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Liverpool concedes late equalizer to dent top4 hopes in EPL

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Liverpool concedes late equalizer to dent top4 hopes in EPL

Liverpool Liverpool to in top-4 hopes late dent equalizer EPL concedes

Sat, 24 Apr 2021 11:00:00 -0700

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Liverpool's creaking bid to qualify for next season's Champions League received another setback as Newcastle scored an 

Newcastle’s Joe Willock celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Newcastle’s Joe Willock, right, scores his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, third from left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Liverpool’s creaking bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League received another setback as Newcastle scored an equalizer at the end of a dramatic period of stoppage time in a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday.

Joe Willock scrambled home a deflected shot in the fifth minute of added-on time to deny Liverpool, which failed to heed its lesson from conceding a goal two minutes earlier — to another substitute, Callum Wilson — that was ruled out for handball.

Mohamed Salah’s 20th Premier League goal of the season looked like giving Liverpool a win that would have lifted the team into the top four, above Tottenham, West Ham and Chelsea.

As it is, the Reds are sixth with five games remaining of a disappointing title defense that has left them battling just to earn Champions League qualification.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the draw “feels like a defeat” and bemoaned his players’ inability to manage the final minutes as Newcastle pushed forward.

“Why it happened I don’t know. We just have to keep the ball. In a specific way, we don’t fight enough,” Klopp said.

“I didn’t see that we deserved today playing Champions League next season,” he added. “We learn or we don’t play Champion League.”

Klopp should take some of the blame, though, for Liverpool’s performance in an open and often wild game, largely brought about by his decision to play a front four of Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah.

That meant Liverpool looked dangerous going forward — the team had 22 shots — but was left vulnerable at the back.

Salah’s goal came in the third minute and was brilliantly taken — the Egypt forward bringing down a high ball with his left foot and swiveling to smash a finish high into the net. He became the first Liverpool player to score at least 20 goals in three different Premier League seasons.

Salah missed a glut of other chances to move level with Harry Kane as this season’s top scorer and Liverpool was made to pay by Willock, who has been something of a super sub in recent games — even if the on-loan Arsenal midfielder recoiled at the tag when it was put to him after the match.

Three late goals from Willock have earned Newcastle four points just this month: an 85th-minute equalizer against Tottenham on April 4, an 82nd-minute winner against West Ham last weekend, and now his last-gasp goal at Anfield.

“I don’t want to be labeled a super sub, but I’m happy I helped the team to a vital point that keeps us up in this league,” Willock said.

Newcastle moved nine points above the relegation zone with five games left.

Most of the chances created by Newcastle, for whom forward Allan Saint-Maximin was a constant live wire, came in the first half and again after Willock and Wilson, the fit-again striker, came off the bench halfway through the second half.

Klopp tried to bring some order to a chaotic match by introducing central midfielders James Milner and Curtis Jones for the closing stages, but Liverpool was sloppy with possession and kept on piling forward to leave the injury-hit defense exposed.

Liverpool again had a makeshift center-back pairing of Fabinho — naturally a midfielder — and Ozan Kabak, who both got booked for fouls on Saint-Maximin and failed to deal with the high ball into the area that led to Willock’s goal.

Before the match at a virtually empty Anfield, owing to restrictions in place during the pandemic, some fans protested outside the stadium against Liverpool’s American ownership for involving the club in the aborted Super League project.

“£nough is £nough FSG Out” and “Henry, You have blood on your hands,” were the words on some of the banners hung up or held by fans, referencing Fenway Sports Group and principal owner John Henry.

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Newcastle’s Joe Willock celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Newcastle’s Joe Willock, right, scores his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, third from left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 24, 2021.

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Liverpool

Sat, 24 Apr 2021 11:00:00 -0700

Liverpool created more than enough chances to win, but familiar failings saw them concede late and settle for a draw that hurts their top for hopes

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Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League were dented on Saturday afternoon as Jurgen Klopp’s side drew 1-1 with Newcastle at Anfield in the Premier League.

