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Alan 1:14 Sun Feb 25
Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Paris St-Germain and Brazil striker Neymar, 26, has told Real Madrid he wants more money than the Spanish club's 33-year-old Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo in order to seal a move to the Bernabeu. (Sunday Express)

France midfielder Paul Pogba is ready to leave Manchester United if manager Jose Mourinho stays on at Old Trafford. (Sun on Sunday)

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle says "there is a fantastic player in there" when it comes to Manchester United's Pogba, 24, but "whether Mourinho can find him is the question". (Mail on Sunday)

Manchester United are among the top clubs monitoring Lazio's 22-year-old Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is rated at £80m. (Sunday Mirror)

Former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is in the frame to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea if the relationship between the Italian and the club's board deteriorates further. The 66-year-old Dutchman is keen for another chance in the Premier League. (Sunday Mirror)

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will not tone down his touchline behaviour after being told off by his father for being too calm on the sidelines during the recent defeat by Watford. (Sunday Express)

Manchester United and Spain goalkeeper David de Gea wants a £350,000-a-week deal to stay at Old Trafford. The 27-year-old earns around £180,000 a week but lags behind Chile forward Alexis Sanchez, who is on £505,000 a week. (Sun on Sunday)

Watford's Frenchmidfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, 25, says he welcomes interest from Arsenal and Liverpool before the summer transfer window. (L'Equipe, via Metro)

Manchester City's French defender and record signing Aymeric Laporte, 23, says he was right to turn down the first approach from the Premier League leaders 18 months ago. (Sunday Telegraph)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will deny his players a celebratory beer if they win the Carabao Cup on Sunday because he wants them in top condition for Thursday's Premier League game against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. (Independent on Sunday)

Former Gunner Robert Pires says Arsenal's 2003-04 'Invincibles' had "more talent and spirit" than the current Manchester City team. (BT Sport)

Chelsea and Crystal Palace have clashed over the best way to treat injured midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The 22-year-old England international, who is on loan at Palace, has been out since the end of December. (Daily Star Sunday)

Arsenal and Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina, 29, says he would be open to leaving the Gunners this summer in a bid for first-team football. (Directv, via Daily Star Sunday)

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is not worried about forward Islam Slimani's injury, which is set to keep him on the sidelines until the end of next month, and believes the 29-year-old Algeria international is getting closer to his debut. (Chronicle)

England manager Gareth Southgate and Scotland counterpart Alex McLeish are set to step up efforts to persuade 21-year-old Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay to play for their countries. (Times - subscription required)

England fans have reacted angrily after they were allocated 1,659 tickets for the World Cup group match with Belgium at the 35,000-capacity Kaliningrad Stadium. (Sunday Mirror)

England women manager Phil Neville says he has not ruled out picking ChelseaLadies striker Eniola Aluko, 31, "if she is playing well" and "scoring goals". (Sunday Telegraph)

Tottenham Hotspur have revealed how their new 62,000-seater stadium will look on match nights with 170 panels featuring LED lights that will allow the ground to glow like Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena. (Mail on Sunday)

Non-league side Salford City FC ensured no food from the club's postponed clash with Tamworth on Saturday was wasted - by donating it all to a homeless shelter. (Manchester Evening News)

Best of Saturday's gossip

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has agreed a new contract with the club worth nearly £20m a year until 2021, a £3m increase on his current deal. (Mail)

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, 28, has been linked with a move away from the club but manager Zinedine Zidane says the Wales international "will always be important" to the Spanish outfit. (Sun)

Manchester United officials are becoming annoyed by the conduct of midfielder Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola, who told the Old Trafford side's manager, Jose Mourinho, where to play the 24-year-old France international. (Times - subscription required)

Manchester United have stepped up their interest in signing Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri. The 26-year-old Ivory Coast international has a £35m release clause in his contract. (Mirror)


Mohamed Salah strike helps Liverpool to resounding win over West Ham

Andy Hunter at Anfield

Leapfrogging Manchester United into second was “a nice moment” for Jürgen Klopp but Liverpool’s response to pressure from West Ham and their Champions League chasing rivals felt much nicer. “The other teams are flying,” he said. “So we have to fly as well.” Here was another example of Liverpool’s ability to soar.

Victory ultimately came at a canter for Klopp’s team at Anfield, where the remaining fab three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané were all on the scoresheet once again and David Moyes endured a 15th game here without a win. Yet this was a test of Liverpool’s character as well as the established quality of their mesmerising attack.

West Ham caused problems at both ends of the pitch in the first half and were unfortunate not to take the lead through Marko Arnautovic. After the restart, however, and amid a howling wind, West Ham were blown away by the power of a Liverpool team that can score four and miss several more even when shy of their fluent best. Liverpool now have 103 goals for the season. Salah has 31, as many as Luis Suárez scored in his most prolific campaign for the club in 2013-14.

Klopp said: “To get the points was very important. We all put pressure on each other with results. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. It is really intense for all the teams involved. I don’t think United and Chelsea will think too much about us but they know we are around. I would have taken a 1-0 today with West Ham hitting the post four times and Loris Karius making 20 saves because we need the points. West Ham is in a really good moment and have had fantastic results against the other top teams so to play a game like this today I do not take for granted.”

Moyes’ plan was to defend in numbers and use the polished linkup play of Arnautovic, João Mário and Manuel Lanzini on the counterattack. It succeeded to a degree before the interval, with Liverpool often contained and unnerved when the visitors broke, but could have been undone after 140 seconds when Salah struck the inside of a post via the fingertips of Adrián.

