Considering the players get a much shorter than usual break this summer, it was expected that the Liverpool contingent might be already on the beach mentally.
But that was not the case and, even after suffering such an early setback, they rallied and dominated a game which saw them equal the record for most wins in a Premier League season (32).
An all-changed front three were industrious throughout and caused problems for Newcastle, even if they lacked the star quality of the usual terrifying triumvirate.
But it was an efficient display from all the team, who dominated possession and controlled the game – perhaps they didn’t create as many chances as expected, but the finishing was good and the win was a comfortable one in the end.
Anyway, for the final time this season, here are your ratings:
Ali 6.5 – Not much he could do about the opener, and was pretty much a bystander for the rest of the game. Poor lad needs a Sudoku book or something.
Neco 6.5 – Caught napping in the first minute when he was slow to get out for a quickly taken free-kick. He ended up playing Gayle onside, who scored on 26 seconds. Settled more after that, though, and looked particularly confident in the second half.
JoGo 6.5 – Flat-footed for the opener, and should have been more alert to the danger. Much better after that, though, and was dominant in the air.
Big Virg 7.5 – Back in the goals, and what an important one it was. Not much pace on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross, but he guided it superbly up and over Dúbravka. Made up for rushing into midfield and giving away the free-kick which led to Newcastle’s opener. Scraped man of the match for me.
Robbo 7 – Got an official assist for Origi’s solo strike, but this wasn’t his most creative display overall. Tidy shift, though, and saw more of the ball than any other player on the pitch, with 11pc possession.
Gini 7 – Nothing too glamorous, but did well with possession and barely put a foot wrong. Was this his final Liverpool appearance?Embed from Getty Images
Milly 7 – Played a big part of settling the side down after conceding the opener with a number of calm, assured touches. The captain for the day did little to catch the eye but did the basics really well and set an example for the rest of the side.
Naby 7.5 – Always wants to create and push forward. Less effective than he has been in recent games, but another decent showing from the Guinean who is really starting to put together a run. The end of the season has come at a bad time for him!
Ox 7 – Superb work on the right to set up van Dijk for the Reds’ first goal. Rarely makes an impact when deployed out wide for Liverpool, but was better here than he has been in recent games in that winger role.
Taki 7 – Another who was constantly trying to make something happen. It didn’t always come off, and he was desperately unlucky to see Martin Dúbravka tip his top corner-bound effort from 25 yards wide of the post, but his effort was unquestionable. Often on the periphery, though.
Divvy 6.5 – What a strike! His goal from 25 yards was some way to end a 23-game goal drought. However, the rest of his performance was lethargic and lacking the quality required – was on track for a 5 or lower before he scored. He has proven time and again he is capable of these magical out-of-the-blue moments, but greater quality is still needed as backup to the attacking line.
Mo 7 – Hit the post seconds after coming on. Sharp and worked hard, but couldn’t find that elusive goal.
Sadio 7.5 – Ran the channels well. Liverpool always look infinitely more dangerous whenever he is on the pitch, and he proved his worth when he curled in a beautiful effort to seal the win.Embed from Getty Images
Bobby 7 – Was just as nonplussed as the rest of us when Keita couldn’t get a touch on his delicate, perfect through ball which left the Guinean with little else to do other than score. Made just as much of an impact as the other two coming on, though.
Trent N/A – Scouse.
CJ N/A – Also Scouse.
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