Jurgen Klopp’s side started the game slowly, conceding a goal in the seventh minute. The Newcastle winger, Jetro Willems cut in from the right side and powerfully smashed the ball into the top right corner.
It took Liverpool until the 28thminute to level the game, with Sadio Mane scoring an equally impressive goal. Once Liverpool levelled the game, it was only a matter of time before they went ahead, with their dominance in the game proving too much for Newcastle.
The story of the match
Roberto Firmino came on in the 37th minute after an ankle injury to Divok Origi forced him off. Firmino came into the game at 1-1 and within minutes provided the assist to Mane. The Brazilian tracked back and along with Joel Matip, helped Liverpool win the ball back, before playing an incisive pass to Mane, who was left with an easy finish following a mistake from the keeper, Martin Dubravka.
Despite not scoring himself, he was vital in both goals after coming on and played four key passes throughout the game. This included a couple of audacious back-heels flicks to play Mane and Mohamed Salah into goal-scoring opportunities.
The opening 20 minutes were difficult for Liverpool, who looked tired and were making errors. An early goal conceded and playing without any fluidity, it looked as though Liverpool were in for a tough day at the office. However once Firmino came on and replaced Origi (who started the game at left wing) Liverpool started to utilise the wide areas of the pitch much better and took control of the game.
Mane at the double
The Senegalese forward had yet another superb game. He started in the number 9 position, where he was isolated and struggled to get into the game. But after 20 minutes, Klopp changed the system and allowed Mane to play on the left-wing where he caused havoc all throughout the match.
Mane took his first goal in fantastic fashion with a powerful shot curling into the top right corner right in front of the Kop. He was then applauded for his work-rate with an easy finish following a mistake from Dubravka. This now takes Mane’s tally to four goals in the Premier League and continues the fine form that he started last season. Mane has now played 51 games at Anfield and never lost, winning 41 of those. This incredible stat shows the importance of him and the improvement of Liverpool in the last couple of seasons.
Salah scored the third goal for Liverpool and had a very good second half. He linked up with Firmino much better and started to prove difficult to handle. This was pleasing to see after a poor first 45 minutes from the Egyptian in which he struggled to get into the game and was often not involved in the play. This was largely due to the Reds playing down the left side a lot more than the right, with Mane and Andy Robertson getting more space.
Fabinho also played an important role in Liverpool’s victory today. He made 10 recoveries with five of these being inside the offensive half. This allowed Liverpool to create waves of sustained attacks and led to Liverpool dominating the game.
Defensively, there were times where Liverpool looked poor and made some silly mistakes. In particular the opening 20 minutes of the game saw Liverpool’s backline make needless errors. However they were soon sorted out and centre pack pairing, Matip and Virgil Van Dijk both had comfortable games once Liverpool took control of the game.