Liverpool vs. Newcastle United – Football Match Report – December 16, 2021
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold scored with a spectacular strike as he overcame the absence of three players suspected of positive COVID-19 tests and conceded an early goal to beat Newcastle United 3-1 in the Premier League on Thursday.
Liverpool have 40 points in 17 games, one behind leaders Manchester City who beat Leeds United 7-0 on Tuesday.
With Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones ruled out for the hosts, Jonjo Shelvey scored the opener for Newcastle against the run of the game in the seventh minute, with a deflection, diving past blind goalkeeper Allison Becker at Anfield.
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The lead lasted 14 minutes before Diogo Jota pulled home the rebound after Martin Dubravka saved his initial header at the level, with Newcastle players complaining the ball should have been taken out of play while Isaac Hayden was injured in its own area.
Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool the lead four minutes later, tying Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy’s record of 15 consecutive Premier League games with a goal or assist when scoring the rebound from a Sadio shot Mane.
Newcastle improved considerably in the second half, showing a defensive determination that has been missing for much of the season, but in the last 10 minutes Liverpool have started to turn the screw.
Dubravka had to come down smart to save Mane in the 81st minute and Jota saw a point blank shot blocked before the Newcastle keeper got another super save from Naby Keita.
There was nothing he could do with three minutes left of regulation time as Alexander-Arnold touched the edge of the box before firing a rocket into the top corner.
“I’ve been waiting for this for five years, waiting to do everything like this,” Alexander-Arnold told BT Sport. “Got a few from the edge of the box… I grabbed this one and it’s just tucked away in the top corner.”
The England full-back said he and his team-mates have done their best to ignore possible positive COVID tests at the club as the games unfold quickly over Christmas.
“We are focused on our football until we are told otherwise. We will be there every day, we will recover again tomorrow and make sure we are in good shape for Sunday,” he said. .
“We have a big game, up to Tottenham – it will be interesting, but all we can do is focus on that and prepare for the game.”