Date: Wednesday 26th December 2018, 3.00pm.
4 - 0
Andy Robertson's speculative cross from the left flank towards the back post
was headed out weakly by Jamaal Lascelles and smashed home by Lovren in front of
the Kop. 0-1
Half time: Liverpool 1 Newcastle 0
Paul Dummett placed one hand on the arm of Mo Salah as he dashed into
the Newcastle area from the right flank. The pole-axed striker miraculously
regained his footing to slot home the resultant penalty -
although Dubravka wasn't far away from blocking it, diving low to his right 0-2
79 mins Henderson and Alexander-Arnold were both involved in a short
spell of pressure that saw the ball ping round our box until the unmarked
Shaqiri rammed home a close range shot. 0-3
Salah turned provider, sending over a corner that substitute Fabinho
was able to head home with ease. 0-4
4 Newcastle 0
"Against a very good team, you have
to take the few chances that you have. We didnít do it - and then we paid
for our mistakes. We have too many games and we needed fresh legs.
"We needed to be sure the game plan
could be right and I think we had the energy to do what we wanted. You could
see the first half it was there but it wasnít enough.
"Obviously, we play against a very
good team but there are two key moments in the game: the first goal - we made
a mistake, and the second goal - a soft penalty that gave them
control. For us, it was very difficult to react.
"The soft penalty in the game made
the difference, we were in the game 1-0 at half-time, but when we conceded the
second goal it was more difficult for us to react against a very good team.
"The second goal was crucial, it gave
them more confidence and was more difficult for us, you have to take more
risks, be more open then you make more mistakes and pay for that."
"For him, it will be good memories
and bad memories. Good - because itís his debut, at Anfield, in a great
atmosphere. Bad - because we lost the game.
"But heís a nice lad, a good
professional, a good player - and he has a great future ahead of him.Ē
On new signings:
"I was talking with Lee Charnley and
still I have the same feeling: that it will not be easy.""I
have to say thank you very much to our fans, the Newcastle United fans Ė and
also to the Liverpool fans. My relationship with the city, the fans and the
club is fantastic and will be fantastic forever.Ē
On support for him in the closing stages from all four sides of the
PL debutant Sean Longstaff added:
"Itís something Iíve dreamt of since I was a young kid and to hear
the away end chanting my name is unbelievable*. Iím a bit lost for words
* Lobby was serenaded with choruses of "he's one of our own"
and "if Longstaff scores, we're on the pitch."
a century of wins in all competitions as Liverpol boss, Jurgen Klopp commented:
"When we had the ball, after the first 15 minutes, we were good Ė
one-twos, good finishes. We lost the formation a little bit, we were too wide
offensively. If we could play the ball in behind it was good, but if they could
clear it with a header then we were not there to win the ball back
formation-wise. 1-0, a fantastic goal, quick in mind; again it was off a
set-piece, which is brilliant.
"A fantastic cross and then a good reaction from pretty much everybody in
the box, then a fantastic finish from Dejan. I was really happy about half-time:
we could adjust a few things and go back to the way we actually wanted to
"That made life easier, especially after we scored with the penalty in
minute 47 Ė pretty early in the second half. Then we controlled the game,
which was good. We scored wonderful goals again, set-pieces fantastic. A pretty
perfect day for us; not a perfect performance, but a really good performance.
Result-wise and a lot of parts of the performance, really good.
"Weíve played three times in a row
now against a team with five at the back, but all of them organised it
differently. That makes it pretty difficult. Today for example, Newcastle had
two strikers but they were pretty deep and what we did in the first half, we
protected them with the two sixes instead of with the two centre-halves, so that
means they cut off four players.
"We had six players offensively, thatís why we didnít win the balls
back as quick as we should. Thatís football. If you are 2-0 up then you have
to control the game, thatís how it always is. In the past we became, I wouldnít
say sloppy, but we lost concentration. That doesnít help, obviously.
"Now we are much more awake, we control it in a better way, we switch
sides, we still prepare and create Ė not as many as maybe would be possible,
but still enough Ė and we score goals. If you are Newcastle and you come here
and are three-nil down, that is not a trigger for a big fightback.
"We were too strong for that today and it then makes life a bit easier for
these few seconds or minutes in the game, but thatís all.
