Collateral damage! Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle

A rare bright spot on a drab evening

A rare bright spot on a drab evening
Newcastle rather tamely surrendered to Liverpool last night as the Merseysiders ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at Anfield.

Two goals from ex-Mag Craig Bellamy and one for media darling Steven Gerrard cancelled out Dan Agger’s own goal that gave Newcastle an unexpected and probably undeserved lead.

The most disappointing thing for me was the fact that we didn’t try our best. I never expected us to get anything from the game in the first place and I was shocked so many people were predicting wins and draws for us prior to the match. However it doesn’t excuse a lack of effort and application or a failure to do the basics correctly which is what cost us with two of the goals.

Alan Pardew made one change from the team that beat Bolton at the weekend as Haris Vuckic came in for Leon Best which signalled a change from the much maligned 4-4-2 to the much fancied 4-5-1/4-4-1-1 with the Slovenian being the one that was tasked with operating the number ten role behind Demba Ba.

Liverpool started brightly and Newcastle struggled to get a foothold in the game. They struggled to gain possession of the ball, they struggled to string passes together and they struggled to create chances. Despite that though they still looked comfortable and Liverpool never really created too much in terms of chances at goal.

This is when Newcastle landed them with a sucker punch. Ryan Taylor crossed into the box for Yohan Cabaye to flick on towards goal. The resultant flick on hit Dan Agger on the arm and deflected in to the Anfield Road end net to give the visitors an unlikely lead.

Unfortunately that lead only lasted for four minutes and Craig Bellamy restored parity courtesy of being in the right place at the right time to pounce on a Charlie Adam cross that was deflected by Cheik Tiote into the path of the Welshman. He still had a lot to do however as NUFC had men back on the line, but he managed to find the bottom corner of the net and send The Kop into raptures.

Indeed it could have got worse for Newcastle as Bellamy turned provider for their next chance. His corner was glanced wide by Martin Skrtel with Charlie Adam inches away from connecting with the ball at the back stick. That set the tone for the rest of the game and Newcastle rarely threatened although Yohan Cabaye ended the half with a speculative drive that went way over the bar.

Half-time: Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle

The second half started with Liverpool looking threatening, with Stewart Downing in particular looking likely to cause some damage. In fact it was down to him that Ryan Taylor was withdrawn at half time after the Scouser picked up a yellow card and looked likely to pick up another. He was replaced with Davide Santon.

However for Liverpool’s dominance Newcastle were still in the game. We had just started to keep hold of the ball for a bit although we didn’t really do a lot with it. Haris Vuckic looked a little lost and our midfield was overrun by the Liverpool trio of Adam, Spearing and Henderson leaving the young Slovenian often wandering about in no mans land between Demba Ba and the midfield.

The referee played a large part in Liverpool taking the lead after awarding the home side a free kick after a foul by Cheik Tiote – a foul which Tiote won the ball in. Craig Bellamy smashed the resultant free kick towards goal only for Danny Simpson to get in the way of a shot that Tim Krul had control of. The right-back nodded the ball downwards which took it away from the Dutch stopper. 2-1 to Liverpool.

However despite the fact that Newcastle had been woeful they could have still equalised, and would have equalised had it not been for an amazing clearance by Martin Skrtel. Yohan Cabaye played a ball behind the Liverpool defence which Demba Ba got to first and flicked it over Pepe Reina only to see his goalbound effort cleared off the line by Skrtel.

It was game over soon after however when Steven Gerrard raced onto a Jordan Henderson through ball and beat Tim Krul from a narrow angle. Personally I feel that the Dutch stopper could have done a lot better but being honest he was hardly helped by Danny Simpson once more.

From then on it was game over as a contest and Liverpool looked the most likely to score. In fact Andy Carroll went close a few times throughout the game with his closest effort ricocheting off the crossbar.

Full-time: Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle

I’ve used the title ‘collateral damage’ for a reason. It alludes to friendly fire, which is a rather handy way to describe this performance as I fell that we shot ourself in the foot. Don’t get me wrong, we were poor and deserved to lose but the fact that we contributed to our own downfall sticks in my throat. Both Danny Simpson and Cheik Tiote need to know that sometimes the best form of defence is to just hoof the ball out of play.

I’m actually struggling to think of a positive from this match for us NUFC fans to digest. Believe it or not I’ve actually managed to come up with one – Fabricio Coloccini didn’t get booked! If he had have received a yellow card he’d have had to miss a game after picking up five bookings, but as it stands the slate is wiped clean and Colo will miss no games.

