A tough game against a title-chasing Liverpool side who were in control of this one from start to finish at St James’ Park.
We didn’t disgrace ourselves, but the gulf in class was clear in a game we just never got going in – seeing the hosts have 24 shots to our four and almost 70% possession.
Here’s our marks out of 10 and comments on each player who featured:
Martin Dubravka – 8* – Made NINE saves and really stepped up, especially in the second half. Got sold a bit easily for Liverpool goal but can’t fault him other than that. He kept us in the game.
Emil Krafth – 7 – Was always going to be a difficult afternoon but thought he did did well considering Liverpool’s dominance. Given the electric Luis Diaz to deal with in the second half but battled well and held his own.
Fabian Schar – 5 – Involved in a controversial incident which led to Liverpool’s first goal, which saw his poor touch and mistimed tackle give them possession (and leave him out of position) just before they scored. Other than that, defended pretty well.
Dan Burn – 6.5 – Solid showing from the Geordie Giant, who had an indecisive start but did OK in the end. Couldn’t do a lot about the goal. Won everything in the air as always.
Matt Targett – 7 – Dealt well with Diogo Jota and defended well as always – althoug he will have been glad to see Diaz switch wings at half-time! Couldn’t get forward enough to show his quality left-foot.
Jonjo Shelvey – 6 – Struggled with Liverpool’s energy and intensity, but didn’t shirk any tackles and tried to create from deep when he had the ball.
Bruno Guimareas – 6.5 – One of our better performers on the day. He’s always willing to get on the ball and dribble up the pitch, also getting stuck in and closing down out of possession. He’s some player, but lacked movement from the attackers, limiting his ability to impact the game like he can.
Joe Willock – 5 – Didn’t offer enough in midfield and went missing at times. Tried to battle on and carry the ball forward in flashed before being substituted for Wood shortly after the hour mark.
Joelinton – 5 – Quiet afternoon for the big Brazilian who couldn’t get into the game. Struggled to stay with Liverpool runners and lacked quality in the final third, despite his physicality causing problems early on.
Miguel Almiron – 6 – Fantastic energy, however lacks quality in key areas, sometimes goes down too easily and was offside FAR too many times. A big effort and some nice movement, but his limitations on the ball and poor timing of runs let him down.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 5 – Couldn’t get going this afternoon and cut a frustrated figure. Struggled to beat his man and, despite a few mazy runs, his final pass or shot a goal was often lacking.
Chris Wood – 5 – Tried to offer an aerial threat from the bench, but was dealt with well by Matip and Van Dijk. Almost got in behind but was caught offside before his shot was stopped by Alisson.
Jamal Lascelles – 5 – Came on for an injured Schar with 30 minutes remaining. Nearly cost us a goal, but Jota’s wastefulness kept the score at 0-1.
Jacob Murphy – N/A – Made little impact in the final 10 minutes after replacing Krafth.