MATCH REPORT: Liverpool reignited their top four hopes by ending their losing streak with a vital 2-0 victory at rock-bottom Sheffield United.
- 2nd Half
- Bryan (o.g.)64'
Sheffield United - Liverpool
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- End of 2nd Half
FT: Sheff Utd 0-2 Liverpool. Jones and an own goal from Bryan see Liverpool stop a run of four straight defeats to move to within two points of fourth place. Sheff Utd remain rock bottom and 15 points shy of 17th place.
Three minutes added.
SAVE! The hosts almost have one back. Burke gets in-behind the Liverpool defence, but Adrian is quickly off his line and manages to make a block.
Are Liverpool set to claim a first clean sheet in eight away matches?
Sheff United are huffing and puffing but it's hard to see them rescuing it despite Liverpool's makeshift defence having a few nervy moments in the match.
Liverpool look set to end a four-match losing streak, while the Blades will stretch their run of losses to four. That great escape is looking highly unlikely.
- OffCurtis JonesLiverpool
- OnNaby KeïtaLiverpool
LIVERPOOL CHANGE: Keita on for Jones.
- OffJohn FleckSheffield United
- OnBilly SharpSheffield United
SHEFF U CHANGE: Sharp on for Fleck.
How did that stay out? Salah arrives at the far post to meet Robertson's devilish delivery, but somehow fails to find the net.
Liverpool's match at home to Chelsea on Thursday is looking like a massive one in the context of both of their top four hopes.
- OnJames MilnerLiverpool
LIVERPOOL CHANGE: Milner on for Thiago.
Robertson rifles just over from the edge of the area after Jones had failed to collect Firmino's pass.
Bad news for Bobby Firmino.
As it stands, Liverpool will move to within two points of fourth-placed West Ham.
VIDEO: Firmino makes it two.
Burke turns on the after-burners to easily motor beyond Phillips. He cuts in from the left byline but then thrashes a shot straight across the six-yard box from a narrow angle. A cut back would have been the better option.
That second goal came at key point for the visitors as the Blades were just starting to pose more of a threat.
- Own-goalKean BryanSheffield United
GOAL! Firmino exchanges passes with Jones and Mane before tip-toeing into space in the area and firing a deflected shot beyond Ramsdale.
STAT: A win for Liverpool today will be a 5th in a row in the league against the Blades – for the first time ever.
The resulting corner is only half cleared but Norwood skews his first-time 20-yarder well wide.
That's a fine recovery challenge from Kabak. McBurnie catches the defender napping and charges into the right side of the area, but he waits to pull the trigger and Kabak pinches it off his toe.
CLOSE! McBurnie puts his hands to his face after flashing a header wide from Norwood's delicious right-wing cross.
- OffDavid McGoldrickSheffield United
- OnOliver BurkeSheffield United
SHEFF U CHANGE: McGoldrick off, Burke on.
- OffPhil JagielkaSheffield United
- OnBen OsbornSheffield United
SHEFF U CHANGE: Jagielka off, Osborn on.
CLOSE! Alexander Arnold is given far too much space to dance into the area and fire just wide of the near post. It looked like it took a deflection, but the referee gives the goal kick.
VIDEO: Jones opens the scoring.
Mane thinks he has made it two with a clinical dink - but the flag is rightly raised for offside. No need for VAR there.
Ramsdale gets down to his right t keep out Jones's header from another TAA cross.
VAR did check the goal as it looked like TA had run out space to get his cross back from the byline. Not all of the ball had gone over the line though, so it stood.
- GoalCurtis JonesLiverpool
GOAL! Jones coolly fires into the far corner from 13 yards out after Alexander Arnold's wonderful run and cross was diverted into his path.
- 2nd Half
KICK OFF! Liverpool get us back underway.
- End of 1st Half
HT: Sheffield United 0-0 Liverpool.
For all the talk about Liverpool's defence, their attack hasn't been lethal for a long while. It's cost them a fair few games recently. Will it happen again here? Ramsdale is doing his best to ensure it does!
Wijnaldum leads a Liver[pool attack once more. He feeds it wide to Robertson on the overlap, but his fizzing cross deflects kindly for Ramsdale to pluck it out of the air.
Quite bizarre that Firmino opted to try and square the rebound instead of just burying it in the net. Sheff Utd aren't complaining, mind you.
Ramsdale is at it again! This time he denies Wijnaldum. Liverpool are wondering how they aren't ahead here.
Sheffield United think they have scored - but the flag saves Liverpool! McBurnie makes his run in-behind a fraction too early, but Kabak panics as he looks to get back and ends up flicking the ball into his own net. It is offside and Kabak sighs with relief!
VIDEO: Ramsdale keeps denying the champions.
Alexander Arnold raids down the right. He fakes the cross and cuts inside past Stevens. The Liverpool right back pulls the trigger with his left-foot drive, but once again Ramsdale denies the visitors with a superb save.
