Jurgen Klopp is discovering Liverpool’s title defence won’t be a comfortable ride.
The Liverpool boss cut a frustrated figure at St James’ Park as his star strikers repeatedly fluffed big chance, after big change.
It was a head in the hands, jump around the touchline grimacing, kind of night for the German.
This was the first time Liverpool had failed to score in the Premier League this season.
It would be hard to describe just two wins in six games as a wobble. But they’ve only won two of their eight away games in this campaign. They’ve dropped eight points against teams in the bottom six.
Newcastle scrapped with spirit to force another stalemate, just like West Brom did three days earlier to prevent the Reds opening up a gap at the top.
Indeed with Manchester United now breathing down Liverpool’s neck, three points behind with a game in hand, it’s shaping up to be a fascinating battle.
Karl Darlow stood between Liverpool and the win, making three brilliant saves from misfiring Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino in the first half alone.
And after the break Mane planted a header into the side netting when he should have scored, and Salah curled wide with just Darlow to beat.
Firmino fluffed a free back post header from six yards from Robertson’s corner and there were two more heroic stops from Darlow, the best from Firmino.
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It’s been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk’s season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson’s injury worries too.
But there’s no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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Steve Bruce’s side even had a good crack at scoring themselves with Callum Wilson excellent, in a less cautious Toon display. Ciaran Clark almost nicked a win for Newcastle with a late header.
Klopp said: “We found lots of solutions, we created chances, crazy a lot of chances. But it is 0-0. This is a draw we are not happy about, but I am fine with the performance. This is how we have to create. It is still disappointing. They defended with all they had.
“We played super football, first half we had big chances. You have to respect the result and take what we did right and wrong. The finishing won’t stay like this forever. I know getting them again they will finish them.
“We have drawn two games and are still top of the table, It is a difficult season for everyone.
“We are in a good mood. Life gives you lemons, make lemonade! We will keep going…. We will try to do everything right.”
Newcastle were far from impotent. They were not as passive as in previous games against the elite teams..
Bruce has branded the calls for his departure “mass hysteria” and the resilience and organisation shown here will have eased the discontent.
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Bruce said: “We have ridden our luck and our keeper has made some great saves. But so did their keeper who made two good saves. I can’t fault them to a man.
“They have put in a hell of a shift.
“We disappointed ourselves in a cup tie against Brentford. We had to accept what was coming our way. We had to improve by being defensively right and cause a threat. We are trying. We are making progress slowly.
“The walls come tumbling down quickly at Newcastle and we have to keep a perspective.”