Virgil van Dijk apportions blame for 2-2 draw against Man United, Jurgen Klopp reacts

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk bemoaned handing a timely advantage to their title rivals, claiming their draw at Manchester United ‘feels like a loss’.

The Reds dominated in the first half but only led 1-0 through Luis Diaz’s acrobatic effort.

United responded with two goals through Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo, before a late penalty from Mohamed Salah rescued a point for Liverpool.

After having 25 points and wasting a host of golden opportunities, Van Dijk was much more defeated than his manager at full-time.

“It feels like a loss, it is our fault again,” he told the BBC.

“We had so many chances and we should finish the game off.

“Unfortunately the individual mistake that happened with the equaliser and we had so much time to put it right, but we were in a rush.

“Still after being 2-1 down we created so much.”

Before his centre back partner Jarell Quansah miscued his pass to allow Fernandes to equalise, Van Dijk and his team-mates know they should have made United pay at the other end.

On the number of missed chances in the first half, the Dutchman said: ‘We should have been 2-0 up at least, but in football unfortunately if these things don’t happen you give them the feeling they could come back and it happened.’

Asked about any lingering impact on Quansah after his mistake, Van Dijk did not want to hear of it.

“He shouldn’t [feel guilty],” he added.

“Mistakes happen in football everyone who has a career in football makes mistakes you can only learn from it.”

Liverpool’s draw means Arsenal are top of the table, with Jurgen Klopp’s side second and Manchester City in third.

Still, Klopp was keen to preach calm at the full-time whistle, insisting the title race is far from over after a draw to their bitter rivals.

“We were in a bit of a rush – I’d have loved us to take an extra touch,” Klopp, speaking to Sky Sports, said of the number of missed chances in the first half.

“You always have to take different things from the game.

“I know the outside world will get nervous but we have to be calm – it’s going to be full of life, excitement and desire.

“The goals we have scored have got us where we are. We need to build on that. We’re deal with that in the right way.

“I’m not over the moon but it’s OK. You take what you get. If we were more clinical then we could’ve won here.”

(Watch Video) Luis Diaz scores! 23’… Man United 0-1 Liverpool

The corner is whipped in and it is flicked on by Nunez.

It finds Diaz in the middle of the box who scissor-kicks it home.

Big goal for Jurgen Klopp’s side at Old Trafford.

Photo Credit: LFC/ X

Manchester United team list vs Liverpool “leaked”

Omari Forson is back in the Manchester United squad for Sunday’s clash with Liverpool, according to reports.

The 19-year-old has made three Premier League appearances so far this season.

However, he has been absent from the squad for each of the last three league matches.

According to the Manchester Evening News, though, Forson is now set to return to the matchday squad at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The teenager has made five senior appearances for Erik ten Hag’s side this season.

Having made his first-team debut in the FA Cup in January, he was handed his Premier League bow against Wolves the following month.

Forson went on to grab an assist during his four-minute cameo as he set up Kobbie Mainoo’s stoppage time winner.

He has since made his first start against Fulham and came off the bench in the Manchester Derby in March.

The winger has been with United since 2019 after joining the club’s academy from Tottenham aged 14.

Forson is also an England youth international and has been capped up to under-19 level.

His return to the United squad comes as Ten Hag battles another injury crisis.

The Red Devils are sweating on the fitness of Casemiro, Jonny Evans and Raphael Varane following their midweek loss to Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw all remain absent through injury.

Arsenal boss Arteta reacts to Chelsea win over Man United

Mikel Arteta ‘stayed up late’ to watch the ‘fantastic’ conclusion of Chelsea’s remarkable Premier League victory over Manchester United.

Two injury-time goals from Cole Palmer saw Chelsea complete the latest ever comeback in a Premier League fixture and leave United crushed.

Palmer’s first-half penalty put Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge after Conor Gallagher’s early opener, but United came roaring back to lead through Alejandro Garnacho’s brace and a Bruno Fernandes header.

Manchester United were seeing the game out comfortably enough until Palmer equalised with a 100th-minute penalty and then scored a sensational winner just 82 seconds later.

The late goals sparked wild scenes at Stamford Bridge, with under pressure manager Mauricio Pochettino running down the touchline in celebration and several United players falling to their knees in disbelief.

Arsenal’s title rivals Liverpool were also in action last night against Sheffield United and Arteta was keeping a close eye on both games.

