Newcastle United – Liverpool: A Frenzy Of Attacking Football Decided By Late Winner (2-3)
A firecracker first-half gave us three goals, a potential red card and end to end football throughout. The second half was much the same; a tumultuous match that peaked in the 85th minute, where a winner may have helped decide the Premier League title race.
Tactical analysis and match report by Tom Quartly.
This tasty Saturday evening clash saw mid-table Newcastle United come up against title-chasing Liverpool. Just looking to see the season out on a high, Rafa Benítez’s side had seven points from their last five games. Wins against Leicester City and Southampton were overshadowed by a disappointing loss to Crystal Palace but Newcastle had been strong at home, the highlight being their win over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City back in January. A solid 5-4-1 formation was expected from a Benítez side that would attempt to frustrate Liverpool.
When Liverpool beat Newcastle 4-0 on Boxing Day, Benítez decided to change to this 5-4-1 formation and he has stuck to it ever since. Martin Dúbravka continued his fantastic season between the sticks for Newcastle. The back five had one change, Federico Fernández was replaced by club captain Jamaal Lascelles. Paul Dummett and Swiss international Fabian Schär began either side of him as Matt Ritchie joined Javi Manquillo as wingbacks.
Ayoze Pérez had shook off his hip injury and started out on the right, with Christian Atsu on the left. The central midfield area was occupied by Isaac Hayden and Ki Sung-Yueng, whilst lone striker Salomón Rondón began up top, looking for his tenth Premier League goal . . .