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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1

4 days ago
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Saturday night ended Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1.

It looked ominous when Mo Salah scored a classy opening goal after only three minutes, but thanks to Martin Dubravka and Liverpool wasting chance after chance, it kept Newcastle in the match and eventually allowed Joe Willock to earn a draw with that last gasp equaliser.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game, this time it is David Punton.

POSITIVES

Joe Willock

This lad is pure gold. What an impact he had had on loan. Vital goals in four games which have yielded eight points amid a perilous relegation battle.

At Anfield he once again found himself on the bench, but he hasn’t sulked and he came on and did the job in another massive game for Newcastle, and on a ground where we usually get hammered.

It was a well taken goal. Cool as a cucumber with that first touch, and the finish, with a dollop of deflection off Fabinho. He more than deserves to start.

Smells like team spirit

What a contrast in attitudes.

Over the winter it looked like a lost dressing room. Come spring and something seems to have changed. Players suddenly look a bit more confident and that was always going to be vital for Liverpool away.

Whether it is down to Bruce, Graeme Jones, or the players themselves, it looks a happier camp at the moment.

Much better in midfield

Not so long ago Sean Longstaff’s game looked to have gone under Bruce’s coaching team. He seems to be coming through that now and is starting to look a lot better, with his passing and movement.

Still a few silly errors to iron out, for sure but overall he’s looked pretty good alongside Shelvey. Should have scored in the first half when played in at the Kop end.

NEGATIVES

LiVARpool FC

The introduction of video technology in the beautiful game has managed to make things worse, not better.

We’ve now seen a goal ruled out for handball, despite the fact he didn’t move his arm and there was a clear push in the build-up. The VAR shaftings hopefully even themselves out over a season, but if that had been the moment that denied us a point, it would have been a tough one to take. It needs to be looked at.

Conceding so early

Salah is world class but to let them score so early in the game was such a poor start to the game. Then we allowed them to create a stack of chances that on another day would have flown in. There was an element of luck being ridden for a large portion of that game.

I’d love to see us be a more ruthless team, albeit that will need investment in more good players.

The Anfield hoodoo

An iconic stadium.

One of the toughest places to go in football and yet this season the champions have lost a bit of their magic. They’ve actually lost games at Anfield (six of their last seven PL home matches before playing Newcastle) for a change.

With Wilson and ASM back, have we missed a golden opportunity for our first league win on this ground since April 1994. The quest to see an NUFC team win here again one day goes on. It’s getting a bit like that wait we had for a win at Old Trafford, which took 41 years (1972 to 2013).

It was Keegan’s entertainers who grabbed a 2-0 win against the reds in 94. The best we have managed since then are draws, bar that League Cup moment of magic from Steve Watson in 1995. The wait for a league win at Anfield goes on and on.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 24 April 12.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Willock 90+5

Liverpool:

Salah 3

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Liverpool 69% (71%) Newcastle 31% (29%)

Total shots were Liverpool 22 (12)  Newcastle 7 (1)

Shots on target were Liverpool 9 (4) Newcastle 4 (1)

Corners were Liverpool 6 (2) Newcastle 3 (2)

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Clark (Willock 64), Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Gayle 85), Joelinton (Wilson 60), Saint-Maximin

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Krafth, Lewis, Manquillo, Hendrick, Carroll

Crowd: 00,000

(Liverpool were desperate to be out of the Champions League – Happy to oblige – Read HERE)

(Unbelievably lucky Steve Bruce must do right thing and walk away in four weeks time – Read HERE)

(Should have been Liverpool 1 Newcastle 2 not Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1 – You couldn’t make it up – Read HERE)

(Liverpool 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s dramatic draw! – Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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