Trent Alexander-Arnold praised Jurgen Klopp's ability to get the best out of players after the full-back's starring role in Liverpool's 3-2 victory over West Ham.

The runaway Premier League leaders had to overcome a second-half deficit on Monday to clinch an 18th-straight Premier League triumph, equalling Manchester City's competition record in the process.

Alexander-Arnold played a key role in the winner, setting up Sadio Mane in the 81st minute, having already provided the cross for Georginio Wijnaldum's early opener at Anfield.

The 21-year-old's two assists against the Hammers takes him up to 25 in the Premier League, a tally only Cesc Fabregas and Wayne Rooney reached at a younger age than the defender.

"There are instructions from the manager, there is a game plan and a way we have to play," Alexander-Arnold explained on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.

"Not every game is the same. The opposition set up differently, meaning there is different tactics we have to do. But the manager gives us freedom, he understands the players' qualities.

"That's massive for us. It gives us that freedom to go and express ourselves as much as possible.

"We are an attacking side. We want to create chances and be scoring goals, be hurting opponents. The best way of that is to get players forward and create as many chances as possible."

Local lad Alexander-Arnold thanked the Anfield crowd, as well as his boss, admitting the home support had helped to inspire the second-half comeback.

"We've dominated the game and tried to create as many chances as possible, but we're happy with the win, that's the main thing," he said. "But there are a lot of things to get right.

"The fans were massively with us, especially when we went behind. It's a massive help to have fans like that.

"For us, we just try to keep going, that's the mindset drilled into us by the manager. It paid off in the end."

Jurgen Klopp praised Liverpool's attitude after they had to "squeeze it" to get the better of West Ham in a five-goal thriller at Anfield.

The table-topping Reds went ahead early on through a Georginio Wijnaldum header, only for their struggling opponents to threaten an almighty upset.

After Issa Diop levelled just 174 seconds after the opening goal, substitute Pablo Fornals – who replaced the injured Tomas Soucek early in the second half – had West Ham ahead, the midfielder turning in Declan Rice's cross.

However, Lukasz Fabianski gifted the hosts an equaliser when he allowed Mohamed Salah's shot to squirm through his legs, with the goalkeeper then also caught out of position for Sadio Mane's 81st-minute winner.

"I liked a lot how we started. We scored a wonderful first goal, but then we weren't good in second-ball situations," Klopp told Sky Sports. "We struggled in this situation and that gave West Ham a good feeling.

"They could win the second ball from the goal-kicks and for us that was difficult. We lost a little bit of patience in the first half in the things we did, offensively you could see this a little bit.

"They scored the second goal and I have to watch back how that happened. Then we were forced to stay calm and do the right stuff.

"All the goals we scored were strange. The best one we scored didn't count because Sadio was offside. But you have to squeeze it, and that's what we did tonight to get the three points. It is so special."

Klopp was pleased at how his team responded to adversity when 2-1 behind, allowing them to rally and clinch a record-equalling 18th straight Premier League win.

That tally matches the achievement of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side between August-December 2017, while the Reds are now just four victories away from clinching a first league title in 30 years.

"The set-pieces brought us back tonight, getting the momentum back again – because we had a couple one after another," Klopp said. "You need to have different ways.

"There were so many things we could do better but to reach this number of games, you cannot be brilliant all the time. We just try to make the best of what we have.

"I am pleased with the attitude we showed. The crosses were a bit too hard from Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold but we had super situations, so all okay."

Liverpool were made to work to clinch a record-equalling 18th-straight Premier League win on Monday, needing a second-half rally to see off struggling West Ham 3-2 at Anfield.

Sadio Mane scored in the 81st minute to secure three more points on the march to a first title in 30 years, though they were made to work hard against opponents struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Jurgen Klopp's runaway leaders took an early lead but benefited from a nightmare outing for Lukasz Fabianski to match Manchester City's streak of victories in the competition.

