Amanda Staveley's noteworthy 'guest', Eddie Howe's reminder to Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool's potential red card – Newcastle United moments missed
Newcastle United suffered a first Premier League defeat at St James’s Park in 2022 at the hands of Liverpool – here are some moments you may have missed from the match.
Why Chris Wood was left out
For the second week running, Chris Wood was left out of Newcastle's starting line-up.
Eddie Howe made three changes from the side that beat Norwich City 3-0 last weekend with Fabian Schar, Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron coming back in for Jamaal Lascelles, Sean Longstaff and Jacob Murphy.
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Wood had previously been ever-present in the United starting line-up following his £25million arrival from Burnley in January.
But Howe’s decision to play without a recognised striker against an opponent aiming for an unprecedented quadruple was questioned following the full-time whistle.
The United boss told BBC Match of the Day: “We view every game independently. We needed to be strong down the sides against Liverpool’s wide players. Chris has been fantastic, but it was an opportunity to look at something else."
Newcastle's front three of Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron failed to threaten Liverpool although the latter did have a goal ruled out for offside once Naby Keita had given the visitors the lead.
Wood was introduced just past the hour mark but couldn’t help turn the game in Newcastle’s favour.
A rare feeling around St James’s Park
As the teams went in at half-time with Newcastle trailing 1-0, there was an unusual feeling around St James’s Park as it was the first time in 18 games that Howe’s side found themselves behind at the break.
A run stretching all the way back until the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City on December 19th 2021 has seen The Magpies be at least level heading into the second half.
Although Newcastle were behind this time out, they didn’t let the match get away from them as the scoreline remained 1-0.
Howe’s reminder to Jurgen Klopp
Newcastle fans spent a large portion of the afternoon directing their frustrations at referee Andre Marriner and the match officials.
This was mainly down to the fact that Liverpool scored their opening goal while defender Fabian Schar was down injured following a strong albeit fair clash with James Milner.
Liverpool chose to play on and ultimately found the crucial opening goal. There were shades of the reverse fixture with the strike too as the match at Anfield saw Diogo Jota find the net while Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden was down inside the penalty area with a head injury.
It was a decision that enraged Eddie Howe at the time and one he felt the need to remind Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp of during the match.
In the second half, Klopp and Howe engaged in a conversation on the touchline where Howe could be heard explaining how Liverpool scored when United had a player down inside the six-yard box in the previous meeting.
And that’s why some sections of the Newcastle supporters were so disappointed that history had seemingly repeated itself back on Tyneside on Saturday.
A potential red card?
As Liverpool pushed for a second goal, the impressive Martin Dubravka kept the visitors at bay in the second half.
And after successfully claiming the ball following a Liverpool corner, Dubravka was hit by a straight legged challenge from Sadio Mane just above his knee as the Liverpool forward attempted to get the ball.
Andre Marriner spotted the foul and Mane escaped with a yellow card though the reckless nature of the challenge could have warranted a red.
Had Marriner missed the foul entirely, VAR could have potentially intervened which may have led to Mane’s dismissal. But with the referee making a decision and cautioning the player, it wasn’t deemed a ‘clear and obvious’ error and therefore wasn’t overturned.
Newcastle experienced similar frustrations with Kai Havertz’s elbow on Dan Burn at Chelsea earlier in the season.
Amanda Staveley accompanied by a noteworthy ‘guest’
England manager Gareth Southgate was spotted sitting next to Newcastle co-owner Amanda Staveley during the match as Liverpool claimed a vital three points in their hunt for the Premier League title.
Southgate has rarely been seen at St James’s Park in recent seasons as no Newcastle player has been called-up since he was appointed England manager in 2016.
Liverpool had a couple of England internationals on show in Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez while Newcastle had six Englishmen feature in the game.
Matt Targett, Dan Burn, Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Willock all started the match as Jamaal Lascelles and Jacob Murphy were introduced from the bench.
While Burn put in a typically solid defensive display, no Newcastle player did enough to put themselves in Southgate’s immediate thoughts for the upcoming Nations League matches in June.
Jurgen Klopp’s telling full-time gesture
It’s safe to say that Saturday’s match was more important to Liverpool than it was to Newcastle.
The Magpies have effectively secured Premier League safety with games to spare and they are hopeful of finishing in the top half.
But Klopp’s side needed to win as it sent them temporarily to the top of the Premier League table ahead of Manchester City, who played Leeds United later in the day.
So when the full-time whistle blew, Klopp ferociously punched the air in celebration before going over to shake Howe’s hand.
Although Liverpool dominated the game, Newcastle were able to keep the scoreline tight and always had a chance of nicking a result against the run of play.
Following the match, Klopp explained his joy with the win.
“I thought it was a top class game in extremely difficult circumstances – playing this kind of football,” he told Match of the Day.
"That’s why I’m really happy. You want to win football games and in the best case you deserve to win and we did today 100% against a team in great form in a great atmosphere."