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Season 2019-20
Liverpool (a)
Premier League


Saturday 14th September 2019, 12.30pm
Live on BT Sport


Conditions: Invariable
Programme: £3.50



3 - 1




7 mins  A long punt forward from Emil Krath at right back found Christian Atsu onside in a central area between two defenders. He chested the ball down and spun round - quickly glancing to confirm the linesman's flag had stayed down - before finding Jetro Willems advancing on the left.

The Dutchman bore down on goal and Trent Alexander-Arnold, juggling the ball from his left foot to the right before arrowing an unstoppable rising shot into the top right hand corner of the net
. 1-0

28 mins
A ball out to Liverpool's left flank by the edge of the United box seemed to catch Krafth in two minds momentarily and by the time he reacted, Andy Robertson ducked had back inside him. 

The Scotsman's pass infield took Fabian Schar out of the equation and Sadio Mane had time for a touch before bending a right-footed effort beyond Martin Dubravka; Shelvey trying in vain to make up the ground to him.

40 mins
Atsu turned into trouble inside his own half, losing out to a combination of Matip and Firmino. The latter galloped forward in possession before laying a perfect pass to Mane, whose diagonal run took him behind Jamaal Lascelles into the United area. 

The Senegalese forward was beaten to the ball by the advancing Dubravka, but he could only push it on to Mane as he went to ground 12 yards from goal. The ball ricocheted over the goalkeeper and towards the unguarded goal, Mane finding it at his feet and tapping in from close range.

Half time: Liverpool 2 Newcastle 1

72 mins
Mo Salah pushed forward towards the heart of the visiting defence and his pass found Firmino with his back to goal. The Brazilian stopped the ball with his right foot and then pulled it back in the same movement before flicking it to his left foot back to Salah, who continued his run.

That mesmeric piece of skill took Paul Dummett and Isaax Hayden completely out of the running and the Egyptian had a simple finish to score
against us for a fourth match in succession. Fabian Schar made a desperate late lunge to try and deny Salah but succeeded only in knacking himself.

Full time: Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1

We Said



Steve Bruce said:

"When you come to Liverpool - and we’ve had a great start - the big thing is the second goal. We needed to get to half time level.

"We were OK in bits. Unfortunately we made a mistake for the second goal and we are disappointed about that. When you come to an arena like this and give the ball away in the middle of the pitch you are in trouble. Our keeper will think he should do better.

(Willems) will remember that (goal), it's not often you smash into the top corner with your wrong foot. He has been thrown in at the deep end with us but the more he plays in the Premier League, you can see the ability he has got.

"It was difficult in stages but we were spirited. The disappointing thing for me is the second goal in particular. Bad enough to defend against them - let alone to give them one. You can't do that if you come to a big club like this.

"I think the big difficulty that we all have is when, no disrespect to us, you know a team is far better than you then you have to try and find a way. If you just open up and say, 'We're going to play like Liverpool, have our two full-backs up the pitch and we'll attack at every opportunity' then you face being blown away because they can do that to you.

"If you open up against them and leave big spaces for them to run in behind you, then you're going to be totally punished so there's that conundrum. Back when I played, everybody started playing one centre forward against us.

"Back in the day, there always used to be two but people then put an extra midfield player in and it's what you do because you're under threat of getting a hiding."

On his players:

"They’re a resilient lot. They roll their sleeves up and have a go for each other which is vitally important. We’ve played Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool in the first six weeks and we’ve given a decent account of ourselves in all those games so that pleases me.

On Krafth's miss at 1-2:

"I thought we didn't handle the ball as well as we did at Spurs. Listen, we had a big chance at 2-1. No matter how well they've played, at 2-1 after an hour, and if you miss that chance, then you're not going to get many so that was a big, big, big turning point.

"When you’re in it and you’ve got something to play for, of course it’s always that gives you a little bit more energy. It would have been great to get in at half-time at 1-1. Second half they were very, very, very good. It was just wave after wave.

"Thankfully we stuck at it and showed a bit of resilience. We had a big chance at 2-1 and it might have been a bit unjust but when you come to places like this you don’t get too many of those kind of chances. If that had gone in, it would have been a different story."

On Mane's second goal:

"I am sure when Martin (Dubravka) looks at it he will know he should have done better."

On Firmino and his colleagues:

"He drops into them little areas where he’s very difficult to pick up. That’s the standard they have. You’re a bit relieved when he’s not starting. "He’s been away on international duty probably but he made the difference when he came on. He’s a terrific player."

"Their front three are as good as you're going to play against I think as a threat to you but the way they play, with the intensity, the full-backs are only young and the delivery they bring into your box you can see why they're champions of Europe.

"Liverpool are as good as you get. You can understand why they are European champions and lost once last year. They are an excellent, excellent team with pace and creativity and at the top end of the pitch they damage you. They are going to be there or thereabouts."

They Said

Jurgen Klopp:

On how much he enjoyed his side's performance:

"I started enjoying after 25 minutes around about when we arrived finally in the game. We needed that, we didn't want to have that but it's not unlikely that it can happen because it was really difficult. Newcastle did what they did, they do that really well and are always a threat for counter-attacks. It's difficult to press them because they play the ball that early, constantly in a second-ball formation but then they have the speed to go in behind, plus Joelinton is really physically strong fighting for these balls. That's how they scored the goal, we played them onside unfortunately. 

