Liverpool were hoping for a better end to their 2020 against Newcastle on Wednesday evening.
It’s been a sensational year for the Reds, one which saw them lift the Premier League trophy for the first time in their history.
However, they certainly have a battle on to retain the trophy this season after drawing 0-0 with the Magpies at St James’ Park.
Liverpool predictably dominated proceedings on Tyneside, Jurgen Klopp’s men having 70% of the possession.
But they struggled to create meaningful chances and the Premier League champions ended up mustering just four shots on target throughout the entirety of the game.
When they did strike the ball towards Newcastle’s goal, they were met with the wall that is Karl Darlow, a goalkeeper who surely must be on the cusp of an England call-up.
Liverpool‘s Senegalese superstar came agonisingly close to latching onto a lose ball a few yards from Newcastle’s goal, only for Fabian Schar to come out of nowhere to produce arguably the goal-line clearance of the season so far.
At the time, it appeared as if Mane was simply too slow in reacting, but replays show that Darlow cheekily grabbed the winger’s leg before he could make contact with the ball.
You can check out the incident in the video below and keep your eyes peeled during the close-up replay.
Darlow grabs Mane’s leg
SO CLOSE 🤯 pic.twitter.com/GtKbv6vTjU— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) December 30, 2020
Darlow has certainly got away with one there.
Had Mane tumbled to the turf, VAR would almost certainly have intervened and awarded a penalty to Liverpool.
One Liverpool fan replied to footage of the incident: “Mane was held by the keeper.”
A second Reds supporter responded to the comment: “If you don’t appeal you get nothing.”