The Reds got off to the perfect start when Mohamed Salah swivelled and smashed the ball home inside the near post. But Newcastle reacted strongly, with Allan Saint-Maximin at the heart of a number of dangerous attacks before Sean Longstaff missed a golden chance to level the score. Missed opportunities by Salah, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane left Klopp wondering how Liverpool didn’t score more than the single goal at the break, and they were nearly made to pay after Joelinton’s effort had to be matched by Alisson just before the hour mark.

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The Reds would eventually rue their missed chances when Callum Wilson had a goal ruled out for handball in stoppage time before Joe Willock equalised with one of the last kicks of the game.

While the finishing boots weren’t on today, Liverpool’s chance creation was excellent with countless opportunities to extend their lead. Roberto Firmino gave one of his best performances of the season, and in a formation that may have provided Klopp with a go-to system when playing against teams with a defensive setup.

Liverpool’s defence was unorganised, which gave too many opportunities to Newcastle’s attack. Missed chances left the game on a knife edge and the Reds were eventually punished.

7 — Klopp’s team selection was aggressive and the German manager was unlucky not to see more dividends paid as the Reds frequently worked the ball into dangerous areas. The James Milner substitution was timed well, with more control required at that point in the match, and it helped limit Newcastle’s counter-attacking ability. Not much more the manager could have done.

GK Alisson, 8 — Top goalkeepers make saves when called upon and the Brazilian goalkeeper’s stops against Sean Longstaff and Joelinton kept Liverpool ahead at crucial points in the game. Alisson couldn’t do anything about the equaliser.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 — It’s unsurprising to see a solid performance on the ball, but the young defender had a couple of defensive moments where concentration had to be better.

DF Fabinho, 6 — The 27-year-old wasn’t at his best today and didn’t seem to work well with players around him. Liverpool fans will want to see Fabinho moved back into midfield as soon as possible.

DF Ozan Kabak, 6 — The on-loan centre-back got himself into the book too easily after a clumsy challenge against Allan Saint-Maximin in the ninth minute, but showed maturity to keep a cool head for the rest of the game.

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DF Andy Robertson, 6 — Liverpool attacked through the middle more often than usual, but Robertson looked dangerous in the moments he did venture forward. The Scotland captain almost doubled the home side’s lead when striking narrowly wide of the goal and defended well throughout.

MF Mohamed Salah, 7 — A world-class finish from the Egyptian winger put Liverpool ahead early but Salah will be disappointed to not have scored another.

MF Thiago, 7 — The former Bayern Munich man looked comfortable in a more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation, transitioning attacking moves well by threading balls into tight spaces for Liverpool’s front four.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 — The Dutchman kept the ball ticking over as Liverpool moved the ball forward, but he could have done more defensively in a physical midfield battle.

MF Sadio Mane, 6 — A big chance before the break should have been converted as the Senegalese winger seemed to be caught in two minds. Positively, Mane looked sharp throughout the game and got into a number of good areas.

FW Roberto Firmino, 7 — The 29-year-old attacker was unlucky not to pick up an assist after exquisitely putting Mohamed Salah 1v1 against the goalkeeper in the first half. Clever movement often found the Brazilian with the ball in dangerous areas with Firmino looking in his best form for some time in a Liverpool shirt.

FW Diogo Jota, 6 — The Portuguese attacker has been clinical this season but Jota was wasteful against Newcastle with a number of chances scuffed. Replaced by James Milner close to the hour mark with Klopp looking to control the game.

MF James Milner, 6 (replaced Jota, 58″) — Milner’s introduction provided more security and importantly, stopped the ball from getting to Allan Saint-Maximin.

MF Curtis Jones, N/R (replaced Thiago, 77″) — The academy graduate provided more height in the middle of the park as Liverpool looked to see out the game.


– April 24, 2021
liverpool vs newcastle