“I was watching a bit of both to be fair and I stayed up until late because the Manchester United and Chelsea one, it was worth it and it was fantastic,” the Gunners boss said.

“It’s unbelievable the league that we are involved in. It’s just a joy that the level and the quality of the players and the show that they put in. It’s just fantastic.”

Enzo Fernandez reveals why Chelsea struggle, predicts what to expect next season

Enzo Fernandez admits the start to his Chelsea career ‘wasn’t easy’ but is confident next season will be more fruitful for him and the team.

Fernandez became the most expensive signing in Premier League history when he completed a £107m move to Stamford Bridge from Benfica at the start of 2023.

The 23-year-old had just starred in Argentina’s World Cup win and left Qatar with the best young player of the tournament award.

Despite Fernandez’s form for club and country prior to joining Chelsea, he endured a difficult first few months in the Premier League and admits it was tough adapting to his new surroundings.

He says he is now ‘more settled’ and enjoying his football once more, though he is ‘a little frustrated’ by Chelsea’s performances across the 2023-24 campaign.

Having spent over £1billion on new signings, Chelsea were expected to at least challenge for a Champions League place but instead they have been languishing in mid-table for most of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side scored two injury-time goals to stun Manchester United on Thursday night but the win only saw them climb to 10th in the Premier League, a whopping 27 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Fernandez is ‘not happy’ with his team’s form but believes next season will be ‘better’ as the young squad continue to develop.

Speaking to DAZN after Chelsea’s remarkable 4-3 win over United, Fernandez said: “The first six months weren’t easy, changing country, language, I had a child…

“It wasn’t easy coming here, but now everything is better, I’m more settled and enjoying it.

“Of course, I’m not happy with the position we’re in, I don’t like losing, it frustrates me a little, but you have to accept this process. There are a lot of young players, and next season will be better.”

Chelsea were two goals to the good against United inside 20 minutes thanks to Conor Gallagher’s early opener and Cole Palmer’s penalty.

But Erik ten Hag’s side, still battling for a top-four finish, turned the game on its head through Alejandro Garnacho’s brace and a Bruno Fernandes header.

United were on the verge of three crucial points but conceded an injury-time penalty that Palmer converted before the ex-Manchester City star smashed home a dramatic winner.

Ronaldinho’s son leaves fans baffled with new position at Barcelona

Ronaldinho’s son has left fans baffled with his new position after changing from his former role at Barcelona.

Joao Mendes, 19, joined Barcelona last year, initially on a trial.

He struggled to impress but club president Joan Laporta ensured an extension.

And the youngster eventually signed officially for his dad’s former team in March 2023.

Mendes initially started out as an attacker – scoring and creating goals like his famous World Cup-winning father.

However, after struggling for minutes, new footage of him in action for Barcelona Under-19s revealed he is starring in a very different position… as a left-back.

The compilation video shows No5 Mendes putting in some strong tackles, marauding down the left wing, displaying some neat footwork, linking up with team-mates and even taking a throw-in.

And the clips – shared on TikTok – sparked a flurry of comments reacting to the son of one of the most skilful, flair footballers ever seen being deployed in defence, in a “reverse of Bukayo Saka” who switched from full-back to winger at Arsenal.

One said: “They made bro a LB.”

Another wrote: “I respect the kid a lot tho. He’s Ronaldinho’s son and he’s not bitter about being moved to left-back, you can tell he’s really trying to.”

A third added: “Born to play RW forced to play LB.”

A fourth commented: “If he can’t cook as a winger he can stop them.”

A fifth responded: “Imagine that you are the son of Ronaldinho and you also get blessed being left footed and at the end of the day you end playing as a left-back that’s crazy.”

And a final user replied: “This shows how a position changing can change everything.”

Mendes – born in 2005 in the year his dad won the Ballon d’Or – struggled to make an impact after joining Barcelona.

He made his debut in a friendly against Manchester United youth team but then had to wait months for his next run-out in the Mediterranean International Cup.

The left-footed youngster’s contract at Barcelona expires at the end of the season and it is unclear if he will be offered a new deal.

Newcastle join Chelsea in race for Arsenal star

Newcastle United have reportedly rekindled interest in Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale ahead of a potential summer move.

Ramsdale is keen to play regular Premier League football again after being reduced to an understudy role following the arrival of David Raya from Brentford. Ramsdale is assessing his options and Newcastle are among those interested as they look to bolster their squad.

Chelsea have equalled reportedly expressed their desire to sign Ramsdale.

