In pursuit of their second Premier League win, Liverpool welcomed Newcastle United at Anfield in their Round Six match on Wednesday evening (August 31). The Reds, who scored a massive 9-0 victory over Bournemouth in their last appearance, were thoroughly tested by the Magpies. In the end, the depth of their squad came to the rescue, with substitute Fabio Carvalho scoring the last-gasp winner to secure a hard-fought 2-1 win for the hosts. Roberto Firmino scored the other goal for the Reds, while Alexander Isak scored for Newcastle.
Liverpool achieved their first real opening game in the 34th minute, with Firmino playing Luis Diaz. The Colombian cleverly took the ball around the goalkeeper but lost his balance before he could shoot it wide, resulting in a stray effort. Four minutes later, Newcastle record signing Isaacs announced his entry to the Premier League, quietly turning from Sean Longstaff’s through pass.
Ten minutes into the second half, Isak rushed into the penalty area, overpowered two defenders, and found the net past Alisson. Unfortunately for the Swede, the flag was raised for offside. In the 60th minute, Harvey Elliott made Liverpool’s first shot on goal. His effort was tame, but it was a clear sign of the hosts’ intent. A minute later, Firmino ran away in celebration after hitting the net from inside the Newcastle area.
The Reds kept pushing the men forward, but Newcastle held out. The deadlock was finally broken in the eighth minute of stoppage time when Carvalho turned emphatically from close range, to seal his side’s 2-1 victory.
It was a mixed performance from Jurgen Klopp’s sons, with some players showing up while others disappointed. Here are three Liverpool players who rose and two who were disappointed in their win over Eddie Howe’s side on Wednesday:
Performed by: Harvey Elliott
Harvey Elliott was a force to be reckoned with against Newcastle United on Wednesday night. He was at the center of every great move by the Reds, assisting Firmino beforehand with a goal (passing to Salah), and overcoming challenges away from the magpies with unimaginable ease.
Against Newcastle, Elliott made a decisive pass, sent four long balls with precision, won six duels, and two fouls. If the 19-year-old continues this way, it won’t take long for him to become one of the first names on Klopp’s squad.
Underperforming: Jordan Henderson
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson suffered a tough outing against Newcastle. He often reacted sluggishly, failed to spot a few clear passes, and played a role in the visitors’ opening goal in the first half. He sticks his foot out in an attempt to clear the ball. His dribble did more harm than good as the ball went straight to Longstaff, who played Isaac with a perfectly weighted pass.
Before getting hooked in the 71st minute, Henderson lost two of his four duels, waived possession seven times, and misplaced a long ball. A nice shot between Luis Diaz in the first half was the highlight of the match.
Performed by: Roberto Firmino
With Darwin Nunez suspended and Diogo Jota out injured, Roberto Firmino was named to fill the role of center forward on Wednesday night. The Brazilian, who scored a brace in the previous Premier League match for Merseyside, came back again, scoring the equalizer in the 61st minute. The goal was nothing unusual, but his shot from close range sparked confidence.
Firmino was regularly diving deep to unite with his teammates, create chances, and hold up in aerial duels. On Wednesday, Firmino made two base passes, achieved a passing accuracy of 82.5% (33 accurate passes), won three aerial duels, and attempted to interfere.
Underperforming: Trent Alexander Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold had a terrible match by his standards against the Magpies. His distribution was elusive, he lost possession frequently, and he was forthright in moving forward as well.
Before being passed on to match-winning Carvalho in the 71st minute, Alexander-Arnold lost possession 29 times and lost 10 of 11 crosses and seven of 11 long-pass attempts. He also played a role in the Newcastle goal, as the wayward assisted the visitors in reinforcements leading up to Isaacs’ strike.
Performed by: Mohamed Salah
Last season, Mohamed Salah emerged as the top scorer in the Premier League (23 goals) and the best assist maker (13 assists). The Egypt international has yet to replicate his form from last season but took two decisive steps in the right direction at Anfield on Wednesday. Salah’s frustration continued in front of goal, as he failed with a single shot on goal. However, he assisted in Liverpool’s two goals against Newcastle.
In the 61st minute, he brilliantly cut the ball off the right flank for Firmino, who was waiting inside the penalty area to finish it. Then, immediately upon death, Salah went on an aerial challenge after executing a corner kick. The ball bounced off him and fell to Carvalho, who shot it past Nick Pope.
In addition to the assists, Salah made six key passes, completed three dribbles, and won five ground duels and two fouls.
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