Category: Champions League

Jurgen Klopp: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers ‘really bad injury’

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have suffered a “really bad” injury during Tuesday’s 5-2 Champions League win against Roma.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, was taken off on a stretcher in the 15th minute after appearing to hurt his knee when challenging Roma’s Aleksandar Kolarov.

When asked if he expected the player’s season to be over, Klopp replied: “Yes, that is how it is unfortunately. We don’t know yet but when all the medical department are concerned without a scan then you know it doesn’t look good. The season is not that long anymore.”

“I am a very positive person and hope it only feels bad but the reason I am not flying mood-wise tonight is because we lost a fantastic player. I am not in the mood to talk about fantastic things. Since I have been here Liverpool has always had to take the more difficult way but in the end Liverpool have always succeeded.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain has enjoyed an impressive debut season for Liverpool since joining from Arsenal for £35m last August, and made 41 appearances in all competitions, scoring five goals.

However, should the injury prove to be extensive it would put in doubt his availability for this summer’s World Cup, which gets under way on 15 June.

Reds full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold says the players will be determined to reach the Champions League final for the midfielder, if his injury is serious.

“Obviously we’re all gutted for him,” he said. “If he can’t play, we’ll be looking to secure the place in the final for him and the other lads who can’t be involved.”

Giorgio Chiellini says he is ready to swap shirts with Luis Suarez

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini says that he would swap shirts with FC Barcelona forward Luis Suarez if they come up against each other again.

Suarez bit Chiellini on the shoulder during a group game between Uruguay and Italy at the 2014 World Cup, resulting in a four-month ban for the former Liverpool striker from the game.

The suspension meant that Suarez missed the start of the 2014-15 La Liga season after signing for Barcelona that summer, and did not return to international football for almost two years.

However, the pair have since met in Champions League action for their clubs, and Chiellini has now revealedhat he disagreed with the severity of the punishment given to Suarez.

“I have met him since on the pitch and it was a pleasure, as he is a great forward and it always means a challenge,” Chiellini said. “I would like to swap jerseys with him.”

“His punishment was a pity, not being able to enter the stadiums was over the top. It was just to give an example because of the World Cup.”

Chiellini added that Spanish giants are favourites to win the Champions League with Manchester City and Bayern Munich also being in the running.

Although his team Juventus has reached two of the last three Champions League finals, they had been beaten by Spanish teams on both occasions; first by Barca in 2015 and then Real Madrid last year.

“We feel convinced we can do it, but you cannot deny that this has been the moment of the Spanish teams in the tournament,” he said. “City and Bayern are going well, the former in a more difficult league where there are always four or five challengers for the title.”

“But Real and Barca have something extra. They have both evolved in recent years, but they remain at the peak, and not just for Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Leo] Messi. [Pep] Guardiola’s Barca, for example, were intense in attack, and reacted immediately when they lost the ball. Now they are different, more solid, but they beat you just the same.”

Roberto Firmino: Liverpool will make Porto suffer

Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino says that the Reds could make Porto “suffer” in their Champions League last-16 first-leg tie.

The Merseyside club will play against the Portuguese club at the Estadio do Dragao in Liverpool’s first match in the knockout stages of the competition since 2008-09, after topping their group by scoring 23 goals, a record for an English club and a total surpassed only by Paris St-Germain’s tally of 25.

They were also one of four teams to remain unbeaten in this season’s Champions League group stages, alongside Tottenham Hotspurs, FC Barcelona and Besiktas.

“I don’t know if Porto are going to be afraid but we are going to make their life difficult and make them suffer,” said Firmino, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions, including six in the Champions League.

Midfielder Emre Can is suspended for the tie, although defender Joe Gomez has travelled with the squad after missing the last two matches with a knee injury and £75m record-signing Virgil van Dijk is also set for his first appearance in the competition for the club.

Keeper Loris Karius will be also be starting ahead of Simon Mignolet

Liverpool manager Klopp insists his side can compete with the continent’s elite after having beaten “Europe’s strongest football team” Manchester City 4-3 in the Premier League in January.

“I know it already, we can compete with them, I don’t have to look at them,” Klopp said. “Now we have to show that we are not only part of the competition, we are quite ambitious. That is how it is and we have to take it seriously.”