Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle United: Who was Man of the Match?

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Another win at Anfield for the handsome Reds. Even when going a goal down I doubt any Liverpool fan was particularly concerned, 3 points was always likely to be the result. That’s 5 wins from 5 Premier League games now with a trip to Naples up next in the Champions’ League.

The defence didn’t have a whole lot of defending to do. The Jetro Willems goal could have been avoided in the build-up as an offside trap seemed to go awry. However, there was very little anyone could to about the strike. Trent forced him onto his weaker foot before Willems thundered his shot past Adrian without him even seeing it. As for going forward, the fullbacks produced arguably their best performances of the season. After a difficult first 20 minutes, Robertson started to look like his usual self for the first time in 2019-20. Having Origi in front of him instead of Mane could have been a factor for his slow start to the match, but after the introduction of Firmino and therefore the switch of Sadio Mane to the left, he began to perform at the level we all expect. Similarly, on the other side, Alexander-Arnold looked sensational as he delivered countless tantalising crosses and was an absolute menace to the Newcastle defence for the entirety of the game.

Onto the midfield and that man Fabinho was at it again. Is there anything he can’t do? His legs appear to extend the whole length of the pitch as he incessantly hooks the ball away from the feet of the opposition when it appears impossible for him to reach it. It was also great to see Oxlade-Chamberlain from the start and, while you could tell he hasn’t played a lot of football over the last 18 months or so, the signs were certainly there. A couple of driving runs and great energy proved that there’s a chance he can get back to the level he was at before the injury.

Finally, the front 3. Mane continued his ruthless streak in front of goal with a sublime finish to level the score before getting both his and Liverpool’s second after a great bit of play from Firmino and a mistake from Dubravka. Salah also managed to help himself to a goal after a wonderful 1-2 with Firmino before he slid a composed finish into the far-bottom corner. Firmino however, although he was the only member of the attack not to get a goal, is the winner of this game’s Man of the Match. Klopp chose to rest him for this one after his national team duties in the last couple of weeks but was forced to bring him on after Origi picked up an injury in the first half-an-hour. Although it is unfortunate that Bobby couldn’t get the rest he was going to be afforded, it was simply a delight to see him play. He won’t get credited for the assist for Mane’s second, but the goal was all down to him. He robs the ball off of Christian Atsu in their half before playing the through pass which leads to the Dubravka mistake and eventual goal. He was constantly playing delicate little flicks around the corner to Salah and Mane, and finally his magic turned into an assist. Salah rolls the ball into Bobby on the edge of the box and continues his run before Firmino backheels it into Salah’s path who dribbles into the box and finishes expertly. It was a joy to watch and epitomises the season that Roberto Firmino is having so far. Football fans around the world are now beginning to see what a special player he is, and it is thoroughly deserved.

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