"Until we were there, it was really intense and we had to put in everything
On the six point margin between leaders Liverpool and second-placed
"(The gap) means nothing. It's important how many points we have,
not the others, because what is six points? It's nothing. We have to play them
still, they are all strong, we have to play all of them again.
On the 83rd minute cheers when news that Manchester City were losing
ďNo, I thought it was because of us! Iím really naive, I thought that is
really nice, thank you very much! Obviously nobody told our crowd that Tottenham
"It is fine, atmosphere for Boxing Day,
people coming from all over, around the world to watch, the atmosphere was
really good and exceptional in that moment. But I thought it was because of
the bleak mid-season
(NUFC last ten PL seasons after nineteen games):
2018/19: 17 points, 15th (scored 14, conceded 26)
2017/18: 18 points, 15th (scored 19, conceded 29)
2015/16: 17 points, 18th (scored 19, conceded 34)
2014/15: 26 points, 9th (scored 22, conceded 28)
2013/14: 33 points, 8th (scored 29, conceded 24)
2012/13: 20 points, 15th (scored 23, conceded 30)
2011/12: 30 points, 7th (scored 26, conceded 25)
2010/11: 22 points, 13th (scored 28, conceded 29)
2008/09: 22 points, 12th (scored 25, conceded 27)
2007/08: 26 points, 11th (scored 26, conceded 29)
Newcastle have now gone 23 games since their last victory
at Anfield; the 1-0 League Cup win back in November 1995. Today was the
nineteenth defeat and there have been four draws, during which time we've
scored 19 times but conceded no less than 58.
This was the first time that Newcastle have lost by four clear goals since a
1-5 defeat at Chelsea in February 2016 that hastened the demise of
Having featured in the League Cup earlier this season, Sean Longstaff
became the 229th different player to represent United in the Premier League -
and the first locally-born debutant since Jamie Sterry in May 2016.
Magpies @ Anfield: Premier League era:
2018/19: Lost 0-4
2017/18: Lost 0-2
2015/16: Drew 2-2 Cisse, Colback
2014/15: Lost 0-2
2013/14: Lost 1-2 og(Skrtel)
2012/13: Drew 1-1 Cabaye
2011/12: Lost 1-3 og(Agger)
2010/11: Lost 0-3
2008/09: Lost 0-3
2007/08: Lost 0-3
2006/07: Lost 0-2
2005/06: Lost 0-2
2004/05: Lost 1-3 Kluivert
2003/04: Drew 1-1 Ameobi
2003/04: Lost 1-2 Robert (FAC)
2002/03: Drew 2-2 Speed, Shearer
2001/02: Lost 0-3
2000/01: Lost 0-3
1999/00: Lost 1-2 Shearer
1998/99: Lost 2-4 Solano, Andersson
1997/98: Lost 0-1
1996/97: Lost 3-4 Gillespie, Asprilla, Barton
1995/96: Lost 3-4 Ferdinand, Ginola, Asprilla
1995/96: Won 1-0 Watson (LC)
1994/95: Lost 0-2
1993/94: Won 2-0 Lee, Cole
This was our heaviest defeat at Anfield since a 0-4 First Division reverse in December
The last time we conceded four goals to the Reds was their 6-0 romp at SJP in April
NUFC Boxing Day Record - last 20:
2018/19: Liverpool (a) lost 0-4
2016/17: Sheffield Wednesday (h) lost 0-1
2015/16: Everton (h) lost 0-1
2014/15: Manchester United (a) lost 1-3
2013/14: Stoke City (h) won 5-1
2012/13: Manchester United (a) lost 3-4
2011/12: Bolton Wanderers (a) won 2-0
2010/11: Manchester City (h) lost 1-3
2009/10: Sheffield Wednesday (a) drew 2-2
2008/09: Wigan Athletic (a) lost 1-2
2007/08: Wigan Athletic (a) lost 0-1
2006/07: Bolton Wanderers (a) lost 1-2
2005/06: Liverpool (a) lost 0-2
2004/05: Blackburn Rovers (a) drew 2-2
2003/04: Leicester City (a) drew 1-1
2002/03: Bolton Wanderers (a) lost 3-4
2001/02: smoggies (h) won 3-0
2000/01: Leeds United (h) won 2-1
1999/00: Liverpool (h) drew 2-2
1998/99: Leeds United (h) lost 0-3
Today was Newcastle's heaviest Boxing Day defeat since a 0-4 reverse at
SJP against Everton on December 26th 1986. That was also 1-0 to the
opposition at half time.
predecessors Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Alan Shearer in attendance,
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez saw his side eclipsed by the league leaders at
Anfield in the sunshine on Boxing Day.
