Liverpool 4-2 Newcastle: Player ratings

Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to three points after a thrilling 4-2 New Year's Day with over Newcastle.

Despite the final scoreline, the match, remarkably, was goalless at the break. That said, it was still an incident-packed first half at Anfield.

First, Luis Diaz had a goal disallowed in the 20th minute for a marginal offside by Darwin Nunez in the build-up, then, just two minutes later, Mohamed Salah saw his penalty saved by Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka.

At the other end, the Magpies also had a goal chalked off, this time for another close offside against Alexander Isak prior to Dan Burn’s back-post header.

After the break, the Reds' domination truly told and Salah made amends for his penalty miss by putting his side in the lead with his 150th Premier League goal for the Reds, five minutes after the restart.

Then, out of nowhere, the visitors equalised through Alexander Isak who beat Alisson in a one-on-one.

However, parity didn't last: 20 minutes later Curtis Jones put the Reds back in the lead, ghosting into the box and adding the finishing touch to substitute Diogo Jota's cut-back from close-range.

Another substitute, Cody Gakpo, then also got in on the action, converting Salah's cross from the right despite mishitting the ball to give the Reds what seemed like an unassailable 3-1 lead.

However, Newcastle popped up again with a goal, with Sven Botman outjumping Jota to head home a corner to give a particularly animated Jurgen Klopp, in particular, cause for concern.

But with stoppage time approaching, the Reds put the final nail in the black-and-white coffin when Jota was brought down by Dubravka and Salah scored to seal the win.

Here are your player ratings...


Allison (GK): 6

Could do absolutely nothing for either of the goals. Otherwise, had precious little to do.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB): 7

Really should have done better with all the time he had following up Salah’s penalty miss but overall, the vice-captain had a very solid game. Unlucky not to give his side the lead in the opening minute when his left-footed volley deflected just wide of the post, then followed it up with an outrageous shot from a tight angle that hit the far post towards the end of the first half. His influence waned slightly in the second half.

Ibrahima Konate (CB): 7

Steady all game and had very little to do, with both of Newcastle’s goals coming against the run of play, practically out of nowhere.

Virgil van Dijk (CB): 7

Was partially to blame for Isak’s equaliser: had he held his line rather than follow the man, the Swede would have been caught offside. That said, he did snuff out a very promising attack, intervening at the last moment against Isak to bail out Alexander-Arnold after a poor pass.

Joe Gomez (LB): 7

Lucky to escape an early booking for scything down Anthony Gordon. Made a good block on Lewis Miley’s shot moments later after Dominik Szoboszlai was dispossessed on the edge of the box and went on to have a good game.

Wataru Endo (DM): 7

Excellent reading of the game, getting about the pitch very well in his usual unspectacular style. Might have given away a penalty in a coming-together with Sean Longstaff but the referee waved play on.

Dominik Szoboszlai (CM): 4

Looked off again today. While he got around the pitch in his usual high-intensity fashion, he misplaced several passes when the Reds had got into promising positions, notably three in a row just before half time.

Curtis Jones (CM): 9

Made an excellent through pass for the disallowed goal then brought a good save from Dubravka with a low volley at the edge of the box. Was fantastic in the second half, with forceful running and excellent close control really taking the game to Newcastle. His excellent game was rewarded with a goal, but he could easily have had more.

Mohamed Salah (RW): 8

Really a game of two halves. In the first 45, he produced yet another penalty miss (his sixth now in the Premier League), smashing the ball practically straight at the keeper, and misplaced numerous passes. After the break, however, he bagged his 150th Premier League goal for the Reds with a close-range tap-in, then teed up Gakpo for the third with an outside-of-the-foot cross from the right. Didn’t play well by any stretch of the imagination, yet still got two goals and an assist.

Darwin Nunez (ST): 7

Like Salah, the Uruguayan had a very mixed day. In the first half, he was not convincing at all in front of goal. Early on, he produced a good close-range save from Dubravka but perhaps should have got more purchase on his shot. He then had two opportunities racing through on goal: first, for the disallowed goal, he allowed the defender to get back; then, in the 35th minute, he had two shots saved by Dubravka in quick succession. In the second half, however, he had the calmness to tee up Salah’s opener, then was incredibly unfortunate not to score a hattrick. He was twice denied by superb keeping, then came very close with a header, before being subbed off.

Luis Diaz (LW): 7

Nice finish for the disallowed goal, lifting the ball over Dubravka with confidence. Then excellent close control in the penalty area led to him being knocked off balance by Sven Botman for the penalty kick. Was perhaps unlucky to be hooked in the 64th minute with his first-half performance one of his best in recent games.

Substitutes:

Diogo Jota (Nunez, 64’): 8

Again, a massive impact off the bench. Ghosted in behind the Magpies' defence before teeing up Jones for a tap-in. Then, went sent through on goal by an excellent through ball by Mac Allister, had the presence of mind to round the keeper before winning a penalty.

Cody Gakpo (Diaz, 64’): 7

Almost managed to fluff his lines for the third goal, fumbling the ball across the line with his studs from point-blank range. Otherwise, didn’t really get involved in the game.

Ryan Gravenberch (Szoboszlai, 64’): 6

Looked better than the man he replaced but struggled to leave a mark.

Alexis Mac Allister (Endo, 75’): 7

Very classy on the ball when he came on, manoeuvring nicely in tight places and unleashing a brilliant pass for Jota to go through on goal. Also switched the play nicely in the build-up to the Gakpo goal.

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