Nathaniel Phillips was handed a Premier League start for Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp’s defensive resources having been further depleted.
With Joel Matip having joined long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the casualty list, Phillips was included along with former Magpies midfielder James Milner in two changes to the side which drew 1-1 with West Brom as Matip and Georginio Wijnaldum made way.
Newcastle Head Coach Steve Bruce made just one change in the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester City, striker Callum Wilson returning from an ankle problem in place of Miguel Almiron.
Newcastle started brightly with Wilson forcing two saves from keeper Alisson inside the opening 12 minutes and giving as good as they got for much of the half.
However, Liverpool might have taken the lead 11 minutes before the break when Mohamed Salah stabbed wide having seemingly done the hard work, and it took a fine reaction save from Karl Darlow to deny Roberto Firmino in stoppage time and ensure the sides headed back to the dressing rooms with the scoreline still 0-0.
Salah was guilty of another glaring miss after the break and Darlow produced another stunning save to prevent Firmino from snatching the win two minutes from time as Liverpool once again had to make do with a point.
Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota, on his home debut, all scored after Alexandre Lacazette had been gifted the opener after a Robertson error.
If the France international’s finish from Arsenal’s first shot on target in the 25th minute was not that convincing his performance in two second-half one-on-ones – one latterly flagged offside – with Alisson Becker was even less so and his misses will have left Mikael Arteta wondering what night have been on a wet Monday night in Anfield.
Liverpool dominated however and had 21 shots on goal compated to their opponents 4 and in truth looked very comfortable beofre Diogo Jota marked his debut with a late goal on the 88th minute.
Arsenal, with David Luiz restored to a back three and two holding midfielders in Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka, seemed in no mood to take the game to their hosts as Premier League newcomers Leeds had so thrillingly done on the opening weekend of the season.
Instead they sat back, rarely engaging as Liverpool played out from the defence, in the hope of hitting on the break.
There was a touch of fortune rather than thought about the Gunners opener with a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s over-hit cross mis-controlled by Andy Roberson into the path of Lacazette.
The France international also mis-kicked his shot but he succeeded in bouncing it into the floor and agonisingly over the outstretched arm of Alisson.
However, if Arteta was hoping to hold on to that lead his plan was dashed after 147 seconds as Leno parried Mohamed Salah’s shot and Mane pounced for the equaliser.
Seven minutes later Liverpool were ahead as yet another Alexander-Arnold cross found its target in the penalty area, this time his opposite full-back Robertson making amends for his earlier error by controlling on his chest and poking home.
The final word was left to Liverpool’s new signing Jota, on as a late substitute, who finally put the match to bed two minutes from time when he seized a weak David Luiz header, controlling and firing low into the Kop net having earlier wasted a better chance with only Leno to beat.
Liverpool are now joint top of the League with Leicester and Everton with the final score at Anfield Liverpool 3 – Arsenal 1.
Manchester City have announced that they will be honouring club legends David Silva and Vincent Kompany with statues outside the Etihad Stadium.
They should however tread carefully.
There have been some terrible attempts to honour footballing greats down the years. Lets take a look at the very best of the worst!
David Silva (Las Palmas)
David Silva has already been honoured in his home town of Las Palmas, Canaries.
Unveiled in 2009 the statue appears to either be a predicted depiction of Silva playing walking football at some point of 2040 or a tribute to Begbie from 90s hit movie Trainspotting.
Radamel Falcao (Santa Marta)
“Rule one of statue creation: Make sure it looks like the person.
Sadly not a rule obeyed by the man behind Radamel Falcao’s 19-foot immortalisation in his home town of Santa Marta.
At least they got the trademark celebration right.”
Michael Jackson/Nani (London/Manchester)
Nothing strange about putting a massive sculpture of Michael Jackson outside your football stadium right. Certainly, that was the view of former Fulham owner Mohammed Al Fayed who erected this monstrosity outside of Craven Cottage.
It didn’t help that it bared more than a passing resemblance to former Manchester United midfielder Nani either.
Al Fayed was keen to defend his piece of art when he responded to criticism of the statue saying:
“If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell. I don’t want them to be fans. If they don’t understand and don’t believe in things I believe in they can go to Chelsea, they can go to anywhere else.”
