Liverpool cruised through Newcastle 3-0 at Anfield, a win laced with excellence.
There was none of the side’s usual sustained brilliance. It’s a little greedy.
Even when not at their best, they offer the Kop with memorable moments like Trent Alexander-screamer Arnold’s after 87 minutes. They could have scored three more.
A chance to see another Mohamed Salah record may soon be included in the cost of a Premier League ticket.
Salah has now scored or assisted in 15 straight Premier League games.
Jamie Vardy was the last to do so, and his goal gave Liverpool the lead after former player Jonjo Shelvey had given them the lead.
Eddie Howe may take a creditable loss as a slight consolation.
How many points would Liverpool win? At first sight, the Geordie prophets of doom had a line-up that spoke of capitulation.
Callum Wilson sat on the bench, perhaps regretting what he may have done without Virgil van Dijk.
Using Allan Saint-Maximin as a one-man cavalry charge, Howe took advantage of Liverpool losing Van Dijk and holding midfielder Fabinho.
When Klopp is without his Dutchman, even a cross to no one, in particular, may create chaos.
Shelvey joyfully gathered the rebound and selected his place as Alisson Becker gazed in bewilderment.
But for a mix of poor luck and negligence, Howe’s strategy would have been justified. Before Jota’s 21st-minute equalizer, Liverpool seemed impatient.
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Strange situations. A left-wing corner from Andrew Robertson put Fabian Schar on Isaac Hayden’s back. Hayden was ready to rise when he saw Liverpool was still attacking.
Mike Dean stopping the game was a bad idea. Sadio Mane sent a cross to Jota, who was passed on by Hayden and finished past Martin Dubravka.
And they screamed foul. “What for?” Dean shrugged. Four minutes later, Shelvey undid his good work.
The midfielder’s clumsy back-pass put Mane one-on-one with Dubravka.
Salah pounced on the rebound to give Liverpool the lead, and Newcastle did well to hold out until half-time.
Alisson’s brilliant stop denied Saint-Maximin, but Howe lamented it.
There was plenty to excite the away supporters, who had been demanding Wilson’s entrance well before the half.
Liverpool had more to do in the second half to clinch the points while containing Saint-Maximin, but Howe’s formula showed promise.
Alexander-Arnold was forced into a last-ditch effort to deny Fraser, which Newcastle thought may have been a penalty.
The shabby home performance comforted Howe, and when Shelvey missed a 70th-minute free-kick, his post-match statement about a promising showing was developing.
With Salah grudgingly stepping aside, Klopp welcomed back Roberto Firmino.
Wilson was also presented, Saint-Maximin having exhausted himself. But Liverpool’s replacements injected vitality.
Jota and Naby Keita both had chances to make things easier for Liverpool in the closing moments, but Alexander-23-yard Arnold’s screamer into the top corner clinched the points and set up a two-horse race.