Three delightful individual goals saw Liverpool conclude their league engagements on a winning note as they beat Steve Bruce’s Newcastle 3-1 at St.James Park.
Jurgen Klopp opted to make several changes from the side that had beaten Chelsea 5-3 in their last game, with the Reds’ attacking troika of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah all rested here.
The Magpies, who have a pretty good record at home this season, stunned pundits and fans alike by scoring in the first minute against the Reds. It was also NUFC’s fastest ever league goal this season and a former Liverpool player had a big hand in it- Jonjo Shelvey’s quick thinking saw him loop the ball over the Liverpool defence for Dwight Gayle to beat Alisson after just 24 seconds.
Liverpool took their time to get into the game, and Newcastle keeper Jan Dubravka was not really tested until a long range effort from Takumi Minamino forced him to make his first serious save.
Checking the pre-match odds from various sportsbooks at onlinecasinosnoop.com had the Reds as favourites, and they showed just why with three excellent goals.
The first came from centre-back Virgil van Dijk, who produced a wonderful looping header of the highest quality on 38 minutes that Dubravka was unable to get his hands on. To be fair to the Slovakian international, we doubt any keeper would’ve been able to save that.
Divock Origi made the most of his rare start with a fine goal close to the hour mark. He curled in an effort from the edge of the box past the despairing Dubravka to put the visitors 2-1 ahead. Origi has been cited in some circles as one of the reasons the Reds opted not to sign Timo Werner, who eventually joined rivals Chelsea, but goals like this will definitely help the Belgian striker’s cause going into next season.
Five minutes after Origi’s striker, Klopp unleashed his first choice trio from the bench, and Newcastle struggled to cope with them. Mo Salah had two excellent opportunities of his own- once denied by the post and the other by a last ditch Federico Fernandez tackle, but Liverpool finally got the third they were threatening to, with Sadio Mane curling home another beauty a minute from time.
There wasn’t much to play for either team, and we’ve seen league leaders drop points once they’ve been assured of the title. It happened to both Real Madrid (Spain) and Juventus (Italy) this season, but not the case with the Reds, whose victory took them to 99 points- the highest ever tally in the club’s history.
Newcastle 1 (Gayle) lost to Liverpool 3 (VVD, Origi, Mane)