Liverpool overcame a sloppy start to win comfortably at St James’ Park, with a 3-1 victory over Newcastle earning their best-ever points tally with 99.
Newcastle 1-3 Liverpool
Premier League (38), St James’ Park
July 26, 2020
Van Dijk 38′ (assist – Oxlade-Chamberlain)
Origi 59′ (assist – Robertson)
Mane 89′ (assist – Firmino)
Ahead of the game, Steve Bruce hoped the Reds would be “worse for wear” after another title party, and there were clear signs of that as Newcastle went ahead after just 26 seconds through Dwight Gayle.
It was the incoming Neco Williams who kept the striker onside as Jonjo Shelvey played a quick free-kick, and over two minutes later, VAR determined the goal to be valid.
Williams was one of five changes to the side and it took many of those brought in to settle, with Takumi Minamino only beginning to show signs of quality upon swapping with the ineffective Divock Origi to take up duties as the No. 9.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was another to struggle in the opening half-hour, but provided the burst and finesse needed before the break as he pushed into space and stood the ball up for Virgil van Dijk to loop home for the equaliser.
Van Dijk has now recorded his highest goal tally in a single Premier League season, with five, having also become the first Liverpool outfielder to start all 38 league games in consecutive seasons since Steve Nicol in 1989.
HT: Newcastle 1-1 Liverpool
- Liverpool finish season with club-record 99 point tally
- Van Dijk starts all 38 games in back-to-back seasons; first since Nicol
- Origi breaks 23-game barren with excellent goal in quiet display
- Gayle scores fastest-ever goal on final day of Premier League
It was a slow start to the second half for both sides, with Origi standing out in particular as stifling Liverpool’s buildup play as they pushed for another—only to then score it out of nowhere.
With Van Dijk playing an excellent ball out to Andy Robertson on the left, the full-back clipped it back to Origi who cut inside on his right and fired it low beyond Martin Dubravka for another decisive moment.
The injection of world-class quality tipped the game firmly in Liverpool’s favour, and it became almost a training ground exercise as they danced around a ragged Newcastle side.
A procession was decorated with a sublime goal from Mane, and the Reds end the campaign with their best-ever points top flight in a single season.
TIA Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Newcastle: Dubravka; Manquillo, Fernandez, Rose (Watts 74′); Lazaro, Bentaleb (Longstaff 49′), Shelvey, Ritchie; Almiron (Carroll 70′), Saint-Maximin (Joelinton 46′), Gayle (Hayden 70′)
Subs not used: Darlow, Young, Yedlin, Muto
Liverpool: Alisson; Williams (Alexander-Arnold 85′), Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Keita (Jones 85′); Oxlade-Chamberlain (Salah 64′), Origi (Mane 64′), Minamino (Firmino 64′)