Steve Clarke wants Scotland to use their final Euro 2024 qualifiers against Georgia and Norway to regain their momentum ahead of the finals in Germany next summer.

The Scots initially suspected they might need positive results from their last two games in Group A to qualify so organised a warm-weather training camp in Turkey at the start of next week to give themselves the best possible preparation ahead of their penultimate fixture in Tbilisi on Thursday.

However, after a blistering start to their campaign, they sealed their place at the tournament with two games to spare, so their main priority in the upcoming camp is to spark an upturn in results after successive defeats against England, Spain and France.

“We’ll be doing something similar to what we did when we went to Moldova (in 2021, when they had a warm-weather training camp in Spain), so we’ll leave early, on Sunday night after the games, and we’re going to stop off in Turkey and have a couple of days of hopefully warm weather there to break up the journey,” Clarke said at a press conference on Wednesday after naming his squad for the double-header.

“We identified these two games – Georgia away and Norway at home – as crucial games in the qualification process, but credit to the players, they’ve already qualified, so the games are not quite as crucial.

“But when you strip it back, we’ve lost the last three games, so we want to pick up a little bit of momentum going into the tournament next summer, so these two games are very important for us.

“It will be good to come here to finish the campaign with a home game against Norway and hopefully a good performance.

“It will be a chance for the crowd to thank the players and a chance for the players to thank the crowd. It will be a bit of a poor night if we don’t win the game, so let’s make sure we win the game.”

The 2-0 defeat by Spain in Seville saw Scotland relinquish top spot in Group A on goal difference. Spain finish away to Cyprus and at home to Georgia.

“I think to finish top is going to be very difficult,” said Clarke. “As I sit here now, it’s difficult for me to see Spain dropping any points from their last two games.

“We’ll just focus on ourselves and, if we can finish on the same points as Spain and they manage to top the group by an unfortunate slip from Aaron Hickey in the 2-0 defeat by Spain in Seville, we’ll take that.”

Scotland are missing four established starters for this month’s double-header, with goalkeeper Angus Gunn, captain Andrew Robertson, and fellow defenders Kieran Tierney and Aaron Hickey all injured.

Rangers defender John Souttar and Millwall forward Kevin Nisbet are the other notable absentees following their recent fitness issues.

Uncapped duo Josh Doig and Robby McCrorie, both of whom have been in previous camps, have been included, along with Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston.

“This is probably the toughest it’s been in terms of injuries in the last year or so,” said Clarke. “I remember in September last year we had to go to Ukraine in the Nations League with pretty much a shadow squad, but we dug in and got the result required.

“That’s what we’ll do this time. We can talk about the ones who are not here, but I always prefer to talk about the ones that are going to be here, so fingers crossed there are no more injuries before the squad meet up on Sunday.”

With first-choice Gunn missing with an injury he sustained for Norwich against Leeds last month, Motherwell’s Liam Kelly and Hearts’ Zander Clark, both of whom made their international bows in the friendly defeat by France last month, will vie to make their competitive debuts over the next two games.

“Obviously one of them is going to get a chance to play in the games coming up, so it’s a big camp for them,” said Clarke. “They know they have to impress.

“They’ve been in a lot of squads so they understand it and know the expectation around them. Hopefully they train well and are ready to play.”

Clarke included uncapped Verona left-back Doig after he was initially named in Scot Gemmill’s under-21 squad this week.

“Josh is doing well in Serie A, playing pretty regularly for his club,” said Clarke.

“He’s a good, athletic player who gets up and down the line. It will be nice to see how he’s improved and how he fits into the camp since we last saw him last September.”

Clarke insists he has not allowed his attention to turn towards his final 23-man squad for the Euros just yet.

“It won’t be a headache, it will be a difficult choice,” he said. “There’s obviously going to be a lot of people that want to be there.

“For me, it’s about not thinking too far ahead to picking the 23 because as this camp shows, injuries can turn up at any time.

“There’s a long way to go before the final squad is picked. Every game between now and the squad selection for the Euros next summer is a chance for somebody to impress so hopefully they take their chances.”

Liverpool’s late show fired Jurgen Klopp’s men to the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 comeback win at Wolves.

Andrew Robertson and Hugo Bueno’s own goal saw the Reds escape Molineux with a victory which looked unlikely at half-time.

Hwang Hee-Chan’s early opener gave Wolves the lead as the hosts dominated and only a woeful miss by Matheus Cunha stopped them going further ahead.

Liverpool were wretched in the first half but slowly improved, levelling through Cody Gakpo before breaking Wolves’ resistance with four minutes left for a third comeback win of the season.

Boss Klopp had unloaded a new blast at the fixture schedule ahead of the early kick-off and his mood would have darkened just seven minutes in.

Vibrant Wolves had already begun to stretch Liverpool before they broke at pace from the edge of their own area.

Cunha sent Pedro Neto scampering down the left and the forward glided past the flimsy Dominik Szoboszlai and Joel Matip.

