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The streak is over - Newcastle United 0-2 Liverpool

Liverpool seen off Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday evening but despite the scoreline finishing 2-0 to the visitors, it doesn’t reflect on how the majority of the game panned out. Goals from Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo inside the first twenty minutes were enough to end the Magpies impressive unbeaten run.

Both managers made one change to their respective sides. Elliott Anderson earned his first Premier League start for the Magpies, he took the place of Joe Willock who was injured during last weeks draw against Bournemouth. Callum Wilson returned to the bench after a minor Hamstring injury, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin featured despite going off at the Vitality Stadium. Virgil van Dijk returned to the Liverpool starting eleven in the place of Joel Matip.

The hosts had the first chance of the game after just a few minutes, Saint-Maximin slid Almiron in from behind but Allison acted fast and stood tall to deny the Paraguayan. Liverpool took the lead with just ten minutes on the clock and it was against the run of play. Alexander-Arnold launched a ball up the field before Nunez brought it down and smashed it beyond Pope. VAR did check it for “handball” but found nothing wrong with it. The visitors doubled their lead just seven minutes through Gakpo. Salah launched a ball over the Newcastle defence and the unmarked striker had plenty of time to control it and slide it underneath Pope. Things went from bad to worse for the Magpies when Pope was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside the box. The real kick in the groin for the Magpies is that he will miss out the Carabao Cup Final because of it. Saint-Maximin went close for the hosts just as the clock reached the half hour mark, after running out of options in the midfield, he decided to go for it himself and Allison had to pull of a smart save to deny him. Despite going down to 10 men, the Magpies didn’t sit back and they nearly pulled a goal back with five minutes left to play in the first half. Trippier whipped a corner in which found the head of the giant Burn but his effort rattled the crossbar. HT Score Newcastle United 0 Liverpool 2.

Newcastle had a decent start to the second half. Saint-Maximin done well down the flank and drilled a low cross in for Isak but the Swede couldn’t properly control it and his effort whizzed over the bar. If Newcastle could convert their chances, they would have been back in it. Schar was the next Newcastle player to have an attempt at goal. He rose highest to make contact with Trippier’s corner but it sailed over the bar. Dubravka was called into action when he had to deny Nunez from getting a second. The Uruguayan latched onto a through ball and cut inside before unleashing a shot towards the Newcastle goal but the substitute keeper saved well. Schar can consider himself lucky that the visitors didn’t make the most of his sloppy play which handed the possession away. Robertson found himself on goal and instead of going for glory himself, he tried to lay it off to Salah but thankfully Big Burn was there to intercept it and put it to safety. With ten minutes to play, Salah had a go from the edge of the box but his effort was weak and easily gathered up by Dubravka. Newcastle had probably their best opportunity of the game to grab a goal back inside the final ten minutes. Gordon, who was released as a youngster by Liverpool, drove forward and fed it into Wilson who was unmarked and only had to finish it past the keeper but Allison was wise to it and pulled off another great stop. Jota missed a sitter in the 89th minute from six yards out when he found the end of a cross into the box. Liverpool had a couple of more chances in the final two minutes of the game but they couldn’t find a way through the gutsy Newcastle back line. Full Time Newcastle United 0 Liverpool 2.

Sutty’s Full Time Thoughts: Newcastle played better with ten men than when they had eleven on the pitch. It’s a shame that 15 minutes of sloppy mistakes in the first half cost us our unbeaten run. Our defence was nowhere to be seen for their two goals and Pope was distraught after what he done to get sent off. The former Burnley keeper has hardly put a foot wrong since signing for us and I hope the REAL fans will back him despite the mistake. Allan Saint-Maximin was the star player for me today, the Frenchman showed what he can do when he puts his mind to it. He just needs to be more consistent. Callum Wilson…another poor display when he came on, it was deja vu when Anthony Gordon played him through and he fluffed his lines…we all slated Chris Wood but god forbid anyone saying anything negative about Wilson. Anyway with the final next Sunday, we may have lost Pope but we do have Bruno back in the centre of the midfield who we have missed massively these past three games. It is concerning though how bad we are at making the most of the chances that we create. There is just no end product and we really should have had four or five goals from them. Despite the defeat, the Magpies STILL remain in fourth place. I’ll take that. Keep the faith folks! We played them off the park. It just wasn’t to be.

What’s Next? Newcastle have the small matter of the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United on Sunday 26th February in a 4:30pm KO. Liverpool travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday 25th February as they face Crystal Palace in a 7:45pm KO. Both matches are available on Sky Sports.

Newcastle United Line Up: N Pope, K Trippier © (63, J Murphy), S Botman, F Schar, D Burn, Joelinton (70, M Ritchie), E Anderson (23, M Dubravka) , S Longstaff, A Saint-Maximin, A Isak (63, C Wilson), M Almiron (63, A Gordon).

Newcastle United Bench: M Dubravka, P Dummett, J Lascelles, J Lewis, J Manquillo, M Ritchie, J Murphy, A Gordon, C Wilson.

Liverpool Line Up: Allison, J Gomez, V van Dijk, A Robertson, T Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, J Henderson © (58, J Milner), S Bajcetic (58, H Elliott), M Salah, C Gakpo (58, R Firmino), D Nunez (58, D Jota).

Liverpool United Bench: C Kelleher, K Tsimikas, J Matip, N Phillips, J Milner, N Keita, H Elliott, R Firmino, D Jota.

Match Officials: Anthony Taylor (Referee), Gary Beswick & Adam Nunn (Assistant’s), Craig Pawson (Fourth Official), Chris Kavanagh (VAR), Simon Long (Assistant VAR).





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