Sports

Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United "are still making mistakes"

Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United

Europe's elite beware, Mohamed Salah makes such a difference to Liverpool.

He has had a hand in 31 goals in the Premier League this season, with 23 goals and eight assists.

The same is not true of Liverpool, whose 65 league goals is 12 more than any team but City have managed this season.

Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson believes the Reds have heaped huge pressure on Chelsea by beating Newcastle United to move to 60 points in the Premier League standings.

The Reds were 5-0 winners against FC Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash in Portugal last month.

Klopp also talked up Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez, who of course guided Liverpool to a famous Champions League victory over AC Milan in 2005.

Newcastle remains in the thick of the relegation race, and will play a huge six-pointer versus Southampton on March 10.

A fourth win in their last five league games took Jurgen Klopp's side one point above Manchester United, who drop to third but can regain second spot with a win at Crystal Palace on Monday. The visitors put men behind the ball and asked Liverpool to find a way past their two banks of four.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane condemned Newcastle United to a defeat at Anfield. The Egyptian winger scored five minutes before the break, though, as Liverpool eventually breached Newcastle's stubborn backline.

Jordan Henderson's flicked pass was blocked but it fell invitingly for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to charge deep into the Newcastle half.

Salah then attempted a wild shot from an acute angle that almost beat Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to the near post, but the backstop tipped it wide of the goal. There were two wonderful goals, a few more were possible, and it was a world-class save from Loris Karius.

Salah wanted a penalty for handball early in the second half when Lascelles blocked his shot in the box, but referee Graham Scott waved his appeals away. Can and Firmino up the ante and tee up Mane to lash into the corner from just inside the area.

Diame, by way of an example, has not set Tyneside alight with his performances overall since his move from Hull City in the summer of 2016, but as he showed at Anfield, he has impressed of late, fitting into Benitez's system brilliantly.


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