Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0: Three talking points
Player ratings as the Magpies continue their good form
Super-sub fires Magpies ahead against lacklustre Liverpool
In a game that promised everything and delivered very little for the most part, a bit of brilliance was needed to break the deadlock in a game neither side were prepared to lose. Enter substitute Perez Gutierrez to the fray to be in the right place at the right time to send the home side in front with a little over a quarter of an hour to go. Neither side were willing to risk to much to get the lead, so it was unsurprising that the goal came from an optimistic cross that wasn’t dealt with by the Liverpool defenders. It is perhaps too cut and dry to say it was the deserved result as neither side were especially good, but Newcastle had more desire to push for victory in the end.
Fear of defeat strangles attacking ambition
It hasn’t been an easy time for anyone involved at Anfield. Liverpool have struggled of late and came into the match at a hostile St James’ Park with plenty of pressure weighing down on them. They should have gone into the match looking to fight fire with fire and take the game to a Newcastle side full of confidence from recent form. For the first 20 minutes they did just that, pressuring the goal of Tim Krul as they looked to silence the hosts’ partisan crowd. As the game wore on though, and with the sides goalless, the jitters started to come into the play of Liverpool and they were almost trying too hard to get a goal. As it was, they let a ball bounce around the area for Gutierrez to fire home from point blank range passed a despairing Simon Mignolet. Frustrating for Rodgers and Liverpool as they face an extremely difficult week.
All rosy on Tyneside for resurgent Magpies
It wasn’t all that long ago that the ‘Pardew out’ signs were littered around St James Park. Four games later and 10 points for Newcastle means the fans are back on the side of the controversial gaffer Alan Pardew. Football management is a thankless job these days and in a results lead business, no less than picking up points will do. On the day there were two sides who had differing expectations at the start of the season but are enjoying very different spells of form in recent times. Newcastle slayed the league champions in the League Cup in mid-week and are full of confidence, whilst last year’s runners-up were fresh off a big defeat in Europe and an underwhelming performance in the League Cup. Newcastle were rewarded for their spirit, while the visitors suffered for being too conservative at times. With Real Madrid and Chelsea to play in the space of a week, something needs to change rapidly for Brendan Rodgers’ men.