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Newcastle United ended the year with a hard-earned point, holding champion Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at St James’ Park.
It was an even first half as Newcastle defended well and Liverpool struggled with their last ball to see the teams enter goalless after 45 minutes.
Jurgen Klopp’s side pushed for a winning goal in the second half, and Salah saw another opportunity to open up as Newcastle cleared an effort off the line before Sadio Mane could touch it. Liverpool struggled to conjure up more clear opportunities before the full-time whistle, and Steve Bruce’s team held strong and took a deserved point in 2021.
Karl Darlow (GK) – 8/10 – Two great saves in the first half by Salah and Firmino. He made another great save later to stop a late winner.
Ciaran Clark (CB) – 7/10 – Made great punts overnight and controlled the baseline well, helping Ritchie deal with Salah.
Fabian Schar (CB) – 7/10 – He handled Liverpool’s attack well throughout the night and made an impressive goal clearance to keep it 0-0 with ten minutes remaining.
Federico Fernández (CB) – 8/10 – Excellent performance by the boss, who made more tackles than anyone else on the field.
DeAndre Yedlin (RWB) – 7/10 – It was dangerous to keep up with his pace and he dealt with the threat from Robertson and Mane excellently.
Matt Ritchie (LWB) – 6/10 – Did well defensively for the most part. He could have freed Wilson a few times earlier, but he never looked up properly.
Jacob Murphy (RM) – 6/10 – Great energetic display for 65 minutes before being substituted. Defensively solid and always looking to advance when he had the opportunity.
Matty Longstaff (CM) – 5/10 – He struggled to make an impact, but kept his form alongside Hayden and kept Henderson quiet.
Isaac Hayden (CM) – 6/10 – He played strong defensively, filling gaps with his energy, but got a fifth caution, so he will miss Newcastle’s next game.
Joelinton (LM) – 6/10 – He worked tirelessly to help defend, but was also a running back willing to support Wilson on the attack. He summed up the entirety of 2020 with an aerial kick attempt that … well, check it out on Twitter later.
Callum Wilson (ST) – July 10 – Wilson started up front on his own and caused a lot of trouble for Liverpool’s bottom line with his constant run from behind. A first-rate performance, only without a goal.
Miguel Almirón – 5/10 – He did his defensive duties well, but he never had a chance to affect the game at the other end of the field.
Jamal Lewis (LWB) – N / A
Alisson (GK) – 6/10 – He only had one save to make at any time and he should be happy with his clean sheet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – 5/10 – He struggled to get into the game going forward, but was good defensively. A fairly normal game for your standards.
Fabinho (CB) – 5/10 – He struggled with Wilson’s physique and pace for the first hour and was booked for cynically stopping a counterattack.
Nathaniel Phillips (CB) – 6/10 – He swept well from behind and was dominant in the air, winning more aerial duels than anyone on the field. Reserved to finish off Joelinton.
Andrew Robertson (LB) – 6/10 – Tried hard as usual down the left and advanced a lot, but his impressive final ball was missing on the night.
Jordan Henderson (DM) – 5/10 – The patron struggled to influence the game in his usual way, without enough passing intent.
James Milner (CM) – 5/10 – Solid defensively, but struggled to do something important going forward. Replaced with 15 minutes to go, Liverpool pressed for a goal.
Curtis Jones (CM) – 5/10 – Probably his calmest game of the season. He could be forgiven for forgetting he played. Subtitled in 66 minutes.
Sadio Mane (LW) – 6/10 – Liverpool’s brightest attacker on the night, but he never did quite well with the final ball.
Mohamed Salah (RW) – 5/10 – Very calm first half, but missed a great one on one. He also missed an even better opportunity in the second half.
Roberto Firmino (ST) – 5/10 – He missed a great opportunity in the first half with a header and never got his passing game in the second as Liverpool failed to unlock the Magpies.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 5/10 – He came in with 25 minutes to play and was as effective as the man he replaced. It made zero impact.
Thiago (CM) – N / A
Xherdan Shaqiri (RW) – N / A