LIVERPOOL 2 – 0 NEWCASTLE
Liverpool have done it again. Back to back wins, after our disappointing results against Manchester United and Arsenal. That’s the way to show the fans that we just won’t give up, no matter what. There’ll be ups and there’ll be downs in every season, but the downs won’t stop us from coming back with a bang and going straight back up to success again.
Liverpool had to win this one. It really didn’t matter how many goals were scored, winning 20-0 would have had the same result as winning 2-0 did… we got all three points, which has pushed us to just 4 points away from Manchester City who are in 4th place. They had been chasing Chelsea for the title earlier in the season and stayed in 2nd place for quite a long time, though defeat to Manchester United recently really hurt their dreams of catching Chelsea and defending their title, pushing them down the league slightly as they lost their local derby match.
Arsenal would jump up the table to be next in line for a chance at scaring Chelsea and going after the title too. 7 points divides the league leaders and 2nd placed Arsenal (though Chelsea have a game more left to play than Arsenal). Chelsea really would have to lose about 3 or 4 of their remaining games (although they are soon to play Man United, which could see them drop 3 points possibly) while Arsenal win their games for any chance of the new contenders to pull off a surprise Premier League comeback and claim the title as their own this season. Manchester United sit in 3rd though if both Arsenal and Man United just win all their games, they’d still be behind the Gunners by a point and would only be able to take 3rd.
Liverpool sit in 5th, just a single point ahead of Southampton. We won’t even want any draws (and of course we just cannot lose) from now until the end of the season – we need to claim three points from every game as we still stay hopeful that Man City could lose or draw while we win – giving us a chance to gain on them and overtake them for 4th place. The Champions League dream is not over just yet for Reds fans… we’ll keep on dreaming until the final whistle of the last game has been blown.
The Liverpool lineup was interesting and rather relieving. We would see the return of Jordon Ibe (finally! I missed you) and that would be a great boost to the midfield as Steven Gerrard continues to serve his suspension. We’d see Glen Johnson start in defence while another suspension is also ongoing – Martin Skrtel continues to be kept out of the side due to his ban. Sakho has gotten injured not too long ago and this would see Dejan Lovren getting back into the starting 11 side for the first time in a while. Cameron Brannagan would get a place on the substitutes bench, though he would not be used at all during the game. Daniel Sturridge wasn’t to be placed in the squad at all, with him having injury concerns recently. Lambert and Borini would be the strikers on the subs bench. Apparently Mario Balotelli has been sick since the FA Cup Quarter Final replay with Blackburn. He had a high temperature (fever) before the kickoff of that game and obviously hasn’t fully recovered or he most likely would have been seen in this squad, even if it was just as substitute.
Liverpool started quite strongly and it would not be long before we saw our first goal of the game… It took Raheem Sterling just 9 minutes to put the ball in the net, scoring to put Liverpool ahead early on in the game. Jordan Henderson provided the assist for Sterling’s goal as he continues to be the playmaker and leader of our team and captained us to victory, once again.
After receiving the ball from Henderson, Sterling managed to find some space between a couple of Newcastle’s defenders and would fire a powerful shot that would make it’s way past the goalkeeper and into the bottom right corner of the net. Liverpool 1 – 0 Newcastle.
The rest of the first half had some good attacking play, we didn’t let up just because we’d taken the lead. It looked like we wanted to increase our lead. Coutinho and Alberto Moreno would have some attempts to score, though they wouldn’t be goals.
The manager should have been satisfied at half time, Brendan Rodgers didn’t make any tactical changes during the break. The side stayed the same until the hour mark when Jordon Ibe would be replaced by Fabio Borini.
Newcastle seemed to be trying harder in the second half, Liverpool had less freedom in the midfield. They closed us down a little better and made things a bit tougher when attacking, though we would manage to score another goal in this half.
The second goal would come in the 70th minute after Newcastle player Michael Williamson had conceded a corner. Joe Allen had taken the ball and just before the incoming defender failed to get the ball from him with his tackle, Allen would strike an accurate shot that sailed into the top left corner of the net, giving the goalkeeper no chance of saving it. Liverpool 2 – 0 Newcastle.
Liverpool had 20 more minutes (and a bit of injury time) to make sure we didn’t throw away what looked to be victory by now. Mignolet and his defence would do a good job at the back and yet again, they kept another clean sheet.
The referee would be quite busy with his cards nearing the end of the game. Moussa Sissoko would receive a yellow card in the 77th minute. The game was becoming quite physical, though kicking the players around would not gain either team any advantage, actually they would simply get more bookings. Then as the 83rd minute began, Sissoko would put in a rather bad challenge that seemed to be aimed not at the ball but at Lucas Leiva’s shins and yet again got himself yellow carded – his second card of the game which meant Newcastle had to play the remaining period of the match with only ten men. Alberto Moreno would also receive a yellow card in the 89th minute.
With less men to play against and a two goal lead, of course Liverpool held out until the final whistle was blown and we would celebrate our 2nd successive win. Some key players of this game included Jordon Ibe, Simon Mignolet, Coutinho and Jordan Henderson but I will be naming my Man of the Match as Raheem Sterling. He played his heart out, there’s far less focus on the financial parts of football when he’s out there on the pitch. If he’s focused on the game at hand and is busy playing, money really doesn’t matter to Sterling – he’s in it to win it, not to get paid. His goal was very skillful, he’d squeezed between two Newcastle players and still managed to get his shot off despite the oncoming pressure from more than one opponent on the field and he set the tone for the game, early on. Liverpool were to be victorious – he’d made that clear from the 9th minute.
Liverpool have about 5 days to rest up before we continue our FA Cup campaign and will be playing Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium in the Semi Finals, if we win this game – we’re through to the FA Cup Final. That should be enough motivation to get our win in the next game but anything can happen in football. You’ll have to watch Liverpool to find out if we’re going to be cup finalists this year or not.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.