Liverpool continued their push for the Premier League title with a deserved 1-0 win at Newcastle on Saturday lunchtime.
Jurgen Klopp’s side travelled to the North East looking to return to the top of the league table against in-form opponents.
And the Liverpool manager chose to rest important players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Mohamed Salah before Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Villarreal.
After a fast start, Newcastle struggled to live with their opponents and Naby Keita scored the early winner after dancing through the Toon defence and finishing with the certainty of a First World War sniper.
And the 2020 Premier League champions saw out the remainder of the game in relative serenity to secure a vital three points.
Klopp hailed his squad depth after an “absolutely outstanding” performance from a heavily-rotated side kept their quadruple bid on track.
“It’s the most difficult of circumstances,” Klopp told BT Sport. “A team in form, a crowd waiting for ages for proper success, now they’re having some. Coming here with five changes and building pretty much a new setup is really difficult, so the performance was absolutely outstanding. I loved it. We controlled the game in so many ways.
“The only plan they had was the long ball to our right side. The impact we have from the bench is outstanding. Joe Gomez, what a game. Naby Keita, what a game. James Milner, what a game. Diogo Jota – my god, what a game. And Joel Matip.
“Our people were outstanding and Newcastle are obviously a really passionate crowd. Winning here is special.”
We’ve collected seven jaw-dropping stats from Liverpool’s latest victory.
– Liverpool’s victory on Saturday was their 42nd of the 2021-22 campaign and the most wins they’ve ever achieved in a single season in their illustrious history.
– And only three sides in English football history – Everton (1984-85), Manchester City (2017-18, 2018-19 & 2020-21) and Manchester United (2008-09) – have ever won more games in a season that Klopp’s Reds. The record to beat is 47, set by City last season.
Wonderful feet from Naby Keita 😍
Liverpool take the lead and the Newcastle fans aren't happy, but it looks like James Milner got his challenge just right… pic.twitter.com/1gdngbRXmb
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 30, 2022
– Their winner on Tyneside was scored by Naby Keita, his fourth goal of the campaign. Liverpool have won everytime the midfielder has scored this year.
– It was another clean sheet for Alisson, who became the first goalkeeper in Europe to achieve 20 shut-outs for the season.
– And it was a successful day for the Liverpool defence in keeping an in-form Newcastle quiet. Klopp’s side have trailed for just 53 out of 2520 minutes of football in 2022.
– For the first time under Klopp’s management, Liverpool won a lunchtime kick-off three days after a European match. It was their fourth attempt at doing so.
– Liverpool’s chances of the quadruple were enhanced with their victory at St James’ Park – and they are now the side whose hopes of winning four trophies have lasted the longest. The Chelsea side of 2006-07 saw their hopes end on May 1 after losing at Anfield in the Champions League semi-final.