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Player ratings as Reds slip to mid-season friendly defeat

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Liverpool were outclassed by Lyon as the French side cruised to a comfortable 3-1 victory in the Dubai Super Cup.

Jurgen Klopp named a strong first XI for the mid-season friendly, with virtually every first-team player not on international duty featuring in the side.

The Reds asserted their dominance almost instantly, capitalising on a defensive error and allowing Mohamed Salah to tee up Fabio Carvalho to finish into an empty net.

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Liverpool’s stars looked slightly rusty, as was to be expected having gone a month without playing a match, but the quality was still there to see in the first half as they looked a cut above their French opponents.

Lyon struggled to create meaningful chances of their own, but came close in the 35th minute when Moussa Dembele drew a save from Caoimhin Kelleher with a fierce drive.

But this was a friendly match, and there was always going to be scope for Lyon to get back into the game courtesy of some sloppy play from a rusty defender. Sure enough, Kelleher and Andy Robertson got their lines mixed up when dealing with a long ball over the top, allowing Alexandre Lacazette to burst past them and level the scores.

Harry Symeou hosts Andy Headspeath, Quentin Gesp and Jack Gallagher to look back on the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia – join us!

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If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

Liverpool’s control over proceedings began to diminish in the second half, the game growing more stop-and-start due to a surprising number of fouls on both sides.

Klopp made five substitutions at the break and another five just after the hour, and perhaps the lack of cohesion in this new set of players was Liverpool’s downfall as moments later they found themselves behind.

Lyon substitute Tete dribbled masterfully through the Liverpool defence, dancing past multiple players before teeing up fellow substitute Bradley Barcola to score.

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Liverpool’s youngsters looked out of their depth, and things went from bad to worse when Lacazette pounced on a rebound to smash home a third goal after Adrian had made a good save.

The dominance the Reds showed in the first half hour of the match seemed a distant memory as the minutes ticked away, Lyon cutting through them time and time again. Only the heroics of Adrian, who had replaced Kelleher at half-time, prevented the scoreline from becoming even uglier.

There was still time for a twist in the tale at the end of the 90 minutes, as the rules of the Dubai Super Cup stipulate that each match ends with a penalty shootout regardless of the final score.

Caoimhin Kelleher

Caoimhin Kelleher was in goal for Liverpool / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

However, there was to be no reprieve for Liverpool as Lyon scored all five of their penalties, while Calvin Ramsey missed from the spot to hand the French side the victory.

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Liverpool played this game at the pace of a friendly, and are still without the likes of Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho, among others. Even so, this was far from an encouraging performance and Klopp is unlikely to have been impressed by the academy talent at his disposal.

The club will take on AC Milan in another friendly on December 16, before returning to competitive action against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup six days later.

Joseph Gomez

Joe Gomez looked rusty in Liverpool’s defence / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

GK: Caoimhin Kelleher – 5/10 – Didn’t have much to do throughout the first half, but still fluffed his lines slightly to allow Lacazette to score. Subbed off at half-time.

RB: James Milner – 6/10 – Played a couple of nice passes over the Lyon defence to launch attacks and defended fairly well.

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CB: Joe Gomez – 5/10 – Got turned too easily by Dembele and Lacazette, and still looks a long way from the player he was in 2019.

CB: Joel Matip – 7/10 – One of the more assured players in the Liverpool back line.

LB: Andy Robertson – 6/10 – Looked energetic down the left flank, but couldn’t supply the end product and was at fault for Lacazette’s goal.

CM: Stefan Bajcetic – 7/10 – Added plenty of bite to Liverpool’s midfield, even if he did pick up a yellow card for his troubles. A good cameo from the youngster.

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CM: Thiago – 6/10 – Tidy if unspectacular from the veteran midfielder.

CM: Harvey Elliott – N/A – Had a fairly quiet opening half an hour before being substituted for Frauendorf. Liverpool fans will hope Elliott hasn’t picked up a serious problem.

RW: Mohamed Salah – 6/10 – Looked a little off the pace. Pressed reasonably well but his touch and end product were lacking.

LW: Fabio Carvalho – 7/10 – Popped up with a goal in the opening minute to get Liverpool off to the perfect start.

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ST: Roberto Firmino – 6/10 – Like Salah, Firmino offered plenty in terms of industry but considerably less in terms of end product.

Substitutes

Jurgen Klopp, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Jurgen Klopp got good minutes out of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Melkamu Frauendorf (29′ for Elliott) – 5/10

Adrian (46′ for Kelleher) – 6/10

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (46′ for Frauendorf) – 6/10 – Crucial minutes for Oxlade-Chamberlain as he looks to prove that his Liverpool career is salvageable.

