Liverpool faced off against Newcastle United at Anfield, marking their first game of 2024 in the Premier League. The Reds emerged victorious with a 4-2 scoreline, solidifying their position at the top of the league table.
The match saw Mo Salah shine, netting two goals, although he also missed a penalty opportunity. Additionally, Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo contributed with goals of their own. While Liverpool had several chances to increase their lead, they were content with securing the three points.
From the outset, Liverpool displayed their intent, with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s early shot deflected wide. Shortly after, Salah set up Darwin Nunez, whose shot was expertly saved by Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka.
Liverpool thought they had opened the scoring in the 18th minute via Luis Diaz, but Nunez was ruled offside in the build-up. The Reds were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute when Diaz was brought down by Sven Botman. However, Salah’s attempt was saved by Dubravka.
Nunez had another opportunity in the 36th minute but was denied by Dubravka again. This miss almost cost Liverpool as Dan Burn’s effort for Newcastle was ruled offside.
Nevertheless, Liverpool capitalised early in the second half. Nunez passed to Salah, who scored easily, giving Liverpool the lead. However, Newcastle responded quickly, with Alexander Isak leveling the score.
Liverpool regained control after making some substitutions. In the 74th minute, Diogo Jota set up Jones for a goal, and four minutes later, Salah assisted Gakpo for another goal.
The game’s final moments saw Newcastle’s Botman score from a corner. However, Jota secured the win for Liverpool after being fouled in the box, allowing Salah to convert the penalty and seal a 4-2 victory.
Liverpool secured a well-earned victory, placing them three points ahead of Aston Villa in the title race. Let’s take a look at how we rated the performance of the Liverpool squad.
Alisson Becker – 6
Had minimal involvement in the first half, with a few errant kicks. Wasn’t at fault for either of Newcastle’s goals.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
In the first half, Liverpool’s play was frequently driven by a key player who struck a shot-cross that hit the woodwork and later received a booking just before halftime. After the break, this player remained a threat, although they might have given Gordon too much space, leading to Newcastle’s opening goal.
Joe Gomez – 8
After fouling Anthony Gordon in the initial minutes, he quickly redeemed himself with an impressive recovery run that stopped a Newcastle offensive. He performed notably well in the second half.
Ibou Konate – 8
A rock throughout the game.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
Smoothly navigated the first half. Admittedly, allowed Isak to be slightly onside, but had limited options in that scenario.
Wataru Endo – 8
Magnificent in the first half winning the ball plenty and earned Liverpool a couple of free-kicks. Did well in the second half before being booked and then subbed.
Curtis Jones – 8
Nunez was strategically introduced in the first half, energising Liverpool’s performance. He maintained this momentum into the second half, narrowly missing a goal due to a blocked shot, but ultimately managed to restore the Reds’ lead.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 6
The first half was a blend of effort and lapses. Showed determination with a few attempts on goal but occasionally lacked precision with the ball, nearly facing consequences once. Contributed to the first goal but was bypassed by Gordon during Newcastle’s equalizing moment before being substituted in the 64th minute.
Mo Salah – 9
He took an aggressive approach in the initial phase, but a missed penalty likely lingered in his mind. He had an effortless opportunity to score first, then challenged the goalkeeper with a strong shot. Later, he delivered an excellent cross for Gakpo’s goal and demonstrated composure by putting aside his earlier penalty miss to score. A commendable performance before heading to AFCON.
Luis Diaz – 8
In the initial half, he showcased impressive energy and was unfortunate not to score. If Salah had converted his penalty, he would have earned an uncredited assist. He later connected with Nunez, who went on to set up the tying goal in the second half, before being substituted in the 64th minute.
Darwin Nunez – 6
Showed some nervousness in front of the goal during the first half. Opted to pass to Salah instead of taking a shot himself in a promising position for the first goal. However, he failed to capitalize on a few subsequent opportunities. Was substituted in the 64th minute.
Sub 2 – Cody Gakpo – 7
Not his finest finish but they all count.
Sub 3 – Ryan Gravenberch – 6
Added more energy.
Sub 1 – Diogo Jota – 9
The game-changer. Magnificent.
Sub 4 – Alexis Mac Allister – 8
Pass to release Jota for the second penalty was as good as you’ll see all season.
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