Jurgen Klopp was understandably gutted after his team were cruising at half-time, only for Newcastle to hit back and end the game on level terms.
Liverpool were totally dominant in the first period, controlling play and scoring two excellent goals.
Searching for reasons/excuses why they didn’t close the game out, Jurgen Klopp came up with some decent and fair ones, but maybe found others that didn’t really stand up to scrutiny.
The German boss has been a really good addition to the ranks of Premier League management but at times even he can stray.
Klopp saying ‘after an intensive game, then against a rested opponent, we did really well’.
Newcastle did play a day earlier (than Liverpool) in midweek, drawing 1-1 with Manchester City 24 hours before Liverpool met Everton.
On the face of it a derby game should have been demanding but Everton were woeful, Liverpool 2-0 up and playing against 10 men for the final 40 minutes.
Everton hardly had a kick and not a single effort on target, whilst Liverpool had 37 attempts at the visitors’ goal.
In contrast, Newcastle had the toughest of games where they had to give it everything against Man City, fighting back after conceding the dodgy Aguero goal.
Jurgen Klopp had the luxury of making 10 changes for the previous game against Bournemouth and for Newcastle he made a number of changes to his team selection, Rafa Benitez having no such luxury and having to stick with the same 11 from Tuesday.
Before yesterday’s match at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp had pointed to where things could go wrong and his words proved really prophetic.
Jurgen Klopp Friday 22 April:
“We know all about the physical strength of Newcastle – we need a team who are really fit for this game. It won’t be an easy second half against them.”
Newcastle for once lived up to their billing, it may not have been pretty and you feared the worst a lot of the time.
However, for all their possession, Liverpool only had four shots on target compared to Newcastle’s three, with Karl Darlow making one excellent save from a header (follow-up disallowed for offside).
Remarkably this is a season where Newcastle will end it undefeated against both Manchester United and Liverpool, typical of us to try and find a way to be relegated despite this…
Jurgen Klopp speaking after Liverpool 2 Newcastle 2:
“We did really, really well in the first half against a highly motivated side in their situation.
“They have quality but we were clearly the better team today.
“Now they are happy with a point…but before the game they maybe thought they could win against Liverpool at Anfield.
“In the first half we were clearly the better team and clearly the better team in the second half too…only not around the two goals we conceded.
“Two shots on target and two goals, it sounds not too good and is not too good – but in this moment we have to accept it.
“We did really well in a lot of parts of the game, we cannot think about the reasons too much, to be honest. We have to carry on and work.
“Today, especially the first half was really good. In the second half after the draw, usually the game can change but it didn’t. We were still dominant and we played football.
“After an intensive game then against a rested opponent, we did really well.
“But you then need a little bit of luck in decisive moments…an inch on the boot and the ball goes there. We had this (Sturridge) penalty situation, I think it was a clear penalty – 2-2 feels not too good but we have to accept it and we can accept it.”