Jurgen Klopp’s Reds accumulated 99 points, one better than their 1978-79 total – adjusted to three points for a win – and 18 above runners-up Manchester City. Champions Liverpool finished on their highest Premier League points total as they came from behind to beat Newcastle on the final day of the season.
They also matched the top-flight record for wins in a season (level with City’s 32 in 2017-18 and 2018-19) but fell just short of City’s biggest winning margin of 19 points in 2017-18.
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. A textbook end-of-season game. In truth it was a game with little on the line, Liverpool’s points target aside.
Newcastle – who have been safe from relegation for weeks – have been in limbo for a long time because of the delayed Saudi Arabian takeover.
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. But that would be the only time they touched the ball in the Reds’ area in the first half.
Liverpool boss Klopp experimented with his selection in their final game of a successful season – with the front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane as well as right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold left on the bench.
They were far from their best with Takumi Minamino‘s saved effort after 28 minutes their first real chance. But from that point until the final whistle, the new Premier League champions dominated.
Van Dijk equalised when he headed a looping effort into the top corner from Alex 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 from that point.
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.
Now both teams can think of their short summer breaks – the new season starts in seven weeks – although in Newcastle’s case it is hard to start planning anything until a takeover decision is made.
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).
Source – BBC News
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