Looking to secure their second Premier League win in a smooth run, Liverpool welcome Newcastle United Football Club arrive at Anfield for their fifth clash of the day on Wednesday night (August 31). The Red Devils, who enjoyed a strong 9-0 win over Bournemouth in their last outing, have been scrutinized by the Magpies. In the end, their squad depth was rescued, with substitute Fabio Carvalho scoring the final goal to seal a tough 2-1 win for the hosts. Roberto Firmino scored another goal for the Red Devils while Alexander Isak Newcastle headed the net against Newcastle.
Liverpool opened the scoring for the first time in the game in the 34th minute, when Firmino conceded Luis Diaz. The Colombian deftly loops the ball around the keeper but loses his balance before he can hit the shot, resulting in a very confusing effort. Four minutes later, Newcastle record signing Isak announced his arrival in the Premier League, coldly converting from Sean Longstaff’s cross.
Ten minutes into the second half, Isak dashed into the Reds’ box, beat a couple of defenders and put Alisson in the net. Unfortunately for the Swedes, the flag was raised for offside. In the 60th minute, Harvey Elliot hit Liverpool’s first goal. His effort has been tamed, but it’s a clear sign of intent from the home side. A minute later, Firmino turned around to celebrate after an own goal from inside the Newcastle penalty area.
The Red Devils continued to push people forward, but Newcastle persevered. The deadlock was finally broken in the eighth minute of stoppage time when Carvalho converted from open range, sealing a 2-1 win for his side.
It was a mixed performance from Jurgen Klopp’s men, where some players showed up while others cut a disappointing figure. Here are the three Liverpool players who stepped up and two disappointed in their win over Eddie Howe’s side on Wednesday:
Performer: Harvey Elliott
Harvey Elliott was a force to consider against Newcastle United on Wednesday night. He was at the center of almost every Red Devils stellar move, assisting in front of Firmino’s goal (passing to Salah), and surging through challenges alongside the Magpies with unimaginable ease.
Against Newcastle, Elliott made an important pass, accurately completed 4 long balls, won 6 duels and 2 fouls. If the 19-year-old continues to maintain this form, it won’t take long for him to become one of the first names on Klopp’s squad.
Underperforming: Jordan Henderson
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson endured a tough game against Newcastle. He is often slow to react, unable to detect a few clear passes, and contributed a part to the visitors’ opening goal in the first half. He put his foot out in an attempt to clear the ball. His maneuvers did more harm than good as the ball went straight to Longstaff, who played Isak with a perfectly weighted pass.
Before falling behind in the 71st minute, Henderson had lost two of his four duels, ceding possession seven times and making long passes out of place. A nice lob for Luis Diaz in the first half was the highlight of his game.
Performer: Roberto Firmino
With Darwin Nunez suspended and Diogo Jota injured, Roberto Firmino was selected to fill the central midfield role on Wednesday night. The Brazilian, who scored twice in the Merseysiders’ previous Premier League debut, was once again stunning, scoring the equalizer in the 61st minute. The goal was not uncommon, but it came from close range. His has built confidence.
Firmino often retreats deep to coordinate with teammates, create opportunities and organize duels in the air. On Wednesday, Firmino made two key passes, hit a pass accuracy rate of 82.5% (33 passes), won three aerial duels and tackle attempts.
Underperforming: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold had a terrifying duel by his standards against the Magpies. His distribution is not good, he loses control quite often, and he is also straight forward.
Before being substituted for Carvalho in the 71st minute, Alexander-Arnold lost possession 29 times and mishandled 10 of 11 crosses and 7 of 11 attempted long passes. He also played a key role in Newcastle’s goal, with his grit helping the visitors build chances before Isak scored.
Performer: Mohamed Salah
Last season, Mohamed Salah emerged as the Premier League’s top scorer (23 goals) and provided the top assist (13). The Egypt international is yet to repeat his form from last season but took some key steps in the right direction at Anfield on Wednesday. Salah’s frustration in front of goal continued, as he failed to hit the target. However, he assisted both of Liverpool’s goals against Newcastle.
In the 61st minute, he excellently cut the ball from the right for Firmino waiting inside the penalty area to finish. Then, right at death, Salah performs an aerial challenge after a corner. The ball bounced off him and fell to Carvalho, who smashed it past Nick Pope.
In addition to assists, Salah also made 6 key passes, 3 dribbles, won 5 duels and 2 fouls.