He had little support but rolled the ball across the front of goal for Hwang to slide in at the far post as Alisson failed to make the ground.

Manager Gary O’Neil promised Wolves had a plan to be aggressive and they continued to press with debutant Jean-Ricner Bellegarde a bustling presence, in contrast to the sloppy £60m Szoboszlai.

Neto was a constant menace, steering over Nelson Semedo’s cross before firing wide from 20 yards, with Liverpool shellshocked and unable to find rhythm.

If Klopp, who patrolled his technical area with typical gusto, expected a response he was found wanting. Gakpo was anonymous, Mo Salah timid and Diego Jota wasted their only opening of the half, firing over from 15 yards.

While masterminding Bournemouth’s escape from relegation last season, O’Neil oversaw a 1-0 win against Liverpool and the boss believes the Reds will challenge for the title again.

After three wins from their opening four games, he expected to see an improved Liverpool at Molineux yet for spells it was one-way traffic as Wolves dominated and should have doubled their lead after 33 minutes.

Again Neto was the architect, bamboozling Joe Gomez to cross for an unmarked Cunha, only for the striker to completely mistime his header from five yards to let Liverpool off the hook.

It was a glaring miss but the pedestrian Reds were unable to take immediate advantage, Gakpo slicing wide and nodding over.

There was, at least, a small spark from Liverpool before the break when Jose Sa spilled Jota’s cross to Salah, whose shot was blocked, with Sa then saving Szoboszlai’s follow up.

The fear for Wolves was Liverpool would not be that passive in the second half and Klopp responded by introducing Luis Diaz for Alexis Mac Allister.

It almost paid off immediately when the forward headed Robertson’s cross inches wide 90 seconds after the re-start – and the visitors levelled 10 minutes later.

Wolves were unable to rob Diaz and Gakpo on the edge of the box, with the ball eventually rolling for Salah to cross low for Gakpo to tap in from close range.

It was the striker’s final touch, Darwin Nunez replacing him, while Wolves’ good work was in the process of being completely undone.

From being in charge, the hosts had their backs to the wall and only a last-ditch block from Max Kilman stopped Nunez snatching the lead.

Yet the Reds struck with four minutes left after Sa gifted them a second.

The goalkeeper’s poor clearance was collected by Robertson mid-way inside the Wolves half. He advanced to dart into the area, swapped passes with Salah and finish under Sa.

There was still time for a third in stoppage time when Elliott’s 20-yard drive clipped Bueno to wrongfoot Sa and roll in off the post.

Constantine Hatzidakis will not face any punishment for appearing to aim an elbow at Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson, The Football Association (FA) has confirmed.

The incident occurred at half-time of Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday, with Robertson approaching Hatzidakis, an assistant referee, who then seemed to throw his arm up with a pointed elbow towards the Scotland captain.

The FA opened an investigation into the incident and said Hatzidakis would not be assigned to any games until it was completed.

On Thursday, it was confirmed that the official would not face any further action, with a statement reading: "We have thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence in relation to the recent incident at Anfield involving the Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson and match official Constantine Hatzidakis, and we will be taking no further action.

"Our comprehensive process involved reviewing detailed statements from Liverpool and PGMOL, as well as multiple angles of video footage, in relation to both the incident and its surrounding circumstances."

Hatzidakis also released a statement via the PGMOL, explaining that he had apologised to Robertson wanted to draw a line under the incident.

"It was certainly not my intention to make any contact with Andy as I pulled my arm away from him and for that I have apologised," Hatzidakis said.

“I fully assisted The FA with their investigation and have discussed the matter directly with Andy Robertson during an open and positive conversation. It was certainly not my intention to make any contact with Andy as I pulled my arm away from him and for that I have apologised.

"I look forward to returning to officiating matches."

Andrew Robertson warned Liverpool team-mates they cannot afford to make any more mistakes if they are to meet their minimum expectation of Champions League qualification.

The Reds have endured a disappointing season, with Jurgen Klopp's efforts not helped by a string of significant injuries to key players.

Last season, Liverpool won an EFL Cup and FA Cup double, reached the Champions League final, and finished just one point behind Premier League winners Manchester City.

However, this term has seen them fail to defend either cup crown, they were eliminated from the Champions League at the last-16 stage, and are facing an uphill battle to finish in the top four domestically.

Sixth-placed Liverpool are seven points behind Tottenham in fourth, and although the Reds have two games in hand on Spurs, so do Newcastle United, who only trail the north Londoners by a single point.

The underwhelming nature of Liverpool's campaign is not lost on Robertson, who thinks they are on their last life if they want to pip Spurs and Newcastle – they now face consecutive games against City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

"The motivations are the exact same," he told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to City. "We want Champions League football, and so the motivation is the exact same as though we were going for trophies.

"It is obviously a big week; we are playing against three big teams and it's going to be an intense week, but it's what you look forward to when you come to this club. These are the big games you want to be involved in.

