2018–19 Liverpool F.C. season

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Liverpool
2018–19 season
ChairmanTom Werner
ManagerJürgen Klopp
StadiumAnfield
Premier League2nd
FA CupThird round
EFL CupThird round
UEFA Champions LeagueSemi-finals
Top goalscorerLeague:
Mohamed Salah (19)

All:
Mohamed Salah (23)

The 2018–19 season is Liverpool's 127th season in existence, and their 57th consecutive season in the top flight of English football. It is also the club's 27th consecutive season in the Premier League. Along with the Premier League, the club also competes in the UEFA Champions League, and has finished their FA Cup and EFL Cup campaign. The season covers the period from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Season review[edit]

Pre-season[edit]

Liverpool's 2018–19 pre-season kicked off with its second signing (the first being Naby Keïta, a deal finalised before last season) to the squad for the season with the transfer of Brazilian midfielder Fabinho from French club AS Monaco, a deal which became official on 1 July.[1]

Liverpool seemed set for their third signing as reliable club sources like journalist Paul Joyce confirmed Liverpool had reached a deal with French club Lyon for their captain, Nabil Fekir.[2] The club, however, while confirming negotiations were ongoing, announced that Fekir would be remaining at Lyon.[3]

The first match of the preseason took place on 7 July when the Reds visited Chester. The Reds ran wild with two goals from Harry Wilson in the first half, followed by five goals in the second half, in order, from James Milner from the spot, Daniel Sturridge, a Ryan Kent stunner, Danny Ings, then another goal from Sturridge to give Liverpool an 0–7 victory.[4]

The Reds moved along to 10 July and a visit to Merseyside counterparts Tranmere Rovers. Rafa Camacho, Sheyi Ojo, and Adam Lallana all scored in the first-half to give the Reds a 0–3 lead. Tranmere fired back with goals from Jonny Smith scoring a rebound after a hard free kick Loris Karius could not hold on to, then Amadou Soukouna tacked on a late second, but Liverpool held on and won 2–3.[5]

On 13 July, Liverpool formally announced their third signing of the summer; Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City, signing him for £13m, his reported release clause.[6][7]

The following day, on 14 July, Bury was able to deny Liverpool a victory with a 0–0 draw at Gigg Lane. Sturridge, Ojo, and Dominic Solanke all had attempts cleared from the goal line.[8]

On 19 July, Liverpool confirmed their fourth signing of the summer in Alisson Becker for a fee of £56m, making him the most expensive goalkeeper in history at time of purchase.[9][10][11] That same day, Liverpool defeated Blackburn 0–2 with two second-half goals from Sturridge and Lazar Marković.[12]

Liverpool then participated in the International Champions Cup in the United States, first heading to Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium on 22 July to take on Borussia Dortmund. Virgil van Dijk opened scoring in the first half to give the Reds a 1–0 lead at halftime, but Dortmund stormed back with two goals from American Christian Pulisic and a late PK from Jacob Bruun Larsen to give Dortmund the 1–3 victory.[13]

Up next, on 26 July, was a trip to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey where Liverpool took on Manchester City. Leroy Sané opened the scoring in the 57th minute, but it was the super-subs, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, coming back from their time off following the World Cup, to give Liverpool the 1–2 victory over the Premier League rivals.[14]

Finally was the trip to Michigan Stadium and a crowd of over 100,000 people on 29 July, against arch-rivals Manchester United. Liverpool first saw a penalty converted by Mané, only for an immediate response from an Andreas Pereira free kick. In the second half, though, goals from Sturridge, Ojo, from the penalty spot, and newest signing Xherdan Shaqiri's bicycle kick on his debut gave Liverpool the 1–4 win.[15] Liverpool travelled to Ireland on 4 August to ultimately defeat Napoli 5–0 with goals in the first half from Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum then in the second half from Salah, Sturridge, and Alberto Moreno.[16] Liverpool's final preseason fixture was on 7 August in a rare preseason match at Anfield as hosts to Torino. Liverpool opened the scoring with goals from Roberto Firmino and Wijnaldum each scoring. Andrea Belotti answered with a header before the half, but Sturridge responded with another goal to a strong preseason to give Liverpool the 3–1 victory in their final preseason match.[17]

August[edit]

Liverpool's opening Premier League fixture was at Anfield against West Ham United on 12 August. The Reds took a 2–0 half-time lead with goals from Salah and Mané, before the latter scored a seemingly offside goal to make it 3–0. In the final few minutes, Sturridge scored Liverpool's fourth and final goal with his first touch of the game, only 24 seconds after replacing Salah. The 4–0 win put Liverpool in first position of the league table for the first time since November 2016. The scoreline also meant that Liverpool became just the second club in Premier League history to score four or more goals in four consecutive games against a single opponent.[18]

Liverpool's first away game of the league season was at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace on 20 August. Initially, the game was an even contest before Liverpool were awarded a late first half penalty following a foul by former Liverpool player Mamadou Sakho on Salah. James Milner converted the penalty to give Liverpool the 0–1 lead at the half. The second half was equally even for the most part, though at the very end, Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka earned a red card, giving Liverpool a one-man advantage. Mané then scored a late second in stoppage time to eventually give Liverpool a 0–2 win.[19]

Liverpool's final fixture of the month saw the team return to Anfield to take on Brighton & Hove Albion on 25 August. The visitors' resistance was broken in the 23rd minute when Salah put the Reds ahead 1–0, and the game went on to finish with no further changes to the scoreline. The win saw Liverpool take the maximum nine points from the first three league fixtures for the first time since the 2013–14 season.[20]

September[edit]

