With their crushing defeat in the hand of the Barcelona, many speculated how the state of mind in Liverpool be, Will they be hiding? With the Newcastle United, are they going to stumble facing them, as they were led by their former UEFA cup winner Manager Rafael Benitez and Newcastle defeated the league’s front runner Manchester City in their home 2-1 on January 29th. But whatever we think or feel from outside, Liverpool is a professional team, they can handle the pressure and defeat; and a new game is a new opportunity to capitalize on. And considering their past record Liverpool indeed lost only once in their last 5 games with Newcastle, that’s a record in favor of them.
Liverpool went to the St.James Park, Newcastle with the expectation of a victory to remain on the Premier League title race. But considering history, Liverpool had bitter experience there, only won in 2013. So considering two conflicting trends, in one they won 2-2-1 against Newcastle but did very badly at St.James Park and they had the extra pressure of coming out of losing their match with Barcelona and of EPL title.
In the game, Liverpool managed a hard fought victory by the late goal of the substitute player Divock Origi. This victory put the pressure back on the Manchester city, not giving any breather and ensuring the title to go on until the very last matches. Unlike Barcelona resting their key players, like Lionel Messi, Liverpool couldn’t afford to rest key players for the upcoming 2nd leg of UEFA semifinal.
In the first 10 minutes, there were constant D-box penetrations by the Liverpool, on the 11th minute Salah got the ball just on about the right side of the post but his shot went by the side. On the 13th minute, Liverpool went ahead 1-0 as unmarked van Dijk headed the ball came from a corner kick went through the net. In the 20th Newcastle equalized by a goal by Christian Atsu, capitalizing from a complete chaos In the Liverpool D-box when Alexander-Arnold stopped the ball by his hand on the goal line which bounced back to Newcastle’s Atsu, who sent it home. A goal that definitely saved Trent Alexander-Arnold from a definite red card and a penalty for Newcastle. In the next 8 minutes, Newcastle put some pressure on the D-box and Liverpool’s goalkeeper made some spectacular saves before Salah scored from a beautiful long cross from the right sideline provided by Trent Alexander-Arnold. On the 33rd minute, Sadio Mane was denied another goal for the Liverpool, when he failed to put the ball pass Dubravka. At the half time, Liverpool led 2-1. On 50th minute misses a great opportunity to score by Daniel Sturridge shooting a wild skyward shot, except goalkeeper nobody was in front him, he was to shot by either side of or over the goalkeeper, who was standing very near to him. On the 54th minute, Newcastle’s Rondon equalizes again, converting a corner, which after the corner kick, defended by a Liverpool player and then headed to him by a New castle player towards him which he made sure to reach the net. On the 67th, in the attack by Newcastle, Manquillo’s cross into the Liverpool was missed both their forward. On the very next minute trying to head at a flighted long pass originated near the midfield into the penalty box, Salah collided with the goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. Following Salah’s head injury, its became doubtful about the Egyptian’s next UEFA semifinal appearance, but Salah’s injury provided a great opportunity for the 23-year-old Belgian Divock Origi, scoring the match winner at the 86th minute.
Liverpool played very hard in their way through to clinch the EPL title but, Manchester City is currently in form, it is expected of them to win the next two remaining matches to become EPL. Only an upset may fulfill Liverpool’s dream and they are hopeful of reaching the final, for that they have to win big in the second leg of the semifinal against Barcelona.