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Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool did enough to beat Newcastle, and have done so with worse performances, after they were limited to a goalless draw.
Liverpool left St James’ Park with just one point in their last game of 2020. Newcastle stood firm to deny them despite a number of key opportunities.
It was not the result that many would have expected, as Liverpool have a strong record against Newcastle in recent years.
However, the hosts earned their point, meaning Liverpool enter the New Year three points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Despite missing the opportunity to go five points clear, Klopp was not overly discouraged by the performance.
BBC Sport: “The Premier League are just good teams. We had great opportunities. The opposition is good and that happens all the time.
“You may think I don’t have to take my hat off to my team, but I like the performance. 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% chances. We have won against Newcastle before with fewer chances. Tonight we didn’t, but we accepted it.
“I am happy with the things that I saw tonight and I can really work with that.
“The guys are frustrated and rightly so, but not because of the acting. It is a foundation on which to build for the next few days, weeks and months. “
Klopp reacts to Thiago’s return
One of the positive factors for Liverpool It was the return to action of Thiago Alcantara as a substitute.
The midfielder replaced James Milner, who was also returning from injury. Klopp remains patient with his summer recruit, but is excited to have the opportunity to show his quality again.
He said: “We could see many moments how good a footballer he is. Now we have to see how he reacts and all that. We have another game in four days.
“James Milner played a great game in midfield after injury.”
Klopp also singled out defender Nat Phillips for praise after he entered the starting lineup in place of outcast Joel Matip.
The coach added: “Nat Phillips did his job, really strong against 100% forwards.
“A really good game, but not the result we want.”
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