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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 2 March 2021


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You’re very welcome to our liveblog on what is another big game for Liverpool.

The Reds realistically need a win to keep their title dreams alive, with their former manager Rafa Benitez and Newcastle standing in the way for the club’s penultimate league fixture of the season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side cannot afford to dwell on the 3-0 midweek loss to Barcelona in the Champions League, though they will take confidence from the fact that they have won their last seven consecutive league matches.

Newcastle could be tricky opponents for them, however. The Magpies are currently 14th in the league and will be buoyed by the fact that they have won six of their last seven home games.


We’re under way…

Not much has happened so far.

Liverpool have enjoyed plenty of possession as expected, but neither side has tested the goalkeeper yet.


Newcastle United v Liverpool - Premier League - St James' Park Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on the pitch ahead of the match. Source: EMPICS Sport


Sadio Mane goes down in the box after a high foot from Javi Manquillo as the Senegalese international goes to head the ball.

That was a very risky challenge from the defender, but the referee waves play on.


Robertson crosses and Salah and Sturridge get in each other’s way as they both go.

The Egyptian eventually fires a shot wide before confronting the England international over the confusion.


Liverpool are ahead and it’s all too easy.

Van Dijk heads home completely unmarked from an Alexander-Arnold corner.

There was some “clever blocking,” as Sky describe it, by Fabinho, as that corner was delivered into the box.



Newcastle equalise.

A cross finds Richie totally unmarked. His cross-shot falls to Rondón, whose attempt is handled by Alexander-Arnold on the line.

It then bounces favourably for Atsu to tap home.

Liverpool were arguably fortunate there, as the alternative to a goal was seemingly a penalty and a sending off.


Newcastle are playing well and Liverpool look rattled.

Atsu heads down a long ball for Ayoze Pérez, whose snapshot from the edge of the area comes back off the woodwork.


Liverpool are back in front.

A beautiful cross from the man who could have been sent off, Alexander-Arnold, and Salah finishes clinically on the volley.


That goal now leaves Mo Salah on 22 for the season, two ahead of nearest Golden Boot rival Sadio Mane.

It was a superb finish from the Egyptian.


Salah plays through Mane, but Dúbravka gets down well to stop the Liverpool attacker’s shot amid a one-on-one.

It has been a really open first half an hour, with both sides creating decent chances in addition to the goals that have been scored.

As I type, Sturridge, who has been quiet, curls an effort a few yards over from the edge of the area.



Rondon latches on to a through pass, getting between the two defenders.

However, the striker’s shot from distance is saved with relative ease by Alisson.


Ayoze Pérez goes down under an off-the-ball challenge from Van Dijk.

Replays suggest it should have been a free, as the Dutchman nudged his opponent, who was trying to get to the ball.



So half-time and it’s been an entertaining game.

Liverpool lead but they haven’t had it all their own way.

Speed and intelligent movement from likes of Rondon, Atsu and Ayoze Pérez have caused the Reds’ defence problems.

However, the visitors have been impressively clinical down the other end. Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk took their goals really well, while Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was fortunate not been sent off earlier, provided sumptuous assists on both occasions.


The second half has begun…


Liverpool go close!

Robertson produces a dangerous cross that Lascelles does really well to divert from the path of Sturridge.


Newcastle United v Liverpool - Premier League - St James' Park Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez gestures on the touchline. Source: EMPICS Sport


Rondon turns on the edge of the area, with his powerful shot forcing a decent save from Alisson.

Down the other end, a well-worked move down the left ends with Wijnaldum playing it to Sturridge, but the striker blazes his first-time shot from the edge of the area well over.



Atsu sprints away down the left.

However, Robertson is well place to head the winger’s cross away for a corner.


A corner is only half cleared and it’s headed back in to Rondon, who powers home an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the area.

That could be a huge goal in the title race.


There hasn’t been too much in terms of goalmouth action since Rondon scored.

Liverpool are controlling the play, with Newcastle happy to sit back and soak up pressure.

As I type though, there’s a moment of panic in the Liverpool area – Ayoze Pérez wriggles away from two defenders, before his shot is blocked.


Robertson finds himself in a promising position wide left, but his cross is just behind Henderson, who can’t quite get a proper contact as he swipes at the ball.

This game remains very open and you get the sense there will be at least one more goal to come.


Liverpool make an attacking change as they go for a much-needed winner.

Shaqiri is on in place of Wijnaldum.


There’s concern for Liverpool as Salah is down in the box.

He collided with Dúbravka as both went for a high ball and that could well be the end of the Egyptian’s evening on the pitch.


Salah is being stretchered off after that serious knock. He’ll be replaced by Origi

It could be the end of his season judging how bad it looks.


We’re into the 74th minute, though there should be plenty of stoppage time owing to the delay caused by that Salah injury.

This has been Liverpool’s most tense moment in the title probably since the Spurs game.


“A massive 20 minutes,” says Jamie Carragher. “Maybe the biggest in Liverpool’s season.”

That summary is hard to argue with.


Newcastle United v Liverpool - Premier League - St James' Park Liverpool's Mohamed Salah receives medical attention on the pitch. Source: EMPICS Sport


The last few minutes have been very stop-start.

That will only cause Liverpool’s frustration to grow — they need to quicken the tempo.


Alisson does well to get to Ritchie’s inviting cross just ahead of the onrushing Hayden.

The tension is palpable as this game enters the final 10 minutes of normal time.


Liverpool make another change, with Milner replacing Lovren.

That means Fabinho will go into the backline.


Liverpool re-take the lead.

Shaqiri delivers a great free kick in and the head of Lascelles appears to get the final touch, under pressure from Origi.


There will be eight minutes of stoppage time…


Newcastle make an attacking change as they search for an equaliser.

Muto replaces Schär.

As I type, Milner gets booked for taking down Atsu, giving Newcastle a free kick from about 40 yards out.


Rondon’s free kick hits the wall and Liverpool breathe a sigh of relief.

Less than five minutes of stoppage time remain.


It looks like Liverpool are going to see this game out.

Rondon has been penalised for a challenge on Henderson and less than a minute remains.


So that’s that.

Liverpool edge a victory, with Newcastle providing a sterner test than most teams who have come up against the Reds managed.

The injury to Mo Salah could be costly, while Jurgen Klopp’s side rode their luck at times tonight against a tricky opponent.

Nevertheless, the visitors have shown remarkable resilience to get a win under extremely pressurised circumstances.

So no matter what happens between Man City and Leicester on Monday, the title race will go to the final day.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here.

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to discuss all the week’s rugby news.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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