The era of Liverpool and Newcastle guaranteeing you a Premier League thriller are a distant memory, but there’s still plenty of intrigue around the fixture. Last season, a late Divock Origi winner at St James’ Park in May kept the title race alive, while the Reds’ 6-0 win in 2013 was played against the backdrop of Luis Suárez’s biting ban.
Liverpool tend to win the game these days, though, taking 10 points from a possible 12 since Newcastle’s promotion back to the Premier League in 2017 and winning 21 and losing just eight since the turn of the century.
Newcastle’s last victory over Liverpool, a 2-0 win in December 2015, doesn’t seem that long ago. However, quite a lot has changed in the world since then.
The UK has had two more Prime Ministers
David Cameron was PM when Suárez bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanović, publicly accusing the Uruguayan of setting “the most terrible example” to young fans, and Cameron was still in charge of the country when a Martin Škrtel own goal and Gini Wijnaldum’s late clincher gave Newcastle all three points.
Six months later we had the EU referendum, then Cameron’s resignation, then a leadership contest, then Theresa May’s premiership, then May’s resignation, then another leadership contest, then Boris Johnson’s tenure at 10 Downing Street. If Liverpool avoid defeat this weekend, perhaps we’ll have another new Prime Minister before Newcastle next beat them.
Manchester City have spent £700m on new players
Back in December 2015, while Liverpool were slipping to that 2-0 defeat, Manchester City were coming to terms with a 2-0 loss at Stoke, with Marko Arnautović scoring both goals in the first half.
Just five of the 18 players in City’s 18-man squad that day are still at the club – Nicolás Otamendi, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling – while dozens more have passed through the doors at the Etihad, beginning with Australian midfielder Anthony Caceres in January 2016.
While Liverpool were losing to Steve McClaren’s Newcastle, John Stones was still an Everton player, Oleksandr Zinchenko was still a relative unknown in the Russian Premier League, and Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy were part of a Monaco team on its way out of the Europa League at the group stage.
Liverpool have had plenty of upheaval since then too, with Sadio Mané, Joël Matip and, of course, Wijnaldum among the first of £400m worth of talent to arrive at Anfield in the intervening period.
The Stranger Things kids filmed three seasons and became world stars
When Škrtel was deflecting a Wijnaldum effort beyond Simon Mignolet, the names of the actors who played the leads in Stranger Things would have meant next to nothing to you. You won’t have seen Gaten Matarazzo unless you happened to be at one of his broadway productions; Millie Bobby Brown and Caleb McLaughlin were only familiar to people with photographic memories of specific TV drama episodes; Finn Wolfhard… well, were you glued to season 11 of Supernaturali?
No, us either.
Now, though, the four leads are all estimated to have a net worth in the millions. Back when Newcastle last beat Liverpool, they were just schoolkids.
11 new Marvel Cinematic Universe films have been released
Back in December 2015, there were just 12 MCU movies in existence. Since then, the figure has almost doubled.
From Captain America: Civil War in May 2016, all the way through to Spider-Man: Far From Home in July 2019, we’ve seen eight additions to existing franchises, three new arrivals (Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Captain Marvel) and five colons in titles.
Those films grossed more than US$13bn altogether, and at the time of writing have contributed two of the five highest-grossing films of all time. More importantly, though, the two biggest ones (Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War) take a combined 330 minutes to watch – throw in the $1.3bn-grossing Black Panther and you’ve got three films whose combined run-time could be spent watching every Liverpool v Newcastle game since the Magpies’ last victory.
46 Premier League managers have left their jobs
From Garry Monk’s Swansea exit just a few days after Newcastle’s victory, right the way through to Javi Gracia’s departure from Watford last week, it’s been all change in the Premier League since Wijnaldum’s late clincher.
Sam Allardyce has had three jobs in that time, not including his Sunderland spell which continued for a few more months, while Swansea worked their way through Alan Curtis, Francesco Guidolin, Bob Bradley, Paul Clement, Carlos Carvalhal during their Premier League stint – considering neither Allardyce nor Swansea have been in the top flight since May 2018, that’s quite a big deal.
Of course, one thing has not changed in that time: the loss at St James’ Park was Jürgen Klopp’s ninth game in charge of Liverpool. More than 200 games later, he’s still there.