It appeared set to be business as usual for the Reds when they claimed a ninth-minute lead on Merseyside, Georginio Wijnaldum nodding them in front.

The Dutchman stooped to convert Trent Alexander-Arnold's inviting cross, Fabianski only able to paw the ball into his net.

Home fans responded to the goal by chanting, 'We're going to win the league' – only to be quickly silenced by an equaliser at the Kop end.

Issa Diop met Robert Snodgrass' corner at the near post and his header squeezed beyond Alisson, meaning Liverpool’s advantage had lasted for a mere 174 seconds.

Substitute Pablo Fornals – on for the injured Tomas Soucek – then put West Ham ahead in the 54th minute, providing a well-placed, first-time finish when picked out by Declan Rice's cross.

Yet with David Moyes perhaps contemplating a first Anfield win in his managerial career at the 16th attempt, Fabianski's struggles continued.

Having just produced a spectacular save to tip away a drive from Alexander-Arnold, the usually reliable goalkeeper allowed a drive from Mohamed Salah to spill between his legs and cross the line.

The comeback was complete for Liverpool when Fabianski's ill-advised decision to come out and meet Alexander-Arnold allowed the full-back to clip a bouncing ball back inside for Mane to turn home.

Mane had a second goal ruled out by VAR for offside, but Liverpool were still able to celebrate a 21st successive home triumph, an English top-flight record they share with the legendary Bill Shankly's side from 1972.

Erling Haaland has taken the world by storm since joining Borussia Dortmund in January.

Already stunning Europe with his exploits for Salzburg, Haaland has scored 12 goals in eight appearances as a Dortmund player.

Now, Real Madrid could be about to come sniffing in their pursuit of goals.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND AN OPTION FOR MADRID

Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland could be a cheaper alternative for Real Madrid instead of Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, writes Marca.

Mbappe has long been linked with a move to Madrid, where Zinedine Zidane is a keen admirer of his fellow Frenchman.

However, 19-year-old Dortmund recruit Haaland – whose €75million release clause is set to kick in next year – has emerged as an option for Madrid, with PSG set to demand a mammoth fee for Mbappe.

 

ROUND-UP

- Reports linking Inter star Lautaro Martinez to Barcelona are gathering steam and Calciomercato says the LaLiga champions want to start negotiations by May. Madrid and Manchester United are also reportedly interested.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Barca are keen on signing Valencia centre-back Hugo Guillamon, according to Sport. The 20-year-old will be available on a free transfer at season's end.

Bayern Munich are interested in RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano but Kicker claims the Bundesliga champions believe he is too expensive at €60m. Upamecano has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham, Barca and Madrid.

- Remaining in Munich and Kicker also says Bayern are unconvinced by the €100m price tag of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz, whose admirers include the likes of Liverpool and United.

Jurgen Klopp admitted success helped Champions League titleholders Liverpool attract players, but it also made completing signings harder.

While they hold a 19-point lead atop the Premier League, Liverpool have been linked with moves for numerous players, including RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

Klopp is unfazed by suggestions his team are the world's best, but said it could help with signings.

"It's easier if players see you as that. If they see you are successful, it's easier to get into talks with players," he told UK newspapers.

"But on the other side, it's more difficult the better your team is because they ask questions like, 'where and when would I play?'

"We need players who want to be part of this, who want to fight for their spot, who want to make the next step together with us, who want to develop and improve so that's it.

"We have these players and whoever wants to join us needs to have exactly this kind of attitude."

Liverpool are still unbeaten in the Premier League ahead of hosting West Ham at Anfield on Monday.

Klopp said finding the right players to add to his side, who were Champions League winners last season, was difficult.

"The age group of the team is good in the moment. In two or three years, maybe it'll be different but for the moment, it's good," he said.

"It depends on what you want. Is it a good age for selling? Probably not. But is it a good age for performing? Yes.

"So there are a lot of things we have to think about. It's an interesting period."

