After only one win in six for Liverpool a win was crucial in turning the tide at Anfield after a disappointing 1-1 draw against Spartak Moscow in Russia which saw countless chances gone begging as Klopp’s side failed to capitalise after dominating possession throughout the Champions League group stage match.
However, Liverpool fell further behind the Premier front-runners after further defensive errors restricted Liverpool to only a point In the North East. Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez welcomed Jürgen Klopp and his side to St James’ Park but the spoils were even after a magical Phillipe Coutinho strike was canceled out by a controversial Joselu goal in the Sunday afternoon clash.
So how did the players fare individually?
Further defensive errors prove costly for Reds
Simon Mignolet (6) – Looked comfortable in the first half with a number of smart saves, was unfortunately beaten for the first goal. Not really tested for the remainder of the game.
Joe Gomez (6) – Looked a constant threat down the right flank looking to get on the ball on a number of occasions. However, his delivery was below par and lacked that cutting-edge delivery a modern full-back needs. Was also involved in a controversial yellow card that could have been Red on another occasion that saw a difficult day for the former Charlton defender.
Joel Matip (6) – Another promising first-half performance as he looked comfortable on the ball and sharp in the tackle until he and Dejan Lovren allowed a straight ball from Jonjo Shelvey to just glide straight past them which resulted in a goal. Had the better of Joselu for the majority of the game with a commanding performance that sadly included another case of switching off from the Cameroon international.
Dejan Lovren (5) – He is becoming the scapegoat for Liverpool’s defensive calamities as the Croatian switched off for another major moment that saw Liverpool drop more points. A performance that was far from stand out and is still capable of moments that leave the fans tearing their hair out but did get an important block on Diamé late on.
Alberto Moreno (7) – Composed himself well against a lively Matt Ritchie although at times conceded a couple of reckless fouls that left the traveling fans infuriated. However, such a talent going forward always looking to be a threat down that left-hand side and a defensive shape up will see the Spanish player be the complete full back.
A magical moment from the standout Midfielder
Jordan Henderson (6) – The skipper played well the majority of the game stringing countless passes together and displaying bags of energy all game getting through a ton of work to earn a decent Midfield performance. Still, lacks that cutting pass that would improve his overall game.
Gini Wijnaldum (5) – A frustrating return to St James’ as the Netherlands midfielder was In and out of the game. Hit the post in the first half but this proved to be his only major contribution although seeing a great deal of the ball.
Phillipe Coutinho (8) – Again proving why Jürgen Klopp fought so hard to keep his services as his work in the middle is very much underrated and once again waved his magic wand to score a fantastic opening goal. The only player who showed invention and a class act throughout.
Energetic front three lacked usual class and eye for goal
Mohammed Salah (6) – Another promising performance from the Egyptian international who was always looking to get forward and get at goal. The only concern for the player is his cutting-edge finishing. The former Roma man wasted a couple of chances that could have been the difference for the Reds. Kept getting at the Newcastle defence to his credit but it wasn’t a standout day for the winger.
Sadio Mane (5) – His long-awaited return to the Premier League following his sending off at the Etihad wasn’t the hero’s welcome the fans wanted. Wasn’t great in the first half not seeing much of the ball and switched to the right in the second half. Tried to get into the game but just wouldn’t go for the Senegal winger in a difficult game.
Daniel Sturridge (5) – Deployed into action following his impressive conversion rate against Newcastle but wasn’t a dazzling performance for Striker who is looking half the player that took Liverpool’s title challenge by storm. Faded as the game went on and missed a crucial opportunity following a Ciaran Clark error and was caught offside on more than one occasion.
Subs best efforts fail to clinch win for Reds
Roberto Firmino (6) – Was a surprise he was left out of the starting eleven and was introduced to the game late on and failed to make a real difference.
Dominic Solanke (7) – Very positive when he came on looking a threat on the ball and driving forward at Newcastle players. Looked confident in the short time he was on the pitch.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (N/A) – Came on too late to influence the match. Needs more game time.