Jurgen Klopp bemoaned numerous refereeing decisions as Liverpool saw their 20-game unbeaten run in the Premier League ended by West Ham.

Alisson, under pressure from Angelo Ogbonna, punched into his own net to gift the lead to David Moyes' men, who were previously winless in 10 top-flight attempts against the Reds.

Liverpool protested their goalkeeper was fouled from Pablo Fornals' inswinging corner, and Klopp's side were further infuriated when Aaron Cresswell appeared to lunge high into a sliding tackle on Jordan Henderson.

However, referee Craig Pawson and VAR official Stuart Attwell did not see reason to punish the left-back before Trent-Alexander Arnold equalised four minutes before the break.

Fornals nudged Moyes' side back into the lead and Kurt Zouma all but clinched the win as Liverpool conceded two goals from corners in the same Premier League game for the first time since August 2017.

Divock Origi brought the scoreline back to 3-2, but Liverpool could not find an equaliser and, after the game, Klopp's focus was on the officiating as he once again questioned the thought processes behind some of the decisions he felt cost his side.

"Key moments cost us today, the goals and some situations have to go another way," Klopp told Sky Sports post-match.

"Let's talk about the game. The first they score is a foul on the goalkeeper; the arm goes into Alisson's arm, so how can he catch it? That makes no sense.

"What can Alisson do? That is why the goalie is protected. If a player goes up in the air with his arm, it is an important part of the body for the goalkeeper.

"Aaron Cresswell's was a reckless challenge on Jordan Henderson, even when he touched the ball before, so you have to control your body.

"[These were] two situations which were influential, but West Ham did not make the decisions, and they won the game.

"People will say I am making excuses, but I am calm. You need normal decisions from a referee, and he did not do that."

In all competitions, this was Liverpool's first defeat in 26 games, ending their joint-longest unbeaten run since they joined the Football League in 1893.

And Klopp acknowledged his side can improve in their next game against Arsenal after the international break.

"We lost too many balls, that is why they had counter-attacks," he continued. "At 1-1, we had them where we wanted. It looked like we lost a bit of patience, we had a lot of situations where we got to the touchline but could not make it count.

"They dropped really deep, so it does not make it easy, you have to force and fight them down in the final third. Little things decided it and a few things went against us.

"We were not that calm in the decisive moments, they could not get us. When you try to put the ball into the box they had eight, nine players, so we have to go again, do it again. We were not patient enough.

"We can be better, 100 per cent. You cannot always play your best result, you have to grind out a result, but they scored three goals and we didn't."

Liverpool saw their 20-match unbeaten run in the Premier League come to an end after succumbing to a 3-2 defeat at West Ham on Sunday.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's wonderful curler four minutes before the interval made amends for an Alisson own-goal that put David Moyes' side ahead at London Stadium.

However, West Ham regained control after the break as Pablo Fornals and Kurt Zouma were both on target within seven minutes of each other.

Substitute Divock Origi's superb late goal proved in vain as Jurgen Klopp's side failed to close the gap at the top after Chelsea were held by Burnley on Saturday, while the Hammers move above Liverpool into third.


West Ham made a swift start when Alisson succeeded only in punching Fornals' whipped corner into his own goal after four minutes, Liverpool's cries for a foul from Angelo Ogbonna falling on deaf ears.

Diogo Jota headed over in response before Alexander-Arnold levelled with a magnificent strike into the top-right corner following a short free-kick routine with Mohamed Salah.

Craig Dawson nodded onto the crossbar after the break, while Lukasz Fabianski was required to deny Sadio Mane's left-footed volley at the other end.

West Ham took the lead again after 67 minutes when Jarrod Bowen embarked on a driving run before unleashing Fornals, who managed to squeeze a left-footed strike under Alisson.

Matters worsened for the visitors as Zouma climbed the highest to head home Aaron Cresswell's corner – the Hammers' 32nd top-flight goal from set-pieces since Moyes' arrival, six more than any other side.

Origi forced what promised to be a tense ending with seven minutes remaining when he turned and drilled into the bottom-right corner following Alexander-Arnold's offload.

Klopp's men almost sealed the comeback but Mane inexplicably headed wide from Alexander-Arnold's free-kick in stoppage time as West Ham managed to hold on for victory.

