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Newcastle United vs Liverpool. Premier League.

St James' Park, Newcastle.

Newcastle United 1

  • D Gayle (1st minute)

Liverpool 3

  • V van Dijk (38th minute)
  • D Origi (59th minute)
  • S Mané (89th minute)

Newcastle 1-3 Liverpool: Premier League champions sign off with away-day victory

Report and free match highlights as Liverpool end the season with 99 points, one shy of Man City's record

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win against Newcastle in the Premier League

Liverpool signed off their Premier League title-winning season with a 3-1 victory at Newcastle, coming from behind after Dwight Gayle's goal inside 26 seconds.

Steve Bruce's side had just three shots during the game but one of them came almost immediately after kick off as Gayle (1) swept the ball home around the oncoming Alisson. There was a lengthy VAR check for offside, but it was soon confirmed that the goal would stand.

Liverpool had the better chances for the remainder of the game and Virgil van Dijk (38) nodded them level before a superb Divock Origi (59) finish put the visitors ahead. Substitute Sadio Mane (89) rounded things off late on with his 18th Premier League goal of the season.

The champions end the season with 99 points - one shy of Manchester City's record points tally from the 2017/18 season - and 18 ahead of Pep Guardiola's side in second. For Newcastle, they finish in the comfort of 13th place on 44 points, although were winless in their final six games of the season.

How Liverpool ended on a high

Divock Origi is mobbed by teammates after putting Liverpool 2-1 up
Image: Divock Origi scored his first goal since December 2019 on Sunday

Within mere seconds of the game kicking off, Newcastle took the lead. Allan Saint-Maximin had been fouled by Van Dijk and, despite his team-mate still being in a heap on the floor, former Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey lined the free-kick up before scooping the ball over the top for the run of Gayle.

Neco Williams was unable to stop him as the striker sent the ball around Alisson and into the back of the net. There was a long VAR review as they checked for offside, but after two minutes, the goal rightfully stood.

After the opening goal, the first half-hour mostly meandered with neither side doing much, but a Liverpool chance in the 29th minute seemed to spark them into life. Takumi Minamino picked up a lay-off from James Milner before spinning past Nabil Bentaleb and driving across the top of the area. He then fired a fierce volley goalwards, but forced a leaping save from Martin Dubravka.

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Player ratings

Newcastle: Dubravka (6), Manquillo (6), Fernandez (7), Rose (7), Ritchie (7), Bentaleb (6), Shelvey (7), Lazaro (6), Almiron (6), Saint-Maximin (6), Gayle (6).

Subs used: Joelinton (5), Longstaff (5), Carroll (5), Hayden (5), Watts (n/a).

Liverpool: Alisson (6), Williams (6), Gomez (7), Van Dijk (8), Robertson (7), Keita (7), Milner (7), Wijnaldum (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), Minamino (7), Origi (7).

Subs used: Salah (7), Mane (7), Firmino (7), Jones (n/a), Alexander-Arnold (n/a).

Man of the match: Virgil van Dijk.

Nine minutes later and Liverpool pulled themselves level. Andy Robertson tapped the ball into Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's path and he easily sped past Danny Rose before fizzing a cross into the area. Despite having two defenders ahead of him, Van Dijk rose the highest to send a looping header goalwards, just dipping at the right time to beat Dubravka. Liverpool almost went ahead instantly after, but Oxlade-Chamberlain's thunderous strike just whistled past the post.

Team news

  • Newcastle made one change with Emil Krafth dropping out due to an ankle issue and Valentino Lazaro coming in. Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff also returned to the bench.
  • Liverpool made five changes, with the attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all starting on the bench, along with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho. Neco Williams, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi replaced them.

It was another fairly slow start to the second half and it took a sensational strike from Origi to put Liverpool ahead. It was a wonderful ball over the top from Van Dijk that picked out Robertson on the left, who then lightly tapped the ball into Origi's feet near the top corner. The striker took a second to set himself up before curling a thunderous effort into the back of the net, breaking a 24-game goal drought.

Dwight Gayle celebrates his early goal with teammates
Image: Dwight Gayle netted inside 30 seconds to put Newcastle ahead

It didn't get much easier for Newcastle either with Jurgen Klopp introducing his attacking superstars - Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Mane - in the 64th minute. Salah was in the mood for his 20th goal of the season and almost scored not long after coming on. Newcastle initially thought they had cleared a sweeping Robertson free-kick but the loose ball found Salah, who controlled with his chest before smashing goalwards, only to smack the upright.

Did you know?...

This was only the second time since Mo Salah joined Liverpool in 2017 that none of himself, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane started a Premier League game for the Reds (also 3-1 win at Burnley in December 2018).

Liverpool dominated the second half and a third goal almost seemed inevitable, with Mane nabbing it late in the game. Firmino had been feeding his two attacking team-mates ever since they were introduced and did so again here with sensational precision, sending Mane down the left flank. He then cut into the area, easily holding off Valentino Lazaro before scooping a curling finish home to ensure Liverpool would end a magical season on a high.

