M Salah (40),S Mané (55)
Liverpool vs Newcastle
5:30pm Saturday 3rd March
WATCH: MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
LIVERPOOL 2-0 NEWCASTLE
a classic this one. Liverpool didn't create much against a very negative
Newcastle outfit that carried no threat but were ruthless with their chances
through Salah and Mane. A professional performance, which takes them back up to second.
90+3: PENALTY APPEAL..NOT GIVEN! Salah is released over the top and is one-on-one with the goalkeeper.....Lascelles clearly clips his heels as he's about to shoot but the referee sheepishly looks at his assistant and gives nothing. Strange one. Lascelles is lucky there.
90: Three minutes added on here.
88: SUB! Firmino is replaced by Matip as Klopp looks to shut up shop. It's not really needed - Newcastle have offered nothing in forward areas.
86: Salah tries to race in behind Dummett down the right and forces his way into the box. He can't find the space to strike one and tries to play in Firmino - that pass is blocked away.
83: PENALTY APPEAL! Lascelles rises high at the back post to meet a Yedlin free-kick. It drops to Joselu about 20 yards out, who catches the half-volley with plenty of power...Milner makes the block. Nothing given - rightly so.
SUB! Another like-for-like change. Perez replaces Murphy.
80: SUB! A good night's work from Oxlade-Chamberlain again. He's replaced by Milner.
78: CHANCE! Newcastle win themselves a corner on the right. They work it short to Atsu who whips in a good ball which is won by Hayden but his header loops two yards wide of the post.
76: OFFSIDE! Lallana latches onto a flick from Oxlade-Chamberlain down the left and gets to the by-line....Salah is charging in waiting for the cross but the offside flag de-rails the attack.
73: SUBS! Merino is replaced by Hayden. Lallana replaces Mane.
71: CROSS! Newcastle get up the pitch. Kenedy finds space down the left and launches a deep cross which finds Yedlin at the back post. His header back across goal is aimed for Joselu but Van Dijk beats him to the loose ball.
68: A quick one-two between Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexander-Arnold gets the full-back away down the Newcastle left. His low cross is cleared out for a corner.
CHANCE! Lovren wins the header at the back post and the ball runs across the six-yard box but Firmino can't poke it home. Newcastle scramble it clear.
65: SUB! Here comes Joselu for.....Gayle. A striker for a striker. You are 2-0 down, Rafa.
62: Despite going behind, no change as yet in Newcastle's attacking intent. You can see Liverpool want to sit off and hit them on the break but the Toon aren't playing ball. Salah nearly robs Lascelles about 35 yards from his own goal but the Newcastle skipper dribbles his way out of trouble.
GOAL! LIVERPOOL 2-0 NEWCASTLE (Mane, 57)
It's goal time at Anfield....!
Ruthless from Mane. Firmino makes the run through the middle and finds the right pass into his mate. He's still got plenty to do from 15 yards but he curls one straight into the corner. Sublime attacking. That should be game over.
LIVERPOOL 1-0 NEWCASTLE
54: Henderson nicks the ball in midfield and Liverpool break at the speed of light. They force a four-on-four with Oxlade-Chamberlain who has runners either side. He tries to play Firmino in but Yedlin makes a crucial tackle.
51: The game has now settled back into the same pattern as the first-half. Newcastle sit deep and Liverpool try to break them down.
PENALTY APPEAL! Robertson breaks down the left and pulls is back for Salah to hit from 20 yards. Lascelles makes the block with his arm but it looked pretty unintentional. Nothing given.
48: Positive signs for Newcastle. Diame breaks into the box and the ball breaks loose with Gayle lurking.... Van Dijk clears up and it sends Liverpool on the break.
Salah gets in behind down the right and only has Dummett to beat before getting in on goal...but the Newcastle man defends brilliantly. Ushers him away.
45: Hello again. We are back. What can Newcastle do here? No changes for either team.
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HT: Not a vintage Liverpool showing, but they get the all-important opening goal from that man Salah. That should set the tone for a routine home win but Newcastle showed their capabilities late on when Diame had an effort tipped away. More to come here. See you in 15.
45: SAVE!! Karius with a world-class stop. Pressure down the left results in Diame cleverly poking an effort towards the top corner with his left foot. It's sailing towards it's destination until Karius flies across his goal to poke it around the post. Stunner.
