We wanted to express ourselves, says Ki
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Ki Sung-yueng was disappointed Newcastle United’s result didn’t match their performance as the Magpies slipped to a late defeat to Liverpool in a thrilling encounter at St. James’ Park.
United twice came from behind to equalise against Jürgen Klopp’s title-chasing side, with Christian Atsu and Salomón Rondón on the scoresheet either side of the break. But, with less than five minutes to play, substitute Divock Origi got a glancing touch to Xherdan Shaqiri’s free kick to earn the Reds a priceless victory.
Ki felt that the Magpies were good value for a point, at least, in their final home outing of the season, but bemoaned their sloppiness at the back as Rafa Benítez’s charges shipped more than two goals for the first time since the reverse fixture at Anfield on Boxing Day.
“It was a lack of concentration to concede two goals from set-pieces,” the South Korean told nufc.co.uk. “We scored two goals, which was not easy, but we did it. We’re very disappointed to have lost the game, but I thought there was a great atmosphere and we deserved more.
“It wasn’t just because a lot of people were watching it tonight – it was the last home game and we wanted to make sure we expressed ourselves to the fans. After all the work we have done this year, we wanted to make sure we finished in a good way. Unfortunately we didn’t get the result but I thought the effort and the work we put in tonight was fantastic.
“Every game we play at home, the fans are always behind us and they make the atmosphere very clear. It helps the players and it gives us more energy. I think we have played very well in home games recently, including tonight’s game. Hopefully we can maintain those performances next season, because it’s not easy for other teams when they come to St. James’ Park.”
Having featured from the bench during last week’s 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion, Ki started for the 15th time as a Newcastle player on Saturday night.
The 30-year-old feels he has plenty more to offer as a United player, though, and – having arrived on Tyneside from Swansea City almost 12 months ago – took a moment to reflect on his first season at St. James’ Park.
“Some things I have been satisfied with, some things I have not,” he admitted. “I went to the Asian Cup during the season, got an injury, and I had a little bit of a difficult time after that.
“But I was very impressed with the club, the fans and everything else, so I am very pleased in that respect. Hopefully next season I can get more fit, and then I will hopefully be able to get better and better.”
"It was the last home game and we wanted to make sure we expressed ourselves to the fans. After all the work we have done this year, we wanted to make sure we finished in a good way. Unfortunately we didn’t get the result but I thought the effort and the work we put in tonight was fantastic.