Minutes later Virgil van Dijk headed straight at the West Ham goalkeeper from a James Milner corner and at that point it seemed Anfield was set for another Liverpool onslaught. Last-ditch defending and an impressive display from Arnautovic delayed it, although their defence was eventually breached by a set piece when Emre Can headed home Salah’s corner at close range.

The Germany midfielder misplaced several headers in the first half but not the one that mattered and brought up Liverpool’s 100th goal of the season. Can rose above Patrice Evra to open the scoring – the 36-year-old was making his West Ham debut having had his contract terminated by Marseille and was booed throughout by a home crowd that continues to blame him for Suárez being banned for racial abuse.

Arnautovic had almost opened the scoring with a glorious chip that Karius tipped superbly on to his crossbar. Pablo Zabaleta also went close and the Liverpool goalkeeper denied Arnautovic a second time as the West Ham travelling section, sporting commemorative T-shirts to mark the 25th anniversary of Bobby Moore’s death, went into half-time with hope that vanished quickly after the restart.

Salah struck Liverpool’s second when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain steered the ball into his path inside the area. The Egypt international took one touch to make space for himself then cut a left-footed shot back across goal, through the legs of Aaron Cresswell and inside the far corner.

The third arrived shortly afterwards as the wind and weak West Ham defending helped Firmino to his 13th Premier League goal of the season. Adrián’s free-kick held up in the Anfield breeze and Mário attempted to control but was easily dispossessed by Can, who swept an inch-perfect chip in to the unmarked Firmino. The Brazilian sidestepped the onrushing keeper and calmly converted into an empty goal.

The West Ham substitute Michail Antonio made an immediate impact when he took a Cheikhou Kouyaté pass down the right and found the far corner with a low shot across Karius.

It was no more than a consolation and Liverpool’s three-goal cushion was restored when Mané, who struck a post with a gilt-edged chance created by Oxlade-Chamberlain, made amends to complete a flowing Liverpool attack. Firmino released Andy Robertson overlapping down the left and the full-back delivered an inviting first-time cross for Mané to flick the ball over Adrián and in off a post.


Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again

Chris Bascombe, Anfield

West Ham fans were each given a tribute t-shirt to mark Bobby Moore's death 25 years on

There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second.

Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table.

Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches.

For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double.

Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns.

Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves.

“I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause.

“In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.”

Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable.

He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake.

Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games.

Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German.

“If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.”

Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances.

Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence.

“I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes.

Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival.

Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners.

Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity.

“I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes.

“Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second.

“It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.”

West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires.

It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage.

“It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp.

The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City.


Liverpool (4-3-3): Karius 7; Alexander-Arnold 7.5, Van Dijk 7, Matip 7, Robertson 7.5; Oxlade-Chamberlain 7.5, Can 7.5, Milner 7; Salah 8 (Solanke 87), Firmino 7 (Lallana 82), Mane 7 (Moreno 82)

Subs not used: Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson

Manager: Jurgen Klopp 7.5

West Ham United (3-5-2): Adrian 7; Collins 6, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 6; Zabaleta 6, Kouyate 7, Noble 6.5, Lanzini 5.5 (Antonio 58, 7), Evra 6; Mario 6 (Rice 83), Arnautovic 7.5 (Hernandez 83)

Subs not used: Hart, Reid, Hugill, Byram Manager: David Moyes 6

Referee: Stuart Attwell 7 Star Man: Salah


Hammers stalwart faces uncertain future

Winston Reid’s West Ham future looks uncertain after he again found himself on the bench at Liverpool yesterday.

Despite having returned from injury , the former Hammers near ever present when fit has been unable to force his way into the team.

He has suffered two spells of injury this season which has ruled him out of action for 46 days.

With James Collins probably unlikely to earn a new deal at the club it appears that manager David Moyes is preparing to dip strongly into the transfer market for at least one and possibly two top defenders.

They and a midfielder will be the priority once he signs an expected new deal with the club.

Reid has now been missing from the team since January 7, first with injury and now because Moyes has other preferences and he is unlikely to remain settled in such circumstances given he has a contract until 2023.

And ClaretandHugh insiders have continually mentioned that the manager sees the defensive situation as an area he must address.

Watch this space!


Patrice Evra shows off gruesome wound after feisty Liverpool clash

Patrice Evra was given a lasting souvenir from his debut for West Ham, with the full-back requiring three stitches after a fierce challenge against Liverpool.

The Frenchman signed on a free transfer at the start of February after his contract was terminated by Marseille for lashing out at a fan, and was picked to start at Anfield.

It was his first appearance since October, though it did not go as planned as the Hammers were beaten 4-1 and Evra was abused throughout the match.

The veteran tweeted: ‘Not a good result but I am very happy to be back in the Premier League. I have missed this game and these tackles! #3stitches #ILoveThisGame’

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

BubblesCyprus 8:44 Mon Feb 26
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Day late with appreciation.

Mex Martillo 7:45 Mon Feb 26
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Aln
That is nasty, I guess Evra will be out for a little while

Texas Iron 5:10 Mon Feb 26
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
C heers...

Takashi Miike 10:16 Sun Feb 25
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

jimbo2. 9:34 Sun Feb 25
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al!

Thanks Alan 1:14 Sun Feb 25
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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