Liverpool's next fixture was on 1 September, against Leicester City. Liverpool took an early lead through a goal from Mané, which was then followed by Firmino's first goal of the season. His late first-half header to give the Reds a comfortable 2–0 lead at half-time. This was followed by a howler from goalkeeper Alisson, attempting to dribble the ball only to lose it to Kelechi Iheanacho, with Rachid Ghezzal then scoring into the empty net. Liverpool managed to survive the opposition's continued pressing and record a 2–1 win to maintain their 100% record start to the season.[21] Liverpool's next fixture, which came after the international break, was on 15 September, away at Tottenham Hotspur, a team they had not beaten away from home since the 2014–15 season. The Reds took the lead in the 39th minute, with Wijnaldum scoring his first Premier League away goal for Liverpool. Firmino scored his second goal of the season to put the Reds 2–0 up. A late goal from Erik Lamela added drama to the match, but Liverpool held on to secure their fifth league win of the season and maintain their 100% record to the start of the season, with the result also meaning that this was the club's best start to a season since 1990.[22]

Liverpool's first UEFA Champions League match of the season was up against Paris Saint Germain, the French champions, on 18 September. The Reds took the lead through a header from Sturridge, followed by a penalty from Milner, before Thomas Meunier scored to slightly decrease the margin to 2–1 at half-time. Teenager Kylian Mbappé scored in the last few minutes to make it 2–2 as he took advantage off a mistake from Salah. Firmino, who came on as a substitute just minutes before the equalizing goal, scored in the last few seconds of the game to win it 3–2 and open Liverpool's continental campaign with a win.[23]

Liverpool's next game was against on 22 September, against Southampton. Liverpool took the lead through an own goal from Wesley Hoedt in the early minutes of the game, followed by a goal from Joël Matip just ten minutes after, with the Reds' third goal falling in the last minute of the first-half, with Shaqiri hitting the post with a free-kick and Salah slotting in the goal, to win the game 3–0 for the Reds, as Liverpool won a seventh straight game in all competitions from the start of a season for the first time in 28 years.[24]

Liverpool's next fixture was up against Chelsea on 26 September, in the Carabao Cup third round. The Reds initially took the lead through a goal from Sturridge, only for Emerson Palmieri to score the equaliser in the last ten minutes of the match, which was followed by Eden Hazard scoring a stunning goal in the final minutes of the match to give Chelsea the win and end Liverpool's unbeaten start to the season.[25]

Three days later, on 29 September, the Reds once again played against Chelsea in the Premier League. A goal from Hazard once again gave Chelsea the lead at half-time, before Sturridge scored a magnificent late goal to share the points for both sides.[26]

October[edit]

The Reds' next match was against Napoli in the Champions League at the Stadio San Paolo on 3 October. Liverpool struggled throughout the game, particularly in attack where they failed to register a single shot on target for the first time since 2006. A goal from Lorenzo Insigne in the 90th minute finally would break the deadlock after Liverpool's defense stopped several chances. Following the defeat, Klopp stated that the Reds "only had themselves to blame" for the loss.[27]

Their final game before the international was against league champions Manchester City on 7 October, with plenty of hype ahead of the game. However, the match would eventually finish goalless, as both teams' defences earned praise. The highlight of the match was Riyad Mahrez missing a penalty in the last few minutes of the game after he was fouled by Van Dijk, with the Algerian skying the ball over the crossbar to mark a 0–0 draw.[28] During the international break, the Reds would suffer several injury problems to key players, including Salah, Mané, van Dijk and Keïta, though only the latter would be out for an extended period.

The Reds' first match following the international break was against Huddersfield Town, on 20 October, and a third meeting between close friends Klopp and David Wagner. The Reds went ahead following Salah's strike in first half, as the game also marked the introduction of Fabinho, who made his Premier League debut after coming as a substitute in the 69th minute. Huddersfield has several attempts but were unable to score, as Liverpool were able to hold on and win 1–0.[29]

Liverpool's next match was a midweek Champions League fixture against Red Star Belgrade, on 24 October. Following an initially close opening, the Reds went ahead through Roberto Firmino's goal in the 20th minute, which was followed by Salah's goal at the stroke of half-time. Salah scored his second goal from the penalty spot, which was his 50th goal for the club in all competition. Mané, after missing a penalty, scored to give Liverpool a 4–0 win, with the result, along with a 2–2 draw between Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain in the other group fixture, moving the Reds to top of their Champions League group.[30]

Liverpool's next fixture was against Cardiff City on 27 October. The Reds went ahead with a goal from Salah in the 10th minute, but afterwards were unable to break Cardiff's defence before Mané scored to make it to 2–0 in the 66th minute, only for Callum Paterson to score in the 77th minute. Afterwards, Shaqiri scored his first goal for the club to make it 3–1, with Mané scoring three minutes later to make it 4–1 and temporarily move the Reds to the top of the table.[31]

November[edit]

The Reds' next match was against Arsenal on 3 November. In a very close match, Milner scored his 50th Premier League goal to open a 1–0 lead for Liverpool in the 61st minute, following an error from goalkeeper Bernd Leno, though Alexander Lacazette scored a late equaliser after he had taken the ball away from Alisson, as the two sides shared a 1–1 draw.[32]

Three days later, Liverpool played against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League, with the Reds suffering a shock 2–0 defeat after two early goals from Milan Pavkov, with the defeat severely threatening Liverpool's qualification hopes.[33] The Reds' next fixture was against Fulham, on 11 November. Following an unexpectedly close first-half, Salah scored just 14 seconds after Fulham scored a goal that was controversially considered offside. Shaqiri scored his second goal for the club in the second half, as the Reds won 2–0 and temporarily return to the top of the league table.[34]

Following the international break, Liverpool's next game was against Watford at Vicarage Road on 24 November. The Hornets scored inside the second minute, but Gerard Deulofeu's goal was flagged offside. After an initially close first half, Salah opened the scoring for Liverpool, which was then followed by a free-kick goal from Trent Alexander-Arnold, who scored his first goal of the season. In the last few minutes of game time, captain Jordan Henderson was sent off following a foul on Étienne Capoue, which resulted in his second yellow card and dismissal. A late header from Firmino was then enough to give Liverpool a 3–0 away win.[35]

