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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 24 March, 2018


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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, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off is at 5.30pm.

Let’s get started with some teams news…

So, today’s teams are:

Liverpool: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Can; Salah, Firmino, Mané.

Subs: Mignolet, Milner, Gomez, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke, Matip.

Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett; Atsu, Merino, Diamé, Kenedy, Murphy; Gayle.

Subs: Darlow, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden, Pérez, Manquillo, Joselu.

Liverpool players arrive into the dressing room at Anfield, with kick-off just under 45 minutes away on Merseyside.

Liverpool v Newcastle United - Premier League Source: Simon Stacpoole/Offside

Liverpool v Newcastle United - Premier League Source: Liverpool FC via Getty Images


Five minutes to go as Rafa makes his return to Anfield.


Kick-off: We’re underway at Anfield…

Liverpool putting their unbeaten streak at Anfield on the line this evening. Following their 4-1 win against West Ham, Jurgen Klopp’s side extended that run to 16 games without defeat at home. Will that change today?


Sadio Mane with the game’s first chance. Well, a half-chance really. The forward took the ball down inside the box brilliantly and just before aiming to strike the ball towards goal saw it pipped right from under his nose — defender Jamaal Lascelles booting clear.


Mohamed Salah strikes on goal but Paul Dummett manages to get his, well… face, in the way. Roberto Firmino delivered a dangerous ball across the box which Salah struck on the half-volley, but Dummett firmly stood his ground and took one for the team.


Another chance for Salah; this time it’s a well-taken snapshot on the volley from an acute angle. It’s a tricky one and without enough bend it flies just wide of the post, but the Anfield crowd appreciate the confidence and (as Eamon Dunphy might say) — guilleeee — to try it from such a tight space and offer the Egyptian a round of applause for his efforts.


A chorus of “Rafa… Rafael Benitez…” does the rounds all around Anfield in appreciation of their former boss. While the manager’s star has lost a bit of its shine since leaving Merseyside eight years ago, the Spaniard is still absolutely adored round these parts.


Two bites of the cherry for Dejan Lovren see Newcastle narrowly escape danger. It was a tricky corner kick for Liverpool swung in towards the back post, with the Croatian centre back rising high to head not one effort on goal, but two.

Newcastle looked all over the place but managed to boot the ball clear — eventually. A lucky escape for Benitez’s men as the hosts keep maintaining pressure in order to break the deadlock.


Liverpool still maintaining pressure now and heaving bodies forward as the clock ticks slowly towards half-time.

A lofted pass down the left wing almost reaches the run of Andy Robertson but he only manages to nick a header onto the ball and send it out for a goal-kick.


After huffing and puffing and having to be patient, Liverpool finally have found a breakthrough at Anfield.

It’s a snappy break via Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who ventures into the box before off-loading possession to Mohamed Salah.

He cuts inside, opens up his body and slides the ball underneath Martin Dubravka to make it 1-0.


And with that strike, Mohamed Salah notes his 32nd goal of the season in all competitions. A feat only made more remarkable by the fact he doesn’t look like slowing up anytime soon.

40 goals is surely within reach for the forward in his debut season for the Reds.



There will be just one minute of additional time to come at the end of the first half.


Chance! A fine save from Loris Karius right at the end of the first half via a long-range strike courtesy of Mohamed Diame. That easily could have swung into the back of the net, but the goalkeeper manages to maintain his clean sheet in first half stoppage time with a great save to tip it over.


Second-half: We’re back underway at Anfield…


Newcastle start the second half on the front foot in search of an equaliser but Liverpool quickly break on the counter via Mohamed Salah dashing at pace down the right wing.

He bounces the ball off his marker and earns Liverpool a corner, which is easily dealt with.


There are claims for a penalty as Salah sees a shot deflect off Jamaal Lascelles and away from the edge of the box. The crowd claims the ball deflected off the defender’s arm, however referee Graham Scott waves play on.




Liverpool burst into life and double their lead in the blink of an eye. There is far too much space in the heart of the Newcastle defence and after taking possession just on the outskirts of the box, Sadio Mane slots the ball past goalkeeper Dubravka for 2-0.


With that Mane brings his goal tally up to 14 for the campaign, in doing so overtaking his exploits from last season.

A deflated Newcastle really on the ropes now and but for a shock comeback this game looks all but over — with half an hour still to play and Liverpool toying with the idea of adding another… and possibly another after that.


Substitution for Newcastle: Joselu replaces Dwight Gayle.


A half-chance for Liverpool comes and goes as Dejan Lovren tees up Virgil van Dijk following a corner into the box.

The Dutch defender tries to hook the ball into an unguarded corner of the goal, but lacks any power or precision to make it happen.


Substitution for Newcastle: Mikel Merino replaces Isaac Hayden.


Chance for a third for Liverpool with substitute Adam Lallana breaking down the right. He crosses dangerously right across the goal-mouth, but no-one is there… and he’s also flagged for offside.


Substitution for Liverpool: James Milner replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


A rare shot on goal from Newcastle sees the away section in Anfield roar for a penalty. Joselu chested the ball down on the edge of the box before hammering a brilliant volley goal-bound.

A red body got in the way, with the away fans claiming the ball struck his arm –  a second viewing of the incident showing the ball to strike nothing but the foot of James Milner. Referee Graham Scott waves play on with just under 10 minutes remaining.


Liverpool break on the counter to try and add a third but the move runs out of steam. Mohamed Salah led the charge, bursting into the box with pace and intent, but his final ball met the foot of a Newcastle body which booted it clear.


Substitution for Liverpool: Joel Matip replaces Roberto Firmino.


There will be three minutes of additional time to come at the end of the second half.


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