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    Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle United Match Report

    Mohamed Salah scored his 32nd goal of the season as Liverpool kept up their excellent recent form with a comfortable win over Newcastle United at Anfield.

    The home side struggled to break down their resolute opponents for most of the first-half but there would only be one outcome once the Egyptian had given his team the lead five minutes before the break.

    Salah was found by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's clever pass, which opened up the Newcastle defence, and he duly slotted the ball through the legs of Martin Dubravka to finally break the deadlock.

    The Reds struggled to create clear-cut opportunities in the early stages of the match, although Sadio Mane would only have had Dubravka to beat from close-range had he successfully controlled a pinpoint pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

    Salah nearly scored a spectacular goal when his first-time strike from a tight angle was saved by Dubravka, while Dejan Lovren was also denied by the Slovak stopper when he attacked an inswinging corner with a downward header.

    Newcastle, who created very few opportunities throughout the match, tried to frustrate their hosts during the first-half but their gameplan became less effective after conceding the opening goal.

    The Magpies almost responded immediately to Salah's strike, however, as Mohamed Diame was denied by a full-stretch save from Lorius Karius when his left-footed strike was heading towards the top-corner.

    The game was finally over as a contest once Jurgen Klopp's side had scored the all-important second goal, with Sadio Mane beating Dubravka with a clinical finish after he was picked out by Firmino's exquisite pass in the 55th-minute.

    The home team, who continued to dominate possession after Mane's second goal, were thwarted by a well-drilled back-four for the remainder of the contest although they were perhaps unfortunate not to have been awarded at least one penalty.

    Salah's left-footed strike was blocked by the arms of Jamaal Lascelles early in the second-half and he was also tripped by the 24-year-old when through on goal but referee Graham Scott waved away Liverpool protestations on both occasions.

    The victory was The Reds' ninth from 12 Premier League matches, a run which started in December, while the club also secured a new record of scoring in 22 consecutive home matches against Newcastle United.

    Klopp's team temporarily moved up to second in the league ahead of Manchester United before The Red Devils responded on Monday night with a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

    The two North-West clubs meet in a mouth-watering clash at Old Trafford on Saturday although Liverpool's immediate focus will be on Tuesday's Champions League tie against FC Porto, in which they take a 5-0 lead into the second leg.

    Newcastle, meanwhile, drop a position to 16th in the table although they still retain a two-point buffer between themselves and 18th-place Crystal Palace with nine matches of the season remaining.

    Benitez's side return to action against 17th-place Southampton at St James' Park on Saturday afternoon, which is the club's final game before they enjoy the luxury of a three-week break.
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle United Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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