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Newcastle take on Liverpool at Anfield at what is a less crucial game given the breathing space between United and 18th place Fulham with a margin of eight points separating the two teams. Joe Willocks goal against West Ham has given the Mags a lot of hope coming into the business end of the season. The squad must have impressed Bruce last week as he has named an unchanged side coming into today's game sticking with the five at the back system (5-3-2) for the fourth time in a row, with Callum Wilson staying on the bench, presumably still lacking the match fitness for the full ninety minutes. Dubravka keeps his place in goal. The back five is unchanged with Murphy, Clark, Fernandez, Dummett and Ritchie. The Midfield Three, also unchanged are Almiron, Shelvey and Longstaff. Leading the line up front are Joelinton alongside Allan Saint-Maximin.


United got us underway but it was Liverpool and Mo Salah that came out of the firing block in the 4th minute, when Mane played in a corner which Dummett got to but failed to deal with the chance with any conviction, Salah sees his chance and strikes the ball on the half volley with a sweet connection to beat Dubravka and goal one up early on. 1-0.

Allan Saint-Maximin had started bright here, picking up the ball from deep, and challenging players, but worryingly he drew the foul from Kabak and appeared to pick up a slight knock. ASM came back on and in the 15th minute Murphy played in a ball through to Maxi who attempted to drive the ball across the box but was blocked by Fabinho who sent the ball towards his own goal, but found the boot of Alexander-Arnold to clear it away. And five minutes later United were back in again with Longstaff getting in behind the Liverpool defense, unfortunately the ball would not drop kindly for him and Alison was there the block the eventual shot. Alison had work to do though, it was a good save by the Brazilian. And just one minute the Mags were back in yet again from a corner which was only half cleared by Liverpool, Joelinton headed it back in and Shelvey beat Alison to the ball and put it in the back of the net but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Then Liverpool come back in just moments later with Mane keeping the ball in play to pick out Jota in the box who had the shot but struck it straight at Dubravka. in the 27th minute Saint-Maximin played a ball through in the path of Joelinton but unfortunately there was a mix up between Joelinton and Miguel Almiron who obtained the ball, originally standing in an offside position. It would have been an excellent chance for the big Brazilian but a lack of communication cost the mags a potential equalizer. And just two minutes late Clark almost gifted Liverpool daylight between the score when he made an incredibly poor pass inside the box which Mane latched onto. Mane then played in Jota who looked certain to score but Jota put the ball wide, huge let off for United.

Another mistake by the Mags back line almost gifted Liverpool another opportunity yet again in the 36th minute, when Robertson dispossessed Murphy to retrieve the ball, Robertson played in Salah who is one-on-one with Dubravka, but the big Slovakian spreads himself well to get down at Salah's feet to stop the shot. Two minutes later Liverpool's forward four challenged United's back five once again when Mane, Salah, and Firmino link up to play in Jota, with Firmino playing a lovely dummy to give Jota the ball, Jota shakes of the Black and White defense to get a shot away but it is struck straight at Dubravka. Just before half time Liverpool had another opportunity to get further ahead when Robertson swung in a ball to find Mane, but Mane's header went wide of the post. Half time. 1-0.


Liverpool come back out of the break and look to seal the deal at Anfield, with Mane letting the ball roll through his legs to play the ball to Firmino who turns the United defense on the spin and get a shot away but the effort, like the many others the red's have had just isn't clinical enough and Dubravka collects the ball comfortably.

Newcastle had a big chance in the 55th minute when Joelinton is played through by the defense, Joelinton uses some lovely footwork to get in on goal, with only Alison to beat, Joelinton hits the ball left footed but Alison got down well to it, too easy of a shot. But just two minutes later Liverpool go down the other end of the pitch, The ball was played deep to the back post for Firmino who struck the ball hard and low but Dubravka was there yet again to make the block, this time with his feet.

In the 64th minute, a mistake by Almiron sent Robertson steaming towards goal, Robertson got to the edge of the area and dragged the ball wide. Let of for Miggy there. Ten minutes later Longstaff makes, arguably an even worse mistake when he played in Mane who fed the ball to Salah who again dragged the ball wide hitting the side netting.

In the 76th minute Trent Alexander-Arnold nearly scored the goal of the season from a corner which headed out, only as far as Thiago Alcantara who's touch set up Alexander-Arnold to hit the ball on the volley, fortunately for the Mags the ball sails wide. In the 81st Minute Liverpool are really going for this with Mane's strike parried away by Dubravka and went out for a corner. The ball comes in to Miner who's initial shot took a deflection and cleared back out to him for another bite at the cherry, Fortunately Dubravka got to the ball well.

Coming into the dying minutes of the game Wilson charged his way into the the box, Alison came out and got to the ball, but he couldn't keep hold of it, the ball parries up off of Wilson who eventually bundled the ball into the back of the net. But the goal was ruled out controversially as the ball accidently touched Wilson's arm which was tucked in close to his body. Five minutes into added time and it looked like VAR had denied Newcastle of anything from the game. But being the master of the dramatic late finish, Willock stepped up yet again for the third crucial time in his so far short Newcastle career, with the ball nodded into to his path for the future England star to tuck away the shot to rescue his team again. Full Time Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle United.


I Don't Know what has gotten in to Steve Bruce but I've got to say, I've been incredibly impressed with the teams results since the Brighton game. Newcastle are unbeaten in Four games picking up two victories and two draws against some decent teams. Maybe it has something to do with the return of key players, I don't know. But I will take it. I'm sure we all will. Newcastle play Arsenal next at St James Park, and in their form, who knows, maybe we can get something from that game too. But for now, we had a lot of mistakes that need ironing out, but overall it was a good result. Does this mean we're safe? We'll have to wait and see.

By Sam West

Howay the Lads!



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