Timo Werner has once again spoken positively about a potential move to Liverpool, labelling Jurgen Klopp the "best coach in the world".

RB Leipzig forward Werner has been heavily linked with a switch to Anfield after starring in his club's push for a maiden Bundesliga title.

The 23-year-old, who has scored 27 goals for Leipzig in all competitions this season, said on Wednesday he was "very proud" to be linked with European champions Liverpool.

Werner has now talked up the runaway Premier League leaders once again after scoring in a 5-0 thrashing of Schalke on Saturday, a victory that kept Leipzig just a point behind Bundesliga front-runners Bayern Munich. 

"Jurgen Klopp is the best coach in the world," Werner told Sky Germany.

"There is a lot to suggest that my style of play would suit there [Liverpool]."

The Germany international did insist his focus was strictly on his current club for the remainder of the campaign.

"I'm not worried about that [a move to Liverpool], because we have so much to do with Leipzig," he added.

"It's difficult to think about where to play next year. You have to worry about it after the season. Inquiries come in, you don't have to lie that it is so."

After dominating European football for over a decade, could Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shelve their rivalry and come together as team-mates?

David Beckham might be the man to make it happen.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder appears to have ambitious plans for his new MLS franchise.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI, RONALDO WANTED AT INTER MIAMI

Barcelona captain Messi, 32, and Juventus talisman Ronaldo, 35, will end their careers on the same side if Inter Miami co-owner Beckham gets his wish, according to the Mirror.

The newspaper claims the new MLS outfit are "already thinking big" and could look to lure football's two biggest superstars to the United States.

LA Galaxy have also been linked with a move for Messi but Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath believes Beckham's pulling power has the potential to create a dream attacking duo.

“For Ronaldo and Messi, the two obvious destinations if they came to the MLS would be Los Angeles and Miami," Heath told the Mirror.

"And, with his links to both players and the plan Beckham and his backers have in place, I can really only see them going to Miami."

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- Manchester United are set to launch a £50million bid for Wolves forward Diogo Jota, scorer of a Europa League hat-trick on Thursday, reports the Express.

- United have also been linked with Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham but the Red Devils are set to face competition from Liverpool, according to the Daily Star.

- Serie A leaders Juventus are at the front of the queue for Paul Pogba but Paris Saint-Germain also hope to land the French star, reports Le10 Sport.

- PSG, meanwhile, are planning for life after Thomas Tuchel, who is said to be in talks with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. L'Equipe claims the Ligue 1 champions could look to replace him with either Massimiliano Allegri or Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi.

- Premier League clubs Sheffield United, Wolves and Burnley are showing interest in Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, suggests the Sun.

Diego Simeone sees no problem with Atletico Madrid's players celebrating their victory over Liverpool, though insisted he has not let his squad get carried away.

Atleti will take a 1-0 lead back to Anfield after Saul Niguez's early goal gave them a win in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against the Premier League leaders and defending European champions.

Clips were subsequently shared on social media following Atleti's win of their players celebrating the triumph during a recovery session.

This is no issue for Simeone, though the Argentinian – whose side sit fifth in LaLiga ahead of Sunday's clash with Villarreal – left little doubt that his team must keep their feet on the ground.

"I have always said that extremes are bad," Simeone told a news conference when asked about the criticism Atleti had received for celebrating their win, with Liverpool defender Andy Robertson having suggested the Spanish side were acting as if they had already won the tie.

"There are no extremes in the locker room. We have seen that people lived with the negative results and when we see positive results the opposite happens.

"But we know that LaLiga is long, that the Champions League is very hard and the balance is in maintaining consistency.

"In the same way that I am saddened by defeats, we must celebrate the victories. Liverpool was a first half. The second one remains."

Joao Felix has been included in the squad for Sunday's match and Simeone is thrilled to be able to have his record signing back in the group.

"What excites me is that they are all in the squad. That generates internal competition," Simeone said.

