Football

Liverpool & Newcastle in Premier League: Mohamed Salah scored to equal another Premier League record.

Liverpool players celebrate after Trent Alexander Arnold scored against Newcastle on December, 16 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Liverpool cruised to a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United as Mohamed Salah scored to equal another Premier League record.

With the win, Liverpool also became the first team to 2,000 top-flight wins in English football.

Jonjo Shelvey opened the scoring after seven minutes at Anfield on Thursday, but Diogo Jota soon restored parity – Liverpool finding the net for a club-record 32nd game in a row across all competitions.

Salah then nudged Jurgen Klopp’s men ahead four minutes later, matching Jamie Vardy’s record for scoring or assisting in 15 consecutive Premier League games, before Trent Alexander-Arnold produced a staggering strike in the second half to confirm victory.

Liverpool & Newcastle in Premier League

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring against Newcastle in a Premier League clash on Thursday, December 16 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Liverpool, who achieved the 2,000-win landmark in 4,227 games, moved three points clear of third-placed Chelsea – held by Everton – and within one of the leaders Manchester City, leaving Newcastle still three adrift of safety.

Jota was denied by Newcastle shot-stopper Martin Dubravka in a positive start by Liverpool, but a defence missing Virgil van Dijk following a suspected positive COVID-19 test conceded first when Shelvey whipped into the bottom-left corner from range.

Jota equalised in contentious fashion as he smashed in a close-range rebound to his own header with Isaac Hayden down inside the box, before Salah rifled Liverpool ahead after Dubravka had denied Sadio Mane.

Salah almost doubled his account in the first half but uncharacteristically dragged wide.

Dubravka was called upon again after the break to stop Mane’s header, while Jacob Murphy drilled narrowly off target with a rare Newcastle opportunity.

Liverpool & Newcastle in Premier League

Liverpool players Trent Alexander Arnold (right) and Roberto Firmino celebrate after Trent scored the third goal against Newcastle in a Premier League clash on Thursday, December 16 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Shelvey then curled a free-kick just wide of Alisson’s goal, but Alexander-Arnold sealed victory when he arrowed into the top-left corner from outside the area in the closing stages.

Newcastle has not won in the top flight at Anfield since April 1994 (26 matches); only against Manchester United (29 winless games) have the Magpies endured a worse away league run, although they briefly threatened an upset when Shelvey curled in.

Eddie Howe’s relegation-threatened side was perhaps unfortunate to see that advantage wiped out with Hayden down holding his head but could have few complaints about the final scoreline as Liverpool remained in pursuit of City at the top of the league.

Not only did Salah equal Vardy’s record with his first-half finish, but the Egypt international now has 24 Premier League goal involvements this season (15 goals, nine assists).

Only former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer in 1994-95 has been involved in more goals before Christmas (25 – 16 goals, nine assists), while Salah has scored in five consecutive home appearances against Newcastle in the competition.

Shelvey may have put his side ahead with his third Premier League goal against his former side – only Nicolas Anelka (five) has scored more times against Liverpool as a former Red – but Newcastle again paid for their mistakes.

After the contentious Jota goal, Shelvey gifted the ball to Liverpool before Salah scored. Goalkeeper Dubravka was at least impressed, making five saves, although his 50 touches were the most of any Newcastle player, showing their inability to muster a sustained response after falling behind.

Liverpool makes a trip to Tottenham on Sunday, while strugglers Newcastle’s task does not get any easier as they host leaders in Manchester City on the same day.

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