Liverpool moved three points clear in the Premier League title race after beating Newcastle 4-2 in a pulsating game they dominated but only sealed late on.
Jurgen Klopp’s relentless side posted 34 shots in the match to a backdrop of 7.27 of expected goals – the most created by one side in a Premier League game since Opta started recording the data in 2010.
But it was never a straightforward evening as Newcastle were level at 1-1 with 16 minutes to play after Alexander Isak had cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s opener.
Salah had already missed a first-half penalty by that point while Darwin Nunez wasted two big chances from his eight shots at goal as Liverpool inexplicably failed to edge in front.
However, Curtis Jones finally put the hosts clear before Cody Gakpo doubled the cushion moments later.
Salah keeps his nerve to signal Liverpool’s title intent…
Salah should have put his side in front when Luis Diaz was brought down by Botman but his fourth miss in his last 10 spot-kicks left Liverpool goalless despite a dominant first half. Trent Alexander-Arnold somehow also managed to spoon the rebound over the crossbar from eight yards.
Dubravka, in the side due to Nick Pope’s long-term injury, had one of those nights where he was repelling everything Liverpool threw at him, especially from Nunez. He was guilty of a big miss from Alexander-Arnold’s long pass from inside his own penalty area, shooting straight at Dubravka before also missing the rebound.
Dan Burn also had a goal ruled out for offside, but it was a rare attack for the visitors, who only had one shot in the first half.
Nunez launched a counter-attack after half time and this time chose the right option in squaring for Salah to open the scoring. Dubravka then denied Nunez from point-blank range and a volley on the run, and even Isak’s well-taken breakaway goal with their first effort since the eighth minute failed to halt the onslaught.
Nunez departed for Gakpo and Jota and Liverpool improved for the changes as they hunted the winning goal.
It was Jones that was not to be denied, tapping home after Jota had squared from Salah’s pass. There was to be no way back for Newcastle when Gakpo bundled home Salah’s cross and although Botman headed in from a corner, Liverpool had one more goal up their sleeve. It came when Jota raced through and was deemed to be brought down by Dubravka and Salah was able to sign off in style from the spot.
It moved Liverpool three points clear of second-placed Aston Villa and currently out of the reach of Manchester City, who are now five behind with a game in hand.