The final match of the month for Liverpool was an away trip to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League group stages. The hosts went ahead through a goal from Juan Bernat, followed by a goal from Neymar to double the lead for the hosts. Despite a penalty from Milner, the Reds were unable to score an equalizer and left Parc des Princes without any points. The defeat would mean that Liverpool had to win either 1–0 or by two goals against Napoli in their final match to progress to the knockout stages of the competition.[36]

December[edit]

In the last month of the calendar year, Liverpool played against city rivals Everton on 2 December. In a very tight and close game, several attempts on goal were made made by both teams, with Alisson saving a header from André Gomes and Joe Gomez clearing the rebound and a shot from Gylfi Sigurðsson. In the final seconds of the game, Divock Origi scored his first goal for the club since May 2017, following a bizarre error from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, to seal a dramatic 1–0 win for the Reds, and extend Everton's winless run against Liverpool to 18 games.[37]

In the midweek fixture on 5 December, the Reds played away against Burnley. The hosts took a surprise lead through Jack Cork after Alisson was unable to gather the ball following a Burnley corner. Liverpool would soon hit the equalizer through a superb low finish from Milner and soon after substitute Firmino scored with his first touch to overturn the result in Liverpool's favour, with Shaqiri scoring in added time just moments following a save from Alisson to seal a 3–1 win. The victory meant that Liverpool were unbeaten in their first 15 league games, the club's best ever league start in history.[38]

In the weekend fixture of 8 December, Liverpool won 4–0 against Bournemouth, with a hat-trick from Salah and an own goal from Steve Cook, to move top of the league table. The game was also marked by Milner making his 500th Premier League appearance.[39] The club's next game was a crucial tie against Napoli in their Champions League group fixture. Liverpool went ahead with a goal from Salah, which was followed by the hosts missing several clear attempts. In injury time, Arkadiusz Milik had a chance to equalize from eight yards away from goal, but his shot was denied by Alisson who made a crucial save as Liverpool won 1–0 and qualify for the knockout phase.[40]

In the next fixture on 16 December, Liverpool hosted fierce rivals Manchester United, who were in poor form but did not taste defeat against the Reds since March 2014. In the end, Liverpool emerged victorious. The hosts went ahead through a volley goal from Mané, before Jesse Lingard equalized following an error from goalkeeper Alisson. Substitute Shaqiri then scored twice in seven minutes to confirm a 3–1 victory for the Reds.[41]

The following fixture was on 21 December, an away fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers, resulting in a 2–0 win for the visitors. Salah scored the opening goal following a cross from Fabinho, with the Egyptian then assisting Van Dijk's goal, with the Dutchman scoring his first league goal for Liverpool. The result guaranteed that, regardless of other results, Liverpool would be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day [42] - with Manchester City's unexpected home loss to Crystal Palace ensuring the Reds would be four points clear.

The traditional Boxing Day fixture saw Liverpool host Newcastle United and former manager Rafael Benítez. The hosts went ahead through a wonderful strike from Dejan Lovren, which was followed by a second-half penalty from Salah, after the Egyptian was fouled by Paul Dummett, before Shaqiri's strike wrapped up the three points, with substitute Fabinho scoring his first goal for the club to complete a 4–0 victory. The result, coupled with other favourable results in the league, ensured that the Reds would go into their final game of 2018 six points clear, and would be top on New Year's Day.[43]

Liverpool's final game of 2018 saw the Reds again at Anfield, this time hosting Arsenal just 56 days after the reverse fixture at the Emirates - despite falling behind in the 11th minute to a goal from Gunners academy graduate Ainsley Maitland-Niles, a frantic spell just a couple of minutes later saw Liverpool go 2-1 up thanks to a Firmino brace, with Mane extending the lead in the 32nd minute and Salah again scoring from the penalty spot in the dying minutes of added time. Only one goal was scored in the second half, just after the hour mark, with Firmino completing his first ever Liverpool hat-trick from the penalty spot. With Tottenham having lost 3-1 at home to Wolves in the earlier kick-off, the result saw the Reds go nine points clear at the top of the table, albeit the gap being then reduced to seven points by Manchester City's victory at Southampton the following day - with the club not only extending their unbeaten run in the league to 21 games but also successfully going unbeaten at Anfield in the league in 2018, as well as equalling the record set by Rafa Benitez's team in 2008-09 of going unbeaten at Anfield in the league for 31 games.

January[edit]

Liverpool kicked off the new calendar year with a daunting trip to the Etihad to face Manchester City, knowing full well a win could see their lead extended to ten points. In a tight first half, Liverpool had a goal very narrowly ruled out by goal-line technology before City defender Vincent Kompany controversially avoided a red card for a studs-up challenge on Salah, with Sergio Aguero opening the scoring for the champions in the 40th minute. Liverpool pulled themselves level in the second half, Firmino scoring after the hour mark, but Sane won the game for City just under 10 minutes later - ending Liverpool's unbeaten start to the season and pulling City firmly back into the title race.

The following fixture was again away at Wolves, this time in the 3rd round of the FA Cup - with the title challenge firmly on his mind, Klopp made nine changes to the team with only Milner and Lovren keeping their places from the defeat at City, giving first-team debuts to academy graduates Curtis Jones and Rafa Camacho and starting Fabinho at centre-back along Lovren. Barely 5 minutes into the game, however, Lovren was substituted off with a hamstring injury - with Ki-Jana Hoever, who had been signed for the academy in the summer, becoming the youngest ever Liverpool player to debut for the first-team at 16 years old. Wolves opened up the scoring on the 38th minute, with Raul Jimenez firing in on the counter. Much like at the Etihad, Liverpool pulled themselves level in the second half with Origi scoring in the 51st minute, only for Ruben Neves to fire the home-side back ahead 4 minutes later with a terrific 31-yard shot; the West Midlands side could have even scored more, with Hoever making a fantastic last-ditch tackle to stop Jimenez closing in on goal with 15 minutes left. The result saw Liverpool eliminated from the Cup in the 3rd round for the first time since 2011 and eliminated by Wolves for the second time in 3 seasons.

