Newcastle 2-3 Liverpool
Premier League, St James’ Park
May 4, 2019
Van Dijk 13′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
Atsu 20′ (assist – Rondon)
Salah 28′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
Rondon 54′ (assist – Manquillo)
Origi 86′ (assist – Shaqiri)
Losing at Barcelona served as a deflating interval in the domestic campaign, but Jurgen Klopp was aware that momentum could not stall as his side headed to St James’ Park.
With City to play Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester on Monday night, the Reds required three points to return to the top, and though they made it difficult for themselves they eventually clinched it.
- Klopp makes four changes from Barca defeat; Firmino misses squad
- Van Dijk’s bullet header opens scoring from brilliant Trent corner
- Atsu levels as ref misses Trent handball; Trent sets up Salah to restore lead
- Rondon equalises with strong strike as Newcastle target Lovren
- Salah stretchered off with head injury, replacement Origi nets winner
Liverpool began the game with Sturridge serving as playmaker slightly behind the attacking pair of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, and both strikers enjoyed some promising openings in the first 10 minutes.
The visitors’ opener came, again, from a set-piece however, with Salah’s blocked shot leading to a corner, which Alexander-Arnold curled in for a remarkably free header from Virgil van Dijk.
But the lead didn’t last long, as a shocking backpass from Lovren put the defence in trouble and, eventually, Alexander-Arnold blocked a shot on the line with his arm—thankfully, not spotted by referee Andre Marriner—only for Christian Atsu to fire home the rebound.
This sparked Newcastle into life, with St James’ Park roaring them on, and Ayoze Perez struck the bar soon after, but Salah soon put Liverpool back ahead from a stunning Alexander-Arnold cross.
The Reds, and in particular Salah, endured a typically robust approach from Rafa Benitez’s side, but were able to keep their cool and maintain the 2-1 lead heading into half-time.
Liverpool almost grabbed a third within three minutes of kickoff for the second half, with Andy Robertson‘s sumptuous, trademark cross just eluding Mane and Jamaal Lascelles nicking it off the awaiting Sturridge.
Sturridge had an even better opportunity minutes later, but after a brilliant move involving Robertson, Mane and Gini Wijnaldum, he spooned his effort way over when in plenty of space 10 yards out and on his left foot.
Parity was restored on 54 minutes, as with Newcastle targeting the awful Lovren throughout, an eventual second phase from a corner saw the ball headed down for Salomon Rondon to thunder home a left-footed equaliser.
Klopp sent on Xherdan Shaqiri with 25 minutes left to play, switching to a 4-2-3-1 formation as the Swiss took up right-wing duties and Salah moved up front, ahead of Sturridge.
Then after a worrying fall in the box Salah was stretchered off in tears due to a head injury, with the Egyptian likely now ruled out for the Champions League decider at Anfield on Tuesday.
His replacement, Origi, nodded home the winner with four minutes of normal time to play, with the cross coming from another substitute, Shaqiri, to keep the dream alive.
* Additional reporting by ISNTV.
TIA Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk
Referee: Andre Marriner
Newcastle: Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar (Muto 90′), Lascelles, Dummett; Hayden, Ki; Ritchie, Perez, Atsu; Rondon
Subs not used: Darlow, Barreca, Fernandez, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy
Subs not used: Mignolet, Matip, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Next Match: Barcelona (H) – Champions League – Tuesday, May 7, 8pm (BST)