Newcastle 2-0 LIVERPOOL

Sorry, Reds fans. This game didn’t turn out like any of us had hoped for. It was a scrappy game from start to end and the whole gameplay Newcastle adopted for this fixture really stopped Liverpool’s attacks before they could result in what we needed to win or even draw (two or more goals).

The manager had decided to make 6 changes to the side that beat Southampton (1-6) in the League Cup recently. It was expected that Mignolet (not Bogdan) would start for this game and that Randall wouldn’t start and Brad Smith may not even get to be substitute. Cup games always see “weaker” lineups, where different players get chances they wouldn’t normally have for Premier League games.

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We still had some proven goalscorers in the starting 11. Complaining about the side that was chosen makes no sense, we’ve won games with these players in the starting 11 before. Klopp certainly isn’t at fault for our defeat. Tactically, he probably couldn’t have chosen any better players to start the game for us.

Liverpool just had a hard time going forward. Every offensive play we made was shut down by Newcastle’s midfield or defence, making it almost impossible to get down near the goal for shots to be made. I dislike this kind of opponent, the ones that make it look so easy as a little bit of pressure and closing down is all they need to do to defeat us, because we’ll back off and start passing back into our own half once we see their players come towards us. It’s a bad example of how to play your football. I don’t care how many defenders come at you, do not back off – START GETTING FORWARD or you’ll never score any goals. If they really get in your face, let the referee do the talking as they’ll be likely to get booked.

Before the game, most Reds fans seemed confident that we were going to win this game. Many predicted a high scoring victory like the one against Southampton. Unfortunately, Newcastle didn’t score in the very first minute as Southampton had. They scored in the 2nd half and we had far less time to make a comeback and were looking not very likely to score a goal anyway in this game.

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Regarding league table positions, many fixtures had turned out the way we would want them to recently and Liverpool were set to move up from 7 place to 6th place and also close the gap between us and Manchester City (who have been leading the league table for weeks) to just three points if we won against Newcastle. It couldn’t be done and now we’re still 6 points behind them.

These are the opportunities we are given and must take to show the rest of the league that we’re serious title contenders or at least serious about going after a top 4 place in the league by the end of the season. Champions League qualification is always a target to be attempted to achieve in every season.

The first half was quite boring. I don’t say that about a lot of games but it was just a fact that Liverpool had very few real attacking opportunities and they did not do anything exciting to cheer about in the first 45 minutes. The score at half time was 0-0 of course.

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The second half had more action, though. By the 61st minute, our manager had decided to bring a couple of substitutions on as Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana replaced Firmino and Benteke. I personally thought Joe Allen was having a shockingly bad game and he had been involved in a tough tackle a few minutes before the substitutions were made. I was certain Allen was going to be brought off, seeing as he was limping around. It didn’t happen though. Allen would play for the whole game.

Sturridge made a noticeable difference when he was brought onto the field by the manager.

Sturridge made a noticeable difference when he was brought onto the field by the manager.

Lallana and Sturridge were really doing well, though. Sturridge ran into some dangerous positions and Lallana accurately passed through balls to him. It’s just a shame that our chances were not taken and converted into goals. We tried but it just wasn’t enough.

The first goal of the game was technically scored by us, though Newcastle would be first to take a lead.

That’s because Martin Skrtel scored an own goal, around the 68th minute. Georginio Wijnaldum had made a cross into the box and our own defender attempted to clear it but it would end up going past Mignolet (who had attempted to collect it) and firing into our own net. Newcastle 1-0 Liverpool.

Liverpool had a chance to equalise in the second half and actually did so but were denied by the linesman, who incorrectly called the ruling “offside” for Moreno’s goal.

Moreno ran forward into the box and lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net. He had been level with the last defender when the ball was played to him. I don’t lie about these things. It was just simply not offside.

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Liverpool could have possibly gotten a draw if the Moreno goal had counted. We also could still have lost 2-1 if the second goal they scored in the game was still scored after Moreno had claimed his own. Despite the fact that the linesman disallowed it, I am naming Alberto Moreno “Man Of The Match” for his goal which should have counted and also the rest of his efforts in a match he did work in, even if we didn’t win eventually.

Their second goal was scored by Georginio Wijnaldum. He had received a ball from Moussa Sissoko in the 93rd minute, but it was already over by then and Newcastle were about to win 1-0 anyway. Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool.
A 2nd goal made no difference, the referee was soon to blow for full time and declare us the losers of the fixture.

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We’ll learn from this and move on. No need to complain much, I can still support my team, even when they draw or lose. That’s important. We must not give in to the bad times, we must not be overly critical of our team, who try hard even if the result they achieve is not the one you’d have hoped they’d get.  I still support and love Liverpool.

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Our season goes on and we have Europa League action coming up soon. We’ve already qualified to the knockout stages but we’ll see if we can do and be group stage leaders by the time we’re done with the final group stage fixture. We’ll only need a draw to do that. But winning would be nice.

Walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

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I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.

I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.

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