Liverpool ended the season on a high with a composed and calculated performance against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon. The win in the north east took the Reds to 99 points for the season as they achieved their highest points total in top flight history.
Klopp made five changes from the side that defeated Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday night. James Milner, Neco Williams, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Divock Origi, and Takumi Minamino replaced the rested Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino.
But despite the fresh faces the same intensity was present as Liverpool dominated proceedings.
For the final time this season, here are the winners and losers from the game:
James MilnerEmbed from Getty Images
Mr reliable returned to the starting line-up and did not disappoint as he produced a calm and commanding performance in the centre of Liverpool’s midfield. The former Newcastle man came back to haunt his former side, with a display many Magpies fans are seeking from their current crop of players.
Liverpool’s captain for the day produced everything you would want from him during the 90 minutes. He won virtually every tackle, every header and was measured as always with every pass. Keïta and Wijnaldum looked like they thoroughly enjoyed playing alongside him – he gave them the license to push further forward when required as he was the security guard in front of that back four.
Players like James Milner are essential in every successful side and he continues, even aged 34, to get better and better. He sets the standard for others every time he takes to the pitch and is a pleasure to watch whenever he plays. Next season he will be looking to continue his and the club’s success, hoping he can add a few more medals to his prolific trophy cabinet.
Virgil van DijkEmbed from Getty Images
Liverpool’s colossal force at the back once again showed his importance to this side in this classy display. Like Milner, everything about his performance was imperious. He did not give a single inch to any Newcastle player, shutting down anything and everything that came his way. He was also the conductor from the back as his long-range passing was once again on point, finding Reds forwards with relative ease all afternoon.
The highlight of his 90 minutes was clearly his goal. With Liverpool falling behind very early, it was key for someone to get the side back on level terms before they went in at the break. The Dutchman took it upon himself to pull his side back in the game as he towered over all the Newcastle defenders to loop a delicate header into the net after a great cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The Oranje defender has once again easily been the best defender in the Premier League this season. His importance in the spine of this Liverpool side cannot be overstated. His contributions have been massive towards this team lifting the title and hopefully he can continue to be part of a dominant defence for years to come.
Joe GomezEmbed from Getty Images
Unfortunately for van Dijk’s defensive partner, Gomez finished the season with a mediocre display. The Englishman was generally sloppy throughout the game, misplacing several passes and missing key tackles only for his Dutch partner to tidy up. It was just one of those days for 23-year-old and will not dwell on this as the job is already done for this season.
It was one of only a handful of below par displays throughout the season for the former Charlton man who has been extremely impressive. He has asserted himself as van Dijk’s partner since returning to the starting 11 back in November and will continue to be a part of that formidable backline going into next season.
Now that Dejan Lovren has left the club, Gomez will now have even more responsibility in that defensive unit moving forwards. With the starting job alongside the Dutchman his to lose and several medals now around his neck at his tender age, he will be hungry to add more accolades and appearances over the next few seasons.
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