"We don't want to be in this position, and…we don't really have time to waste, we don't have any mistakes left in us if we want to achieve top four."

He added: "[Expectations] have to be on the highest level when you play at this club – you don't get an option not to do that, the people around the club demand that. I think we do that, but we have just lacked a little bit of consistency this season.

"In the last five or six years, consistency is the one word that would be put next to our name, as we always showed up and even when not at our best, we still managed to grind out results. We haven’t done that this season, and we have to fix that."

Despite their issues this season, Robertson remains adamant Liverpool belong in the Champions League.

But he accepts the Reds cannot take qualification for granted.

"Going into April, not being in the Champions League, FA Cup or League Cup, and then not being in a title race is so disappointing – it's a position we don't want to be in.

"We are out of every competition, but we still believe we are a team that can compete in every competition.

"So to fix that, we have to be in these tournaments again next season, and the only way to do that is finishing in the top four.

"So we've got 12 games to fix it, and we are determined to put our all into those next 12 games."

Liverpool wanted a fresh start in 2023 but Andrew Robertson says the Reds have been "nowhere near good enough" this season and played "worse" since the World Cup.

The Scotland international captained Jurgen Klopp's side at Brighton and Hove Albion as Kauro Mitoma's last-minute strike dumped the FA Cup holders out in the fourth round.

Liverpool had taken the lead through Harvey Elliot before Lewis Dunk's fortuitous first-half equaliser paved the way for Mitoma's deserved late winner in Sunday's 2-1 triumph.

Klopp's men are out of both domestic cups and sit only ninth in the Premier League, having won just eight of their opening 19 top-flight games.

Having lost nine times already in 31 outings across all competitions this campaign, Robertson bemoaned Liverpool's abject performances that have continued after the World Cup break.

"This season has been nowhere near good enough," Robertson told ITV Sport.

"At the start of the year, we wanted a fresh start, but that hasn't happened – we've been worse. In the league, we haven't been good enough and now we're out of both cups."

The Reds' downfall may have appeared somewhat of a surprise after falling narrowly short of an unprecedented quadruple last term.

Liverpool missed out in the Champions League final to Real Madrid and saw Manchester City secure the Premier League title on the last day of the season, though they lifted the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

Sadio Mane's sale to Bayern Munich and Roberto Firmino's diminishing role should be factored in, while Mohamed Salah has failed to hit his usual lofty heights after scoring just nine goals in 19 league games.

Luis Diaz has been out injured after a promising first campaign at Anfield and signings Darwin Nunez and Cody Gapko are still settling in, yet Robertson struggled to explain why Liverpool continue to falter.

The left-back added: "It's really disappointing. You can't put your finger on one thing that's gone wrong. It's more than that. It's about trying to put a performance together where all these things click and that's proving difficult right now.

"You can tell we're not as confident in front of goal, and defensively we're still a wee bit open in certain areas.

"We were on the back of two clean sheets, which was positive, but today, two disappointing goals and they had a couple of big chances as well.

"We need to try and get the confidence back. It's easier said than done but that's the only way we can pick up results. You have to be able to score goals and you have to be able to keep clean sheets.

"We're not managing that just now and we need to do it. We keep saying that and it doesn't help the fans. I feel sorry for them, the way we're putting on a show for them just now.

"We let them down again and we're obviously disappointed to be falling out of the cup."

The Premier League is back, and in many ways, it felt like it never left.

A number of teams picked up where they left off for the World Cup in Monday's action, with leaders Arsenal securing a win against West Ham, though having to come from behind to do so.

Tottenham repeated their party trick of recovering from losing positions, though had to settle for a point at Brentford as Harry Kane kept up his superb Boxing Day record.

Liverpool came back with a hard-fought win at Aston Villa, with teenager Stefan Bajcetic scoring his first goal for the club, while Newcastle United blew away Leicester City in the first half at the King Power Stadium.

Stats Perform takes a closer look at some of the more interesting stats from the day.

Arsenal 3-1 West Ham: Gunners keep up record to fighting back against Hammers

Arsenal went in 1-0 down at Emirates Stadium at half-time after Said Benrahma's penalty, but came from behind thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah. It made it the eighth time they have come from behind to beat West Ham in the Premier League, more than they have against any other opponent.

Hammers boss David Moyes has now lost 15 Premier League away games against Arsenal, equalling Harry Redknapp for the most away defeats against a specific opponent in the competition (15 vs Manchester United).

In the presence of Arsene Wenger for the first time since he left the club, the Gunners won their 10th consecutive Premier League home game, the first time they have managed that since April 2019, while this is the first time they have done so while scoring two or more goals each time since November 2017.

Saka seems to enjoy his Christmas, as he has scored in three consecutive Boxing Day games (also 2020 vs Chelsea and 2021 vs Norwich City), the first Arsenal player to do so since Thierry Henry between 2002 and 2004.

Today was the second time Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard has provided two assists in a single Premier League game, with the other coming on Boxing Day last season against Norwich.

