Newcastle got an excellent point this afternoon against a good Liverpool side and came from behind to get the draw.
Newcastle are 9th in the league on 10 points from our first 7 games which is not too bad at all, especially after we have some lower league teams coming up to play.
The game was close in the first half, and the Reds were winning the ball too many times in central midfield, and there were a few scares on the Newcastle goal when Liverpool had three chances to score within a matter of seconds and missed the lot as our defense scrambled the ball away.
And then Liverpool took the lead with a brilliant goal from Coutinho.
There seemed no danger as the Brazilian got the ball (after 29 minutes) out on the left then moved inside and hit a stunning right foot shot past Elliot from outside of the penalty box and into the back of the net.
That’s the type of (world-class) player we currently lack at Newcastle, but the team was very well organized and all the players played their socks off as usual.
But then seven minutes later Newcastle equalized, and again it was slack defending by Liverpool that cost them the goal.
They allowed Joselu to get his second goal for Newcastle this season, and that will do his confidence a world of good.
It was a terrific through ball from Shelvey that put Joselu clear and a tackle from Joel Matip only resulted in the ball rebounding off the striker’s shin and into the back of the net to the roars of a sold-out St. James’ Park crowd.
Liverpool had been the better side in that first half with Newcastle working overtime to try to contain the Reds who had front men who could seemingly score on a whim.
It was 1-1 at the half.
Five minutes into the second half and Ciaran Clark completely miskicked the incoming ball on the edge of the penalty box but Rob Elliot was able to block Sturridge’s shot, and then Salah hit the ball over the cross-bar – a big let-off for Newcastle.
Liverpool had most of the possession in the second half but could not find a way to a second goal although it’s not unusual these days that Newcastle cede possession to the opposition.
And a fact to remember – Rafa Benitez has never lost yet against his former club Liverpool during his managerial career.
Newcastle were pushing for the winner near the end of this game, and it was Mo Diame who had a shot saved in stoppage time.
Otherwise, we could have had a great win.
But we are happy enough with the point.
Newcastle defended well and were solid enough in that first half when a lesser team could have been blown away by Liverpool’s speed and guile.
We are definitely starting to look like a Rafa Benitez team, and if we can get three players through the door in January, we could still do very well this season.
Rafa’s experience is great for our players who seem to keep improving under our Spanish manager.
Newcastle: Elliot; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo; Merino (Hayden, 74), Shelvey; Ritchie, Perez (Diame, 90), Atsu; Joselu (Gayle, 79).
Subs not used: Darlow, Gamez, Lejeune, Murphy.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Salah (Oxlade-Chamberlain, 84), Mane (Solanke, 74), Sturridge (Firmino, 74).
Subs not used: Karius, Klavan, Milner, Can.
Goals: Coutinho 29, Joselu 36
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)