Well, he’ll miss no games unless the FA decide to take a look at his elbow on Craig Bellamy which left the Wales striker needing four stitches in the head. It wasn’t deliberate – there is a one foot height difference between the pair and Colo wasn’t even looking at Bellamy. Mind you, it’s no excuse for Bellamy’s mildly racist riposte to Tim Krul as he left the field screaming “Dutch prick” at the Holland stopper. mind you, you come to expect that of Liverpool these days. Perhaps they should have stitched his gob up instead?

Next up it’s Manchester United at St James’ Park on Wednesday night. We’ve won one game in seven although some comfort can be found in the fact that Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool have featured in that run of games.

See you next year folks!

Liverpool: Pepe Reina; Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique; Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Jay Spearing, Stewart Downing; Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy

Subs: Alexander Doni, Martin Kelly, Jamie Carragher, Jonjo Shelvey, Maxi Rodriguez, Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt

Newcastle: Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor; Gabriel Obertan, Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez; Haris Vuckic; Demba Ba

Subs: Rob Elliot, Davide Santon, James Perch, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi, Leon Best

Attendance: 44,372

43 thoughts on “Collateral damage! Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle

  1. Generally decent analysis of the game. However, I thought the Cabaye stamp was worth reporting. If it was a Liverpool player guilty of the attack there would no doubt have been discussion about how lucky they were to be left with 11 on the park. It was a disgraceful act.

    Newcastle have great quality in Ba and Tiote although neither had their best games. Those two would make any EPL squad.


  2. In that case so was Jay Spearing’s studs up lunge. That is also worth reporting. Along with Bellamy’s racist slant towards Tim Krul….


  3. sorry have to disagree with Roshan.
    Obertan isn’t useless, so much as he was clearly told NOT to attack Enrique. Pardew was so worried about Enrique the plan was to simply not play down our right flank.
    Obertan had no role and was lost. I dont blame him for this. I blame Pardew.
    Also Gutti is far worse on the left yet gets no criticism. Howay chaps, he is getting worse game on game.
    I would be tempted to drop him and replace him with BArfa but still play a 4-4-2.
    Its unfair and unreasonable to put Demba upfront on his own where he was easily taken out of the game by two and 3 defenders. He is far more effective with Best alongside him.
    Simpson was poor as was Raylor. FFS why start with him at LB?
    Liverpool were poor and we should have attacked them better with width and pace, yet we did neither.
    Very disappointing performance from the lads, but for me, moreso from Pardew, who set us up wrong from the start.and looked clueless on the touchline.
    Basically his whole gameplan was flawed and he did nothing to change it. Ha Ha bring Sameobi on !!!! Yeah winner. NOT.


  4. Pabl E, Spearing was in 2 footed off the ground to do Cabaye and came off worse, his reaction in rolling around trying to attract a red card was pathetic considering he was running around like a spring lamb minutes later.
    Consider yourself fortunate to play against a team with the worst full back pairing in the league because if we had those positions sorted out we would have been more than a match for you, considering the cash Dalglish has spunked, your team is nothing flash mate.


  5. Weren’t people screaming for best to be dropped?

    He got dropped and now we should have played him.

    Raylor had a good game against Bolton. That’s why he played. When it was clear he was struggling he was taken off.

    Haha Sammy. Fair do’s, but I don;t see a credible alternative?


  6. Fair nuff Toonsy, if people want Best dropped, but I think he needs more matches to improve not less. But a straight swap with Shola would have been preferable to young Harris getting a start in no mans land.
    Gutti is becoming as useless as Smith. Very frustrating. Why not give young Ferguson another oportunity on the left wing???
    Pardews decisions make no sense to me. Dont get me wrong I’m not calling for his head. Thats the last thing we need. But he needs to learn from this match and quickly or we are only going one direction.
    Of course we could do with a few decent replacements but thats not going to happen either.


  7. Sorry but football fans have the benefit of hindsight to use after the event. Its easy to sit at home saying we should have done x, y and z.

    The fact is that as a manager you can only legislate for so much, and having so many players put in piss poor performances once they step on the pitch is something that the never gets blamed on the players.


  8. What? Is calling someone ‘Dutch Prick’ racist now? In that case Evra should have been tanked for calling Suarez a ‘South American’! Hypocrite.


