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Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool: Klopp’s Reds stunned by impressive Magpies at St James’ Park

Sunday 6th December , 2015 6:26 pm
georginio_wijnaldum

Liverpool, chasing their fifth consecutive win, were left stunned by Newcastle United after Georginio Wijnaldum scored two goals to seal three crucial points for the Magpies.

After thrashing Southampton mid-week in the League Cup, confidence was high on Merseyside as the Reds travelled to St James’ Park hoping to extend their winning run against Steve McClaren’s Premier League strugglers.

Jurgen Klopp made six changes to the side that shocked the Saints, with Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Jordan Ibe, Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino returning to the starting line-up.

The German manager opted for Benteke to lead the line ahead of Daniel Sturridge, who has only recently made his return from injury, and the Belgian should have got his name on the scoresheet mid-way through the first half.

Ibe, who has grown in confidence under his new manager, made a bright start to the game and a bursting run on the right wing saw the teenager win Liverpool a corner.

The resulting set-piece met Dejan Lovren in the box, who sent the ball towards Benteke, but the former Aston Villa man could only fire his effort high over the bar from close range.

The Magpies, however, frustrated the visitors, with the Reds quickly becoming sloppy in possession and failing to threaten goalkeeper Rob Elliot.

With Liverpool struggling to create, McClaren’s men grew into the game and Papiss Cisse, enjoying one of his better performances in a Newcastle shirt, was becoming an increasing problem for the Reds defence.

And the Senegalese forward had a superb chance to give his side the lead late on in the first half.

After dispossessing Liverpool, the hosts quickly burst forward, and following some neat play in the centre of the park, Wijnaldum delivered the ball into the path of the unmarked Cisse. Cisse drove into the box, but was culpable of taking too long, allowing Lovren and Martin Skrtel to clear their lines.

The Magpies will no doubt have headed into the dressing room feeling that Liverpool were there for the taking following one of their most impressive halves of the season.

And the second half very much continued where it had left off, with Klopp continuing to cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines.

In what has been a rarity for Newcastle this term, there was an air of optimism among the crowd, and the spirit was clearly felt by the players, who began to push further up the pitch.

As Liverpool’s struggle to threaten continued, Klopp decided enough was enough, and shortly after the hour mark opted to bring on Adam Lallana and Sturridge, replacing Benteke and Firmino, in the hope of reviving what had been a lifeless attack thus far.

Having been on the pitch a matter of seconds, Sturridge and Lallana were already causing problems for the Newcastle defence, with both eager to get on the ball.

They didn’t, however, make the instant impact that Klopp may have hoped, and shortly after their arrival, the Magpies got their breakthrough.

With just over twenty minutes left on the clock, Wijnaldum was awarded too much space in the box and after easing past Lovren saw his strike on goal deflect off the foot of Skrtel and nestle into the back of the net.

Sturridge had a sublime chance to equalise after being played in by a perfectly weighted through ball from Lallana, but the England international dragged his effort wide of the far post.

Liverpool will have felt hard done by, though, when a long ball forward from Lucas was volleyed home by Alberto Moreno, only for the linesman to incorrectly rule the Spaniard offside.

The poor passes and sloppy touches, however, didn’t subside in the final minutes of the clash for the Reds, and Newcastle heaped further misery on the visitors in injury time, making it game over.

After stealing the ball off Milner on the right flank, Moussa Sissoko delivered an exquisite pass towards Wijnaldum and, after excellent control, the Dutchman coolly chipped Mignolet to score his second of the game and ease the nerves of the home crowd.

This was arguably Newcastle’s best performance of the season, and there’s no better time to put in such a display than before the hectic festive period.

For Klopp, meanwhile, it’s back to the drawing board.

 

 

Source: Talksport

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