Liverpool’s sensational winning streak had a stern test this afternoon when Rafael Benitez, the legendary former Reds boss, returned with his Newcastle United side and enforced his defensive masterplan to grab a result on the road in survival race. He was spot on with his plan initially but failed to cling on and suffered a 2-0 defeat in his return to Anfield.
It was meant to be a tricky one for Liverpool against one of their very own who kept on frustrating the home side with a deep defensive strategy. They were failing to create enough chances to test the Magpies defence but kept on waiting patiently for the break that finally took place in the closing minutes of the first-half when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain orchestrated a move and set it up for Mohamed Salah who struck his 32nd goal of the season in Liverpool Colors. The visitors could have equalized in the closing seconds but Loris Karius came to the rescue with a majestic save to deny Mo Diame’s effort from distance. The first half ended 1-0 in favour of the Merseysiders.
Newcastle United had to open themselves up in search of a goal but were caught on the counter and Liverpool took little time to double the lead after the break when Sadio Mane slotted home from Roberto Firmino’s pass. The visitors could not script a comeback like their previous Anfield meeting and suffered a 2-0 defeat on the road.
The win has now taken Liverpool to the second place of the league tally ahead of Manchester United who will face Crystal Palace this midweek and then host the Reds at Old Trafford next Saturday.
Liverpool vs Newcastle United Lineups:
Liverpool: Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Eme Can, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (James Milner 79′), Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino (Joel Matip 88′), Sadio Mane (Adam Lallana 74′).
Newcastle United: Martin Dubravka, DeAndre Yedlin, Jamaal Lascelles, Florian Lejeune, Paul Dummett, Christian Atsu, Mohamed Diame, Mikel Merino (Isaac Hayden 73′), Kenedy, Jacob Murphy (Ayoze Perez 84′), Dwight Gayle (Joselu 66′).
Liverpool vs Newcastle United Highlights:
Liverpool vs Newcastle United Match Stats:
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