Brentford 2-2 Tottenham: Kane puts penalty woe bee-hind him

Following on from his agonising penalty miss in England's World Cup quarter-final loss to France, Kane kept his composure to plant a header past David Raya as Spurs came from 2-0 down to earn a point on Monday.

Kane has now scored more Premier League goals on Boxing Day than any other player in the competition's history (10), finding the net in all seven of his appearances on December 26, while he has also scored against all 32 teams that he has faced in the Premier League – the best such 100 per cent record of any player.

One thing that will concern boss Antonio Conte is that Spurs have conceded the opening goal in each of their last six Premier League matches; their longest run of conceding first in the competition since April 2014 under Tim Sherwood (also six). They have also conceded two or more goals in six consecutive league games for the first time since May 2003.

Brentford are now winless in their last 14 meetings with Spurs in all competitions (D5 L9), since a 2-0 home win in the second tier in March 1948.

Ivan Toney scored the second for the Bees, making him the first English player to register 30 goal involvements (23 goals, 7 assists) in his first 50 Premier League appearances since Jamie Vardy in 2015 (also 30).

Leicester City 0-3 Newcastle United: Almiron continues to fly

It was a fast start by Eddie Howe's men, going 2-0 up against Leicester inside seven minutes – the earliest they had been 2-0 up in a Premier League game since January 2007 (seventh minute v Aston Villa). In fact, it was the earliest a Premier League team had been 2-0 up on Boxing Day since 2010 (Manchester City v Newcastle, after five mins).

Leicester conceded three goals in the first half of a home league game for the first time since September 2003 against Manchester United.

Miguel Almiron picked up where he left off with a superb strike, and has now scored nine goals in 16 games in the Premier League this season, as many as he had scored in his previous four campaigns in the competition combined (nine in 110 appearances).

Newcastle have won six in a row in the Premier League for the first time since 2012 under Alan Pardew. In fact, the Magpies have won 21 Premier League matches in 2022, their most in a single year since 1995, when they won 23.

Howe is only the third English manager to win more than 20 Premier League matches in a single year (21 in 2022 so far), after Kevin Keegan (24 in 1994 and 23 in 1995 with Newcastle) and Roy Evans (22 in 1996 with Liverpool).

Aston Villa 1-3 Liverpool: Robertson provides historic assist

It has not been the best campaign so far for Liverpool, but despite a World Cup being sandwiched in between, this made it three consecutive Premier League wins for the first time since winning their final three games of last season.

Mohamed Salah both scored and assisted in the win, taking his totals to 125 goals and 50 assists for the club in the Premier League. The Egyptian is only the second player with 50+ goals and 50+ assists for the club in the competition, along with Steven Gerrard (120 goals, 92 assists).

Andrew Robertson provided the ball for Salah's fifth-minute opener, his 54th Premier League assist, making him the all-time leading assister among defenders in Premier League history, one more than Leighton Baines (53), while 10 of his assists have come for Salah, with only Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane providing more for him (12 times each).

Bajcetic came off the bench to seal the win, scoring his first Premier League goal for Liverpool aged 18 years and 65 days, making him their third-youngest Premier League scorer, behind only Michael Owen (17y 143d) and Raheem Sterling (17y 317d). Bajcetic is also the second-youngest Spaniard to score in the competition, behind only Cesc Fabregas in 2004 (17y 113d).

Another youth prospect, Ben Doak, came off the bench for Liverpool to make his Premier League debut aged 17 years and 45 days, becoming the youngest ever Scottish player in the competition's history, overtaking Nigel Quashie in 1995 for Queens Park Rangers (17 years, 163 days).

Jurgen Klopp is certain the goals will soon arrive for Darwin Nunez after his "exceptional" performance in Liverpool's Boxing Day win against Aston Villa.

Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Stefan Bajcetic got on the scoresheet as Liverpool returned to Premier League action with a 3-1 victory at Villa Park, where Nunez gave a tireless display.

Nunez led all players on the pitch for shots (six), attempts on target (four), expected goals (1.15 xG) and touches in the opposition area (12), but the striker failed to convert any of his four big chances. 

While some have criticised Nunez for his inconsistency in front of goal, Klopp has no concerns about the Uruguayan's progress.

"It's incredible, what a game he played," Klopp told Amazon Prime Video after the win, which put Liverpool within five points off the top four.

"Of course, he will score. I was in this situation very often with strikers, and everything will be fine. His game was exceptional."

Liverpool have now won three consecutive Premier League games for the first time this season, and Klopp was pleased with their ability to withstand strong pressure from the hosts.

"It was a top performance in a difficult game," Klopp said. "We played exceptionally in the first half, even though Villa had their moments. We were really good, I liked what I saw.

"In the second half we missed the last step a little bit. Aston Villa were pushing hard, that's normal in a home game. We knew that would happen. You have to get through these periods."