"When Joao Felix and [Diego] Costa have been away, [Angel] Correa and Vitolo played and this generated a lot of internal competition.

"It also happened with [Jose] Gimenez and [Stefan] Savic, with Felipe and [Mario] Hermoso. This internal competition generates growth and improvement."

Manchester City's Champions League ban could have some serious consequences.

While City are planning to appeal UEFA's two-season suspension from European competition after an investigation found the club broke financial fair play regulations, rivals are circling.

City's stars are reportedly attracting interest from far and wide.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA EYE BERNARDO SILVA

LaLiga champions Barcelona are targeting Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, according to the Transfer Window Podcast.

The report comes following City's Champions League suspension handed down to the Premier League giants by UEFA.

City team-mate Raheem Sterling has already been linked to Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Madrid are ready to make a move for Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga. The 17-year-old has starred for the Ligue 1 outfit and is reportedly valued at €70million.

Paul Pogba has also been linked to Madrid but Goal claims he could be offered a new contract by Manchester United, who expect the Frenchman to leave at the end of the season. Former club Juventus are also reportedly tracking the midfielder.

Paris Saint-Germain are looking to either Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri or Massimiliano Allegri amid uncertainty over the future of Thomas Tuchel, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Lille defender Gabriel is being monitored by Arsenal, Everton, PSG and now Leicester City, according to Le10 Sport.

- The Mirror says Arsenal are set to raise transfer funds through the sale of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and potentially Matteo Guendouzi as the Gunners eye Valencia's Carlos Soler and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.

The cheekiness of a 10-year-old Manchester United fan's request for him to make Liverpool lose prompted a response from Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.

Daragh Curley, an Irish United supporter, wrote to Klopp asking him to halt Liverpool's stunning march towards a first Premier League title.

"I hope I have convinced you to not win the league or any other match ever again," Curley said, with United's rivals 22 points clear at the summit.

While Klopp insisted he could not grant the plea, the former Borussia Dortmund coach sent a reply.

"As much as you want Liverpool to lose, it is my job to do everything that I can to help Liverpool to win, as there are millions of people around the world who want that to happen, so I really do not want to let them down," he wrote.

Klopp said Curley's letter was a good idea when asked about the exchange in a news conference on Friday, although he was slightly disappointed the private message had been widely reported.

"I can't answer all the letters, and I get a lot," he said. "It was just nice, it was nice, it was cheeky. We had time that day, so I read the letter and I replied.

"It's how the world is now that it's a private thing, I get the letter, I respond, and the next day it's in the newspaper. I don't like that too much, but all fine.

"I have no problem with supporters of other clubs. I know it's a free world so we can choose our club. I don't think everybody has to be a Liverpool fan.

"I like working for Liverpool and I like the rivalry we have, but I love even more if we can keep that on the pitch. Apart from that, they can be happy and we should be happy.

"I hope Daragh is now happy. He looked it on the picture I saw later.

"He's 10 years old. It came all together - he's cheeky, 10 years old, which I think is a nice age to start being cheeky.

"It was smart, as well. I thought it was a good idea. Try it, why not?

"We try to respond to as many as possible, but it's just not possible. At the moment, we're obviously in a positive period. That means the letters are pretty much all friendly, but we still cannot reply to all of them.

"I think the people know that, they write, 'I know you cannot respond'. I read them, nearly all of them.

"I do not open them - someone reads them before and gives them to me, so there are probably a few that are not that nice that I don't see. But that's all cool."

Jurgen Klopp believes the pain of a rare defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday showed Liverpool are a successful team.

The Reds have not been beaten in the Premier League all season, dropping points only once in a draw against Manchester United, and lead the table by a remarkable 22 points as they close in on a first top-flight title since 1990.

Klopp's men have their work cut out to defend their European crown, though, after going down 1-0 to Atleti at the Wanda Metropolitano in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Liverpool return to Premier League action against West Ham on Monday, yet the disappointment of their loss - compared by Klopp as going "from sunshine to hardest rain" - is a motivating factor as the leaders aim to bounce back.

