– Newcastle quelled a string of Liverpool attacks to earn a hard-earned draw
– Liverpool have now dropped four points in their last two games
– The Reds however go into the new year three points clear at the top of the table
Liverpool went three points clear at the top of the Premier League albeit via a frustrating 0-0 stalemate against a determined Newcastle United side on Wednesday, December 30.
The Reds were guilty of lacking a cutting edge in front of goal for large parts of the game, with Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow coming up with some superb saves to keep his side in the game.
Newcastle, who have a wretched record against the Reds started the game on the front foot, creating some early chances with striker Callum Wilson failing to convert early on.
The Reds eventually got into the game and started asking questions of the Newcastle defence and keeper Darlow.
Forward Mo Salah had the best chances of the half as he was fed a ball over the top but somehow failed to beat Darlow in a one-on-one situation.
Roberto Firmino also forced a good save from the Newcastle keeper with a header late in the first half as both sides settled for a 0-0 stalemate going into half time.
Liverpool tried to assert themselves in the second half but once again had to deal with a stubborn Newcastle side which was keen on avoiding defeat.
In what was an impressive showing of defensive discipline, the Magpies fought to keep the Reds out of their penalty area as they thwarted nearly all attacks.
The best chance of the second half fell the way of Firmino from a corner who once again drew a superb save from Darlow.
Late in the game, Darlow was called upon once again as he saved an effort only for it to fall the way of Sadio Mane who could not get a shot away after some brilliant defending from Fabian Schlar.
Jurgen Klopp introduced summer signing Thiago Alcantara in the second half but the Spaniard, who is fresh out of injury, was not at his sharpest on the night.
In the end , Newcastle clawed their way to a deserved point as Steve Bruce’s side became the first to stop Liverpool from scoring this season.
Liverpool head into 2021 top of the Premier League but with 33 points from 16 games , three ahead of second-placed Manchester United who have played a game less.
For Newcastle, they will take a lot of pride in their draw which leaves them on 19 points, eight clear of the relegation zone.
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