Salah converted a low cross from Andrew Robertson to open the scoring, as the left-back surpassed Leighton Baines to become the defender with the most assists in Premier League history (54).

Speaking to the club's official website, Robertson admitted he had been eyeing the record throughout the World Cup break.

"Full-back has evolved a lot and it's about going forward now as well as defending," Robertson said. "But first and foremost, I want to defend and things like that – but it's a big part of our game. 

"During the break I just wanted to try to get back and beat it. First game back, it's always nice. Look, I'm not really into individual things, I'm all for the team. 

"But when you do stuff like that and you're in the Premier League against some unbelievable defenders, it's always nice to put yourself at the top there."

Andrew Robertson surpassed Leighton Baines as the defender with the most assists in Premier League history by teeing up Mohamed Salah's early goal at Aston Villa on Monday.

Liverpool needed just five minutes to hit the front on their return to league action, with Robertson playing a key role by breaking Villa's offside trap to deliver a low cross for Salah to convert.

That represented Robertson's 54th Premier League assist – one more than former Everton and Wigan Athletic left-back Baines managed before his retirement in 2020.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – who sits third on that list with 45 assists – showcased his own vision for Liverpool's opener with a sublime pass to release his fellow full-back Robertson.

Robertson's assist was also his fifth in the Premier League this season, more than any other player has managed for Jurgen Klopp's side – Salah is second with three.

Andrew Robertson says Liverpool's players will "just focus on playing" amid talk of the Premier League giants being up for sale.

Fenway Sports Group is looking for outside investment to help pursue the club's goals, while also being open to the possibility of a full sale.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Robertson said he and his team-mates cannot be distracted by talk of a potential takeover, with the Premier League season set to resume following the World Cup, which concludes in Qatar on Sunday.

"Honestly, we just focus on playing football," he said. "Obviously you see the stuff in the press and you see stuff around potential new buyers or that the club has been put up for sale and things like that, but we can't control it.

"All we can do is play football, all we can do is control what is on the pitch. There's enough work on the pitch for us to not have to worry about anything else and yes, whatever else happens [with the owners] will happen."

Liverpool are on a warm-weather training camp in Dubai after a frustrating start to the 2022-23 season where they won just six of their 14 league games (D4, L4), only winning their first away game in the league at Tottenham in November.

After finishing one point behind Manchester City in the title race and losing 1-0 to Real Madrid in the Champions League final last season, Liverpool came agonisingly close to completing a unique quadruple, having won the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

However, they have already lost more league games this season (four) than in 2021-22 (two), and Robertson acknowledged they must rediscover their consistency if they are to recover their campaign, particularly away from home.

"I think over the past few years, one of the things you can say about this team is that we've been so consistent - we've just lacked that a bit this season," he said. 

"The setbacks have been too common for a team like us that people have become used to us not dropping too many points.

"Our away form has not been where it needs to be. Obviously away from home in the Champions League we did well at Rangers [7-1 win] and Ajax [3-0 win], but it's not quite been to the standard we need to be in the Premier League.

"Home games are important and we have to take care of those but to compete in this league, to go for the Champions League places or the league itself you need to be winning away games and we haven't quite done that.

"It's been a wee bit inconsistent, which isn't like us, and it's important now that we get that consistency back for the second half of the season. That's the only way we will get the points we need and start climbing the table.

"We're obviously not in a position where we want to be."

Andy Robertson described Liverpool's start to the season as "really poor" after the Reds failed to win any of their opening three league games for the first time in 10 years, insisting better results "need to come quickly".

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford handed Erik ten Hag his first league win as Manchester United boss at Liverpool's expense on Monday, as the Red Devils prevailed 2-1 behind a much-improved performance after losing their previous two games.

The defeat was Liverpool's first in the Premier League in 2022, with Jurgen Klopp's side having previously won 16 and drawn five of their league games this calendar year.

After coming from behind to claim draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace prior to visiting Old Trafford, Liverpool have now failed to win their first three games of a league campaign for the first time since Brendan Rodgers was at the helm in 2012-13.

Left-back Robertson knows Liverpool need to improve sharply, telling Sky Sports: "It's definitely not been the start to the season that we wanted, it's been really poor.

"We give every team a goal start which is the basis of the game, you can’t keep on giving yourself an uphill battle.

"We've conceded an early goal again, we've started slow again and that's what needs to change. We can't keep going one behind. Probably in the warm-up it was the quietest I have ever heard this stadium – they wanted something to lift them and we unfortunately gave them it and then they obviously got behind their team.

"Two points from nine is not the start that we wanted. We need to pick up our performances individually and collectively very quickly. We need to kickstart our season, that's for sure."

Having gone close to winning an unprecedented quadruple last campaign, Liverpool are already five points adrift of title favourites Manchester City after Pep Guardiola's men made an unbeaten start.

While Robertson insists the title race is not on Liverpool's minds, he knows there is little room for error moving forward, adding: "It's early on in the season but even if we were at the top of the league we wouldn't be thinking about the title race.