There were some positives for the club in the opening weeks of the month, however, with both Klopp and Van Dijk picking up the Premier League Manager and Player of the Month awards for December, Liverpool having won all seven league games to go from second to having a lead at the top of the table - Van Dijk becoming the first league defender to win the award since 2013.

The Red's next league fixture was away at Brighton and Hove Albion, the Reds hoping to put the 2 previous defeats behind them - after a goal-less first half that saw the Reds fail to find a way past a stubborn Seagulls defence, a 3rd Salah penalty in 4 league games in the 50th minute put the Reds ahead, a scoreline that stayed the same until full-time, sending Liverpool seven points clear at the top until Monday evening at least.

For the next game, Liverpool welcomed former manager Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace to Anfield - the Reds aware that victory could see them again go seven points clear of City, but also aware that Palace had won three of their five previous league visits and had also won at City just four weeks previously. The game remained even until just after the half-hour mark when Palace forward Andros Townsend controversially scored with the Eagles' first shot on goal, barely a few seconds after he escaped being penalised for a hand-ball in the Palace penalty area. Going one goal down into half-time, Liverpool came flying out in the second half with Salah scoring his fifteen league goal of the season not even a minute into the half, with Firmino firing the home side into the lead just seven minutes later. Palace, however, proved they weren't down and out with James Tomkins pulling his side level just after the hour mark - only for Liverpool to restore their lead in the 78th minute through Salah. A second bookable offence for Milner saw the Reds down to ten men and their lead under threat, before Mane scored in added time to put the game beyond Palace - with even Max Meyer's first Palace goal proving to be too late, as Liverpool secured their 19th league win of the season and extended their unbeaten home league run to 32 games, the longest since going over 60 home league games unbeaten between 1978 and 1980 in the old First Division.

The Reds' next game came 10 days later as a result of the FA Cup fourth round being played on the weekend of 26-27th January, with Leicester City welcomed to Anfield - aware that Manchester City had lost the previous day at Newcastle United, Liverpool had the chance to extend their lead at the top once again but were ultimately frustrated by a resilient Foxes side; Mane put the Reds ahead in the 3rd minute, only for Harry Maguire to head in an equalizer on the stroke of half-time just minutes after avoiding being sent off for being the last man on Mane. No goals were scored in the second half, with Leicester lucky to avoid conceding a penalty when Keita was hauled down in the area.

February[edit]

Liverpool's first game of the month came against West Ham at the Olympic Stadium and finished in a second successive 1-1 draw, with Michail Antonio scoring just before the 30 minute mark to cancel out another Mané opener. This allowed Manchester City to go top of the league on goal difference with wins against Arsenal and Liverpool's arch rivals Everton.

The Reds then bounced back with what ultimately proved to be an easy 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield, with Mané and Wijnaldum scoring within 10 minutes of each other in the first half, and Salah adding the final goal just minutes after the start of the second half. With his goal, Salah became the first player since Luis Suárez to hit the back of the net 20 times in successive seasons.

10 days later, the Reds welcomed German giants Bayern Munich to Anfield for the first leg of the last-16 Champions League knockout stage - a game that finished 0-0 with both sides having chances but ultimately seeing the German champions resort to damage limitation for the last half-hour with Liverpool more likely to score.

Liverpool's next game then the squad to Old Trafford to face fierce rivals Manchester United, who had enjoyed an incredible resurgence under Norwegian interim manager and former player Ole Gunnar Solskjær following his appointment after the Manchester club's loss at Anfield in December. The game ultimately finished 0-0, the Reds putting in a poor performance against a United side that made all three substitutions in the space of 25 minutes in the first half - and were lucky to avoid a late loss, a Matip own goal being disallowed.

With scrutiny increasing both on and off the pitch for their next game, a home match against Watford, Liverpool then secured their biggest victory of the season with a 5-0 win over the Hornets - Mane extending his impressive run of goals with a brace in the first half, before Origi scored shortly after the hour mark to put the game beyond Watford, with Van Dijk scoring a late brace to keep the Reds one point clear of City and increase their goal difference.

March[edit]

On 3 March, Liverpool played out a goalless draw at Everton at Goodison Park - the Reds testing Blues goalkeeper Pickford several times in the half but ultimately failing to really bring a good save out of him. With City having won at Bournemouth the previous day, the Merseyside club lost their lead at the top of the table.

The following weekend, the Reds welcomed Burnley to Anfield, aware that only a win would be acceptable after City's win over Watford - however, the team got off to a poor start with Ashley Westwood scoring directly from a corner after just 6 minutes, though replays revealed that Allison had been impeded by Clarets defender James Tarkowski in the build-up. Liverpool forced themselves back into the game 13 minutes later, with Firmino taking advantage of a fumbled shot from opposite goalkeeper Tom Heaton and then took the lead just before the 30-minute mark through Mane. Firmino added his second goal of the game after the hour mark, again taking advantage of an error from Heaton, before Burnley pulled a second goal back in the first minute of added time through Icelandic midfielder Johann Berg Gudmundsson - however, Liverpool were not to be denied and deservedly won the game just two minutes later with Mane scoring his second goal of the game and ensuring the Reds remained just one point behind City with 8 games to go.

The next game saw Liverpool travel to Germany and the Allianz Arena for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 game - after an even 25 minute opening period, the Reds opened the scoring through Mane, who continued his fine scoring form with a fantastic finish that saw him manage to sidestep Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer before firing into the goal. The German side fought back, however, levelling the score 13 minutes later through a Matip own goal, though the Reds would still be going through on away goals scored. Despite Bayern increasing the pressure in the second half, it was Liverpool who added to their lead through a Van Dijk header just before the 70 minute mark - with Mane scoring his second goal of the night to settled the tie once and for all 10 minutes later, sending the Reds into the quarter-finals for the second year in a row and ensuring they would join fellow English sides Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the draw; just days later, the draw was made for both the quarter-finals and the semi-finals, with Liverpool being drawn with Porto for the second season running with the possibility of facing either Manchester United or Barcelona in the semi-final tie.