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Calvin Ramsey (46′ for Bajcetic) – 5/10

Bobby Clark (46′ for Carvalho) – 5/10

Konstantinos Tsimikas (46′ for Robertson) – 6/10

Nathaniel Philips (46′ for Matip) – 5/10

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Naby Keita (62′ for Thiago) – 7/10 – Energetic in midfield, Liverpool supporters will be glad to see Keita up and running again.

Layton Stewart (62′ for Gomez) – N/A

Ben Doak (62′ for Firmino) – 6/10

Dominic Corness (62′ for Salah) – 5/10

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Luke Chambers (62′ for Milner) – 5/10

Jake Cain (74′ for Stewart) – N/A

Player of the Match: Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)



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Player ratings as Casemiro strikes twice in FA Cup win

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Manchester United cruised into the fifth round of the FA Cup by overpowering ten-man Reading at Old Trafford on Saturday night.

The Championship visitors kept their hosts out for the first 45 minutes but United eventually broke their resistance as Casemiro struck twice in quick succession.

The Brazilian ran onto Antony’s pass and chipped Joe Lumley to put Erik ten Hag’s side 1-0 up before a long range strike found its way into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

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Andy Carroll charged around with aggression all night and ended up being sent off for two bookable offences before Fred added a third, cleverly back-heeling Fernandes’ cross in at the front post.

United switched off in the 72nd minute to gift Reading a consolation, with Amadou Salif Mbengue given a free header to reduce the deficit three minutes after his introduction.

The Red Devils saw out the rest of the contest to book their place in the next round, joining the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and Leeds.

United looked sharp throughout the first half, quickly exploding into attack with opportunities for Wout Weghorst and Christian Eriksen before a double chance fell to for Eriksen and Marcus Rashford. However, Lumley denied them on both occasions.

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Fernandes lifted an effort just over before a brilliant Antony run ended without reward.

The deadlock seemed to have been broken ten minutes before half time when Rashford smashed in from close range, but Weghorst was shown to have been offside in the build-up.

The breakthrough eventually came when two Brazilians combined to cut through Reading’s defence. Antony picked out Casemiro with a precise pass, allowing the former Real Madrid midfielder to run in and dink Lumley for the game’s opener.

He netted his second goal just before the hour mark with more of a pot shot. A free kick was never fully cleared by Reading and Casemiro struck a fierce effort from distance that whistled in.

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United’s job got a lot easier when Carroll was given his second yellow card for wiping out Casemiro and they took advantage of their numerical superiority by netting a third.

A short corner was worked to Fernandes, who fired the ball into Fred to inventively flick the ball beyond Lumley.

The visitors were rewarded for their efforts when United suddenly went limp at a corner, allowing substitute Mbengue a free header to reduce the deficit. It meant little, however, with the Royals exiting the FA Cup and United reaching the last 16.

GK: David de Gea – 6/10 – Unsurprisingly a quiet night for De Gea, who had to clean up loose ball on occasion. Sharp stop to deny Hoilett.

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RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7/10 – Left the tackling to Malacia on the left but another display which shows his improvement under Ten Hag.

CB: Victor Lindelof – 6/10 – Decent enough for most of the night but he and Maguire won’t be back in the Premier League starting XI anytime soon conceding poor goals from corners.

CB: Harry Maguire – 6/10 – We all got the Maguire vs Carroll battle we didn’t know we needed. He came out of that clash having performed well enough.

LB: Tyrell Malacia – 7/10 – Did present a big chance to Hoilett but managed to wake up to deliver a better performance.

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CM: Casemiro – 9/10 – Provided a run from midfield and finished Antony’s pass well before netting from distance. Simply cannot do any wrong right now.

CM: Christian Eriksen – 6/10 – Came close with a free kick that whizzed past the post.

RW: Antony – 8/10 – Produced some marvellous running and the weight of pass on his delivery to Casemiro was perfect. Delivered end product which has been missing recently.

AM: Bruno Fernandes – 7/10 – Got United purring in attack and played the ball in for Fred to make in 3-0.

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LW: Marcus Rashford – 7/10 – No goals for the England international but his pace and direct running was a threat.

ST: Wout Weghorst – 7/10 – Provided some more selfless pressing and occupied defenders while his teammates did the damage.

Substitutes

Fred (57′ for Christian Eriksen) – 8/10 – Got United’s third and was efficient during his sub appearance.

Facundo Pellestri (68′ for Fernandes) – 6/10 – Quiet final 20 minute appearance.

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Alejandro Garnacho (68′ for Rashford) – 6/10

Kobbie Mainoo (68′ for Rashford) – 6/10

Anthony Elanga (73′ for Weghorst) – 6/10

Manager

Erik ten Hag – 7/10 – United averted any fears of a potential upset with a second half blitz which allowed Ten Hag to shuffle his pack in late on.

