Liverpool deserved only their fourth home win of the season tonight, when they beat a mediocre Newcastle side 3-1 at Anfield, after the scores had been tied at 1-1 at the half.
Newcastle offered no threat up front all night, and Demba Ba was hardly in the game and starved of service, although he still almost scored in the second half after 68 minutes, when he chipped the ball over Reina, but Skrtel somehow kicked the ball high and away as it was crossing the line.
The experiment of playing Haris Vuckic as a withdrawn striker didn’t pay off and Haris was hardly in the game, and Newcastle showed no threat up front during teh entire game, which was a bit worrisome.
And apart from Ba almost scoring, goalkeeper Pepe Reina didn’t have a save to make.
The first half was fairly even with Liverpool probably just shading it, and it was Newcastle who went ahead after 25 minutes with a rather fortunate goal.
Ryan Taylor put in a good cross from the left wing and Cabaye headed it on towards goal, but it hit Agger’s arm and went into the net, and it was given as an Agger own goal, although Cabaye could have had a claim on it.
But Liverpool were level four minutes later, through former Newcastle player Craig Bellamy.
An attack down the right wing by Liverpool had Tiote only clearing straight to Bellamy about five yards outside the box, and the Welshman hit the ball nicely past Krul to level the scores.
Newcastle seemed to be playing a cagey and defensive game in the first half, and were fortunate to score, but the Magpies were still in it at the half, with the score at 1-1.
Newcastle made one change at half-time with Davide Santon coming on for Ryan Taylor at left-back, and Ryan had already been booked and was finding it tough against the fast and skillful Stewart Downing, who had been prominent down Liverpool’s right wing.
Newcastle played much better for the first 20 minutes of the second half, as the retained possession better than in the first 45 minutes, but then Steven Gerrard replaced Charlie Adam on 60 minutes.
The entrance of the England International into the game, definitely tilted it towards Liverpool.
Gerrard put in a couple of great crosses which Andy Carroll couldn’t get on the end of, and the plain fact is that Steven seemed a cut above the rest of the players tonight, and he started to make the difference.
Ben Arfa came on after 65 minuets for an ineffective Haris Vuckic.
And on 67 minutes Craig Bellamy scored his second goal of the game, and this time it was from a free kick that went in when Simpson and Krul seemed to get in each other’s way, as the ball was hit straight at Simpson.
Alan Pardew will not be happy with the goal, that’s for sure, and another one from a set piece.
Immediately following the goal, Demba Ba almost had the ball in the net with his only chance of the night, as he was put through on goal and he chipped the ball beautifully over the advancing Reina.
But as the ball was rolling into the net, Skrtrl somehow got back and kicked the ball high and away, just as it was going over the line – but it was a great effort from the Senegal International, who had no service tonight.
Steven Gerrard scores Liverpool’s third goal
And then to rub salt in the Newcastle wounds, on 77 minutes Gerrard himself was through by himself on the left wing, and from a very acute angle he put the ball into the net, and in fact it went between Krul’s legs.
The game was played out, but there’s no doubt Liverpool deserved all 3 points and for the sixth Premier League game in a row between the two sides, Liverpool beat Newcastle, who were flat tonight.
Santon looked good in the second half but in truth this was a below par performance from Newcastle and our defense again managed to leak another three goals. which was disappointing to say the least.
On the positive side we shouldn’t expect to beat teams like Liverpool, or Manchester United for that matter, and we weren’t too competitive tonight, especially over the last 30 minutes of the game.
But Newcastle will need to tighten up significantly from the way the played, if they want to continue in or around 7th place in the league table.
And there will be more calls for another striker as Newcastle weren’t a threat at all tonight, and Reina must have been pretty bored. In fact it was the most ineffective Newcastle have been all season up front.
But it’s only one game (thank goodness), and we probably didn’t expect anything from this game – and that’s good – because we got nothing – and we got what we deserved.