Jetro Willems opened the scoring for Newcastle but Sadio Mans double and Mo Salah ensured a 3-1 win for Liverpool to extend their perfect start to the season
There are days when you must accept magnificence in the opposition ranks and your punishment. This was one of them for Steve Bruce. His Newcastle team were committed, disciplined and belligerent at Anfield; they took the lead in stunning style and they were still cut apart by the brilliant precision of Liverpools attack. It was a perfect day for the leaders with Manchester City failing in such unexpected fashion at Carrow Road in the evening.
Sadio Man struck twice and Mohamed Salah once as Liverpool recorded a 14th consecutive Premier League win and extended their unbeaten league run to 22 games, their longest under Jrgen Klopp. The pair were indebted to sublime assists from Roberto Firmino, who came off the bench to turn an awkward assignment into a comfortable triumph with some magisterial touches. Jetro Willems thumping early strike and the league leaders difficulties were long forgotten by the time Salah sealed another three points, to take them five clear at the head of the table.
The top end of the pitch is always the most crucial and Liverpools front three are as good as you can get, admitted the Newcastle manager, whose bench was barren in comparison to the options available to Klopp. You can understand why they have not been beaten here for two and a half years, are European champions and lost only one game last season. It has been difficult but we knew it would be difficult.
Klopps concern that the international break would disturb his teams rhythm was initially well-founded. Liverpool started sluggishly. I started enjoying it after about 25 minutes when we finally arrived in the game, their manager said. The accuracy of Firmino and Jordan Henderson, both rested before Tuesdays Champions League tie at Napoli, was missed. An added problem was Newcastles tight organisation and sharpness on the counterattack.
There was no surprise about the 5-4-1 formation that brought three points for Bruces team on their last away trip at Tottenham. In Christian Atsu and Joelinton, Newcastle also had a potent mix of penetration and power that caused the Liverpool defence problems whenever it combined. The regret for Bruce was that it could not be sustained due to the intensity that returned to the hosts display, although not before Newcastle stunned Anfield by taking the lead. Atsu released Willems down the left and the wing-back stepped inside Trent Alexander-Arnold, a little too easily, to drive an unstoppable finish into Adrins top corner with his supposedly weaker right foot. Bruce burst out of his dugout in shock and joy. His team had something to hold, Liverpool something to lose. Despite near misses from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Man the home team did not spark into life immediately after falling behind. But the pressure built gradually and inevitably told.