Liverpool vs Newcastle player ratings: Raheem Sterling? Philippe Coutinho? Who was the star man at Anfield?

Liverpool keep Champions League hopes alive with win

Liverpool have kept their hopes of Champions League football next season alive after they beat Newcastle 2-0 at Anfield.

An individual piece of brilliance by contract rebel Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen’s second half effort means that Brendan Rodgers’ men are fifth and four points behind Manchester City in fourth place.

Sterling's goal arrived just nine minutes into Monday night’s game. The 20-year-old collected Jordan Henderson’s diagonal pass before he jinked past Ryan Taylor and curled his right-footed shot beyond Tim Krul.

That goal signalled a spell of dominance for Liverpool as Newcastle struggled to contain Sterling and Jordan Ibe, who both possessed enough pace to get past Taylor and Vurnon Anita.

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Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring a brilliant opening goal

Lucas Leiva’s powerful header required a full stretch save from Krul to prevent John Carver’s side from going 2-0 down.

The one shining light in Newcastle’s first half performance was provided by Ayoze Perez. The Spanish forward demonstrated a level of intelligence that Dejan Lovren in particular struggled to comprehend.

Indeed, it was Perez who appealed for a penalty after he waltzed into the Liverpool area before he appeared to have been fouled by Lovren. Referee Lee Mason saw no reason to award a penalty.

Perez very nearly brought Newcastle level shortly before half-time. His guided header forced Simon Mignolet to save at full stretch.

Sterling should have doubled Liverpool’s lead when Taylor flung his right leg at Jordan Henderson’s cross and missed. The ball fell perfectly to the forward but rushed his shot and placed it wide of Krul’s right post from six yards out.

The three points were sealed for Rodgers’ side when Joe Allen scored his first Premier League goal after taking advantage of a loose ball in the Newcastle penalty area. Michael Williamson, it could be argued, should have done better.

Newcastle had to play out the remaining few minutes with ten men when Moussa Sissoko was sent off for a second bookable offence when he trod on Lucas Leiva’s outstretched leg as the two went for the ball.

But who stood out at Anfield? Scroll through our gallery to find out.

 

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