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Football News: Liverpool v Newcastle Review 4 May 2019

Liverpool v Newcastle Review 4 May 2019
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Newcastle vs Liverpool - not a good game for the heart but a really gritty win in pretty testing circumstances with a rambunctious St. James Park to contend with.

Klopp - I'll never be convinced that Sturridge should play anymore. So slow and lacking in work rate that it just hamstrings the entire team. With Firmino out for the rest of the season it'll be interesting to see what team Klopp selects vs Barcelona. I thought we played well enough to beat Newcastle but struggled, especially defensively, with their excellent work rate and the very tricky Rondon. Lovren certainly didn't have his best game but, overall, we did enough to win and the positive changes made from the bench (a Shaq freekick onto Origi's head) was a vital contribution.

Alisson - I feel a little sorry for Alisson because he really is used as a get out of jail free card by the rest of the defence. Under pressure? Pass it back to Alisson. Don't know what to do? Pass it back to Alisson. No faith in your own ability to pick a pass? Pass it back to Alisson. It is lucky that he is so good with his feet however it will cost the team if they keep doing it. Powerless to stop the second goal though could argue he could've done better with the initial shot for their first. Overall though a decent game,

Robertson - caused them a lot of problems down the left but his distribution, especially his crosses, was far from ideal. Failed to get anywhere near the man crossing the ball for the first goal and, defensively, did not impose himself on his side of the pitch. Should be doing better.

TAA - Excellent going forward and provided a peach of a cross for our second. He really adds another dimension to our attack as an attacking outlet with the skill to deliver quality balls into the box at a consistent rate. Robertson has the ability to produce an excellent cross too it just seems he needs many more chances to do so. Defensively he was OK though didn't deal with Atsu particularly well and was, as is liable to happen, caught up the pitch a number of times.

Lovren - very, very shakey game from the Croat. Looked all at sea at times and was bailed out by Fabinho and Van Dijk on a number of occasions. It was a very intense game, and he has not played all that much recently, so it is perhaps understandable, but he'll want to be putting in better performances in future.

Van Dijk - much better and, when we were under a lot of pressure, managed to hold the defence together and get us over the line. Scored a free header from a corner early on then, like the rest of the team, seemed to switch off. Had a good second half though and performed much better.

Fabinho - A mixed game for the Brazilian as he broke up play, and got stuck into tackles very well, covering for wandering fullbacks a number of times and settling the midfield. In the ball he was not at his best though and did not really get to see his excellent passing range. A shame as the midfield was crying out for someone to take it by the scruff of the neck and control it.

Henderson - lots of endeavour but not all that much in terms of contribution going forward. Seems to have reverted to a more defensive role again whether that be at the behest of Klopp, or his own doing, who knows but whilst he runs and tackles well he certainly doesn't effect play as much offensively. Always neat in possession though.

Wijinaldum - he was decent without ever venturing beyond that level. Had moments were he broke up the play well and others were he looked overwhelmed. Similarly going forward he linked well at times but seemed lacking in ideas and belief at others. By no means a bad game but can certainly improve.

Salah - very lively, full of running, took his goal well and made Newcastle's life difficult. Was on the end of a number of niggling tackles by Ritchie who really should of seen a yellow card in that game. Cleaned out by the keeper with what looked a nasty bang to the head and, thankfully, was taken off. Our medical team do at least seem to put the players health first, as opposed to others who try and get players to play on regardless of the injury suffered. Is weird how if a player so much as breathes on a keeper he'll be penalised but a keeper can rush out and smash through players without any fear of repercussions. I'm not saying the keeper was malicious - but he didn't try in anyway to avoid Salah and Salah was off the pitch as a result.

Mane - very lively first half and had a really clear chance which he should of done better with. It was probably one his least effective performances for quite some time but, such are the levels he has been playing at, that this is bound to happen at some point. Still caused Newcastle problems though and they had to defend well to really keep him at bay.

Sturridge - really poor and just does not look like he is able to play at this level anymore. Laboured in possession, lethargic out of possession, minimal contributions to the game. The only thing he offers is the potential to fizz one in as he can still whack the ball with power. Apart from that he is a shadow of the player he was and shows how much we miss Bobby when he doesn't play.

Subs:

Milner - got a yellow card for a rubbish tackle, made a few other bizarre tackles and as basically just a body in midfield to try and contain Newcastle as we went for the win. Not his best showing.

Shaqiri - didn't make a big difference when he was on the ball but the quality of his set piece delivery was immediately apparent as everyone he took seemed to test Newcastle. Trent is an excellent set piece taker as well but, at this moment in time, Shaqiri is surely our best from a technical stand point. His set piece lead to our goal, a good cameo from him.

Origi - came on for the injured Salah and immediately offered more than Sturridge had all game. As a substitute his strength and physicality, against tiring players, is a useful weapon and he used it to full effect. It was a good header and a vital contribution.

Conclusion:

We played well enough to win, Newcastle made it really difficult and were highly motivated. I think a lot of the bounces and bobbles - the luck if you will - seemed to fall their way, for whatever reason, and our resilience to keep going and find a winner, under such trying circumstances, must be applauded. The most important thing in this game wasn't our performance but getting the three points. It wasn't pretty at times but that was a gritty, hard fought win and one which the players should be proud of. We can't control Cities fortunes, only our own, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure those fortunes favour us. One more game to go: Wolves are playing very well and with a lot of swagger, we'll have to play better than this to get the three points. Barcelona next - Bobby is a huge loss, if Salah misses out as well then it would truly be one of the greatest comebacks of all if we were able to turn it around - it is difficult, but not impossible, and this squad has shown, time and again, that it is able to square up to, and conquer, adversity. I hope we, as fans, can look forward to tuesday with positivity and, as the 12th man, give the team that will to do the incredible.

As the season draws to an end its worth looking back and realising what a fantastic season it has been. Good football, excellent results, excitement, drama - it's been a pleasure. I sometimes get lost in the negative emotions of a defeat or disappointment but, taking a step back, it has been a phenomenal season, however it concludes. As a club we continue to make strides forward - in my life time (i'm 34, only really got into watching football when I was like 11 so 94/ 95ish season) this is the best Liverpool team and squad I have seen, and that gives me a lot of faith going forward. The balls in city's court now, let's see how they handle the pressure.

Written by Seano_ May 05 2019 16:37:12

 

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