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Opinion

Positives and negatives we can take looking back at Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1

4 weeks ago
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Saturday finished Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1.

A surprise early lead had Newcastle fans dreaming but eventually reality came back into our lives, as Liverpool woke up.

Martin Dubravka ended up keeping the score down after the break, although there was a ‘what if’ moment when Emil Kraft got the ball unmarked in the box at 2-1 down but instead of scoring, sent the ball into orbit.

The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game. Here goes…

POSITIVES

A promising start

The most obvious place to start was Willems’ first goal for Newcastle which put us in the lead. What a strike it was. It was a moment that I am sure fans will remember for a while, and on days when you know that you aren’t going to pick up the three points, sometimes all you can ask for is to have that one moment where you can go bananas.

I look back to two games at Old Trafford in previous years, 3-2 and 4-3 defeats, in which we may have lost the game but having the chance to have a meaningful go and go bananas in the away at one of the best teams in the world, usually makes the day worthwhile.

Although, a sign of the times, much like last season, our attacking threat comes from a defender – rather than our attackers looking like they are going to put the ball in the back of the net.

A respectable scoreline

Lets be honest and admit that yes it is another defeat but a 3-1 scoreline isn’t that bad.

Another sign of the times perhaps that this is a positive but this is where Newcastle United is right now… scraping the bottom of the dustbin looking for scraps.

Teams will go to Anfield and get battered this year, at least this is a group of players who try and put up a fight.

A good game to get rid of early in the season

Another kop out of a positive but give me a break… this is Newcastle United after all and positives are hard to come by.

Lets just be grateful that come the end of the season and we are in a relegation fight, that we don’t have to go away to Anfield and get something (ED: As opposed to the easy option of having to play Liverpool at home on the final day!).

NEGATIVES

Relegation zone

This defeat and scores elsewhere meant that we slipped back into the relegation zone.

This makes Saturday’s game against Brighton crucial because if we don’t win, then it is likely we will be in there for a good while yet.

Of course there is not much you can do about the result but when Bruce looks at the league table this week, he should be under no illusions that he needs to prove to everyone that he is good enough because his managerial career thus far, suggests that this is where we will be come the end of the campaign.

Lack of anything going forward

We may have gone 1-0 up but I think we all know that as soon as Liverpool got the equaliser then that was that. There was no way Newcastle were ever going to go and get a second goal.

The same could have been said about that great away win over Tottenham. Smash and grab is fair description of how NUFC will set up away from home this year and we should expect to see a team setting up with the attitude that if they do somehow manage to nick a goal then that will be that. A bank of five and a bank of four will follow.

Although… not too different under Rafa.

Nothing to come off the bench

Newcastle had nothing to offer from the bench against Liverpool. Injuries are already becoming a real problem for Steve Bruce, after a relatively injury free couple of years under Rafa Benitez.

Andy Carroll is set to return but I think Bruce and co should stop making out like this is the return of the king or any nonsense like that. Lets be honest, Carroll will only be used in desperate situations where we are 1-0 down and pushing for an equaliser. Joelinton is the main man and any situation in which Carroll is our key starter will be a desperate one.

Likewise, out wide we have nothing going forward. Miguel Almiron looks lost without Rondon, Perez and Benitez… maybe he needs a goal but there is no doubt he is really struggling at the moment.

It is all grim. Very grim. If anyone has any positives please do send them over to me.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 14 September 12.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Willems 7

Liverpool:

Mane 28, 40, Salah 72

Possession was Liverpool 76% Newcastle 24%

Total shots were Liverpool 21 Newcastle 8

Shots on target were Liverpool 9 Newcastle 1

Corners were Liverpool 10 Newcastle 1

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle team v Liverpool:

Dubravka, Krafth (Manquillo 67), Schar (Fernandez 80), Lascelles, Dummett, Willems, Hayden, Shelvey, Atsu, Almiron (Muto 67), Joelinton

Unused Subs

Darlow, Clark, Ki, Matty Longstaff

Crowd: 51,430  (3,000 Newcastle)

(Jurgen Klopp react to the comeback win HERE)

(Steve Bruce talks after the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool HERE)

(Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to defeat at Anfield HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @_jonathandc

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