Jurgen Klopp explains Liverpool twist of fate at Newcastle; reacts to long-awaited Thiago return

Jurgen Klopp explains Liverpool twist of fate at Newcastle; reacts to long-awaited Thiago return

Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool did enough to beat Newcastle – and have done so with worse performances – after they were held to a goalless draw.

Liverpool came away from St James’ Park with only a point in their final game of 2020. Newcastle held firm to deny them despite a number of key chances.

It was not the outcome many would have expected, with Liverpool boasting a strong record against Newcastle in recent years.

However, the hosts earned their point, meaning Liverpool go into the New Year three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Despite missing out on the chance to go five points clear, Klopp was not too disheartened with the performance.

BBC Sport: “The Premier League is only good teams. We had big chances. The opposition is good and that happens all the time.

“You might not think I have to tip my hat to my team but I like the performance. It was really good.

“Can we play better football? Yes, but in this game we did more than enough to win it.

“I think we had four 100% chances. We have won against Newcastle before with fewer chances. Tonight we didn’t but we accept that.

“I am happy with the things I saw tonight and I can really work with that.

“The boys are frustrated and rightly so but not about the performance. It is a basis to build on for the next few days, weeks, months.”

Klopp reacts to Thiago return

One of the positive factors for Liverpool was the return to action of Thiago Alcantara as a substitute.

The midfielder came on for James Milner, who was also returning from injury. Klopp is remaining patient with his summer recruit, but is excited he has the chance to show his quality again.

He said: “We could see a lot of moments how good a footballer he is. Now we have to see how he reacts and all that stuff. We have another game in four days.

“James Milner played a super game in midfield after an injury break.”

Klopp also singled out defender Nat Phillips for praise after he came into the starting lineup in place of the sidelined Joel Matip.

The manager added: “Nat Phillips did his job, really strong against 100% strikers.

“A really good game but not the result we want.”

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