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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 18 January, 2018
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Liveblog

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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail aaron@the42.ie, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off is at 4.30pm.

Here are today’s teams…

Newcastle: Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo; Shelvey, Merino, Ritchie, Perez, Atsu, Joselu.

Subs: Darlow, Lejeune, Gamez, Hayden, Diame, Murphy, Gayle.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Coutinho, Salah, Sturridge, Mane.

Subs: Karius, Milner, Klavan, Can, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino, Solanke.

Annnnnnd Rafael Benitez has arrived at St James’ Park. This afternoon’s game is all about this man.

Liverpool have not won a trophy since 2012 and now, perhaps, the Spaniard’s four trophies during his six years in charge seems even further away for Liverpool supporters in the depths of nostalgia.

Newcastle United v Liverpool - Premier League - St James' Park Source: Owen Humphreys

Liverpool’s attack meets a very, very competent defence this afternoon. Newcastle have impressed with three wins from their opening six games in the Premier League.

However the more significant statistic sees them only having conceded just five goals so far this season.

Part of that defensive unit has been Ireland international Ciaran Clark, but also Rob Elliot in goal, who has kept two clean sheets between the sticks this season.

Much has been made of the contrast between Liverpool’s attacking genius and defensive lapses this season.

The return of Sadio Mane following suspension, flanked by Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge up front against a tough and well-organised Benitez defence will be very, very intriguing.

Just 25 minutes to go before kick-off at St James’ Park.

Two former Liverpool players in the Newcastle side today, as both Jonjo Shelvey and Javier Manquillo start.

6Mins

A good interception from former Newcastle man Georginio Wijnaldum and a block from ex Sunderland enforcer turned Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson starts the game’s first attack for the reds.

Daniel Sturridge was a surprise inclusion for today’s game, but he cannot test Elliot with the ball at his feet outside the penalty area with a deft chip which flies over the crossbar. A bright start from the visitors.

7Mins

A shot from range from Lascelles who momentarily  ventured forward is easily caught by the low dive of Simon Mignolet to his right. A lot of space opening up on the St James’ Park surface in these early exchanges.

10Mins

Some quick, snappy counter-attacking goodness from Newcastle excites the home supporters, but it’s a pass too many as Liverpool flood bodies back and force their opponents to put the ball into touch.

Positive from both sides, however neither keep has been properly tested after 10 minutes.

12Mins

Some excellent, patient play from Jonjo Shelvey evades the challenge of Jordan Henderson, who was hunting him down for all he had.

13Mins

Now, there we are: a first proper chance of the game sees Matt Richie cut inside on the right wing before aiming a curling effort towards the far corner of the net.

He just can’t seem to get enough lift on his shot, however, and it glides into the arms of Mignolet comfortably.

15Mins

A break in play as Javier Manquillo competes for a high ball alongside Joe Gomez. The former Liverpool man comes out worse for wear than the current Reds defender, but he seems alright and is getting on with the job at hand.

17Mins

Chance! Well, a half-chance. Daniel Sturridge appears dangerous and lurking in the penalty area. Space is confined but he still manages to get a shot off which is blocked by Lascelles.

Travelling Liverpool supporters claim handball, but referee Craig Pawson waves play on.

22Mins

Another decent chance, this time from Sadio Mane. Joe Gomez does brilliantly to get his cross up and over the penalty area. Mane attempts a Van Basten but it smacks the side-netting.

Source: RetroGoalsHD/YouTube
20Mins

A third chance in succession for Liverpool, and this was the pick of the lot despite not even hitting the target.

Out of no-where and nothing, Mohamed Salah found himself bearing down on goal with that incredible pace of his. He takes one touch, and then another, but his final dribble sees the ball dance beyond his reach and with bodies flooded back Newcastle end the danger promptly.

We have seen Liverpool score those types of breaks time and time again this season, and it must be said that that was poor retention of the ball from the reliable Salah who has made quick dashes and close control his hallmark.

24Mins

CHANCE! And another! And another!

Deary me, first Wijnaldum, then Lovren and then Mane, it just wouldn’t go in!

Jurgen Klopp simply can’t believe his side didn’t take the lead there: from a corner the former Newcastle ace smacked the post — the ball then fell to Lovren who had his shot blocked last-ditch a matter of yards from goal.

The ball then fell to Mane at the back post. After taking the ball down his powerful volley simply missed the target and flew wide. So close time, after time but it remains 0-0.

30Mins

It just had to be that man. Philippe Coutinho gives a prime example of just why Barcelona tried and tried to get their man this summer.

The Brazilian’s quality is simply relentless — he cuts inside just as he has a hundred times before, and like he does almost at the flick of a light switch swings a stunning long-range effort into Rob Elliot’s top corner.

It was so predictable, but somehow completely unstoppable.

33Mins

He tried it again! Moments after gifting Liverpool the lead Coutinho finds himself free on the edge of the area.

It’s another fine hit, but there’s too much elevation on the strike and, always rising, it flies over the top of the crossbar.

43Mins

We’re all square! Joselu got a stroke of luck there but you cannot say he didn’t deserve his goal.

The striker found himself in acres of space in no-man’s land as Liverpool applied an incredibly high-line.

