Live updates

  1. National

Carragher: Gerrard departure a 'sad day for Liverpool'

Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has said Steven Gerrard's reported decision to leave Liverpool is a "sad day" for the club and English football.

The pundit added that he believed it was the "right decision".

Liverpool's owners cheered by improved results

John Henry in stands Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner and principal owner John Henry are encouraged by positive signs in the team's performances in the last few weeks and are looking forward to the return of injured striker Daniel Sturridge.

In an end-of-year message to supporters, the pair reflected on an eventful 12 months for the club which saw them narrowly miss out on a long-awaited 19th league championship.

But however much that brought a feelgood factor back to Anfield they are focused on what the future will bring, and the impending comeback of Sturridge in the next couple of weeks is likely to be pivotal to the Reds' season.

Successive wins over Burnley and Swansea have lifted Liverpool to eighth place and ensured the calendar year has ended on a positive note. They face Leicester on New Year's Day.

"There was much to celebrate during our memorable season that ended in May," the American pair wrote on liverpoolfc.com.

"While we did not achieve our ultimate ambition in winning the Premier League our style of play captured the attention of the world as the club played attacking football, scoring 101 goals.

"Luis Suarez was named the best player in English football, winning the PFA Player of the Year award; Brendan Rodgers was awarded the LMA Manager of the Year award; and our captain, Steven Gerrard, continued to demonstrate his talents as one of the greatest football players of our era.

"As you would expect losing a footballer as capable as Luis Suarez and making a number of new signings, our season has gotten off to a slower start than we would have wanted.

"However, in the past few weeks we are pleased to see a number of positive signs as new players start to settle into life at Anfield."

The Americans believe the keenly-awaited comeback of Sturridge, who has been utilising the training facilities at their baseball franchise Boston Red Sox to help his fitness, adds to the optimism.

"As we look at the table this New Year's Eve, we have closed the gap between Liverpool and the top four clubs to five points," they added.

"We look forward to the return of Daniel Sturridge sometime in late January.

"We are very encouraged by his efforts and determination to resolve his injuries.

"Great progress has been made that should help him going forward."

Advertisement

Rodgers encouraged by Reds form

Brendan Rodgers Credit: PA

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his side are starting to show signs of the team they once were last season and is confident that will become norm in the second half of the campaign.

A third decent performance in a week saw Martin Skrtel salvage a point with a header in the seventh minute of added time as they drew 2-2 with Arsenal.

While the lack of a cutting edge was still evident the pace, pressing and passing which was associated with their run to second place last season is returning.

And that gives Rodgers hope 2015 will see greater improvements and a run towards the top four.

"For me the key is we are moving in the right direction with one defeat in eight so if we continue with that work-rate and mentality we will turn the draws into victories,"

"When we play our game and get back to that level we are a difficult team to play against."

– Brendan Rodgers

Advertisement

Liverpool FC visit patients Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Liverpool's first-team players and staff took time out from their preparations for the busy festive period to bring some Christmas cheer to Alder Hey children's hospital.

The team arrived at Alder Hey yesterday with goodie bags filled with LFC merchandise to distribute to children and young people on the wards.

Balotelli charged by FA over Instagram post

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been charged by the Football Association following allegedly racist and anti-semitic comments on social media.

Balotelli has been charged by the FA Credit: PA Images

Balotelli reposted an image of computer game character Super Mario on Instagram earlier this week, which included the words "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew".

The FA announced in a statement: "Mario Balotelli has been charged by the FA in relation to a recent posting on social media."

Balotelli has until 6pm on December 15 to respond to the charge.

A Liverpool club spokesperson commented: "We acknowledge the FA's decision and the player will work through the process to answer the charge.

"While that process is on-going the club will not be making any further comment."

Load more updates