STAT: Liverpool have scored just one first-half goal in their past 10 league matches.
Ramsdale once again thwarts Liverpool. Salah charges on to Firmino's flick. He uses his pace to surge into the right of the area, but sees his effort from a narrowing angle blocked by Ramsdale's leg.
A left-wing corner is cleared only as far as Thiago, but his first touch is poor and he clumsily barges into Ampadu. The Blades man takes a knock but should be okay to continue. Thiago will be disappointed not to have controlled and got a shot off there.
Fleck's delivery is missed by McBurnie and Mane wins the battle for the loose ball near the corner flag. Liverpool break at speed but it comes to nothing in the end.
Thiago needlessly nudges McBurnie in the back 35 yards from goal. It's very slightly left of centre.
Jones almost gets on the end of Alexander Arnold's delightful cross, but Ramsdale is quick off his line once more to avert danger. Brave goalkeeping.
Ramsdale races to the far left of his area to gather Mane's probing pass towards Firmino.
Adrian pushes McGoldrick's deflected strike from 25 yards round his left-hand post. McBurnie won a long ball far too easily to set that up from Liverpool's point of view.
Cracking action image.
STAT: Sheff United have only kept one league clean sheet this season.
That is the biggest criticism of Firmino's game. He's clear there and needs to be deadly. Too often his finishing lets him down.
WHAT A SAVE! Aaron Ramsdale produces a stunning stop to keep out Firmino's low strike after the Brazilian had raced clear following a fortunate ricochet.
STAT: Liverpool haven't managed a shut out in seven away matches and have conceded 13 goals in that time.
SAVE! Adrian has his palms stung by McGoldrick's firm header from the resulting free kick delivery. Replays suggest he was probably offside, but Adrian didn't know that.
Phillips makes a silly challenge on McGoldrick on the far right. Free kick to the hosts in a dangerous position.
Liverpool are looking lively in the early exchanges. Plenty of hungry blocks from Klopp's men.
Will Mane make his mark on an important night and cap the 150 milestone in style?
Head to head in the league at Sheffield United: Liverpool 18 wins, United 27 wins, 15 draws. /// Overall: Liverpool 58 wins, United 36 wins, 27 draws.
- 1st Half
KICK OFF! Sheff United get us underway.
Liverpool are bidding to avoid losing five back-to-back top-flight league games for the first time since September 1953.
DID YOU KNOW? All seven of McGoldrick's career Premier League goals have been scored against the established top-six sides.
Chris Wilder on hoping to move on from his November spat (over the number of PL substitutes allowed) with Jurgen Klopp: "The relationship is absolutely fine. I've got nothing but admiration for Jurgen, he's a top-class manager. He's an incredibly talented manager, he's a winner and we all try to win. He has done that in incredible fashion."
As we build up to this one, why not catch up on some of the latest gossip relating to transfer rumours? Liverpool featured in one of our recent Euro Papers videos.
Andy Robertson: “Obviously we have lost a lot of key players in key positions, and it has really been tough to adapt. But we get paid to play and paid to do what we do, and we need to get back to doing it to the highest level possible. I’m determined to do that and so are the rest of the lads that are fit and still able to play.”
Jurgen Klopp: "I don't think it is time for a massive rebuild like how I understand it: six, seven out, running contracts but trying to get rid of them and bring in all the new faces. The squad of this year didn't have the chance to play together one time really. I think it would make sense to have a look at that but on top of that, of course little readjustments will happen.”
A side-note ahead of the action - Lee Mason has been replaced as the fourth official for this clash; a day after being involved in a hugely controversial incident.
David McGoldrick on former Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster – on the bench tonight - who has yet to net a PL goal for the Blades: “He’s 20, he’s not fully developed yet. The club are working hard with him in the gym and in training, getting him used to how we play, and the physical aspect of it…. There is not a better finisher I’ve seen at 20 and when he starts hitting the net, he won’t stop.”
Sheffield United make two changes too. Oliver Norwood replaces the injured Chris Basham and David McGoldrick comes in for Billy Sharp.
Liverpool make two changes from their 2-0 loss at home to Everton. Diogo Jota's long-awaited comeback has been delayed due to illness.
CONFIRMED TEAMS – SHEFF UTD: Ramsdale, Ampadu, Jagielka, Bryan, Baldock, Norwood, Lundstram, Fleck, Stevens, McBurnie, McGoldrick... Subs: Foderingham, Sharp, Mousset, Lowe, Burke, Osborn, Brewster, Ndiaye, Maguire. /// LIVERPOOL: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Thiago, Jones, Salah, Firmino, Mane… Subs: Ojrzynski, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri, Origi, R Williams, N Williams, Hughes.
Hello and welcome to LIVE updates of rock-bottom Sheffield United’s clash with out-of-form champions, Liverpool. Can the Blades add to Jurgen Klopp’s woes by keeping their slim survival hopes alive with a shock win? Or will the Merseysiders get their top four bid back on track? Kick off 19.15 GMT.