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Opinion

Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match

3 weeks ago
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Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1 – Saturday 30 April 12.30pm

A big match this one,  potential title decider.

After seeing the line up, I was surprised Wood wasn’t starting, I figured that we might have used him as a hold up man and play a little more defensively, but I can hardly blame Howe for sticking with the front three that decimated Norwich.

Was nice to see Liverpool rotating some big players too, obviously looking forward to confirming their UCL place next week (must be hard, playing three games in seven days with their squad size….)

A bright start, during which we did threaten and had a few Liverpool hearts in mouths. However, Milner won the ball (just) from Schar, Keita managed to squirm through the defence, around Dubravka, and slotted home as we approached the 20th minute.

As the game continued, the referee’s stance was pretty clear, with multiple fouls on Newcastle players (especially ASM) waved away, while every slight touch on a Liverpool player led to a free-kick.

Liverpool were dominant in possession and Newcastle unable to profit on the counter. A big save from Dubravka in the 40th minute to deny a big header from Jota. A few laughs had from a woeful Henderson free kick and an Almiron goal (only about 10 feet offside) were the other main points from the first half.

Second half started in much the same way, a Shelvey free kick being headed clear by Jota on the 53rd minute, which saw the match then stopped for a head injury? Not so sure about that one.

A couple of further good Dubravka stops and by the 67th minute Lascelles had replaced Schar (injury) and Wood had come on for Willock, to give some much needed presence up top.

It was the defence showing their skills though, as Targett and Dubravka made sure Liverpool couldn’t add a second.

A huge chance to equalise in the 77th minute when Wood was put through, but couldn’t quite finish, before a very dubious offside was given. Cue more goalkeeping heroics from Dubravka, before it all ended with a shot from outside the box by Bruno, easy for Allison to save though.

All in all, it was the tight game I expected, but we really failed to threaten for large parts of the game, and the clinical finishing wasn’t there when we had chances

Here are my three points I will take from Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1.

Refs chose a side

Same refereeing issues but the one that took the biscuit was in the 50th minute, where Matip ran across ASM in the Liverpool box, flopped to the ground after missing his tackle, and a free-kick was given…

I’d say it was unbelievable if it wasn’t so believable.

No centre forward= problems

For the first hour or so, we had no recognised striker, with ASM, Joelinton and Willock swapping around.

With no presence up top, every cross and ball forward rarely had anyone there to try and profit, making Liverpool’s defensive job that much easier.

Definitely a position to strengthen in the summer.

Dubravka is still top class

With all the speculation about who will be leaving and which positions will be strengthened, Dubravka put in a huge performance, pulling off some brilliant saves to make Liverpool’s job hard today.

I definitely wouldn’t complain if he stayed number one next season.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1 – Saturday 30 April 12.30pm

Goals:

Liverpool:

Keita 19

Newcastle:

Possession was Liverpool 66% Newcastle 34%

Total shots were Liverpool 24 Newcastle 4

Shots on target were Liverpool 10 Newcastle 2

Corners were Liverpool 6 Newcastle 0

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 52,281 (Liverpool 3,200)

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth (Murphy 85), Schar (Lascelles 61), Burn, Targett, Guimaraes, Shelvey, Willock (Wood 67), Joelinton, Almiron, Saint-Maximin

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Dummett, Longstaff, Gayle, Ritchie, Manquillo

(Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Saturday’s defeat – Read HERE)

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