Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle United
No escaping this one. Away, to a top team, full of confidence and fighting for every point. A two nil reverse, as hard as a game passing without picking up a point picked is, at least doesn’t hit the goal difference too hard. Whilst what could have been red card for Lascelles moments from the end, ignored by the referee, could be the most critical outcome.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Dummett, Lejeune, Lascelles, Yedlin, Diame, Merino (Hayden, 73), Kenedy, Atsu, Murphy (Perez, 84), Gayle (Joselu, 66)
After the game Rafa said the game turned on a ‘mistake’, after Salah kept his outstanding scoring run going on 40 mins. The truth of the matter is probably that, when playing against teams as good going forward as this Liverpool side is, that anyone will make mistakes eventually. Just ask Manchester City.
The result pushed Liverpool up to second. For Newcastle it leaves Rafa and his men dangling by a thread above the relegation zone once more.
And it could have been different. As although no one will deny that Liverpool were almost irresistible on the day, it did take a worldy of a save from Karius just before the break to stop Newcastle going in level at the break.
The attempt was from the rejuvenated Diame moments into injury time in the first half with Newcastle already 1-0 down to an very good goal finished by Salah but owing much to the run and defence splitting pass of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Diame’s effort, a delicious curling hit from range after good work from Merino looked destined for the top corner.
Not to be. And with that save went Newcastle’s hope of getting anything from this one.
A strike from Mane early in the second half (55 mins) closed the door on the Magpies. And whilst Rafa’s lads never gave up the 71% possession held by Liverpool on the day tells much of the story.
So Rafa’s record of never having lost to his old Liverpool side is gone. But his hopes of avoiding relegation could have been harmed much further when with seconds left Lascelles seemed to foul Salah with the Liverpool man clean through. It looked for all the world like the referee would have no choice but to award a free kick inches outside the box and send the Newcastle man off. Instead, to the fury of Klopp and the Kop he did no more that wave play on. Despite the Newcastle Captains view after the game it seems our warrior got away with one there!
So Southampton at home next before a 21 day break. 3 points form that one would go a long way to making those 3 weeks a little easier to stand. But hey, we’re Newcastle fans right, nothing is every that simple!