In their final game before the international break, the Reds travelled back down to London to face strugglers Fulham at Craven Cottage - a tie that saw the Merseyside club return to the top of the table with a 2-1 win; despite putting in a poor performance and being pegged back to 1-1 with 15 minutes to go, Ryan Babel scoring against his former club after a mix-up between Allison and Van Dijk, a 26th minute goal from Mane and then an 81st minute penalty from Milner ensured all three points for the Reds.

The Reds' last game of the month saw them welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield, aware that the title race was really hotting up and that any dropped points could see the club miss out once again on their first Premier League start - after an even start, Firmino ended his goalless run by smashing in a shot in the 16th minute to give his side the lead. Tottenham deservedly equalised in the 70th minute through Lucas Moura after a strong second half up to that point and looked set to earn a point, only for Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld to inadvertently send the ball into his own net in the 90th minute, a goal that earnt Liverpool the win and saw the Reds go two points clear going into the last two months of the season.

April[edit]

For their first game of the penultimate month of the season, Liverpool travelled to St Mary's on the south-coast to face Southampton, who had largely picked up form since the reverse game in September, in part thanks to the appointment of former RB Leipzig manager and Austrian Ralph Hasenhuttl - and it was the Saints who scored first, Shane Long netting in the ninth minute to put the Reds under pressure. However, their lead lasted for less than 30 minutes with Naby Keita scoring his first Liverpool goal to pull the Merseyside club level, despite Salah appearing to be offside in the build-up. Despite attempts from Southampton to bring themselves back into the match, goals from Salah and Henderson - the former ending a nine-game drought and the latter scoring his first goal of the season - ultimately consigned the Saints to defeat and ensured Liverpool once again returned to the top of the table, albeit with Manchester City yet again having a game in hand. Furthermore, the result mathematically ensured a top-four finish for the Reds and confirmed their place in the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League.

The Reds' next game came four days later, as they hosted FC Porto in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final draw; the end result of the game was a comfortable 2-0 win for Liverpool, with Keita scoring his second goal for the club in as many games after just five minutes and Firmino doubling the lead just before the half-hour mark, giving the side the advantage in the tie.

Liverpool then followed this up with arguably their toughest game of the season, as they welcomed Chelsea to Anfield one day before the 30th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster - with City having comfortably won at Crystal Palace in the earlier Sunday kick-off, the pressure was on the home side to return to the top of the table against a Chelsea side who hadn't lost in any competition at Anfield since 2012. After a goal-less first half, Liverpool came firing out in the second and scored two quick-fire goals in succession, Mane heading the first goal in on the 51st minute mark and then Salah - just days after it had emerged that Chelsea fans in Prague had been recorded singing a racially discriminatory song about the Egyptian forward - scoring the second two minutes later, firing in a cracker of a goal from 25 yards out. The score-line remained the same until the final whistle, Chelsea going close twice through Hazard but being unable to find the back of the net; the result once again saw Liverpool return to the top of the table.

The next game saw the Reds travel to Portugal for the second leg of their Champions League tie with Porto; despite making a slow start and having to weather several Porto attacks, the team took the lead in the 28th minute through a Mane strike that appeared offside but was finally given by VAR. Salah scored the second goal in the second half, only for defender Éder Militão to score for the home side just a couple of moments later - however, the game was finally put to bed by two headers, the first from Firmino and the second from Van Dijk, sending Liverpool into the semi-finals for the second season running to face Barcelona, who comfortably dispatched Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate in their tie.

Liverpool's next game fell on Easter Sunday as they travelled to Wales to face Cardiff City, who had seen their battle to avoid relegation rejuvenated with an impressive away victory in their previous game which they won 2-0 away to Brighton and Hove Albion. After a goal-less first half that saw the Bluebirds deal with the attacking threat from the Reds very well, the away side finally got the goal they needed, Wijnaldum scoring with a wonderful finish in the 56th minute. Cardiff very nearly equalized only seven minutes, only for captain Sean Morrison to miscue his header and send the ball wide; with less than 10 minutes to go, Morrison then proceeded to give away a penalty by holding onto Salah in the penalty area for a good couple of seconds, a penalty that Milner calmly converted. The game finished 2-0 to Liverpool, again sending them to the top of the table but potentially only for a couple of days, with Manchester City set to play their game in hand in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on the 24th April, two days before Liverpool's home game against already relegated Huddersfield Town.

First-team squad[edit]

