Manager Jurgen Klopp opted to put the 23-year-old in the heart of the defence for the third time this season, due to the long-term knee injuries of both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, plus the latest injury to Joel Matip.
Phillips, who has been at the club since 2016, found himself in a tough battle with Magpies’ striker Callum Wilson at times, while Liverpool insisted on playing their usual attacking way with both fullbacks high up the pitch.
Klopp was tipped to sell Phillips before the transfer window closed back in October, to one of the various Championship clubs who were willing to take him off his hands.
However, with the Reds down three senior centre-backs, Phillips has been thrust into semi-regular first-team action.
Who is the better Liverpool defender?
With all of this in mind, these supporters were critical of Phillips, with some of them suggesting that youngster Rhys Williams is the better centre-back of the two.
Fans not impressed with Phillips
“Uh oh. Phillips is slow #LFC”
“Phillips needs to stop wrestling with the forward and just defend.”
“I’d rather Williams play than this Phillips, he dives in on everything.”
“I’ll be very very surprised if we don’t get a Centre back in January. Phillips might be good for a low block side, but not good enough for us. You’d get similar performances from Connor Coady I’d imagine if we bought him.”
“Nat Phillips is such a horrible defender”
“Put the kiss of death on Phillips…lads all over the place tonight.”
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