What a crazy night at St James’ Park.
Some feared we’d be blown away by this Liverpool side, but Benitez and the players almost got it absolutely spot on tonight, with some awful refereeing decisions and equally bad marking costing us in this one.
Unfortunately, a few controversial moments, both on and off the pitch, have soured things considerably (Fabinho blatantly dived for the free kick that lead to their winner and crowds off Liverpool fans were all over the Milburn and causing chaos) but that was one hell of a game of football.
We were outstanding, showing real energy, quality and commitment to the cause, but Rondon was the pick of the bunch me. Not only did he score his 10th Premier League goal with an emphatic finish to make it 2-2, he bullied Lovren all night and was absolutely tireless up top. Keeping BOTH him and Benitez is essential.
We defended well as a unit, limiting Liverpool as much as I’ve seen any side do this season from open play, but poor marking from one corner, one cross and one free kick has ultimately cost us.
Ritchie’s energy and tenacity was infectious, with him barely giving Mo Salah an inch of space, Dummett was typically solid, while Atsu also deserves real credit for grabbing a rare goal and causing them all sorts of problems on the break.
Here’s how the bottom half of the table looks after today’s results:
Elsewhere today, Cardiff were relegated after losing 3-2 at home to Palace, West Ham put three past Southampton, Bournemouth beat nine-man Spurs 1-0 and Wolves beat an already relegated Fulham 1-0 at Molineux.
So, just one game remains for us now, with a trip to Craven Cottage set to round off our 2018/19 campaign next Sunday:
An outstanding effort from the lads and an electric atmosphere to end the season at St James’ Park – it’s just a shame we didn’t get what we deserved.
Hats off to all involved – especially the guys from Wor Flags who put on one of the best displays yet in the Gallowgate.