Liverpool, despite all their efforts and upsurge, might lose the Premier League title to Manchester City unless a miracle takes place within the next couple of weeks. The Reds had no choice but to keep pushing for it and the tie tonight at St James’ Park against Newcastle United was indeed tricky considering the form Rafael Benitez’s men were in of late.
Yet the visitors did not bow down amid an array of difficulties and Divock Origi’s late winner led them to a thrilling 3-2 win against the headstrong Magpies. The injury casualties of Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah might be alarming, but the winner of the momentous 2018-19 season will now be decided on the final gameweek.
Below are the Liverpool players rated in their win against Newcastle United.
Alisson Becker: 6
The flamboyant Brazilian could have done little to stop either of the Newcastle goals, but he was taking too many unnecessary risks while making clearances or passing it out from the back. Made some decent saves though to deny the opponents.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7.5
Although he had some tough moments defensively against Christian Atsu, the youngster once again impressed with his overlapping runs and crosses from the wide. Assisted Van Dijk from the corner and also set it up beautifully for Mohamed Salah to restore the lead in the first half.
Dejan Lovren: 5.5
The Croatian was sloppy as he was being outpaced by Atsu, and outmuscled by Salomon Rondon. He also struggled aerially to deal with Newcastle’s wing play. Was taken off late in the game to be replaced by James Milner in search of a late winner.
Virgil van Dijk: 8
Had a combative evening against Rondon’s physical and aerial presence in and around the box. However, he broke the deadlock with a thumping header and played his part sensationally in Origi’s winner by instructing Shaqiri to take the free-kick instead of Alexander-Arnold.
Andrew Robertson: 7
Performed his defensive duties, also whipped in crosses inside the box. Made some strong runs from the flank and combined well with Mane to create chances high up the pitch.
Was not his best game in the middle of the park despite winning some key duels, timely tackles and interceptions. His passing was not up to the mark, and he also struggled to prevent many of the Magpies’ counter-attacking threats in midfield.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6
Did not look sharp enough against his former employers. Held the ball well, kept his composure but lacked the innovation required in the second half to stride forward and restore the lead. Was taken off in the second half to be replaced by Xherdan Shaqiri.
Jordan Henderson: 7
Was energetic, ran his socks off but his touches were heavy at times along with the final ball that often let the visitors down. Yet he kept on charging his teammates up after Salah’s injury exit and eventually led them to an incredible victory.
Mohamed Salah: 7.5
The Egyptian made it 2-1 in the first half with an exquisite finish. But his time on the pitch was cut short following a nasty injury blow which saw him being stretchered from the field around the 73rd-minute mark. Divock Origi was introduced in place of him who grabbed the dramatic winner.
Sadio Mane: 7
Started the game brightly on the left as he kept on troubling the Newcastle backline with his trickery and swift skillset. Looked a bit off in the second half as he was mostly operating from a slightly deeper role to form attacking moves.
Daniel Sturridge: 5
Left Klopp fuming and frustrated due to a lack of work ethics. The centre-forward, a shadow of his earlier self, disappointed once more after last week’s Huddersfield game and wasted some opportunities which should have been converted.
Xherdan Shaqiri: 7
Made a massive impact from the bench as his free-kick in the closing moments was converted by Origi to snatch all three points from this difficult outing.
Divock Origi: 7.5
Proved to the saviour as his header deflected off Jamaal Lascelles’ head to beat past Martin Dubravka.
James Milner: 6.5
Made some key tackles and committed a few fouls that stopped the hosts from levelling things up for the third time in the match.
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