Christian Atsu

Liverpool survive Newcastle scare to take PL title race to final day

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  • Liverpool back in front in PL title race
  • Van Dijk’s header opened the scoring (13′)
  • Atsu leveled it 7 minutes later | Salah for 2-1 (28′)
  • Rondon levels it again (54′) | Origi wins it late (86′)

Liverpool guaranteed the Premier League title race will go down to the final day of the season with a 3-2 victory over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday. As the final score suggests, it was anything but easy or straightforward for Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds.

Whether or not Manchester City beat Leicester City in their penultimate league fixture on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com) will determine who takes the pole position into next Sunday’s simultaneous finales.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The opening 45 minutes of between the Reds and Magpies were frantic and goal-filled.

Virgil Van Dijk opened the scoring with one of the easiest headed goals that any player will ever score (WATCH HERE), but Liverpool’s lead lasted just seven minutes before Christian Atsu drew the home side level. Trent Alexander-Arnold will actually have been thankful that Atsu scored his chance, because the Liverpool defender would have otherwise been sent off for the clearest of handballs to block a goal-bound shot. Had the rebound not fallen to Atsu, and perhaps had he missed with his follow-up shot, Liverpool would have played a man down for 70 minutes.

Mohamed Salah restored Liverpool’s lead just eight minutes later with a deftly placed finish from a really difficult position. The ball came in from Alexander-Arnold on the right, but was too high for Salah to strike it with power and too low to head it. Instead, he re-positioned himself ever so slightly and leaned back just as the ball arrived, expertly re-directing it inside the far post.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The twists and turns weren’t finished, though — far from it, in fact.

Newcastle drew level again in the 54th minute, thanks to Salomon Rondo’s instinctual strike off the assist of another former Red, Javier Manquillo. It should have been little more than a half-chance, but the Venezuelan struck the ball ever so cleanly from near the penalty spot and Alisson could do nothing about it.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Salah was stretchered off the field in the 73rd minute after taking a powerful blow to the head from Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka (WATCH HERE).

Without last season’s PL Player of the Year, Liverpool struggled to create even a handful of chances from open play. Fortunately for Klopp, his side excels on set pieces. Divock Origi rose highest and got his head to Xherdan Shaqiri‘s free kick in the 86th minute.

Liverpool (94 points) will finish their title challenge when Wolverhampton Wanderers visit Anfield next Sunday. Man City (92, with a game still in hand), meanwhile, will be away to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Super sub Lukaku leads Man United to victory (video)

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  • Scoreless at half
  • Lukaku scores with first touch
  • Rashford puts it to bed

Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford scored second half goals as Manchester United won its fourth-straight match under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer with a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Wednesday.

The win moves United three points back of fifth place Arsenal and six back of fourth place Chelsea.

Newcastle United is now one of three teams on 18 points, two points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Marcus Rashford whipped a free post toward the near post that Martin Dubravka parried in the 9th minute.

Newcastle got its first chance when Christian Atsu got behind the defense and made a deft trap, but the Ghanaian’s shot was caught by a stooping David De Gea. Atsu then dribbled at Victor Lindelof before hitting a soft shot that didn’t fool De Gea.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Rashford and Anthony Martial both threatened in the Newcastle final third, but Dubravka was quick to react for the Magpies.

Paul Pogba cut a shot across goal and wide in the 30th.

DeAndre Yedlin found Salomon Rondon with a cross in the 34th minute, but the Venezuelan popped a header over the bar.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

 

Substitute Jonjo Shelvey helped Newcastle to a pair of chances, one an exceptional pass that Ayoze Perez butchered via first touch and the second a mediocre shot that was caught by De Gea.

Lukaku scored with his first touch of the game, as Dubravka spilled a Rashford free kick onto the doorstep.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Shelvey hammered a shot wide in the 69th, and Atsu did the same in the 76th.

Just as Newcastle United appeared to have their finger on the pulse of the match, the Red Devils counter attacked for goal No. 2. Rashford and Lukaku sprang the rush, with Alexis Sanchez providing the assist on the former’s finish.

