While the 4-2 scoreline may appear to look like a relatively close game, Liverpool comprehensively outplayed their opponents, finishing with an extraordinary xG of 7.27.
1 – With an Expected Goals figure of 7.27 this evening, Liverpool recorded the highest xG total on record (since 2010-11) in a single Premier League game. Bombarded. pic.twitter.com/a0Fy24HHGz
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 1, 2024
Here’s how the media reacted to Liverpool’s latest win.
This was blistering stuff from Liverpool…
On X, David Lynch thought this was the “statement performance” that the Reds have craved of late:
“We’ve been waiting a while for Liverpool’s statement performance – was that it?
“It looked like those familiar recent problems with finishing might be coming back to haunt them but they just kept on carving Newcastle apart before their incredible attacking depth told.
“A fine win.”
The Independent‘s Richard Jolly hailed the impact of Klopp’s substitutes:
“If titles are won from the bench, it was a very auspicious night for Jurgen Klopp. As Liverpool established a three-point lead at the Premier League summit, they could thank the men who proved the definition of impact subs and the manager who made the decisive changes.
“Diogo Jota had dual roles in the goal that put Liverpool ahead and then won the penalty that clinched victory. Cody Gakpo, who had been denied a goal a few minutes after his arrival with a sweet strike, scored an altogether scruffier goal.
“As Liverpool and Newcastle, whose meetings contain a famous 4-3, shared an action-packed 4-2, the six goals only formed part of the drama. If it conformed to a theme of Liverpool’s season – they rarely do things the easy way – the strength in depth they demonstrated could prove handy as Mohamed Salah took his leave for the African Cup of Nations in extraordinary fashion.”
Jason Burt of the Telegraph had a similar thought process:
“The substitutions made the difference.
“So much focus will, rightly, go on the extraordinary wastefulness of the forwards, especially Darwin Nunez, but Jurgen Klopp has power on that bench and they secured the victory that sends Liverpool three points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
“They scored four but should – in all honesty – have had double that number. But it was not until Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo arrived that they had the edge to take advantage of Newcastle United’s undoubted frailty.”
On X, Lewis Steele shared a Martin Dubravka-inspired statistic that summed up Liverpool’s dominance:
“No goalkeeper has made more saves in a Premier League match this season than Martin Dubravka tonight (10). Could have been a much bigger score if not for him.”
The Mirror‘s Samuel Meade thought Liverpool did well to avoid a third successive frustrating home draw:
“It was only a matter of weeks ago that Liverpool hammered Manchester United, only to leave with a point. Recently Arsenal escaped with a point despite a golden chance for the Reds to grab all three. In a title race those at Anfield know they can ill afford to let those points slip.
“Throughout the clash against Newcastle there was an atmosphere that inspired the hosts initially, but it became apparent that everyone inside the stadium knew a goal needed to come sooner rather than later. Rarely do boos ring around Anfield at half-time, but that was the case on New Year’s Day.
“Three late goals though ignited the famous ground as the hosts were not to be denied.”
Gary Neville, in painfully biased form on Sky Sports commentary all evening, admitted that Man City will be concerned about the Reds:
What a way for Salah to sign off before AFCON…
The Daily Mail‘s Oliver Holt hailed the brilliance of the Egyptian King:
“The rain fell in stair rods at Anfield last night. The wind whipped it in from the Mersey and turned the first Premier League match of the new year into a battle against the elements. Mo Salah negotiated the deluge as if it were a balmy breeze and proved himself, for the umpteenth time, a man for all seasons.
“Salah, who scored twice, made one for Cody Gakpo and managed to miss a penalty, too, was the inspiration for a Liverpool side who moved three points clear at the top of the table with this wild 4-2 victory. They are five points ahead of Arsenal and Manchester City.
“Salah is leaving to take part in the African Cup of Nations and will miss a clutch of Liverpool games this month but he gave his club and his fans a dreamy performance to remember him by here.”
? Most G/A
? Most xG/A
? Most shots on target
? Most Big Chances scored
? Most Big Chances created
? Most open-play chances created
? Most touches in opp. box
? =Most goals
? =Most assists
Mo(st) Salah. ? pic.twitter.com/NYZ8JaD7I2
— Squawka (@Squawka) January 1, 2024
Andy Hunter of the Guardian was another who felt Salah led from the front:
“Well, he was never going to go quietly. Mohamed Salah signed off for the Africa Cup of Nations with two goals and an assist as Liverpool moved three points clear at the Premier League summit with victory over an obstinate Newcastle. Jürgen Klopp will be counting the days until he returns already.
“Salah’s final Liverpool appearance before representing Egypt in Ivory Coast was a test of the leaders’ composure as well as their resources at the end of a demanding festive schedule. They passed convincingly.”