Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United held his former team Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at St James’s Park on Sunday, a result that left the visitors seven points off the Manchester clubs at the top of the Premier League.
The game encapsulated Liverpool’s season as they took the lead through a superb Philippe Coutinho strike from 25 metres on 29 minutes, only to concede seven minutes later after shambolic defending allowed Joselu to latch on to Jonjo Shelvey’s pass through the middle.
As the striker broke clear, Joel Matip’s attempted tackle only diverted the ball on to Joselu’s shin and past the diving Simon Mignolet.
Juergen Klopp’s mood on the sidelines was not improved when Daniel Sturridge, who was starting in place of Roberto Firmino, squandered a chance from close range after a miskick from Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark.
The visitors looked hesitant at the back and tentative in front of goal with Sturridge too often caught offside. Firmino, Dominic Solanke and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were all brought on but Newcastle held on as Benitez kept his unbeaten record in five games as a manager against Liverpool.
Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Christian Radnedge