Liverpool hold nerve to beat Burnley as Jurgen Klopp warns Manchester City ‘nobody gets rid of us’

Roberto Firmino had a good day in front of goal as the Brazilian bagged a brace at Anfield. (AFP)
Updated 10 March 2019
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Liverpool hold nerve to beat Burnley as Jurgen Klopp warns Manchester City ‘nobody gets rid of us’

  • Reds beat visitors at Anfield to move to a point behind City in race for the title.
  • Goals from Firmino and Mane enough to see off challenge of Burnley.

LONDON: Liverpool have what it takes to beat both the pressure and Manchester City in the battle for the Premier League title.

That was the message from Reds boss Jurgen Klopp after he saw his side beat Burnley 4-2 at Anfield.

 After going behind in the sixth minute in the windy conditions, Liverpool stormed back though a brace from Roberto Firmino and a Sadio Mane double to maintain their title charge and move to just a point behind City, who beat Watford 3-1 on Saturday.

Having witnessed the Reds avoid a potential banana skin, Klopp warned their rivals it will take a lot to get in the way of his side and their title dream.

“Nobody gets rid of us,” the Liverpool boss said.

“You had to be on the pitch to realize how windy it was. You have to deal with it and we did that well, we played our own game.

“We scored really good goals, we forced it more. The three points is good, obviously, it is all good.

“We created chances. I am completely happy with the performance — you have to be ready for a fight with Burnley, and we fought and played well.”

Coming into the match all the pressure was on the Reds who, by their own admission have not been firing on all cylinders recently. Last week a lackluster 0-0 draw with Everton allowed City to top the table and coming into the match Klopp was complaining about the timing of the clash, just three days before Liverpool’s crucial Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich.

But despite the distractions and the windy conditions, the hosts looked more like their old attacking selves and deserved the three points, having gone 1-0 down after a controversial Burnley opener. Ashley Westwood scored direct from a corner, although it appeared Reds’ goalkeeper Alisson had been impeded by James Tarkowski.

“Are we allowed to talk about the conditions?” Klopp joked.

“We played our game. The first Burnley goal was maybe a little bit of the wind. In most countries it would not be allowed that goal — you cannot treat the goalie like that in the six-yard box.

“At 3-1 up, all the balls Burnley got were from us. I’m completely happy with the performance, especially as it was against a tough Burnley side.”

Liverpool’s tally of 73 points from their opening 30 league games this season is their joint-best total at this stage of a league campaign (adjusting for three points for a win), level with the 1904-05 second tier season and 1987-88 in the top flight.

 Beaten only once all season, it would be overstating the importance of the match to say that was a vital test of character, Liverpool have been in imperious form since the start of the season and a run of four draws in six matches does not change that. But with just eight matches of the season left any slip-up could prove significant.

In the day’s other matches Chelsea needed an injury-time equalizer to snatch a point at home to Wolverhampton. The visitors to Stamford Bridge went ahead thanks to a 54th-minute goal from Raul Jimenez. But Hazard, whose future with the Blues is still the subject of speculation, curled a shot into the bottom corner two minutes after the 90 minutes were up to spare Chelsea’s blushes.

In the late kick-off Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 to leapfrog over the Old Trafford club into fourth. Goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were enough to give the Gunners all three points at a wet and windy Emirates Stadium.


From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

Updated 25 April 2019
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From near-death in Libyan desert to Saudi Arabia in 40 years: A history of the Dakar Rally

  • Race will start in Jeddah and make a stop in Riyadh before ending in Qiddiya
  • Take a look back at the most momentous moments

LONDON: A new and exciting chapter in the prestigious history of the Dakar Rally is ready to be written as the world’s biggest and most challenging rally confirmed it will debut in Saudi Arabia in January 2020.

1977: Inspiration
Biker Thierry Sabine gets lost in the Libyan desert while competing in the Abidjan-Nice Rally. After being rescued from the sands on the verge of death, he vows to share the scale and magic of the desert with the whole world.

1978: A dream come true
On 26 December 1978, a field of 170 adventurers starts its 10,000-kilometer quest through Algeria, Niger, Mali, the Upper Volta, and Senegal. A total of 74 vehicles make it to the finish on Place de l’Indépendance in Dakar, with Cyril Neveu at the helm.

1983: Ickx on all fronts
Celebrities and the best drivers and riders in the world heed the call of the Dakar. The combination is a successful one, with the six-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Jacky Ickx and comedian Claude Brasseur taking the spoils in the fourth edition.

1986: Tragedy strikes
Thierry Sabine and Daniel Balavoine die in a helicopter crash alongside pilot François-Xavier Bagnoud, journalist Nathalie Odent and radio technician Jean-Paul Lefur. Gilbert Sabine, the father of the creator of the race, takes over as director.

1992: Africa from north to south
The Dakar takes a break from the capital of Senegal to pit the competitors against the challenge of a lifetime. The drivers and riders have to tackle a route of almost 12,500 kilometers through 11 countries to cross Africa from one side to the other and reach Cape Town in South Africa. Stéphane Peterhansel (motorbikes) and Hubert Auriol (cars) stand atop the podium at the end of the Odyssey.

1998: Peterhansel rolls a six
The biker with a blue bandana emerges victorious from a clash of titans with Orioli and Arcarons to become the undisputed master of the category in the 1990s. His sixth win catapults him past Cyril Neveu as the event record holder. “Peter” has since added seven car victories to his tally!

2000: At the foot of the pyramids
The Dakar marks the turn of the century next to one of the seven wonders of the world: the Great Pyramid of Giza. Reigning champions Richard Sainct (motorbikes) and Jean-Louis Schlesser (cars) both manage to defend their titles against this prestigious backdrop.

2001: Miss Dakar
No one suspects that this will be the last Paris–Dakar. In contrast, everyone sees Jutta Kleinschmidt, who had made her Dakar debut in 1988 on a motorbike, become the first woman to win the rally, this time racing at the wheel of a Mitsubishi 4×4. She remains the only female winner of the event to date.

2009: Rising from the ashes in Buenos Aires
The Dakar picks itself up and crosses the Atlantic to rise from the ashes. A new era dawns with 4 million spectators turning out in force to cheer on the drivers and riders in the majestic landscapes of Argentina and Chile.

2012: Pacific Challenge
After three years with a route starting and ending in Buenos Aires, the organizers break the mold with a finish on the Pacific coast of Lima, Peru.

2014: Dizzying heights
Bolivia becomes the 28th country to host the Dakar. The Altiplano and Salar de Uyuni introduce a new test for the competitors: extreme altitude, which takes a toll on both their bodies and their machines.

2020: Chapter 3
In the wake of its first foray into Paraguay in 2017, the Dakar adds the 30th country to its list. In Saudi Arabia, the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula, the competitors will face challenges such as the “Empty Quarter,” a pristine expanse that has never been explored fully before.