Player Ratings As Darwin Downs Newcastle

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Newcastle 1 – 2 Liverpool 

 

Match day 3 for the reds, with a very tough visit to St James Park. The legacy and some of the greatest games of Premier League football are intertwined within this fixture, with both teams now once again fighting on similar fronts.

 

 

Alisson Becker – 8.0

Having already proved his world class ability in the opening few games, the giant Brazilian was always going to play a major part in this game. A few simple saves early on gave him a solid feel for the ball, before pushing a goal bound shot into the post. A solid second half ensued for the game’s best shot stopper. Tremendous.

 

Trent Alexander Arnold – 6.0

A week of injury related uncertainty did not stop the England international from taking his place in the starting eleven. The start of the game saw him booked for petulance, before nearly walking for a foul on Anthony Gordan. The opening goal was the sign of a man that does not want to be in defence, as Gordan strode away from a poor first touch. The second half was vastly improved as the on-pitch captain remembered what it is to lead.

 

Andy Robertson – 6.0

An improved outing last weekend saw the great Scot retain his place in the team. Was determined and resolute as the Geordies enjoyed the brunt of the opening stage possession, but struggled at times to meet the pace of his opponents. Looked better in the second half as the need to change the direction of the game became a necessity.

 

Joël Matip – 7.0

Tasked with filling the enormous shoes of Ibou, the backup central defender was called back into the starting eleven. Had to stand up to the task once his skipper was dismissed and defended well throughout. A solid game, all things considered.

 

Subbed 77 mins

 

Virgil van Djik – 5.0

The captain and leader of the team started as perhaps the most important Liverpool player. Was strong and direct in his command, as Newcastle worked to create early first half openings. Then after the first goal, everything went wrong, as a late challenge immediately saw him sent off. The sending off was harsh, yet avoidable.

 

Red Card – 28 mins

 

Dominik Szoboszlai – 7.0

The destructive and influential number 8 is now one of the first names on Klopp’s team sheet. Was efficient in the rare moments he received the ball, yet struggled to find rhythm as the home side dominated the visiting ten men. In and out of the game in the second half, yet reliable and effective as he was moved around the board.

 

Alexis Mac Allister – 6.0

A more relatable and coordinated role for the World Cup winner, given the debut of Waturu. Was hassled and harried out of his groove in a frenzied first half. Struggled on and off the ball as the home side looked more energized.

 

Subbed – 77 mins


Wataru Endō – 6.0

The Japan captain simply had to start this game. He was scrappy and efficient through the opening stages, as the quick movement of the home side worked around him through a tough first half. The second half was about getting back in, which is why he was withdrawn.

 

Subbed 57 mins

 

Luis Díaz – 6.0

His goalscoring start to the season is exactly what we all wanted to see. Was quiet until a mesmerising run was well saved at the near post. Withdrawn after the red card.

 

Subbed – 33 mins

 

Cody Gakpo – 4.0

Back into his favoured role, it was inevitable that a false nine would be preferred over an out and out striker. That endeavour did not last long as he was shifted to a wide left role once the reds reduced to ten men. Mostly struggled and should now come out of the team.

 

Subbed – 57 mins

 

Mohamed Salah – 7.0

Despite some unsettling speculation linking our Egyptian King with a move to the Saudi Pro League, Mo began the game in usual right-wing role. Could to get into the game at all, as the first half passed him by. The introduction of Darwin changed with perspective and you could see the link up immediately. Bad to brilliant in one game.

 

Subs;

 

Joe Gomez – 6.0 (on 33)

Steady and reliable in difficult circumstances.

 

Harvey Elliott – 6.0 (on 57)

Looked happy and keen to work his way around the pitch.

 

Diogo Jota – 6.0 (on 57)

Came on to be that pest we needed.

 

Darwin Núñez – 10.0 (on 77)

The Raging Bull and heartbeat of our attacking threat. Unstoppable and must play from here on in. Two brilliant goals.

 

Man of the match

 

Jarell Quansah – 5.0 (on 77)

The start of something good.

 

The Manager;

Jürgen Klopp – 8.0

The manager dropped Diogo Jota for this game, in order to bring in a specialist holding midfielder and move Gakpo into the false nine. The first half belonged solely to the home side who outsmarted, outworked, outmanoeuvred the reds, and eventually got their rewards. Trent is not a happy player in defense, which showed with the opening stages bringing the only goal.

 

A stronger mentality was evident through the second half and the manager got his changes just about right, with one which lit up the stadium.

 

 

Pre-match Prediction;

Newcastle 1 – 2 Liverpool

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