Liverpool seals 99-point season with comeback win at Newcastle

Newcastle - Liverpool

Newcastle – Liverpool: Three different goal scorers and assist men helped Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Sunday.

Old nemesis Dwight Gayle scored early to put the Reds down 1-0 but Virgil van Dijk, Divock Origi, and Sadio Mane scored to send the champions out on a club-record 99 points.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Newcastle finishes 13th with 44 points. Ex-Liverpool man Jonjo Shelvey assisted Gayle’s first minute opener.

WATCH NEWCASTLE – LIVERPOOL FULL MATCH REPLAY


Two things we learned (We’ll keep this quick)

1. Champs go out on top and deserve a rest: Liverpool, more than anyone else, has earned a proper break and the chance to recharge its batteries. It’s going to be monumentally challenging for the Reds to regroup with the same intensity and weekly desperation to outlast the competition but who cares? Order a lot of sandwiches and don’t think of soccer for a while, gents.

2. A word for Steve Bruce: Newcastle could hardly find a manager after Rafa Benitez left and Steve Bruce got a load of grief after accepting the job at his boyhood club. Whatever you think of the Magpies’ season — and they were very fortunate in many wins and draws — Bruce did one of his best managing jobs and deserves more than a few high fives if only for dealing with all the “Hey are you going to get fired if the takeover is completed?” questions. That he took so many without taking a swing at anyone deserves a wink and a nod.

Man of the Match

Mane only played about a half-hour but scored an absolute beauty. Call this a season-achievement award:


Newcastle – Liverpool recap

Former Newcastle teammate Georginio Wijnaldum trusted Shelvey a bit much in handing him the ball for a quickly-played free kick that sprung Gayle on Alisson Becker.

Gayle has done some things against Liverpool in his day, memories erased by the Reds’ lovely title this season.

Dubravka then made a flying save to deny Takumi Minamino’s dribble and rip in the 29th.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross was put home by Van Dijk to make it 1-1 at half.

Newcastle regrouped after the break and substitute Sean Longstaff could’ve had the Magpies back in front off a Shelvey feed but missed wide.

Origi made it 2-1 when he defied Dubravka just before the hour mark.

Salah then smashed off the post and was denied again when his break was denied by a sliding Federico Fernandez.

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