Florian Lejeune

Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle: No problems at Anfield

1 Comment
  • Salah scores 32nd of season
  • Mane notches 14th
  • Reds reclaim second

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah led Liverpool to an easy-enough win in the Premier League.

This time it was a 2-0 win over Newcastle United at Anfield, sending the Reds second before Manchester United plays Crystal Palace on Monday.

Liverpool and Manchester United meet up on March 10 at Old Trafford.

Newcastle remains in the thick of the relegation race, and will play a huge six-pointer versus Southampton on March 10.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Liverpool started with heavy possession as expected, and Sadio Mane was on the doorstep to a goal within five minutes.

Mohamed Salah hammered a volley off Paul Dummett in the 12th minute as the Reds continued to knock at the door.

Salah then attempted a wild shot from an acute angle that nearly beat Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to the near post, but the backstop tipped it wide of the goal.

A horrific giveaway by DeAndre Yedlin looked to have set Liverpool up for its opener, but Florian Lejeune closed down Salah before the Egyptian could score yet another goal.

The Magpies had a moment or two around the half hour mark, including a lashing over the goal by Dwight Gayle, who’s had a moment or two himself versus Liverpool.

Salah got his goal in the 40th minute off an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain-led break, taking his feed and potting behind Martin Dubravka.

Loris Karius made an outstanding save on Mohamed Diame at the start of stoppage time.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Oxlade-Chamberlain remained a danger, and a 53rd minute break forced another timely intervention from Newcastle to thwart Roberto Firmino.

Mane soon put the Reds ahead by two, with a 56th minute goal, Firmino cueing up the Senegalese sensation for another Liverpool marker.

Aside from a Joselu penalty shout, there wasn’t much to cheer about the final 20 minutes for either side.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Newcastle United

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Florian Lejeune and Jamaal Lascelles anchor Newcastle United’s effort to slow Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The Magpies held the Reds 1-1 at St. James’ Park, but away is another story against Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Co.


Dejan Lovren pairs with Virgil Van Dijk in the center of Liverpool’s back line as the Reds aim to go second.


Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Can, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Firmino. Subs: Mignolet, Milner, Gomez, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke, Matip

Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Murphy, Diame, Merino, Kenedy, Atsu, Gayle. Subs: Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Hayden, Ritchie, Perez, Joselu

Newcastle stuns Manchester United

1 Comment
  • Dubravka shines in debut
  • Ritchie scores off set piece
  • Mourinho winless at St. James’ Park

Matt Ritchie‘s second half goal led Newcastle United to a 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday at St. James’ Park to ensure their stay in the Premier League’s drop zone was a shade over two hours.

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka made a number of huge saves as Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial were continually flummoxed by the hosts.

The win boosts Newcastle into 13th place with 28 points, while Manchester United remains second with 56.

Paul Pogba was pulled in the 66th minute after losing his mark on Newcastle’s goal.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chris Smalling gave away a free kick on the edge of the 18 with a handball, and Kenedy stared down David De Gea before letting Gayle blast one into the wall. De Gea stopped Jonjo Shelvey on the rebound before DeAndre Yedlin ended the chance by shooting over the goal.

A Manchester United giveaway allowed Diame to cue up Ayoze Perez for a half-chance that zipped wide of the goal.

The Red Devils settled into possession but couldn’t find the target, with Newcastle backstop Martin Dubravka making a few handy plays on debut. At the other end, Kenedy his a hard shot right at De Gea.

Moments after Dwight Gayle held up a potentially strong Newcastle break, Anthony Martial nearly made them pay but for a Dubravka save.

Lukaku crossed for Martial, who got in front of Paul Dummett but drove his header wide.

Chris Smalling chopped down Gayle at the corner of the 18, but no penalty call came for the English striker.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The second half saw Matt Ritchie’s penalty shout denied by the offside flag, and United started to assert control soon after through a Lukaku goal pulled back for a foul and an Alexis Sanchez penalty shout that ended with his shooting into the side netting.

