouls".

It has undoubtedly added an intriguing sub-plot ahead of one of the most eagerly awaited Premier League matches in recent memory as Liverpool seek to significantly boost their bid to end a near 30-year wait for top-flight glory.

Last season, Liverpool lost just once in the league but still missed out by a solitary point to City, who it is fair to say have failed to excel when playing at Anfield.

 

PEP'S KLOPP HOODOO ENDING?

Guardiola's record would stand up against any coach he has faced, but in Klopp he undoubtedly has a genuine rival.

Since becoming Barcelona boss in 2008, Guardiola has lost more matches across all competitions against the former Borussia Dortmund coach than any other manager, with the German triumphing on seven occasions.

City's Catalan boss is unbeaten in his past three encounters with Klopp; however, never before has he gone four games without losing against him.

In the Premier League, there is no splitting the duo with Guardiola and Klopp holding two wins apiece and a couple of draws from the six times they have faced one another in the competition.

Klopp should take solace from some home comforts. Five of the seven wins he holds over Guardiola have come when his team have been at their own stadium, including three with Liverpool at Anfield.

Under Guardiola, City have failed to score in just six of 62 Premier League away games and three of those have come on Merseyside – two against Liverpool and once against Everton.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: ALISSON V EDERSON

Alisson and Ederson are not just rivals for the gloves at international level with Brazil, they are also crucial to the way Liverpool and City play.

The Reds forked out a reported £66.8million to sign Alisson from Roma in July 2018 and that outlay was repaid during a fine Golden Glove-winning debut season that yielded 21 clean sheets and saw just 22 goals conceded.

Injury has restricted Liverpool's first-choice keeper to just four league outings this term, including the opener against Norwich when he was subbed off with a calf problem, and he has an impressive minutes-to-goals-conceded ratio of 103.

Crucial to modern-day goalkeeping is the ability to play out from the back and Alisson brings that to the Reds, boasting a passing accuracy of 83.9 per cent.

Ederson has been equally crucial to City's domestic dominance under Guardiola, winning the Premier League title in his first two campaigns at the Etihad Stadium, including a league, FA Cup and EFL Cup treble in 2018-19.

This term, he has kept five clean sheets in 11 league appearances, conceding 10 goals and possessing a save percentage of 74.4.

As expected, Ederson's passing accuracy is high – 90.1 per cent – and he will have to be typically quick with his feet against the brilliance of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

FORM GUIDE: ANFIELD A FORTRESS FOR LIVERPOOL

Liverpool are unbeaten in 28 consecutive Premier League games, which represents the eighth best streak in the competition's history.

At Anfield, Klopp's side are on an even more impressive run having not tasted defeat on home soil in 45 league games – only Chelsea's 86-game run that ended in October 2008 can beat that.

City will have to go some to prevent Liverpool from finding the back of the net, with the Merseysiders scoring in 20 straight league matches – the last time they failed to register was a goalless draw with Everton in March.

Guardiola's side have lost two of their last seven league games, having been beaten just once in 23 prior to that, but they have won 13 of their past 15 away matches.

Liverpool only have one win from their most recent five league encounters with City – a 4-3 triumph at Anfield in January 2018 – but have not lost at home against the Citizens since May 2003.

Impressively, Liverpool have taken a league-high 10 points from losing positions already this season, winning their last two Premier League games despite conceding first – they have never achieved the feat in three straight matches in the competition.

HISTORY SAYS...

Liverpool have a formidable home record against City, losing just one of their last 28 games at Anfield against this Sunday's visitors – the lone defeat being a 2-1 setback in May 2003.

Indeed, their most recent 16 encounters with City at Anfield have returned 11 wins and five draws.

However, Liverpool's only defeat in their past 50 Premier League games against all opposition came against Guardiola's side in January.

City should be wary of the fact Liverpool have won more Premier League games against reigning champions (21) than any other team in the competition's history, last losing a home match in such a circumstance against Manchester United in December 2007.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson is annoyed at the amount of "stupid" goals Liverpool have conceded this season.

Jurgen Klopp's side have amassed three clean sheets in 18 matches this term and are without a shutout in their past seven games in all competitions.

Aston Villa's Trezeguet became the latest player to breach Liverpool's defence after being left completely unmarked to steer home John McGinn's free-kick on Saturday.

The European champions recovered from that setback to win 2-1 at Villa Park, but Alisson is frustrated his side are having to do things the hard way.

"It annoys me always when we concede," he told reporters. "Stupid goals! When we concede that way, it annoys me and the team. 

"We always have a common goal to win the game and keep a clean sheet. You are closer to the victory with a clean sheet and you always have a draw.

