Sunday 1 April 2012 1.30pm

Newcastle United 2 (Cissé 19, 59)
Liverpool 0

Where do you start? The only question for me is whether this was even better than the January demolition of Manchester United?

I would argue it is, despite clearly Liverpool not being in the same league as Manchester United at the moment.

The towering scoreline and performance against the Mancs was remarkable but it was achieved with most of not having great expectations and seeing it as a free go against arguably the top team in England.

However, I would say today’s match has had the biggest build up by far of any of our fixtures this season, certainly on a national and international basis.

How many times have we not turned up at the big occasion, when expectations are high and we have a match that is an acid test of our aspirations?

‘You stole my Easter eggs’ (replacing ‘You stole my stereo’)

This was billed as Pardew the miracle worker v Kenny the money waster, the return of the ponytailed one, as well as of course Enrique and Bellamy.

Alan Pardew threw a curve ball before kick-off with Jonas back at left-back and the returning Tiote making up a three man midfield.

The aim clearly was to pressure the scouser high up the pitch and so the game was always going to be stretched, the question was in whose favour?

Early on we looked dangerous with the ball but Liverpool were comfortably working the ball out of defence and several times Jonas was outnumbered leading to Bellamy putting in some dangerous balls. While Bellamy was having his usual decent game against us, Enrique was strangely subdued while Carroll was all over the place and summed up his performance with a shocking dive when he could possibly still have scored, instead he got a yellow card for his pains.

Massive credit to Williamson (I was very relieved when I saw Carroll was playing as ideal when Willo is in the team) and Perch who was outstanding against Suarez.

‘You’re (Dalglish) getting sacked in the morning’

Every player though worked their socks off from the strikers to the midfield, to the defence and Cabaye must have covered every blade of grass while Tiote’s gave a performance every bit as good as the on eagainst Manchester United, I can’t give him a bigger pat on the back than that.

Perspiration only gets you so far though and on nineteen minutes Ben Arfa twisted and teased Enrique before putting over a cross that was  inch perfect, just eluding the defender and Cissé’s finish was also inch perfect as his header back across goal went in off the post.

The interplay and ball retention was excellent overall but determined last gap defending also played its part as every player put their heart and soul into this pivotal match.

Cissé and Ba are absolute stars, they look to play with absolutely no edge to them, they look like they want to chase back and don’t see it as beneath them. While Ben Arfa was maybe used more sparingly but whenever he got the ball he had them on the back foot.

Cissé could have made it two with a glancing header and Williamson planted an excellent header against the post  but two indeed it was on fifty nine minutes.

‘(Carroll) What a waste of money’

A flowing move saw the ball worked out of defence and Ben Arfa accelerated inside before combining with Demba Ba, the ball eventually reaching Cissé some eight yards out. He feinted to shoot and put Reina on his backside before tapping it home and putting the topping on another class performance.

Newcastle combined effort with talent and never allowed Liverpool back into the game, with Gosling replacing the injured Guthrie, Shola letting Cissé take his own personal bow as the minutes ticked by and then Ben Arfa getting his own applause as Santon replaced him almost on the final whistle.

Carroll was dragged off as was Bellamy late on, the final insult saw Reina seeing red for an attempted headbutt on Perch with Enrique seeing out the last ten minutes in goal which must have seemed a lonely lifetime as the Leazes end poured down their scorn on the departed player.

An exceptional performance from all concerned , beginning to wish this season wasn’t coming to a close.

‘Jose Enrique, we’re in the top six’

A sobering thought for Kenny is that he brings a very average Jordan Henderson and Downing off the bench and either of those cost around the same as Cabaye, Cissé and Tiote combined.

Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Jonas Gutierrez (c); Danny Guthrie (Dan Gosling 65), Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa (Davide Santon 90), Papiss Cissé  (Shola Ameobi 74), Demba Ba

Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic

Liverpool (4-4-2): Pepe Reina, Jon Flanagan, Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Jonjo Shelvey (Stewart Downing 76), Steven Gerrard (c), Jay Spearing, Craig Bellamy (Jordan Henderson 80), Andy Carroll (Dirk Kuyt 79), Luis Suarez

Subs not used: Alexander Doni, Fabio Aurelio, Sebastian Coates, Maxi Rodriguez

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 52,363

Kev82 5pts

Can't believe the Sunderland fans over the last year singing his name in support with this charge hanging over his head. You may say innocent till proven guilty but I don't think I'd be vocally backing a Toon player on a similar charge while there was a chance he may be guilty. I hope the Mackems sack him now and that he faces similar treatment to Ched Evans in struggling to get back into the game.

