Liverpool 2 Newcastle 2 Saturday 23 April 2016
I went into this game believing that Newcastle could potentially get something…
Then Sturridge scores out of nothing after only two minutes, Newcastle don’t get a kick and then Lallana makes it two after half an hour – you just felt it was going to be like pretty much every other Premier League match at Anfield in the last 20 odd years (17 defeats and 3 draws in the previous 20).
However…somehow Rafa Benitez has got our bunch of slackers actually trying, actually not giving in when things are tough.
The last five minutes of the first half Newcastle suddenly started to look like they might have something to fight back with.
A Cisse header went wide and there was an optimistic penalty appeal but more than that, Newcastle at last started to have some decent possession, with no doubt Liverpool having a breather after being so dominant.
Perez had been anonymous and Wijnaldum was the only sub off the bench – within four minutes United had got a consolation.
The newly liberated Vurnon Anita charging up the right and putting in a delicious cross onto the head of Cisse with Mignolet flailing.
Suddenly game on!!
Remarkably, it was now Newcastle the better team, Liverpool’s attacks comfortably dealt with as the defence regrouped after creaking in the first half.
With 25 minutes to go, Jack Colback arrives late in the box and his volleyed finish takes a deflection on its way past Mignolet.
Even more remarkable, 2-2!
Seconds later with the home side in disarray, the ball is squared for Sissoko on the edge of the box, one touch then BANG is what is needed but he isn’t a natural finisher.
Some six touches later eventually the ball is played back to Townsend and his half chance goes well over.
After that it is a classic case of Newcastle looking the better team but your natural inclination being that Liverpool must score.
2-2 was probably a fair result but no doubt that Newcastle were the moral victors.
Maybe one of the proudest fightbacks and results Rafa Benitez has ever had at Anfield?
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Liverpool 2 Newcastle 2
Liverpool: Sturridge 2, Lallana 30
Newcastle: Cisse 48, Colback 66
Possession was Newcastle 33% Liverpool 67%
Total shots were Newcastle 6 and Liverpool 13
Shots on target were Newcastle 3 and Liverpool 4
Corners were Newcastle 4 and Liverpool 5
Team: Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett, Townsend, Tiote (Shelvey 83), Colback, Sissoko, Perez (Wijnaldum 46) , Cisse (Mitrovic 75)
Unused Subs: Woodman, Saivet, de Jong, Shelvey
Ref: Andre Marriner