44: The goal has injected life into the home side, who are pressing Newcastle at the back. Robertson skips down the left again but his cross is over-hit.
GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-0 NEWCASTLE (Salah, 40)
There it is - the breakthrough!
Only one man for the job, too. This is all about Oxlade-Chamberlain though. A surge of pace through the middle beats Diame and all of sudden there is space for Salah. The Ox finds him and the Egyptian takes a touch before rolling one into the net from 15 yards. Relief around Anfield.
LIVERPOOL 0-0 NEWCASTLE
39: More sideways passing from Liverpool. Klopp is not impressed.
37: Robertson sets off down the left and is found by Van Dijk who hits a direct ball over the top. Robertson tries to control it with his head but punts it straight out of play.
34: CLOSE! Salah whips a fantastic ball in from a right-wing corner. Dubravka comes flying out and is too interested in blocking off Mane rather than punching the ball. He completely misses the ball but no Liverpool attacker can get a touch at the back post. First mistake made by the goalkeeper, who looks a safe pair of hands.
32: Gayle finds space in behind Lovren and he spins Alexander-Arnold on the by-line. He tries to chip a ball into the middle but there is no support for him. Karius watches it to safety.
WATCH: SALAH CHANCE
30: SHOT! Liverpool are forced back. Atsu pops the ball to Gayle about 25 yards out and he has a dig. Always rising. Over the crossbar.
28: CHANCE! Good work by Salah to win a corner. A ball gets drifted to the back post where Lovren is waiting. He wins the header but Dubravka makes a block about four yards out. There's a mini scramble inside the six yard box but Newcastle stab it clear.
26: More sideways passing from Liverpool as Newcastle restrict their space. It goes all the way back to Karius, so they start again. Rafa claps on the touchline.
23: Come on, someone own up? Who has stolen Liverpool's mojo? They've looked devoid of ideas here and it's made for a very tough watch for the opening 23 minutes. Job done for Newcastle, so far.
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19: WIDE! Alexander-Arnold sends in a free-kick from the right wing. The big boys are up from the back and Can wins a flick-on which sails high into the sky and wide of the post. Dubravka had it covered.
16: SAVE!! What an effort. Salah makes a clever run from right to left and reaches Can's ball on the corner of the area. He takes a quickfire effort on the half-volley and it has Dubravka scrambling across. The ball smashes into the side-netting via what looked touch from the goalkeeper but the referee gives a goal kick.
14: CROSS! Yipes. Yedlin is quick. He speeds past Robertson down the right and spins a low cross in....Karius gets there though. Easy take.
12: BLOCK! Liverpool have been trying to get Robertson down the line at every opportunity and they find him this time. His cross is met by Salah about 18 yards out and he connects brilliantly. Lejeune is tight to him and makes a brave block with his face - his hands were over his face at the time. There are halfhearted appeals for a penalty. No way!
9: Liverpool struggling to find space against a Newcastle's well-drilled defensive line. Henderson tries to go direct and float one into Mane but Dubravka is quick off his line to grab it from the sky. Rafa will be delighted with his team's start.
6: CLOSE! Mistake by Lascelles. He misses a simple header in the box and it drops to Mane about 12 yards out but his first touch skips away from him. Lascelles recovers to boot it clear.
5: Similar early pattern. Liverpool struggling to set an early high tempo. Firmino tries to get down the line but is flagged offside.
3: Appreciation from both ends of the stadium for Rafa Benitez. Slow start on the pitch as Liverpool try to get the ball popping around the pitch but Newcastle are in their faces.
1: KICK-OFF! You'll Never Walk Alone belts around this famous ground. Mo Salah says a prayer. And we are go, go, go! Newcastle get the game going.
HERE COME THE TEAMS...
Anfield stands as both teams trek out from the tunnel. Both clubs in their traditional colours. Lovely.....
10 MINUTE WARNING
The mist is starting to clear at Anfield and the teams are making their way out of their dressing rooms. Almost time....
RAFA COMES HOME
It’s always special for everyone involved when Rafa Benitez
returns to Anfield.
Klopp said: "We know who is coming. Rafa Benitez is a
Liverpool legend - one of the best managers in the world.
"We know how he works, how he can organise a team and
how he can make your life really difficult. I like him as a person but I
actually think we have given him enough presents since I've been here!”
Klopp is without a win against the Spaniard in his two
previous Premier League meetings.
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