It was an up-and-down display from Liverpool but it ended with a magical moment for Fabio Carvalho.
Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle
Premier League, Anfield
August 31, 2022
Goals: Firmino 61, Carvalho 90+8′; Isak 38′
Alisson – 7 (out of 10)
Couldn’t do much with the goal which was an emphatic finish from Alexander Isak.
His distribution wasn’t bad, but by his own high standards, it could have been better. There was one notable throw done the right for Elliott, which launched a dangerous attack.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5
Defended well in moments early on, recovering well against the pace of Ryan Fraser and being in the right place at the right time to clear danger.
It was his poor pass that turned the ball over for the Newcastle goal, but a fair bit happened between that and the goal itself, so he can’t really be blamed.
Drifted fairly centrally when Liverpool are in possession in the opposition half, but this wasn’t really effective, and his link-up play wasn’t the best either.
Had a couple of dangerous-looking shots from distance which were blocked.
Joe Gomez – 8
Was proactive and effective in defence, stepping out of the line to deal wth situations, and was unruffled on the ball.
Virgil van Dijk – 5
Doesn’t yet look as imperious in defence as he has done in the past.
His passes were a bit hit-and-miss, too, including his trademark switches of play.
Andy Robertson – 6
A right-footed shot in the second half looked more threatening than some of his left-footed attempts in previous games. Maybe he should use his weaker foot to shoot more often!
Fabinho – 7
Made a key contribution to Firmino’s goal, threading a pass through the middle of the field to Elliott.
Was tidy with his passing and plays an important role in this team when Elliott is attacking and Henderson finds himself high up the pitch.
Sent a couple of shots flying over the bar late on.
Jordan Henderson – 6
A chip over the Newcastle defence for Diaz early on gave a glimpse that the captain could bring some much-needed creativity to the team, but this wasn’t always the case.
He failed to spot a couple of teammate runs, which the crowd Anfield did spot and groaned when the pass wasn’t made.
Managed to get a foot in the buildup to Newcastle‘s goal, but if anything it helped open the gap for Sean Longstaff to play the pass.
Repeated the ball over the top trick to great effect for Salah leading to a chance for Elliott.
Went straight down the tunnel after being replaced by Milner.
Harvey Elliott – 8 – Man of the Match
Was impressive in attack and also in recovering the ball in defence against Joelinton.
Had the team’s first shot on target in the 60th minute, and played a great ball for Salah who set up Firmino’s goal.
Was Liverpool’s best player on the night.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Couldn’t get the better of Burn and Targett in the first half, though wasn’t helped by the referee on some occasions.
Was causing trouble for Newcastle defenders near Carvalho as his teammate netted the winner.
Roberto Firmino – 8
Drifted into space in the penalty area to be ideally positioned to receive Salah’s pass and score the equaliser.
Dropped very deep to join in the build-up play at times, and was more the number 10 version of Firmino than the false 9.
Played a great ball through to Diaz for a first-half chance.
Tracked back to defend a Newcastle counter-attack ate on to huge cheers.
Luis Diaz – 7
He was a constant threat with his direct running, inviting defenders to make a challenge.
Had Jamaal Lascelles tumbling to the floor as he ran at him on one occasion, and should maybe have shot rather than trying to square for Salah.
Rounded the keeper after receiving the ball from Firmino, but made a difficult angle for himself and skied his shot into the kop.
Had a chance late on but hit his shot into the ground.
Should benefit, like the rest of the team, from the return of Darwin Nunez this weekend.
James Milner (on for Henderson, 71′) – 7
Slotted in at right-back and did a decent job, but shouldn’t have given away a needless foul.
Nice free kick to set up Carvalho.
Fabio Carvalho (on for Alexander-Arnold, 71′) – 8
Took up an attacking midfield position alongside Elliott.
A great moment for the 20-year-old as he netted a last-second goal to win the game.
Kostas Tsimikas (on for Robertson, 71′) – 6
Provided energy and an end product that Robertson struggled for.
Subs not used: Adrian, Davies, Jones, Matip, Bajcetic, Phillips
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Liverpool were without a central attacking threat for much of the game and it wasn’t until the hour mark that they had a shot on target.
Though this is partly a personnel issue, Klopp could still remedy this tactically, and did so to some extent later in the game.
The subs were the right ones and added a bit more of an attacking threat with the two youngsters in midfield, and it was apt that one of them scored the winner.
It allowed him to take the W on the touchline too, having been back and forth with the Newcastle bench all game, with Jason Tindall in particular.