Keita fires Liverpool back above Manchester City

Naby Keita of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James Park on April 30, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Naby Keita scored the only goal as a much-changed Liverpool beat in-form Newcastle United 1-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday.

The win helped the Reds to climb above Manchester City at the top of the 2021/2022 English Premier League (EPL) table.

Jurgen Klopp, who this week signed a contract extension to keep him at Anfield until 2026, had complained about the timing of this early kick-off.

He made five changes following Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Villarreal in their 2021/2022 UEFA Champions League semi-finals first leg clash.

Mohamed Salah, Thiago Alcantara and Trent Alexander-Arnold watched on from the bench as Keita —-– one of those recalled —-– drilled in a contentious goal with 19 minutes gone.

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka kept his side in the game but Liverpool saw out the victory.

They moved two points above Manchester City ahead of the reigning champions’ trip to Leeds United.

Keita’s winner came after he exchanged passes with Diogo Jota and rounded Dubravka.

However, Newcastle United’s players felt the goal should have been ruled out for a James Milner foul on Fabian Schar.

However, while Milner did catch his opponent, replays showed the Liverpool midfielder cleanly won the ball first and referee Andre Marriner was not instructed by VAR to review the goal.

Newcastle United had a Miguel Almiron goal rightly disallowed for offside and otherwise struggled to create any openings.

Liverpool went close to a second goal before half-time when Jota’s header was palmed over.

Jota was denied by Dubravka three times in the second half and Sadio Mane planted a shot wide from a good position in his final meaningful involvement before being replaced by Salah.

Newcastle United had won four games in a row heading into this contest, though they only really tested Alisson through a Bruno Guimaraes drive.

Liverpool have now picked up a 13th league victory in their past 14 outings.

Results and standings in English Premier League (kick-off times in GMT):

Saturday:

Newcastle United 0 Liverpool 1

Aston Villa vs Norwich City (1400)

Southampton vs Crystal Palace 1400

Watford vs Burnley (1400)

Wolverhampton vs Brighton & Hove Albion (1400)

Leeds United vs Manchester City (1630)

Sunday:

Everton vs Chelsea (1300)

Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City (1300)

West Ham United vs Arsenal (1530)

Monday:

Manchester United vs Brentford (1900)

P W D L F A Pts
1 Liverpool 34 25 7 2 86 22 82
2 Manchester City 33 25 5 3 80 21 80
3 Chelsea 33 19 9 5 68 28 66
4 Arsenal 33 19 3 11 52 40 60
5 Tottenham Hotspur 33 18 4 11 56 38 58
6 Manchester United 35 15 10 10 54 52 55
7 West Ham United 34 15 7 12 52 44 52
8 Wolverhampton 33 15 4 14 33 29 49
9 Newcastle United 35 11 10 14 40 56 43
10 Leicester City 32 11 9 12 47 51 42
11 Brighton 34 9 14 11 31 42 41
12 Brentford 34 11 7 16 41 49 40
13 Southampton 34 9 13 12 40 56 40
14 Crystal Palace 33 8 14 11 43 41 38
15 Aston Villa 32 11 4 17 42 46 37
16 Leeds United 33 8 10 15 38 68 34
17 Burnley 33 6 13 14 29 45 31
18 Everton 32 8 5 19 34 55 29
19 Watford 33 6 4 23 31 67 22
20 Norwich City 33 5 6 22 22 69 21

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