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

9 comments
GarryThompson
GarryThompson

I keep saying it, and I'll say it again, anew manager/head coach needs to be in place NOW, to ensure continuity, and a linear approach to the players coming back from holidays and new signings(?????) hopefully coming in, so both parties can be used to each other come the start of the new season.

The way this club is run in its decision making borders on incredulous, but is ultimately completely, and wholeheartedly, UNPROFESSIONAL

magpie9
magpie9

It takes time to go through the 80 applicants they supposedly have. Must be hard to find a cheap yes man with no backbone or pride who is desperate for a low paying job while being the buffer for abuse aimed at fatty

ArtyH
ArtyH

Sadly its the same old same old and it will take a lot for it to get through to some S.T buyers that nothing is going to change. What is needed is a new chairman who knows what he is doing as clearly Charnley does not, M.A should know this by now and by default admitted it by saying he was shocked to be in that situation at X-mas ( or that was my interpretation ). We need a new chairman with football acumen a new coach, anyone other than Carver. If Carver stays IMHO it will further destabilize the club ( and its bad enough already ) and cause problems with recruitment and retention's, who wants to work or come under this regime? Great article and yes time is ticking away just like the feeling of support for the regime. M.A said he would maintain the investment, well £YY x 0 = 0  and always will do, so no investment then. I only hope those who would by S.T's wait until there is some positive investment and something to look forward to next season, as buying now just fills his wallet again as usual. This need to change. Blanket waving and singing songs has no effect at all on this owner, so think before you buy.

KevinBrown11
KevinBrown11

The club is banking on us to renew season tickets before anything is done, just on his word of mouth, I hope most will hold out till at least we know who's going to be head coach, if it's carver then I can see very little sales of tickets, I'd be more happy if chumps comes out and states carver won't be considered for head coach, at least that would be a start, the longer it drags on the less chance it's going to be someone else, personally I wouldn't wait till carver gets back of holiday, he should have cancelled it till we find out who it is going to be, but sounds like he already has the job, if so that's me finnished with club till he's gone,

DavidDrape
DavidDrape

well said Dean that is the reality in my opinion. I seen a couple of ashleys puppets come thru the station on sunday heading off back to London 1st class. well served from a  great day out. running some/part of this sinking club 280 miles away. this demonstrates the total lack of interest. Is Ashley really happy with the job charley is doing? I wonder what is charnleys brief re his job description? Lots of things have to start happening now to change things for the better and this involves the big man opening the purse strings, however, the fact is we do not have the staff to get all the jobs done. I will wait another few weeks when everyone is back from their holidays. The fact remans that any new manager won't be able to concentrate on the technical side 100% because the amount of help and support just isn't there.

1957
1957

The key to everything that will happen is the appointment of a new coach, Charnley has been publically given the responsibility, he needs stop delaying and get on with the job. He won't because 'John Carver and his staff were on holiday and it wouldn't be fair to them to appoint somone while they were away' or some other lame excuse. I suspect out of all the rubbish Carver came out with, him and Charnley do like each other and Charnley would like him to continue. The Chronicle amazingly suggested Charnley might stick with Carver and "hope he makes a good start to the season"

I can't imagine why though, it seems to me Charnley's head is firmly on the line, he got away with January's decision to appoint the village idiot , I suspect his lord and master will not be happy if he stuffs it up again.

I've said it once and keep repeating it, we could buy a team of world class players in the summer and Carver wouldn't be able to make a team of them. He's an incompetent bully who will never be successful.

Michael Maximus Moose
Michael Maximus Moose

The complete structure of the club is Shambolic, Charnley hasn`t a clue what to do & Carver is Toxic when it comes to the football side of things

DOOMED !

Peaco
Peaco

Tend to agree. Depressing isn't it. It suddenly dawned on me this morning that the policy of no net spend doesn't really sit well with Ashley's 'I'll continue to invest' line from the recent interview does it. I can't see anything changing soon so I certainly won't be buying tickets, merchandise or anything else. I've decided that I'll be an NUFC MOTD supporter next season, and give my money to my local league 2 team instead - at least I'll know it's going back into the club, rather than an aggressive, tacky and exploitative sports retailer.

Fozzyworld
Fozzyworld

Good article we must not ease the pressure on them to act. Having said that you wouldn't expect a running commentary you can't do business like that. I don't have the know how but we need one of those daily countdown things to keep the them honest... Did I just say keep, I meant force them to be honest for a change sorry.

Foz.