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Newcastle United 0-0 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp not looking at the table after draw

By Josef RindlBBC Sport
Newcastle v Liverpool
Liverpool failed to score in a Premier League game for the first time this season

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his side's position in the table is "the last thing" he is thinking about after they drew at Newcastle to finish 2020 three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The Reds end the year where they started it but a second consecutive draw against a team in the bottom half means they are only three points clear of Manchester United, who have a game in hand.

Mohamed Salah missed two key opportunities either side of half-time at St James' Park, while Newcastle's Fabian Schar denied Sadio Mane a tap-in with a timely clearance off the goalline in the 80th minute.

Roberto Firmino also went close midway through the second period, failing to hit the target after Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow was stranded following a corner.

And the Brazil forward then saw his 88th-minute header superbly denied by Darlow as the hosts held on to a well-earned point.

"[Being top] is nice but it doesn't mean anything," Klopp said after the game.

"We drew tonight and we are still top of the table so that just shows how difficult the season is for everybody. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

Reds still stuttering on the road

No matter the result, Liverpool were always going to finish the calendar year at the summit of the Premier League table - it was just a question of how far they would be in front.

And a draw away to Newcastle feels like an opportunity missed.

"We didn't get the result we wanted but it's not the worst thing in the world and there are worse things happening," Klopp told Amazon Prime.

"But I liked the game - we are not happy with the result but I'm fine with the performance, because that's the way we have to play and protect.

"We did all that but it's still disappointing."

Klopp praises 'really good' performance despite draw

The champions remain firm favourites to collect back-to-back titles for the first time since 1984, but their away form is a recurring issue.

Liverpool have won seven of their eight home league games this season but on the road they've won just two in eight.

The Reds' injury list, particularly in defence, is widely reported. And Klopp revealed after the game that sidelined centre-back Joel Matip is likely to be out for a further three weeks with a muscle injury.

Yet it was their attacking trio of Mane, Salah and Firmino who looked out of sorts in the North East.

All three regularly found themselves in good positions but failed to find the breakthrough. Liverpool had 11 shots in total, but only four were on target.

Bruce - 'I hope the fans enjoyed it'

Bruce delighted with 'terrific' point for Newcastle

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce was quick to acknowledge 30-year-old Darlow, whose string of second-half saves kept the league-leaders at bay.

"When you play against arguably one of the best teams in the world you need a bit of luck but the spirit and the endeavour was there for all to see," Bruce told BBC Sport.

"I am delighted with my players. Overall, I'm very, very pleased with the performance."

Bruce came into this fixture under pressure, with his side's style of play being heavily criticised in recent weeks.

The Magpies' December had included just one win and a defeat in the Carabao Cup to Championship side Brentford.

And as expected they sat back and defended in numbers, having only 27% of possession in the opening 45 minutes.

Newcastle v Liverpool
Newcastle gained their first point against Liverpool in the Premier League since October 2017, ending a run of five consecutive defeats

But they did have chances, Callum Wilson - who returned to the starting line-up - forced Liverpool keeper Alisson into a fine save from a tight angle after 11 minutes.

And Ciaran Clark was also denied by the goalkeeper, Alisson flying to his left to keep out the defender's header after 79 minutes.

"We knew we let everyone down in a big cup tie. We blew it," added Bruce.

"We have to take the criticism that comes our way and accept it but I hope the supporters who watched this game today could really enjoy the performance.

"It was a great performance and let's look forward to Sunday."

The draw takes Bruce's side to 14th, four points from the top half but more importantly, eight points off the bottom three.

What's next?

Liverpool travel to Southampton on Monday, while Newcastle's next fixture is at home to Leicester on Sunday.

Player of the match

DarlowKarl Darlow

with an average of 8.65

Newcastle United

  1. Squad number26Player nameDarlow
    Average rating

    8.65

  2. Squad number5Player nameSchär
    Average rating

    8.09

  3. Squad number13Player nameWilson
    Average rating

    7.73

  4. Squad number18Player nameFernández
    Average rating

    7.68

  5. Squad number2Player nameClark
    Average rating

    7.68

  6. Squad number22Player nameYedlin
    Average rating

    7.55

  7. Squad number4Player nameM Longstaff
    Average rating

    7.43

  8. Squad number14Player nameHayden
    Average rating

    7.39

  9. Squad number11Player nameRitchie
    Average rating

    7.37

  10. Squad number23Player nameMurphy
    Average rating

    7.12

  11. Squad number9Player nameJoelinton
    Average rating

    6.96

  12. Squad number24Player nameAlmirón
    Average rating

    6.79

  13. Squad number15Player nameLewis
    Average rating

    6.78

Liverpool

  1. Squad number1Player nameAlisson
    Average rating

    5.20

  2. Squad number6Player nameThiago Alcántara
    Average rating

    4.84

  3. Squad number26Player nameRobertson
    Average rating

    4.81

  4. Squad number3Player nameFabinho
    Average rating

    4.56

  5. Squad number7Player nameMilner
    Average rating

    4.34

  6. Squad number10Player nameMané
    Average rating

    4.14

  7. Squad number5Player nameWijnaldum
    Average rating

    3.99

  8. Squad number14Player nameHenderson
    Average rating

    3.97

  9. Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino
    Average rating

    3.96

  10. Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold
    Average rating

    3.94

  11. Squad number47Player namePhillips
    Average rating

    3.90

  12. Squad number23Player nameShaqiri
    Average rating

    3.78

  13. Squad number17Player nameJones
    Average rating

    3.63

  14. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah
    Average rating

    3.57

Line-ups

Newcastle

Formation 5-4-1

  • 26Darlow
  • 22Yedlin
  • 18Fernández
  • 5Schär
  • 2ClarkBooked at 12mins
  • 11RitchieSubstituted forLewisat 86'minutes
  • 23MurphySubstituted forAlmirónat 67'minutes
  • 14HaydenBooked at 85mins
  • 4M Longstaff
  • 9Joelinton
  • 13Wilson

Substitutes

  • 1Dubravka
  • 7Carroll
  • 8Shelvey
  • 12Gayle
  • 15Lewis
  • 16Hendrick
  • 17Krafth
  • 24Almirón
  • 36S Longstaff

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 47PhillipsBooked at 78mins
  • 3FabinhoBooked at 49mins
  • 26Robertson
  • 17JonesSubstituted forWijnaldumat 68'minutes
  • 14Henderson
  • 7MilnerBooked at 65minsSubstituted forThiago Alcántaraat 73'minutes
  • 11SalahSubstituted forShaqiriat 90+2'minutes
  • 9Firmino
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 18Minamino
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 27Origi
  • 46R Williams
  • 62Kelleher
  • 76N Williams
Referee:
Paul Tierney

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home27%
Away73%
Shots
Home8
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away12
Fouls
Home9
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newcastle United 0, Liverpool 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newcastle United 0, Liverpool 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Xherdan Shaqiri replaces Mohamed Salah.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).

  6. Post update

    Matthew Longstaff (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andrew Robertson with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Fabian Schär.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Jamal Lewis replaces Matt Ritchie.

  11. Booking

    Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Thiago (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United).

  14. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Thiago tries a through ball, but Trent Alexander-Arnold is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Joelinton (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Alisson.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Matt Ritchie with a cross.

  18. Booking

    Nathaniel Phillips (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Nathaniel Phillips (Liverpool).

  20. Post update

    Joelinton (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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