Sanchez then flubbed a chance to make it 1-0 with an extra touch after dancing past Dubravka. The superfluous move allowed Florian Lejeune to slide in front of him and block the shot.

Newcastle won a free kick when Smalling dove inside his own half, and Shelvey’s free kick was headed into Ritchie’s path by

Jose Mourinho pulled Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard for Michael Carrick and Juan Mata after the goal, and the Red Devils were back at it. Dubravka stopped an Ashley Young rip in the 68th minute.

Newcastle showed steel as the Red Devils kept attacking, with Martial seeing two shots from the top of the six blocked by Gayle and Yedlin.

West Brom: Evans relegation release reportedly just $4M

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jonny Evans has been fantastic for West Bromwich Albion this season, shepherding the Baggies back line while being involved in as many goals as any player not named Salomon Rondon or Jay Rodriguez.

[ MORE: High profile loan for Palace ]

So it would make sense for West Brom to hang onto the player at almost all costs given its status as a team in danger of the drop after its slow start under Tony Pulis has kept its lackluster pace under Alan Pardew.

Here’s the rub: Some big clubs would like to purchase Evans, who has 18 months left on his deal but reportedly no interest in signing a new deal the Hawthorns. Even worse? Monday’s story that a Baggies’ relegation would make his buyout clause just over $4 million.

Defenders who cost more last summer on the Premier League market include Jan Bednarek, Nathan Ake, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Michael Keane, Florian Lejeune, Mathias Jorgensen, Andrew Robertson, Bruno Martins Indi, and many others.

Heck, Evans’ buyout clause is the same price Derby County paid Liverpool for Andre Wisdom. And these fees are all pre-Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool madness.

Considering only Swansea and Brighton have scored fewer league goals than the Baggies, who are just now committing to a two-striker approach under Pardew, does it make sense for West Brom to sell now?

Evans’ value at 18 months out will be more than it is at 12 months out even if the Baggies avoid relegation, but he’s possibly a lynch pin of the team. And the volatile value for attackers mean the $25-35 million he’d generate may not make for like-for-like value.

It’s not an easy decision, but desperate times call for similar measures. The Baggies have played in four nil-nils this season, and lost 1-0 to relegation rivals Southampton and Huddersfield Town away. Both of the reverse fixtures remain.

There are creative options here, too. Would Jurgen Klopp sanction a high(ish) profile attacker loan to WBA in order to pair Evans with Van Dijk? Same for Pep Guardiola at Man City?

Transfer rumor roundup: Lozano to Arsenal, Luiz to Newcastle

Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

‘Tis the season.

The January transfer window opens, no surprise, with the start of the New Year, and 2018 could be bringing some big switches as clubs aim to survive the drop or cement their Top Four stock.

Mexico star Hirving “Chucky” Lozano’s red hot start to life in Europe has him in line for a move to Arsenal, according to Metro. The 22-year-old striker just left Liga MX for the Eredivisie last summer, but boasts 10 goals and six assists in 12 league matches. Lozano scored 18 times for Pachuca between Liga MX and the CONCACAF Champions League last season.

[ MORE: Larin to UCL Round of 16 side? ]

That’s impressive even for the free-scoring world of the Netherlands top flight, and Arsene Wenger could see fit to make him “the most expensive Mexican player of all-time.” Lozano cost PSV Eindhoven less than $10 million in July, and Arsenal is said to be willing to spend as much as $56 million on him.

Arsenal had also been linked with David Luiz, but surely Antonio Conte would rather move the reportedly out-of-favor defender to a club outside of London. Enter Newcastle, as the London Evening Standard says a Luiz loan to St. James’ Park could be on the cards.

Benitez could go to a back three, but it’s more likely he’d play Luiz as more of a holding midfielder in front of a combination of Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, and Florian Lejeune.