Newcastle United did a fine job of frustrating Liverpool in the early exchanges of their match at Anfield but they just couldn’t keep Jurgen Klopp’s side out.
Mohamed Salah eventually opened the scoring in the 40th minute and Sadio Mane made it 2-0 10 minutes after the restart, ensuring Rafa Benitez’s return to Liverpool was a disappointing one.
In beating Newcastle, the Reds jumped above Manchester United and into second place in the Premier League. It’s too late to catch Manchester City, of course, but Liverpool are staking a claim to be the best of the rest and there’s a great deal of excitement growing on Merseyside.
That has been helped by the arrival of Salah, who has scored 32 goals in all competitions now.
He’s now scored in seven consecutive matches and has the same number of goals this season as Newcastle have in total.
Yet there’s another player who shouldn’t be overlooked: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
THE OX APOLOGISED TO MANE IN POST-MATCH INTERVIEW
The 24-year-old provided the assist for Salah with a positive run and was later named Man of the Match by Steve McManaman.
That meant he took part in the post-match interview with BT Sport, where he was involved in a funny moment with Mane.
Des Kelly, the interviewer, handed the trophy to Mane to present to Oxlade-Chamberlain.
But the Ox thought that Mane deserved the award, and ended up apologising to his teammate.
“Sorry Sad, good goal though!,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said in very sheepish fashion.
— SNM (@JackCook95) March 3, 2018
It was an impressive showing from Oxlade-Chamberlain but Klopp admitted after the match that wants the England international to be more greedy.
“We bought the player we saw at Arsenal, but we thought they could be few more steps in his development,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“He’s already taken some, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still a young boy, he can be much more consistent and much more of a threat.
“He doesn’t feel a greed for scoring, like Mohamed Salah, but we will work on that. He’s a very important player for us.”
Klopp is getting more out of Oxlade-Chamberlain than Arsenal did and yet he still wants more.
Those are signs of a manager who’s always seeking to improve.