Last updated on 17 February 2019[44]
Squad No. Name Nationality Position(s) Date of Birth (Age) Apps Goals Assists Signed From
Goalkeepers
13 Alisson Becker Brazil GK (1992-10-02) 2 October 1992 (age 26) 45 0 0 Italy Roma
22 Simon Mignolet Belgium GK (1988-03-06) 6 March 1988 (age 31) 204 0 0 England Sunderland
62 Caoimhin Kelleher Republic of Ireland GK (1998-11-23) 23 November 1998 (age 20) 0 0 0 England LFC Academy
Defenders
4 Virgil van Dijk (3rd captain) Netherlands CB (1991-07-08) 8 July 1991 (age 27) 66 6 4 England Southampton
6 Dejan Lovren Croatia CB (1989-07-05) 5 July 1989 (age 29) 168 7 4 England Southampton
12 Joe Gomez England CB/RB (1997-05-23) 23 May 1997 (age 21) 61 0 3 England Charlton Athletic
18 Alberto Moreno Spain LB/LWB (1992-07-05) 5 July 1992 (age 26) 141 3 11 Spain Sevilla
26 Andrew Robertson Scotland LB/LWB (1994-03-11) 11 March 1994 (age 25) 72 1 16 England Hull City
32 Joel Matip Cameroon CB (1991-08-08) 8 August 1991 (age 27) 94 3 0 Germany Schalke 04
47 Nathaniel Phillips England CB (1997-03-21) 21 March 1997 (age 22) 0 0 0 England LFC Academy
51 Ki-Jana Hoever Netherlands RB/CB (2002-01-18) 18 January 2002 (age 17) 1 0 0 England LFC Academy
66 Trent Alexander-Arnold England RB/RWB (1998-10-07) 7 October 1998 (age 20) 80 4 14 England LFC Academy
Midfielders
3 Fabinho Brazil DM/RB/CB (1993-10-23) 23 October 1993 (age 25) 36 1 2 France Monaco
5 Georginio Wijnaldum (4th captain) Netherlands CM/DM (1990-11-11) 11 November 1990 (age 28) 133 11 16 England Newcastle United
7 James Milner (vice-captain) England DM/CM/LB/RB (1986-01-04) 4 January 1986 (age 33) 172 22 36 England Manchester City
8 Naby Keita Guinea CM/AM (1995-02-10) 10 February 1995 (age 24) 31 2 1 Germany RB Leipzig
14 Jordan Henderson (captain) England DM/CM (1990-06-17) 17 June 1990 (age 28) 318 25 43 England Sunderland
20 Adam Lallana England CM/AM (1988-05-10) 10 May 1988 (age 30) 156 21 20 England Southampton
21 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain England CM/AM/RW (1993-08-15) 15 August 1993 (age 25) 42 5 8 England Arsenal
23 Xherdan Shaqiri Switzerland RW/LW/AM (1991-10-10) 10 October 1991 (age 27) 27 6 3 England Stoke City
48 Curtis Jones England CM/RW (2001-01-30)30 January 2001 (aged 17) 1 0 0 England LFC Academy
64 Rafael Camacho Portugal RW/RM/RB (2000-05-22)22 May 2000 (aged 18) 2 0 0 England LFC Academy
Forwards
9 Roberto Firmino Brazil ST/AM (1991-10-02) 2 October 1991 (age 27) 190 66 47 Germany 1899 Hoffenheim
10 Sadio Mané Senegal LW/RW/ST (1992-04-10) 10 April 1992 (age 27) 117 55 22 England Southampton
11 Mohamed Salah Egypt RW/ST (1992-06-15) 15 June 1992 (age 26) 99 67 27 Italy Roma
15 Daniel Sturridge England ST (1989-09-01) 1 September 1989 (age 29) 157 68 26 England Chelsea
24 Rhian Brewster England ST (2000-04-01) 1 April 2000 (age 19) 0 0 0 England LFC Academy
27 Divock Origi Belgium ST (1995-04-18) 18 April 1995 (age 24) 93 24 8 France Lille
58 Ben Woodburn Wales ST (1999-10-15) 15 October 1999 (age 19) 11 1 0 England LFC Academy

Transfers and loans[edit]

Transfers in[edit]

Entry date Position No. Player From club Fee Ref.
1 July 2018 MF 8 Guinea Naby Keïta Germany RB Leipzig £52,750,000 [45]
1 July 2018 MF 3 Brazil Fabinho France Monaco £39,000,000[A] [46]
13 July 2018 FW 23 Switzerland Xherdan Shaqiri England Stoke City £13,500,000 [47]
19 July 2018 GK 13 Brazil Alisson Italy Roma £55,500,000[B] [48][49]
Total £160,750,000
  1. ^ Fee may eventually rise to £43,000,000.
  2. ^ Fee may eventually rise to £64,400,000.

Transfers out[edit]

Exit date Position No. Player To club Fee Ref.
1 July 2018 MF 23 Germany Emre Can Italy Juventus Released [50]
1 July 2018 DF 38 England Jon Flanagan Scotland Rangers Released [50]
1 July 2018 MF 49 Wales Jordan Williams England Rochdale Released [51]
20 July 2018 GK 52 Wales Danny Ward England Leicester City £12,500,000 [52]
17 August 2018 DF 17 Estonia Ragnar Klavan Italy Cagliari £2,000,000 [53]
4 January 2019 FW 29 England Dominic Solanke England AFC Bournemouth £19,000,000[A] [54]
31 January 2019 MF 50 Serbia Lazar Marković England Fulham Free [55]
Total £33,500,000
  1. ^ Fee may eventually rise to £25,000,000.

Loans out[edit]

Start date End date Position No. Player To club Fee Ref.
1 July 2018 15 December 2018 MF 53 England Ovie Ejaria Scotland Rangers None [56][57]
2 July 2018 End of season GK 34 Hungary Ádám Bogdán Scotland Hibernian None [58]
17 July 2018 End of season MF 59 Wales Harry Wilson England Derby County £1,000,000 [59]
20 July 2018 End of season FW 40 England Ryan Kent Scotland Rangers None [60]
23 July 2018 11 January 2019 FW Nigeria Taiwo Awoniyi Belgium Gent None [61][62]
25 July 2018 14 February 2019 MF Brazil Allan Germany Eintracht Frankfurt None [63][64]
25 July 2018 9 January 2019 FW 58 Wales Ben Woodburn England Sheffield United None [65]
9 August 2018 End of season FW 28 England Danny Ings England Southampton None [66]
19 August 2018 End of season MF 16 Serbia Marko Grujić Germany Hertha BSC £900,000 [67]
23 August 2018 14 January 2019 DF 56 England Connor Randall England Rochdale None [68][69]
25 August 2018 Two seasons GK 1 Germany Loris Karius Turkey Beşiktaş £2,250,000 [70]
30 August 2018 End of season MF 54 England Sheyi Ojo France Stade Reims None [71]
4 January 2019 End of season DF 2 England Nathaniel Clyne England AFC Bournemouth None [72]
6 January 2019 End of season GK 73 Poland Kamil Grabara Denmark AGF None [73]
7 January 2019 End of season MF 53 England Ovie Ejaria England Reading None [74]
11 January 2019 End of season FW Nigeria Taiwo Awoniyi Belgium Royal Excel Mouscron None [62]
31 January 2019 End of season MF 68 Spain Pedro Chirivella Spain Extremadura None [75]
15 February 2019 End of season MF Brazil Allan Brazil Fluminense None [64]

