Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp appeared upbeat and positive following his sides 0-0 draw, saying his side's position in the table is "the last thing" he is thinking about after they drew at St James's Park to finish the year 3 points clear at the top of the Premier League. "We are not happy with the result but I'm fine with the performance" said Klopp after the game, clearly choosing to remain positive despite his sides injury woes and with rivals Manchester United breathing closely down their necks. You cant blame him, there is no point adding to his sides issues with silly comments in interviews, this is a time when they all need to pull together and show that strength that made them into Champions.
That said, a draw away to Newcastle must feel like an opportunity missed.
The game started with Newcastle having a good chance to take the lead, striker Callum Wilson sprinting past Phillips and having a close range shot as he broke into the penalty area. Thankfully for Klopp's men Brazilian Fabinho covered across just in time, an intervention that was perfectly timed to divert the effort away from Alisson Becker and the Liverpool goal.
Andy Robertson's sweeping cross from the flank matched Firmino's surge into the area, only for the Brazilian's touch to let him down and allow Newcastle to clear.
The best opportunity of the game for the Reds then came for Mo Salah. The Egyptian tried to place his finish between the opposition goalkeeper and the left post but was frustrated by the outstretched fingertips of Karl Darlow, which sent the effort wide. Deep into 1st half stoppage time Newcastle keeper Darlow then denied the visitors again, this time saving a Firmino header from Sadio Mane’s cross into the penalty area. 0-0 at HT.
After just 9 minutes of the restart the visitors nearly took the lead again after Mane nodded Trent Alexander-Arnold’s near post corner narrowly wide. Liverpool then had another 2 good chances to go 1-0 up, but couldn't capitalise on their dominance. The first chance came after Firmino played a clever pass forward for Salah who was in space to the right. Having stepped inside the defender, he tried to put one across the keeper into the far corner, but had to watch on as it went inches wide.
Next, Andy Robertson’s curling corner from the right drifted over keeper Darlow and reached Firmino at the back post who had what looked like an easy finish, but the forwards header went harmlessly over the bar as Liverpool fans must have been starting to pull their hair out.
Alisson was eventually forced into work and produced a vital save as the game approached the last10 minutes, the Brazil No.1 reacting quickly to push away Irishman Ciaran Clark’s header across goal from a free kick. It was a good save and just proved why he is worth the big bucks. For my money he is the most consistent goalkeeper in the Premier League.
Straight after that though, the home team had Fabian Schar to thank, who hooked the ball off the goal line before Mane could tap in after Karl Darlow had parried Alexander-Arnold’s cross against the Reds forward.
The Magpies keeper clawed out another Firmino header in the final minutes, and followed up to prevent a rebound effort as the game would go on to end 0-0.
Newcastle fans will be encouraged by this result, it wont change their views on Steve Bruce too much though i shouldn't think.
Liverpool have had a great year and although didn't sign off with a win, can be proud that they go on into 2021 top of the Premier League tree.
NEWCASTLE 0 LIVERPOOL 0