England manager Gareth Southgate has said he is confused by comments from Jurgen Klopp about his treatment of Liverpool players on international duty.

Klopp has previously raised concerns about Southgate's use of Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield, as well as his justification for leaving Joe Gomez out of the England squad on the basis of a lack of game time at club level, while Manchester City's John Stones has continued to be picked despite spending much of the season on the bench.

Southgate has selected Liverpool duo Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson in his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

"I don't quite know why he keeps having a swing, you'd have to ask him," Southgate told reporters.

"I think we've always got on reasonably well. I've noticed quite a few articles and quite a few comments, which is always interesting to see."

Vinicius Junior has been in dazzling form for Real Madrid.

Previously linked with Paris Saint-Germain as part of a possible deal to bring Kylian Mbappe to the Spanish capital, Vinicius has established himself under Carlo Ancelotti.

Now, a bumper contract is on the cards.

 

TOP STORY – VINICIUS SET FOR NEW DEAL

Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior is set to hold contract talks with the LaLiga giants, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Vinicius is contracted to Madrid until 2025 but Los Blancos are determined to offer the Brazil international fresh terms.

The 21-year-old has been in red-hot form at the Santiago Bernabeu this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- El Nacional reports Barcelona are targeting Beijing Guoan striker Cedric Bakambu as a short-term replacement for sidelined star Sergio Aguero, who is facing at least three months out due to a potential heart condition.

Luka Jovic is eager to leave Madrid in January, says Defensa Central. The Serbia international has been linked with former club Eintracht Frankfurt, Inter, Milan, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Manchester United have rejected the chance to sign struggling Madrid star Eden Hazard, claims the Daily Mail. Hazard has also been reportedly snubbed by Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Newcastle United.

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City do not have the quality to replicate Liverpool's 5-0 victory over Manchester United when they face the Red Devils on Saturday.

Liverpool recorded their biggest ever margin of victory against United in last month's contest thanks to Mohamed Salah's hat-trick and goals from Nany Keita and Diogo Jota.

It also marked the first time United have lost by five or more goals without scoring since February 1955, when going down 5-0 to City.

United have a good recent record against City, however, having gone unbeaten against them in four league meetings – their best run since between 2008 and 2011 (six matches).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's four wins from eight encounters with Guardiola in all competitions, meanwhile, is the best win rate of any manager to have faced the Catalan coach at least five times (50 per cent).

Guardiola is expected to operate with the same 4-3-3 system used by Liverpool at Old Trafford two weeks ago, but he is not anticipating the same high-scoring outcome against United, who have since reverted from a three-man defence to a back four.

"We cannot play like they did. We do not have the quality to play like how Liverpool played," he told reporters on Friday. "Football is not copy and paste. 

"United made changes, adapted against Tottenham and it worked, but against Atalanta, after the injury to Raphael Varane they changed to a back four. 

"They put on more strikers because they were losing. I know United's style is when they are losing they put on a lot of strikers and when they are winning they put on defenders."

Guardiola, whose side have failed to score in three of their 10 Premier League games this season, added: "If you want to do what Liverpool did then Jurgen Klopp has to come here and then [Sadio] Mane can come and Salah can come. 

"We cannot play how Liverpool play because we have different players, different ways to play. I think if you see the last four, five or six years in the Premier League, the games when Liverpool have played City, we play differently. 

"We are not going to do the same as they do. It would not be wise. We are going to try our way to play because we have completely different players, the quality in a different way. 

"Maybe right now, United would play against Liverpool in a different way, I'm pretty sure about that, and maybe it would not be the result they had at Old Trafford, because everyone learns. 

"The manager learns from the previous game what worked or didn't work, and tries to fix it, that's why we cannot do it, that's normal."

City suffered a shock 2-0 loss at home to Crystal Palace last time out in the Premier League, a result that leaves them five points behind leaders Chelsea with 10 games played.

The reigning English champions have lost three of their last four league clashes with United, as many as in the previous 16, and have failed to score in three successive meetings with them.

Guardiola acknowledged the importance of picking up a positive result on enemy territory this time around if City are to avoid losing further ground in the title race.

"We're going to try to win the game," he said. "We try to do it and afterwards we see what happens.

