RATINGS: Newcastle 2-3 Liverpool – Title race goes to the last day as Rafa makes Jurgen sweat

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By Lewis Rooke – @LV_Rooke

How much more of this can your heart take, honestly?

Having resigned myself to a draw and our Premier League title dream all but over, Divock Origi emerged once again from the shadows to rescue Liverpool from oblivion, nodding home in the final five minutes to secure all three points in a vital 3-2 win.

Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah scored the other goals, which were cancelled out by Christian Atsu and Salomon Rondon respectively as Newcastle fought hard throughout.

Here’s how we rated…

Starting XI

Alisson: 7.5 – Made a few vital stops but there was not much he could do about the Magpie’s goals though. Did look a wee bit uncomfortable with the ball at his feet at times as well.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7.5 – The ongoing assist battle between himself and Andy Robertson nears its conclusion, and the young Scouser certainly has something to say in that duel – registering two assists to bring him level with the Scot on 11 for the season. While his assists were vital, Newcastle looked dangerous in wide areas and Alexander-Arnold did have his hands full.

Dejan Lovren: 6.5 – Not sure what to make of this one. Didn’t explicitly make any errors yet I was somewhat missing the presence of Joel Matip next to van Dijk. Hopeful of me to suggest the Croat will slot right back into form short of match fitness, though.

Virgil van Dijk: 8 – Whose idea was it to leave him unmarked eight yards out? There’s only going to be one outcome isn’t there. His prowess at set pieces latterly this season is second-to-none. Rondon didn’t half give the whole backline a game though.

Andy Robertson: 7 – With Newcastle set up to play predominantly down the flanks, Robbo – like Alexander-Arnold – was a busy man in a defensive sense today. Not his best performance, not his worst.

Gini Wijnaldum: 7 – Clear to see what the Newcastle fans think of him there isn’t it? One of Gini’s typical away days today where he drifts in and out of the game.

Fabinho: 7 – Established himself as a fixture in midfield for this Liverpool side, yet didn’t have the easiest of games today. Top marks for the dive as well.

Jordan Henderson: 7 – One thing you can never criticise Henderson for is that he is always present on the pitch – he will never hide in the game at any point, whether he is having a bad or a good game. Today was a bit in the middle of the two for the captain.

Sadio Mane: 7.5 – Threatened a lot in the first half, yet the Senegalese didn’t have the same impact in the second half when Newcastle brought the game to Liverpool. Industrious as ever, though.

Daniel Sturridge: 6 – Felt he struggled up front, couldn’t hold possession in the same way Roberto Firmino does. Started brightly but faded seriously.

Mohamed Salah: 7.5 – Excellently controlled finish to put Liverpool 2-1 up and was a constant thorn in the side of Newcastle, however it was horrible to see him suffer such a serious head injury which looks as if it will rule him out for the remainder of the season.

Subs

Divock Origi: 8 – I tell you, if we win the league – I’m going to ensure this man gets a knighthood. Sir Divock – the man to save the day.

Xherdan Shaqiri: N/A – The go-to man from the bench in the first half of the season, now his appearances seem to be necessitated by injuries.

James Milner: N/A

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