In all the other situations, they were clear offside, but that was the moment. Then we all know that it makes a game not easier. We needed another 15, 16 minutes to set the rhythm then because you have to play much quicker than we did in the first part of the game.

In the moment when we started doing that, immediately we had our moments, we had chances, scored two wonderful goals. Second half, learning from the game and showing the boys a couple of pictures which helps always because you can then justify the situation right – where's the space and things like this. 

Second half we scored only one goal, but we played really good football and I liked it a lot. There were a few moments I enjoyed, not a lot but a few and enough to be the deserved winner today.

On Roberto Firmino's impact when he came on:

"It was my idea to start with Sadio in the centre and Div out on the left wing. It didn't work out really well but it worked already for us really well. But today against such a deep-defending side, it's a bit different. That's why we changed it already in the game. Unfortunately Div twisted his ankle early in the game and had to come off. We all hope that it's not that serious. That he could play on could be a sign that it's not that serious, hopefully it's like this. But of course when Bobby came on in his natural position, Sadio really flexible in that space, Mo really strong today in one-v-one situations against physical strong players. 

In the moment when we were more flexible on Sadio and Bobby's position and when we used Mo more often for balls into his feet and one-twos in and around the box, we were then really in charge of the game. That's obviously important. We won a lot of second balls and there were not so many counter-attacks anymore, so it was then a really good game.

"How I said, wonderful goals, really. The first goal was, of course, sensational. Nice pass Robbo, sensational finish Sadio. Second goal, winning the ball back, (Firmino) then passes immediately in behind, super run from Sadio and then really being there. And then the third goal, wonderful. But we had even better moments which we didn’t finish off. Nice football moments today.

On the recovery after the early Newcastle goal:

"I am not too pleased about it because I think it is the job to do. We can't only perform on the best days in our life. If there is an average day, you still have to win. We have to learn from the game and that’s how it is. The challenge after international breaks is always to find a common rhythm again. Before we had that obviously, but then the boys played for different countries in different ways. Then somebody gives us one-and-a-half days to work on that, that's not too much and then you need to use the game actually to come in. Yes, we had to do that plenty of times and that's why I'm not happy or whatever. We have to. 

"The boys did and that's good, but we needed longer. It was not 1-0 and now click, we are now here. We needed really longer and that's OK. As long as we don't concede, then there's always a chance for us to come back in the game. Of course, it helps that we know that.

On whether he was surprised VAR didn't intervene when Joel Matip felt he was fouled in the penalty area by Jamaal Lascelles...

"The fourth official told me they did it. Was I surprised that it was still not a penalty? Yes, but that doesn't help obviously in situations like this being surprised. 

"For me, it was a clear penalty but as long as you win then it's not that issue. If we would sit here and then we had lost 1-0 and then we would speak differently about the penalty. But it's a penalty, we cannot fight like this for a ball – Joel Matip, it's a wrestling situation, he turns him in the air. 

"In the past we didn't need VAR for these decisions, so we should not use it now. Just whistle it and shoot from the penalty spot."


Jetro Willems scored his first competitive goal for the club, becoming the 144th different Newcastle player and the sixth Dutchman to have done so in the Premier League. The man from Rotterdam is by no means a regular scorer; his last coming for PSV back in February 2017.

Gini Wijnaldum - the fifth name on that list - was on the field at the time for Liverpool; the other four were Patrick Kluivert, Vurnon Anita and Siem De Jong (NB: we define Dutch as playing internationally for the Netherlands; De Jong was Swis-born and Anita came from Curacao).

Following Jonjo Shelvey's goal at Norwich and Joelinton's effort at Spurs, the Willems strike means that Newcastle have found the net in their opening three PL away games; something they last managed to achieve in 2004/05.

And counting the closing three away games of last season, United have now scored in each of their last six PL fixtures on the road; their best run since managing ten in a row in the 2011/12 campaign (they got up to eleven in a row during the Championship season of 2016/17).

Willems scored our fastest goal at Anfield since Laurent Robert's fourth minute beauty made it 1-1 in an FA Cup tie back in January 2004. In PL games only, the on-loan midfielder's strike was the quickest since Robert Lee netted after three minutes here in April 1993.

Our goal today was the first here since Jack Colback netted in April 2016, ending a wait of 211 minutes. One has to go back to Daniel Agger's OG in December 2011 for the last time an NUFC goal was registered at the Anfield Road End in front of the away support, a wait of 612 minutes.

Going 1-0 up here in the PL era doesn't usually end well.....

