Liverpool's defence has provided 38 goals and assists in the 2018/19 season

Manchester City v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Liverpool's defenders played a massive role in their 3-2 win over Newcastle United.

Sure, conceding two goals against mid-table opposition wasn't exactly ideal, but Jurgen Klopp's back four were integral in creating and scoring opportunities at St. James' Park.

Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring after just 13 minutes, scoring his sixth goal of the season just a few days after bagging the PFA Player of the Year award.

It was then the turn of Trent Alexander-Arnold to get involved in the action, turning provider for Liverpool's second goal by finding Mohamed Salah with a brilliant cross.

Admittedly, Divock Origi took all the headlines with the winning goal and it was Xherdan Shaqiri who provided the assist but Alexander-Arnold almost took the crucial free-kick himself.

Liverpool return to PL summit

With both Salah and Roberto Firmino experiencing a drop in goals - despite still boasting enviable tallies - the involvement of Liverpool's defenders has been key in plugging the gap.

It has been well publicised that Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are two of the most creative full-backs in the sport, amassing the amount of assists that most midfielders dream of.

However, even across the board, the Liverpool backline has been punishing teams all season long, even if Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren haven't exactly been Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Newcastle United v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Liverpool's incredible defence

That being said, it emerged after the win at Newcastle that Liverpool's back four had accumulated some rather impressive goal contribution statistics this season.

Liverpool's back four that started their most recent game have now made 38 contributions in all competitions, that's more than Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved in 2018-19.

Alexander-Arnold and Robertson have both offered 13 assists, the former with a goal as well; Van Dijk has scored six goals and made four assists, while Matip rounds it off with a solitary strike.

On the other hand, according to WhoScored.com, Ronaldo has scored 26 goals at Juventus and provided 10 assists. Check out some of the best statistics here:

It's not necessarily a dig at Ronaldo, rather complimenting a group of Liverpool players that are defying the odds to match one of the greatest players in history.

Just to put the situation into some more context, 38 goal contributions is also more than the likes of Raheem Sterling, Eden Hazard and Luis Suarez have conjured.

How Manchester City's back four fare in the same situation? Well, the backline that started against Burnley have 'only' offered 14 goals contributions in the same time span.

Liverpool FC v Watford FC - Premier League

What's more, you could remove the goals and assists from most of those Liverpool defenders and they'd still rightly be perceived as having a remarkable season.

But they've been providing and scoring goals that have a huge difference in the Premier League title race and City would have been crowned champions long ago without them.

Instead, Liverpool will at least go into the final weekend with a chance at winning and no doubt their defence will play a massive role against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Do you think Van Dijk is the best defender in world football? Have your say in the comments section below.

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