  9. I thought Pardew got his tactics spot on tbh, bearing in mind what we had to play with, it was just a shame the players didn’t perform. My only criticism with that system was that Haris Vuknic crowded the space that Cabaye normally operates in (along with the fact he was probably told to sit a little bit deeper) and that meant he was not as influential as we need him to be.
    As Toonsy says, I wasn’t expecting a result – a draw would have been nice. But at places like Anfield, if they turn it on (like they did in the second half) then its a case of keeping the score down – especially when you make bad errors too!
    Never mind, Utd next…chin up LOL.


  10. well having read the comments from yesterday, I think the players got a good slating from quite a few on here and I think Pardew should shoulder some of the responsability too.


  11. Toonsy I would say we missed Best, Vuckic probably wasn’t ready for that game. We needed a presence up front to hassle more, and support Demba more.

    I really liked that spell we had knocking it about before they made it 2-1, it was the only time we showed any real composure and confidence on the ball we just need more of that 😆 Big Mike played well I thought considering his lay off and second game in 5 days. Colo was good too hope he doesn’t get done by the FA


  12. BB@4 I think you are right about Obertan sitting in front of Enrique to prevent him playing. In fact Enrique had a pretty ineffective first half, Liverpool creating perhaps only 2 chances down our right side.

    I still think Santone is more right back than left back. Surely the time has come to give young Fergie some minutes as sub to allow him to show what he can do. Santone, if fit, needs to be moved to right back imo. He looks much more comfortable than any of our full backs, both with and without the ball. I only hope he can play 4-5 games on the trot without his knee flaring up.


  13. Its a shame to see the usual people cop the critisism from the fans (in general.. Ie Raylor, Obertan and Simpson. ). Sure no one really played well especially Jonas as I felt he was at fault for the first goal leaving Raylor to cover two players.

    I’d blame Krul for the second as its up to he goalkeeper to command his box on set pieces. With only 4 in the wall for a certain shot was Simpson told to come back? Simpsons indecision yet Krul is the man to make the call on where he wants his players.

    As for the third, Tiote played a hospital ball to start the move, and the have up and didn’t even track gerrard into the box.

    But Liverpool are still a top team and closed down like one today.


  14. Gutierrez was very poor last night. Could not pass to save his life. I thought it was a poor performance overall and Liverpool made us pay. Unfortunately the best team on the night won. Benny did nowt when he came on and Ba had nothing to work with really. O well. Still 7th at the midway point. I’m happy with that. We cannot afford to lose any main players though!!


  15. We were frightened of them. No one wanted the ball. They just wanted to get rid of it. I except from this criticism Coloccini who reads the game so well and hardly wastes a pass. He also ran at the opposition with good effect but received no support when he did. Ba was also good with little service. He needs the ball to be played to his feet not hoofed in the air from Krul. What I first liked Krul for was that he would often throw or pass the ball to one of the back four. He doesn’t do that now. Is he playing to orders? Anyway these long goalkeepers punts (typical of the English game) nearly always surrender possession to the opposition and start off another attack for them. Cabaye and Tiote put in a good shift and I thought Santon was a big improvement. However we do seem to spend more time passing towards our own goal than the opposition’s.


  16. Yeah I guess its easy to be over critical of the manager, considering all the players seemed off the pace during the match.
    I just feel really disappointed with the result, considering how we have played in previous matches. I honestly think we could have attacked them more and gone for the win. In the end we just settled for another defeat.
    Its obvious we are not yet top 6 material and to think otherwise is to be deluded.
    We need to consolidate our position as “best of the rest” for this season, and see where we can go from there.


  17. I thought the worst player for us was Tiote, I thought he played like a headless chicken. Every time he had the ball my heart would sink in my mouth hoping he wouldn’t lose it and 8 times out of 10 he did. Collectively we played poorly best player for me was Williamson. When I saw the team sheet with Bellamy on I knew the Welsh Dwarf would score he always does against us. Here’s looking forward to Manure doooh


  18. Gerard is a talisman for them too. Just having him on the pitch seemed to lift their performance to another level, and knocked the stuffing out of us completely.


  19. I think it shows where we are at the moment. We can compete with a few clubs but we’re nowhere near the big boys. Unfortunately for us, we never will be with the austerity we’re showing.

    Dissapointed that we just looked so lack lustre in attack. why on earth start with Vukic instead of HBA? What had he dine to warrant that? I think there’s something going on between Pardew and him, it looked like that preverbal shit across his bows.

    When Ba gies I really believe we’ll struggle like fck. Top ten finish is the clubs aim, well they’ll need to give Pardew a hand to achieve it as I think we could struggle in Jan/Feb.

