Liverpool FC: Jota 21’, Salah 25’, Alexander-Arnold 87’
Saudi Arabia’s Sportswashing PR Wing: Team: Shelvey 7’
I have a bad feeling about this.
Tonight’s match has some real second leg against Atletico Madrid vibes, just on the eve of the pandemic. Games are being postponed left and right. Some leagues are going back behind closed doors. Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, and Curtis Jones all tested positive for COVID.
Anyway. I suppose beating the ever living shit out of the Sportswashing PR Wing of the brutal, human-rights-abusing, murderous Saudi Arabian regime would make me feel slightly better about life.
Jurgen Klopp looks on the brink of tears as the Kop belts out “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” I imagine he’s thinking the same thing as the rest of us: that this might be the last match played in front of fans for a while.
Liverpool are all over the visitors early. Salah seems to be embarrassing defenders in and around the box for fun, and the gulf in class is...
Goal. For fuck’s sake Jonjo Shelvey just curled one into the far corner from 25-yards out on Newcastle’s first time in Liverpool’s half.
The Reds have responded well since the goal, basically continuing where they left off, being the utterly dominant side. There are definitely goals in this for Liverpool.
GOAL! Liverpool continue playing despite multiple Newcastle players down in the box “injured.” After the time wasting antics of teams recently, I don’t blame them a bit. Diogo Jota is picked out at the far post by Sadio Mané after a corner is initially cleared. His first, headed effort is saved but he buries the rebound.
GOAL!! And just like that Liverpool are in the lead! Shelvey absolutely gifts Sadio a chance with a sloppy back pass. The Senegalese is clattered over in the box, but still manages to get a shot away; the goalkeeper saves the first effort, but Mo Salah pounces on the rebound and there’s no doubt.
This has been an outrageous attacking display from the Reds this half. The visitors have actually done well to cut out quite a few passes in and around the box which seemed destined to carve out a big chance. The scoreline rather flatters Newcastle. Hopefully Liverpool can get an early second half goal (or two) and put this thing to bed.
Liverpool are either being more patient with their build-up play, or Newcastle are doing better at cutting out passing lanes. Either way, the opening minutes of the second half are much cagier than we saw at any point in the first.
Trent “Not a Good Defender” Alexander-Arnold just made a brilliant last-ditch tackle in the box to prevent Newcastle from getting in behind. It was a risky tackle, but he just managed to get a foot to the ball and away from danger.
Captain Jordan Henderson goes into the book for a foul in a pretty dangerous position. Thankfully Shelvey sends the resulting free kick high and wide.
As the match enters the last 20 minutes, “Si Señor!” rings out in Anfield. There’s no doubt about who is about to come on. Surprisingly, Bobby comes on for Mo Salah. It’s actually a double sub, with Naby Keita comes on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
GOAL!!! Trent Alexander-Arnold wraps it up with an absolute thunderbastard from range. The goal resulted from a free kick, played short to Bobby, then worked back to Trent who absolutely walloped it. Bobby will happily take the assist, but that was all Trent!
The Reds have looked better since the double substitution, and a third goal was no less than they deserved for their efforts tonight.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
Liverpool dug themselves in a hole, but came from behind to see off Newcastle, and get back within touching distance of league leaders Manchester City. Also, I hope Newcastle get relegated.
Who was Liverpool’s Man of the Match vs Newcastle?
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