"I am not thinking about the calendar, how many points we are in front or behind. We know the quality of the contenders, we know how difficult our opponent is. We will just try to play."

Liverpool cannot be considered as underdogs or favourites in the Premier League title race, according to Jurgen Klopp.

The early signs would suggest that Liverpool, along with champions Manchester City and league leaders Chelsea, will be the frontrunners for the title come May.

Liverpool have been in sensational form at times, recording an emphatic 5-0 win over Manchester United, though they do sit three points behind Thomas Tuchel's team after 10 games.

City, meanwhile, are two points further back than the Reds, though a win in Saturday's Manchester derby would see Pep Guardiola's side leapfrog them for the time being, with Liverpool not in action until Sunday.

West Ham, another of the league's in-form teams, host Liverpool at London Stadium, with David Moyes' team having won their last three top-flight matches.

Asked in Friday's pre-match news conference if Liverpool should be considered underdogs in the title race, due to the discrepancy in expenditure between themselves and their immediate rivals, Klopp replied: "Can I? I am not sure. We don't consider ourselves at all.

"We want to be in it, I think with the quality we have we should be around the top of the table, that's where we are, where we want to be, we have that responsibility and that’s how we see ourselves.

"We don't have to talk too much about the quality of Manchester City, the quality and depth of Chelsea, and we are not too bad of a team as well, so that's cool, but there are so many other good teams.

"I think the league made a big jump again. West Ham are incredibly strong, Brighton [and Hove Albion] are incredibly strong, Tottenham are 100 per cent coming back, Arsenal are in a much better place than last year, United is a top-class team, Leicester [City] are there, so look at the league, it's absolutely incredible.

"Everyone's under pressure. For us it's exactly the same, we fight for the Champions League spots and if you are in there it means you can probably fight for the title as well."

Recent history is on Liverpool's side heading into Sunday's game. The Reds have won four of their last five away league games against West Ham (D1) and are looking to win three in a row at the Hammers for the first time since doing so between 2003 and 2007.

However, only City (80) and Chelsea (66) have earned more Premier League points in 2021 than West Ham (62) - a total that already betters any previous tally set by the Hammers during a single calendar year in the competition.

Tomas Soucek's own goal saw West Ham pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Genk in the Europa League on Thursday, in Moyes' 1,000th game as a manager.

Moyes – who is in his second stint in charge of West Ham – has rebuilt his reputation after his ill-fated spell at Old Trafford was followed by poor performances at Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

"And he gets obviously better and better and better, that's how I see it. Even after 999 games there is space for improvement," hailed Klopp.

"I don't know if he reinvented himself, I don't know him long enough to say that, but it's absolutely incredible. Honestly, they are really good. I think everyone who watches them sees that.

"It's a highly energetic team, a counter-pressing team, a counter-attacking team but they play as well. There were almost moments in the past when you played West Ham, they defended deep, had to be really aware of set-pieces and counter-attacks. Now it's the full package, so rightly they are really high in the table, top of the Europa League group as well.

"They are in a good moment, it will be a really good game I'm pretty sure. They are in a good moment, we are in a good moment, that's how football should be before a game. I am really excited to play it."

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Roberto Firmino has sustained a "serious hamstring injury" and is set for a spell on the sidelines.

Firmino was introduced at half-time in the Reds' 2-0 Champions League win over Atletico Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday, but was forced off in the 78th minute.

When the striker will return to action is not clear, but Klopp expects the Brazil international to be out for at least four weeks.

"Bobby is not good news with a serious hamstring injury, really unfortunate," Klopp told Liverpool's official website. "We don’t know exactly how long he will be out, but it will be not now after the international break directly. We have to work on that."

Klopp reiterated the significance of the 30-year-old's absence in his pre-match news conference ahead of a Premier League meeting with West Ham on Sunday:

The German boss said: "Losing Bobby Firmino is a blow. I don't think I need to say how big it is. It's a serious injury.

"We talk about weeks - more than four I consider as a serious injury. Then we have to see. Bobby is a quick healer."

Joe Gomez (calf) and Curtis Jones [eye] are also out of the Reds' trip to London, but Klopp expects both to return after the upcoming international break. 

Klopp was less sure about Naby Keita and James Milner, but hopes they will be back in action before long as they recover from thigh injuries.

