My night started with cowardly punch from Liverpool fan then late knockout from the team
So, just where do we start with this one!
A 7.45pm kick off, away fans potentially in the home sections, lots more alcohol being consumed, it was always going to be a recipe for disaster, and while on the pitch both sides served up a classic for the watching millions, off the pitch was lively to say the least!
I will skirt through the game as no doubt 99% of you will have seen it in one way of another but suffice to say Newcastle were excellent and did not deserve to lose, especially in such an unjust fashion.
Before I start, I am going to get this off my chest and into the open, I have never been overly keen on scousers, I have many mates from Liverpool and they are fine people, but the football fans of both Everton and Liverpool are not all the lovable rogues they want you to believe they are.
Going back to the 80s it was common for fans of those clubs to carry blades, indeed I have witnessed it at close quarters at Goodison Park. Don’t think that because they wear red they are any different.
Also, I am going to say I have no issue with fans of opposing clubs sat together, however this only works if they are decent people, yesterday the fans who infiltrated the home sections were largely loons of the highest order and this of course attracted a reaction from our own fans.
The day started normally with a few beers locally, then into town for a couple more before walking up to SJP, I always walk the same way, be it ritual, habit or just quicker, I always follow the same route, yesterday I left the pub slightly earlier as I wanted to see the new flag that was about to be unveiled at the Gallowgate End.
Walking behind the East Stand I was asked by a couple of elderly visiting fans where their turnstiles were, being the gentleman that I am I told them to walk with or follow me under the Leazes End which is my usual route, I pointed them where to go, I obviously continued round as my entrance is the Platinum Club North just further round.
Walking onward there was much chanting and shouting, maybe a little bit of aggression from both sets of fans as they were in close proximity, my mistake was failing to take any notice of the group of 5 or 6 heading my way. Anyway, as I walked by them I was suddenly punched quite hard on the side of the face, taking a few seconds to realise what had happened I looked round but too late to do anything significant. By this point I was to put it mildly, raging, and heading toward who I thought the assailant was. At this point, Northumbria’s finest pinned me, now I won’t lie, I was absolutely raging and my language was not gentlemanly to say the least.
Two officers then took me to one side and threatened me with arrest for inciting trouble, asking me why I was in that area, wanting to see my season ticket. This just made things worse and I am fairly sure the bracelets would have come out had a fellow Newcastle fan not come over and told the Police what had happened, if this fan happens to be reading then I owe him some thanks, just at the time I was too annoyed and angry to acknowledge.
After I calmed down, the Police said it would all be on CCTV if I wish to make a complaint. I look forward to seeing those images for sure as the attack was unprovoked, I hope Newcastle United chief of security Steve Storey reads this as he will be contacted on Tuesday morning, anyway the police took my details and I await them getting in touch.
Another officer in attendance pointed out to his colleagues that there was a ‘known high risk’ group of Liverpool fans in the area, which I find interesting as well, just another little group of lovable scouse rascals!
So instead of getting in early to see the flag, I actually missed the kick off and then raged for the rest of the game! I actually had two very nervous Liverpool fans close to me which I had no problem with – talking with them at half time I just told them to keep a lid on it which they did
So the match. Well it was hell for leather from start to finish and you have to acknowledge Liverpool are a great team, however they do throw themselves to the floor a lot, and it is not just Mo Salah! They always have space in midfield and seem to attack quickly in numbers which is attractive on the eye.
I thought however that all the Liverpool goals were preventable and the last one is so unjust that it beggars belief. Our first goal, should their player be sent off? In my eyes yes! He stopped a goal with his hand, the fact we scored seconds later is irrelevant, it was a different phase of play. Our strong point this season has been our back line and I thought we gifted them goals one and two but hey they owe us nothing as they have been outstanding.
We were industrious today and Perez again was outstanding, I swear that if his shot that rattled the bar had gone in, the whole ground would exploded. There were good performances from many and again I have to say Manquillo was outstanding.
Will Liverpool win the league? I really don’t care about them or Man City, they are irrelevant to me, only my club counts, end of!
Given that each Liverpool goal saw pockets of trouble break out in all parts of the ground, suggests plenty Newcastle fans took the money on offer. I was offered £1200 for mine so I don’t blame folk for that, however, I suspect some season tickets may be revoked next year if you sold to the wrong type of fan, only time will tell.
The full time whistle saw the odious Jordan Henderson being over exuberant, I don’t blame him when the Love of his Life is going to struggle to even win the play offs in the Mickey Mouse league they currently play in! Liverpool celebrated while the Newcastle players rightly took the adulation of the adoring crowd, Rafa with a noticeable huge smile!
A lap of ‘whatever it is’ took place where the love for Rafa is reinforced over and over, yes a few left before the lap started but the finishing time was stupid o clock and people had trains and buses to catch.
The season is not yet over but we all want to know whether he will stay, if you want my opinion I believe he will, I think compromise is close and if so then we can look forward to a brighter future, here is hoping.
Oh yeah, I just saw the pictures of the flag, magnificent is the only word I can use and well done to all who donated and were involved.
Have a great week all
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 2 Liverpool 3
Atsu 20, Rondon 54
van Dijk 13, Salah 28, Origi 86
Possession was Liverpool 69% Newcastle 31%
Total shots were Liverpool 11 Newcastle 14
Shots on target were Liverpool 4 Newcastle 7
Corners were Liverpool 3 Newcastle 2
Referee: Andre Marriner
Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar (Muto 90+1, Lascelles, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden, Ki, Atsu, Perez, Rondon
Darlow, Barreca, Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Fernandez
Crowd: 52,206 ,587 (3,200+ Liverpool)
(Read NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match HERE)
(Rafa Benitez sends message to Mike Ashley after emotional night/game against Liverpool – Read HERE)
(Jurgen Klopp blown away by the game and atmosphere – Read it HERE)
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