Liverpool are now top-four faves as Newcastle misery will carry into Carabao Cup

NEWCASTLE, England – Liverpool rocked the Champions League qualification race with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United on a day when the home side played ten men for 68 minutes after goalkeeper Nick Pope was sent off in the first half. .

The red card means Pope will be suspended from next Sunday’s Champions League final, which will be a heavy blow to Newcastle United.

But with Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo putting Liverpool 2-0 out in the first 20 minutes, the game was won before referee Anthony Taylor sent off Pope.

If they had won this game, Newcastle would have solidified their position in the top four and remained in contention for a Champions League spot, but they are now looking to chase the pack after losing the Premier League for the first time since August.

Fast reaction

1. Claim of victory allowed Liverpool to qualify for the Champions League

Make a note of the date, as it was the day that Liverpool’s bad season finally got underway.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have been languishing in the middle of the table since they got off to a poor start to the campaign last August, but after beating Newcastle at St James’ Park they are now poised to move up the table to fourth and final place in the Champions League .

Yes, they are still in eighth place behind Newcastle and Tottenham, but the way Liverpool beat the hosts in the first 20 minutes was a reminder of the quality and experience of the entire Liverpool squad.

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Monday’s 2-0 win over a poor Everton team at Anfield had a big impact on Liverpool’s morale, but this victory was more meaningful because they scored it against a Newcastle side that was unbeaten at home the whole season. Newcastle is a difficult place for any team to visit, but Liverpool easily pulled off a game that had already been won before the goalkeeper was sent off for the home side in the 22nd minute.

From now on, Liverpool know they have a top four in their sights and returning players like Virgil van Dijk and Diogo Jota will only get stronger. And after looking tired, aging and disinterested at times this season, the Liverpool players look fresh and ready to play again.

With this win, Liverpool have every chance of finishing fourth this season.

2. Everything is falling apart for Newcastle, who seem to be in trouble right now

It may have gone unnoticed in large part because they are gearing up for their first major final of this century, but Newcastle are in decline and this result has confirmed that manager Eddie Howe’s side are in trouble.

Liverpool’s win at St James’ Park was only Newcastle’s second Premier League defeat this season (the second was tied to a late loss to Liverpool in August), but Howe’s side have won just one so far. of the last seven games in the league. In their recent form, they won one game, drew five and lost that game against Liverpool. And another very disturbing statistic is the lack of goals: Newcastle have only scored three times in this seven-game streak.

They are now only two points ahead of fifth-place Tottenham, and any hope of finishing higher than fourth has been dashed by Manchester United’s recent surge, which put them five points clear of third-place Newcastle.

So what happened to Newcastle?

They have clearly stopped scoring goals, but without the suspended Bruno Guimarães in midfield, they are sorely lacking in creativity. The Brazilian international cannot lead Newcastle on his own and results were already starting to drop before he began his three-match suspension that ended with that game.

But with Howe rarely changing his line-up due to the lack of depth at St James’ Park, it seems fatigue is starting to show at Newcastle as well.

If they had won that game, Newcastle would have been 12 points ahead of Liverpool and pretty much destroyed their hopes of finishing in the top four. But now Liverpool are only six points behind and also have a game in hand, so the pressure will start building for Newcastle to start winning again.

However, pressure, fatigue and no goals are a bad combination: Newcastle are in trouble.

3. Pope’s red card creates nightmare scenario: GC third pick at Carabao Cup

A red card from goalkeeper Nick Pope in the first half for grabbing the ball from outside his own box was a nightmare scenario for Newcastle.

On the first occasion they lost the England goalkeeper before the end of the game and had to play 68 minutes with ten men, which was impossible given Newcastle were already 2-0 down. But that game was already lost by the time Pope was sent off – the big problem his sacking created will now play out over the next week as manager Eddie Howe tries to resolve the goaltending crisis that Pope has created.

Pope’s red card means he will be ruled out of the League Cup final against Manchester United next Sunday, but if that kick wasn’t hard enough, Howe would also be left without Martin Dubravka’s second choice because the Slovakian international forfeited himself , having played in previous rounds of the competition while on loan to, you guessed it, Manchester United.

So Howe faced the challenge of naming Loris Karius, the former Liverpool goalkeeper whose career has never recovered since he was blamed for their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev in 2018.

Karius, who signed as a free agent after being sacked by Liverpool last summer, has not played in an official game for two years and his time at Newcastle has been spent on the bench.

Newcastle could try to recall Karl Darlow from a loan spell at Hull City, where he never even played, but unless there is an emergency recall clause in his loan agreement, he will not be able to return. But even if he does, Howe will have to choose between Karius and Darlow, two goaltenders who have watched the game from the side all this season.

It’s Newcastle’s biggest game in over 20 years, but they’ll have a goalkeeper in goal who isn’t even considered good enough to sit on the bench when Pope and Dubravka are free.

Best and Worst Performers

Best: Alisson Becker (Liverpool)

Liverpool pulled off the win easily, but Alisson’s two decisive saves in the first and last ten minutes of the game provided comfort. Still the best goalkeeper in the Premier League.

Best: Stefan Baicetic (Liverpool)

The teenage linebacker was so collected with the ball. Lacks experience, but he definitely has a great future ahead of him.

Best: Alexander Isak, Newcastle United

Tough day for Newcastle’s record signing but he still bothered Liverpool’s defense when he had the ball in the last third of the pitch.

Worst: Nick Pope, Newcastle United.

What was the Newcastle goalkeeper thinking when he punched outside his penalty area? It is a big blow to him and the club that he will now be suspended from the final of the Carabao Cup.

Worst: Miguel Almiron, Newcastle United

We missed a golden chance to open an account in the first stages. If he had been more collected, Almiron could have made this game a completely different story.

Worst: Sean Longstaff (Newcastle)

It’s not an easy day when you’re playing for a ten-man team, but the Newcastle midfielder was being pulled in every direction by rivals from Liverpool.

Highlights and Notable Moments

Liverpool took the lead in less than 10 minutes thanks to a superb pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold who took the ball over the top. Darwin Nunez stumbled upon it and finished in cold blood.

It took the Reds just seven minutes to double the lead.

This time it was Mohamed Salah with a great pass, the ball was passed to Cody Gakpo who did well to stay out. From there, it was about setting the ball, turning and shooting, which he did with aplomb.

A 2-0 loss was bad enough for Newcastle United, but things got a lot worse for the hosts.

Just minutes after Gakpo’s Newcastle United goal, Nick Pope received a stunning red card. After an Alisson hit in the top of the field, Salah was about to go into the lead with a chance to make it 3–0 until Pope interfered.

Pope was within a few yards of the box but old goalkeeping habits die hard and he used his hands as he slid towards the ball in an attempt to corner Salah.

After the match: what coaches and players said

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on the result: “Great result, clean slate, two great goals and room for improvement. I think we did very well – a red card would probably also have been a great goal if Pope hadn’t taken the ball. Against 10 people, we didn’t react particularly well. Newcastle had nothing more to lose. You could see that this is the best team with great character – they threw everything on the field. And we gave them too many set pieces.”

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk on his performance: “Winning and keeping clean against a team that has only lost once this season was well-deserved. Obviously, there were moments when we could have played better, but to leave with three points and a draw and return to the team, I’m incredibly happy. I’m very proud of the guys.”

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe on Nick Pope’s red card: “Probably technically it was handball, but I don’t know the rules for red cards outside the penalty area. For me it was a tough reaction, but I understand if it is provided for by the rules. It’s tough for Nick because he was…


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