Football News

Liverpool 4-2 Newcastle: Player ratings as Martin Dúbravka nearly spoils Mo Salah’s day

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 22:00, 1 January 2024

Liverpool consolidated Premier League top spot after running out 4-2 winners over Newcastle this evening.

A third consecutive home draw seemed inevitable as Martin Dúbravka turned into Superman. The back-up Magpie goalkeeper saved a Mohamed Salah penalty before pulling off several impressive saves notably denying much-maligned centre-forward Darwin Nunez.

In the end, four goals from Liverpool — including a Salah brace plus Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo with respective efforts — flattered Newcastle as the Reds had now fewer than 34 shots on goal, the joint-highest total for any team in a single match in the Premier League this season.

Furthermore, they racked up 7.27 in the xG count tonight. The highest figure on record (since 2010/11) in a single Premier League game.

Alexander Isak and Sven Botman have the visitors brief hope, but it’s yet another loss for Newcastle who are going backwards while Liverpool now leads the championship by three points.

As the dust begins to settle, here are our player ratings.


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Liverpool

Alisson – 5.5 – Couldn’t mark his 250th appearance for Liverpool with a clean sheet.

Joe Gomez – 6 – Not an orthodox left-back though aided by Newcastle’s reluctance to push forward.

Virgil van Dijk – 5 – The lion within came out with Van Dijk showing visible frustration whenever his teammates started to lower the game’s tempo, but his inability to hold the line cost Klopp’s men as Isak ran through.

Ibrahima Konaté – 5.5 – Given how deep Newcastle were playing Konaté at times found himself deep in Magpie territory.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6.5 – Nearly produced a goal-of-the-season contender. Down by the byline, Alexander-Arnold lashed a wonderful strike across the face of goal and it glanced off Dubravka’s bar.

Curtis Jones – 7 – Started energetically before tailing off. He found his second wind to restore Liverpool’s advantage. 

Wataru Endo – 6 – “We really need you” were the reported words Jurgen Klopp told Endo during their first meeting at Liverpool’s training ground. On today’s evidence, you can see why, the Japanese international has effortlessly followed in Fabinho’s footsteps.

Dominik Szoboszlai – 6.5 – As usual, didn’t need a second invitation to join Liverpool’s attack, and was proactive in the box-to-box role that he’s come to own.

Luis Díaz – 5.5 – Saw an effort ruled out for offside. Didn’t allow that moment to get him down as Díaz continued being a bundle of energy.

Darwin Núñez – 4.5 – Simply must do better for a Liverpool striker. 1.61 worth of expected goals wasted by the Uruguayan marksman (which is the highest xG without scoring in a Premier League game this season). Three of those big chances.

Mohamed Salah – 9 – Irreplaceable as the Egyptian forward was at the centre of everything. Has missed four of his last 11 penalties. Amid chaos became just the fifth player to reach this milestone for a single club in the Premier League after Harry Kane for Tottenham (213), Sergio Agüero for Man City (184), Wayne Rooney for Man Utd (183) and Thierry Henry for Arsenal (175).

Substitutes:

Cody Gakpo (for Núñez 64) – 6 – He came on and did what what his manager wanted. Netted the Reds third.

Ryan Gravenberch (for Szoboszlai 64) – 5 – Had a speculative effort on goal.

Diogo Jota (for Diaz 64) – 5.5 – Provided the assist for Jones’ lead-restoring strike before winning a controversial penalty which Salah converted.

Alexis Mac Allister (for Endo 75) – 4.5 – A run out for the returning Argentine who is expected to fill in for Endo when on international duty at the Asian Cup.


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Newcastle

Martin Dúbravka – 8.5 – Stopped a Salah penalty and made 10 saves. Nothing more he could have done today.

Dan Burn – 6 – Thought he put Newcastle in front but there was an offside in the build-up.

Sven Botman – 7 – Usually reliable in Newcastle’s defence but recklessly gave a penalty away, but Dúbravka came to his rescue. Popped up at the other end to score Newcastle’s second.

Fabian Schär – 5.5 – The one consistent presence in Newcastle’s backline. It takes a lot to overwhelm Schär who carried out his duties well considering the avalanche of pressure.

Tino Livramento – 6 – Deputised for Tripper but was far more conservative in his approach, rarely crossing into Liverpool’s half.

Sean Longstaff – 4 – Booked late on in another outing that passed the Geordie midfielder.

Bruno Guimarães – 4.5 – The first into Anthony Taylor’s book following a wild challenge on Endo.

Lewis Miley – 4 – Picked up the first yellow card of his career after bringing Salah down.

Anthony Gordon – 5 – Something looked off for the former Evertonian who drifted in and out.

Alexander Isak – 6.5 – Looked dangerous in the few moments he was on the ball and was rewarded with Newcastle’s equaliser.

Joelinton – 5 – Having the Brazilian midfielder back in Newcastle’s starting lineup was a positive, but he struggled once Liverpool gained midfield supremacy.

Substitutes:

Miguel Almiron (for Miley 64) – 4 – Had a single opportunity but it wasn’t the easiest to control.

Jamaal Lascelles (for Joelinton 82) – N/A – A late sub.

Lewis Hall (for Burn 82) – N/A – A late sub.

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