Liverpool Player Ratings vs Newcastle (December 16, 2021)

Written By Uttiyo Sarkar on December 16, 2021

Liverpool continued their impressive Premier League run against Newcastle United – the league’s newest super-rich club. The Reds handed Newcastle a humbling at Anfield – coming up with a decisive 3-1 win to extend their winning run to 8 games!

The visitors took a surprising lead out of nowhere in the 7th minute – when ex-LFC midfielder Jonjo Shelvey scored an impressive long-ranger to make it 1-0!

That only woke the Reds up – with Diogo Jota scoring the equalizer in the 19th-minute with a sharp close-range finish to make it 1-1! It took six more minutes for LFC to take the lead – with Sadio Mane pouncing on a sloppy backpass from Shelvey and having a shot saved – only for Mo Salah to score from the rebound to make it 2-1 in the 25th-minute. 

Despite Newcastle’s early opener, Liverpool fully dominated the first half with 76% of the possession and could’ve had more if the finishing was better.  Liverpool came out the second half with an intent to build on their lead, but were constantly frustrated by the brilliant Martin Dubravka.

However, Trent Alexander-Arnold hit an absolute piledriver in the 87th minute which even Dubravka couldn’t save, making it 3-1 and sealing the win. It wasn’t the most ruthless outing, but an important win for LFC to stay close to the first position.

With Chelsea drawing to Everton, it looks like the Reds again have to fight Man City in the title race. This was a solid victory before the tricky trip to Tottenham at the weekend. 

Here are Liverpool player ratings vs Newcastle.

Liverpool Player Ratings vs Newcastle

Manager

Jurgen Klopp (7.5) – 

With Van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones down with Covid-19, Klopp has been forced to make some tweaks. Despite missing some key players, Klopp ensured that his team’s intensity wasn’t decreased. Motivated his side to bounce back strongly from going a goal down and ensure no shocks were to take place today. 

His subs also livened things up, with Firmino assisting Trent’s strike and Keita setting up some late chances. Just has to keep this winning momentum in check to put the pressure on City and make them crumble in the title race. 

Goalkeeper

Alisson (6.0) –

Left rooted to his spot for Shelvey’s goal. Does brilliantly to save Allan Saint-Maximin’s thunderous effort in the 23rd. Not really tested much after that, having a relatively quiet night. 

Defenders

Trent Alexander-Arnold (8.5) –

Trent is keeping things relatively quiet down his side and moving the ball forward with his sweet passes. Sets up a sweet chance for Mane with a great set-piece in the 56th. Makes a fantastic, goal-saving tackle to deny Fraser a goal-scoring chance in the 64th. 

Caps off a brilliant performance with an incredible long-range goal late in the game. He was defensively superb, created chances and scored a world-class strike. What a player!

Ibrahima Konate (6.5) –

Comes in as Van Dijk’s replacement for this. Sharp at the back and putting his rapid pace to good use. Dealt with the dangerous Saint-Maximin’s threat really well – using his speed to make clutch challenges. Helped his side see off a comfortable win after the shaky start. 

Joel Matip (7.0) – 

With no Van Dijk, Matip has to act as LFC’s defensive leader today. Did his job admirably well, nailing his tackles and clearances as well as moving the ball forward with utmost accuracy. 

Andy Robertson (7.0) – 

Robbo’s full of energy today and pressing the Newcastle players very smartly to create chaos. Operated like a wild hound throughout the game, showcasing admirably tenacity to win back possession & nullify Newcastle’s threat down his side. 

Midfielders

Thiago (5.5) – 

Thiago has a sloppy start, as his botched clearance opened up things for Shelvey’s goal. Then makes another horrible error in the 23rd, sloppily giving the ball away and causing nearly another Newcastle goal! His initial distribution was slick, but he has to stop making those catastrophic errors – which could really cost LFC on other days. 

Jordan Henderson (7.5) –

Captain Hendo’s back in a deeper midfield role and orchestrated things with utmost efficiency. He made more than 100 passes with 90% accuracy, distributing the ball all over the place. Acted like a leader in pressing the Newcastle players relentlessly even when the game was won. Didn’t let Fabinho’s absence be missed. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6.5) –

Ox is back in midfield for this game and sets up a great chance for Salah in the 35th – which really should’ve been converted. Grafted his way into winning midfield battles and carried the ball forward really efficiently. 

Forwards

Sadio Mane (6.5) – 

Mane’s troubling Newcastle with his sizzling movement. Set up Jota’s strike with a nice cross into the middle. Rapidly pounced on Shelvey’s mistake and able to take a shot after which Salah scored from the rebound. Nearly scores a worldie header in the 56th but denied by Dubravka’s heroics.

Denied by Dubravka again in the 80th when his weak attempt was parried away. Maybe a bit unlucky not to be on the scoresheet today. 

Mo Salah (7.0) –

Sizzling with his movement going forward and set up a nice chance for Jota early on. Scores a rather easy goal with a nice tap-in from the rebound of Mane’s attempt. Should’ve scored again in the 35th – missing a rare one-v-one chance from close range. Tries to trick his way into scoring a top corner curler in the 73rd – only to see it go wide. Taken off after another menacing performance. 

Diogo Jota (8.0) –

The in-form Portuguese forward tests Dubravka with a sharp shot in the 6th. Then smashes the side-netting with a thumping effort in the 19th. Finally scores two minutes later, tapping in home after having an initial header saved. Tried to get his second in the 31st with an ambitious long-range volley that went over the bar. 

Has a thunderous shot cleared off the line in the 81st! Jota tormented Newcastle with his relentless running and tendency to move into different areas. Continuously kept hurling shots on goal and slightly unlucky not to get more than one.

Substitutions

Roberto Firmino (7.0) –

Got the assist for Alexander-Arnold’s stunner. A solid cameo in his return from injury. 

Naby Keita (6.5) –

Looked very eager to get among the goals late on. Takes an ambitious shot from afar in the 85th that is saved by Dubravka. 

James Milner (N/R) –

Helped LFC seal the win towards the end. 

MAN OF THE MATCH

Trent was a hero everywhere today. He was defensively superb, created some big chances and then topped things off with that thunderous long-ranger. Definitely the MOTM for today. 

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Uttiyo Sarkar

An unbiased Manchester United die-hard. Lover of the beautiful game. Addicted to the Premier League and beyond. Hopeful writer in the search for the greater good.

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