Liverpool were beaten 2-0 by Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday, as Jurgen Klopp suffered his first away defeat as Reds boss.
Newcastle 2–0 Liverpool
Premier League – St James’ Park – Sunday 5th December 2015
Goals: Skrtel OG ’69, Wijnaldum ’90
Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Jordon Ibe, Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke all returned to the team, with Adam Bogdan, Connor Randall, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Divock Oriri and Daniel Sturridge making way.
Can was suspended, while Sturridge and Jordan Henderson were not deemed fit enough to start proceedings.
The Reds enjoyed the better of things in the opening exchanges, but the crisp football of recent weeks evaded Klopp’s men.
There were no chances at all of note in the first 20 minutes.
Benteke had a glorious opportunity to give Liverpool the lead midway through the first-half, but the Belgian somehow fired over from a yard out.
Chancel Mbemba headed over from close-range just before half-time, and the impressive Ibe fired over, but other than that there was very little to report.
It was an extremely forgettable opening 45 minutes.
There were no changes for either side at the break, as Liverpool looked to improve on their poor first-half showing.
Firmino dragged a shot from distance harmlessly wide shortly after the restart and Georginio Wijnaldum skewed an effort wide at the other end. Allen also missed the target.
It was becoming an increasingly even contest at St James’ Park, and Sturridge and Lallana were brought on in the 62nd minute to try and inspire Liverpool to victory.
Newcastle were ahead midway through the second-half, as Wijnaldum’s shot diverted off Martin Skrtel and past Mignolet. The Reds had it all to do.
Sturridge shot wide with his weaker right foot with 15 minutes remaining, as Liverpool desperately searched for an equaliser.
Alberto Moreno had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside late in the day, and it was a moment that epitomised the visitors’ afternoon.
Wijnaldum wrapped up the points in stoppage time, as a miserable day for Liverpool came to an end.
Defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for Klopp and his side, with attention now turning to Thursday’s Europa League tie away to FC Sion.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Lucas, Allen, Milner, Ibe (Origi ’74), Firmino (Sturridge ’62), Benteke (Lallana ’62).
Subs not used: Bogdan, Toure, Henderson, Randall
Newcastle: Elliot, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett, Anita, Colback (Gouffran ’77), Sissoko, Wijnaldum, De Jong (Perez ’67), Cisse (Thauvin ’82).
Subs not used: Darlow, Sterry, Mbabu, Mitrovic
Referee: Andre Marriner