Despite being unbeaten in their last four away games, neither the margin nor
the manner of our latest defeat here were unexpected - a
less-than-full-strength Liverpool side expending minimum effort in making it
30 PL home games uneaten and inflicting the heaviest defeat of Rafa's reign.
With Ki Sungyeung off with South Korea ahead of next month's Asian Cup, Isaac
Hayden made only a second start of the season, while Yoshino Muto was
preferred to Ayoze Perez in the starting lineup before he links up with Japan
next week for the same international tournament.
Out went Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schaar and Christian Atsu in favour of
DeAndre Yedlin, Federico Fernandez and Kenedy, while Ciaran Clark and Jonjo
Shelvey weren't fit enough to travel.
Benitez also chose to leave Salomon Rondon on the bench and start with Joselu,
who really should have done much better than head into the turf and wide when
Matt Ritchie supplied a peach of a cross from the left flank on eight minutes.
That miss almost instantly proved costly, the hosts taking the lead just three
An aimless headed clearance from Jamaal Lascelles was dispatched without
ceremony by Dejan Lovren into the top left corner of the goal, the rising shot
giving Martin Dubravka no chance.
The black and whites battled gamely for the rest of the first half but other
than a 23rd minute Ritchie shot that flew narrowly wide, an equaliser never
Dubrakva did well to tip over a free kick from Xherdan Shaqiri just before the
interval, but within two minutes of the restart our exercise in damage
limitation was over thanks to a soft referee and the Egyptian equivalent of
Mo Salah tumbled over under the slightest contact from Paul Dummett in the box
and was indulged with the award of a penalty by whistler Graham Scott. TV
replays showed that the defender placed a hand on the arm of the attacker, who
theatrically went over and got up to score from the spot.
While the play-acting was annoying and the goal that followed ended the game
as a competitive fixture, the most regrettable aspect of the incident was the
meek acceptance of the decision by every visiting player. (Dummett did
speak to Salah after the final whistle, but looked to have swapped shirts with
him rather than questioned his parentage or offered him out.....)
From then on, it was just a case of how many the Reds would score to dent our
goal difference and improve their own position at the other end of the table.
There was another off-target Joselu header but it was almost all one-way
traffic, the hosts netting another twice and coming mightily close to at least
one more. Our only response was a shot from debutant Sean Longstaff after he
patiently waited for a chance to arise.
Xherdan Shaqiri made it 0-3 with an easy tap-in following Trent
Alexander-Arnold's cross before Fabinho headed in a Salah corner to complete
the misery five minutes from the final whistle.
That fourth goal came 90 seconds after the loudest cheers of the afternoon and
the only time that home fans became animated - as news spread of title rivals
Manchester City losing at Leicester.
Longstaff had come off the bench; the Tynesider receiving a good welcome and
backing from the away contingent (including proud dad David). However Lobby's
arrival could be interpreted as an attempt by his exasperated boss to once
again highlight the shortcomings of his squad.
Mike Ashley may hide behind a takeover bid to deprive Rafa of any transfer
funds in January but the price any new owners are willing to pay will plummet
if the required action doesn't follow next month - a false economy and another
unnecessary gamble for the man current on vacation in the USA.
Elsewhere on Boxing Day, Cardiff City and Fulham both drew but Huddersfield
Town and Burnley lost heavily, leaving United in 15th position and five points
clear of the bottom three.
Asked after the game about squad strengthening, Rafa's answers were both brief
and worrying: "no" when asked if any transfers were imminent
and "yes" when asked if that situation concerned him.
He's not the only one.
This report is dedicated to lifelong fan Brian Paull,
who unexpectedly passed away on Christmas Eve.
A Magpie for 66 years, he's pictured with son David.