Man of the match - Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk celebrates his equaliser at St. James' Park
Image: Virgil van Dijk celebrates his equaliser at St James' Park

The centre-back has played every minute of Liverpool's title-winning season and his performance at St James' Park only enhanced what an asset he is for the club, showing off what he can do with a bit of creativity.

He netted his fifth Premier League goal of the season - his highest ever tally in a single campaign - and since his debut for Liverpool in January 2018, Van Dijk has scored more goals than any other centre-back in the competition (9).

The Netherlands international had another shot on target and successfully made 101 of 109 passes with a passing percentage of 92.7 per cent. Ninety-nine of these were deemed as good passes or crosses by Opta, and helped set up Origi's superb goal.

Speaking about Van Dijk, Jurgen Klopp said: "He's a good centre half and his combination of skills is very special. His mindset on top of that is really special and he's a good guy as well who I like a lot. I would work him if he was more difficult to be with, but he is really low maintenance. We knew when we signed him that we would get a really good player but the package is so special that we had no idea about and that makes it really exciting."

What the managers said

Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on July 08, 2020 in Manchester, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. 2:12
Steve Bruce says it's been a tough season with injuries for Newcastle after they were beaten by Liverpool on the final day of the season, finishing 13th in the Premier League

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce: "We took the lead against them twice and it gives you something to hold on to, of course. For large parts of it, the first half in particular, we defended very well indeed considering the problems we've had defensively.

"When they bought on the front three, you do realise just what quality they've got, but overall, we did OK. We hand a hunger and desire about us which I couldn't fault but in the end, we just weren't quite good enough.

"It's been a difficult season in a lot of respects from the lockdown change and the biggest thing for us as well is the amount of times we've gone into games with injuries has been horrendous so it's something we'll have to look at. We seem to be affected worse than most and again today, we're missing seven or eight and when you get to that sort of level, it's something which has blighted us this season. Let's hope next season can be a little bit kinder in that department.

"I've tried to enjoy it [being Newcastle manager] and with a long old season like it is, there's going to be a few ups and downs. What you try to do with experience is try and stay in the middle, but I've been determined to do one thing, to come and enjoy it… I'm a Newcastle lad through and through and I want the club to do well. That's been the same since I was a kid so to be the manager has been a pleasure so far. Let's see where it takes us in the summer.

"I've got a call into him [Mike Ashley] on Wednesday. I think it [a Zoom call from Ashley after the game to players and staff] was vitally important, he wanted to say thank you to the staff and the players for all their hard work so in that respect, it was good to hear from him. He wanted to thank everyone for all their efforts this year and that was basically it.

"We need clarity [from the Premier League] on whether it [a potential Newcastle takeover] is going to happen or not. How long do we want? It is a frustration and the club needs that clarity, so let's hope that we can get that in the next few days or weeks or whatever it will be."

Divock Origi is mobbed by teammates after putting Liverpool 2-1 up 1:11
Jurgen Klopp sums up Liverpool's title winning season as they beat Newcastle 3-1 to finish with 99 points

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "It was the target for the day to finish the season on a high and we did it. We needed a little wake-up call - I'm not sure we needed it, but we got it - and from that moment on, the boys worked really hard to play against this defensive wall of Newcastle. It's never easy to make five changes but especially then, but we got better and better in the game.

"We then made five changes during the game and bought on fresh legs again and that helped obviously because we then controlled the game completely. I liked it a lot and it was not perfect, but like our season, the boys don't only win the game on a perfect day, they have to really dig deep on a not so perfect day.

Liverpool celebrate against Brighton 4:22
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"The football part of the year was exceptional, 99 points after having 97 last year. How we think about it, it starts on 1 June 2019 because yes, that was the last game of the last season but for us, it was the first game of a pretty special time. The Super Cup, the Club World Cup and now the Premier League, it is absolutely exceptional.

"The boys showed a consistency which is really second to none and that's what we had to do and we knew that… It was clear if you want to beat this [Man City] team and be ahead of them, you need to be nearly perfect and the boys were. It will have a special place in my memories for sure."

Opta stats

  • Liverpool have recovered 19 points from trailing positions in this season's Premier League; only Wolves (21) have won more after going behind.
  • Divock Origi scored his first goal in 24 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool since netting a brace against Everton in December 2019, 235 days ago.
  • Andrew Robertson's assist for Divock Origi's strike was his 12th of the season in the Premier League, surpassing his total for last season (11), with only teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold ever providing more in a season in the competition by defenders (13 this season).

What's next?

Liverpool will defend their Premier League title when the 2020/21 season kicks off on September 12, 2020, and will run until May 23 2021. Premier League clubs have also voted for the summer transfer window to open the day after the 2019/20 season ends - on Monday July 27 - and run for 10 weeks.

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