Naby Keita shines as Liverpool beat Newcastle to go top

PLAYER RATINGS: Naby Keita capped a fantastic afternoon at St James’ Park with the decisive goal to clinch a vital win for Liverpool while Allan Saint-Maximin lacked service and struggled to get involved

  • Liverpool edged past Newcastle to go top of the Premier League on Saturday
  • Naby Keita thrived in midfield and netted the winning goal in the first half
  • Meanwhile, Allan Saint-Maximin struggled to make his mark for the hosts
  • Sportsmail looks at how the players from both sides fared at St James’ Park 

Liverpool beat Newcastle 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday to move back to the top of the Premier League table.

Naby Keita scored the only goal of the game as the Reds moved one step closer to completing an unprecedented quadruple.

Sportsmail’s Dominic King assesses how the players from both teams fared on Tyneside in the weekend’s early kick-off… 

Naby Keita netted the winning goal to send Liverpool top of the Premier League table


Martin Dubravka – Only reason Newcastle were able to stay in the game so long was down to him making so many good saves – 8

Emil Krafth – Given a breather late on after spending much of the afternoon chasing up and down after Diaz and Mane – 5

Fabian Schar – Injured himself in the build up to Liverpool’s opening goal with a rash tackle and was later withdrawn – 5

Fabian Schar went down in the build up to the goal, and had to be taken off after the break

Dan Burn – Strong and imposing and stuck to his guns against Jota, came out of the contest with a fair degree of credit – 7

Matt Targett – Liverpool looked to prey on him in the first half but he stuck it, as he did when Salah came on to ask questions – 7

Bruno Guimaraes – First time he was sighted in a position of danger was in the 87th minute when he produced a shot that was as tame as his display – 5

Bruno Guimaraes had one of his quieter games in a Newcastle shirt on Saturday

Jonjo Shelvey – There was once a time when he was regarded as Liverpool’s midfield future but he never got near the current bunch – 5

Joe Willock – Tough afternoon for the youngster and no chance to repeat what he did last year with a late equaliser against Liverpool – 6

Miguel Almiron – Had the ball in the net but was immediately flagged offside; given no change by Robertson – 5

Allan Saint-Maximin – His frustrations threatened to boil over at times as he strayed offside, struggled for service and never got involved – 5

Allan Saint-Maximin cut a frustrated figure for much of the afternoon at St James’ Park

Joelinton – Much improved under Eddie Howe but this wasn’t a game to showcase the qualities that have so enthused the locals – 5


Lascelles (for Schar 60mins 6), Wood (for Willock 67mins 5), Murphy (for Krafth 85mins 5)


Darlow (GK), Dummett, Ritchie, Manquillo, Gayle, Longstaff


Eddie Howe – Spent much of the game in conversation with his assistant Jason Tindall trying to find some way of solving the riddles Liverpool posed. He never found an answer – 5

Eddie Howe’s side were unable to make it seven home wins on the trot in the Premier League


Alisson Becker – Making big saves doesn’t make him the best goalkeeper in the world; it’s the sense of calm, his distribution and positioning, all of which were faultless – 7

Joe Gomez – Grew into the game and really found his stride in the second half, helping the attack and making big tackles – 8

Joel Matip – A couple of moments when it appeared that he might get caught out but, in the main, did his job well – 7

Virgil van Dijk – There is an argument to say he could have been Footballer of the Year; another afternoon when he was impeccable – 8.5

Virgil van Dijk had another imperious game at the back for the visitors

Andrew Robertson – In the form of his life and was wrapped in a bear hug by Jurgen Klopp as he made his way from the pitch – 8

James Milner – The elder statesman of the squad returned to the starting line-up and his tigerish tackle was the catalyst for the decisive goal – 7

Jordan Henderson – Ran the midfield and never let his team-mates lose focus; left the field to home fans jeering him and it was music to his ears – 7

Jordan Henderson hardly put a foot wrong in the middle of the park for Liverpool

Naby Keita – Easy to criticise him earlier in the season, not now. Fantastic afternoon, capped with a brilliant finish – 9

Luis Diaz – Danger looms every time he gets the ball and he had Newcastle’s defenders petrified when he started running. Deserved a goal – 7

Diogo Jota – One header saved in the first half, a clear chance spurned late in the second; key role in the goal – 7

Sadio Mane – A pest throughout but will wonder how he never made the game safe when wasting a glorious chance on the hour – 7

Sadio Mane wasted a couple of chances to put the game beyond doubt before he was replaced


Salah (for Mane 69mins), Fabinho (for Henderson 69mins), Thiago (for Milner 78mins)


Kelleher (GK), Fabinho, Konate, Alcantara, Salah, Jones, Tsimikas, Alexander-Arnold, Elliott


Jurgen Klopp – Overjoyed with his team’s efforts. He loves nothing more than a hard fought 1-0 win and this was right up his street – 7

Jurgen Klopp rotated his squad and it paid off as Liverpool picked up an important win


Andre Marriner – Barracked all afternoon by the home crowd but difficult to see why they had any complaints. Got all decisions correct – 7

Attendance – 52,281

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