Liverpool climbed up to second place after yesterday’s win over Newcastle and maintained their unbeaten run in the league at Anfield this season.
It was a comfortable victory for the Reds as Newcastle didn’t really threaten much and it was no surprise to see the familiar faces of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane on the scoresheet. Salah broke the deadlock just before half-time after a good bit of build-up play from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who teed up the Egyptian for his 24th goal of the season. The Reds doubled their lead just after the restart after Roberto Firmino set up Mane to slot home in the 55th minute.
One thing Liverpool fans are enjoying at the minute is just how good Mo Salah is. The Egyptian has scored 26 goals in 39 appearances that he has played in so far this season, no other player in Europe’s Top 5 leagues has scored more. He combines his work rate with the attacking exploits that you could compare to former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and should Salah score his next match, he will equal Daniel Sturridge’s record of scoring in eight consecutive matches for the Reds.
One good thing that still remains is that Anfield can still be considered a fortress. Crystal Palace where the last team to win back in April last year when Christian Benteke’s scored, this wins makes it 17 games unbeaten on home soil in the Premier League. The only loss at Anfield this season comes from the Reds FA Cup exit to West Brom earlier this year. Could the Reds go the remainder of the season unbeaten at home? I certainly think so.
It was clear that Rafa Benitez had a plan when the game kicked off yesterday, but Liverpool knew it was coming. Mohamed Diame and Mikel Merino set the tone for the midfield, they were everywhere, shutting down spaces for our attack to run into, winning the ball back and then trying to set their forward players onto an attack. Firmino, Mane and Salah were all feeding off scraps in the opening 30 minutes of the game with neither really threatening majorly in the first half up until Salah’s 40th minute breakthrough. Mane later doubled the lead making that LFC’s 200th goal in the Premier League under Jürgen Klopp in just 97 games.
One stand-out performer from yesterday’s match has got to be Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. When he arrived for a fee of £35 million in the summer from rivals Arsenal, everyone questioned his ability to fit into this Liverpool team. It took a while for the midfielder to get to grips with the side and for the fans to take to him but once he found his flow he put in some great performances and you could see him at his best yesterday. Against Newcastle he was driving forward with the ball, picking out passes and tracking back to help out in defence.
There was a number of times when he drove forward and had the opportunity to shoot but passed it instead, I would have liked to have seen him have a few efforts at goal when in this position. It was a bit surprising when Klopp took him of in the 79th minute but I assume it’s just a precaution to make sure he is fit enough for the next game. He took away Man of the Match yesterday and rightly so as he put in a solid performance which can secure his positon in midfield for the next game.
Article by Lauren Black
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