Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle Match Report
Liverpool welcomed Newcastle to Anfield to mark club captain Steven Gerrard’s 600th appearance for Liverpool. But after exiting the Capital One Cup in midweek, Liverpool were desperate for a league victory, having won only two this season. Newcastle have a terrible record at Anfield having last recorded a win 18 years ago, but Newcastle would go into the match full of confidence having won last weekend against West Brom.
Brendan Rodgers fielded the same team that drew last Sunday against Everton, with Brad Jones still in goal while Reina recovers from injury. Enrique continued at left-back with Johnson still injured. Youngsters Wisdom, Suso and Sterling all continued their run in the side alongside the man of the moment Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. Skrtel and Agger partnered in the middle of defence, with Joe Allen and Sahin in the middle of midfield.
The game was preceded by a presentation by Gary McAllister to Steven Gerrard on the day of his 600th appearance for Liverpool – a figure reached by only nine men before him.
It is a sign of our No.8’s standing in English football that even the Newcastle supporters stood to applaud, while Jamie Carragher thinks his friend can now rightly claim to be the greatest player in Liverpool’s 120-year history.
Liverpool attacked from the off and Sterling drew a foul in an attacking position. Gerrard forced Krul into a desperate punch clear from the resulting free-kick.
Sterling then linked up with Sahin before crossing low across the 6 yard box, but the Newcastle defence managed to clear.
The assault continued. Suarez curled agonisingly wide from a free-kick and then worked a yard in the box before being denied by the legs of Krul.
Newcastle launched a few long-range efforts of their own, but Demba Ba was enjoying none of the service that had helped him score six in six prior to this encounter.
Suarez beating Steven Taylor to a header in the Newcastle box just about summed things up, but his effort went wide and the scoresheet remained blank.
Suso then saw a deflected shot just miss the target as Liverpool dominated proceedings, but on 43 minutes Cabaye sent the travelling supporters wild with an angled volley into the top corner right in front of the Kop.
Liverpool started the second half with a succession of corners but could not find the leveller. Suarez was causing the Newcastle defence all sorts of problems and made Krul stretch to save a snapshot from 18 yards as the Kop grew impatient.
The leveller came on 67 minutes, and was arguably worth the wait. It was Jose Enrique who rainbowed a long ball over the top and into the run of Suarez. The Uruguayan was majestic in doing the rest, getting ahead of his marker, controlling on his chest, rounding the goalkeeper and finishing into an empty net.
Moments later Shelvey missed a great chance to give Liverpool the lead after some excellent play by Suarez to set him up.
Liverpool were on top now and desperate to find a winner. Another superb chance was then wasted as Suarez played Sterling clean through. The 17-year-old hesitated a fraction too long, allowing Taylor to slide in and block the shot.
Newcastle’s chances of holding on were hindered on 84 minutes when skipper Coloccini received a straight red card for a landing his studs on the back of Suarez’s leg.
Liverpool could not capitalise, however, with Shelvey heading straight at the ‘keeper and then forcing Krul to tip onto the crossbar in the game’s final opportunities.
Brendan Rodgers is starting to play a consistent team in recent league games and this can only be beneficial. A tremendous milestone reached by Steven Gerrard which was applauded by even Newcastle supporters. Sterling had another good game, Luis Suarez was unplayable and topped off his performance with a wonder goal. But once again failure to win the match after playing well in most of the match is a regular problem. Liverpool are not scoring when on top and prone to losing goals with a sucker punch like what happened today. Credit the way the team came back into it in the second half and should have won but they need to start turning draws into wins.