£40m striker Joelinton impressed as Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United battled hard away at Premier League leaders Liverpool on Saturday.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to Newcastle United after they made life difficult for the Premier League leaders at Anfield while singling out record signing Joelinton for praise, in quotes reported by the Chronicle.

The Champions of Europe recovered from an early scare to move five points clear at the top of the table this weekend.

Sadio Mane scored twice to cancel out Jetro Willems’s fizzing right-footed opener before a wonderful goal from Mo Salah sealed a hard-fought 3-1 win against a Newcastle side short on quality but high on team-work and spirit.

Steve Bruce’s side gave Liverpool plenty of problems with Joelinton, the £40 million record signing, catching the eye with his hold up play. N

Newcastle fans were understandably worried when Salomon Rondon departed over the summer but Joelinton’s subsequent arrival means The Magpies still have a presence in attack and a player capable of leading counter-attacks away from home.

“Newcastle did what they did, they do that really well and are always a threat for counter-attacks,” said a gracious Klopp.

“It’s difficult to press them because they play the ball that early, constantly in a second-ball formation but then they have the speed to go in behind, plus Joelinton is really physically strong fighting for these balls.

“That’s how they scored the goal, we played them onside unfortunately.”

Joelinton might not have netted a famous winner on Merseyside like he did away at Tottenham three weeks ago but another eye-catching display against one of the Premier League’s giants provides further justification for his mammoth transfer fee.

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