Liverpool vs Newcastle - The Liver Word Match Report


The Liver Word

Liverpool have been on a great run of form in recent times and were hoping to continue the run at home to Newcastle United. The fixture has a history of exciting games and plenty of goals but there was an added spice to the match this time around with Newcastle having won against Liverpool earlier in the season and a certain Andy Carroll scoring for the Magpies that day. Carroll, now a Liverpool player, was facing his old team for the first time since his last minute record transfer in the January transfer window and sparks were sure to fly on and off the pitch.
THE TEAM
Liverpool, still hampered by a long list of injuries, welcomed back Glen Johnson at left back with young Jack Robinson making way for the England international. The rest of the starting line-up was unchanged from the win against Birmingham last week. Carroll, the man in the spotlight, was also coming back from injury and took his place on the bench as Maxi kept his place in the team after his brilliant hat-trick last week. Flanagan was given another start at right back as he continued his impressive run in the side.
THE MATCH
Similar to last week's match, Liverpool struck early and it was Maxi once again. The Argentine netted the opener with a bit of help from Danny Simpson to finish off a good passing move by Liverpool. Newcastle responded by keeping possession as the hosts struggled to dominate the game after taking the lead. Jay Spearing was unlucky with a 25 yard effort which Krul could only parry but the Newcastle custodian recovered quickly before either Kuyt or Meireles could capitalise on the opportunity. At the other end, Ameobi connected with a Joey Barton header as Newcastle threatened to restore parity with a series of corner kicks and free-kicks inside Liverpool territory. Lucas had a chance before the break with a header from a Flanagan cross but Krul was alert to the danger. Thus, Liverpool went into the break with a slender 1-0 lead over the Magpies in a keenly contested match.
The second half began with chances at both ends. Joey Barton fired just wide from a Nolan centre and then Luis Suarez danced past a couple of defenders on the left and almost scored with another deflected shot, this time off Mike Williamson. Liverpool started to look more dangerous and passed the ball better as the half progressed. Then, in the 58th minute, Reina sent a long searching ball downfield for Suarez to chase after. However, Williamson read the situation well and tried to let the ball run out for a goal-kick. The indomitable Suarez somehow managed to keep the ball in play and a surprised Williamson ended up fouling the striker in an attempt to salvage the situation. Referee Walton had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and Dirk Kuyt continued his success from the spot as he sent Krul the wrong way and doubled Liverpool's lead. It was Kuyt's 14th goal of the season and his 8th goal in his last seven League outings – a man in the midst of a terrific goalscoring spree.
Kuyt should have made it three soon after but he headed wide of the goal from six yards out. Then, in the 65th minute, the Dutch powerhouse turned provider with a lovely flicked pass into the path of Luis Suarez who fired into the net from six yards out, effectively ending the match as a contest. With three points in the bag, Dalglish introduced Andy Carroll to a standing ovation from the Kop. Liverpool nearly made it four but Meireles headed just wide from a Johnson cross. The match ended with a 3-0 scoreline in favour of the Reds, a win that took them to fifth in the table pipping Tottenham on goal difference.
SUMMARY
Another great win for Liverpool but the scoreline did not reflect how difficult it was at times for the hosts. Liverpool got off to a great start but Newcastle dominated long spells of the first half as Liverpool largely played second fiddle to them. However, the defence played really well and stood firm under the Newcastle pressure limiting them to very few clear-cut chances. Spearing and Lucas were superb in midfield once again and Flanagan coped well after picking up a soft booking due to the wily Gutierrez. Dalglish made a great move at half-time when he switched the more experienced Johnson to right back to nullify the threat of Gutierrez and instead of substituting Flanagan, which could have damaged his confidence, moved him to left back where he put in an impressive performance for the rest of the game. Luis Suarez was a constant threat and got a deserved goal. Kuyt was involved in almost every move and scored once again continuing his goalscoring spree.
The only disappointment for Liverpool right now is that the season is drawing to a close just as the team is heading for a peak. However, they are 5th in the League table now and a real chance of European football next season, albeit in the Europa League, would be a great achievement for the club after the debacle in the opening half of the season.
Man of the Match
Dirk Kuyt - He was involved in almost every move, kept a cool head and scored from the spot and followed it up with a sublime pass to set up Luis Suarez for his goal.

Courtesy: The LIVER WORD









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