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Newcastle 2 Liverpool 3 (May 4 2019)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

They’re all big, but this was surely the biggest win of the season all things considered. There were so many things going against us and from the moment of Newcastle’s first equaliser it had that 2014 Selhurst Park feeling about it. Was this where our brave title challenge was finally going to die?

 

Nope. These lads. Fucking hell. They just never give up and they’ll dig as deep as they need to dig to find a way to get the job done. St James’ Park was like a bear pit. Newcastle’s fans and players produced their best performance of the season. They made it massively difficult for our lads, who three days earlier had expended a huge amount of physical and mental energy in Camp Nou.

 

So much was against us and if this was the hurdle that we’d finally fallen over, I don’t think there would have been any recriminations, only sympathy and admiration for such a valiant effort. We stumbled and looked as though we’d crash into that last hurdle, but then somehow the boys summoned up the energy to clear it. The hurdles are all behind us and now there’s just the race to the line with City. It's gone to the final day, which is an incredible effort.

 

I can’t even describe the admiration I’ve got for Klopp and this team. Setbacks don’t phase them, they merely inspire them to an even greater effort. Bobby was ruled out (probably for the season) and we would later lose Mo. Two thirds of our devastating forward line missing, while Sadio wasn’t really a factor at all as he looked completely goosed in the second half. Yet we ended up winning anyway. It wasn’t pretty, but it was ballsy. 

 

We had lots of fortune, some good and some bad. It was a crazy game, one of those mad ones we used to have all the time. We’ve developed our game to a level where this doesn’t happen too often these days, but sometimes the strategy and control goes out of the window and you have to stand in the middle of the ring and trade punches. That’s what happened here.

 

I mentioned the Palace 3-3 in the opening paragraph, and I had that feeling from early on. Newcastle were fired up and for once we just never looked comfortable defensively. They used Rondon as a battering ram and then got players up in support of him, and I’m struggling to think of a time this season when we looked less secure at the back. 

 

Lovren just couldn’t cope with Rondon. He was trying to win the physical battle with him but couldn’t. Rondon was too strong for him. Not just that, as well as being a big powerful unit, he’s a good player too. And clever. Newcastle’s tactics were to get everyone behind the ball and when they got possession they’d just launch it to the big man. Usually that doesn’t work against us, but this time it did.

 

Partly because Lovren struggled, and also because of the tired legs in the rest of the side, especially in midfield. Lovren was poor but I don’t think this was one of those ‘meltdown’ games he’s had, where his head completely goes and his emotions get the better of him. I think mentally he was fine, he just got thoroughly outplayed by Rondon. 

 

Even Virgil didn’t look completely comfortable when he came up against him. Interestingly, Fabinho probably dealt with him better than anyone when he eventually dropped into the back four when Milner replaced Lovren. He’s a damn good centre back is Fabinho. 

 

Carragher made the point in commentary that Lovren should have been telling Fabinho to sit in on Rondon when Newcastle were hitting it long. I don’t know why this just doesn’t happen anyway. Fabinho shouldn’t need telling to do that as it’s just common sense for a holding midfielder, especially when you see that your centre back isn’t winning the headers. 

 

Lovren should have asked for help (he had the same problem against Lukaku last year) but his ego probably doesn’t allow him to do that. He prides himself on winning the physical battles but Rondon had his number and steps should have been taken to deal with the problem. Between them, Klopp, Lovren, Fabinho and Henderson and Van Dijk should have sorted that issue much sooner.

 

It’s irritating how we seem to get everybody’s best effort when they play us though. Granted, Newcastle beat City so I’m not putting them in the ‘roll over and tickle our belly, Pep’ category with Everton, Bournemouth, Chelsea, United and others, but it’s galling seeing a team with essentially nothing to play for, coming out frothing at the mouth and playing like their lives depended on it. 

 

 

 

This is just a teaser, click to view the full article

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

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Alehouse tactics like Newcastle's do often cause us issues if the CF is half decent.  Rondon had a very good game yesterday and gave our CBs - especially Lovren - a bit of a torrid time all game.  We'll have a different sort of challenge against Wolves.

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Newcastle's shithouse fans, sheesh. Championship club with small-time gobshite supporters. I thought Chelsea was as bad as it can get but somehow these knobheads were worse. A black and white Everton. It's been a long while since I was at a game that I enjoyed less, or more. 

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Brilliant report, one of your best.

Newcastle fans  - used to think we had some affinity with them, but they're just a bunch of slow witted,deluded morons from the land that time forgot. 

Poetic justice - Ritchie conceding that 'foul' - serves him and them fucking right for kicking Mo from pillar to post.

Double standards - countless column inches devoted to Fabinho's flop in the media....... for doing what Kane and many others do every fucking game, including the dive that led to Spurs' equaliser at Anfield a few weeks back. Nobody was too bothered about that, were they? Fed up reading other fans suggesting that we're the media darlings, bizarre.

Marriner - something really dodgy about him. The Mane kick in the head, Ritchie's constant fouling of Mo, including that nasty rake down the achilles....... allowing THAT Burnley goal direct from the corner. The week after that game, he almost single-handedly got City back in the game when they were 2-0 down at Swansea. Just saying, like.

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Couldn't bring myself to read the Barca report Dave. I got a paragraph in and had to bail as I just couldn't stomach it. Fuck knows how you managed to write it up.

 

This one has rewarmed the cockles though. 

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Living in the North East as I do I can confirm that they are the most delusional fans around, hate that club. All the sweeter was the result therefore.

Harsh on Robbo not getting the MotM, he is amazing. Chasing the ball down in the opposition half, forcing them onto an error out of nothing which led tot he Sturridge chance. What a find he was, never saw it coming at all two years ago.

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‘In fact, fuck everyone who isn’t us, except Leicester and maybe Brighton (I’ll let you know after tonight). Fuck them all’. 

 

Is fucking right!

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