Premier League
NewcastleNewcastle United1LiverpoolLiverpool3
By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport
Divock Origi
Divock Origi's goal was his first in 2020 - ending a 23-game run without scoring

Champions Liverpool finished on the second-highest points total in top-flight history as they came from behind to beat Newcastle on the final day of the season.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds accumulated 99 points, one fewer than Manchester City managed two years ago, and one more than Liverpool managed in 1978-79, once the two points they got for a win back then is altered to three.

They finished 18 points above Pep Guardiola's runners-up - one short of City's record winning margin two seasons ago.

Dwight Gayle put Newcastle ahead after 25 seconds from Jonjo Shelvey's free-kick, the fastest goal ever scored on a Premier League final day.

But Liverpool, who left their vaunted front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino on the bench, levelled through Virgil van Dijk's header.

Divock Origi put Liverpool ahead from 20 yards from Andrew Robertson's pass before Senegal forward Mane curled home a late third for the visitors.

'An incredible game, not a perfect game'

Liverpool
Liverpool managed 2.8 points per game before the coronavirus break - but only 1.9 since

In truth it was a game with little on the line, Liverpool's points target aside. They had looked destined to break the 100-point record before the coronavirus break, but they have dropped points four times since - compared to twice beforehand over a significantly longer period.

Liverpool boss Klopp experimented with his selection in their final game of a successful season - with the star-studded front three and right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold left on the bench.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the back-up frontline of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Takumi Minamino and Origi lacked the same threat and quality.

The champions were far from their best, with Minamino's saved effort after 28 minutes their first real chance.

But from that point until the final whistle, the new champions dominated.

Van Dijk equalised when he headed a looping effort into the top corner from Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross - his fifth Premier League goal of the season.

Origi then powered home in the second half to end a 23-game goal drought that stretched back to December.

Salah, Mane and Firmino all came on with 26 minutes to go and Liverpool predictably looked more fluid and dangerous.

Egypt forward Salah drove a shot off the post from a tight angle while Mane cut in from the left from Firmino's ball before adding a late third.

Newcastle 1-3 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp delighted with 'incredible' number of points

"We played an incredible game, not a perfect game," said Klopp.

"We made so many changes after a long time of playing with similar line-ups. It's not fair to judge (players who came in) because they need to get used to each other's games.

"We really worked in the game and got better and better and better even before the changes. But the changes helped massively.

"I liked the game. It's far away from being perfect but over the season we did not just win games when everything was perfect, we won a lot of difficult games too."

Klopp was happy to see several of his fringe players have a run-out and they are likely to play a key part in the new campaign, not least because with the new season beginning so soon it leaves little chance for a proper break.

Rotation is likely to be crucial next season if they are to become the fourth team to retain the Premier League title.

"Two weeks and a couple of days and we start again," said Klopp. "I'm not going to the office for a while."

'How long do we need to make that decision?'

Newcastle 1-3 Liverpool: Steve Bruce pleased with a lot of aspects despite Toon defeat

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce's frustrations have been clear for a long time.

The Magpies have been safe from relegation for weeks but only picked up two points from their final six games.

They have been in limbo because of the delayed Saudi Arabian takeover, with documents for the deal passed to the Premier League over three months ago.

Newcastle have been struggling with injuries too - and have ended the season with only one fit centre-back in Federico Fernandez. He played alongside full-backs Danny Rose and Javier Manquillo in a back three against Liverpool.

"We've dropped like nine pins over the last few weeks," Bruce told BBC Sport. "I've never known anything like it."

Their game against Liverpool peaked after 25 seconds - although Bruce was happy "we showed up and had a go".

They had a dream start when Gayle latched onto Shelvey's opportunistic quick free-kick and slotted past Alisson, who got a touch to the ball but could not keep it out.

That would be the only time they touched the ball in the Reds' area in the first half.

"We're disappointed that we faded a bit at the death [in recent weeks]," said Bruce.

