Amanda Staveley sees Newcastle United's Premier League 'benchmark' ahead of summer investment

Newcastle have come a long way in a short space of time under Howe – but the club, which aspires to win major trophies, still has a long way to go.

Saturday, 30th April 2022, 2:25 pm

And that was underlined by this afternoon’s 1-0 defeat to Liverpool at St James’s Park.

Jurgen Klopp's side became only the second Premier League team to beat Newcastle under Howe at St James’s Park. Naby Keita’s goal saw Liverpool go above Manchester City, the last team to beat United at home in the Premier League, at the top of the division.

United co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi have spent the past few months “benchmarking” the club’s operations against the best in the Premier League.

Klopp has set the playing benchmark at Liverpool along with Pep Guardiola at Liverpool. It took Klopp years to build a title-winning team, and this is another long-term project, though Newcastle weren't far behind their visitors in terms of their domestic form this year following a remarkable turnaround.

Howe had made three changes, recalling Fabian Schar, Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron to his starting XI in place of Jamaal Lascelles, Sean Longstaff and Jacon Murphy.

Joelinton – who had scored twice against Norwich City last weekend – was again fielded in a forward position after being switched from midfield at Carrow Road.

Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, felt that he could afford to start Mo Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench following their midweek Champions League tie against Villarreal.

Newcastle United's Joelinton clashes with Liverpool's Diogo Jota.

The sold-out game kicked off following a stunning Wor Flags display on all four sides of St James’s Park.

There was noise from all sides once the game got started. Liverpool had the bulk of the early possession, and created a couple of half-chances, in the opening 15 minutes.

Their breakthrough came in the 20th minute when Fabian Schar was down injured after being caught by former United winger James Milner. Liverpool played on, and Keita opened the scoring after dribbling into the six-yard box, and beyond Martin Dubravka, after they worked the ball from the right.

Schar was able to play on after treatment, and the game settled down.

England manager Gareth Southgate with Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley at St James's Park.

Almiron had the ball in the net late in the half after rounding Allisson, but the midfielder was offside after mistiming his run.

The visitors took their lead into the break, and Newcastle’s players left the pitch knowing they hadn’t really got going with the ball in the final third of the pitch.

United were unchanged after the interval, but Howe was forced into a change in the 61st minute when Schar went down again. The defender – who this week signed a new two-year deal – was replaced by club captain Jamaal Lascelles.

Joelinton was switched back into midfield following the introduction of Chris Wood – he replaced Joe Willock in the 67th minute – and Klopp responded by introducing Mo Salah and Fabinho.

Newcastle still found it hard to get the ball off Liverpool, who saw out the game to move two points clear of City.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka, Krafth (Murphy, 85), Schar (Lascelles, 61), Burn, Targett, Shelvey, Guimaraes, Willock (Wood, 67), Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton. Subs not used: Darlow, Dummett, Ritchie, Manquillo, Gayle, Longstaff.