Virgil van Dijk returned to his former self as Liverpool secured a comfortable 3-1 win over Newcastle United on Sunday evening.
Liverpool ended their 2019/20 Premier League campaign on a positive note, thanks to a 3-1 win over Newcastle United.
The Reds were pegged back at the very start of the game as Jonjo Shelvey’s clever long ball found Dwight Gayle through on goal for the opener. But, the newly-crowned Premier League champions responded in an emphatic fashion, putting a lot of pressure on the Magpies and eventually finding the equaliser through Virgil van Dijk in the 38th minute.
We finish the 2019/20 @premierleague season with three points…
…and as CHAMPIONS! 😁#LFCchampions
— Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions 🏆) (@LFC) July 26, 2020
Liverpool continued to apply the pressure in the second half before a moment of brilliance from Divock Origi saw them score the second. The away side looked in control after that moment as the opposition managed to muster only three shots on goal.
And just when it seemed that Jurgen Klopp’s were on course for a narrow victory, they added more gloss to the scoreline through another impressive strike – this time from Sadio Mane.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Liverpool players in their win over Newcastle United this evening.
Alisson could have done a little bit better to prevent Gayle from scoring the opener early on in the game. He was taken completely off guard with that quick ball from Shelvey. Had nothing much to do after as Newcastle barely provided any threat on goal. He will be disappointed to miss the clean sheet, yet again.
Neco Williams: 5/10
Starting ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, Neco Williams was caught lacking for the Gayle goal as he played him onside. The youngster also struggled to impose himself on the flanks and often came out as second best, in terms of aerial and physical duels. He certainly needs to improve.
Joe Gomez: 6.5/10
Joe Gomez had a decent game. The Englishman did a good job to keep the likes of Gayle and Allan Saint-Maximin shut for the most part of the game. He also looked confident with the ball at his feet. Certainly an improvement from his display against Chelsea in midweek.
Virgil van Dijk: 8.5/10
Following a couple of disastrous defensive performances, van Dijk will be happy with his display this evening. The Dutchman got an early headstart with his precise header that led to the equaliser in the first half. But, he was also quite effective in terms of physical and aerial duels and his contributions were key as the Magpies failed to provide any threat.
Andrew Robertson: 7.5/10
With no TAA in the starting lineup, the onus was on Andrew Robertson to provide the goods down the flanks. And the Scot didn’t disappoint either, constantly offering width into the attack with his forays down the flank. He was also quite effective with the set-pieces and will definitely be happy with the assist for Origi goal.
Naby Keita: 6/10
Naby Keita wasn’t as instrumental as he has been recently. However, the Guinean once again impressed the onlookers with dynamism and ability to carry the ball across half-spaces. However, the ex-RB Leipzig midfielder needs to work on his consistency as his influence clearly waned in the second half.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6.5/10
With Fabinho not in the side, Georginio Wijnaldum stepped up to the plate with his precise passing and brilliant work-ethic. He played with responsibility and provided the cover for the defensive line.
James Milner: 6.5/10
James Milner was arguably the most hard-working player for Liverpool this evening. The Liverpool star covered a lot of ground and was a constant outlet for the Reds in their second line of press. An impressive performance coming from someone who hasn’t played much football recently.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6.5/10
With no Salah or Mane in the starting lineup, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of the main sources of inspiration for Liverpool. Although the ex-Arsenal man did not exactly dominate the game, his moment of magic from the far side to come up with the cross that led to van Dijk’s equaliser was eye-catching. He was taken off around the hour mark, though.
Divock Origi: 6/10
Origi didn’t actually have a great game by any means. In fact, he struggled to get himself involved in the proceedings and was extremely sloppy with his combination play. However, the Belgian does deserve credit for a brilliant finish in the second half.
Takumi Minamino: 5/10
Takumi Minamino showed a lot of promise early on with his quick-feet and dynamism. However, his influence waned and it was overall a pretty underwhelming performance from the Japanese international. He certainly has some ways to go before he can earn a more prominent role in the first-team.
Mohamed Salah: 7.5/10
Came on around the hour mark and instantly offered spark in the Liverpool attack. His quick feet, fast and clever movements made it difficult for the Newcastle United defenders to keep track, with the Egyptian also attempting multiple shots on target. Deserved a goal.
Sadio Mane: 7.5/10
Sadio Mane wasn’t as active as Salah in the second half. However, it was his wonderful goal that helped Liverpool seal all three points. A perfect goal to cap his club’s astonishing Premier League campaign this term.
Roberto Firmino 7/10
Roberto Firmino offered himself as a source of inspiration in the number nine role. He combined well with his teammates as ever and notably produced an elegant pass to send Salah free on goal. Made a great impact.
Trent Alexander-Arnold N/A
Replaced Williams in the 85th minute. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Curtis Jones N/A
A late replacement for Keita. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.