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GK: Joe Lumley (5); CB: Tom McIntyre (6), CB: Tom Holmes (6), CB: Junior Hoilett (5); RWB: Andy Yiadom (5), CM: Jeff Hendrick (6), CM: Abdul Rahman Baba (6), CM: Tom Ince (7), LWB: Mamadou Loum (6) ST: Andy Carroll (5), ST: Lucas Joao (6).

SUBS: Tyrese Fornah (6), Amadou Salif Mbengue (8), Dean Bouzanis (6), Shane Long (6).

Player of the match – Casemiro



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Tete undergoing medical with Leicester

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Tete will have a medical with Leicester on Saturday night ahead of his move from parent club Shakhtar Donetsk, 90min understands.

The Brazilian winger was offered to Premier League sides on loan with the view of a permanent deal back in December before the Foxes held talks with the representatives of the Lyon loanee regarding a move to the King Power Stadium.

Lyon are prepared to lose the 22-year-old as manager Laurent Blanc plans to move his side in a different direction. Despite that, Tete is their second highest top scorer this season after Alexandre Lacazette – who has 11 goals – with six strikes.

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Premier League sides West Ham, Tottenham, Newcastle and Arsenal were all alerted to his availability. David Moyes’ Hammers did explore a deal only to renege on their interest later.

Tete’s arrival will add firepower to Brendan Rodgers’ squad. Harvey Barnes and James Maddison are their top Premier League scorers this season with seven each, with Patson Daka, Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho all struggling for form.

On this edition of Talking Transfers, Scott Saunders hosts Toby Cudworth & Graeme Bailey to discuss some of the latest transfer news. On today’s agenda: Dusan Vlahovic, Anthony Gordon, Enzo Fernandes, Amadou Onana, Malo Gusto, Nicolo Zaniolo, Pedro Porro, Weston McKennie, Milan Skriniar, Maximo Perrone & more! If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Tete is a naturally right-sided player and has Champions League experience with Shakhtar, scoring three times in the UEFA competition.

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Leicester were quiet during the summer transfer window, bringing in only Alex Smithies and Wout Faes, but have signed Victor Kristiansen this month to add competition at left back.



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‘Nice one, Sonny!’ Tottenham chant lyrics, origin and video

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Son Heung-min had spent two-and-a-half seasons at Tottenham Hotspur, made more than 100 appearances and scored 40 goals before he was finally granted his own song by the Spurs faithful.

The eminently loveable South Korea international has scored almost 100 times since, eliciting countless renditions of a fittingly cheery tune from his adoring public in north London.

Here’s everything you need to know about the fascinating origins of a song that has become a staple of N17.

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Chirped out to a bouncy rhythm, Tottenham fans don’t have to memorise much to keep this jaunty chant in their head. The lyrics go:

Nice one Sonny,
Nice one Son,
Nice one Sonny,
Let’s have another one…

And repeat. And repeat, and repeat…

As a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme, Son will be pleased that even those on Tottenham’s terraces don’t let anything go to waste. ‘Nice one, Sonny!’ was originally ‘Nice one, Cyril!’, in honour of the Spurs left-back Cyril Knowles from the 1960s and ’70s.

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Pat Jennings joined Spurs in the same year as Knowles and insisted that the former England international would “have been proud” to have his song moulded in Son’s image.

To find the inspiration for Knowles’ chant, you have to turn to an earworm from 1970s advertisement. Before turning his pen to a bestselling memoir, Peter Mayle conjured up the slogan ‘Nice one, Cyril’ for Wonderloaf Bread. In the iconic advert, a baker by the name of Cyril saves the day at a bakery and is cheerily praised.

Spurs fans snagged the tagline which Cockerel Chorus expanded into a single for Tottenham’s run to the 1973 League Cup final. The song, written by Harold Spiro and Helen Clarke, topped out at number 14 in the charts. Cyril Knowles played the full 90 minutes as Spurs beat Norwich City 1-0 in the showpiece event.

When did Tottenham fans first chant ‘Nice one, Sonny!’?

It’s tricky to pin down the exact moment that ‘Nice one, Sonny!’ was first whispered by a Tottenham fan. However, the reinterpretation of the classic appears to have gained a spot in the hymnbook on 11 March 2018, when Son bagged a brace in a 4-1 win away to Bournemouth.

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That victory came at the end of four game sequence in which Son scored seven goals across three competitions for Spurs, forcing himself into the throat of the watching public.

Although, spare a thought for one Tottenham fan that pondered why Son hadn’t been serenaded with a specific chant all the way back in May 2017. Ten months before that hot streak, they wrote on the Spurs Community message board: “Surely he deserves one by now? I always thought the best one would be the old Cyril Knowles one.”

Even some of his teammates know the lyrics.



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