It was a familiar story at St James’ Park as a dominant Liverpool were held by a resolute Newcastle side, successfully set up to contain by manager Rafa Benitez.
Just as against Burnley, Leicester and Spartak Moscow, Liverpool created multiple clear-cut opportunities, but were unable to put any of them away, conceding a comical goal in the process.
The Reds made a decent start to the game, with Mo Salah finding himself in space frequently on the right-hand side, but the winger was not able to make anything of it.
Joe Gomez put in a decent ball towards Sadio Mané, but it was marginally over-hit and he could only poke wide from an acute angle.
Salah again found space when he counter-attacked soon later, but a heavy touch as he tried to switch the ball onto his left foot meant goalkeeper Rob Elliot was able to collect it before he could shoot.
The right of the pitch was where Liverpool were getting chances from, with the left side of Mané and Alberto Moreno subdued, but the quality was lacking.
Gomez attempted one cross which was easily blocked, and then another in the next attack that forced a corner. Gini Wijnaldum hit the post when Philippe Coutinho swung the ball in.
It felt like a goal was coming, but then with Liverpool at the moment you just never know.
Wijnaldum turned provider in the next attack, as he lifted a ball towards Daniel Sturridge, but the striker was unable to connect with the pass.
The ball did eventually end up in the back of the net. Coutinho, until that moment fairly quiet, cut inside from the left and curled an effort into the top corner from 30 yards in trademark style.
There were times during the summer that Liverpool fans feared they would never witness that movement again, but the Brazilian was proving why the club were so desperate for him to stay.
Unfortunately, Liverpool soon showed the reason why he wanted to leave.
Defenders Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren were caught square as Jonjo Shelvey arced a ball into the path of Joselu, but just when it looked like Matip had made a perfect recovery, the ball ricocheted of the striker as a tackle came in, and the ball trickled into the corner of the net.
Again, Liverpool found themselves conceding a soft goal when they had dominated the play, although replays showed Joselu was an inch offside when he was played through.
By half-time, Jurgen Klopp was already cutting a frustrated figure on the touchline, with Liverpool on the one hand unfortunate to concede, but on the other knowing they should have been far more ruthless at the other end.
Somehow, at the break the two sides were level.
Almost immediately after the whistle blew for the start of the second period, Liverpool had what was the biggest chance of the game.
Ciaran Clark swung at a clearance and missed the ball completely, leaving Sturridge straight through on goal, but his effort was tame.
Elliot saved with the rebound landing at the feet of Salah, but he somehow lifted his strike over the bar when it seemed harder to miss.
A Coutinho free-kick hit the wall five minutes later, but Liverpool were still rueing that missed opportunity.
Sturridge was played in a couple more times, both by Salah, but was offside on both occasions, before both he and Mané, who were both poor by their high standards, were taken off.
Roberto Firmino and Dominic Solanke replaced them as the Reds pushed for a winner.
With the presence of Solanke in the middle, Liverpool put a few balls into the box, but none were converted.
One was played by Gomez just over the striker’s head, whilst another by Coutinho was played just behind him, and although he headed towards goal, there was no danger of it going in with little pace on it.
A Salah corner was headed goalwards by Dejan Lovren, but Shelvey cleared off the line.
The momentum Liverpool had in the first period had gone, and there was very little in the game to suggest a goal was coming, and so it proved.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, a man yet to show Liverpool fans why he cost £35 million, headed over the bar from about ten yards out after a Moreno cross, but that was the last big chance of the game.
Newcastle had a free-kick, conceded by Moreno in a stupid position, and then a corner, but neither came to anything, and they were happy to take a point.
Liverpool drop to seventh place in the Premier League, just two points ahead of Newcastle, and are now seven points off leaders Manchester City.
Simon Mignolet, 7 – couldn’t do much about the goal and had little else to trouble him throughout the game
Joe Gomez, 6 – some good balls into the box mixed in with some terrible ones in the first half; beaten too easily on occasion defensively
Joel Matip, 7 – unfortunate with the goal after chasing back; otherwise composed as normal and largely untroubled
Dejan Lovren, 7 – far better than in recent games, but still not at the level Liverpool require
Alberto Moreno, 6 – has had a very good start to the campaign, but this was not a good showing; little quality in attack and committed a couple of stupid fouls reminiscent of his performances in the past few seasons
Jordan Henderson, 6 – did not move the ball quick enough in the second half, but had been better in the first
Philippe Coutinho, 7 – stunning goal and created some good chances, but lost the ball easily at times too; not a lot of movement to work with in front of him
Gini Wijnaldum, 6 – retained the ball and won it back at times, as well as hitting the post, but not a stellar showing on his return to his former side
Mohamed Salah, 6 – as usual, created space and chances with his pace, but was not able to capitalise on the good areas he found himself in, with a lack of a right foot and not enough ruthlessness a constant issue
Daniel Sturridge, 5 – well off the pace with some dreadful touches and was caught offside a few times when he should have been looking across the line
Sadio Mane, 5 – his touch deserted him and he had absolutely no joy at all before rightfully being hooked; a major concern
Roberto Firmino (74th minute sub.), 6 – had little impact, although was a clear upgrade on what Sturridge had produced, which was admittedly not much
Dominic Solanke (74th minute sub.), 6 – won some headers and held up play well at times, but not able to score the winning goal
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (84th minute sub.), 5 – yet to make an impact as a Liverpool player (some would argue as a football player); had one headed chance in a good position and put it well over the bar
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