Transfer summary[edit]

New contracts[edit]

Date Pos No. Player Ref.
2 July 2018 FW 11 Egypt Mohamed Salah [76]
10 July 2018 FW 59 Wales Harry Wilson [77]
17 July 2018 FW Nigeria Taiwo Awoniyi [78]
17 July 2018 FW 24 England Rhian Brewster [79]
25 July 2018 MF Brazil Allan [80]
19 August 2018 MF 16 Serbia Marko Grujić [81]
30 August 2018 MF 54 England Sheyi Ojo [82]
30 August 2018 GK 62 Republic of Ireland Caoimhin Kelleher [83]
3 September 2018 MF 14 England Jordan Henderson [84]
22 November 2018 FW 10 Senegal Sadio Mané [85]
10 December 2018 DF 12 England Joe Gomez [86]
17 January 2019 DF 26 Scotland Andrew Robertson [87]
19 January 2019 DF 66 England Trent Alexander-Arnold [88]

Friendlies[edit]

The Reds revealed pre-season fixtures against Chester, Tranmere Rovers, Bury, Blackburn Rovers, Napoli and Torino. They also competed in the International Champions Cup against Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Manchester United.[89]

Pre-season[edit]

  Win   Draw   Loss

International Champions Cup[edit]

Competitions[edit]

Overall[edit]

Competition Started round Current
position / round
Final
position / round
First match Last match
Premier League 1st 12 August 2018 12 May 2019
FA Cup Third round Third round 7 January 2019
EFL Cup Third round Third round 26 September 2018
UEFA Champions League Group stage Semi-finals 18 September 2018

Last updated: 17 April 2019
Source: Competitions

Overview[edit]

Competition Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
Premier League 35 27 7 1 79 20 +59 077.14
FA Cup 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 000.00
EFL Cup 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 000.00
UEFA Champions League 10 6 1 3 18 9 +9 060.00
Total 47 33 8 6 99 33 +66 070.21

Last updated: 21 April 2019
Source: Competitions

Premier League[edit]

League table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Manchester City (Q) 35 29 2 4 89 22 +67 89 Qualification for the Champions League group stage
2 Liverpool (Q) 35 27 7 1 79 20 +59 88
3 Tottenham Hotspur (X) 35 23 1 11 65 35 +30 70
4 Chelsea (X) 35 20 7 8 59 38 +21 67
5 Arsenal (X) 35 20 6 9 69 46 +23 66 Qualification for the Europa League group stage
Updated to match(es) played on 24 April 2019. Source: Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Play-offs (only if needed to decide champion, teams for relegation or teams for UEFA competitions).
(Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (X) Assured of at least Europa League, but may still qualify for Champions League.

Results summary[edit]

Overall Home Away
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts W D L GF GA GD W D L GF GA GD
35 27 7 1 79 20  +59 88 15 2 0 48 10  +38 12 5 1 31 10  +21

Last updated: 21 April 2019.
Source: Premier League

Results by matchday[edit]

Matchday1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
GroundHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
ResultWWWWWWDDWWDWWWWWWWWWLWWDDWDWDWWWWWW
Position12112123223222211111111111112222222
Updated to match(es) played on 21 April 2019. Source: 11v11
A = Away; H = Home; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss

Matches[edit]

On 14 June 2018, the Premier League fixtures for the forthcoming season were announced.[90][91]

FA Cup[edit]

The third round draw was made live on BBC by Ruud Gullit and Paul Ince from Stamford Bridge on 3 December 2018.[92]

  Win   Draw   Loss

EFL Cup[edit]

The third round draw was made on 30 August 2018 by David Seaman and Joleon Lescott.[93]

  Win   Draw   Loss

UEFA Champions League[edit]

Group stage[edit]

On 30 August 2018, the group stage draw was made live from Monaco.[94]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification PAR LIV NAP ZVE
1 France Paris Saint-Germain 6 3 2 1 17 9 +8 11 Advance to knockout phase 2–1 2–2 6–1
2 England Liverpool 6 3 0 3 9 7 +2 9[a] 3–2 1–0 4–0
3 Italy Napoli 6 2 3 1 7 5 +2 9[a] Transfer to Europa League 1–1 1–0 3–1
4 Serbia Red Star Belgrade 6 1 1 4 5 17 −12 4 1–4 2–0 0–0
Source: UEFA
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Goals in all group matches: Liverpool 9, Napoli 7.

  Win   Draw   Loss

Knockout phase[edit]

Round of 16[edit]

The draw for the round of 16 was held on 17 December 2018, 12:00 CET, at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.[95]

Quarter-finals[edit]

The draw for the quarter-finals was held on 15 March 2019, 12:00 CET, at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.[96]

Semi-finals[edit]

Squad statistics[edit]

Appearances[edit]

Players with no appearances not included in the list.

