Newcastle 1-1 Liverpool: Frustration abounds as reds held

Premier League
Sunday 01 October 2017 - 4:30 pm
St James's Park
Show Match Events
29'Coutinho ⚽️
⚽️ Joselu36'
57' Gomez
Merino off, Hayden on ↔️73'
73'↔️ Sturridge off, Firmino on
73'↔️ Mane off, Solanke on
Joselu off, Gayle on ↔️79'
85'↔️ Salah off, Oxlade-Chamberlain on
Pérez off, Diame on ↔️90'
Possession %
Total Shots
Shots on Target
Shots Blocked
Hide Match Events

Rafa Benitez remains unbeaten when facing Liverpool.  Through his spells at Valencia, Chelsea and now twice at Newcastle - the former Liverpool boss has not been been beaten when facing the reds.

But he most probably should have been today.

Liverpool went ahead thanks to Philippe Coutinho before giving away a soft equaliser through a combination of poor concentration and the unlucky touch of a late tackle.

Ahead of the game, Daniel Sturridge was brought back into the side, replacing Roberto Firmino up front.  Klopp said that it was time for Sturridge to be let off the leash from the start in a Liverpool game.

But for 73 minutes the Liverpool striker looked like less like he wanted a run in the park and more like he fancied being curled up in front of the fire.  Sadio Mane another player who has looked out of sorts - since his ban against Man City, his two appearances have not been up to scratch - with him substituted on both occasions.

It was left to Salah and Coutinho to provide most of Liverpool's attacking threat, and even Salah was wasteful in front of goal.

The opening 20 minutes of the match at St James Park were nip and tuck - but Jonjo Shelvey was bossing Jordan Henderson, making his 250th LFC appearance, around the park.

Eventually the reds settled into a more sustained period of possession and should have gone one up when Wijnaldum saw a flick from a corner bounce back off the inside of the post.  Lovren missed the first attempt, made contact with the second before Mane drilled the ball wide of the Toon Army's goal.

Moments later however the reds were ahead.

An uncontrolled ball inside the Newcastle half was pounced upon by Coutinho.  He controlled, created some space and opened up his body before firing a curling shot to the top left hand corner.

Wonderful goal, wonderful player.

But the lead wouldn't last long.

Jonjo Shelvey was in acres of space in his own half and thread a long range pass that bisected the centre-half pairing of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip.

Joselu had timed his run to perfection as he ran towards Mignolet.

Matip did get back and he slid in for the tackle but the ball took deflection off his boot and trickled past the Liverpool keeper into the inside of the post.

The second half was more dominant from the reds but clear cut chances were in short supply.

However Daniel Sturridge should have done much better to capitalise on a mistake at the back but hit the ball straight at Rob Elliott.  The rebound rushed at Salah who couldn't keep the second chance down.

Sturridge and Mane were eventually replaced by Firmino and Solanke but it was all too late.

And the reds could have suffered worse when Lovren gave away a needless free kick in the final throes of the game.

12 points from 7 games isn't disastrous but it isn't a strong a start as was expected - and with the reds well documented defensive issues - the last thing they need is their attack to go all jelly-like.

As it happened: Newcastle 1-1 LFC

Normally the international break is an unwelcome arrival - but this time it might be just the thing the reds need.

When it's over, Manchester United and Tottenham are booked in as Liverpool's next opposition.

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