Liverpool beat spirited Newcastle to go top

Naby Keita
Naby Keita scored his fourth goal of the season for Liverpool

Liverpool kept themselves firmly in the fight for the quadruple as they overcame a spirited Newcastle to move back to the top of the Premier League – for a few hours at least.

Jurgen Klopp made five changes at St James’ Park, including leaving top scorer Mohamed Salah on the bench, after the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.

It looked like it would backfire as in-form Newcastle started strongly, pressing Liverpool high and forcing them into a couple of early mistakes.

But Liverpool grew into the game and were dominating possession when Naby Keita struck in the 19th minute.

The midfielder showed great composure as he dribbled across the box and past Martin Dubravka before slotting into the net.

Sadio Mane should have made it 2-0 before the break when his shot on the counter was too close to Dubravka, who also made a fine save from a Diogo Jota header.

The Newcastle fans, who were aggrieved that play continued in the lead-up to Liverpool’s goal because Fabian Schar was down injured, thought Miguel Almiron had equalised after rounding Alisson, but the effort was ruled out for offside.

The hosts also made a lively start to the second half, but Liverpool went closest to adding a second with Mane shooting wide from close range before Jota’s shot was pushed over.

It was not a vintage Liverpool display, but they got the job done to go two points clear at the top and put the pressure back on Manchester City, who face Leeds at Elland Road at 17:30 BST on Saturday.

Liverpool show their strength as run continues

The Liverpool line-up may have intrigued Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, who, while focused on his own side’s pursuit of a treble, will no doubt welcome any helping hand in denting his rivals’ title bid.

Thiago – excellent in the 2-0 win against Villarreal in midweek – was on the bench alongside Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

It could have been seen as a big risk, but instead it emphasised the incredible strength in depth in this Liverpool squad.

James Milner came in and was his dependable self, providing experience in midfield, while Joe Gomez was solid at right-back and the front three of Luis Diaz, Jota and Mane caused as many problems as any of the attacking combinations Liverpool could field.

When Newcastle pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages, Liverpool were able to send on Thiago, Salah and Fabinho to see the game out.

Against a side who had won their previous six home games, Liverpool fans had a right to feel apprehensive, but the Reds overcame a big hurdle that serves only to strengthen the feeling that they will end this season with multiple trophies.

More to follow.

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Newcastle United

  1. Squad number1Player nameDúbravka

  2. Squad number17Player nameKrafth

  3. Squad number5Player nameSchär

  4. Squad number33Player nameBurn

  5. Squad number13Player nameTargett

  6. Squad number39Player nameBruno Guimarães

  7. Squad number8Player nameShelvey

  8. Squad number28Player nameWillock

  9. Squad number24Player nameAlmirón

  10. Squad number7Player nameJoelinton

  11. Squad number10Player nameSaint-Maximin

  1. Squad number6Player nameLascelles

  2. Squad number20Player nameWood

  3. Squad number23Player nameMurphy


  1. Squad number3Player nameFabinho
  2. Squad number6Player nameThiago Alcántara
  3. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Dúbravka
  • 17KrafthSubstituted forMurphyat 85′minutes
  • 5SchärSubstituted forLascellesat 61′minutes
  • 33Burn
  • 13Targett
  • 39Guimarães Rodriguez Moura
  • 8Shelvey
  • 28WillockSubstituted forWoodat 67′minutes
  • 24Almirón
  • 7JoelintonBooked at 43mins
  • 10Saint-Maximin


  • 3Dummett
  • 6Lascelles
  • 11Ritchie
  • 19Manquillo
  • 20Wood
  • 23Murphy
  • 26Darlow
  • 34Gayle
  • 36S Longstaff


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 12GomezBooked at 51mins
  • 32Matip
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 8Keïta
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forFabinhoat 69′minutes
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forThiago Alcántaraat 78′minutes
  • 23Díaz
  • 20JotaBooked at 43mins
  • 10ManéBooked at 68minsSubstituted forSalahat 69′minutes


  • 3Fabinho
  • 5Konaté
  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 11Salah
  • 17Jones
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 62Kelleher
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 67Elliott

Andre Marriner


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