"We've always been consistent with that every season, you don't really think about it until you get closer to see where everyone's at.

"The start of the season is always a bit messy where you just try to find your feet. This season we haven't done it and yeah, we're not thinking about that.

"We need to get our first win on the board. We need to try to get ahead first in the game and try to put in a good performance, get our first clean sheet and get back to our basics.

"And if we can do that, that's the only way we will win games, it's as simple as that. We've always been a hard-working team, we've always been honest, we've always been passionate.

"We need to keep doing that, but we also need to be clinical in both boxes and if we do that I believe the results will come. But they need to come quickly."

Klopp echoed those sentiments in his post-match news conference, ruing Liverpool's injury problems but acknowledging they should be performing to a higher level.

"It's not the nicest thing to look at, that's clear, but it's our situation. Look, we can talk about all the things but in the end I saw tonight a game," Klopp said.

"So, during the week it is not easy because we have 15 senior outfield players, I think, in training. That's obviously not cool. But for the game tonight, I liked the line-up, saw good performances as well tonight.

"So, our situation is how it is. It's not perfect but good enough to play better tonight, and I think our situation is good enough that we could've won the game tonight if we would have played slightly better."

Klopp moved to play down his post-match confrontation with Bruno Fernandes after appearing frustrated by perceived simulation from United, adding: "It was not animated. It was the most harmless conversation I ever had, with a player who is as emotional as I maybe was!

"It was the situation with the centre-half, [Lisandro] Martinez, when he went down. He was talking to me and said, 'You would do the same', but I said, 'No, I cannot fall like this'.

"It was all fine after the game, he told me he needs these kind of conversations during the game and so I said, 'Fine, use me!'."

Cristiano Ronaldo faces an uncertain Manchester United future, but he stands to pass a string of landmarks if he stays and plays for Erik ten Hag this season.

Tottenham's Harry Kane, set to captain England at the World Cup later in the year, is chasing a significant club landmark.

And guess who will join Mohamed Salah in bidding to set an opening-day career goals record.

Of course, it's......  Jamie Vardy.

As the new season gets under way on Friday, Stats Perform looks at the records and milestones coming into view.

KANE, RONALDO, HAALAND: TARGETS IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF THE BIG GUNS

What role Ronaldo has to play remains in the balance, given he appears keen to leave United for a second time.

But if the 37-year-old features for the Red Devils, he can begin to chase down landmarks. For starters, he is just four victories short of having had a hand in 150 United wins in the Premier League, having drawn 43 times and lost 37 while a member of the team across his two Old Trafford spells.

Ronaldo is a mere six goals away from becoming the first player to amass 500 goals in Europe's top five leagues. His record 494 goals to date have come from 616 league matches. On his heels, however, is perennial rival Lionel Messi, once of Barcelona and now at Paris Saint-Germain (480 goals in 546 league games).

Kane is 17 away from hitting the 200-goal mark in the Premier League, a total only ever achieved by Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208). Sergio Aguero (184) and Andy Cole (187), third and fourth on the Premier League era list, are poised to be knocked down a peg as Kane continues his assault on the league record.

Both Leicester City's Vardy and Liverpool's Salah will be looking to equal or break the Premier League matchday one goals record, which is currently held jointly by Shearer, Frank Lampard and Rooney (eight goals). Vardy and Salah have seven each, like the retired Teddy Sheringham and Aguero.

Manchester City new boy Erling Haaland has caused a sensation with his goalscoring wherever he has played, dazzling for Molde, Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund and Norway. He could become the seventh Norwegian to score on his Premier League debut, and the third to do so in the opening game of a season, after Tore Andre Flo for Chelsea in 1997-98 and Adama Diomande in 2016-17 with Hull City.

DESERVES A LONG SERVICE MEDAL

Liverpool's James Milner, fresh from signing a new one-year contract, is 12 short of reaching 600 Premier League games. Only three players have reached that mark to date: Gareth Barry (653), Ryan Giggs (632) and Lampard (609).

Milner made his Premier League debut for Leeds United as a 16-year-old in November 2002, so a 20-year anniversary is approaching for the former England midfielder.

David Moyes was already a Premier League manager by the time Milner made his first appearance. At Everton then, he has done the rounds since and is a mere two games away from completing 1,000 matches in all competitions as a manager in English football.

Now at West Ham, Moyes looks to be at the opposite end of his touchline career to Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager who is one away from bringing up his first 50 wins as a Premier League boss.

STICK AROUND LONG ENOUGH...

Only six teams have been constant members of the Premier League since its first year in 1992-93. Completing the first 30 seasons without suffering the indignity of relegation have been Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal. Sooner or later, all sorts of landmarks arrive for these league lynchpins.

Arsenal have lost 249 Premier League games and headed into Friday night's season opener against Crystal Palace under threat of becoming the 13th side to lose 250. They would have had the longest wait to lose 250, however, having already played four games more than Chelsea, who took the longest (1,148 games) of those to have reached the not-so-desirable milestone.

