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Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle United: 5 talking points as Reds concede late equaliser | Premier League 2020-21

Liverpool drew 1-1 with Newcastle United at Anfield.
Liverpool drew 1-1 with Newcastle United at Anfield.
Jong Ching Yee
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Liverpool's woes at home in the 2020-21 Premier League continued as Newcastle United scored an injury-time equaliser to force a share of the spoils.

It could have been a perfect afternoon for Liverpool, as Mohamed Salah put the Reds ahead after just three minutes. However, Jurgen Klopp's profligacy to kill off the game came back to haunt them, as the Magpies became the latest team to take points off Liverpool at Anfield this season.

Liverpool were wasteful with their finishing for large swathes of the game, so Newcastle United fancied their chances of eking out a favourable result. When Callum Wilson put the ball past Alisson Becker in the 92nd minute, Steve Bruce thought his side had scored the equaliser.

To his dismay, the video assistant referee ruled out the striker's effort for a handball in the build-up. With that decision going in their favour, Liverpool were on the cusp of a rare home win and take a key stride in their quest for Champions League football next season.

However, that was not to be, as Joe Willock emerged as Newcastle's hero again. Undeterred by his team's earlier miss, the midfielder struck in the 95th minute to cancel out Salah's goal to ensure that the Magpies would not return empty-handed from their trip to Anfield.

With Liverpool left to ponder what might have been, let's take a look at five talking points in the game between the Reds and Newcastle United.


#1 Liverpool suffer setback in race for top four

Liverpool vs Newcastle United - Premier League
Liverpool vs Newcastle United - Premier League

If Liverpool want to be in next season's UEFA Champions League, every game is now a must-win, as the teams between fourth and eighth places are separated by a mere three points.

Liverpool were recently knocked out of the Champions League after Real Madrid beat them in the quarter-finals. Thus their hopes of returning to the competition next season depend on a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

After his team's Champions League qualifying hopes received a setback, Klopp admitted in the aftermath of the game:

"We didn’t play enough. We have to keep going, keep playing. But we kept them alive. And they deserved the goal because they scored before. It feels like a defeat. But if you deserve it, you deserve it. I didn’t see us that we deserved today to play Champions League next year."

Liverpool will now face Manchester United next weekend before taking on Southampton, West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Crystal Palace.

Considering the Red Devils are the only top-half side they need to face as the season approaches its finale, Liverpool will fancy their chances of a top-four finish despite dropping points against Newcastle on the night.


#2 Mohamed Salah vying for his third Premier League Golden Boot

Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool's opening goal against Newcastle United.
Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool's opening goal against Newcastle United.

After scoring against the Magpies, Mohamed Salah now has 20 Premier League goals this season, one behind the season's top scorer Harry Kane. Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes is third, with 16 goals.

Although Liverpool won the Premier League last season, the Egyptian missed out on the Golden Boot, as he ended the season with 19 goals, four adrift of Jamie Vardy's tally.

This time around, the Leicester City striker has struggled to find the net as often as he did last season, scoring just 13 times in 28 appearances.

With just five matches remaining, it is clear that the competition for this season's Golden Boot will be between Salah and Kane.

With two Premier League golden boots during his stint at Liverpool, Salah will fancy his chances of another one despite his club's indifferent campaign this season.

#3 Newcastle United boost their Premier League survival hopes

Newcastle United have distanced themselves from the relegation zone.
Newcastle United have distanced themselves from the relegation zone.

A point against Liverpool has boosted Newcastle United's chances of staying in the Premier League for another season.

Although they face tougher tests against Arsenal, Leicester City and Manchester City in the coming weeks, the Magpies will also host already-relegated Sheffield United before playing Fulham at Craven Cottage, two games they could possibly win.

As things stand, Steve Bruce's side are 15th in the standings, with 36 points, nine points above the relegation zone. Considering their decent performances against top-six sides like Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and West Ham United this season, the Magpies will fancy their chances of Premier League football next campaign.


#4 Joe Willock denies Liverpool at the death

Joe Willock has only scored one Premier League goal before joining Newcastle United
Joe Willock has only scored one Premier League goal before joining Newcastle United

With four goals in 10 appearances for Newcastle United, it's no wonder Bruce wants to keep Joe Willock at the club beyond his loan spell.

Reports claim that Arsenal are open to selling their academy graduate for around £20 million this summer, and the Magpies are keen on signing him permanently.

On Willock's possible transfer, Bruce said:

"I’d love to. We have to have conversations with Arsenal. Arsenal can see he’s progressed with us."

Prior to joining Newcastle United on loan, the 21-year-old midfielder scored 11 goals in 78 appearances for Arsenal and provided four assists.

In his last three matches for Newcastle, Willock has come on as a substitute and scored some key goals, which includes his late equaliser against Liverpool with virtually the last kick of the game.

Considering how well the Englishman is performing at the moment, the Gunners might be tempted to keep him and strengthen their midfield. They might also fancy a high transfer fee from the Magpies if they sell Willock.


#5 Wasteful Liverpool punished for their profligacy

Liverpool missed an awful lot of chances to seal the game.
Liverpool missed an awful lot of chances to seal the game.

Newcastle United deserved to get a point against Liverpool. The Reds had 22 shots, but only less than half of them were on target. Even for the ones that were on target, Liverpool struggled to test Martin Dubravka enough.

Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah were all guilty of missing chances to extend Liverpool's lead in the first half and kill the game as a contest.

However, Liverpool profligacy in front of goal turned out to be their undoing, as they failed to take all three points at home this season yet again.

Edited by Bhargav
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