Liverpool’s miserable run of form continued on Sunday as Newcastle United held them to a frustrating 1-1 draw at St. James’ Park
Another game of football, another sequence of frustrating gameplay that is becoming all too familiar of late for Liverpool. A startlingly poor run of results continued to plague Jurgen Klopp and co. as another game that they dominated ended in a disappointing result.
The Reds started the game the brighter of the two sides as Georginio Wijnaldum hit the post from a corner early on, before Philippe Coutinho broke the deadlock midway through the first half through his trademark long-range curling strike.
But the hosts levelled things up soon after in bizarre fashion as Joselu scored without even taking a shot when Joel Matip’s attempted tackle ricocheted off him past Simon Mignolet. Thereafter, Liverpool dominated possession and created several chances to find the winning goal but to no avail, thanks to wasteful finishing from their attackers.
The points are shared. pic.twitter.com/JzLVawARp6
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 1, 2017
Thus, after another winless results, Jurgen Klopp and co. have now managed to grab all three points in just one of their last seven outings in all competitions. With the Reds dropping to seventh in the Premier League after another poor performance, The Hard Tackle runs the rule over Klopp’s men.
Simon Mignolet: 6.5/10
The Belgian did concede a goal yet again on Sunday, but it wasn’t due to his own fault. In fact, Mignolet was really unlucky to see the ball bounce off Joselu and spin past him as he exasperatingly looked on. He was otherwise very assured with his handling and commanded his area well. One of the few creditable performances from a Liverpool player.
Joe Gomes: 5.5/10
One of the many Liverpool players who has failed to inspire much confidence after a solid start to the season, Gomez produced another nervous performance on Sunday. The young Englishman often found it hard to deal with Atsu, and was perhaps lucky to escape with just a yellow card after he clattered into the former Chelsea man in second half.
Largely ineffective in the final third as well, the player needs to pull his socks up especially with Trent Alexander-Arnold impressing whenever given an opportunity.
Joel Matip: 5/10
Don’t know many have noticed it but this goal was more of a fault by Matip than Lovren. pic.twitter.com/k1JbzQvPFk
— Asit. (@CalcioElemento_) October 2, 2017
In what has become typical of the Liverpool back-line, on Sunday it was Joel Matip whose mistake allowed the Reds’ opposition to score past their goalkeeper. Made a basic error when he was caught out of position to let Joselu past him, he failed to make amends with his subsequent tackle that bounced off the Spaniard and into the net.
He was otherwise largely solid in dealing with the threats that came his way, but mistakes like the one in the first aren’t doing him any favours.
Dejan Lovren: 6/10
The Croat’s part in the Newcastle goal wasn’t as pronounced as his partner at the heart of defence, but he was equally culpable of letting Joselu get past them. Lovren was frustratingly denied a goal when his header was cleared off the goal line, and he also had a couple of good shouts for a penalty turned down.
Back in his own half, he was solid for large parts of the game as well, but conceded a free-kick in injury time that could have come back to haunt him. A late block on Mo Diame though denied Newcastle a late winner.
Alberto Moreno: 6.5/10
It is not often when one says this, but Moreno was by far the best Liverpool defender on the day, neutralising the threat posed by a dangerous Matt Ritchie for the most part. But just as his performances at the back are starting to improve, his impact in the final third is starting to wear down. All in all though, an impressive outing.
Jordan Henderson: 6/10
An unspectacular outing for the Liverpool captain who did well to shut out the threat of the Newcastle attack, but failed to influence things in attack. A no nonsense performance, although he could have done a lot better to inspire a positive result.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5.5/10
Preferred to Emre Can, the Dutchman did little to show how he can be a better alternative in midfield. Wijnaldum filtered in and out of the game after hitting the post early and was largely a passenger as the minutes passed by.
Philippe Coutinho: 7.5/10
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 1, 2017
The best player on the pitch by far, Coutinho scored a long-range curler that has become typical of him during his Liverpool career. Apart from the goal, he also looked to create chances for the men in front of him to get the winning goal but wasn’t helped by their profligacy in front of goal.
Mohamed Salah: 5.5/10
Like the rest of the Liverpool attack, Salah was wasteful in the chances that came his way, complete with a heavy first touch and lackadaisical finishing. He did create a fantastic opportunity for Sadio Mane early on that went abegging, but he does need to work on his penetrative passing as well.
Daniel Sturridge: 5/10
Handed a rare start in Roberto Firmino’s stead, Sturridge didn’t do much to warrant a case for regular inclusion going forward. Hit the only other shot on target by Liverpool, but it was a meek effort that was shot straight at the goalkeeper. Apart from that moment, he did very little of note and looks in need of a confidence booster.
Sadio Mane: 5/10
Making a return to Premier League action for the first time in nearly three weeks, Mane was perhaps the least impressive of the bunch on Sunday. Lacking sharpness and awareness in his movement, the Senegalese was ineffective on the left flank as well as the right, and was rightly taken off in the second half.
Roberto Firmino (on for Sturridge): 5/10
A rare game when he didn’t start, he did little to affect the game off the bench as well and is another player who needs a boost in confidence at the moment.
Dominic Solanke (on for Mane): N/A
Played the final 15 minutes of the game, Solanke has been impressive with his cameo appearances and is slowly inching towards a first league start.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Salah): N/A
Came on late, he could have won a game but made a meal of his header.