Liverpool came into the weekend desperately needing a win from their trip to St. James' Park to end a spate of draws that have characterised their season since their four-nil drubbing of Arsenal in August.
Jurgen Klopp dropped a misfiring Roberto Firmino to the bench, replacing him with Daniel Sturridge at the forefront of a much revered Liverpool attack with Emre Can also relegated to a watching brief as Klopp welcomed Sadio Mane back to his league line-up.
Klopp would have been pleased with the start his team made, as they grew into the game and dominated possession. A few shots did little to rattle Liverpool who pressed forward through the likes of Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane. However, it was Philippe Coutinho who would provide the magic yet again, as Barcelona were given yet another taste of what they are missing out on.
The Brazilian unleashed a trademark worldie from outside the box, whipping it past a hapless Rob Elliot to give the Reds the lead.
Sadly, from Klopp's point of view, it was to be another one of those days for Liverpool as they did, well, a Liverpool. Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip were caught cold by a sublime Jonjo Shelvey through ball that split the centre-backs in biblical fashion, before Joselu scampered through to finish in rather fortunate fashion, deflecting it past Simon Mignolet after Matip recovered to tackle.
The game would go on to end in a draw as Liverpool slumped to their fifth draw in seven games.
While it has been the much-maligned defence that has bore the brunt of the criticism for the Reds' lacklustre performances, the stuttering attack will have plenty questions of their own to answer after a staggering stat emerged on Twitter revealing just how wasteful and toothless Klopp's team has been in front of goal.
Since they comfortably dispatched Arsenal, the Reds have played seven times, winning just once, but, barring the thrashing at City, have easily been the better team in most of those games.
The draw at St. James' was yet another example of Liverpool failing to capitalise on their monopoly of possession. It almost beggars belief that players of the ilk of Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino should continue to flop in front of goal.
Klopp will have to find a solution to his team's woes in front of goal. Fortunately for the German, the international break represents an opportunity to spend some time in thought.
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