The Guardian

GUARDIAN – West Ham’s Kevin Nolan is driven to cause an upset at Manchester City

The midfielder is on a mission of revenge to achieve the improbable at City and make Liverpool’s route to the title easierBrendan Rodgers invited great former players back to Anfield this season as he tried to rebuild the club but Liverpool’s immediate future will be determined in part by players who they cast off and are now at West Ham. The presence of Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush behind the scenes at Liverpool is supposed to inspire the current squad but the performances of Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Joe Cole will have a bigger bearing on Liverpool’s title hopes on Sunday. Liverpool will be champions if they beat Newcastle and West Ham pull off an improbable win at Manchester City. Nolan will be doing his utmost to produce that favour.”I would be celebrating with them!” replies the 31-year-old when asked how he would feel if he made Liverpool’s dream come true by scoring the winning goal for West Ham at the Etihad. Nolan was born in Liverpool and played for the club’s youth team between the ages of nine and 14 before being let go. He still supports the club and, during his days with Bolton Wanderers, used to go to Anfield to watch matches as a fan. “Obviously they had other players they fancied more than me, I wasn’t getting the rack I felt I deserved so we went our separate ways,” he recalls. “I’m quite thankful I did now. The two players who got released were me and Rickie Lambert. I think we’re the only two out of that whole group, including the lads who got kept on, who are still playing football. But I must admit, I hope Liverpool do it.” Continue reading…

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The Guardian

GUARDIAN – Premier League finances: turnover, wages, debt and performance

The Premier League clubs collectively made a loss of £291m in 2012-13 despite a £2.7bn income and spent a record £1.8bn on wages. What earns them the most and which club is in most debt? Get the data Get the 2011/12 dataIt’s that time of year again – the Guardian’s review of the annual Premier League accounts is here. It shows that in 2012-13, the 20 top-flight clubs generated a record-beating combined income of 2.7bn, however collectively the Premier League clubs made a loss of 291m.Despite this, players and other staff have done well – the wage bill for Premier League clubs totalled a record 1.8bn in 2012-13, up 11% on the previous year. David Conn writes today:Players earning multi-million pound salaries were again football’s clear financial winners, in a year when the clubs made a record 2.7bn combined income, yet nevertheless made a loss overall, of 291m. Continue reading…

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The Guardian

GUARDIAN – Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers praises Steven Gerrard after beating West Ham United video

Brendan Rodgers admires the captain’s ‘coolness’ after Liverpool win 2-1 against West Ham United. Rodgers’ side were down 1-0 before half-time but two penalties from Gerrard ensured Liverpool took three points. Despite the win, Rodgers says his side were lacking in aggressive play. Liverpool are now first in the Premier League table with 74 points Continue reading…

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The Guardian

GUARDIAN – League title is in Liverpool’s hands claims ‘fearless’ Brendan Rodgers

Manager says Liverpool are mentally ready for Manchester City Claims his youngsters are tough enough for title run-inBrendan Rodgers has promised that Liverpool will show no fear against Manchester City next Sunday after they found a way past a stubborn West Ham side at Upton Park to secure their ninth successive victory and move back to the top of the league.Two penalties from Steven Gerrard, either side of Guy Demel’s controversial equaliser, were enough for Liverpool in a match stalked by debatable refereeing decisions by Anthony Taylor. However, Liverpool proved their character by surviving the physical test posed by Sam Allardyce’s side and ensured their quest to win the league for the first time since 1990 remains in their hands. Victory moved them two points in front of Chelsea and four ahead of City, and Rodgers’s young side will win the league if they win their final five matches. Continue reading…

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The Guardian

GUARDIAN – West Ham 1-2 Liverpool | Premier League match report

Not for the first time this season, Liverpool could be grateful to Steven Gerrard for his nerveless precision from the penalty spot. The captain scored his 10th and 11th spot-kicks in all competitions as his club maintained their Premier League title challenge and made light of a remarkable refereeing blunder into the bargain.One of the principal talking points of a dramatic afternoon in the East End came at the end of the first-half when Andy Carroll, West Ham’s former Liverpool striker, who looked to be on a mission to prove and score points against his old team, clattered the visiting goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet, following a Mark Noble corner. Continue reading…

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The Guardian

GUARDIAN – West Ham v Liverpool live! | Nick Miller

Premier League updates from the match at Upton ParkEmail nick.miller.casual@theguardian.comOr get in touch via Twitter: @NickMiller79Latest Premier League tableKeep up with all today’s latest scores 3.00pm BST THEY’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE! THEY’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE! AND NOW YOU BETTER BELIEVE THEM AND NOW YOU BETTER BELIEVE THEM AND NOW YOU BETTER BELIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEVE THEEEEEEEEEEEEM, THEY’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE!You can’t help thinking that, impressive as Liverpool have been this season, some of their supporters are setting themselves up for a fall, as they chase their first league title since football was invented, such is their glee at their current position. Hubris is sweeping Merseyside like hot cakes (or something), and in some respects you can hardly blame these success-starved Scousers getting a little giddy about the whole thing, especially with the lads down the road in such a frightful mess, but you wonder if some of their more excitable fans should be reining it in a little, before they let hope take over their souls, making the potential crushing disappointment of failure even more crushing and disappointing. Continue reading…

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The Guardian

GUARDIAN – Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool to move on Premier League title in stages

With six games to go Liverpool are in prime position for the title but Brendan Rodgers insists he will take no fixture for grantedBrendan Rodgers has been playing down Liverpool’s title hopes all season, apart from the short time where he built them up and performances suffered, but as of last week the club’s cover has been blown. Liverpool touched the top of the table with six games to play and, though the same could be said of Manchester City, the title is theirs to lose.”The finish line is a long way off, there is still a lot of work to do,” Rodgers said. “Some people think that with six games to go the finishing line is in sight, but every club will have difficult games between now and the end of the season. I only think of the next game. If we win that, I start thinking about the one afterwards. It is usually a mistake to look too far ahead, it gets too daunting. That’s why you plan ahead in stages. We don’t do it in one hit.” Continue reading…

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GUARDIAN – Andy Carroll: I have point to prove to Roy Hodgson not Brendan Rodgers

The West Ham striker prepares to face the side where he failed to fit, Liverpool, but bears no grudges because a place in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad is his priorityAndy Carroll is looking forward to confronting the club that discarded him but West Ham United’s centre-foward remains adamant he harbours no bitterness towards Liverpool. When it comes to proving a point, he is more concerned about jogging Roy Hodgson’s memory than trying to change Brendan Rodgers’ mind.A little more than three years on from his 35m move from Newcastle United to Anfield, Carroll would relish ruining the Liverpool manager’s weekend by scoring the winning goal at Upton Park on Sunday, yet he still hopes Rodgers’ team win thetitle. Continue reading…

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