Liverpool ended Newcastle United’s long unbeaten run in the Premier League through early goals by Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo that gave them a 2-0 victory at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Juergen Klopp’s side caught Newcastle cold with a scintillating start, and the stunned hosts were reduced to 10 men in the 22nd minute when goalkeeper Nick Pope was red-carded.
Fourth-placed Newcastle’s only previous defeat in the league came against Liverpool at the end of August, but they were up against it after Nunez controlled a long pass by Trent Alexander Arnold to smash home in the 10th minute.
Gakpo then doubled Liverpool’s lead seven minutes later when he slotted in from a clever pass by Mohamed Salah.
Pope was caught out of his goal by a long clearance from his opposite number Alisson and ended up grabbing the ball with his hand well outside of his penalty area.
Newcastle responded well and were denied by a mixture of the woodwork and Alisson, but the damage was already done.
Liverpool’s second successive league win after a run of four without one moved them up to eighth in the table with 35 points, and they are now six points behind Newcastle with a game in hand.
Newcastle’s top-four ambitions are coming under threat after only one win in seven league games.