Emil Krafth

Liverpool overcomes early blip, dominates Newcastle

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Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool overcame an early concession to continue its brilliant start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 win over Newcastle United at Anfield.

Roberto Fimino set up Mohamed Salah for Liverpool’s third goal, as the Reds look very ready for their trip to Napoli to start the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

The Reds are the fourth team to win 14-straight top flight matches in English history.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jetro Willems scored a terrific 7th minute goal for Newcastle, which was unable to produce another goal despite a gilt-edged chance for Emil Krafth.

Liverpool is now 5-0, the only perfect team in the league, while Newcastle’s four points through five matches have them above the drop zone for now.


Three things we learned

  1. Soothed, soothed Sadio — Mane’s two goals came in very Mane fashion; The drama of last match week behind him, the Senegalese winger curled a powerful shot home for his first goal, and put off Dubravka with his pace and industry to produce an easier second. This will be exactly what Liverpool wanted: A quick cleansing of whatever residue was left by his very public displeasure with Mohamed Salah, although it is a little bit of an eyebrow raiser that they didn’t celebrate together much over the course of three goals.
  2. Almiron absent — There were not too many signs that Miguel Almiron’s Paraguay goal, his first in 27 appearances for club and country, snapped him out of his slump. Over 67 minutes, the ex-Atlanta United man continued his PL struggles: 64 percent passing, just one successful dribble, and 30 total touches.
  3. Firmino the Man — It’s not often a first half sub makes the opposition feel worse about its chances, but the game changed when Roberto Firmino entered the match for injured Divock Origi. He created a few beautiful moments, none better than the dizzying assist to Salah.


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Newcastle took a shock lead with a vicious counter attack, Christian Atsu getting behind the back line to collect a long ball before playing Willems into the box for a thunderous shot.

It was all Liverpool going forward, and Jamaal Lascelles was very fortunate not to have conceded a penalty for a foul of Joel Matip in the box.

Mane made it 1-1 within moments, as Liverpool finally got its first shot on target. Andy Robertson fed Mane for a rocket of his own in the 28th minute, as Jonjo Shelvey could not catch up with the Senegalese star.

An Atsu giveaway sent the ball and Mane toward goal, and Martin Dubravka failed to collect the ball with a slide as Mane leapt over him. The striker was there to tap home the loose ball.

Georginio Wijnaldum nearly scored a sensational goal in the 49th minute when he used the outside of his boot to nearly writhe a shot around Dubravka.

Great work from Atsu was nearly redemptive for the score line, as Emil Krafth couldn’t settle the cross and could not take advantage of a slow-to-react Virgil Van Dijk.

The Reds could’ve put it to bed twice in the next five minutes, Firmino unable to head an Alexander-Arnold cross past Dubravka and Robertson missing wide from an acute angle.

Firmino’s assist on Salah’s goal was magnificent, and the match was over with 17 minutes to play.

USMNT’s Yedlin out of Newcastle opener, may need new scans

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images
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Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says DeAndre Yedlin‘s recovery from surgery has taken longer than expected, meaning new signing Emil Krafth may go directly into the Starting XI against Arsenal.

[ MORE: Newcastle United season preview ]

Yedlin had surgery on his groin in May, and missed the entire summer for the USMNT. The 26-year-old was expected to feature for Newcastle by preseason, but his delayed return may have pushed the Magpies into action in the transfer market.

He has been training with the team, but has apparently needed a fresh set of scans due to slow progression. He surely won’t like the idea of opening the door to another right back.

From The Chronicle:

“DeAndre Yedlin has had an operation and hasn’t recovered, so it became clear that we needed cover in that area,” Bruce said. “(Krafth) will certainly give us that. He’s an experienced player who has been on the radar for some time. He’ll bring us the experience and know-how that any team needs.”

Krafth has only one training session in the books for Newcastle, so that may be decent news for Arsenal’s amazing array of attackers.

The comments make you wonder whether Yedlin’s issues could extend deeper into the season, perhaps putting his status in question for the Gregg Berhalter’s September call-ups.

Transfer rumor roundup: Umtiti to Man Utd, Krafth to Newcastle

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Perhaps Manchester United has tired of Leicester City’s hesitance to accept a deal for Harry Maguire, and is now looking west.

That’s where Samuel Umtiti plays at Barcelona, a club which has reportedly made him available in a number of deals (swap or otherwise).

[ MORE: Lukaku, Dybala swap? ]

Le10 Sport claims that the World Cup and La Liga winner could be headed to Old Trafford on a $56 million deal, with United “saving” some cash given the world record fee expected for Maguire.

Umtiti has 31 caps and four goals for France, but has struggled to keep a foothold at Barca following a move from Lyon in 2016. He played just 14 times for Barcelona following a pair of 40-match seasons during his first two campaigns.

With Steve Bruce comfortably in the manager’s chair, Newcastle continues to be linked with additions after picking up Brazilian striker Joelinton, English-American midfielder Kyle Scott, and British backstop Jake Turner.

Sky Sports says the Magpies have been shut down in a bid to loan Harry Wilson from Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp preferring no move or a permanent transfer for the player, but they may have more luck in Ligue 1.

Newcastle has been linked with Emil Krafth of Amiens, though the fees have been typically tricky to understand. The French side purchased the right-sided player from Bologna for around $4 million, and Newcastle has reportedly been shot down with a $5.5 million bid.

Krafth, 24, has 20 caps for Sweden and three assists, playing both of the nation’s knockout round matches at the 2018 World Cup.