5 talking points as late Willock goal deals big blow to Liverpool top four hopes
Joe Willock scored a dramatic last-second equaliser for Newcastle to earn them a point in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool.
It took just three minutes for Mohamed Salah to fire the Reds into an early lead with a superb swivel and strike.
They should have extended their lead further before half-time but the likes of Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane were guilty of missing big chances.
And there were further opportunities squandered for both sides and a late Callum Wilson goal was disallowed for the visitors before Willock struck in the dying moments.
The result means Liverpool remain sixth in the table and their hopes of Champions League football for next season look to be fading.
Here are five talking points from Anfield…
Woeful finishing costs Liverpool
Liverpool had only themselves to blame for this late capitulation against Newcastle.
They were guilty of wasting a number of gilt-edged chances, with Jota and Mane particularly disappointing in their lack of end products for the hosts.
Liverpool's profligacy up front is baffling given how clinical they were last season, and there is no good reason why they continue to squander such clear opportunities, with Klopp's side having 22 shots but making just one of them count.
Whether the answer is to sign another striker in the summer is up for debate, but if they are to challenge for major honours again next season it is something they have to sort out as soon as possible.
Reds begin rocky relationship rebuild
It is going to take a lot of work for supporters of the 'big six' to truly fall back in love with their clubs following the European Super League shambles of this week.
But it was positive to see all the talk turn back towards the football this afternoon.
Despite their difficult season, the majority of these players are still adored by the Liverpool faithful, and their anger lies with the owners rather than those out on the pitch.
But rightly or wrongly, positive results will be the quickest way that the events of the last few days will ever be forgiven.
It was a welcome relief to see all the talk return to the likes of Salah shining with a ball at his feet rather than the greed and selfishness that has dominated the headlines of late.
But the late goal came as a dagger to the heart of Reds fans, and compounded what has been a miserable week on and off the pitch.
If they can squeeze into the top four by the end of the season then the good times may just return on Merseyside in the near future, but that is currently looking highly unlikely.
Salah ignites Golden Boot hopes
He may not get as many plaudits as he did when he first burst onto the scene in England, but Salah is still absurdly consistent.
The Egyptian's sensational finish in the opening minutes was his 20th goal of the Premier League so far, and in doing so he became the first Liverpool player to ever reach that figure in three different campaigns.
He is now just one goal behind Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot, and considering the Tottenham star's injury issues and Liverpool's relatively kind-looking end to the season, Salah may now be considered the favourite to win the prize for the third time in four years.
There is no doubt Liverpool need a rebuild in the summer – but they will be desperately hoping Salah is involved in it as his future continues to be a source of endless speculation.
Thiago begins to tick
It has been a strange old season for Thiago Alcantara.
The Spanish midfielder arrived to a great deal of fanfare, yet after his first few months at the club were blighted by injuries he has struggled to show the superb form he demonstrated at Bayern Munich.
But this was one of his more impressive showings so far, and he was constantly pinging passes around the pitch and attempting to unlock the Newcastle defence with a killer pass.
He was eventually replaced by Curtis Jones with 15 minutes to go but his display should give him a big confidence boost.
Next season may well be when we see Thiago begin to truly shine in the Premier League.
Saint-Maximin puts himself in shop window
With all due respect to Newcastle, Allan Saint-Maximin looked a level above his teammates once again today.
The 24-year-old winger was by far and away his side's biggest threat, and was the only Magpies player to truly threaten the shaky Reds defence.
The Frenchman has drawn admiring looks for some time, and unless Newcastle show a bit of ambition and splash the cash this summer he will surely be considering his future at St James' Park.
A number of top four-chasing clubs could certainly do far worse than a move for the exciting forward.
Source: Read Full Article