"When you concede, the games become more difficult. We need to work better than that if we want to do great things."

Alisson has failed to keep a clean sheet in all four matches since returning from a 10-week lay-off due to a calf injury, including in last month's 4-1 Champions League win against Genk.

The Belgian club travel to Anfield on Tuesday and Alisson demanded an improvement from his team-mates.

"We can do better in our concentration. Against Genk we conceded late on, so this annoyed me and the team. We need to keep our focus," he said.

"We need to learn from these moments to make sure it does not happen again."

Liverpool boss Klopp can understand Alisson's frustrations, adding at Monday's pre-match news conference: "For me, it is more important the other team don't create. 

"If a team score with one shot, it is not nice but it is something we can't work on. Ali is annoyed without clean sheets, but he is happy as everyone when we win games. We have to score goals."

Mohamed Salah could return for Liverpool against Genk on Wednesday after returning to first-team training.

The Egypt star has been sidelined with an ankle injury sustained during the 2-1 Premier League win over Leicester City and missed the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

Manager Jurgen Klopp said the forward could not have been risked for the game at Old Trafford as he had not yet resumed team training.

However, Salah was involved in the section of training open to the media at Melwood on Tuesday as Liverpool prepare for their trip to Belgium.

It means the 27-year-old is likely at least to be ready for next Sunday's Premier League clash with Tottenham at Anfield.

Liverpool are a point off the top in Group E after two matches, having lost 2-0 to Napoli before beating Salzburg 4-3 on matchday two.

David de Gea passed a late fitness test and was named in Manchester United's starting line-up against Liverpool, who welcomed Alisson back from injury but were deprived of Mohamed Salah for the clash at Old Trafford.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer picked De Gea after the goalkeeper recovered from a groin problem picked up while on international duty for Spain, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka was passed fit in defence while Paul Pogba missed out in midfield.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp handed Alisson his first start of the season after he recovered from an ankle injury, with Adrian dropping to the bench.

"Mo was not ready, he could not train with the team so I don't know where it came from, people saying he could play. Pretty much no chance for today, maybe for Wednesday [against Genk in the Champions League] we have to see," Klopp told Sky Sports.

"It’s a difference but not a massive difference if we cover it well. Mo makes the runs in behind so we have to cover these runs with somebody else.

"We played before without Mo, we don’t want to do it but it was clear we would have to do it at some point over the season. Today is the day we have to do that. We knew it for a few days so we could train for it.

Klopp had hoped Salah would bounce back from an ankle injury sustained in the Reds' victory over Leicester City but he missed out, and Divock Origi started alongside Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in attack for the league leaders.

Liverpool have received a double fitness boost ahead of the trip to face Manchester United, with Alisson Becker and Joel Matip returning to training.

Goalkeeper Alisson has been sidelined since injuring his calf muscle in the victory over Norwich City on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Matip suffered an injury setback in the 1-0 win over Sheffield United and missed the home matches with Salzburg and Leicester City.

However, both took part in training at Melwood on Tuesday, with the Reds heading to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's side sit top of the table with an eight-point lead over nearest rivals Manchester City. 

Jurgen Klopp confirmed Alisson returned to full first-team training on Thursday but did not commit to starting the Brazil goalkeeper against Leicester City on Saturday.

Alisson sustained a calf injury against Norwich City in Liverpool's season opener, suffering the problem while taking a goal-kick in the 4-1 triumph.

Adrian – a free transfer in pre-season – has since deputised and generally been solid, ensuring the Reds still have the joint-best defence in the league with Saturday's visitors Leicester, both letting five goals in.

Klopp revealed Alisson was back with the rest of the group following a period of solitary and goalkeeper-only training.

He is yet to make a decision on whether the former Roma man will play against Leicester, though Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri are definitely out.

"With Alisson it is still 'maybe, maybe not'," Klopp told reporters on Friday. "Yesterday [Thursday] he trained with the team for the first time.

"He looked really good, but we will see. We have to talk to different people before I make a decision about that.

"Joel looks good but he is not ready for [Leicester], and Shaq [Shaqiri] no. After the international break they are all pretty much back on track."

While Klopp stressed there is no necessity to risk Alisson, he does accept training works differently for goalkeepers, meaning he could feature if needed.

"It's different, yes, but the good thing is that Adrian did well, so we don't feel pressure," Klopp added. "We don't have to rush it. Alisson has been training for 10 days, now he is in team training.

"I have to talk [with the medical staff]. I have had a lot of meetings because Mike Gordon [president of Liverpool's ownership group, Fenway Sports Group] is in town, I haven't had chance to think about the goalkeeper situation.

"But I will do that after the press conference and I will make the call."

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