Joselu found himself (almost) one on one with Mignolet, however Matip managed to make it back in time to commit a block.

Unfortunately for Matip, however, his interception merely bobbled off his leg and back onto Joselu’s before the ball trickled slowly but surely over the line. It’s 1-1!

40Mins

Oh boy Rafa hasn’t looked this happy since he signed Alberto Aquilani.

Soccer - Alberto Aquilani Signing - Melwood Source: PA Archive/PA Images

44Mins

That goal has stumped Liverpool. Newcastle look the much more confident side here as we approach the break.

It was simply a stunning strike from Coutinho, but that Joselu equaliser has sucked the life out of Jurgen Klopp’s side.

It was a magic through ball from former Reds man Jonjo Shelvey, but the gap between Loveren and Matip to allow it squeeze through to Joselu was simply unacceptable.

45Mins

There will be just two minutes of additional time to be played at the end of the first half.

47Mins

Some good early play from Daniel Sturridge outside the penalty area. The striker has worked hard this afternoon and is undoubtedly keen to make an impression on Jurgen Klopp today.

Despite a proven track record his lack of consistency with injuries means his place in the starting eleven is by no means a guarantee, even when fully fit this season.

51Mins

CHANCE! A litany of errors from Newcastle and in particular Ciaran Clark sees Daniel Sturridge force a fine save from Elliot inside the penalty area, before Mohamed Salah bashes the re-bound over the crossbar.

Clark will be one very, very relived man that did not result in a goal. Far too cashual from the defender to allow Sturridge a one on one opportunity.

Jurgen Klopp has his head in his hands. Again.

53Mins

Close from Newcastle! Christian Atsu breaks through with a burst of pace but his final touch is poor as he races towards the penalty area.

There were a litany of Newcastle bodies begging for the pass, but it never came as Liverpool scramble it clear. End-to-end at the moment.

57Mins

Anticipation builds and builds as Philippe Coutinho stands over a free-kick 30 yards from goal, however the effort from the playmaker is poor and hits the top of the Newcastle wall.

57Mins

A foul from Joe Gomez is not well-received by St James’ Park. It was late from Gomez as he competed for a high ball alongside Atsu, with the two colliding and the Liverpool defending receiving a yellow card.

63Mins

More good play from Sturridge sees the ball played through to Coutinho along the right wing.

He tries to pick out Mohamed Salah at the far post with a lofted ball, but there is too much on it and it peters out wide.

64Mins

An excellent, excellent save as Rob Elliot is forced to come from his line. Sturridge was through on goal, but the goalkeeper came early to claim the ball cleanly, ensuring not to foul the England striker in the process.

70Mins

Both sides attempting to find that killer through ball which will prove decisive. The pace of the game has slowed down significantly as both sides prepare to make substitutions.

73Mins

Some more good pressing play by Newcastle in the middle of the park sees the ball played wide to Perez on his own on the left wing.

He attempts to find a team-mate, but his cross is poor and flies wide.

74Mins

Substitution for Liverpool: Roberto Firmino replaces Daniel Sturridge.

74Mins

Substitution for Newcastle: Isaac Hayden replaces Mikel Merino.

74Mins

Substitution for Liverpool: Dominic Solanke replaces Sadio Mane.

76Mins

A first chance in a long time for Liverpool as Joe Gomez tries to find Dominic Solanke, however he does force a corner as his cross is blocked.

77Mins

It’s another decent effort as Dejan Lovren rises high to head the ball back across goal. Jonjo Shelvey emerges from his position on the goal-line to bravely head clear.

79Mins

Substitution for Newcastle: Joselu is replaced by Dwight Gayle.

79Mins

Dwight Gayle has a fairly decent record against Liverpool remember…

80Mins

Who could possibly forget his equaliser in that infamous 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Crystal Palace v Liverpool - Selhurst Park Source: EMPICS Sport

82Mins

84Mins

Substitution for Liverpool: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Mohamed Salah.

85Mins

Chance! That was close form Solanke as he goes untracked inside the box and manoevers his way towards the front post — his header, however, flies wide of the post as Elliot appeared to have it covered.

86Mins

The ball falls, as it seems to always do, to Coutinho on the edge of the area. He composes himself for just a moment before embarking on another effort on goal.

Newcastle seem to have picked up on this trick of his however, and throw a host of bodies in the way which block down the effort comfortably.

89Mins

That was close once again! Oxlade-Chamberlain is only on the pitch a matter of moments and he almost had it won there.

Some tenacious work from Alberto Moreno down the left flank saw a vollied cross delivered into the box.

The former Arsenal man broke free of his marker but his audacious diving header inside the box just managed to fly over the crossbar. Was that the final chance to take all three points for Jurgen Klopp’s side?

90Mins

Substitution for Newcastle: Mohamed Diame replaces Ayoze Perez.

90Mins

Newcastle are pushing all the way here. A lofted Matt Richie free-kick on the edge of the area is headed out for corner as the hosts are given a chance to win it here…

90Mins

Close! That could have been it, an injury-time winner!

The corner falls on a plate to substitute Mohamed Diame but his effort lacks any precision or power and drops into the arms of a relieved Simon Mignolet.

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