Two great opportunist goals by Papiss Cisee and some great play by Ben Arfa were too much for Liverpool at St. James’ park today as Newcastle ran out worthy 2-0 winners.
And while Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse will get the headlines for today’s game, but let’s not forget a certain James Perch, who was absolutely outstanding for Newcastle today in central defense, along with Mike Williamson, and this was Newcastle’s 12th clean sheet of the season and a magnificent result and a good performance from our lads.
What’s in the Newcastle water, that makes James Perch this year look twice the player we thought he was?
It was a great performance from this stalwart Newcastle side, and they are now level on points with Chelsea on 53, and 11 points ahead of a slumping Liverpool side.
Here’s the game as we saw it.
The game kicked off and it was clear that both sides would attack each other and it was a lively opening to the game.
On 8 minutes as a free kick came into the Newcastle box Mike Williamson seemed to foul Andy Carroll as he put his arms around the Gateshead lad but nothing was given.
And then would you believe it but Andy Carroll was clean through on goal and he had only the goalkeeper but beat but instead of shooting he tried to round Tim Krul and Carroll went flying.
Referee Atkinson immediately gave Carroll a yellow card for simulation (diving) and replays showed that Tim Krul never touched Carroll – not to mention the Newcastle fans were loudly booking Carroll.
To tell the truth Andy should have scored if he had shot first time.
Then after 15 minutes a Bellamy cross from the right wring was deflected by Gutierrez, and Tim Krul did well to put the ball over the crossbar for a corner.
And then the next minute a corner by Liverpool was completely missed by Krul, and the ball was going into the goal when it looks like Simpson seemed to handle the ball on the line, but only a corner was give,
Tim Krul was missing some crosses, which was worrying for Newcastle – another let-off for Newcastle, but the good thing was that James Perch was looking solid in defense, cutting out balls and playing the easy pass every time.
And then after 19 minutes Newcastle went ahead.
That mercurial Frenchman got the ball on the half way line, and took it forward and then beat his man, turned to get the ball onto his left foot, and floated in a cross towards Cisse at the far post.
Cisse was marked by Skrtel, but the Senegal striker beat Skretel to the ball and brilliantly headed the ball wide of Riena, and the ball rebounded off the post into the goal.
A great goal by Cisse, but terrible defending from Skrtel, and it was Papiss’ 6th goal in 7 games for Newcastle, and an 8th assist for the great Ben Arfa.
But at this stage Newcastle were lucky to be ahead and had ridden their luck a lot in defense.
On 28 minutes Andy Carroll had another chance but his header from 5 yards out was just over the cross-bar.
On 34 minutes Demba Ba broke at speed through the middle and tried a shot from 30 yards out, which was deflected by Skrtel just wide of Reins’a left hand post for a corner, as the Liverpool goalkeeper scrambled across his line.
After 43 minutes Cisse almost had another headed goal as his header was only inches wide of Reina’s right hand post.
As half time approached Newcastle were doing most of the attacking and then a great sliding tackle from James Perch, who was having another good game for the Magpies, got deserved and sustained applause from the appreciative crowd.
Newcastle were still ahead 1-0 at the break, but Liverpool had threatened throughout the first half and Newcastle would need to tighten up at the back in the second half if they were to keep a clean sheet.
There were no changes made at half time and then on 47 minutes a great Mike Williamson header hit the foot of the post with Reina beaten, and the big man still has to score his first goal for Newcastle.
On 56 minutes a cross into the box saw Tim Krul make a good interception just in front of Craig Bellamy but Liverpool were pressing hard mainly down their right wing against Gutierrez.
A ball to Andy Carroll was nicely headed back to Tim Krul by Mike Williamson.
And then after 58 minutes, a great move from Ben Arfa and Cabaye saw the ball crossed into the box, and Cisse was onto it.
Papiss Cisse after scoring – it feels so good!
Papiss waited and then hit the ball into the back of the net with his right foot for his second goal of the game for Newcastle – and his 7th goal in 7 games for Newcastle.
Andy Carroll was taken off after being given a harrassing time by the Newcastle fans, and he looked furious and went straight down the tunnel.
That will teach him to leave his home town club – a no-no for any Geordie lad.
On 75 minutes Shola Ameobi came on for Papiss Cisse, who was given a great reception by the Newcastle crowd – 7 goals in 7 games for Newcastle – what a player this lad is.
And then on 79 minutes Mike Williamson had a header saved by Reina and then Reina lost his cool and got a straight red card.
Reina was stupid as he went over to Perch and butted him in the face – it was a stupid thing to do a- nd Reina deserved to be sent off.
Why didn’t we get a penalty – since it was a foul by Reina in the box?
This was a great win by Newcastle and they looked a very good side and are now on 53 points after 31 games, level with Chelsea and are 10 points ahead of Liverpool and 9 points ahead of 7th placed Everton.
Alan Pardew brought off Ben Arfa on 90 minutes for Davide Santon to great applause fom the Newcastle crowd, as the Frenchman again showed what great form he is in as he had a big hand, as it were, in each of Cisse’s goals.
Alan Pardew was obviously delighted with the French lad, who is now showing just what a great player he is.
A terrific performance by Newcastle and James Perch had a terrific game – and of course so did Ben Arfa – oh and Cisse, who got two more goals wasn’t too bad either.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Jonas Gutierrez (c); Danny Guthrie, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye; Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba
Substitutes: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Davide Santon, Dan Gosling, Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic, Shola Ameobi
Liverpool (4-4-2): Pepe Reina; Jon Flanagan, Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Jose Enrique; Jonjo Shelvey, Steven Gerrard (c), Jay Spearing, Craig Bellamy; Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez
Substitutes: Alexander Doni, Fabio Aurelio, Sebastian Coates, Maxi Rodriguez, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Dirk Kuyt