Graham Wilson
Graham Wilson 5pts

I still don't know how Sunderland were allowed to play him with a charge like this hanging over him??? bet there fans are proud for cheering him on, shame on them all,

Drumbo 5pts

Graham - really?

Have you got nothing better to write about?

Lame, very lame.

Mark Brooker
Mark Brooker 5pts

As wealthy as he is if the scumbag goes down as he should he'll pay for protection probably have his own cell, tv & Playstation sickening.

Dogg1892 5pts

As this is an ongoing case is it legal to discuss it on a fans' forum?

potski 5pts

It is an ongoing case. A jury will decide whether he is guilty on some of the charges, with the evidence starting on Friday. The trial is in another part of the country and I guess they have been careful to ensure there are no Newcastle fans on the jury. He could hardly get a fair trial on the Quayside;) But the judge revealed today that Johnson has already pleaded guilty to some of the lesser charges. He presumably will be sentenced on them only after the jury have made a decision. That could take weeks. The Mag and other blogs have to be careful to report the case in accordance with the law and the judge's directions to the media. The judge has presumably agreed for the guilty admissions to be made public, and he has informed the jury about them.

TonnekToon 5pts

Can't see the justification of his club standing by him now , he should be sacked at the very least .

toonterrier 5pts

Its about time we returned to the cap on players wages. Obscene amount of money going to average players when the majority of supporters get at best the living wage. Maybe every club should have a committee to rate players on their performance and pay them accordingly. Some of our lot over the last couple of years would starve to death.   

amacdee 5pts

Not about to say anything about the player as he's beneath contempt. However I do recall a lot of makems telling us that everyone is innocent until proven guilty so we shouldnt say nasty things about him ?

This goes to show that some are more "innocent" than others

SimonM68 5pts

Very nasty and too serious an issue / situation to be putting on a fans website just to (presumably) encourage abusive reactions.

Not a football story and for me (though sadly there seem to be many players who think they can do what they like these days)  and it almost demeans his victims by trivialising what happened to this level.

andkdk11 5pts

The horrible prick shouldn't play another days football in his life. I actually remember a mackem defending this nonce on a YouTube video by TheTrueGeordie and tried to claim its ok because we had loic... yet loic was accused and never charged and certainly never admitted it. Johnson the nonce should be hung by his balls and stoned by 1000 rape victims.

Marveauxless 5pts

@andkdk11 At the time Johnson claimed he was innocent; check all the Sunderland fan forums, all their fans want to see him sacked and are very angry that the club, who most likely knew of his plea, kept playing him.

Maurice Shield
Maurice Shield 5pts

Nonce. Ffs hang the caant. He'll be let off as he has money n still alive

mentalman 5pts

Surely they will sack him now

WilliamCarney 5pts

The evil little man should have is penis surgically removed for a punishment, these kind of people should be relieved of their sex organs to stop future risk to other children. it just goes to show how strange these mackems really are, I wouldn't trust any mackem around my children.

VonBrown 5pts

@WilliamCarney what a ridiculously ignorant and vile comment. I'm from sunderland (nufc fan all my life tho). does this make me a peado? no. idiot.

I do however agree with the punishment.

Jezza_NUFC 5pts

@VonBrown @WilliamCarney Agree entirely. It is indeed a vile and ignorant comment and a ridiculous generalisation. Presumably he also thinks the same about Teesiders and Mancunians, after all Johnson did play for Middlesborough and Man City too. Ridiculous.

Porciestreet 5pts

Dirty paedo and the whole of the North East knew it all along,  INCLUDING Sunderland FC who steadfasatly played him and gave him the benefit of any doubt.

How any Mackem will be able to hold their heads up anywhere ever again is debateable.

By allowing him to play on, the club have soured the good name of their fans. Love them or loathe them, they do not deserve a Chairman and directors with such Morals.

Jezza_NUFC 5pts

@Porciestreet I hope Johnson gets the punishment he deserves but before you condemn Sunderland AFC and their fans just remember that we had Loic Remy playing for us while he had a rape charge hanging over his head.

potski 5pts

No we didn't. There was an allegation, but he was not charged with any offence.

Jezza_NUFC 5pts

@potski Maybe I'm wrong but at the time I was under the impression Remy had been charged and had a court date scheduled for the November after we signed him. I thought that was the reason no other club came in and bought him after QPR were relegated that year.

Porciestreet 5pts

Surely, he wouldn't have the brass neck to want to keep playing when the world now knows of his Paedophilia. Put him in the stocks in the middle of Sunderland and let the public sort him.

Anthony Boak
Anthony Boak 5pts

So its true Adam Johnson is going down for noncing

Greg Codling
Greg Codling 5pts

I don't think you do him justice as a "sunderland player" he is probably more of a head player team leader....scum.