Newcastle United 1, Liverpool 1: Reds remain genuine Premier League title challengers despite latest setback, insists Jurgen Klopp

 
Ross McLean
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Newcastle United v Liverpool - Premier League
Joselu netted Newcastle's leveller against Liverpool (Source: Getty)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp remains convinced that his side can be crowned Premier League champions despite falling further behind runaway leaders Manchester City and Manchester Untied following Sunday's draw at Newcastle.

The Reds, who endured a wasteful afternoon at St James’ Park, held a first-half lead for all of seven minutes following Philippe Coutinho’s long-range curler before Joselu conjured a scrappy and fortuitous leveller.

The draw means the Merseysiders have just one victory from their last seven matches across all competitions, while they sit seventh in the table, seven points adrift of City and United.

“I really think it looks like we are not far away from a real challenger,” said Klopp. “If we do what we are good at then we can score more goals and we will win more games and we don’t have to think about other teams and we will close the gap.

“I cannot talk about our football and the gap between us and other teams. We have our hard moment. Other teams will have their hard moment. We need to work on our thing. It is all about our situation, we are not thinking about where the others are.”

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez, who is fondly remembered by Liverpool supporters following a six-year managerial tenure at Anfield, cut a much more content figure than Klopp and felt his side could have snatched maximum points.

“It’s not a question of whether I agree with Jurgen or not,” said the Spaniard. “Some games you get what you deserve, some games not so much. In this case we get one point at home, which is not too much, but against a top side it’s not too bad.”

Liverpool opened the scoring in the 29th minute when Coutinho’s 25-yard curler whistled past Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot, while calamitous defending saw Joel Matip’s tackle ricochet off Joselu and into the net for the equaliser.

The presence of financier Amanda Staveley, meanwhile, fuelled talk of a potential Newcastle takeover.

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