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Reds Column V

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Newcastle United vs Liverpool

In a Match of missed opportunities, Liverpool Fc dropped more crucial points as they were held to a 0-0 frustrating draw by the hosts Newcastle United Fc in the Premier League.

With Joël Matip sidelined, Nathaniel Phillips was preferred ahead of Rhys Williams to partner alongside with Fabinho at Centre Back.

Also, James Milner started in the midfield in place of Georginio Wijnaldum. After returning to full fitness, Thiago Alcântara was named on the bench.

This was the Spaniard’s first involvement since sustaining a knee injury during the Match against the hosts Everton Fc.

Sensing opportunity to exploit an inexperienced backline, Newcastle United Fc (The Magpies) started brightly. Liverpool Fc (The Reds) needed to be spot on to counter the aerial threat in order to successfully play the offside trap given the Reds under Klopp are playing so high up.

There were early warnings from the Home side as a miscued cross from Callum Wilson that could have been drifting in to the net was helped behind by Alisson Becker for a Corner Kick in just the 3rd minute.

Callum Wilson was a constant threat for the Reds during the First Half as Phillips’s lack of pace left the Englishman stranded but Alisson came to rescue with a block to deny Wilson in the 12th minute.

The Reds had their first shot on target in the 16th minute as Sadio Mané provided a pass to James Milner but his shot went straight to Karl Darlow.

Having got a bit of tempo, the Reds lacked the pace and needed to be better with their final ball.

Jordan Henderson crossed the ball over the top to Salah but the Egyptian shot was well saved by the finger tips of Darlow in the 34th minute.

Newcastle United Fc (The Magpies) looked to break the deadlock as a cross from Jacob Murphy went straight to Alisson following a cross from De Andre Yedlin in the 40th minute.

The Reds came once close to breaking the deadlock as Roberto Firmino’s header was saved by Darlow following a cross from Mané in the 45th minute.

The First Half ended at with scores levelled at 0-0.

The Reds started positively during the Second Half as in the 54th minute a cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s was headed by Mané but the ball went to the side netting.

In the 65th minute, a pass from Firmino was met by Salah but the Egyptian missed his shot to the left side of the post.

Georginio Wijnaldum replaced the ineffective Curtis Jones in the 67th minute. Another baffling decision from Klopp as the German waited too long to make the necessary changes.

An Andrew Robertson corner kick in the 68th minute was flapped by Darlow and Firmino had a free header but missed and the Brazilian should have scored.

Thiago finally was brought on as the Spaniard replaced James Milner in the 73rd minute.

It was way too late make any sort of impact. Yet, the Spaniard made an impact in a very short time but the forwards very disappointing with poor finishing.

Alisson again to the Reds rescue in the 79th minute as the Brazilian saved with both hands to deny the header from Ciaran Clark following an assist from Matt Ritchie.

In the 91st minute, Xherdan Shaqiri replaced Salah to force a win but the game ended in a stalemate at 0-0. 

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 7: Made several crucial saves with solid punches and handling. His saves kept the Reds in the Match.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6: Inconsistent defending during the First Half but improved during the Second Half.

Nathaniel Phillips – 5: Lack of pace and struggled to deal with Callum Wilson during the First Half but improved during the Second Half.

Fabinho – 7: Solid defending as a Makeshift Centre Back and provided leadership in the heart of the defence.

Andrew Robertson – 6: Took a knock during the First Half that caused concern. Defended well but was not effective going forward and the crosses were not effective as usual.

Midfield:

James Milner – 6: Industrious performance but ineffective going forward.

Jordan Henderson – 6: Provided the cross to Salah in the First Half. Shielded the defence well but the Captain was not at his usual best.

Curtis Jones – 4: Largely ineffective with minimal contributions and lack creativity going forward. What took Klopp so long to replace Jones, itself was baffling. Much better options were on the bench.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 6: Had some opportunities but the finishing was below par.

Roberto Firmino – 6: Dropped deep, found some pockets of spaces and pressed hard when required but unable to make a major impact.

Mohamed Salah – 6: Missed opportunities to score and had one saved by Darlow.

Substitutes:

Georginio Wijnaldum – N/A: Brought on to inject energy to the Midfield but not enough time to make his mark on the game.

Thiago Alcântara – N/A: Made an instant impact and showed what the Reds missed. Creativity! But the Spaniard was brought on so late which clearly did not help the Reds cause.

Xherdan Shaqiri – N/A: Brought on with just minutes left in the game and not enough time to make an impact.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 6: More valuable points lost! The rationale behind to persist with Curtis Jones when better options were in the bench, itself is baffling.

After their back-to-back draws with the visitors West Bromwich Albion Fc and the hosts Magpies, the Reds now hold a very fragile lead on top of the table. The rivals like Manchester City have many games in hand.

The only positive thing is the return of Thiago. Klopp will need to seriously need to consider bringing an Centre Back during the January Transfer Window 2020.

The Reds simply cannot reply on inexperienced Young Defenders lined up with Makeshift Defenders for the rest of the season.

 

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