What’s made this more difficult for them is that Coutinho’s been ruled out yet again. He’s been the most gifted player and the creative department lacks quality without his incisive passes. The onus was on Firmino to fill in, but the Brazilian seems to only produce his best when he is playing together with his compatriot.
Not much happened in the first half as Newcastle sat back and Liverpool hardly got a look in. It was very slow. Though, from a corner, Christian Benteke should’ve poked Liverpool into the lead from close range, but somehow managed to sky it over the bar.
In the second half, Jurgen Klopp looked to change it around in the last half hour, when he brought on Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana in a double change.
However soon after, Newcastle rode their luck as a rare foray forward saw Wijnaldum’s shot, although not on target, desperately passed into the net by Martin Skrtel for an own goal.
Soon after that, Sturridge should’ve equalised when running onto a good high ball. He could’ve moved it onto his favourite left foot but took it first time on his right and the shot went badly wide.
Then Liverpool actually equalised but Alberto Moreno was wrongly adjudged to have been off-side. David Origi came on in the last 20 minutes as Liverpool shifted to two upfront. Their urgency was too late though.
The team looked to be on a hangover after beating Southampton 6-1 in midweek, sluggish and misplacing passes all over the field.
In the last five minutes Skrtel was pushed forward as an extra forward to use his height but Newcastle scored on the counter with Wijnaldum clean through and slotting in easily.
The victory was desperately needed for Newcastle to restore their survival hopes.