- Rest of World
|Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle: Steven Gerrard inspires convincing victory at Anfield|
Liverpool finally broke the nightmare of draws at Anfield, returned back to winning ways after an inspired performance from the talismanic captain Steven Gerrard.
The game started very sluggishly with both teams trying to get the possession in the middle and cancelling each other out. Liverpool were patient in their approach but their passing was wayward. This is from a team that have witnessed six draws at Anfield this season; failed to open the Newcastle defence, although Alan Pardew’s men were equally resolute at the back. Only flashes of attacking flair came through the wing play of Stewart Downing and Craig Bellamy.
Liverpool had a lion share of possession in the middle though none of the team could create any clear cut chances.
Newcastle took the lead against the run of play through Yohan Cabaye’s header, took a deflection of Daniel Agger on the way leaving Reina no chance at the near post.
Liverpool came back strongly pulling some strings of neat passes together. Downing and Johnson were threatening along the right flank while Andy Carroll lurking for a header.
Liverpool didn’t have to wait long for the equalizer. Jose Enrique whipped a cross which found Charlie Adam in the box, made space for a shot, deflected and found Craig Bellamy unmarked who restored parity with an exquisite finish.
Liverpool started the second half brightly and created early pressures in the box. Kenny Dalglish took Charlie Adam off and brought captain Steven Gerrard in. Gerrard's presence gave Liverpool a new spark and subsequently the victory.
The quality in the middle was restored and in came flurry of brilliant crosses from the right flank and for the first time in Kenny Dalglish's reign Andy Carroll looked like a danger man.
Meanwhile, a Daniel Agger surging run from the heart of the defence was impeded by Tiote earning Liverpool a free kick some 30 yards outside the penalty box. Craig Bellamy who was magnificent so far produced a stunning free kick giving Liverpool the lead for the first time in the match.
Few minutes later Demba Ba got himself in a great position in the Liverpool penalty area and his shot was destined for an equaliser until Martín Skrtel made a spectacular goal line clearance.
There was still time for another goal. Gerrard who provided a stunning cross to Andy Carroll, who rose above Coloccini hitting the wood work, got his name in the score sheet after fine piece of movement and pass from Jordan Henderson, providing the assist.
Liverpool controlled the rest of the match and safely secured three valuable points. The victory was significant in many ways. Not only it will impart a huge morale boost before their trip to Etihad Stadium next Tuesday, also it gave a hope that there is life without Luis Suarez.
Kenny Dalglish spoke to BBC Sports after the match "The boys showed great courage and commitment to come back. They got themselves back into it quickly, and after the free-kick, the goal-line clearance by Martin Skrtel was important. We thoroughly deserve the victory but I think that game was the least chances we have created at Anfield and we score three goals. Steven Gerrard is a hugely important player, everyone has admiration and appreciation for what he has done for the club, and he has a wee bit more mileage in him yet."
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believes that the second goal was the turning point. He said "Liverpool's second goal was a turning point. We were in a good period there, it was never a foul and then we made an error on the free-kick. The defender got in the goalkeeper's way but we should never have been in that position in the first place. We could have been better tonight, we should have been more positive in the second half. Steven Gerrard gives them an impetus and lifted the atmosphere in the stadium."
Reina, Johnson,Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Henderson, Downing, Spearing, Adam ,Carroll, Bellamy
Substitute : Doni,Carragher,Kelly,Gerrard,Maxi,Shelvey,Kuyt
Substitutes: Elliot, Santon, Perch, Ben Arfa, Best, Sh Ameobi, Sa Ameobi.
Match Attendance: 44,372