Firmino, VAR, streaks, the Talking Points from Liverpool’s win against Newcastle

Liverpool dispatched Newcastle relatively comfortably after a tough start this Saturday afternoon.

However, we’re left with questions and talking points following Liverpool’s fifth league win of the season.

Roberto Firmino is very, very good. 

One of the biggest reasons that Liverpool were able to come away with their fourteenth successive set of three points this Saturday was the introduction of Roberto Firmino.

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The Brazilian missed out on starting for the Reds, with manager Jurgen Klopp looking ahead to Tuesday’s game against Napoli in Naples.

Firmino came on for an injured Divock Origi just after the half-hour mark in the game. He came on an injected life and breath into a side that had looked sluggish and reluctant to that point.

Despite playing less than 60 minutes of the 90, Roberto Firmino has been heralded as the best player on the pitch against Newcastle. He created the second and third of Liverpool’s goals.

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First with a very good pass that was pushed into the path of Sadio Mane by Martin Dubravka. Then a lovely bit of trademark-Firmino skill to set up Mohamed Salah for the goal that secured the three points.

Why does VAR exist?

With Andre Marriner in charge and Mike Dean sat in the VAR seat, what more can you expect?

Since the start of the season, there have been constant questions as to the validity of VAR. Those questions resurfaced once more this afternoon with a Joel Matip penalty shout.

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This came just before Liverpool got their equaliser but Jamal Lascelles wrestled the Cameroonian defender to the ground in what looked like a wrestling manoeuvre, let alone a stone-wall penalty.

Mike Dean’s VAR didn’t overturn the decision. He did review it.

The issue here is that there is no precedent for what VAR can do. No-one – not even the referees – fully understand what they can and can’t do with VAR.

Not only that, it is a pretty much universally agreed truth that refereeing standards in the Premier League are awful. So why are these same awful referees being given the opportunity to judge games from far away? These lads are all buddy-buddy with each other. They’re not going to want to risk their profitable friendships by telling one of their bezzie mates that they’re wrong.

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We should have a separate, new, refereeing team specifically for VAR purposes.

How long will Liverpool’s streaks last?

There are some very impressive statistics being thrown about following Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Newcastle. The Reds are now undefeated in 43 Premier League games at Anfield. One defeat in 44 Premier League games. 14 league wins on the bounce.

That is title-winning form. The Reds are undoubtedly one of the best sides in Premier League history and it will be a massive disservice if this side is unable to come away from this Premier League season with the title.

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As we go into every Premier League game, people will question if Liverpool will be able to keep up their impressive streaks. Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool will keep defying people.

Even when these streaks do come to their ends – which they will, eventually – Liverpool will feel like they are within inches of being able to win their first League title nce 1990. This year could well be THE year.

Newcastle won’t go down without a fight.

When Steve Bruce took over at Newcastle, there were few that believed he would be able to save the Magpies from relegation.

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The huge void left by Rafa Benitez’s exit left Newcastle fans bemused and wanting a big name in to replace the Spaniard. That wasn’t afforded to them. Steve Bruce came in and has changed the way they are playing. They are much less progressive and proactive. They are much more comfortable in just sitting back and welcoming pressure.

That being said, it is a recipe for not getting relegated. Defiance and strong defence will be the reason that Newcastle don’t go down this season. They showed their passion and their determination in defeat against Liverpool.

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They were defensively sound, especially in the first half. Newcastle prevented Liverpool from accessing one of their best-attacking options – the cross from the two wings.

Liverpool eventually picked Newcastle apart but fans of the Magpies will be happy in the knowledge that their team will give everything all season long.

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