"We're disappointed not to overtake last year's tally. But if someone said at the start of the season 'would you be happy to finish with seven teams below you?' we'd have taken that.

"But that's not enough. We want to push for the top 10 on a regular basis and not look over our shoulders."

Bruce will find it hard to properly plan for the next Premier League campaign - which starts in just under seven weeks - without knowing who will run the club and how big his budget will be.

"It's in the hands of the Premier League and it's been like that for weeks," Bruce told BBC Sport. "We need a decision and one quickly. How long do we need to make that decision?

"All I want is what's best for this great club. If new owners come in and take the club forward that's what we all want as Newcastle fans."

Man of the match - Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk is only the fifth outfield player to play every minute in a Premier League title-winning season

Match stats - Van Dijk leads way in goalscoring defenders

  • Dwight Gayle's opener after just 25.85 seconds was the fastest goal Liverpool have ever conceded in a Premier League match.
  • Liverpool won for the 14th time away from home in this season's Premier League, a new club record.
  • Liverpool have recovered 19 points from trailing positions in this season's Premier League; only Wolves (21) have picked up more.
  • Newcastle's Gayle scored his fifth league goal against Liverpool - he has not scored more against any other side in the top four tiers of English football (level with Rotherham United and Stoke City).
  • Virgil van Dijk scored his fifth league goal of the season, his most in a Premier League campaign. Since his debut for Liverpool in January 2018, the Netherlands defender has scored more goals than any other centre-back in the competition (nine).
  • Andrew Robertson's assist for Divock Origi's strike was his 12th of the season in the Premier League, surpassing his total for last season (11), with only team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold providing more in a Premier League season as a defender (13 this season).
  • This was only the second time since Mohamed Salah joined Liverpool in 2017 that none of himself, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane started a Premier League game for the Reds (the other was also a 3-1 win at Burnley in December 2018).

Line-ups

Newcastle

  • 1Dubravka
  • 19Manquillo
  • 18FernándezBooked at 33mins
  • 28RoseSubstituted forWattsat 74'minutes
  • 23Lazaro
  • 8Shelvey
  • 42BentalebSubstituted forS Longstaffat 49'minutes
  • 24AlmirónSubstituted forHaydenat 70'minutes
  • 11Ritchie
  • 10Saint-MaximinSubstituted forJoelintonat 45'minutes
  • 12GayleSubstituted forCarrollat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Carroll
  • 9Joelinton
  • 13Muto
  • 14Hayden
  • 22Yedlin
  • 26Darlow
  • 36S Longstaff
  • 49Watts
  • 60Young

Liverpool

  • 1Alisson
  • 76WilliamsSubstituted forAlexander-Arnoldat 85'minutes
  • 12Gomez
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 8KeitaSubstituted forJonesat 85'minutes
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 7Milner
  • 15Oxlade-ChamberlainSubstituted forFirminoat 64'minutes
  • 27OrigiSubstituted forSalahat 64'minutes
  • 18MinaminoSubstituted forManéat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Fabinho
  • 9Firmino
  • 10Mané
  • 11Salah
  • 13Adrián
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 48Jones
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 67Elliott
Referee:
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home25%
Away75%
Shots
Home3
Away14
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away5

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newcastle United 1, Liverpool 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newcastle United 1, Liverpool 3.

  3. Post update

    Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United).

  5. Post update

    Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United).

  7. Post update

    Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United).

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Newcastle United 1, Liverpool 3. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Curtis Jones replaces Naby Keita.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Trent Alexander-Arnold replaces Neco Williams.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Newcastle United. Isaac Hayden tries a through ball, but Andy Carroll is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Valentino Lazaro.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Kelland Watts replaces Danny Rose.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Federico Fernández.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Roberto Firmino with a through ball.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Naby Keita tries a through ball, but Mohamed Salah is caught offside.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Naby Keita (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Isaac Hayden replaces Miguel Almirón.

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