Newcastle 1-1 Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho's opener cancelled out by Joselu
Last Updated: 02/10/17 6:31am
Liverpool have now won just one of their last seven games as Rafa Benitez's Newcastle frustrated them in a 1-1 draw on Super Sunday.
In what was being billed as the 'Benitez Derby' - played in a unique atmosphere of both sets of fans singing Benitez's name at St James' Park - Philippe Coutinho's stunning opener was cancelled out by Joselu.
After seven games, Jurgen Klopp's men are already seven points off the two Manchester clubs at the top of the Premier League table, while Benitez remains unbeaten in five matches against his former employers.
It was the visitors that made the early running, with Georginio Wijnaldum striking the post following a corner.
Newcastle: Elliot (7), Clark (7), Lascelles (7), Yedlin (7), Manquillo (6), Shelvey (7), Ritchie (8), Perez (6), Merino (6), Atsu (6), Joselu (6)
Subs: Hayden (6), Gayle (6), Diame (6)
Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Gomez (6), Matip (6), Lovren (6), Moreno (6), Wijnaldum (6), Henderson (6), Coutinho (7), Salah (6), Mane (6), Sturridge (6)
Subs: Solanke (6), Firmino (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6)
Man of the match: Matt Ritchie
Coutinho, who was playing a deeper central role, struck the spectacular opener on 29 minutes. He was given far too much room by the Toon midfield and from 30 yards out curled home the sweetest of strikes, which left Rob Elliot clutching at thin air.
Liverpool had conceded 10 goals away from home already this season and that figure became 11 on 36 minutes when Jonjo Shelvey's pass released Joselu through the middle. The striker dallied which allowed Joel Matip to get back - however, the Liverpool defender's tackle resulted in the ball bouncing off Joselu and spinning rather fortuitously into the net.
Rafa Benitez made two changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Brighton last weekend with Javi Manquillo and Jonjo Shelvey coming in. There were two changes as well from Jurgen Klopp from last weekend’s dramatic win against Leicester as Sadio Mane and Daniel Sturridge were handed starts.
The second half was mostly played in Newcastle's half as the visitors dominated the ball. Daniel Sturridge was denied his 100th club goal by Elliot just after the break, and Mohamed Salah blazed the rebound over.
For all their possession though, Liverpool failed to create much as - like in midweek against Spartak Moscow - their final pass or shot was distinctively lacklustre, typified by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's late chance which he headed over from close range.
- Newcastle have only lost once at St James' Park in the Premier League under Benitez (W5 D3).
- Coutinho has scored 17 goals from outside the box in the Premier League - three more than any other player since his debut in February 2013.
- Joselu is yet to lose a Premier League game in which he has scored (W5 D1).
Rafa Benitez: "I liked the way they were working, the understanding of what we needed to do and against a good team. I was really pleased to play this type of game as when you see where Liverpool is now, the fantastic support that they have, the quality of the squad, a great manager... a lot of things you can see from them are positive."
Jurgen Klopp: "As you can imagine, it is not the nicest moment. We create and create and we made one mistake - a real mistake - and we got punished for it. I think the opponent made a lot more mistakes that were forced by us and did not get punished for it.
"At the end, the man of the match is from Newcastle and we have 80% possession or whatever it was. That's the situation and that's how the world looks on it and we just have to carry on. It's what we do."
Jamie Carragher: "I said last week on Monday Night Football that Liverpool's centre-backs are never switched on. As soon as that ball is lost, you have to think about what Shelvey is going to do - he'll probably play it forward - and get in position early. A lack of concentration has cost Liverpool again."
Graeme Souness: "When you're in such a good passing team as Liverpool are, for the people at the back, when the ball goes into midfield and beyond, they start to admire the game. They start watching rather than noticing the centre-forward drifting off them. [Newcastle's equaliser] was a classic case in point."
Man of the match - Matt Ritchie
The Scotland winger has four assists in his last four appearances coming into this game, but it was his discipline without the ball that stood him out from the crowd here. He epitomised Newcastle's organisation - especially in the second period - with a defensive display to restrict Liverpool's play down their left flank. It was no surprise to note he covered 10.7km - more than any other player.
Newcastle are back on Super Sunday in a fortnight's time with a visit to Southampton, while Liverpool welcome Manchester United for the Saturday lunchtime game (October 14), which is also live on Sky Sports.