Liverpool Liverpool deny Newcastle fight back to
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 13:00:00 +0100
Newcastle substitute Joe Willock scores a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser to damage Liverpool's hopes of Champions League football
Last updated on .From the section Premier League
Newcastle substitute Joe Willock scored a dramatic but deserved 95th-minute equaliser to deny Liverpool a much-needed win in their pursuit of Champions League football.
Mohamed Salah's early goal appeared to have put the champions on track for a vital three points as they chase a top-four finish at the end of a disappointing season.
But despite dominating early on, Jurgen Klopp's side were unable to finish the game off and were given a lifeline they failed to take when Callum Wilson's last-minute equaliser was ruled out for handball.
Steve Bruce's much-improved visitors kept up the late pressure and were rewarded when Willock fired in for the third match in a row with the last kick of the game to strengthen their own position at the bottom of the table.
Reds fans must now look on as West Ham and Chelsea – both a point ahead of their sixth-placed side – meet later on Saturday.
It was already a season to forget for Liverpool with a meek title defence and trophyless campaign, even before the off-field distraction of this week's aborted interest in the European Super League.
There were muted protests against the club's owners as the team coach arrived at Anfield but the players themselves were loudly cheered and the disruption was nothing like that seen at Arsenal on Friday night.
Salah's superb early goal, spinning to control a clearance and smash in what is – remarkably – Liverpool's first first-half goal at home in 2021, seemed to set them on track for a win that would calm matters on and off the pitch.
Jurgen Klopp lined up Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota alongside Salah in an attacking line-up and they all had chances, with Magpies keeper Martin Dubravka making eight saves in a solid if unspectacular showing.
But as the game wore on Liverpool's intensity and drive faded, an all-too-familiar sight in recent months.
Newcastle's late rally meant two more dropped points for the home side and a disappointing season that may yet end without even a Champions League place next term.
Newcastle came into the game on the back of a run of one defeat in seven games that had steered them away from danger, and their last-ditch Anfield exploits have now pushed them nine points ahead of Fulham in 18th place. Surely they are safe?
Bruce has been heavily criticised for his approach throughout his time in charge and Newcastle's defensive, containing 5-4-1 shape had no immediate effect as Salah crashed in following Ciaran Clark's poor clearing header.
But in Allan Saint-Maximin the visitors had the game's most lively attacker and he carried a threat single-handedly for most of the match.
Joelinton then could, maybe should have equalised but Alisson kept out his effort before Wilson scrambled in at the second attempt. But the ball did hit his arm and VAR ruled it out.
Many teams would have crumbled at such late disappointment so all credit to Newcastle for going again, and Willock was sure in his finish as he drilled in via a deflection from 10 yards out.
Liverpool have the small matter of a trip to Old Trafford next Sunday to take on Manchester United, while Newcastle welcome Arsenal on the same day.
Player of the match
Match ends, Liverpool 1, Newcastle United 1.
Sat, 24 Apr 2021 13:00:00 +0100
However, with virtually the final kick of the game, Joe Willock swept in to secure a point for the visitors
Team news… Salah for James Milner was the only change
Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle United at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
Mohamed Salah’s exquisite turn and subsequent unstoppable drive with less than three minutes on the clock had given the Reds the ideal start on Merseyside.
Indeed, the hosts had numerous chances to further their lead, but were unable to add to their tally – and Newcastle had an equaliser from Callum Wilson ruled out in stoppage time by the VAR.
However, with virtually the final kick of the game, Joe Willock swept in to secure a point for the visitors.
Salah for James Milner was the only change Liverpool made to the team deployed at Leeds United on Monday evening.
Curtis Jones returned on the bench after injury.
With Anfield basking in spring sunshine, the Reds made the perfect start as Salah found the net inside the opening three minutes.
Collecting Sadio Mane’s cross with his back to goal, the Egyptian spun away from Matt Ritchie with his first touch before thundering a strike beyond Martin Dubravka at his near post.
Alisson Becker thwarted Sean Longstaff at the other end in Newcastle’s first attack; however, the hosts were commanding the ball at Anfield.
Diogo Jota tried his luck twice in quick succession, first swiping over from Roberto Firmino’s lay-off before scooping into the arms of Dubravka from a Mane centre.
Then, on 27 minutes, Salah fed Mane as the Reds countered, but his drive across goal was deflected wide before Newcastle created their own problem when Ciaran Clark’s heavy touch from a short goalkick resulted in Jota striking narrowly wide.
Liverpool went closer still to a second goal, but were denied by Dubravka’s sprawling save from Salah’s attempt to dink the ball over him after Firmino had sent the No.11 in behind.
Newcastle’s goalkeeper was a busy man; he was required to block a Jota stab towards his net before reclaiming the ball at the feet of Mane as the forward attempted to side-step him.
Dubravka was a spectator, however, when Mane met a Trent Alexander-Arnold delivery on the half-volley 12 yards out, but the ball spun the wrong side of the post.
The visitors mustered a threat in the early stages after the restart with Alisson twice denying Joelinton. But Dubravka was called into action at the other end, keeping out Firmino’s volley towards the near post with his boot.
Shortly after the hour, Andy Robertson’s low drive narrowly evaded the bottom corner as the Scot strode forward from deep before shooting – this coming after James Milner had replaced Jota.
As the game ticked into its final stages, Salah skimmed the side-netting with a close-range shot while Alexander-Arnold hoisted a volley wide from Thiago Alcantara’s touch off.
Mane and Milner then took turns to draw saves from Dubravka, but there was drama in added time as Newcastle secured a point.
They thought they’d done so when Wilson nudged over the line at the second attempt, but the effort was ruled out by the VAR for handball.
However, seconds later, Willock netted from inside the box to leave Liverpool frustrated on Merseyside.
– April 24, 2021
Liverpool Newcastle fight back to deny