Rondon roars as opportunistic Newcastle tops Terriers

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  • Newcastle moves six clear of drop zone
  • Rondon finds winner from Manquillo
  • Terriers two points back of 17th

Salomon Rondon scored the lone goal as Newcastle United won its first match in four tries with a 1-0 defeat of Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

It’s Rondon’s fourth goal in six games, as Rafa Benitez‘s Magpies move 14th. That’s six points ahead of 18th place, occupied by Huddersfield.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A slow first quarter-hour, played in a downpour, ceded for a moment when Huddersfield Town keeper Jonas Lossl was injured reacting to a Christian Atsu dribble. Lossl stayed in the game.

Philip Billing went for goal on a long free kick, and the wet ball was poked over the goal by Martin Dubravka. A corner led to another corner, but nothing for the Terriers.

A quick free kick play for Newcastle led to Fabian Schar one-on-one with Lossl, but the keeper blocked the first effort and Schar passed the rebound to no avail.

Jamaal Lascelles saw yellow with an orangish high tackle on Laurent Depoitre in the 35th minute. Moments later, Terrence Kongolo’s tight angle rip was deflected, and collected by Dubravka.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Both keepers made saves as Juninho Bacuna and Atsu traded low shots in the first 60 seconds of the second half.

Huddersfield had a good spell of possession, but Atsu again had the next dangerous moment as Lossl had to stop his first touch shot from close range.

Surprise! Newcastle took the lead completely against the run of play, stunning the John Smith’s Stadium when Ayoze Perez’s run down the right fed Javi Manquillo. The Spanish right back put an inch-perfect pass that Lossl couldn’t reach before Rondon.

Transfer rumor roundup: Hegazy linked with two PL clubs; Dembele to Arsenal

Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images
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With a long-term injury befalling Florian Lejeune, Rafa Benitez and Newcastle may look to add to its Midlands shopping list.

Already expected to swoop for center forward Salomon Rondon of West Brom, Benitez is eyeing up $12 million Baggies center back Ahmed Hegazy.

[ MORE: Zlatan suspended ]

The Egyptian was one of West Brom’s top performers despite making his Premier League debut in August. Brighton is also being linked with Hegazy.

Newcastle has signed Fabian Schar this summer, who will join Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark in Newcastle’s CB corps.

The Magpies are also linked with Club Brugge winger Anthony Limbombe, who was capped by Roberto Martinez. They’ll only be bringing him to town should they sanction the deal of Christian Atsu, who is being linked with Huddersfield Town.


Peak silly season here: Rumors that Arsenal may be able to land Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona have a wild other side of the deal.

A report claims that Unai Emery could land the winger he wanted at PSG from Barcelona if he sanctions the departure of Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Ramsey is a pivotal piece of Emery’s Arsenal project and when healthy is one of the top center midfielders in the Premier League.

That’s not to say Dembele isn’t a prospect with the same weight, but why Emery would give Ramsey away to make such a deal is a head-scratcher.

Newcastle United 1-0 Huddersfield: Dominant Magpies break through

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  • Magpies miss myriad chances before Perez finishes late
  • Town remains in relegation trouble
  • Magpies’ third-straight home shutout

Ayoze Perez’s late goal sent Newcastle United seven points clear of the drop zone with a 1-0 win over visiting Huddersfield Town at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Town is just three points clear of the drop after the win, with David Wagner‘s men outclassed aside from a late push.

Chelsea loanee Kenedy now has two goals and two assists in seven matches for Rafa Benitez.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Town’s Aaron Mooy gave away a dangerous set piece and picked up a yellow card for a two-footed takedown of Ayoze Perez, and Newcastle presided over a 25-yard free kick just left of center. Jonjo Shelvey‘s effort was partially blocked by the wall.

The Magpies were buzzing, with Dwight Gayle having a bicycle kick blocked and Shelvey just missing the far post with his rebound bid.

Jonas Lossl slid to deny Matt Ritchie in the 16th minute, the visitors alive despite the early frenzy.

Shelvey used a quick free start to send Gayle 1v1 with Lossl, but the English striker’s cheeky chip was wayward. And Gayle lifted a DeAndre Yedlin cross over the bar in the 33rd. Messy.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

There was more Newcastle as the second half began, and the hard-tackling Magpies had the Terriers on the ground a few times over the first five minutes.

Newcastle was finally rewarded, with substitutes Christian Atsu and Islam Slimani (on debut) making an impact. Perez found Atsu on the right, and Slimani challenged Lossl for the cross before the ball fell to Kenedy. The Brazilian squared the ball to Perez for the finish.

Slimani won an 85th minute free kick, and Shelvey rocketed it over the bar.