Newcastle have been completely outplayed and outclassed by Liverpool in the first half at St. James’ Park this afternoon.
That’s the bad news, but the good news is that it took Liverpool 31 minutes to score their first goal through Gerrard, and Newcastle have to thank the brilliant Shay Given, who has been better than magnificent in the first 45 minutes with 5 first class saves in the first 30 minutes alone.
Gerrard’s goal after 31 minutes went in off the bar, otherwise Given would probably have got that one too.
Then after 36 minutes a Hyypia header thundered past Given from a Gerrard corner, and the flood-gates seemed to have opened.
In the first 40 minutes Liverpool had been completely in control and on top, and the difference in class between the two sides, was only too apparent.
In fact this has to be one of the most lop-sided first half for a long long time at Newcastle, but the lads are only 2-1 down – and that has to be classed as some kind of miracle, so we have absolutely nothing to lose in the second half – and we should go for it.
Liverpool had 12 shots on target to only two for Newcastle.
But then just seconds before the half time whistle, right back David Edgar scored a beautiful goal from a corner, his second goal for Newcastle at St. James’ Park and Newcastle were right back in it.
Let’s be honest, Newcastle could and should be dead and buried by now, with the way Liverpool were so on top in the first half.
But hopefully Edgar’s goal will have the right effect on Newcastle, and we are still in this game, although we have absolutely no right to be, other than as usual, the lads have kept to their game.
Kinnear will need all his motivational powers at half time if we are to get anything out of this game, with the League leaders in such terrific form both individually and as a team.
This is similar to the game at Everton when Taylor scored a goal just before half time and in fact a minute or so before Edgar scored, Taylor himself had a good chance from a corner but headed wide.
Liverpool have completely dominated midfield and Butt and Guthrie cannot get any hold on the game at all as once Newcastle get the ball they are being harried and hustled by the brilliant Liverpool players.
We’ve been second best in the first half, and we can hardly do any worse in the second, and with the crowd behind the lads, we may even be able to get a miracle performed at St. James’ Park this afternoon.
Newcastle United: Shay Given, David Edgar, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt, Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Charles N’Zogbia, Damien Duff, Michael Owen (c)
Subs: Steve Harper, Geremi, Xisco, Shola Ameobi, Tamas Kadar, Andy Carroll, Kazenga LuaLua
Liverpool: Jose Reina, Sami Hyypia, Daniel Agger, Steven Gerrard (c), Yossi Benayoun, Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel, Javier Mascherano, Lucas Leiva, Emiliano Insua, Jamie Carragher
Subs: Diego Cavalieri, Robbie Keane, Albert Riera, Xabi Alonso, David Ngog, Nabil El Zhar, Martin Skrtel
Referee: Mark Halsey