Newcastle’s visit to Anfield ended with a 2-0 loss with goals scored by Mo Salah and Sadio Mane. Salah scored in his seventh consecutive match while Mane put in his 5th in the past three games. When you’re hot, you’re hot!
The first goal was scored just 5 minutes before the first half came to a close after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played a nice ball into an open Salah who slotted the ball home between Dubravka’s legs. That was Salah’s third attempt on goal, but this time he would not be denied.
Right before half Newcastle got their best chance of the match. Mo Diame had a curling effort labeled for the top corner brilliantly saved by Loris Karius. If that ball had not been stopped, the second half could have been much different and Newcastle would surely be feeling good to come out tied. But that was not the case.
The next half did not produce any offense for Newcastle, instead Sadio Mane would calmly place a shot by Dubravka for Liverpool’s second and last goal of the day. A deficit that the Toon would not come back from. Controversy did strike at the end of 90 minutes as Lascelles may have gotten away with a potential red card. Lascelles was trailing a breaking Salah who would have gone in 1 on 1 with Dubravka if it weren’t for the captain’s challenge from behind. But no foul was given and more importantly no red card. Losing Lascelles for even one game would not be ideal.
So where does that leave Newcastle? With another loss, Newcastle have only won once in their past 7 league games. Not only that, the race to stay up is certainly heating up with only two points separating Newcastle from 18th and 19th place. Although Newcastle sits in 16th place, the Toon is only three points away from 12th place. Anything can happen in the final 9 games of the season. 3 of those games being against teams in the relegation battle.
What fans should be comfortable with is that we have Rafa Benitez as manager. There are bigger games down the road. Our next match is against a struggling Southampton at St. James’ Park. After that match, we won’t see a Premier League game for 3 weeks due to the international break and our match vs Tottenham being postponed. But when the Toon return, they match up against another team in the relegation battle, Huddersfield. Rafa has his work cut out for him.
#AshleyOut chants could be heard at Anfield... even Liverpool fans were applauding for the chants by the traveling fans. Benitez expressed his pleasure for the fans saying, “I am pleased with the fans. The Liverpool fans were really good for me.” Although Benitez did not win at his return to Anfield, he sure liked being back.