The statue has now (thankfully) been removed and was moved to display at Manchester’s National Football Museum before being removed in 2019
Carlos Valderrama (Santa Marta)
At least they got the hair right.
It’s hard to disagree that artist Amilcar Ariza created an instantly recognisable recreation of Columbian No10 Valderrama to be erected in his home town of Santa Marta.
However, you have to question his use of what would appear to be Super-Noodles to depict Carlos’ trademark locks and why he decided that “Jazz Hands” would be the ideal post is anyone’s guess?
Diego Maradona (Kolkata)
Why there is a statue of Diego Maradona in Kolkata, India is one thing, why it looks like a cross between Susan Boyle and Ian Krankie is another.
Best of all the unflattering 12ft bronze monstrosity was unveiled by the Argentine legend himself on a trip to the city. The man himself didn’t seem too upset saying;
“I am not a god of football but a simple footballer. I’m happy to be here in Kolkata again. It’s amazing to have my statue here.”
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
The first of two appearances from the Portuguese superstar in the list.
This one is certainly the lesser of two evils.
Erected in 2014 at Ronny’s CR7 hotel in Funchal, Portugal it’s not a bad likeness to the Juventus star… if it wasn’t for the slightly ludicrous bulge in the player’s shorts!
This has become somewhat of a visitor attraction in recent years with the lump in question have been polished to a shiny finish by people rubbing his shorts for good luck.
Ted Bates (Southampton)
Undoubtedly a Southampton legend it was no shock that the club wanted to mark Ted Bates 50 years of devotion to the Saints after his death in 2003.
Just over £100k was spent on the bronze statue that was removed after less than a week after prompting an angry reaction from supporters.
If you don’t recall what Ted Bates looked like in real life you can be assured that his arms and legs, in reality, were in perfect proportion with his body… unlike this statue.
Still not the biggest waste of money in the clubs history – that honour is still Dani Osvaldo’s.
Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
You have to admire the courage of attempting to honour both Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah and 70s disco icon, Leo Sayer, in one statue… but fair play to the artist who seems to have done just that.
The statue was unveiled in Salah’s home country of Egypt back in 2018 and was instantly likened to Gail Platt, Marv from Home Alone and even Beavis and Butthead… harsh.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Madeira)
The GOAT of terrible football statues has to be the bust of Christiano Ronaldo that was placed in Madeira airport in 2017 and unveiled by the man himself.
The bronze head appears to be the love child of Niall Quinn and Bez from the Happy Monday’s and was widely mocked on social media when it first showed its (ridiculous) face to the world.
Sculptor Emanuel Santos said his work was just “a matter of taste” but it certainly didn’t fit with the taste of Ronaldo’s family who asked for it to be replaced. It was, a year later, on the same day that Ronaldo scored a hattrick for his country vs Russia in the World Cup, with a far better likeness.
Not everyone is happy however and there has since launched a petition to have the old version of Ronny’s mug back in its place at the entrance to the airport – and rightly so!
Jurgen Klopp’s side haven’t broken the magic 100-point mark this season, but goals from Virgil Van Dijk, Divock Origi and Sadio Mane secured a winning end to 2019-20.
Klopp opted to rest a host of his stars for the trip to St. James’, and it looked like a mistake from the German, as his were caught out inside the first 30 seconds.
Former Reds midfielder Jonjo Shelvey wasted no time in clipping a quick free kick over Van Dijk, and Dwight Gayle raced clear to slot the hosts in front.
That goal was a shock to system for Liverpool, as they struggled to break Newcastle down.
But despite not creating much in the first half, Van Dijk headed them level just before the break from a whipped Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain free kick.
Liverpool were back the old selves after the break, as Van Dijk drew a fine stop from Martin Dubravka just after the restart.
Klopp’s side went up through the gears from there, as Origi curled them in front on the hour mark.
That goal took the edge off any potential Newcastle fightback, as Klopp brought on the cavalry of Salah, Mane and Firmino in the closing stages.
And with Newcastle looking tired in the closing minutes, Liverpool showed that touch of title winning ruthlessness, as Mane stepped onto Firmino’s pass to fire past Dubravaka.
FULL TIME ST. JAMES’ PARK IT’S NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 LIVERPOOL 3
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