The Reds were handed a blow before kick-off with the news that Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones would be unavailable due to suspected positive covid tests.

 

Jurgen Klopp went with a midfield of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson as Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners over the struggling Magpies, but they were made to work for it.

 

 

The Reds fell behind after seven minutes and the game became nervy until a late Trent Alexander-Arnold strike from distance made sure of all three points.

 

McAteer believes it is clear to see that Liverpool missed Fabinho and said post match on LFC TV: “The Fabinho loss was evident tonight.

 

 

“Sometimes there were gaping holes and sometimes eagerness to get a goal back after we went one down.

 

“Fabinho is disciplined, he plays in this area.

 

 

“We do miss Fabinho when he is not there defensively, especially with Virgil missing as well.

 

“Leadership qualities, that was missed tonight.”

 

Liverpool are next due to travel to the capital to take on Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday as they look to continue their momentum in the Premier League.