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Newcastle United 2-0 Liverpool : 5 Talking Points

Benteke shoots over
Benteke missed some presentable chances against Newcastle

Jurgen Klopp lost his first away game as a Liverpool manager after Newcastle beat them 2-0 at St.James’ Park. Martin Skrtel scored an own goal, while Georginio Wijnaldum scored late to seal the win for Magpies. Liverpool struggled to leave a mark on the game, and were poor on all fronts. The Reds had a great opportunity to close in on top 4 in the Premier League after their rivals dropped points yesterday, but they failed to take advantage of the situation. Newcastle United are within 2 points of Chelsea, having picked up a valuable three points. Here are the 5 talking points of the game.

#1 Benteke struggles once again

Benteke shoots over
Benteke missed some presentable chances against Newcastle

It was another poor game for Christian Benteke after the game against Swansea City last weekend. The Belgian international was static, and didn’t do enough to make a difference. He managed just the one shot in the 60 minutes he played, and missed a golden chance to put his team in front from two yards in the first half. The 25-year-old struggled to create space for himself, and get into right positions.

It’s difficult to point out one thing Benteke did right in the game, and was awful throughout before getting substituted around the hour mark. With Daniel Sturridge returning from his injury, Benteke will find his chances limited if he doesn’t improve in the upcoming games. Benteke has also failed to link up with the likes of Firmino and Coutinho, who have also struggled when the Belgian striker starts up front.

#2 Georginio Wijnaldum puts in a Man of the Match performance

Wijnaldum Toon
Wijnaldum was the best player on the pitch

Georginio Wijnaldum proved to be the difference between both sides today as he scored his seventh goal of the season. Not only did Wijnaldum’s late goal seal the win for Newcastle, but it was his strike that took a massive deflection of Skrtel, and went past Mignolet for Newcastle’s first goal. The Dutch international had 62 touches, completed 41 passes, and had five shots in the game.

The 25-year-old put in a Man of the Match performance to help Newcastle United earn three crucial points against a high flying Liverpool team, and ease the pressure off his manager Steve McClaren. He has been Newcastle United’s best player since his £14.5 million move from PSV, and it looks like he has settled in well.

#3 Jurgen Klopp pays the price of rotating the squad too much?

Klopp gestures
Klopp got his tactics wrong at St. James’ Park

Jurgen Klopp made six changes to the side that beat Southampton 6-1 at St.Mary’s. Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana, Divock Origi were left on the bench, while Emre Can was suspended after picking up five yellow cards. Liverpool didn’t look like the same team, and the likes of Benteke and Firmino struggled to link up together. Klopp now has some thinking to do, and needs to keep his best starting XI fresh for the Premier League games instead of focussing too much on the Capital One Cup, and the Europa League.

Jordon Ibe is still young, and can’t be trusted to start in Premier League games. James Milner was rested against Southampton, but does not deserve to start in the Premier League games, as a result of his recent string of poor performances. Klopp’s team play games at a high intensity, and he is probably right to rotate his squad to keep his players fit, but he needs to do it more wisely.

#4 Reds miss Coutinho and Emre Can

Coutinho Can
Philippe Coutinho was a big miss for Liverpool

The Reds attack has looked sloppy in the absence of Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho, and it’s not too difficult to notice that. The attack failed to link up well, and had struggled against Swansea City too. Coutinho is someone who makes them tick, and gels the attack really well, but Liverpool have failed to create a spark in the last two Premier League games Coutinho has missed. The 23-year-old was in brilliant form prior to his injury, and scored crucial goals against Chelsea and Manchester City.

Another player Liverpool missed today is German international Emre Can, who was suspended for the game having picked up 5 yellow cards. Can has been a different player under Jurgen Klopp, and has been Liverpool’s best midfield player recently. The likes of Lucas and Allen don’t have the quality in them to produce the same impact as someone like Emre Can, and the Reds clearly struggled in the midfield today.

#5 Reality check for Liverpool or just an off day?

McClaren Klopp
Liverpool received a dose of reality from Steve McLaren

Before the game, a lot was said about Liverpool challenging for the title this season under new boss Jurgen Klopp after impressive wins against Chelsea, Manchester City, and Southampton. The Reds had a golden chance to make a statement today after Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea dropped points yesterday, but they failed to take advantage of the situation. So the big question is, was it a reality check for the Merseyside club or just an off day? Well, we can’t just write them off yet considering they had important players like Coutinho and Emre Can not available, and the likes of Sturridge, Henderson and Lallana could only make it to the bench.

If Klopp can keep Sturridge, Firmino,Coutinho, Henderson and Emre Can on the pitch at the same time they can be really difficult to beat, but the Reds are competing in 4 tournaments right now, and Klopp has no option other than rotating his squad wisely.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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