"[The West Ham game] is to put things right, just not in the [same] competition," Klopp told a pre-match news conference on Friday.

"Yes, we lost the [Atletico] game, and there was absolutely no positive in it - we lost the game. But it's important, if there's any help in that result, that it was a defeat and it felt like a defeat.

"It felt after the game like a defeat, it felt the next morning like a defeat. There was nothing, 'Oh, but in the league we are like this'.

"What we said after the game, 'It's not done yet', is the truth. But it's not like we say, 'Anfield alone will sort it'. We have to put a proper performance in.

"Atletico showed obviously a lot of passion, desire, stuff like this, for the result. They were fighting for the result, 100 per cent.

"But to put it right is to get the other feeling back, the other feeling I don't think we have lost, about how a win feels.

"We won a few games and now we lost it, and the difference is massive. It's much more than three points. It's really from sunshine to hardest rain - and that's how it should be.

"If you really want to be successful, if you could be successful, if we could have been in that game, then it has to feel really bad.

"So yes, we have to put things right, even when it's a different competition."

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool feel "lucky" captain Jordan Henderson has only been ruled out for three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Henderson sustained the problem in Liverpool's Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat to Atletico Madrid in midweek.

However, rather than ruling the England international out of the run-in as Liverpool look to secure their first Premier League title and a second consecutive European crown, the relatively mild issue should see a return in mid-March.

Henderson, who is considered to be among the contenders to be named PFA Player of the Year, appears set to miss the second leg against Atletico at Anfield on March 11.

The Reds have favourable-looking league fixtures coming up against West Ham, on Monday, Watford and Bournemouth, although they also play Chelsea in the FA Cup and visit Merseyside rivals Everton immediately after the Atletico game. Henderson could well return for the derby.

"It could have been worse. We all know it was a hamstring thing," Klopp told a news conference of Henderson on Friday.

"There are a lot of different hamstring injuries around in the Premier League - Harry Kane, for example, stuff like that. It's not that bad.

"He will be out for three weeks or so, which is not cool. But how we see it is that we're lucky."

While Henderson's absence is a significant setback, Klopp feels Liverpool are well-stocked in midfield, although Xherdan Shaqiri is "not close to team training".

"Hopefully nothing else happens," the manager added. "Hendo is exceptionally important, not only football-wise but for some other reasons as well that hopefully everybody knows.

"Yes, we still have options there. That's good. There's a chance for all of them, but there would have been a chance anyway. Hendo would not have played all the games from now until the end of the season.

"It's a position where we can react, so we will react."

Liverpool have a 22-point lead at the top of the league with just 12 games remaining, but Klopp suggested he was not looking to rest players against West Ham in order to prevent further injuries.

"I could [make changes] because, apart from Hendo, all the other boys are fit," he said. "But Tuesday to Monday, there is absolutely no need to do it. That's longer than we usually have.

"We will see who will start and stuff like this, maybe there will be changes, but not because of the Atletico game."

Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus is reportedly wanted by Serie A giants Juventus.

Jesus, 22, has struggled for regular game time since arriving at City from Palmeiras in early 2017.

And Juve may be prepared to take the Brazil international to Turin.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS WANT MAN CITY'S JESUS

Juventus want Jesus in a €69.9million (£58.5m) move, according to The Sun.

The report adds the Serie A champions also want Mauro Icardi, who is on loan at Paris Saint-Germain from Inter.

Jesus has scored 36 goals in 90 Premier League games for City, but just 48 of those have been starts.

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- With his contract at Real Madrid ending in 2021, Sergio Ramos seemingly wants a new deal. AS reports the Madrid captain, 33, wants a further two years on his deal, but the LaLiga giants are not keen to offer it.

- Paulo Dybala looks likely to re-sign at Juventus. CalcioMercato reports the playmaker is getting closer to a renewal with the club with his current contract expiring in 2022.