Tottenham, another of those stalwart sides, are just five away from becoming the fifth team to score 1,000 goals at home in the competition (Manchester United 1,214, Liverpool 1,156, Arsenal 1,154, Chelsea 1,121).

Chelsea are 27 shy of 2,000 goals, home or away, having plundered 1,973 in their 1,152 games to date.

Aston Villa and Newcastle United are both 12 short of losing 400 Premier League games. Only West Ham (408) and Everton (414) have lost more games than those sides, who will hope to avoid spilling over that barrier this season.

West Ham are four away from reaching 1,000 Premier League games, while promoted Nottingham Forest are two away from 200.

MAKING UP THE NUMBERS

Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson needs one assist to become only the second defender to register 50 Premier League assists, after Leighton Baines (Wigan, Everton). Robertson has 49, with Baines managing 53 across his career.

Aston Villa veteran Ashley Young and Tottenham new arrival Richarlison are two shy of reaching 50 Premier League goals, while Newcastle's former Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is four away from 50 clean sheets in the competition.

Brighton and Hove Albion are two away from 50 wins, with Aston Villa four short of 300 draws, a tally that only Everton (320) have reached.

Southampton need four victories to reach 100 away wins, and Aston Villa want four three-pointers on the road to reach their 150 wins. Leicester, on the other hand, are four away from 150 Premier League away defeats. Brendan Rodgers will hope to fend off that landmark until well into the new campaign.

Andy Robertson insists Liverpool had no concerns over Darwin Nunez after the Uruguayan hit four goals in a pre-season thrashing of RB Leipzig, as he urged fans to be patient with the Reds' new striker.

Jurgen Klopp defended Darwin from criticism after he failed to score in Liverpool's first two pre-season outings, but the new recruit put in a terrific performance against the Bundesliga outfit.

The former Benfica striker scored four times after coming on as a half-time substitute in a 5-0 win in Germany, including a hat-trick within 20 minutes of entering the action.

Speaking to the club's website after that victory, Robertson urged patience as the €75million arrival settles in on Merseyside. 

"It always takes time to get used to new signings. We've all been through it ourselves, so it's no different," the left-back said.

"Maybe there's outside pressure on him in terms of the fee and everything like that, but to us it doesn't matter. People have come in on small fees, big fees, it doesn't matter. 

"We know they have to take time to get used to our system, get used to our style of play, to get used to how we want them to play and things like that.

"He's adapting, he's getting fitter, he's getting stronger – like all of us are in pre-season – and he needs time to adapt. Today will do him a world of good. Today will give him a lot of confidence in terms of in front of goal and everything, which is obviously so important for a striker. 

"So, [we're] delighted about that and we don't have any worries about him. It's just about having a bit of time with him, having a bit of patience, and we've got that and hopefully the Liverpool fans have it as well."

Meanwhile, Liverpool's latest pre-season outing came on the fifth anniversary of Robertson joining in an £8million move from Hull City.

Robertson has made 161 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining, a tally only bettered by Mohamed Salah (180), Sadio Mane (169) and Roberto Firmino (165) in that time, while only Salah (46) has bettered his tally of 45 league assists since July 2017.

Looking back on his five years at Anfield, the Scotland international expressed pride at following in the footsteps of compatriots such as Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness in winning silverware at Liverpool, as he targeted bringing up a decade with the club.

"On that day it was a huge honour for me to sign for the club," he recalled. "A lot of people said that the club don't really win stuff without Scottish players, so obviously when I signed then I wanted to achieve it. 

"We've obviously got a long history of Scottish players playing for this club, legends in their own right, and the fact I can be a part of this club, it meant a lot that day and it still means a lot now. So, hopefully many more years to come.

"Five years have flown by. It felt like yesterday that I was signing and it's crazy that that time has passed. I'm a wee bit older, a wee bit wiser now, certainly look a bit older now than the day I signed! 

"It's amazing playing for this club, I don't want it to end, I want it to continue for as many years as I can. But five years is incredible but now I look to the next five. I'm always one to look forward and hopefully we can achieve a lot more things."

Andrew Robertson conceded Scotland "didn't really show up" after their 3-1 defeat to Ukraine in Wednesday's World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final.

The tie at Hampden Park was delayed from March due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and it was an emotional evening for all concerned in Glasgow.

Yet Steve Clarke's team ultimately failed to match not only the visitors' intensity, but also their quality, with only some poor goalkeeping from Georgi Bushchan allowing Scotland a way back into the game.

Indeed, Scotland were fortunate not to have conceded more, with Craig Gordon pulling off fine stops early on and making five saves in total, while Artem Dovbyk spurned two golden chances to put the result beyond doubt before finally doing so in stoppage time.

While Ukraine will now switch focus to playing Wales in Cardiff on Sunday, with a place in Qatar the prize on offer, Scotland must lick their wounds before taking on Armenia in their opening Nations League game on June 8.

