Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle: Fabinho's cynical foul on Allan Saint-Maximin

Fabinho's foul on Allan Saint-Maximin

Liverpool's hopes of playing Champions League football next season were dented on Saturday afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp's side drew 1-1 against Newcastle, with Joe Willock scoring a dramatic late equaliser for the Magpies.

The goal came shortly after a controversial VAR decision that saw a strike from Callum Wilson chalked off for handball.

That decision was incredibly harsh on Newcastle, so Willock's goal was exactly what the visitors deserved after a spirited second half performance.

Liverpool were well below-par at Anfield on Saturday, something that's been worryingly common for Klopp's side this season.

The Reds missed a host of chances and looked suspect in defence throughout the entirety of the game.

Newcastle's Allan Saint-Maximin was a thorn in their side and the only way Fabinho - who was deployed at centre-back - could stop him was by committing the most cynical foul of the 2020/21 season so far.

The versatile Brazilian was rightly cautioned for the 'tackle' by referee Andre Marriner.

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Fabinho made absolutely no attempt to play the ball. Instead, he absolutely flattened Saint-Maximin with a challenge that wouldn't look out of place down your local park in a Sunday League encounter.

After the game, the Frenchman was actually asked by a football fan to join Liverpool in a swap deal with Sadio Mane.

Saint-Maximin's response to the Twitter user was brilliant, the Newcastle star writing on his official account: "I know you think it’s a nice message to me but I don’t like this. Be respectful to him please you are ungrateful, he did and he’s doing a lot for Liverpool, there still a long way before I could reach his level."

Well said, Allan.

It's certainly been a tough season for Mane and his performance against Newcastle was far from great.

But the Senegalese is unquestionably a Liverpool legend and will no doubt be back scoring goals for fun in the famous red shirt sooner rather than later.

Form is temporary, class is permanent.

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