Premier League - Newcastle beat Liverpool
Sat, 11 Dec 19:23:00 2010
Alan Pardew's managerial reign at Newcastle United got off to a great start as his new side beat Liverpool 3-1 in the Premier League clash at St James' Park.
Hundreds of Newcastle fans protested against Pardew's appointment outside the ground before the match, and sections of the home crowd chanted "get out of our club" at owner Mike Ashley in the opening stages, but those dissenters were quietened 15 minutes in when Kevin Nolan put their side ahead.
That goal was cancelled out five minutes after half-time by a fortuitous effort from Dirk Kuyt, but Joey Barton capitalised on a defensive error by Martin Skrtel with 10 minutes remaining to regain the lead. Andy Carroll put the gloss on the result with a fabulous strike from distance in injury time.
The win ends Newcastle's five-match winless run which led to Chris Hughton's sacking, and move the Magpies above Liverpool into eighth on goal difference.
With a quarter of an hour gone, Newcastle took the lead. Joey Barton floated a free-kick to Andy Carroll at the far post and the big striker nodded the ball down to Nolan, who steered it past Pepe Reina from close range. The Newcastle captain - on his return from injury - was in an offside position when he received the ball, but the flag stayed down and the boyhood Liverpool fan registered his eighth league goal of the season.
Liverpool saw most of the ball in the opening stages, with Sotirios Kyrgiakos stinging the palms of Newcastle keeper Tim Krul after 10 minutes.
Carroll drilled a strike from 20 yards right at Reina, before Jose Enrique cleared Raul Meireles's deflected effort off the line at the other end.
Kyrgiakos had the best chance of the half for Liverpool just before the break, but he could only steer his header from a corner wide of the far post.
Liverpool finally found their way through the Newcastle defence five minutes after half-time thanks to a lucky break. Sol Campbell's attempt at a headed interception put the ball at Kuyt's feet, and the Dutchman surged into the area before hitting a shot that clipped Steven Taylor's leg and snuck past Krul into the net.
With Liverpool level the match began to open up. The visitors caught Newcastle off guard with a quick free-kick sent up to Torres, who brought the diagonal ball down but saw his shot blocked by the advancing Krul.
Carroll sent a free header over the bar after an excellent cross from Barton before Torres flashed a decent low drive from the edge of the box just past the post.
As time wore on, however, it was Newcastle who emerged as the side more likely to find a winner.
Martin Skrtel had been exposed as a weak link in the Liverpool back line on several occasions, and finally one of his errors proved costly. The Slovakian defender made a hash of trying to clear a Carroll flick-on and Barton was on hand to prod the ball past Reina.
Having had a hand in the first two goals, Carroll got one of his own in injury time when he was given all the time and space he needed to turn 25 yards from goal and fire a clinical low strike that gave Reina no chance into the bottom corner.
This win in isolation will not be enough to dissolve the ill-feeling felt by so many Newcastle fans towards the club's hierarchy, but it might go some way to them accepting Pardew as the manager.Tony Mabert / Eurosport