- Amid Liverpool's reported interest in RB Leipzig star Timo Werner, Roberto Firmino has been linked with a stunning move to Bayern Munich. However, Goal reports the Premier League leaders' front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Firmino are "going nowhere" at the end of the season.

- Newcastle United remain keen to sign Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare. Le 10 Sport says the Premier League club are continuing to press for the 20-year-old to make the move after being unable to get a deal done in January.

- Arsenal are eager to re-sign Bukayo Saka. The 18-year-old, who has impressed at left-back, is in talks over a lucrative long-term deal, according to The Times.

Wilfred Ndidi has been ruled out of Leicester City's Premier League clash with Manchester City on Saturday.

The midfielder has missed his side's past two games - draws with Chelsea and Wolves - due to a knee problem.

Manager Brendan Rodgers says he will not rush Ndidi back to face the champions and risk any setbacks in his recovery.

"Wilf won't be available for the weekend," Rodgers told reporters on Thursday. "He's still in a process to try and get fit, so we'll see how he is next week. I'm not sure.

"He's doing work inside, but you then have to progress that to outside and then when he can join the team. It's another intensity to join the team and then to play.

"We just want to make sure he's right because he's such an important player for us. It's about the long term, too. There's no timeline on it. We'll see how he progresses."

Ndidi's absence presents Rodgers with a problem in midfield, with Hamza Choudhury suspended for the game against Pep Guardiola's side and Nampalys Mendy also out with a knee injury.

"They're three excellent players and obviously we have to find a strategy and a plan to come up with a game that can see us try and get three points," he said.

"Wilf has obviously played more, but all three give you that defensive solidity, which is important for any team. They're not available, so we can't worry about that."

Rodgers went on to distance Leicester from an approach for Adam Lallana, who is expected to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

"I've seen a lot of stuff around Adam and that we've approached Liverpool, which isn't the case," said Rodgers, who signed the player for Liverpool from Southampton in 2014.

"He's at the stage of his contract where he will have options."

Leicester, who are third, go into the game four points behind Manchester City in the table, having only won three of their past 10 league games.

Inter Miami have their sights set on a big-name signing, with Lionel Messi reportedly among the possibilities.

With David Beckham among their owners, Inter Miami are preparing for their debut MLS season beginning next month.

Messi has been linked with the MLS club previously and those rumours are persisting.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI STILL A TARGET FOR INTER MIAMI

Barcelona great Messi is among the stars who could sign for Inter Miami, according to OKdiario.

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric and Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani are also possibilities, the report says.

Messi reportedly bought an apartment in Miami in December, while he can leave Barcelona for free at season's end despite being contracted until 2021.

ROUND-UP

- Juventus have other plans should Paul Pogba not return to the club from Manchester United in the close season. Sport reports the Serie A giants are considering a move for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, whose contract expires next year.

- Barcelona will announce Leganes striker Martin Braithwaite as their latest signing on Thursday, according to AS, which reports the LaLiga club are set to pay €18million for the Denmark international.

- Linked with RB Leipzig star Timo Werner, Liverpool are seemingly considering their options. Bild reports the European champions are tracking Milot Rashica, the 23-year-old who has scored 10 goals in 21 games for struggling Werder Bremen this season.

- Hansi Flick's future is unclear. Bayern Munich will wait until May to make a decision on the head coach, who has attracted interest from other clubs, according to Bild.

- Could Adam Lallana be set for a reunion with Brendan Rodgers? Sky Sports reports Leicester City have approached the Liverpool midfielder's representatives about a move at season's end. Lallana and Rodgers worked together at Anfield and the 31-year-old is coming out of contract.

- After an initial move for Marcos Alonso in January failed, Inter are still considering the Chelsea left-back, according to CalcioMercato. However, the report says the Serie A giants are unwilling to pay Chelsea's asking price of €30m (£25.1m).

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