"Curtis is a completely different story [to Firmino], he was very unlucky in training – he got a finger that scratched the eye," Klopp continued to Liverpool's official website. 

"I had a lot of injuries to players in my career, that was not [one]. He is on the way back but we have to see how long exactly. 

"He will be back after the international break, for sure, but in the international break we have to see when he can start doing proper stuff again. And Joey, hopefully, after the international break as well.

"We will see [about Keita and Milner]. For them, I have hope for after the international break but I don’t know exactly. We have to wait. That’s two weeks and a few days from now on, so that’s what I would really wish for but I cannot promise that. But that’s what we are working on."

This weekend sees Manchester United host Manchester City in a derby that feels like it may play a pivotal part in where each teams' season heads, and there is an outside chance that the match-winner might not even be Cristiano Ronaldo.

Elsewhere, there is a certain Egyptian King who will be worth consideration for the handful of people who for some reason do not already own him in their fantasy team, along with a Newcastle player who could prove a useful differential.

There is also a former fantasy football favourite at Wolves who could be due a run of form.

Below are Stats Perform's weekly suggestions for fantasy football players, powered by Opta data...

 

JOAO CANCELO (Manchester United v Manchester City)

Try to predict the potential difference-maker ahead of the Manchester derby and you will likely say Kevin De Bruyne or Phil Foden, unless you expect United to win in which case you will probably say Cristiano Ronaldo or… Cristiano Ronaldo.

How about another Portugal international, though?

Manchester City's Joao Cancelo has been involved in more shot-ending sequences of play (66) than any other full-back in the Premier League this season, while he also leads all players in his position for the total xG of the sequences that he has been involved in (6.96).

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer running out of fit defenders, there may be plenty of space for Cancelo to maraud into at Old Trafford on Saturday.

 

AARON RAMSDALE (Arsenal v Watford)

This feels slightly unimaginative as we also tipped Ramsdale last week, but in fairness the former Bournemouth and Sheffield United stopper was sensational in Arsenal's 2-0 win at Leicester City.

Ramsdale made eight saves against the Foxes and deservedly took home the man of the match award, and may well be called upon to shine again this weekend.

Watford showed in their recent 5-2 thrashing of Everton that they can attack well on the road, having 20 shots at Goodison Park and hitting the target eight times.

Only Edouard Mendy (90 per cent) has a better shot save percentage than Ramsdale's 85.7, and given the Gunners continue to allow several shots against, he could put plenty of points on your board as well as his own team's.

 

MATT RITCHIE (Brighton and Hove Albion v Newcastle United)

It will be a tough game for moneybags Newcastle down at Brighton, with Graham Potter's men starting the season superbly, culminating in a well-earned draw against Liverpool at Anfield last time out.

You are never entirely sure what to expect with the Seagulls, though, especially defensively, and the Magpies may fancy troubling their opponents in the battle of the bird nicknames on the south coast.

Only Trent Alexander-Arnold (26) has created more chances among defenders than Newcastle's Matt Ritchie (24) in the Premier League this season. Ritchie, however, does jointly lead all players in the competition this term for chances created from set-plays (13), along with Alexander-Arnold.

With Callum Wilson back and scoring goals, you could look to Ritchie as a potential differential before he is inevitably replaced by a £60million player in January.

 

JAMES WARD-PROWSE (Southampton v Aston Villa)

The Friday night football from St Mary's promises to be an enticing clash between two teams that cannot decide if they are good or not.

Aston Villa have lost four in a row in the league, and the very last thing they will want to see is James Ward-Prowse lining up against them.

Ward-Prowse has been directly involved in more Premier League goals against Villa than he has versus any other side in the competition (5 – 2 goals, 3 assists). These five goal involvements have come in his last five games against them, with three coming in Southampton's 4-3 win at Villa Park last season.

 

RAPHINHA (Leeds United v Leicester City)

Having the fans back at Elland Road this season was supposed to be the not-so-secret weapon for Leeds to push on after an impressive first year back in the Premier League.

That has not quite been the case so far as the Yorkshire side have only won two of their six home games, but with the impressive Raphinha at his disposal, boss Marcelo Bielsa will be hoping to make it three against Leicester.

As well as scoring 40 per cent of Leeds' Premier League goals so far this season (4/10), the Brazilian has created the most chances (18), had the most shots (32) and completed the most dribbles (26) of any player for the Whites so far this term.

