Ciaran Clark was a happy, and relieved, player after Newcastle came away with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.
Usually unflappable and easily Newcastle’s best defender 90% of the time, the former Villa player got away with a horrendous air kick just after half-time, though to his relief Rob Elliot made a good save.
There were another couple of shaky moments for Ciaran Clark but with Newcastle defending for most of the game, there were always going to anxious moments, though the centre-back still thinks ‘it was a deserved point’.
The team spirit shone through and this was epitomised by the excellent DeAndre Yedlin who used his blistering pace a number of times to save the situation and his teammates, including Ciaran Clark, when covering across the backline.
For all Liverpool dominated possession, Clark says ‘I can’t remember them having too many chances’, though admits at the same time ‘We maybe got a bit of luck…but it was all deserved’.
Sky Sports decided to focus on and dissect a couple of corners where there was the usual pushing, pulling, and shoving, with Ciaran Clark at the heart of these instances.
However, if this was the best the broadcaster could do to indicate Liverpool were supposedly hard done by, then it shows what a good job Newcastle did overall.
A valuable and deserved point to go into the international break with.
Clark heading off with the Republic of Ireland for their vital final two World Cup group qualifiers.
Ciaran Clark talking to the official club site:
“It was a deserved point.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game going into it, but we did our work in the week leading up to it, we had a game plan and we tried to stick to it as much as we could.
“The whole ground were singing the manager’s name and the players listened to him during the week. He looks into teams and he knows what their strengths and weaknesses are.
“He has worked on it all week with us in training and he’s got it spot on.
“We felt we were quite comfortable – we got everyone back behind the ball, everyone worked hard, and that started from the front all the way to the back.
“I can’t remember them having too many chances. Obviously there was one where it was my fault, when I left Robbie (Elliot) in the lurch a little bit, but he managed to pull off a good save.
“Apart from that, there weren’t too many – wasn’t a lot Robbie could do about the goal, it was a great strike and that’s the quality they have.
“At the time it was obviously a bit disappointing because we knew it was going to be a battle to get back in, but it was a great ball from Jonjo into Jos, nice to see the ball go in the back of the net.
“Starting the season losing the first two, we’ve managed to turn it round really well.
“We’re in a really good position at the moment but we don’t want to stop there – we want to keep going and keep working hard.
“We knew it was going to be a tough season for us with all of the quality in the Premier League but we wanted to be playing against the best teams and the best players.
“That’s what we’ve come up against today – It was a tough game but we managed to hold our own out there.
“We maybe got a bit of luck…but it was all deserved.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Liverpool 1
Newcastle: Joselu 36
Liverpool: Coutinho 29
Possession was Liverpool 68% Newcastle 32%
Total shots were Liverpool 17 Newcastle 8
Shots on target were Liverpool 2 Newcastle 5
Corners were Liverpool 5 Newcastle 1
Referee: Craig Pawson
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Merino (Hayden 74), Atsu (Diame 90+1), Perez, Joselu (Gayle 79)
Darlow, Lejeune, Murphy, Gamez
Crowd: 52,303 (approx 3,000 Liverpool)
(Read instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Liverpool 1 HERE)
(Garth Crooks says Liverpool should have ‘smashed’ Newcastle. Read it HERE)
(Read Rafa’s post-match reaction HERE)
(Read Jurgen Klopp’s post-match reaction HERE)
(Danny Murphy pushes Jonjo Shelvey for England HERE)
(Read the fan player ratings of all Newcastle players HERE)
(Read Alan Shearer’s reaction to the match HERE)