Liverpool go blank for the first time as champions, while Newcastle gain a point

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Liverpool will end 2020 three points clear at the top of the Premier League after drawing 0-0 at Newcastle.

The reigning champions had a chance to put the light of day between themselves and Manchester United on the table before the New Year. However, it was a game in which the defenses prevailed.

The last time the two teams met, Newcastle had taken an early lead. They threatened to do it again when Callum Wilson faced a challenge from Nat Phillips, who was starting for Liverpool in place of the injured Joel Matip.

However, Alisson Becker managed to save Wilson’s shot from a narrow angle.

Liverpool’s best half-chance came just after half an hour. Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow went big to deflect a Mohamed Salah effort into a heads up.

As the break drew near, Darlow was called into action again. He gave a header to Roberto Firmino to maintain the tie on the scoreboard.

Liverpool The pressure continued to mount in the second half, although they once managed to fight to break Darlow’s goal.

Salah sent a deflected shot just past the hour mark, when he should have done better.

Moments later, Firmino, the man who had prepared Salah for the last chance, missed a nanny. All the Brazilian had to do was head the ball at the far post with Darlow off his line, but he could only deflect the ball out.

With just under 20 minutes to go, Liverpool were able to welcome Thiago Alcantara for his first appearance since recovering from injury. He replaced another returning player, James Milner.

There is no way to go through either side

However, it was Newcastle who was the next closest. A free kick entered the Liverpool area and Alisson had to reject a header from Ciaran Clark.

At the other end, his defensive partner Fabian Schar came to the rescue to keep Newcastle on a level playing field. Just when it looked like Sadio Mane was about to hit an empty net, Schar got to the ball first in the nick of time and cleared it off the line.

Then it was Darlow’s turn to be a hero for Newcastle again, churning out a strong forehand to avoid another header from Firmino.

In the end, both parties had to settle for one point. Newcastle had their first clean sheet in December, while Liverpool failed to score in a Premier League match for the first time since July.

Regardless, the Reds are heading into the New Year as league leaders. Newcastle are eight points clear of the bottom three, and now just four points from the top half.

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