"Hugely disappointing. We've waited a long time for this game," Liverpool full-back Robertson told Sky Sports after another big game failed to go his way after the Reds' Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last week.

"Our performances beforehand had been really good and to be honest we didn't really show up.

"Ukraine settled into the game a lot quicker than us and then it kind of continued really. We knew they were probably going to get tired and that was the case but we gave ourselves too much of an uphill battle.

"We didn't play the way we wanted to play, that's the most disappointing thing. It's passed us by now. After a positive campaign, we've let ourselves down.

"We have to hurt, have to reflect, tomorrow's a new day. We've got the Nations League, we have to try and push.

"That's the World Cup gone for us for another four years, that's really hard for us because we all have dreams of trying to play in that big tournament and we didn't put in a performance that justified that."

Scotland were unbeaten in 12 home games at Hampden Park coming into this match (W8 D4), meaning Ukraine have ended their longest unbeaten run on home soil since the 1970s, when they went 16 such matches without defeat.

"We have to stick together, we know there'll be scrutiny coming our way and we know we'll be under fire, but inside we have to stick together," Robertson added.

"As a group we've made massive strides in a couple of years, there'll be a time to take perspective of that, but tonight's not that night. We have to dust ourselves down, go again."

Scotland have failed to qualify for any of the last six World Cup tournaments since appearing at the 1998 edition. Between 1974 and 1998 they missed only one of seven tournaments.

Andrew Robertson says the organisation of the Champions League final was a "shambles" after there were chaotic scenes outside the Stade de France on Saturday.

The kick-off for the showdown in Paris was delayed by over half an hour, with UEFA putting the delay down to turnstiles being blocked at the Liverpool end of the stadium by thousands of fans who had purchased fake tickets.

A message on the big screen inside the ground had claimed the game was unable to start on time due to "the late arrival of fans".

Police used tear gas to try and disperse the crowds outside the stadium before a final that ended in a 1-0 victory for Real Madrid courtesy of Vinicius Junior's second-half goal.

Liverpool defender Robertson says the scenes prior to kick-off were not acceptable.

He told BBC Sport: "One of my mates got told it was a fake which I assure you it wasn't. It was a shambles really."

UEFA vowed to further review the matters with French police and authorities and the French Football Federation.

Robertson added: "To be honest people were just making it up at times and panicking. Tear gas getting thrown at people was unacceptable.

"It was horrendous for our fans and all families that have been through it as well. It wasn't a nice experience, not a nice final to come to. The Champions League should be a celebration but it wasn't that.

"Obviously the final wasn't meant to be here and whether the preparations were not as good as maybe they should have been but I am sure in the coming days an inquest will go into that."

Andrew Robertson described Liverpool's players as "devastated" by their Champions League final loss to Real Madrid, as Vinicius Junior's winner condemned the Reds to a heartbreaking reverse in Paris.

The Brazil winger's 59th-minute goal ensured Madrid repeated their 2018 final win over Liverpool to earn their 14th European crown, while only Juventus (five) have now lost more Champions League finals than the Reds (three).

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp has now lost more finals in the competition than any other coach (three), and despite winning the EFL Cup and FA Cup after penalty shoot-outs, Liverpool have failed to score a single goal in five and a half hours of football in major finals this term.

Having threatened a quadruple after embarking on a brilliant four-front trophy hunt this season, Liverpool only have the domestic cups to show for their efforts after also missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Robertson said the Liverpool dressing room was a sombre place following the narrow reverse, admitting his side had not reached their highest level at the Stade de France.

The Scotland international also hailed Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after he put in a remarkable performance to keep out the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

"Obviously it's quiet, devastated – that's what happens when you come to finals and don't win," Robertson said of the atmosphere among the Liverpool ranks.

"We had chances, we came up against an unbelievable goalie tonight, he pulled off some unbelievable saves. But if we're being honest as well, I think we could have played a bit better, especially in the second half. 

"I thought first half we played well, we were in control, we were the ones pushing. Second half, we didn't start great, they started getting a hold of the game a bit more. 

"When you come up against an experienced team, they know how to win finals. Once they got their noses in front, they showed that."

Liverpool dominated for long periods in the French capital, attempting 24 shots across the contest.

That tally is the most a team have mustered without scoring in a Champions League final since records began (in 2003-04), and Liverpool were punished for their failure to break the deadlock when Vinicius turned home from Federico Valverde's cross.

Robertson was left to rue Madrid's counter-attacking excellence after the loss, also praising the LaLiga champions for their ability to see out the lead.

"We're a pressing team, we try to press from the front, and it's worked so much for us this season," he added. 

"We were trying to win the ball high up, and obviously they've ended up breaking, and then we've been caught at the back post, and next minute it's in the back of your net. That's football for you, and you have to deal with that. 

"Obviously it's hard to get back into the game when you're playing against a very experienced team in these finals, they know exactly how to see out a game. 

"We had our chances, but it just wasn't meant to be."

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