You couldn’t say the Newcastle team was not well-prepared and ready for the game with Liverpool tonight.
But we lost 3-2 against the high-flyers but the Newcastle side played their hearts out, and with a little more luck we could have won this game.
Rafa has made two changes bringing back Ki in midfield, and Lascelles returned at center-back
But we got off to a poor start by conceding a poor goal after only 13 minutes when it seemed like Paull Dummett lost his man, and an unmarked Virgil van Dijk powered home an unstoppable header from a corner by Trent Alexandar-Arnold.
Rafa will not be happy with the marking on that set piece.
Salomon Rondon scores in the second half
But Newcastle hit back after only 7 minutes when back to equalize.
Matt Ritchie played a nice low ball from the left into the box to Rondon, whose shot was handled on the line by Alexandar-Arnold.
Atsu, however, was there to put home the rebound for his first goal in over 16 months – and he went crazy.
There was controversy about whether Alexandar-Arnold should have been sent off becasue it was a deliberate handball which prevented the ball crossing the line.
The fact that we scored negated the red card,
But after 29 minutes Liverpool scored again, and it all looked too easy as the ball was played into the box to Salah and flicked it past Dubravka to make it 2-1 at half time.
We thought Dubravka could have done better, but Salah’s flick was perfectly placed to beat the goalkeeper to his right.
It was 2-1 at half-time after a scintillating first half of play.
Then after 51 minutes Rondon forced a save from Brazilian goalkeeper from a KI corner.
But when the ball was played back into the box to the Venezuelan, who let the ball bounce once and then hit it on the volley into the net for his 10th Premier League goal of the season and 11th in all competitions.
Liverpool then lost Salah to a head injury after the striker collided with Dubravka and there was quite a hold-up in the game.
But then when it looked like we could get the draw more loose marking allowed Origi, who replaced Salah. to head home a right-wing free-kick from Xherdan Shaqiri as he out-jumped Lascelles.
We had everything but the win so we have taken only 1 point from our last two games, and we dropped a place in the league to 14th place.
Bournemouth beat a 9 man Spurs side 1-0 with a stoppage-time winner and Crystal Palace beat a now relegated Cardiff City side 3-2.
Bournemouth are now 3 points above Newcastle with one game to play.
If can beat Fulham next Sunday we can still finish on 45 points one point more than last season but no higher than 13th place now.
Crystal Palace are on 46 points, and we cannot finish above them now.
Newcastle: Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar (Muto, 90), Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie; Perez, Ki, Hayden, Atsu; Rondon.
Subs not used: Darlow, Barreca, Fernandez, Kenedy, Shelvey, Diame.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren (Milner, 83), van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum (Shaqiri, 66), Salah (Origi, 73), Sturridge, Mane.
Subs not used: Mignolet, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Matip.
Goals: Van Dijk 13, Atsu 20, Salah 28, Rondon 51 Origi 86
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)