Newcastle have Martin Dubravka as their current number one with Nick Pope expected to make his comeback from a dislocated shoulder at the end of April. Dubravka is 35 while Pope turns 32 this month and Newcastle want a younger option as they plan the next phase of their recruitment.

Manager Eddie Howe is a big admirer of Ramsdale after signing him at Bournemouth from Sheffield United. He also gave the keeper a second chance after he slept in and missed the bus for a Carabao Cup tie against Chelsea.

Ramsdale was fined and sent on loan to AFC Wimbledon but gave credit to Howe for the manner in which he managed the situation and described it as ‘a penny dropping moment’ in his career.

Ramsdale was bought back by Sheffield United for £18.5million before being sold on to Arsenal in 2021 for £30m.

Despite an outstanding first season for Ramsdale, Mikel Arteta brought in Raya from Brentford to increase competition and for his better distribution which has so far worked out with Arsenal once again challenging for the title.

Mindful Ramsdale is preparing to move on, Arsenal have also been looking at Columbus Crew goalkeeper Patrick Schulte, as have the likes of Manchester United, for the summer.

Much could depend on their asking price for Ramsdale but Newcastle have posted their interest and will be in the market to strengthen the goalkeeping position.

Real Madrid star breaks down in tears, bemoans racist abuse in Spain

Brazil’s Vinícius Júnior broke down in tears at Monday’s news conference as he admitted he has “less will to play” because of racist abuse directed toward him in Spain.

The Real Madrid forward, however, said he is not considering leaving LaLiga despite the racist chants he has heard by opposing fans since he arrived at Madrid more than five years ago.

“I’ve been here for a long time watching this and I feel more and more sad,” Vinícius said. “I have less and less will to play. With each complaint made I feel worse, but I have to appear here and show my face.

“I have asked for help from UEFA, FIFA, CONMEBOL, CBF they can fight against that. The problem that exists in Spain is that racism is not a crime.”

Vinícius spoke in Madrid ahead of Brazil’s international friendly against Spain, a game organised by the two federations to raise awareness of racism.

“I am sure that Spain is not a racist country, but there are many racists and many of them are in the stadiums,” he said. “We have to change because many of them don’t know what racism is. At 23 years old I have to teach many Spaniards what racism is.”

Vinícius has been a leading voice in the fight against racism. Last year the Vinícius Júnior law was passed in Brazil to combat racism at sporting events.

“Playing football is important, but the fight against racism is very important,” he said. “Let people of colour have a normal life. If this were the case, I would go to my club’s games focused only on playing. The only thing I want is to continue playing and for everyone to have a normal life.

“Of course, because there are so many people in football, so many better players than me that have passed through here, and I want to make sure that people in the world can evolve and improve. And that we can have equality.

“That in the very near future we can have fewer cases of racism, and that Black people can have a normal life like everyone else. I want to keep fighting for that. Even because, as I said before, if it was just for me, I would have given up, because I stay at home, where no one will swear at me, I go to the games with my head centred on the game so that I can do the best for my team.

“It’s not always possible, so I have to concentrate hard every day,” he added before breaking down in tears and getting the applause of people at the news conference.

Vinícius then spoke about the media’s approach to reporting on the abuse he has suffered.

“I think they have to talk less about everything I do wrong on the pitch, that of course I have to evolve and improve, but I’m only 23 and it’s a natural process,” he said.

“I left Brazil very young and haven’t been able to learn many things. I’m studying. I’m 23 and I’m still studying. Why can’t they, the reporters here, who are older than me, study and see what’s really going on? I’m getting sadder and sadder, I feel less and less like playing. But I’m going to keep fighting.

“Above all, I get [strength] from my family, from the fans and from those people who give me messages of encouragement to continue fighting for those who need it.”

LaLiga has filed numerous complaints in Spanish courts over alleged racist and hate insults directed at Vinícius, but many have been shelved.

Arrests have been made by Spanish police regarding racist episodes over the past year.

“The lack of punishment is what frustrates me the most, that nothing happens to all those people that do that,” Vinícius said.

Vinícius, who has a contract with Real Madrid until June 2027, is determined to continue playing in Spain.

“I have never thought about leaving LaLiga because otherwise I would give the racists what they want,” he said.

“I am going to continue in the best club in the world, scoring many goals so that they continue to see me. Racists are a minority. As I am a daring player, who plays for Madrid and we win many titles, it is very complicated. I’m going to continue because the president supports me, the club supports me and I’m going to continue to win many things.”

