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Newcastle United 0-0 Liverpool: Hosts frustrate champions in entertaining stalemate

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Liverpool failed to score in a Premier League game for the first time this season

Newcastle United held Liverpool to a goalless Premier League draw at St James’ Park to ease the pressure on boss Steve Bruce.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah missed two key opportunities either side of half-time while United’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.

Points and a performance from Newcastle

Newcastle boss 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.

Newcastle’s point owed a lot to 30-year-old Darlow, whose string of second-half saves kept the league-leaders at bay.

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

Newcastle v Liverpool
Newcastle and Liverpool played out a goalless draw for the first time in 74 matches, last doing so in a top-flight game in February 1974

Reds still stuttering on the road

No matter the result, Liverpool were always going to finish 2020 as they started it – at the top of the Premier League table.

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

The champions remain firm favourites to collect back-to-back titles for the first time in their history since 1985, but their away form is a recurring issue.

Liverpool have tasted victory in seven of their eight home league games this season, on the road they’ve won just two in six.

And although the Reds’ injury list, particularly in defence, is well-reported – 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.

It means Jurgen Klopp’s side stretch their lead at the top to three points having played a game more than second place Manchester United. Liverpool face Southampton on Monday, while Newcastle’s next fixture is away to Leicester on Sunday.

Player of the match

DarlowKarl Darlow

Newcastle United

  1. Squad number26Player nameDarlow

  2. Squad number5Player nameSchär

  3. Squad number13Player nameC Wilson

  4. Squad number18Player nameFernández

  5. Squad number2Player nameClark

  6. Squad number22Player nameYedlin

  7. Squad number4Player nameM Longstaff

  8. Squad number14Player nameHayden

  9. Squad number11Player nameRitchie

  10. Squad number23Player nameMurphy

  11. Squad number9Player nameJoelinton

  12. Squad number24Player nameAlmirón

  13. Squad number15Player nameLewis

Line-ups

Newcastle

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

Substitutes

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

Liverpool

  • 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

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