Reds failed to extend their lead at top on Wednesday
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reiterated that he is ‘happy’ despite his team squandered the chance to open up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League in the final English top-flight match of 2020 after being held to a goalless draw by Newcastle on Wednesday.
The 0-0 stalemate at St James’ Park means the champions go into the New Year with a three-point lead over Manchester United, having played a game more.
But they will rue their missed chances in a match in which they enjoyed nearly three-quarters of possession.
Mohamed Salah — top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with 13 goals — missed the target either side of half-time with just goalkeeper Karl Darlow to beat and strike-partner Roberto Firmino saw two headers superbly saved.
Three days after lowly West Brom snatched a point at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s men, who have now won only two of their eight league away games this season, were frustrated once again, although it took a late goal-line clearance from Fabian Schar and Darlow’s brilliance to keep them at bay.
“You might not think I have to tip my hat to my team but I like the performance,” he told the BBC. “It was really good. Can we play better football? Yes, but in this game we did more than enough to win it. I think we had four 100 percent chances. We have won against Newcastle before with fewer chances. Tonight we didn’t but we accept that. I am happy with the things I saw tonight and I can really work with that.
“The boys are frustrated and rightly so but not about the performance. It is a basis to build on for the next few days, weeks, months.”
Newcastle, who came into the match without a win in four games in all competitions, started positively, with returning striker Callum Wilson almost catching goalkeeper Alisson Becker unaware with a speculative early shot.
The Reds needed Alisson to be at his best to deny Wilson once again 10 minutes later after he had outpaced defender Nathaniel Phillips.