Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle: Five talking points

As ever, Liverpool's efforts in securing a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday evening generated plenty of discussion and analysis once the action concluded.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were the goalscorers at Anfield as the Reds claimed a fourth consecutive win in all competitions and reached 200 Premier League goals under Jürgen Klopp.

Here, we examine five of the post-match talking points in more detail…

Patience is a virtue…

Having had to wait almost half an hour before finding the breakthrough against West Ham United the previous weekend, it looked like Saturday’s clash might be goalless at the interval.

Newcastle’s organised approach – only to be expected from a Rafael Benitez team – kept the Premier League’s second-highest scorers at bay even longer.

But the patience within both the team and the crowd meant the Reds simply continued to play their football and although there was a fortunate bounce at the beginning of the move, their calmness and confidence paid dividends in the 40th minute when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked the right option and Salah converted.

“I think people are now more convinced that it can happen at one moment in the game than they were before. That helps massively,” said Klopp after the final whistle.

Another crucial Loris Karius save…

That Liverpool maintained their new-found lead into the half-time break was thanks to a magnificent save from their goalkeeper in the closing seconds.

Mo Diame’s curling, dipping effort from the edge of the area was destined to creep under the crossbar at the Kop end until Karius got firm fingertips on the ball and clawed it away.

“Fantastic, world-class,” was the manager’s description.

For the 24-year-old, who produced a similarly excellent stop to thwart West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic a week earlier, it helped to secure his fourth clean sheet in six matches.

Watch Karius' superb save from Diame

A captain’s performance by Jordan Henderson…

“He caught my eye because he showed his passing range. He was really productive and positive with his passing,” said former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy on Match of the Day.

“He has got all the abilities to play the holding role – athleticism, interceptions, tackles and organising. We saw the full range of his passing and I thought he was terrific.”

The statistics show Murphy was spot-on.

Henderson had 113 touches, the most of any midfielder on the pitch, and played 100 passes as he simultaneously stopped the opposition and got his own team on the front foot.

Classic Liverpool for the second goal…

This one didn’t quite prompt a ‘that’s football!’ outburst from Klopp, but it was right up there with the Reds’ most pleasing-on-the-eye team moves of the whole season.

Roberto Firmino won the ball back in his own half and suddenly it was all one-touch, slick stuff; Emre Can to Oxlade-Chamberlain to Mane, back to Can to Firmino and finally through to Mane’s run from the Brazilian for a precise finish.

“I would have a ligament injury in the ankle if I tried [Firmino’s assist],” said Klopp. “He did it and Sadio could score. That’s teamwork and I love that most, to be honest.”

Mane’s strike was his 14th of the campaign – already more than the entirety of 2016-17.

LFCTV GO: Mane caps off clinical team move

The growing influence of Oxlade-Chamberlain…

“It was always going to take him weeks, if not a couple of months, to adapt into Jürgen’s way. But good players adapt and adapt quickly.

“Alex has worked hard, he was patient and didn’t complain; he knew himself it was about him adapting to Liverpool rather than the other way around. He has done it very well. He looks like he’s playing with confidence and he looks like he’s happy.”

The words of Steven Gerrard as he reflected on the Reds’ display at Anfield, which saw Oxlade-Chamberlain named Man of the Match after his latest industrious performance - including setting up the opener.

It was the No.21’s fifth assist of the season in the Premier League and he has now created 32 chances, behind only the front three of Firmino, Mane and Salah.