Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.(Pool via REUTERS)
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.(Pool via REUTERS)

Darlow frustrates Liverpool in 0-0 draw at Newcastle

Mohamed Salah missed two good chances when he had just Darlow to beat, and strike-partner Roberto Firmino saw two headers saved at St. James’ Park.
By Associated Press | NEWCASTLE, England
UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2020 08:07 AM IST

Goalkeeper Karl Darlow pulled off a string of saves to help Newcastle hold Liverpool to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday as the defending champion’s vaunted attacking trio came up empty.

Mohamed Salah missed two good chances when he had just Darlow to beat, and strike-partner Roberto Firmino saw two headers saved at St. James’ Park.

Three days after struggling West Bromwich Albion earned a point at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s team was frustrated once again, although Darlow needed some help in the form of a late goal-line clearance from Fabian Schar to deny Sadio Mane and maintain the stalemate.

Liverpool has now won only two of eight league away games this season but still tops the table, three points ahead of Manchester United.

Liverpool could have taken the lead 11 minutes before the break when Salah beat the offside trap to control the ball in front of the advancing Darlow, who got his hand on the Egyptian’s shot to steer it wide of the post. The goalkeeper then produced a fine reaction save in stoppage time to repel Firmino’s header from point-blank range.

Salah had another chance to break the deadlock in the 67th when he was played in by Firmino but directed his effort past the upright.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker then had to pull off a diving save of his own 11 minutes from time when Ciaran Clark met Matt Ritchie’s free kick with a downward header.

Liverpool nearly scored moments later when Darlow pushed the ball away onto Mane’s leg and Schar had to hack the ball off his line before the forward could tap into an empty net.

Darlow then clawed away another Firmino header near the end to preserve his clean sheet.

It was the only Premier League game played Wednesday after Fulham recorded a number of coronavirus cases and its match at Tottenham had to be postponed.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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