As of match played 21 April 2019
No. Pos. Nat. Name Premier League FA Cup EFL Cup UCL Total
Apps Starts Apps Starts Apps Starts Apps Starts Apps Starts
3 MF Brazil Fabinho 26 19 1 1 1 1 8 4 36 25
4 DF Netherlands Virgil van Dijk 35 35 0 0 0 0 9 9 44 44
5 MF Netherlands Georginio Wijnaldum 32 29 0 0 0 0 9 9 41 38
6 DF Croatia Dejan Lovren 11 9 1 1 1 1 3 2 16 13
7 MF England James Milner 29 19 1 1 1 1 9 8 40 29
8 MF Guinea Naby Keïta 24 15 1 1 1 1 5 3 31 20
9 FW Brazil Roberto Firmino 34 31 1 0 1 0 10 7 46 38
10 FW Senegal Sadio Mané 33 32 0 0 1 1 10 10 44 43
11 FW Egypt Mohamed Salah 35 34 1 0 1 0 10 10 47 44
12 DF England Joe Gomez 14 12 0 0 0 0 6 4 20 16
13 GK Brazil Alisson 35 35 0 0 0 0 10 10 45 45
14 MF England Jordan Henderson 29 18 0 0 1 0 8 6 38 24
15 FW England Daniel Sturridge 16 2 1 1 1 1 6 2 24 6
18 DF Spain Alberto Moreno 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 0 5 4
20 MF England Adam Lallana 13 5 0 0 0 0 3 1 16 6
22 GK Belgium Simon Mignolet 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 2 2
23 MF Switzerland Xherdan Shaqiri 22 11 1 1 1 1 3 1 27 14
26 DF Scotland Andrew Robertson 33 33 0 0 0 0 9 9 42 42
27 FW Belgium Divock Origi 10 3 1 1 0 0 5 1 16 5
32 DF Cameroon Joël Matip 21 16 0 0 1 1 5 5 27 22
48 MF England Curtis Jones 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1
51 DF Netherlands Ki-Jana Hoever 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
64 DF Portugal Rafael Camacho 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 1
66 DF England Trent Alexander-Arnold 26 24 0 0 0 0 9 9 35 33
Players who are on loan/left Liverpool that have appeared this season
2 DF England Nathaniel Clyne 4 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 5 2

Goalscorers[edit]

Includes all competitive matches.

As of match played 21 April 2019
Rank Pos. No. Player Premier League FA Cup EFL Cup Champions League Total
1 FW 11 Egypt Mohamed Salah 19 0 0 4 23
2 FW 10 Senegal Sadio Mané 18 0 0 4 22
3 FW 9 Brazil Roberto Firmino 12 0 0 4 16
4 MF 7 England James Milner 5 0 0 2 7
5 MF 23 Switzerland Xherdan Shaqiri 6 0 0 0 6
6 DF 4 Netherlands Virgil van Dijk 3 0 0 2 5
7 FW 15 England Daniel Sturridge 2 0 1 1 4
8 MF 5 Netherlands Georginio Wijnaldum 3 0 0 0 3
FW 27 Belgium Divock Origi 2 1 0 0 3
10 MF 8 Guinea Naby Keïta 1 0 0 1 2
11 MF 3 Brazil Fabinho 1 0 0 0 1
DF 6 Croatia Dejan Lovren 1 0 0 0 1
MF 14 England Jordan Henderson 1 0 0 0 1
DF 32 Cameroon Joël Matip 1 0 0 0 1
DF 66 England Trent Alexander-Arnold 1 0 0 0 1
Own Goals 3 0 0 0 3
Total 79 1 1 18 99

Assists[edit]

Includes all competitive matches. Not all goals have an assist. Assists judged by WhoScored.[97]

As of match played 21 April 2019
Rank Pos. No. Player Premier League FA Cup EFL Cup Champions League Total
1 DF 26 Scotland Andrew Robertson 9 0 0 2 11
DF 66 England Trent Alexander-Arnold 8 0 0 3 11
3 FW 11 Egypt Mohamed Salah 7 0 0 3 10
4 FW 9 Brazil Roberto Firmino 6 0 0 1 7
5 MF 7 England James Milner 4 0 0 2 6
6 DF 4 Netherlands Virgil Van Dijk 2 0 0 2 4
7 MF 14 England Jordan Henderson 2 0 0 1 3
MF 23 Switzerland Xherdan Shaqiri 2 0 0 1 3
9 MF 3 Brazil Fabinho 2 0 0 0 2
FW 10 Senegal Sadio Mané 1 0 0 1 2
FW 15 England Daniel Sturridge 1 0 0 1 2
12 MF 8 Guinea Naby Keïta 1 0 0 0 1
FW 27 Belgium Divock Origi 1 0 0 0 1

Clean sheets[edit]

As of match played 21 April 2019
No. Player Premier League Champions League Total
13 Brazil Alisson 19 4 23
Total 19 4 23

Disciplinary record[edit]

As of match played 21 April 2019
No. Pos. Name Premier League FA Cup EFL Cup UCL Total
Yellow card Red card Yellow card Red card Yellow card Red card Yellow card Red card Yellow card Red card
3 MF Brazil Fabinho 6 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 8 0
4 DF Netherlands Virgil van Dijk 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 4 0
5 MF Netherlands Georginio Wijnaldum 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
6 DF Croatia Dejan Lovren 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
7 MF England James Milner 6 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 9 1
8 MF Guinea Naby Keïta 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0
10 FW Senegal Sadio Mané 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
11 FW Egypt Mohamed Salah 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
12 DF England Joe Gomez 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
13 GK Brazil Alisson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
14 MF England Jordan Henderson 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 5 1
15 FW England Daniel Sturridge 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
20 MF England Adam Lallana 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
23 MF Switzerland Xherdan Shaqiri 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
26 DF Scotland Andrew Robertson 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 7 0
32 DF Cameroon Joël Matip 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 5 0
66 DF England Trent Alexander-Arnold 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 40 2 1 0 5 0 14 0 63 2

Awards[edit]

Liverpool Standard Chartered Player of the Month award[edit]

Awarded monthly to the player that was chosen by fans voting on Liverpoolfc.com

Month Player Ref
August Netherlands Virgil van Dijk [98]
September England Daniel Sturridge [99]
October Egypt Mohamed Salah [100]
November England Trent Alexander-Arnold [101]
December Egypt Mohamed Salah [102]
January Senegal Sadio Mané [103]
February Netherlands Virgil van Dijk [104]
March Senegal Sadio Mané [105]
April
May

Premier League Manager of the Month[edit]

Month Manager Ref
December Germany Jurgen Klopp [106]
March Germany Jurgen Klopp [107]

Premier League Player of the Month[edit]

Month Player Ref
December Netherlands Virgil Van Dijk [108]
March Senegal Sadio Mané [109]

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