Liverpool continued their unbeaten home record as they comfortably beat Newcastle United to go second on the Premier League table on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men cruised to a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United, as the visitors were unable to cope with the threat of Liverpool’s formidable front three and are now just two points outside the dreaded relegation zone.
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane piled the pressure on Rafa Benitez and his Newcastle side as Liverpool climb to second on the table, although Manchester United could reclaim it if they win on Monday. The Newcastle defence did perform well to cope with the pressure of Liverpool’s attack, but they could not avoid a defeat.
Salah scored his 32nd goal of the season in all competitions, while Mane’s strike takes him past his goal tally from last season after bagging his 14th of the season. Roberto Firmino the other member of the Reds’ front three, helped with an assist for Mane’s goal. Here’s how we rated Liverpool’s stars during their win over Newcastle.
Loris Karius – 7/10
A positive response to the overall criticism the Liverpool goalkeepers have received this season. Although the back-four was enough to sniff out any real dangers against Newcastle for Karius, he still was on hand to make an excellent save just before half-time. Handled everything that came his way and was solid throughout the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6.5/10
There is a feeling Alexander-Arnold is getting comfortable with his position at right-back after a recent run of games under his belt. Against Newcastle, he was solid at the back while also being a factor in the final third as he showed by providing a beautiful cross for Mane, who forward missed the chance.
As Nathaniel Clyne nears a return, Alexander-Arnold needs to continue putting in more of a show to stake a regular claim on the right side of the Liverpool defence.
Virgil van Dijk – 7/10
Since joining Liverpool, van Dijk hasn’t been this comfortable on the ball that he displayed against Newcastle, commanding the back-line to perfection, which just how well he is settling in. A clean sheet will also add to his confidence ahead of some crunch times for Liverpool in the coming days.
Dejan Lovren – 7/10
Starting ahead of Joel Matip, Lovren had a point to prove to Klopp and he did just that. The Croat feels more connected to van Dijk than Matip, and he marshalled the defence well while avoiding any errors or mishaps during the 90 minutes.
Andrew Robertson – 6.5/10
Robertson has been ever-present in the Liverpool defence on the left side and showed his eagerness to get forward on Saturday. While he was beaten far too easily by DeAndre Yedlin at times, the Scot maintained composure throughout the game, while also providing some vital attacking contributions.
Jordan Henderson – 7/10
Patrolled his midfield area smartly and saw a lot of the ball. Sprayed out passes and distributed play often through Liverpool’s full-backs. Maintained his positional instincts well and it seemed that Klopp based the game out of the Liverpool captain a lot, although Henderson did not provide any game-changing contributions.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7/10
Oxlade-Chamberlain was a fine attacking outlet all throughout the match. Tried to play Alexander-Arnold on a couple of occasions with some great balls, and there is a feeling that while he has improved a lot since his transfer he could always offer more. Got an assist on the night for his pass to Salah, but at that juncture, he could have scored before he made the pass.
Emre Can – 7/10
Worked hard and tried to take the ball away from Newcastle attackers when the need was there. Attempted some grand passes, although most had the wrong trajectory. Completed the game on a high after Liverpool’s midfield three produced a near perfect, dominant display.
Roberto Firmino – 7/10
A crucial part of the Liverpool front-trio, Firmino showed exactly why he deserves a new contract with the Reds. The Brazilian was always involved in Liverpool attacks and provided a vital assist for Mane to score his side’s second on the night.
Sadio Mane – 8/10
Continues to make an impact for the Reds when he is most needed. With the goal scored, Mane now has surpassed his tally from last season, and there is a feeling there is more to come from the former Southampton star as he continues turning his form around.
Mohamed Salah – 8/10
A constant threat to Newcastle defenders as he has been all season long for opposition defensive units, causing problems for most teams. Salah scored his 32nd goal of the season in all competitions as he opened the scoring for Liverpool, five minutes before the break.
Adam Lallana – 6/10
Lallana had a busy time on the pitch after he replaced Mane in the second half. The game was almost won, and Klopp sent him to tidy matters and take control of the game.
James Milner – 7.5/10
Klopp wanted the game controlled till the end when Liverpool had a two-goal cushion. Milner got into the action quickly and made himself available when needed, tidying up the game for the home side to cruise to victory in the end.