Rodgers wants quality and not quantity at Liverpool

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Learning from Spurs: Rodgers doesn't want to make he same errors as Tottenham did a year ago when Gareth Bale left for Real Madrid.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodg­ers insists the club’s efforts to strengthen over the summer in which they have lost Luis Suarez should not be compared to the case of Tottenham and Gareth Bale from a year ago.

Winger Bale departed Spurs to join Real Madrid for a gargantuan fee and the London outfit splashed out on a raft of new players ahead of the 2013/14 campaign, but many of them subsequently struggled to make an impact.

Forward Suarez followed Bale in making a mega-money switch to Spain by signing for Barcelona in July, by which time Liverpool had already been spending significantly on new players and have continued to do so.

Nine have been recruited by the Reds in the transfer window to date, with the latest being the most high-profile in maverick Italy striker Mario Balotelli.

How it all comes together remains to be seen, but Rodgers, whose side face Tottenham away today, is feeling optimistic about his restructured squad.

And asked about his confidence that Liverpool will not suffer the problems Spurs have post-Bale, the Northern Irishman said: “I think it is totally different circumstances.

“Spurs were a strong squad, had a top, world-class player in Gareth Bale and they will have their rea­sons for bringing in their players.

“For us, I think it is pretty obvi­ous we were very low in terms of our numbers and that quality and depth.

“So, irrespective of Luis staying or going, it was something we had to do and I’m very glad we did it, because I look at the quality in our training and it has gone up a level.

“I see the hunger that the young players coming into the squad have given and the boost that has given the senior players as well.

“I think it is different circum­stances, but obviously over the course of the coming years we will see.”

While Tottenham could only fin­ish sixth last term, Liverpool, who thrashed them 5-0 at White Hart Lane and then 4-0 at Anfield dur­ing the campaign, surprised many by comfortably securing a Champi­ons League berth and going close to claiming the Premier League title, eventually coming second.

Back in the European competi­tion for the first time since 2009, the Reds discovered on Thursday that they are set to come up against Bale, having been drawn with de­fending champions Real in Group B.

Rodgers, who will be in charge of Liverpool for a 100th competitive game today, is relishing the pros­pect of taking on the Primera Divi­sion giants.

He said: “It was great on Thurs­day for the supporters and is great that Liverpool are back in their rightful place in the Champions League.

“They are two clubs that are very special – you are looking at 15-times winners between the two (five times for Liverpool, 10 for Real), which is incredible.”

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Chelsea win nine-goal thriller

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Tight contest: Diego Costa and Seamus Coleman battle for possession.

Chelsea overpowered Everton 6-3 in a remarkable game on Saturday to preserve their 100 percent record in the Premier League.

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea led 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2, but Everton kept coming back at them and it was not until Diego Costa made it 6-3 with his second goal in the last minute that the home side finally admitted defeat at an enraptured Goodison Park.

Chelsea were 2-0 up inside three minutes, with Diego Costa tucking away a pass from Cesc Fabregas after only 36 seconds before Ramires teed up Branislav Ivanovic to drill a low shot past Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.

But Kevin Mirallas reduced the arrears with a fine header on the stroke of half-time and when Everton right-back Seamus Coleman slid an Eden Hazard cross into his own goal in the 67th minute, it heralded a flurry of five goals in 10 minutes.

Two minutes later Steven Naismith hit back for the hosts to make it 3-2 and although Nemanja Matic then restored the visitors' two-goal cushion, Samuel Eto'o marked his first Everton appearance since leaving Chelsea by heading home.

Ramires gathered a pass from Matic and toed the ball past Howard to make it 5-3, and after Mirallas had hit the post, Costa exploited an error from Everton substitute Muhamed Besic to complete the scoring with a classy finish.

The result left Chelsea as one of only two teams to have won their first three games, along with Swansea City, although Tottenham Hotspur can emulate them with victory over Liverpool on Sunday.

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’40 points’ is still Monk’s aim despite Swansea’s superb start

Scott 30/08/2014
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