Liverpool finish 2020 top despite draw with spirited Newcastle

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Liverpool will end 2020 three points clear at the top of the Premier League but were left frustrated after a goalless draw with Newcastle United on Thursday (AEDT).

Jurgen Klopp's side monopolised possession and carved out the best opportunities at St James' Park, but against a spirited Newcastle side a winner eluded them.

Liverpool's front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all had chances, only to find Karl Darlow in inspired form in the Newcastle goal.

It was the first 0-0 between the sides since 1974 and left Liverpool three points ahead of second-placed Manchester United having played a game more.

Newcastle began brightly as Callum Wilson glanced an early header wide and then outpaced Nathaniel Phillips but saw his goal-bound shot from a tight angle blocked by Fabinho.

The Reds slowly found their rhythm and Salah beat the Newcastle offside trap, yet Darlow was sharp off his line to narrow the angle and superbly push the ball wide.

The in-form Darlow produced another brilliant diving save to keep out Firmino's header on the stroke of half-time.

Mane's near-post header clipped the side-netting moments after the interval, while Salah shot wide from a good position after he was released by Firmino shortly after the hour.

Klopp introduced fit-again midfielder Thiago Alcantara in the 73rd minute, but Liverpool needed goalkeeper Alisson to make a fine stretching save to claw away Ciaran Clark's header from Matt Ritchie's free-kick.

The Reds looked most likely to find a winner late on and Fabian Schar hooked the ball off the line with Mane lurking with 10 minutes left.

However, Steve Bruce's side rolled up their sleeves and Darlow made another late stop from Firmino to end a run of five consecutive defeats against Liverpool.

Source Omnisport