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Garth Crooks verdict on controversial incident in Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1 match

3 weeks ago

Garth Crooks has picked his best 11 performers from the weekend’s action.

The Premier League team of the weekend that has most impressed him.

Included in his top 11 are two players from the game at St James Park.

In the process, Garth Crooks giving his verdict on a controversial incident in the Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1 match.

No prizes for guessing that Garth Crooks selected two Liverpool players, as the visitors dominated the match, whilst the NUFC eleven gave total commitment to stay in the game.

Garth Crooks explains why he picked Van Dijk and Keita in his Premier League team of the week and within it, his verdict on the key controversial moment in the match that decided it, then the full eleven are listed below:


“James Milner’s challenge for the ball with Newcastle defender Fabian Schar led to Naby Keita’s superbly taken goal which took the Reds back to the top of the table for a short while.

“There was no doubt in my mind, or Andre Marriner’s mind for that matter, that Milner got to the ball first.

“It was a crisp tackle and perfectly judged by the referee.

“Keita has found himself sharing the defensive midfield role with Thiago who has also been playing particularly well lately. Both men it would appear can be relied upon to do what is needed to get a result when it matters.”

I must admit, at the time I thought it was a foul on Schar, probably like pretty much close on 50,000 other Newcastle United fans who were at St James Park on Saturday. However, at the same time, I have to admit that Fabian Schar is one of those NUFC players (Miguel Almiron another stand out) who do tend to go down far too easily AND far too often. So I did have that in mind as I waited and hoped that VAR would save us.

Having since seen the incident on TV replays, then clearly the referee was correct in allowing play to continue and the Keita goal to stand. However, it was one of those matches where the referee did seem to massively favour the away side overall, giving them some very soft free-kicks AND stopping play when NUFC were attacking, James Milner pretending he had a head injury after he simply headed the ball away with no Newcastle player near him. When checking the stats, I couldn’t believe that Newcastle had the same number (11) of fouls blown up for as Liverpool.

Van Dijk:

“Another clean sheet and another enjoyable day at the office for Van Dijk.

“I thought this was an extraordinary performance by Liverpool.

“Having played Villareal in the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night, travelling to Newcastle for a 12:30pm kick-off at St James Park three days later and coming away with a victory – bearing in mind the form Newcastle have been in – was outstanding.”

Garth Crooks Premier League team of the week:

Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Nathan Ake (Manchester City)

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Cristian Romero (Tottenham)

Anthony Gordon (Everton)

Naby Keita (Liverpool)

Rodri (Manchester City)

Josh Brownhill (Burnley)

Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)

Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1 – Saturday 30 April 12.30pm



Keita 19


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

(Match Report – ‘Still, being on the same pitch as Liverpool next season is an achievement in itself…’ – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 0 Liverpool 1 – Read HERE)

(‘This defeat to Liverpool exposes which Newcastle United players have/haven’t what it takes’ – Read HERE)

(Newcastle United stay top half and Everton now halfway through relegation trapdoor – I’ve had worse days – Read HERE)

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

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


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