November 4, 2012
Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle United
#INSERT type:image caption: Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring a brilliant leveller END#Striker Luis Suarez upstaged Steven Gerrard on a landmark day for the Liverpool captain as he underlined his value to Brendan Rodgers' side once again.
Gerrard became only the 10th player to make 600 appearances for the club but it was the 25-year-old Uruguay international who stole the show against Newcastle, who finished with 10 men after Fabricio Coloccini was sent off late on.
With Liverpool trailing to Yohan Cabaye's fine strike late in the first half, Suarez produced a brilliant equaliser - his seventh goal in nine league matches - but just could not inspire his team to victory.
He did, at least, preserve Liverpool's impressive unbeaten home record against the Magpies which was extended to 18 league matches - 15 of which were wins.
It would have been harsh had Newcastle ended that run as Liverpool spent 43 minutes dominating the match, only to be caught with a sucker punch just before half-time.
The frustrating thing for Reds manager Rodgers - and most of Anfield - was that you could see it coming.
From the moment Coloccini appeared to make contact with Suarez in the penalty area in the sixth minute only for referee Anthony Taylor to wave play on the writing was on the wall.
Liverpool forced a succession of corners and saw shots from Suso and Raheem Sterling either deflected wide or just off target, while Suarez curled a free-kick just wide.
Tim Krul made first save of note from Suarez after Suso and Sahin had combined to set him racing down the right, and the striker also headed wide from Gerrard's cross.
Such was Liverpool's dominance and confidence Gerrard attempted a 60-yard free-kick in an attempt to catch Krul off his line but it dropped just over - unlike Xabi Alonso's effort from inside his own half which beat Magpies keeper Steve Harper on this ground in 2006.
Those were the days when the Reds had the Spain midfielder controlling midfield and Gerrard, in his pomp, charging forward to score goals aplenty - even before Fernando Torres arrived to terrorise the Premier League.
It seems a long time ago now and Liverpool no longer carry the same threat - and opponents know it.
They bide their time, keep a close eye on the carefully-prepared passing game taking place in front of them and then strike at an opportune moment.
Newcastle did exactly that and when Andre Wisdom was penalised for a foul throw deep in enemy territory, the Magpies swiftly transferred the ball to their right to isolate Hatem Ben Arfa against former Newcastle defender Jose Enrique.
The Frenchman made a thrilling run to the byline and crossed to the far post where Cabaye controlled and smashed a superb half-volley past Brad Jones, becoming the first Newcastle player to score at Anfield since Patrick Kluivert in December 2004.
Demba Ba's failure to last more than five minutes of the second half was something of a bonus for Liverpool, although he had not really posed much of a threat up to that point.
The home side picked up the tempo and just before the hour Suarez's shot was turned around the post by Krul, with Sahin's strike bouncing just past the same upright soon after.
Newcastle were restricted to counter-attacks and one could have resulted in a penalty when Skrtel challenged Ba's replacement Sammy Ameobi, but referee Taylor judged it fair as Ameobi appeared to stand on the ball rather than being felled by the defender.
For all Rodgers' insistence on short passing football, the equaliser came from a 50-yard ball out of defence by Enrique. However, to say it owed a lot to Suarez's brilliance would be an understatement.
The Uruguay international, running at full tilt under pressure from Coloccini, controlled it on his shoulder, brought it down and quickly side-stepped Krul to roll it into the net.
Once again Suarez had ignited Liverpool and when he cut in from the right byline soon afterwards, substitute Jonjo Shelvey could not get enough on the ball to divert it into the net.
Another Liverpool mistake, this time from Enrique, sent Ameobi racing clear but with a two-man overload down Newcastle's right, Ben Arfa shot tamely at Jones.
But Newcastle captain Coloccini put his side under pressure when he raked his studs down the back of Suarez's leg and was sent off with six minutes to go.
Still Suarez could not be contained and a deflected free-kick and freakish bounce almost snatched a bizarre winner in the last minute of added time.
The final whistle saw Newcastle manager Alan Pardew march onto the field to speak to the officials but there was no sustained protest.
|1 Brad Jones||1 Tim Krul|
|5 Daniel Agger||2 Fabricio Coloccini|
|37 Martin Skrtel||27 Steven Taylor|
|3 José Enrique||3 Davide Santon|
|47 Andre Wisdom||8 Vurnon Anita|
|24 Joe Allen||18 Jonás Gutiérrez|
|8 Steven Gerrard||14 James Perch|
|7 Luis Suárez||4 Yohan Cabaye|
|4 Nuri Sahin||9 Papiss Demba Cisse|
|31 Raheem Sterling||10 Hatem Ben Arfa|
|30 Suso||19 Demba Ba|
|23 Jamie Carragher||Steve Harper 37|
|19 Stewart Downing||Shola Ameobi 23|
|33 Jonjo Shelvey||Michael Williamson 6|
|42 Peter Gulacsi||Danny Simpson 5|
|14 Jordan Henderson||Gabriel Obertan 25|
|11 Oussama Assaidi||Shane Ferguson 31|
|16 Sebastián Coates||Sammy Ameobi 28|
|Jonjo Shelvey for Suso (66)||Danny Simpson for James Perch (27)|
|Stewart Downing for Nuri Sahin (74)||Sammy Ameobi for Demba Ba (50)|
|Shane Ferguson for Yohan Cabaye (68)|
|Davide Santon (90)|
|Fabricio Coloccini (84)|
|· Rosters: Liverpool | Newcastle United|