Liverpool Hit Six As Pardew Feels The Bite – Newcastle United 0 Liverpool 6 – Match Report and Reaction

St James' Park-Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

St James’ Park-Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side were humbled at home by a Brendan Rodgers team seemingly galvanized by the 10-game suspension of star striker Luis Suarez. It was one-way traffic from the off and an early goal by Daniel Agger opened the floodgates that didn’t close until Jordan Henderson completed the scoring on 76 minutes. France international Mathieu Debuchy was dismissed in a game after which Newcastle were roundly booed off the pitch – by the supporters who remained till the end. Many had already left, voting with their feet about a Manager whom the majority of Newcastle fans now want to leave the club. Only three weeks ago, Newcastle were riding high in the Last 8 of The Europa League yet the wind has been truly blown from their sails - for now.

Alan Pardew dropped last week’s goalscorer Yoan Gouffran and ignored the claims of Hatem Ben Arfa, who had declared himself 100% fit before kick-off. Instead, a defensive-minded midfield saw Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez and James Perch in the same line-up to the chagrin of the Geordie faithful. Liverpool replaced banned biter Suarez with Daniel Sturridge. The controversy seemed to focus and energise Liverpool who were all over Newcastle like a rash from the off. A succession of corners and failure to clear their lines led to the opening goal. Daniel Agger seized upon hesitant and disorganised Newcastle defending to head in a hopeful lofted ball into the box.

Former Sunderland man Jordan Henderson made it 2-0 after 17 minutes. Playmaker Phillipe Coutinho, given the freedom of St. James’ all day, thrust a rapier-like pass to Sturridge who found Henderson unmarked in the area to tap home past Elliot. Newcastle were shell-shocked yet stayed in the game for the remainder of the half despite having half of the team booked for misdemeanors. Sturridge and Debuchy were given yellows for squaring up to each other.

Tiote was looking sharpest of the home central midfield after a disappointing season of injury and false starts. He fed Cisse with an excellent ball on the half hour yet the Senegal striker wasted the opportunity. James Perch went closest to grabbing a goal for The Magpies after a dashing run down the left-wing from Massadio Haidara yet the utility man put his header well wide of the target.

Ben Arfa and Gouffran replaced Gutierrez and Perch at half-time, a decision that every watching Newcastle fan would have made, yet it didn’t affect the score-line. Ben Arfa, playing too deep in midfield rather than in the no. 10 role he would surely thrive in, was pushed off the ball by Henderson, fairly said referee Andre Marriner. He fed Coutinho whose excellent chipped pass was smashed into the net by Sturridge as Newcastle chased shadows.

Newcastle had a penalty appeal turned down after a Ben Arfa pile driver was handled by Lucas in the area yet it was four to Liverpool on the hour. Gerrard played a ball over the top to Henderson who had the simple task of squaring it to Sturridge to tap home..

The fifth soon followed. Coutinho was having the game of his life. His quick pass to Downing saw the ex-Middlesbrough winger beat Haidara before Borini’s smart finish. Debuchy then dived into Coutinho venting the frustration of the crowd and picked up a deserved second yellow card and walked.

From the resulting free-kick, Henderson’s cross-cum-shot bounced into the corner of Robbie Elliot’s net that summed up the day for Newcastle. Only an excellent save by the Newcastle keeper from a fierce long-range effort from Coutinho kept the score from being 7-0.

Newcastle fans will take scant consolation from the worst home defeat since 1925 or the fact that the Geordies went on to win the English top flight title the season after that in 1926/7.

Brendan Rodgers paid tribute to 20 year-old Brazilian starlet Coutinho who had the game of his life and hailed the most impressive Liverpool win of his tenure:

“I think he was born with a football at his feet… It’s been a difficult week, as a group and a club. Luis (Suarez) was wrong with what he did, we accept it and we move on…Coming to Newcastle who have everything to play for and need 3 points, we knew we had to be at our top level today and we were.”

Alan Pardew also told the BBC:

“We got a bad start and we never recovered from that. In the 3 games left, we have get four or five points to make sure we’re safe and come out fighting and we need to do that at West Ham… We really completely lost our way today in terms of the scoreline today – for sure…”

Man of the Match: Phillippe Coutinho

Newcastle : (4-3-3): Elliot; Debuchy, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara; Perch (Sub: Ben Arfa 45), Tiote (Sub: Anita 65)  Cabaye (c); Sissoko, Cisse, Gutierrez (Sub: Gouffran 45)

Liverpool : (4-2-3-1): Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique; Lucas, Gerrard (c) (Sub: Borini 72) ; Downing, Henderson, Coutinho (Sub: Suso 84); Sturridge (Shelvey,84)

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