Newcastle United 1 Liverpool 1
- Craig Pawson
Newcastle United 1 Liverpool 1
The Magpies had trailed to Philippe Coutinho’s superb strike from range, the Brazilian playmaker leaving Rob Elliot with no chance after cutting inside.
Parity was restored before the break, however, as United’s Spanish frontman registered his second goal of the season – albeit in untidy fashion.
And 1-1 was how it finished, the Magpies consolidating their place in the top half of the table ahead of next week’s international break.
Although Liverpool were almost in after just two minutes – Sadio Mané’s final ball letting him down after a neat exchange with Mohamed Salah – United made a reasonable start against Jürgen Klopp’s side.
The Reds, however, started to up the ante, their rapid attacking quartet of Coutinho, Mané, Salah and Daniel Sturridge starting to get a foothold in the game.
It was a player more familiar to the home crowd who almost opened the scoring midway through the first half, though. Gini Wijnaldum – still searching for a first away goal for Liverpool – flicked Coutinho’s corner onto the near post, before Dejan Lovren’s follow-up was blocked by Jamaal Lascelles.
Just shy of the half-hour mark, though, the Reds’ pressure told. Coutinho pounced on Ritchie’s headed clearance 25 yards out, drove in from the left, and powered a magnificent right-footed strike beyond Elliot and into the top corner of the net.
The Brazilian took aim again two minutes later, only to clear the crossbar by some distance.
But, just as they looked to be building up a head of steam, the visitors were pegged back.
With the Reds’ backline stationed high up the pitch, Shelvey threaded the ball between Lovren and fellow centre-half Joël Matip, and Joselu found himself in on goal. A moment of indecisiveness looked to have cost the Spaniard, only for Matip’s attempted challenge to divert the ball onto the frontman’s shin, beyond Mignolet and over the line.
Five minutes into the second half, a defensive lapse at the other end of the pitch almost allowed Liverpool the chance to re-take the lead. Ciaran Clark’s scuffed clearance bobbled straight into the path of Sturridge, but Elliot managed to get in the way of the forward’s effort.
A dinked pass from Salah nearly presented Sturridge with another opportunity, but Elliot was off his line quickly once more.
On the whole, though, the Magpies were looking comfortable, prompting Klopp to make two changes with 15 minutes to play. Frontmen Roberto Firmino and Dominic Solanke both entered the fray but, with their next attack, it was Lovren who almost put the Reds back in front, seeing a goalbound header cleared off the line by Shelvey.
Goalscorer Coutinho then picked out Solanke with a cross from the left, but the youngster couldn’t quite keep his header on target.
Liverpool continued to look the most likely to nab a winner – another substitute, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, going close late on – but Rafa Benítez’s side held out, playing out a draw for the first time since their return to the Premier League.