EPL: Liverpool Nab Victory to Reach Premier League Summit
Liverpool temporarily replaced Manchester City as the Premier League (PL) leaders after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park courtesy of a Naby Keita’s goal.
Liverpool’s dreams of an unprecedented quadruple continue after condemning the ‘Magpies’ to an 11th straight league H2H without victory.
THECONSCIENCENG reports that the 54th PL meeting between these two sides promised goals, with only one of their previous H2Hs producing a goalless draw. The ‘Reds’ rested key players Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold after their European excursions, and they clearly needed an adjustment period in a frantic opening on Tyneside. Such is their class, though, Liverpool soon got to grips with things and began to look dangerous, as Naby Keïta demonstrated when flashing his effort wide inside the opening 10 minutes.
The Guinean would find his range soon afterwards, giving Jürgen Klopp’s men the lead in controversial circumstances. James Milner’s crunching challenge on Fabian Schär was deemed fair, and the visitors took full advantage. Keïta was played in after an incisive give-and-go with Diogo Jota, before rounding Martin Dúbravka and slotting home between two sprawling defenders on the line. That strike only added to their impetus, and Jota came close to adding a second before the interval, as his powerful header was tipped over the bar.
The travelling supporters would’ve had good reason for optimism at Halftime, as they’ve not seen their side surrender a Premier League Halftime lead since December 2016, although that was against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth. The ‘Magpies’ boss certainly inspired an improvement from his side after the break, who noticeably enjoyed more time on the ball, but they were still susceptible at the back, as Sadio Mané proved when firing wide from close range.
The Senegal international was perhaps lucky to escape a sending off after a late challenge on Dúbravka, and was duly replaced by Salah. Within minutes, both he and Jota had chances to double the lead, but were thwarted by the Newcastle shot-stopper. Despite their relentless pressure continuing, Liverpool failed to add to their lead but held on for a 13th victory in their last 14 league outings. 11 clean sheets in that run underlines their dominance, as the ‘Reds’ now hope Pep Guardiola’s defending champions slip up when they travel to Leeds United.