Friday, 20.07.2018

Comfortable European victory in Gerrard’s Rangers debut

Steven Gerrard made his managerial debut as his Rangers side took on FK Shkupi in their first Europa League qualifier. Under the expectant eyes of the Rangers fans, with not an empty seat in sight, his team secured a 2-0 win to take to Macedonia, with encouraging signs – albeit fledgling – of the ‘relentless’, ‘full-throttle’ style that has been much hyped since his appointment.

SV Observatory – Volume II: Istanbul Derbies

For the second edition of the SV Observatory, we profile the two biggest matches in Turkey over the weekend. League leaders Galatasarary visited their eternal rivals Fenerbahce over on the Asian side of Istanbul, sitting in fourth pace prior to kickoff. Elsewhere in the city, newcomers to Turkish success Istanbul Basaksehir hosted Besiktas, where both sides hoped to close the gap to one point on Galatasaray.

Team Analysis: Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool

The final day of the 2014-15 season saw Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side get thrashed 6-1 by a mediocre Stoke team. After challenging for the title in the previous season, the transfer of Luis Suarez and poor health of Daniel Sturridge created big issues and performance dropped off a cliff. Whilst Rodgers was previously able to rely on his talented personnel, he struggled to implement a consistent strategy from this point onwards. He was granted the start of the 2015-16 season to rectify the issues, but was unable to do so. He was sacked after a 1-1 draw with Everton in October. A few days later, Jurgen Klopp was hired.

Villarreal – Liverpool 1:0

Following a turbulent win over Dortmund in the previous round, Liverpool came into the next round as favourites for the competition. But the underrated Villarreal had no intention of rolling over, and provided a typically strong defensive performance to take a narrow 1-0 win after a last-minute winner from Adrian Lopez.