    Once Ba goes


  20. We were crap. That’s it. Nothing more to say.

    It’s the managers job to let them know how crap they were, and hopefully we’ll raise our game in the next match.

    As for the lad that thought Cabaye should have been sent off, Spearing was trying to snap him and I thought the intent of his tackle was worthy of a red. It’s such a shame that Cabaye landed two footed on his ankle after trying to avoid him.

    The commentary team were desperate to have Cabaye sent off. Sky Sports were an absolute disgrace last night, and I’m actually considering canceling because of it. I know we were underdogs last night, but the whole thing was a Liverpool love fest and it was really quite pathetic.


  21. thought of a couple of positives.
    Demba Ba’s finish which was cleared off the line, for me, underlines what a great player he is. What a fantastic little finish it was, my pint was nearly over the bloke in front of me when it was cleared off the line.
    And secondly, Cabaye is a good looking bastard isn’t he! haha my mate was calling him dream boat all night, aye, we were getting funny looks


  22. Groucho @ 17 “we were frightened of them”
    I think you are right. Infact your whole comment was bang on


  23. Alimag…good point, Williamson had a steady return to action. Him and Collo seemed pretty solid in defence.

    I think yesterday Liverpool played the game 15km/h faster than the toon. They made us look laborious, which we were. We cannot play the game at that tempo, and when we only have a single outlet up front to hit, and cannot retain the ball, then things can only go wrong.


  24. I only hope that Ba keps his heed straight, cos it won’t take him long to suss out that he is head and shoulders above the rest of his team mates. Hope he won’t get too frustrated at goings on at the toon/lack of investment etc.


  25. Alesson learned yesterday from the toon. We struggled to hold on with Liverpools fast passing game. Thank goodness Souarez was suspended and Gerrard only half fit. 🙄


  26. Yeah if that had gone in it would have been goal of the season. Pure class from Demba like, just unlucky with the great save on the line.
    Agree we will struggle without him unless someone else steps up soon.


  27. Toonsy
    You needn’t have bothered writing anymore than your first four four words.
    Newcastle rather tamely surrendered.
    A correct assessment.
    Having slept on it the game has become an even bigger disappointment.

    Jabba and Dekka aim to have us as a top ten side, doing well in the cups and being competitive against the bigger sides. We are a long way from that target. From what I have seen recently (past 18 months) the top ten players we have in our squad are
    The jury is still out on the following
    Ben Arfa
    Sa Ameobi
    The remainder can maybe produce their A game every now and then that would be good enough but the A game is about one in ten which is just not good enough.

    I am getting worried I am beginning to be like Archie.

    Honestly though Vuckic did poorly last night but gets the benefit of the doubt but he was marvellous in comparison to Simpson, Raylor, Jonas and Obertan


  28. Was certainly a kick in the balls.We didn’t play with any belief that we could win. And Liverpool were there for the taking. But we move on and the better team won on the night. Sky were s disgrace last night. Totally biased. Roll on wed!!!!


  29. Another sad capitulation at Anfield. No belief from the manager. We need at least two strikers in every game hanging on the shoulder of the last man. No wonder the players showed little belief with that game plan.
    We might have just scraped a point were it not for the schoolboy defending. I say it time and time again. STOP BALLWATCHING! Four or five defenders in our box for their equaliser and not one within ten yards of the man who scored the goal. The only way they score from a cross is if an opposition player kicks it in. SO GET YOUR SMELLY BREATHE IN HIS UGLY LITTLE FACE FFS!
    Ben Arfa becomes a liability when he drops deep. I don’t think he knows his best position. For me, he has to become a Van Persie. That means he has to come to life around the box and get a good share of tap ins. Interesting to hear Shearer the other night recount the advice of Sir Bobby who said he wanted to see more of the number 9 on his back. Spot on.
    Alimag @19 I thought Tiote was our best player. Vuckic was given a pig in a poke of a role. I’ve been saying for ages that Guti is getting too top heavy.
    In summation, no wonder that players over the years have seen LIverpool as a step up from the Toon.


  30. We will struggle to win any games if we continue to play four full backs.

    Can’t recall either Jonas or Obertan ever taking on Jose or Johnson.


  31. In summation, no wonder our players over the years have seen Liverpool as a step up from the Toon … because it is always the same old story. Last night was typical. Their best players are usually our ex-players.


