Josef Martinez scored in his 11th consecutive MLS match on Monday night as Atlanta United topped the Portland Timbers in an MLS Cup rematch.The Venezuelan striker scored in the 46th minute of Sunday night’s match at Mercedez-Benz Stadium, netting his 16th goal in that 11-game span.Martinez’s finish came on an assist from Julian Gressell, who found the striker at the top of the box, where he was able to fire up and over goalkeeper Steve Clarke to all but seal the 2-0 victory. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream He won’t stop! 😡That’s 11 straight MLS games with a goal for @JosefMartinez17. #PORvATL pic.twitter.com/P2oYF2ejlP— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 19, 2019The forward’s finish was preceded by a first-half goal from Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, who was able to fire home from close range following a set-piece scramble.With Monday’s goal, Martinez set the MLS record for most consecutive matches with a goal, a record previously held by Diego Valeri and matched by Martinez himself last season.After firing 19 goals in 20 games in his debut campaign, the forward ended up scoring 31 total goals last season, an MLS record, while earning Most Valuable Player honors en route to Atlanta’s MLS Cup triumph over the Timbers in just their second season.This season, Martinez has scored 21 goals in 23 games, good for second-best in the league behind Los Angeles Football Club star Carlos Vela.The Mexican forward is on a record-setting pace as well, having scored 24 goals while providing 15 assists to break Sebastian Giovinco’s record for most goal contributions in one season with nine games remaining in the MLS season.With Monday’s win, Atlanta United sits atop the Eastern Conference, level on points with the Philadelphia Union despite having played one fewer match.Atlanta also has the Union on goal differential, having scored 15 more goals than they’ve conceded compared to the Union’s eight.New York City FC also remains in the mix, sitting four points back of the two leaders with two games in hand on Atlanta.Next up for the defending MLS Cup champions is a match with Orlando City on Friday before the attention turns towards the U.S. Open Cup finale against Minnesota United.The Five Stripes have already won a trophy this season, having topped Club America 3-2 in the Campeones Cup last week.
Dirk Kuyt believes Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have all the ingredients to finally deliver an elusive Premier League title, stating that the Reds’ current crop are a more complete outfit than the 2008-09 squad that were pipped to the top spot by Manchester United.Kuyt turned out for a side managed by Rafa Benitez, who had guided the club to Champions League success in the 2004-05 season, and had looked strong contenders for success in the English top flight due to the plethora of world-class talent within the ranks.Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano and Steven Gerrard – who ended that season as the club’s top scorer with 24 goals in all competitions – gave fans plenty of hope in the title race, but bitter rivals United would once again emerge victorious under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Now, however, with Klopp having secured yet another Champions League title and a record points tally in the Premier League, Kuyt feels that the Merseyside club have found the missing piece of the puzzle in the search for domestic glory.“We were very close to success,” Kuyt told Liverpool’s official website of the 2008-09 squad, “we just missed a small detail to go one step further.“With the likes of Stevie [Gerrard] and Jamie Carragher, Mascherano, Torres and other very good players, we just missed a little something.“If you see the build-up of the team of Klopp, you see it progressing every time and it looks like it’s now coming to success also in the Premier League. We were a particular team like that, only we couldn’t go one step further at that time.“Hopefully this team will do it because, in my opinion, this team now on the pitch is even better than ours.”Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday to face Manchester United, a fixture that fans of both sides look forward to each season due to the long-standing feud between the clubs. Kuyt himself played a starring role in several of the heated clashes over the years and hopes his former side can notch another victory against their rivals this weekend.“You can always feel the rivalry between Liverpool and United,” he said. “We know the derby, Liverpool and Everton, is a massive game for the people in Liverpool. But Liverpool-United or United-Liverpool is one of the biggest games in England and I always loved to play in them, we had many good results back in the day. “For me, the highs were the hat-trick against United and also a late winner in the FA Cup. I always really enjoyed those kinds of games.“I always look forward to watching the game because it’s an absolute joy to watch Liverpool at the moment. These are special games and make you just a little bit more excited than the other games.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web