Newcastle Utd 1: Robert 70
Final Update: 90mins (3pm kick off)
United: Given, Carr, Boumsong, Bramble, Hughes, Dyer (Butt 87), Bowyer (Jenas 77), Faye, Robert, Shearer, Ameobi (Kluivert 67) Subs (not used): Milner, Harper
Liverpool: Carson, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Pellegrino (Le Tallec 82), Riise, Gerrard, Garcia, Biscan, Baros (Warnock 87), Smicer (Nunez 75) Subs (not used): Dudek, Welsh
GRAEME Souness had to make one change to the side that beat Bolton last weekend, with Aaron Hughes replacing the injured Celestine Babayaro at left back.
Patrick Kluivert had to make do with a place on the bench as the manager kept faith with Shola Ameobi alongside Alan Shearer in attack.
Liverpool, last weekend's beaten Carling Cup finalists, handed a debut to goalkeeper Scott Carson while Milan Baros got the nod ahead of Harry Kewell after being dropped at the Millennium Stadium.
After Shearer was presented with an award by Souness prior to kick off in recognition of his 250 Premiership goals, Newcastle kicked off attacking the Gallowgate End.
Shearer won a corner off Pellegrino on six minutes after a break down the right wing, but Robert's inswinger was hit too hard and it drifted out of play for a goal kick on the far side.
Gerrard saw a shot skim off Boumsong for a corner on eight minutes, but again the ball ended up going out for a goal kick.
Robert had a cross headed away by Pellegrino on 10 minutes after good work from Ameobi who weaved his way into the box, then Bowyer sliced a half volley into the Gallowgate when the ball bounced up for him 22 yards out.
Robert tried his luck with a free kick from at least 45 yards on the quarter hour mark, but his effort diverted off Ameobi for a goal kick.
At the other end Bramble got a foot in to take the ball off the Baros and concede a corner on the Liverpool right, and when Gerrard swung the ball in Hughes headed away for another flag kick which came to nothing.
Pellegrino got in the way of an Ameobi hedaer when Robert cross from the left on 20 minutes, but the corner that followed was easily dealt with.
Bowyer had two half chances in quick suiccession after Robert made space out wide but Liverpool cleared on both occasions, then the Frenchman had a shot deflected off Pellegrino for a right wing corner as The Magpies continued to press. When the corner came in Dyer had a shot that was blocked and Boumsong's clever backheel was blocked just before the line by Hyypia.
Faye then sent in a good emasured cross for Ameobi but the striker couldn't find the space to get in a strike at goal on 27 minutes, then after another corner Biscan had to sweep the ball to safety when Ameobi got on the end of Robert's inswinger.
The towering striker then saw another header go just over the bar when Carr whipped the ball in, then faye got the first caution of the game on 33 minutes for a foul on Biscan inside the centre circle. Moments later Robert was booked for a foul on Finnan in front of the East Stand.
Bowyer got in a great block to get in the way of a shot from Biscan on 34 minutes, then Boumsong conceded a corner but Gerrad's low cross was cleared and when The Magpies broke quickly Robert just failed to keep a pass from Shearer in play and Liverpool regained possession with a free kick.
Garcia saw a dipping shot on the turn loop just over Given's crossbar two minutes before the interval, and there were no further chances in the one minute of time added on as the half ended goalless.
Robert had the first attempt of the second period with a 25 yard effort that flashed well wide of Carson's right hand upright, then at the other end Garcia dragged a low shot wide from similar distance as the heavens opened at St. James' Park.
On 55 minutes Robert fired wide from a free kick 30 yards out, then Dyer appeared to be tripped by Hyypia as he tried to cut through the mioddle but the referee allowede play to continue.
Gerrard was cautioned on 57 minutes for a foul on Boumsong, then Robert had a corner cleared as United trioed to press to break the deadlock.
On 67 minujtes newcastle made a switch, with Ameobi making way for Patrick Kluivert.
Pellegrino's foul on Shearer gave United a free kick right on the corner of the right hand edge of the box, and Robert bent the ball into the far corner to score a goal exactly like the one that beat Liverpool on New Year's Day two years ago.
Smicer was booked for a foul on Carr on 74 minutes, then a minute later Rafa Benitez made a change with Nunex coming on for Smicer.
On 77 minutes Bowyer was replaced by Jermaine Jenas after an excellent shift in midfield, then with eight minutes left Liverpool threw on Le Tallec to boost their attack in place of Pellegrino.
Robert fired wide from another long range free kick on 83 minutes, then on 87 minutes.Nicky Butt replaced Dyer and Warnock coame on for Baros for the visitors.
Kluivert should have wrapped the game up when he outmuscled Carragher on the edge of the box after Shearer's flick on in the final minute, but his shot rolled wide of the target.
Three minutes of time were added on at the end, and the hearts were in the mouths when Gerrard broke through on goal down the inside right channel buit thankfully his effort was off target as United held onto the three points.