STEVE BRUCE bemoaned the mistakes that contributed to Newcastle United losing at Liverpool.

Newcastle were ultimately a long second best at Anfield during a 3-1 defeat, but they had scored first through Jetro Willems before the Reds took a 2-1 half-time lead with Sadio Mane scoring twice.

The second Reds goal came following Martin Dubravaka’s failure to gather Roberto Firmino’s through pass, which stemmed from Christian Atsu losing possession, leaving with the Magpies with it all to do.

“We were okay in bits. Unfortunately we made a mistake for the second in particular,” admitted Bruce.

“We are disappointed with the second goal because when you get a start like we did… “The first half hour was crucial and going okay. Mane scored a wonderful goal and introduction of Firmino with his movement and the way his plays.

“But we are disappointed with the second goal in particular. When you come to an arena like this, for all the good players and you know they’re going to cut you open at times with the attacking players they’ve got, we have given the ball away in the middle of the pitch.

“And I’m sure Martin when he looks as it will think he should’ve done better for the second one.

“But in little bits and pieces we did well.”

A bullet strike by summer signing Willems put Newcastle 1-0 on seven minutes, rocking Anfield, and Bruce said: “Jetro will remember it. It’s not often you can bring the ball onto your wrong foot and smash it into the top corner. We didn’t see that coming.

“I’m delighted for him. He came in only five or six weeks ago and been thrown in at the deep end a little bit, but the more he works physically and plays with that intensity and gets used to playing in the Premier League… “You can see the ability he’s got, there’s not many people can do that and I was delighted for him personally.”

Newcastle rarely looked salvaging something from the game once they had fallen behind, the European champions in command once they had equalised, although Bruce’s men did have a chance to make it 2-2 when Emil Krafth blazed over the bar.

The win was Liverpool’s fifth from five league games this season, and Bruce admitted: “They’re as good as you get. You can understand why they’re unbeaten here in two and a half years and why they’re European champions.

“They lost one game last year and didn’t become champions of England because of the force of Man City.

“They’re an excellent, excellent team. They’ve pace and creativity at the top end of the pitch they can damage you.

“I knew it was going to be difficult but in fits and starts we did okay.”