Newcastle holds Liverpool to draw


London: An off-key Liverpool was frustrated for a second successive game as it was held to a 0-0 Premier League draw at Newcastle United on Wednesday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side had the chance to open up a five-point lead at the top of the table, but a combination of wastefulness and Newcastle’s valiant rearguard kept it at bay.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were all guilty of poor finishing for the champion while Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow produced a couple of fine saves.

Liverpool was held 1-1 by second-bottom side West Bromwich Albion on Sunday and drew with Fulham earlier this month. Klopp’s team leads the table with 33 points from 16 games, but second-placed Manchester United is only three points behind with a match in hand.

You might not think that I have to tip my hat to my team, but I like the performance, said Klopp. ‘It was really good. Can we play better football? Yes, but in this game we did more than enough to win it. The boys are frustrated and rightly so, but not about the performance. You have to respect the result.’ After the draw, Newcastle climbed a place to 14th with 19 points from 15 fixtures.

Real Madrid was held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at struggling Elche on Wednesday, losing ground in the La Liga title race to leader Atletico Madrid.

A header from Luka Modric gave the champion the lead in the 20th minute, but Elche found a way back into the game when Fidel Chaves levelled from the penalty spot. The draw left Real second in the standings on 33 points, two behind Atletico, which defeated Getafe 1-0. The topper also has two games in hand, while Elche is 15th on 16 points.