Jurgen Klopp was left frustrated as Liverpool threw away two points in stoppage time against Newcastle, admitting he did not see a display worthy of Champions League football.
Joe Willock’s 95th-minute equaliser earned Newcastle a 1-1 draw at Anfield despite Liverpool having many chances to put the result beyond doubt.
Having had a warning when Callum Wilson had a goal ruled out moments earlier following a VAR review, Liverpool still could not see the job through and remain adrift of the top four.
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“I don’t think you can create many more chances or better chances than what we did today,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“We didn’t finish the game off and we didn’t play enough.
“It was not complicated. With a few passes, we always came through, we just had to do that again and again. Just keep going and going and let them run.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have taken just five points from a possible 27 against Fulham, Brighton, Burnley, Newcastle and West Brom this season.
“The counter-attack can happen but we kept them alive. In the end they deserved the goal. They scored two minutes before, whatever, another one with the new rules… it’s unlucky for Wilson but that’s how it is now and we didn’t even take that present.
“We’ve been unlucky with VAR this season but today we were and then we gave another chance away. It makes no sense. It’s really tough to take.”
Liverpool had 22 shots but found the net only once through Mohamed Salah’s brilliant effort early on and Klopp had no explanation for the team’s poor game management.
He said: “Why it happened, I don’t know. We just have to keep the ball. In a specific way, we don’t fight enough. When we lose the ball, we fight.
“But we don’t keep the ball and dominate in the way it was possible to dominate today. We had 70 per cent of the ball but we should have had 80 per cent.”
‘Learn or we don’t play Champions League’
The result means that Liverpool remain in sixth, behind West Ham and Chelsea in the race for the Champions League places, before facing Manchester United next weekend.
“If you deserve it, you deserve it,” Klopp said when asked about his side’s top-four chances.
“I didn’t see today that we deserved to play Champions League next season. In another five games? We’ll see what we can do.
“We learn or we don’t play Champions League. That’s it.”
Klopp added in his press conference: “If we play like this and don’t finish games like this off, why should we play
“We want to deserve Champions League and we don’t want to come and be cheeky, we want to earn it and with these results you don’t earn it.
“It’s all on the table so go for it. It feels close to being unacceptable but we have to accept it anyway.”
Bruce’s joy at result – but not VAR
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was delighted with a point but felt the joy of snatching a draw was somewhat lost by the intervention of VAR and the application of rules he feels need changing.
“There’s no denying we were sloppy with some of the decisions we made trying to play out from the back but I always thought we carried a threat going forward,” he said.
“We scored twice in the last minute which is quite remarkable. To go and get something from the game is vitally important.
“We were gutted [by Wilson’s disallowed goal]. When you see the goal back you think what a ridiculous decision that is not to allow the goal.
“We are going to have to look at these crazy rules. VAR is becoming laughable and it is not VAR’s fault, it is the letter of the law. It doesn’t make sense.
“VAR was brought in for a clear and obvious mistake so to be looking at every goal whether it is a millimetre or two onside is not a great spectacle.”
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