Liverpool secured their record-levelling 32nd league win of the season to move to 99 points with a lacklustre but well-earned 3-1 win over Newcastle at St James’ Park. But what were the key stats from the game?
Clinical Reds Finish With a Flourish
Having scored five goals from two big chances against Chelsea, Liverpool scored three goals without creating a big chance against Newcastle. Outstanding finishes from Divock Origi and Sadio Mané completed the comeback after Virgil Van Dijk’s headed equaliser. Liverpool were relatively quiet in an attacking sense, managing fourteen shots but just seven inside the box and no big chances.
They did however keep Newcastle to three shots, just the one inside the box, the big chance that Gayle converted to give them the lead in the first minute.
Imperious Van Dijk Gets His Moment
Van Dijk’s headed goal was his fifth of the season, making him the highest scoring defender in the Premier League, all five goals headers.
5 – Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk has become only the fifth outfield player to play every single minute in a season for the title-winning side in @premierleague history. Stalwart. pic.twitter.com/WHJgUGiW9R
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 26, 2020
As you can see from the stat above, Van Dijk featured for every minute of every game this season, having missed just 32 minutes last season against Southampton.
76 Liverpool matches in the last two season, 76 matches Virgil Van Dijk has started, and Liverpool have accrued 196 points. Outstanding.
The Front Three Show Their Worth (And So Do The Backups)
Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané came off the bench to combine for Liverpool’s third goal, as Firmino ended up with the joint most key passes (two) in the team, and the highest xA (0.13) despite only playing 27 minutes. Salah came on at the same time as the other two, and had the most shots (three) and the highest xG (0.20).
However, whilst things were a bit quiet with Minamino, Origi and Oxlade-Chamberlain on the pitch, they all had their moments. Minamino looked sharp and was unlucky not to score, whilst Origi scored a screamer and a lovely shimmying run and cross from Ox set up Van Dijk’s goal. Origi and Ox both now have four goals and one assist in the league, whilst Van Dijk is just ahead both with five and one.
Roberto Firmino’s assist gives him his 17th goal contribution in the Premier League this season, joint third in the Liverpool team with Trent Alexander-Arnold, behind Mané (25) and Salah (29).