 

MOHAMED SALAH (West Ham United v Liverpool)

It may not be the most ambitious shout in the world, but you would need to have a very good excuse to not have Mohamed Salah in your fantasy team right now.

The Egyptian is averaging a goal or assist every 56 minutes in the Premier League this season; the best ratio of any Liverpool player in a campaign in the competition with at least 10 appearances.

He has also scored nine goals in eight games against the Hammers since joining Liverpool, the joint-most he has scored against any Premier League team apart from Watford (also 9).

RAUL JIMENEZ (Crystal Palace v Wolves)

It was a delight to see Jimenez return at the start of this season after nine months out with a fractured skull. Prior to the injury, the Mexican striker was a talisman at Molineux, and he is starting to look like he might be ready to return to form.

Although his strike in the 2-1 win against Everton last week was only his second of the campaign, he is still making a big difference for his team.

His two goals and two assists have been worth seven points to Wolves in the Premier League this season – only Michail Antonio (9) and Son Heung-min (8) have been more valuable to their sides through goals and assists.

Is a move to London on the cards for Kingsley Coman?

Coman and Bayern Munich have so far been unable to reach an agreement over a new deal.

Chelsea are reportedly ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TARGETING COMAN

Chelsea are monitoring Bayern Munich forward Kingsley Coman, according to Bild.

Coman has been in negotiations with Bundesliga champions Bayern regarding a new contract, but up until now, the Frenchman has been unwilling to re-sign.

Champions League holders Chelsea are keeping tabs on Coman, who has also been linked with Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United.

 

ROUND-UP

- It is set to be a busy time at St James' Park. Sky Sports reports Eddie Howe has agreed to become Newcastle United's manager, while El Nacional claims the Magpies have made Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen a transfer priority.

Barcelona are prioritising a January move for RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo, per Diario AS. Should they fail in their pursuit, out-of-favour Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling is the alternative.

- Sport1 claims the agent of Salzburg sensation Karim Adeyemi has met with LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid. The 19-year-old has also been linked with Bayern, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG and Bayern are eyeing Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic on a free transfer, says Calciomercato. United and Barca are also reportedly interested.

After their lucrative takeover, Newcastle United are set to make a transfer splash in January.

The Magpies are winless and second last in the Premier League table this season.

Newcastle remain without a manager, following Steve Bruce's dismissal a fortnight ago.

 

TOP STORY – MAGPIES IN FOR COUTINHO LOAN DEAL

Newcastle United look set to make a move for Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho in January, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

Financially embattled LaLiga giants Barca are said to be keen to offload the former Liverpool forward, who arrived at Camp Nou from the Reds in 2018.

Barcelona are reportedly ready to accept a loan deal that includes a mandatory option to buy with Newcastle.

ROUND-UP

Barcelona are bullish about signing up Ousmane Dembele to a fresh three-year deal with the option for a further season, claims Mundo Deportivo. Dembele has been linked with LiverpoolManchester United and Juventus.

- Barca are also considering a move to sign Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele on loan, reports Sport. Ndombele has made nine appearances this season.

- Brazilian club Palmeiras have entered the race to sign Manchester United's Edinson Cavani, claims the Daily Express. The Uruguayan signed a one-year contract extension in May.

- Former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho wants to bring Spurs midfielder Harry Winks and Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Roma, reports Corriere dello Sport.

- Sky Sports reports ex-Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca is still interested in the vacant Newcastle managerial role. Fonseca nearly took over at Tottenham in the off-season. Magpies candidate Unai Emery announced he was staying with Villarreal on Wednesday.

- La Nazione says Tottenham are firmly in the race to sign Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, who has also been linked with Manchester City, Inter, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Juve.

Diego Simeone was critical of the officials after Atletico Madrid's Champions League hopes were left in the balance following a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Atletico ended the first half with 10 men as the LaLiga champions' bid to reach the knockout phase was dealt a blow against last-16 bound Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday.

Beaten 3-2 in the reverse fixture in the Spanish capital, having also lost Antoine Griezmann to a red card on matchday three last month, Atletico conceded goals to Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane before Felipe was dismissed nine minutes prior to the interval for a cynical foul on the latter and subsequent apparent dissent.