2019/20 ahead for 21 minutes, lost
2013/14 ahead for 43 minutes, lost
2012/13 ahead for 24 minutes, drew
2011/12 ahead for 4 minutes, lost
2004/05 ahead for 3 minutes, lost
2003/04 ahead for 42 minutes, drew
1998/99 ahead for 38 minutes, lost*
1995/96 ahead for 52 minutes, lost^
1995/96 ahead for 13 minutes, won (League Cup)
1993/94 ahead for 87 minutes, won %

* Newcastle led 1-0 for 27 minutes and 2-0 for 11 minutes.
^ Newcastle led 2-1 for 41 minutes and 3-2 for 11 minutes.
% Newcastle led 1-0 for 53 minutes and 2-0 for 34 minutes. 

United have scored five goals in all competitions so far this season - and there have been five different scorers (messrs Shelvey, Joelinton, Schar and Willems plus Muto in the League Cup).

Magpies @ Anfield: PL era:

2019/20: Lost 1-3 Willems
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


As inevitable as the pre-game chorus of "You'll Never Walk Alone", another familiar tale of disappointment unfolded across the red side of Stanley Park on Saturday lunchtime.

25 years on since the famous day we won at Anfield in the Premier League, the intervening quarter of a century bringing only false hopes, broken dreams and tales of Magpie misfortune here. 

With the glorious exception of Steve Watson's League Cup goal seared into the memory until the end of days, fleeting moments of joy have been our staple diet - and today was to be no exception. 

It's not just us of course; no team has won a Premier League game here since April 2017 and a Liverpool side unbeaten this season duly it 43 games since they last lost here in the league. 

In the same number of top-flight games, we've been beaten 18 times at home.

On that basis it seems hardly worth anyone turning up....unless they've discovered an affiliation to the hosts. But - and it's a significant but - the 0.1% chance of "what if", the possibility of that logic-defying, coupon-busting victory remains. Just like our last away game, at Spurs.

Sadly miracles tend not to come along like buses and this was destined to be another exercise in futility, after 21 minutes of wonderment that followed a Jetro Willems wonder-strike.

The wing-back's magnificent effort gave his side a seventh minute lead and there followed a period of relative uncertainty for both home players and supporters - Jurgen Klopp visibly trying to rouse fans from their slumbers and inspire his side.

Reality had partially intervened when Emil Krafth and Jonjo Shelvey allowed Liverpool to breach our defences and level with a Sadio Mane finish that was one to rival that of Willems.

However it was an enforced substitution that ultimately put the Reds back on course - aided by a moment of ill-fortune or poor judgment, depending on your viewpoint. The ailing Divock Origi was unable to continue, but replacement Firmino showed little sign of his midweek jet-setting with Brazil and would inspire his club side to dismantle their opponents with admirable intensity.

It was Firmino's ball that set away Mane for his and Liverpool's second, Martin Dubravka beating him initially but deflecting the ball onto the striker and setting him up to walk the ball into the net.

At 1-2 the game was slipping away, but had Krafth been able to keep his shot down early in the second half after more Atsu wizardry on the left, it could have been more interesting. Sadly the Swede capped a forgettable day by blasting over in similar style to his effort away at Norwich.

Reaching the mid-point in the second half and still just trailing by that one goal, we'd shown zero threat to home custodian Adrian and wasted what set pieces we had managed to carve out. 

That wasn't the case at the other end, with some timely blocks and clearances from the visiting defence and a handful of vital interventions from Dubravka. Sadly though, an inspired passage of play from Liverpool ended in the killer third goal - prompting some shuffling towards the exits. 

With one eye on a Champions League tie on Tuesday, the hosts seemed content with the scoreline and our vague attempts at getting back into the game consisted of substitute Yoshinori Muto being flagged offside - wrongly in at least one case.

There was a late concern for the visitors when Fabian Schar limped off following earlier treatment, with some doubt post-match whether he was suffering from cramp or something more serious.

If nothing else, Newcastle gave their opponents a game as they had done at Gallowgate when the two sides last met back in May. Where that was a last-gasp victory for the Reds though, they won with a lot to spare here today. 

Taking nothing but pride from avoiding a heavy defeat is a thin return however; apart from the goal, we never set Liverpool any genuine puzzles here today.

No bookings for either side in what is increasingly a non-contact sport points to the fact that there was barely a cross word never mind a dodgy tackle and we were a little bit too unassuming.

The absence of Matt Ritchie removed some much-needed bile from our armoury, while the fielding of Shelvey gave those round him more work to do - Issac Hayden running himself into the ground.

Klopp was being polite when he spoke about Joelinton in glowing terms, while Miguel Almiron again indulged in blind alley runs, losing possession when greater numbers of home players arrived - unwilling or unable to find a pass before being crowded out. 

In fairness to the Paraguayan though, most of his touches were in his own half, setting off from deeper and deeper positions in a manner reminiscent of Peter Beardsley in the latter days of his first period at United.  

There are individual moments to savour, with Atsu prospering under Bruce, but as was the case at this point last season we're a bits and pieces side going forward. No lack of effort, little craft.

Injuries haven't helped: a new manager finding his way and new players bedding in meaning that we're a work in progress and searching for a viable style. Just six of the starting XI we fielded against Liverpool four months ago lined up here today; five of May's matchday 18 have departed. 

Our ultimate fate won't be decided by this result, but quite simply we need to spend more time in the opposition box during games - starting on Saturday against Brighton.   


Page last updated 17 September, 2019