With a tense 1-0 win over Newcastle at St James’ Park, Liverpool went to the top of the Premier League table and maintained their quest for a historic quadruple. The Reds went two points clear of Manchester City, who face Leeds later on Saturday, thanks to Naby Keita’s first-half strike three days after their 2-0 success over Villarreal in the Champions League semi-final first leg (19).
Newcastle felt upset by the goal, believing James Milner should have been penalized for a foul on Fabian Schar in the build-up, but replays proved he won the ball legitimately and Keita took advantage of it with a clinical finish after exchanging passes with Diogo Jota. It looked like it was going to backfire as Newcastle got off to a solid start, pressuring Liverpool.
Liverpool, on the other hand, surged into the game and were in command of possession when Naby Keita scored in the 19th minute. The midfielder dribbled across the box and passed Martin Dubravka before putting the ball into the net with ease.
Sadio Mane should have made it 2-0 before halftime, but his counter-attacking drive was too close to Dubravka, who also saved a Diogo Jota header. Newcastle fans thought Miguel Almiron had equalised after rounding Alisson, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Jurgen Klopp rested Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, and Thiago Alcantara, yet Liverpool still won.
However, they were unable to increase their lead, with Sadio Mane coming closest when he blasted barely wide in the second half, as well as Jota, Luis Diaz, and Salah all missing chances. Newcastle came close to equalizing on the break, providing a tense finish for the visitors, but Klopp’s side held on to make it three Premier League wins in a row and maintain the pressure on City as the title race heats up.
In the hope of securing a spot in the final, Liverpool will play Villareal in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday. Newcastle have a difficult assignment ahead of them when they meet Manchester City, the current Premier League winners, on Sunday. With a kickoff at 4:30 p.m.