Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle: Reds record 2000th top flight win

Premier League
Thursday 16 December 2021 - 8:00 pm
Show Match Events
7'⚽️ Shelvey
15'↔️ Lewis off, Ritchie on
⚽️ Jota21'
⚽️ Salah25'
45' Joelinton
56' Fraser
Salah off, Firmino on ↔️73'
Oxlade-Chamberlain off, Keïta on ↔️73'
78'↔️ Saint-Maximin off, Wilson on
86' Hayden
⚽️ Alexander-Arnold87'
Alcantara off, Milner on ↔️90'
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Liverpool became the first English club to record 2000 victories in the top division in their final pre-Christmas game at Anfield.

Prior to kick off, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones were all ruled out after returning a positive daily LFT test - they must now await confirmation of this result ahead of the weekend's fixtures.

Konate and Oxlade-Chamberlain came into the side to fill the voids, but there was better news on the bench with Roberto Firmino returning to the matchday squad for the first time in a month.

The evening got off to a difficult start when Thiago gifted the ball back to former red Jonjo Shelvey who completely wrong footed Alisson with his powerful shot into the Kop goal.  A first league goal of the season for Shelvey and he headed off to the Newcastle end to celebrate.

But this was after all, second v second bottom, and it didn't take too long for Liverpool to exert their dominance.

The majority of the first half played not just in Newcastle's half, but around Newcastle's penalty area - Liverpool smothering the away sides numerous attempts to break free.

It was Diogo Jota who levelled for the reds.  His header at Martin Dubravka only sent back into his path for him to fire past the Slovakian keeper.  There was some minor controversy with a Newcastle player down in the area after he banged into one of his own players.  But with no foul committed it was reasonable to allow play to continue.

Minutes later it was 2-1.  Shelvey this time the villain - his poor backpass hunted down by Sadio Mane who miraculously got his shot away while tumbling over.  It fell into the path of Mo Salah who smashed in his 22nd goal of the season.

In doing so, he equals a record set by Jamie Vardy of a goal or assist in 15 consecutive Premier League games.

The second half was a more anaemic affair.  There were very little moments of true excitement for either side.  Firmino was eventually brought on to a standing ovation for the supreme Salah.

With three minutes remaining and the reds re-exerting sustained pressure, the ball fell to Trent Alexander-Arnold 25 yards out and he caught his shot perfectly.  This exocet strike thundering through the air and powering into the top left hand corner.  The ferocity of the drive could have sent one of the supporters into 2022 if it had not been on target.

But it was and the reds could relax a little easier in the final moments with their two goal cushion.

It capped a fine display from the scouser - a last ditch tackle on Ryan Fraser had undoubtedly kept the scores level earlier in the half.

Liverpool move on to 40 points, a point behind the leaders Man City.  Chelsea's draw at Everton also means the reds now have a three point cushion over third place.

The reds are set to face a well rested Spurs in London on Sunday - Tottenham having missed a number of games due to the covid self isolation requirements.

MOTM: Trent Alexander-Arnold

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