League leaders Liverpool struggled to find a way past Newcastle in the final Premier League game of the year.

Nathaniel Phillips was handed a Premier League start for Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp’s defensive resources having been further depleted.

With Joel Matip having joined long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the casualty list, Phillips was included along with former Magpies midfielder James Milner in two changes to the side which drew 1-1 with West Brom as Matip and Georginio Wijnaldum made way.

Newcastle Head Coach Steve Bruce made just one change in the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester City, striker Callum Wilson returning from an ankle problem in place of Miguel Almiron.

Newcastle started brightly with Wilson forcing two saves from keeper Alisson inside the opening 12 minutes and giving as good as they got for much of the half.

However, Liverpool might have taken the lead 11 minutes before the break when Mohamed Salah stabbed wide having seemingly done the hard work, and it took a fine reaction save from Karl Darlow to deny Roberto Firmino in stoppage time and ensure the sides headed back to the dressing rooms with the scoreline still 0-0.

Salah was guilty of another glaring miss after the break and Darlow produced another stunning save to prevent Firmino from snatching the win two minutes from time as Liverpool once again had to make do with a point.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

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Charles Commins

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