football

Five talking points as Salah's costly misses deny Liverpool at Newcastle


Liverpool endured a frustrating evening in the north east as they dropped more points on the road at Newcastle.

Mohamed Salah will feel aggrieved having missed the game’s two best chances – one in either half.

The Reds dominated for large periods as they tested the Magpies goal late on with the hosts producing a greatly improved showing having copped plenty of criticism in recent weeks.

Callum Wilson made sure he tested the Liverpool defence as his pace created a half chance early on when he got the better of Nathaniel Phillips.

Opportunities for Steve Bruce’s men were few and far between however.

Instead Liverpool began to dominate and Salah beat the offside trap only to be denied by Karl Darlow at close range.

Roberto Firmino’s good work conjured another chance for the Egyptian in the second-half.

Salah cutting inside before sending his strike the wrong side of the post when it seemed inevitable he would score.

The goalless draw now presents Manchester United with the chance to draw level with the Reds when they next play.

Here are five talking points from the clash at St.James’ Park.



Karl Darlow produced an excellent save to keep the game goalless

Not so clinical Salah

Rarely in Salah’s three-and-a-half years at Liverpool can you lay the blame for dropped points at his door.

Many may still remember the Egyptian missing a guilt-edge chance in the Merseyside derby back in 2019.

But other than that Salah has been a constant source of goals and, again, is Liverpool’s top scorer.

So if Klopp could pick a player to have a one-on-one he’d have picked his prolific forward.

Well he got his wish, not once, but twice, and on each occasion Salah was denied. First by a Darlow hand and then he failed to even hit the target when sent clear by Firmino.

Liverpool have now drawn four of their last five away outings equating to 10 dropped points since early November.



The Egyptian missed two huge chances

An overdue goalless draw

It had to happen eventually: a 0-0 draw between these two sides.

Back in the 1990s these two produced back-to-back 4-3 games at Anfield, Liverpool winning on each occasions.

The image of Kevin Keegan slumped over the advertising boards encapsulated the energy zapped out of you.

It wasn’t quite a sense of deja vu this time as neither team broke the deadlock.

Klopp was six years old the last time Liverpool and Newcaslte played out a goalless draw back in February 1974.

There’s been 73 meetings since that day so it is hard to complain.



Jurgen Klopp’s side were frustrated at Newcastle

Can you get at Liverpool?

Well the obvious answer to this would be yes, but then again that is largely down to their defensive crisis.

Were Virgil van Dijk still a rock at the back then the perception may be completely different.

It is interesting though how Newcastle felt as if they could have a go against the champions.

West Brom had a similar attitude in the second-half at Anfield a few days ago, they were more than willing to open up and attack.

The Magpies have seen their struggles well documented and in their recent clash at Manchester City almost surrendered.

Despite their lack of possession though Newcastle certainly pressed forward when the opportunity came on Wednesday evening.

There is no doubt a sense of ‘get at Liverpool while Virgil is missing’ but it is something Klopp is having to deal with.



Callum Wilson posed a problem for the Reds’ defence

Wilson Newcastle’s hope

There has been little cause for optimism amongst Newcastle fans in recent weeks.

Their limp Carabao Cup exit to Brentford seemed to typify everything that is currently wrong with the Magpies.

But if they are to avoid getting dragged into a relegation dog fight then Wilson will be crucial.

Already the former Bournemouth man has underlined his importance, working off scraps but producing when needed.

Against Liverpool he was forever a willing runner which stretched a makeshift defence, but also knew when to come short and link play.

Comparisons have already been made between Bruce’s side and the one most recently relegated in 2016.

Wilson may end up being a point of difference between the two.

The challenge of St James

No reigning Premier League champion had won at Newcastle since Man City did so in August 2014.

Since then four champions have come to the north east and left without the three points.

St.James’ Park is by no means a fortress, but clearly the hosts raise themselves when the title holders come to town.

They held City last term having beaten them the season before that.

Chelsea headed to the north as champions and were seen off 3-0 and were held to a 2-2 draw two years prior.

Liverpool were unable to break the deadlock meaning that run now extends to five games.





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