Newcastle tried their best this afternoon, but the truth is they were just not good enough against a fast improving Liverpool side, and the home side ran out rather easy 3-0 winners at the end, after being 1-0 up at the break.
The game started in bright sunshine in Liverpool, with both side playing good football at the start of the game.
Newcastle were very tidy in the early stages and were obviously hoping to get into the game without conceding an early goal. But Liverpool went ahead after only 10 minutes and it was rather a fortunate goal for the home side.
Young right back Flanagan put in a good cross from the right wing, and it was only partially headed clear by Williamson and it went to Maxi in the box who hit the ball first time, and it seemed that Tim Krul had it covered, but it glanced off Simpson and into the back of the net.
Again, it was an unfortunate goal for Newcastle to concede and it was Maxi’s 4th goal in the last two games.
But Newcastle continued to play today football, but once again they seemed to lack a cutting edge up front, unlike Liverpool, who were attacking very quickly from the back.
There was a good spell of pressure midway through the half by Newcastle, as they seemed to get corner after corner, which Joey Barton took, but they couldn’t force a breakthrough in the Liverpool defense.
One way through for the Magpies looked to be on the left wing where Gutierrez was giving youngster Flanagan a bit of a torrid time, and the 19 year old had his name taken for one foul against the Argentine, who was using all his vast experience against the inexperienced Liverpool youngster.
The big question was whether Newcastle could get a goal back, after going behind, and they may have been hoping to get a scoreless draw as they did against the Red Devils almost two weeks ago.
Half time came and Newcastle continued to play good looking football, but Liverpool had got the vital first goal, and were leading 1-0 at the break.
Newcastle had a chance to equalize in the first minute of the second half, when Kevin Nolan picked out Joey Barton at the far post, but from just 8 yards out Joey hit the ball first time into the side netting.
On 58 minutes Liverpool went further ahead when Suarez wiggled past Mike Williamson along the bye-line, and Williamson brought the Uruguayan down for what looked like a clear penalty.
Dirk Kuyt made no mistake from the penalty spot, and sent Krul the wrong way and it was 2-0 to Liverpool, and this game was probably beyond an impotent Newcastle side.
Liverpool were gaining in the ascendancy and were getting the better of this Newcastle side and after 65 minutes they easily sliced through the Newcastle defense once again, when Suarez did a nice one two with Kuyt, and he was suddenly clean though before slotting the ball past Krul from about 8 yards out.
This was not looking good for Newcastle, who were 3-0 down with still 25 minutes to play, and the goal difference getting worse.
And then Andy Carroll was introduced after 70 minutes to huge boos from the Newcastle United contingent at the game – and shirts showing the Newcastle number 9 shirt and “not worthy” on the back of it.
Nile Ranger was brought on after 74 minutes for Peter Lovenkrands who had hardly been in the game and Shefki Kuqi was brought on for Shola Ameobi after 82 minutes and both starting Newcastle strikers had been almost anonymous today.
The game was starting to die a little as Liverpool seemed satisfied with 3 points and a clean sheet, and then young Shane Ferguson was brought on for Jose Enrique in the last minute of added time.
To their credit the Magpies kept plugging away at Liverpool all the time, but it could also have been that Liverpool were quite satisfied at 3-0, because the three points take them above Tottenham into 5th place and a Europa League position for next seaosn.
Is there anything else Kenny Dalglish has to do to get the job full time?
But this game illustrates just how far behind the top teams Newcastle are at the moment, and when you consider Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham, it will be very very difficult to break into the top six next season – let’s face it.
And to illustrate the impotency of the Newcastle attack, this is the 6th game in 12 games since Andy Carroll left the club, that Newcastle have failed to score a goal in a game, and you have to go back to December of 2004 for the last time Newcastle even scored in this fixture, through Dutchman Patrick Kluivert.
Liverpool deserved the win this afternoon, and we didn’t expect much out of this game – and didn’t get anything either.
But it’s games like against Birmingham at St. James’ Park next week, that Newcastle must get back to their winning ways.
In the other early game Wolves could only draw 1-1 at Birmingham, even though Gardner received his walking orders after only 28 minutes, following his second yellow for diving – and TV replays showed he did exactly that.
Newcastle remain in 12th position on 41 points and are still 6 points above the the drop zone with only 3 games to play and are very likely safe.
Newcastle also have a much superior goal difference to all teams below them in the league, even after today’s scoreline!
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