win nabbed Jurgen Klopp explains why he made changes to his team as Liverpool beat Newcastle
Naby Keita ensured Liverpool’s quadruple hopes remain very much alive as he fired them to victory at in-form Newcastle.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted he had to make changes to his team, as they ground out a 1-0 win against Newcastle at St James' Park.
Naby Keita ensured Liverpool’s quadruple hopes remain very much alive as he fired them to victory at in-form Newcastle to keep up the pressure on Premier League title rivals Manchester City.
Keita’s assured first-half finish was enough to claim a win at St James’ Park on a day when Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was able to rest Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara and Mohamed Salah from his startling line-up ahead of Tuesday’s decisive Champions League semi-final trip to Villarreal.
Liverpool might – and probably should – have won more comfortably in front of a boisterous crowd of 52,281 as they held the upper hand for much of a contest which saw the Magpies’ hopes of a fifth successive league win and a seventh on the trot at home wilt in the face of almost constant pressure.
Eddie Howe’s men were never able to build up the kind of head of steam which has eased them clear of the relegation battle, perhaps a reminder of how far they have to go before they can once again compete with English football’s best on a sustained basis.
Klopp admitted he had one eye on next Tuesday's Champions League semi-final when he rested his big names, as he paid tribute to his squad.
"I don’t think about the next game but I know you cannot ignore that," he said. "My job is to use the squad when they are available and that’s what we do. Today we thought it was the right thing today because we needed legs in this game.
"I thought it was a top class game in extremely difficult circumstances. Playing this kind of football.
"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.
"It’s the most difficult of circumstances. A team in form, a crowd waiting for ages for proper success. Coming here with five changes and building pretty much a new setup is really difficult, so the performance was absolutely outstanding. I loved it. We controlled the game in so many ways.
1985/86: 41— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 30, 2022
A 🆕 club record for wins in all competitions during a single season 🙌 pic.twitter.com/8fFvV5m0X6
"The only plan they had was the long ball to our right side. The impact we have from the bench is outstanding. Joe Gomez, what a game. Naby Keita, what a game. James Milner, what a game. Diogo Jota – my god, what a game. Then you see Andy Robertson in the 93rd minute, making the run.
"You can’t really defend them properly because it’s always these long balls. It’s really difficult to get a feeling for the game, but it’s obviously not the first time these things happen. We had to put Joel [Matip] wide and Joe [Gomez] on the side. We had to put Naby [Keita] in front of the challenges.
"Our people were outstanding and Newcastle are obviously a really passionate crowd. Winning here is special."
Liverpool are not the only English club who have headed into the month of May in contention for a quadruple, as they are still in contention to win the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup having already won the League Cup back in February.
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