Liverpool shrug off COVID-19 outbreak to beat Newcastle United

Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool in action with Joelinton of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield on December 16, 2021 in Liverpool, England.


Liverpool shrugged off a coronavirus outbreak to keep their Premier League title challenge on track with a 3-1 win over Newcastle that was lit up by Trent Alexander-Arnold's wonder goal.

The Reds lost Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho to positive cases of Covid before kick-off as a surge of infections across Britain threatens to bring the season to a temporary halt.

Liverpool were further rocked when Jonjo Shelvey opened the scoring against his old club after just seven minutes.

But Newcastle remained mired in the bottom three for a reason as goals from Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah turned the game around before half-time.

Alexander-Arnold's thunderbolt four minutes from time rounded off an eighth consecutive win for Jurgen Klopp's men as they close to within one point of leaders Manchester City.

"What a stunner!" Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said on Alexander-Arnold's goal. "The boy has a different level in his shooting technique."

Before kick-off Klopp spoke out to encourage people to ignore the "lies and misinformation" around vaccination from coronavirus and get their jabs or boosters.

Curtis Jones was also absent for the Reds due to a positive test for Covid.

But Klopp confirmed on Wednesday that his squad are fully vaccinated and therefore did not lose any other players due to being close contacts of those with the virus.

Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool celebrates after scoring their side's third goal with Roberto Firmino during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield on December 16, 2021 in Liverpool, England.


Anfield hosted the final top level game in England in front of a full crowd before the pandemic shut football down for three months in March 2020.

History could be repeating itself as five of the 10 Premier League games scheduled for this weekend have already been called off.

Liverpool's trip to Tottenham is one of those still going ahead for now, but much will depend on how well the outbreak is contained over the coming days.

"Until we're told otherwise we'll be in there every day and making sure we're fit for Sunday," said Alexander-Arnold.

"The games come thick and fast so any minor slip can prove costly come April or May."

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