  32. Anyone think Guti might be more suited for a Lb or Rb position? He has become slower and doesnt seem able to beat a man anymore? Still has okay passing and dribbling and he defensive duty is almost always great, though his yellow card yesterday was idiotic, so he might suit better for a role further back, and then let young ferguson come in at left wing to show some pace and youthful guts taking on the opposition with little fear. Thought Santon did well when he came on, downing only faked his way to a non-existing free kick. Also Simmo had a mere last night, and currently we are unable to play 4-5-1 because we dont really create anything from the wings and resorted to long balls from Krul 😕 Really hope we can get in Vertonghen he really seems like a good player and he also possesses some technical ability. Check these out :
    (turn off the sound, the music is horrible 😕 )


  33. B&B @ 34 – But other than play well against us, cesspool are looking very poor and ordinary and not that far away from us.


  34. So if I call you a Geordie bla bla would you class me as a racist or would you take offence at being called a Geordie or the bla bla? I think people need to get a grip and stop making things out of nothing. The FA has opened a can of worms with this…

    Anyway back to the football. You just cannot defend that tackle by Cabaye on Spearing – truly shocking and had no intent on winning the ball. So it is a positive that you ended up with 11 men. Say nothing about Coloccini’s blatant elbow…

    Liverpool were there for the taking? Really?? You only had two shots all night and 0 corners. Liverpool’s problems are not in defence – and Enrique is a big part of that – great player and a firm favourite at Liverpool already.


  35. I cannot erase from my memory how we played. Work the ball to the half way line. Pass it back to Simpson who flaps his arms and passes it back to the only player who is worse than him for distributing the ball Williamson. The ball then went back to Krul sometimes via Colo who hoofed it upfield to where we had one man against their four and surprisingly they won the ball and came at us again. It is the sort of stuff you could see in any public park


  36. TLR – I think simmo and raylor often do the alibi pass just so they dont have the ball themselves. They dont seem comfortable or quick with the ball and especially not like yesterday when cesspool were putting pressure on and harrassing our possession. Also one of the reason we are quite toothless in attack, the wingers dont get much support, but they dont create much themselves either so its a vicious circle.


  37. Pardew is completely wrong with Ben Arfa at the moment and used it as a sub because it is the easy solution for a manager. This guy has a reputation of a player who didn’t run too much and has a problem of integration in the team and Pardew us that to say ok for the moment it isn’t good enough to play. But why it was good enough to play 1 month ago against City and Uunited and Chelsea and now it isn’t? that No sense. And I promise you that you will never see Ben Arfa run like a chicken without head in all the pitch, he needs to have the ball and after it can be dangerous.
    And as manager when you use a guy like that as a sub, its a win win situation for you. It it comes in the pitch after 60 minutes and scored a goal like Bolton our fans who believes in the Pardew words as in god say it was right to use it like an impact player just see the result he scored and we win the game. And when it comes at the 60 minutes and does nothing like yesterday, Fans as i see in some comments sayed ok Ben Arfa has no impact so Pardew is right to let him in the sub. So whatever the result Pardew is right so very easy solution for him.
    Secondly think of Ben Arfa situation. When you insist to use it like a sub, when he comes in the pitch, in his mind it is mandatory for him to make the difference, and so sometimes he tries some impossible rush trying to eliminate 3 or 4 players in a row. And the most valuable asset of this player is his unpredictability. But when it comes at the 60 minutes and we are losing or drawing against, the adverse team knows very well that Ben Arfa will try to make the difference alone because other players wasn’t able to do it during 60 minutes, so they just block him with 2 or 3 players and no more unpredictability from him. If he plays all the game, he can manage his effort and plays simple and when he sees an opportunity eliminate (perfect example against Man City).


  38. And Pardew speaked about missed opportunities, wtf where did he see some opportunities, we try nothing. We need to put some pressure on our wingers so play Hatem in the wing (even if i think his best position is in the hole, but in the hole with our team you never touch the ball), try it at least one time he cannot be worse than our current wingers, because Sameobi or Lovenkrands are too weak to play. We just make 3 passes back all the time and after Krul threw a long ball on Ba and Bas was beaten all the time against Agger, that is a good resume of our game yesterday.


  39. We were shite all over the park, end of.
    Jonas, Taylor, Obertan, Tiote, and Simpson looked like fizzy pop league players.
    Defeat I can handle, rolling over and getting bummed off the bindippers I can’t.
    Benefit of doubt goes to Vucik, game too big for him to start and Ben Arfa, well I can’t remember his name being mentioned once after he came on.
    Not looking forward to Man U AT ALL now.
    Sorry to be such a negger, but we been found out lads.
    All the best for 2012 everyone.


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