The travelling Kop endure a familiar afternoon of woe in front of goal at St James’ Park…
The hope that October, a month in which Liverpool are undefeated in the Premier League for seven years, would bring with it an upturn in fortunes for the Merseysiders proved unfounded on Sunday as their away fixture at Newcastle United ended 1-1.
The encounter followed a familiar pattern to the majority of Liverpool’s games in recent weeks with possession dominated and chances created but no adequate recompense to show for it come the final whistle.
The inclusion of Daniel Sturridge – the club’s most natural and potent finisher – raised hope prior to kick-off that profligacy would be confined to a frustrating September but it was not to be.
Jürgen Klopp‘s side did take a 29th minute lead through Philippe Coutinho‘s superb 25-yard curler but by that stage Sturridge, Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum had all wasted presentable openings.
The lead lasted all of seven minutes with the hosts benefiting from a large stroke of fortune as Joël Matip‘s sliding challenge sent the ball ricocheting off Joselu and past Simon Mignolet.
It was harsh on Liverpool in many ways but questions should be asked about how Jonjo Shelvey was afforded the time and space to send the untracked Spanish forward clean-through in the first place.
The visitors responded to the setback by continuing their dominance throughout the second half, albeit not always with their usual high tempo, but they couldn’t find a way past a resolute Newcastle managed stoically by their former Champions League winning boss Rafa Benitez.
A diving Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain missed arguably the best chance to produce a winner for the away side; heading over Alberto Moreno‘s cross from close-range.
At the other end, fellow substitute Mohamed Diamé could have secured an unlikely three points for the Magpies when a stoppage time corner somehow fell at his feet six-yards out, but a partial Dejan Lovren block sent the ball straight into the arms of a grateful Mignolet.
The draw was a third in seven league outings this campaign for Liverpool and leaves them with just one win in their last seven league and cup fixtures and with plenty to ponder as the domestic game pauses for an international break.
“I thought we were the more active and the better side,” analysed Klopp at his post-match press conference. “We created more chances. Clear chances which we usually should use.
“If you are dominant you can’t avoid each counter-attack. You have to avoid that they make something of it. I cannot imagine one situation when they had a chance off a counter-attack.
“It was a good goal from them, a good pass in absolutely the right moment. For me it looks like the centre-halves didn’t see the ball with Shelvey because two or three players were in front of them and then the ball was there. If they see it they have to make a step and then Joselu is offside…
“[After] We are the better team again, we create more chances again, we are in very promising situations and then we don’t score. That’s of course a problem but it will not stay like this. I know, I’m long enough around football to know that there will be one day when the knot opens and maybe then we’ll score more times than once, that’s pretty likely.
“We create, we play good, but obviously we don’t score in these moments but there are different ways to get one win in seven. You can play really bad and lose a lot of games or you play in a few games really, really good – I’d say in most of the games actually we were the better side – but a few chances are enough for the opponent to score, and we need a lot more and have at the end the same number of goals.
“That happens too often of course in the last few weeks, but the only alternative for us is to carry on.”
Liverpool’s next match is against bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Saturday October 10.
The Red Devils, alongside neighbours Manchester City, currently lead the way at the top of the Premier League standings on 19 points, seven clear of seventh placed Liverpool.
So that’s what both us and Klopp thought about the game, how about you? Let us know your views below…
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