Photo Credit: CBF_Futebol/ X

Manchester City star accuses Pep Guardiola of telling “lies”

Joao Cancelo has reportedly delivered an explosive rant against his parent club Manchester City, in which he accuses manager Pep Guardiola of telling ‘lies’.

The Portuguese international is currently on a season-long loan at Barcelona, after spending the second-half of last year at Bayern Munich.

Reports had suggested that Guardiola was unhappy with Cancelo’s reaction to being dropped from City’s starting XI during their Treble winning season.

However, in an interview with Portuguese publication A Bola, the 29-year-old has taken exceptions to Guardiola’s claims.

He said: “Lies were told! I’ve never been a bad team-mate for them and you can ask either (Nathan) Ake or Rico (Lewis). I don’t have any superiority or inferiority complex towards them, but that’s the manager’s opinion.

“I stayed because it’s not true. I think Man City were a bit ungrateful to me when they said that, because I was a very important player in the years I was there.

“I never failed in my commitment to the club, to the fans and I always gave everything. I remember a time when I was robbed and attacked and the next day I was playing at the Emirates against Arsenal.

“These are things you don’t forget, I left my wife and daughter alone at home, terrified. People will only remember this because Mister Guardiola has much more power than me when he says something and I prefer to keep to myself.”

Cancelo insisted that he ‘wishes’ everything goes well at Man City but also adds that he made the right choice to leave on loan in January 2023 – despite missing out on the Treble.

He said: “Certain things dictated that I was loaned last year to Bayern Munich. I have no regrets, even if City won the Champions League. I feel like I made the right choice, that I went to a club that really wanted me, even before renewing my contract. It was a club that gave me a lot in the six months I was there.”

After his time with Bayern Munich, he joined Barcelona on loan where he has taken on a lower salary given the club’s financial issues.

Cancelo will return to Man City this summer though it appears likely that he will leave the club.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed their plans to keep Cancelo next season, though the club’s financial situation could pose an obstacle.

Photo Credit: FCBarcelona/ X

Emotional Endrick reacts to his first international goal as Brazil defeat England at Wembley

Brazil’s 17-year-old prodigy Endrick admitted he was almost overcome by emotion after the Real Madrid-bound forward became the youngest men’s player to score an international goal at Wembley.

Endrick, who will move from Palmeiras to Madrid at the end of the season when he turns 18, struck in the 80th minute, nine minutes after coming on as a substitute, to give Brazil a 1-0 win over England in a friendly on Saturday.

“My family is here, my girlfriend, my agents. I am not much of a crier, I am holding myself, but this is something unique and I am very happy,” he said.

Based on his second half cameo, Madrid has secured another major talent for the future.

Coming on for Rodrygo in the 71st minute, Endrick wasted little time to make his mark, firing into an empty net after Vinícius Júnior was denied by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Endrick could not hide his delight as he raced away in celebration and dropped to his knees, even though he did have to wait for VAR to confirm the goal following a check for offside.

It was his first senior goal for Brazil and, at the age of 17 years, 246 days, a record for an international game at Wembley, according to statistician Opta.

He might have scored another, but could not beat Pickford with a late chance.

“All of this affected me a little at the end, the chance I had at the end. I will not lie,” Endrick said. “I was just thinking about scoring. I could only think about that. I couldn’t think about the match any longer.”

Brazil coach Dorival Junior, who was taking charge of the national team for the first time, said Endrick has all the tools to become a global star.

“If he keeps up the attitude he has shown up to now, he will be a very important name in Brazilian football and world football,” Dorival said.

He said he opted to bring Endrick off the bench rather than the more experienced Richarlison because the Tottenham Hotspur player was still recovering his form after an injury.

Endrick’s one goal was enough to win the match and end England’s 21-game unbeaten streak at the national stadium.

“We know he’s a dangerous player. He’s managed to follow in for the goal,” England manager Gareth Southgate said. “We should have defended the goal better than we did. It’s a brilliant moment for him.

Madrid secured a deal for Endrick in December 2022 when he was just 16 but already tipped to be one of Brazil’s next stars. Brazilian media said the transfer was worth nearly €60 million ($64 million).

He will be 18 in July.

Last year, he helped Palmeiras win the Brazilian league from 12 points behind Botafogo at one stage.

He will join other Brazil stars at Madrid such as Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo.

Photo Credit: CBF_Futebol/ X