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Liverpool 2, Newcastle 0: First Thoughts

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The Reds retake second place with a remarkably comfortable home win.

Liverpool v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Liverpool 2 Salah 40’, Mané 55’
Newcastle 0

PRE-MATCH: Rafa arrives at his old stomping grounds as one of only two current Premier League managers yet to lose to Jürgen Klopp.

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold cross finds Sadio Mané in the box but the number 19 can’t get a shot off.
  • Mohamed Salah volleys an Andy Robertson cross but blocked for corner.
  • Salah gets ball over the top from Can, but the volley from a narrow angle is saved for a corner.
  • Emre Can heads the ball high and wide from a Trent free kick.
  • Midway through the half, the Reds are dominating the ball, and generating shots but have yet to create a big chance. Newcastle harmless in attack but well organised.
  • Some excellent combination play leads to another Trent cross but the ball is headed wide for a corner before Firmino can convert.
  • ALMOST! Salah finds Dejan Lovren at the back post from the corner but his header into the ground is saved.
  • Liverpool win the ball in midfield and break with Can, who plays to Roberto Firmino, who slipts it through for Salah, but the Egyptian takes too long and shot is eventually blocked corner.
  • A Salah corner slices through the six yard box and Martin Dubravka misses the ball, but nobody is on hand to convert. Very scary for Newcastle.
  • Newcastle putting in a proper shift to prevent Liverpool from breaking through when they win the ball. Excellent effort, but looks exhausting. Could become telling towards the end of the match.
  • GOAL! Jordan Henderson wins the ball in midfield, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picks it up, driving forward through the centre before slipping a pass through for Salah. The Premier League’s top scorer predictably makes no mistake. 1-0.
  • Just at the stroke of half-time, Newcastle establish a bit of play, ending with a scooped Mohamed Diame finish from 18 yards, but Loris Karius makes an excellent save in the top corner.

HALF-TIME: The Reds are in control and in the lead, but Rafa is too experienced a manager to desperately throw his side forward, so one shouldn’t expect a blowout second half.

  • Salah is played in down the right on the counter, but Paul Dummett does well to interrupt and clear for a corner.
  • Shouts of penalty as a Salah shot from 18 hits Jamaal Lascelles on the elbow, but no call. Probably fine.
  • GOAL! Sensational piece of play as the Reds thread their way through the centre of the pitch, Firmino plays it into the path of Mané, whose control is perfect and second-touch finish is buried in the far corner. 2-0.
  • Liverpool allowing Newcastle more of the ball now, looking for opportunities to counter.
  • With twenty minutes to go, Newcastle have begun to commit more players forward, but the Reds are still looking comfortable.
  • James Milner and Adam Lallana have arrived in place of Mané and Ox.
  • Been a while since the last shot of note, but now a pair of volleys from Firmino and Henderson are blocked for a corner. Ten minutes to go.
  • Salah penalty shout as he’s hacked down in the box while releasing a pass. No call.
  • Referee shenanigans in injury time as Salah is blatantly pushed down by the last man when through on goal, but nothing given.
  • Final whistle goes and Liverpool are back in second at least until tomorrow. A very solid home win against a resolute defensive side.

We’ll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today’s game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven’t already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we’ll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.