Jurgen Klopp’s side have to make do with a point, as the Toon hold strong to seal a 1-1 draw
The honours were even at St James’ Park this afternoon as Newcastle held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw.
Phillipe Coutinho fired the away side into the lead with a superb shot from around 25 yards out but that effort was cancelled out later in the half, when Joselu was put through on goal and knocked the ball into the goal with his shin thanks to some help from Joel Matip.
Liverpool tried in vain to claim all three points, pushing forward with attack after attack but they couldn’t break through the Newcastle defence and the points were shared.
The afternoon was special as it was a return to Anfield for former Reds’ boss Rafael Benitez, who is fondly remembered by all at Anfield due to his tenure at the club in which he won the Champions League title with an infamous win over AC Milan.
Both sides went into this game having found themselves off to a good start in the Premier League so far. Liverpool have lost just one game so far during the campaign, although that loss was a humiliating 5-0 drubbing against Man City.
Liverpool fail to turn draws into wins
The Reds also find themselves failing to turn many draws into wins and wrapping up the three points in games so far but still find themselves sat nicely in the top half of the table, with a nice victory over rivals Arsenal already under their belt.
As for Newcastle, they may have lost as many games as they have won so far but they too have started well. With ten points on the board, Benitez’s side were doing better than any of the other newly-promoted sides before kick-off.
Early on, it looked like Liverpool would be claiming all the points. Daniel Sturridge – who was given the chance to start the game by Jurgen Klopp today – put through Mohammed Salah with a superb touch but it came to nothing, while a Reds corner saw the ball flicked onto the post before it pinballed around the box and was then put wide by Sadio Mane.
The breakthrough eventually came through that sensational Phillipe Coutinho strike. All summer he was linked with a move away, only for the Brazilian to end up staying at Anfield.
Phillipe Coutinho curls in a long-range effort
Many feared his attitude wouldn’t be the same as before but he has seemingly picked up where he left off. Getting the ball outside the box, he cut in onto his right foot and rifled a superb shot into the top left corner of the goal and beyond the reach of Rob Elliot.
However, the hosts hit back soon after. Seven minutes later, Jonjo Shelvey sliced open the Liverpool defence with a terrific through ball which found Joselu. Joel Matip tracked him all the way and tried desperately to tackle the striker but ultimately only succeeded in knocking the ball onto Joselu’s shin and the ball trickled into the back of the net to give the home side their equaliser.
It’s another case of Liverpool’s defence being beaten too easily, although Joel Matip was ultimately unlucky with his tackle, with the ball taking a deflection off his foot, then onto Joselu’s shin and on into the goal.
Liverpool came out raring to go in the second half but despite bombarding the Newcastle defence with attacks, their defence was strong and did very well to hold firm and not concede again. The two substitutes for Jurgen Klopp’s side , Dominic Solanke and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, came close to giving their side the lead with two headers at different points of the half but the Reds were kept out for the remainder of the game and both sides had to make do with a point.