The weather conditions may have been appalling, but Liverpool and Newcastle served up another classic game at Anfield tonight, with the Reds eventually running out 4 - 2 winners.
Liverpool started the game as strong favourites, and began the match in confident mood, passing the ball around and forcing early corners, as the wind and rain swirled around Anfield. Indeed, Liverpool could have been ahead inside 5 minutes, but found Newcastle keeper Dubravka in excellent form.
Liverpool were relentless in their attacks, and should have taken the lead, when Liverpool were awarded a penalty, after Luis Diaz was brought down as he burst through on goal. Mo Salah stepped up, but missed his 4th penalty in 9, as the Anfield crowd began to fear another frustrating night in front of goal. Earlier, both teams had a goal disallowed for narrow off-sides, as the first half unexpectedly ended 0 - 0.
Liverpool were quickly on the front foot in the second half, and it didn't take long for Liverpool to score, as Diaz, Nunez and Salah combined, with Nunez unselfishly squaring the ball for Salah to tap into the net. The relief around Anfield was palpable, but the crowd was soon silenced when Newcastle scored just 5 minutes later.
Liverpool continued to press for a second goal, and Curtis Jones duly delivered, after a slick move involving Salah and Jota. Gakpo then stretched the lead further, with Salah involved once again. Newcastle weren't done though, and pulled a goal back when Sven Botman rose highest at a corner. Jurgen Klopp was going mad on the sidelines, but Mohamad Salah was in no mood to surrender the lead, almost single handedly driving Liverpool forward, and it was Salah who converted his second penalty of the night, to leave Anfield on a high, before heading off to the African Cup of Nations.
Salah shows his class, and leaves big shoes to fill....
Despite an indifferent first half, which included another penalty miss, Mo Salah showed once again why he is truly a world class player, as he refused to let Liverpool drop another two points at Anfield. In the second half Salah ran the show, driving Liverpool forward and being involved in all four goals. He leaves for the AFCON, just as Endo leaves for the Asian Cup, with Liverpool top of the league and in a great position for a title charge. Whether Liverpool remain top of the league when Salah returns, will depend on whether the rest of the squad can step up in his absense.
Liverpool vs Newcastle Line-Ups
Liverpool Starting XI : Alisson, Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk (C), Alexander-Arnold, Endo, Szoboszlai, Jones, Diaz, Nunez, Salah
Newcastle Starting XI : Dubravka, Livramento, Schar, Botman, Burn, Miley, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Gordon, Isak, Joelinton
Liverpool vs Newcastle Match Stats
Liverpool 63% - 37% Newcastle
Liverpool 34 - 5 Newcastle
Shots on Target
Liverpool 15 - 3 Newcastle
Liverpool 7 - 3 Newcastle
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... About The Author ...
Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 352
Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.
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