Roberto Firmino came off the bench to inspire a brilliant 3-1 comeback victory for Liverpool, with the striker’s influence overpowering Newcastle at Anfield.
Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle
Premier League, Anfield
September 14, 2019
Willems 7′ (assist – Atsu)
Mane 28′ (assist – Robertson)
Mane 40′ (assist – Firmino)
Salah 72′ (assist – Firmino)
Jurgen Klopp made two changes as the Reds headed out into brilliant sunshine at Anfield, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi coming in for Jordan Henderson and Firmino, as Sadio Mane took the No. 9’s place up front.
A slow start for the hosts was punished early on, with Christian Atsu taking down a long ball and threading a pass onto Jetro Willems, who cut inside onto his right and powered a shot into the top corner which Adrian perhaps could have done better to stop.
Origi, deployed out on the left, had two opportunities to level in quick succession, with Jamaal Lascelles taking Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s cross off his head, before the Belgian diverted a simpler effort wide.
But Liverpool had their equaliser soon after, with Andy Robertson bursting into space and feeding it to Mane, who curled a brilliant finish beyond Martin Dubravka for his fifth of the season.
Mane’s goal came after a switch out to the left, and with Origi forced off with an ankle injury, Klopp sent on Firmino to restore the Reds to their usual front three before half-time.
Firmino’s impact was felt immediately, and his intensity alongside Joel Matip won the ball high up the pitch, with the Brazilian then playing Mane through for a tap-in and 2-1 after Dubravka’s failed effort to sweep.
- Two changes with Ox given first Anfield start since April 2018
- Willems stunner gives Newcastle early lead with Trent caught out
- Mane levels with brilliant strike; Firmino on as Origi suffers injury
- Firmino lays on Mane’s second as Liverpool take control
- Brazilian creates the third as Salah sweeps through for 3-1 victory
The second half began at ridiculous pace, and Gini Wijnaldum almost netted a third early on with an inventive touch and lob that landed on the roof of Dubravka’s net.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Firmino combined to create a nice opening for Alexander-Arnold down the right, and with his angles for a cutback closed down, he almost fired in at the near post.
Minutes later, Robertson had a similar chance, and the ball somehow squeezed wide as his poked effort was blocked by Dubravka, with Firmino’s mastery shining through in a top-class display.
It was the No. 9 who created the Reds’ third, providing the one-two with a brilliant back-heeled flick as Salah swept through for a left-footed finish.
Klopp turned to Xherdan Shaqiri in the closing stages and Liverpool saw it out for a comfortable victory to preserve their 100 percent start to the campaign—with Mane only denied a hat-trick late on by the offside flag.
TIA Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino
Referee: Andre Marriner
Subs not used: Kelleher, Gomez, Henderson, Lallana
Newcastle: Dubravka; Schar (Fernandez 80′), Lascelles, Dummett; Krafth (Manquillo 67′), Hayden, Shelvey, Willems; Almiron (Muto 66′), Atsu, Joelinton
Subs not used: Darlow, Clark, Ki, M.Longstaff
Next Match: Napoli (A) – Champions League – Tuesday, September 17, 8pm (BST)