It is the first time since November 2019 Atletico have lost back-to-back Champions League group-stage games under Simeone, whose side are third in Group B – a point behind Porto in the race for the final round-of-16 berth with two matches remaining.

Afterwards, head coach Simeone vented his frustration as he told reporters: "It is difficult for us to form an opinion. Firstly, because we didn't see the actions very well.

"The one from Griezmann [in the last game] was very quick. Of course, you could see later on TV as you probably have seen Jota's one tonight [Wednesday], too. The one from [Jose] Gimenez v Porto is, in theory, similar to Felipe's one tonight. These are up to the VAR people and the referees themselves.

"We coaches should be focused on improving the team and not stop on these things, which of course have an influence on the game because having one man less is a lot, especially in the first game when we were competing well and nearly winning the game.

"So, that decision made more difficulties for us in the game. Now is the time to be quiet, work together and again, I like how the team accepted its role in the second half and I give them all the credit for this."

Atletico conceded two goals in the first half of consecutive Champions League games for the first time after 105 fixtures.

Currently in the Europa League spot, Atletico host bottom-placed Milan on November 24 before travelling to Porto for their final group fixture on December 7.

"It is not a very different situation to the ones we have gone through in previous years in the Champions League," Simeone said on the team's group-stage struggles. "Lately, we are struggling to go through from the group stages.

"We used to do it much easier before, not reaching the last match with all at stake. It is different lately. So, we have to play a good game against Milan and only be focused on that."

Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool will take their two remaining Champions League group games seriously after they secured a place in the knockout stages in record time.

The Reds made it four wins from four in the group stages of Europe's elite competition for the first time in their history as they beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Anfield on Wednesday.

That result means they are guaranteed to progress to the next round as group winners regardless of the outcome of upcoming fixtures against Porto and Milan, but Klopp has suggested he will still take both very seriously.

"You earn a lot of money if you win Champions League games - not me personally, it's just for the club it's important. That's what we will do," Klopp said during the post-game news conference.

"Of course, the first target was to get through this group and getting through the group with 12 points after four matches is absolutely insane, to be honest. 

"But we did it and now there are two more games to go. One is against Porto and we are Liverpool in a home game, what can we do? Let them play or whatever? 

"And then, going to Milan, I've never been there. It's a historical one, so we will show up there as well. That's the situation. 

"But, of course, when I saw the group I didn't expect that we would be through after four games, but the boys did it and really well deserved."

Liverpool's task was made all the easier when Atletico's Felipe was sent off for a cynical swipe at Sadio Mane during the first half at Anfield.

But Klopp felt he had to substitute the Senegalese himself at the break in order to avoid him receiving a second yellow card.

Explaining the decision, he said: "I really hated the moment when I had to take off Sadio because Sadio played an incredible game. You could see now everybody wants it [the red card]. 

"My worry was any kind of challenge in the air, where you never know exactly what happens there with the arm, one of them goes down and makes three times a roll over then Sadio's off and that would have been the wrong thing. I didn't like it but, in the end, we had to do it." 

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak remains confident the Spanish giants can still advance to the Champions League knockout stage, despite their hopes being dealt a blow following back-to-back defeats to Liverpool.

Atletico endured a night to forget at Anfield, where the LaLiga champions had Felipe sent off in the first half of Wednesday's 2-0 loss against Liverpool, who progressed.

Beaten 3-2 in the reverse fixture in the Spanish capital, having also lost Antoine Griezmann to a red card on matchday three last month, Atletico conceded goals to Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane before Felipe was dismissed for a cynical foul on the latter and subsequent apparent dissent.

Atletico huffed and puffed but could not find their way back into the Group B contest, with the result leaving Diego Simeone's men third and a point behind Porto for the second last-16 berth heading into the final two games.

"They scored two easy goals against us, which can't happen," Oblak told Movistar Plus. "After two goals like that, it's difficult to come back, especially with a man less.

"So the feeling isn't the best, but I do think the team fought. We did all we could. In the end we lost 2-0, but it's still open [the group]. We depend on ourselves, and we have to win the two games to come."

Atletico lost back-to-back Champions League group-stage games for only the second time under head coach Simeone, also doing so in November 2019.

