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GUARDIAN – Brendan Rodgers eager for Glen Johnson’s Liverpool deal to be extended

• Manager believes defender wants solution to contract deadlock• ‘He wants security but is at one of the biggest clubs in the world’• Football Weekly Extra: a cup specialBrendan Rodgers has intervened in Glen Johnson’s contract stand-off with Liverpool to declare he wishes to keep the England defender at Anfield. The 30-year-old is a free agent this summer and eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club this month, having resisted Liverpool’s offer of a short-term extension on terms reduced from his £120,000-a-week wage.Liverpool’s offer was made late last season but Johnson wanted a longer-term deal and said in November that he was “not going to go crawling to anybody”. An impasse remains between the two parties but Rodgers has hinted a resolution that once appeared highly unlikely could happen and urged Liverpool to extend the right-back’s six-year career at Anfield. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Chelsea’s Diego Costa in tunnel bust-up

• Rivals square up after heated Capital One Cup semi-final• No punches thrown but players had to be separated• Match report: Liverpool 1-1 ChelseaJordan Henderson and Diego Costa almost came to blows in the Anfield tunnel as Liverpool’s Capital One Cup semi-final against Chelsea ended in acrimony.The Liverpool midfielder had to be separated from the Chelsea striker by a member of his club’s backroom staff after the pair squared up following Tuesday’s first leg. No punches were thrown by Costa or Henderson but they pushed each other and were engaged in a furious argument. Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – José Mourinho’s winning mentality provides Chelsea platform to progress

Potent counterattacking and stoic rearguard gave Chelsea the lead and limited the second-half damage against Brendan Rodgers’ threatening Liverpool side• Capital One Cup semi-final first leg match report: Liverpool 1-1 ChelseaLiverpool won the singing contest, though that much was expected. They also gave Chelsea a fright, which was not. Winners in the league match on this ground earlier this season, José Mourinho’s organised and industrious side appeared on course for another economical victory until Liverpool’s sheer spirit pegged them back. You could tell by the way Chelsea reacted to Raheem Sterling’s second half equaliser that Chelsea knew they had been coasting for the last half hour. Suddenly they had to attack with new vigour, trying to reassert their advantage. It is possible, just possible, that Brendan Rodgers was trying to sow the seeds of complacency when he spoke of Chelsea’s greater experience beforehand.Certainly Rodgers flew in the face of Anfield tradition when he acknowledged that Chelsea are the more experienced trophy gatherers these days. Liverpool supporters still like to bring up the subject of history when the two teams meet, meaning that Chelsea do not have any, though that is not quite as accurate a barb as it used to be and Rodgers was also honest enough to admit that he cannot count his own tenure a complete success until some new silverware ends up on Merseyside. Continue reading…

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