Will we see Liverpool in next year’s Champions League? Maybe they will make it in the end, but the fear is evident – this season the holders have been very inconsistent and they do have reasons to back that, but as you know, the champions always fight back against all sorts of adversities and for which, why Jurgen Klopp’s men failed to deliver time and again remains a moot question.
⚫️ ???? ???? ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/kUnoqnzQzP
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) April 24, 2021
Against Newcastle United, at Anfield, they squandered opportunities benefited from a VAR decision to disallow Callum Wilson’s goal in the second minute of second-half added time and then at the fag end of the match lost it completely. They just collapsed – collapsed like the European Super League project.
Substitute Joe Willock secured a potentially invaluable point for Newcastle with a shot that deflected off Fabinho and dropped two late points for the second time in a tumultuous week.
Fans and pundits reacted furiously to the news of a proposed breakaway project announced on Sunday, only for the six English clubs involved to pull out 48 hours later.
Joe Willock's ? form for @NUFC:
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 24, 2021
Klopp stated his belief that the outrage must be curbed somewhat since the announcement that the ‘Bix Six’ would no longer be taking part, suggesting that continuing to fan the flames of protest could lead to a rise in coronavirus cases.
At least the outrage was over and it was history when Mohamed Salah gave the hosts a perfect start when capitalizing on weak defending early in the first half.
Sadio Mane created space to cross from the left and Ciaran Clark glanced an attempted headed clearance on to Salah at the back post.
The Egyptian superstar held off Matt Ritchie with ease, turned and swept an unstoppable finish into the roof of Dubravka’s goal and became the Premier League era to score 20 league goals in a season for the third time. Robbie Fowler and Luis Suarez achieved the feat twice.
— CHINO (@C111NO) April 24, 2021
The Reds could be blamed for sloppiness on possession and after the break, the substitutes of Newcastle took the game back to the opponents.
In the 95th minute, a simple long ball wasn’t cleared. Gayle heads down into the path of Willock, whose shot is deflected past Alisson and into the corner and that was it – Liverpool were stunned.
Updated results from some of the 'Super League' teams over the past week:
Getafe 0-0 Real Madrid
Atalanta 1-0 Juventus
Arsenal 1-1 Fulham
Leeds 1-1 Liverpool
Chelsea 0-0 Brighton
AC Milan 1-2 Sassuolo
Spezia 1-1 Inter
Arsenal 0-1 Everton
Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle pic.twitter.com/V1v92kwdGF
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 24, 2021
Willock celebrated wildly while Salah storms down the tunnel in despair.
“It is very tough to take but nobody knows that better than us,” the Liverpool manager said. “We kept the game open for them. You better use your chances when you have them or they will come back again. That’s what happened and why Newcastle deserve a point.
“They scored a goal that was disallowed – it is the first present I can remember from VAR – but then we gave them another one.
Liverpool had 21 shots, 68% possession and led for 92 minutes…
…they still drew with Newcastle ? pic.twitter.com/62cV9XF1Zf
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 24, 2021
“Why it happened, I don’t know. We had to keep the ball. In a specific way, we don’t fight enough. Keep ourselves in a position where we dominate the game. We had 70% of the ball, we should have 80%. We created a lot of chances, didn’t score with them, so we have to create more. That is how it is. We don’t do that well at the moment. It feels like a defeat. If you deserve it, you deserve it. I didn’t see us deserve it today, playing Champions League next year.”
“We have to do something about VAR, this rule. It ruins the spectacle,” the Newcastle manager said.
“What an absolutely ridiculous decision not to allow the goal. We are going to have to look at this crazy rule because VAR is becoming laughable with this letter-of-the-law interpretation. It doesn’t make sense. We have just closed down a Super League with the opinions of lots of people. Can we not do the same in the Premier League? VAR was brought in for clear and obvious errors but it has become nonsense and not a great spectacle.”
Klopp and his men are in a shaky state right now.