The capital club also conceded two goals in the first half of consecutive Champions League games for the first time after 105 matches.

"Today, the two goals were too easy – we all know that, the whole team does. I don't know what is happening," said Oblak.

"We have to improve in this respect, and I am sure once we improve at the back, we're going to have better results.

"This is difficult to explain; it's the whole team, it's not just one player but the whole team, and we all have to do better to concede as few goals as possible."

Atletico host Milan on November 24 before travelling to Porto for their final group fixture on December 7.

Oblak added: "We depend on ourselves. We have to win the two games that remain. It won't be easy – we all know that – and we have to give our best version of ourselves and do our best.

"With our quality, if we show it on the field, we can win the two games and get through to the last 16."

Liverpool claimed their place in the Champions League knockout stages as Group B winners with two games to spare by beating 10-man Atletico Madrid 2-0.

Goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane eased the Reds past Atleti, who lost Felipe to a first-half red card, continuing to make light work of a draw that had initially been described as tough.

Diego Simeone's men are now left in a battle with Porto and Milan to qualify in second place.

Liverpool made a great start to proceedings when Trent Alexander-Arnold cracked open a five-man defence with a perfect cross from deep on the right that took one bounce before being nodded in by Jota after just 13 minutes.

And the defender repeated the trick soon after, finding Mane for a sidefooted finish to a move he had initiated with a brilliant drive through midfield.

As had been the case in the sides' meeting in Madrid, going two goals down seemed to wake Atleti up, but their hopes of overturning that deficit in similar fashion were dealt a serious blow past the half-hour mark.

Felipe looked all set to receive a booking for cynically bringing down the breaking Mane after a corner but instead earned himself a straight red by refusing to walk to the referee to receive it.

Liverpool made their numerical advantage tell during a bright start to the second half that saw a Jota goal ruled out for a tight offside before he and Mohamed Salah both wasted presentable opportunities.

It appeared the hosts could be left to rue those misses when the returning Luis Suarez smashed a deflected effort home just before the hour, only for VAR to spot Jose Giminez had taken up an offside position before knocking the ball down to his fellow Uruguayan.

And they were given another let-off with 15 minutes remaining as Hector Herrera drove badly wide after a counter started by some loose play from Thiago Alcantara.

However, there were no more scares for Liverpool - the loss of substitute Roberto Firmino to injury aside - as they saw out the remainder of an impressive win over the LaLiga champions.

Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic is winning plenty of admirers.

The 21-year-old Serbian has netted 10 times in 12 appearances at club level this season.

Vlahovic is currently under contract until June 23, although La Viola want him to sign an extension.

TOP STORY – PSG TO ENTER VLAHOVIC RACE

Paris Saint-Germain will enter the race to sign Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic, claims Le10Sports.

The Parisians are lining up the Serbian striker as a potential successor to Kylian Mbappe should he exit the club when his contract expires at the end of this season, with Real Madrid circling.

Hot property Vlahovic is being pursued by JuventusLiverpool and Tottenham.

ROUND-UP

- Unai Emery will not be the first permanent manager in Newcastle United's new era, BBC Sport journalist and Spanish football expert Guillem Balague understands. The Basque coach is set to stay at Villarreal for now, though his job there is under threat amid a poor start to 2021-22.

- The Sun reports Antonio Conte's arrival at Tottenham has seen Harry Kane abandon any plans he had to quit the club. Kane apparently wished to join Manchester City during the most recent transfer window.

- New Spurs boss Conte wants to sign Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, according to Metro. Conte also has Inter defender Stefan de Vrij in his sights, claims Football Insider.

Milan are in the race to sign talented River Plate star Julian Alvarez in the off-season, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Fiorentina have also shown interest in 21-year-old Alvarez, who has four caps for Argentina.

Norwich City are considering a move to replace embattled manager Daniel Farke with former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, claims the Daily Mail. The Canaries have only two points from 10 games following their return to the Premier League. Howe has also been linked with the vacant Newcastle job.

Newcastle want to make Inter's Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic their first major signing in January, says The Sun. Brozovic is out of contract at the end of the season.

Lazio are looking to convince Luiz Felipe to ink a new deal with the club amid interest from BarcelonaSevilla and Real Betis, reports CalcioMercato. The Brazilian centre-back's contract expires at the end of this season.

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