MATCH REPORTS

Magpies Misery

liverpool action

Liverpool v Newcastle Utd
Barclays Premiership
Anfield
Monday December 26 2005
Kick off 3pm

NEWCASTLE'S recent revival came to a shuddering halt at Anfield on Boxing Day as The Magpies lost 2-0 on a miserable afternoon on Merseyside.

Steven Gerrard opened the scoring after14 minutes, taking a touch to beat Steven taylor before rifling past Shay Given.

Given pulled off an amazing save to deny Harry Kewell midway through the half, but he was beaten in the dying stages of the first period when Peter Crouch's header came off the post and crept off the line beyond the grasp of the goalkeeper.

United rarely threatened all afternoon, and to add to their woes Lee Bowyer was red carded for a foul on Xabi Alonso just after the hour mark, and Steven Taylor left the field with what looked to be a recurrence of his shoulder injury.

SECOND HALF ACTION UPDATES

90+3m Morientes heads at Given after a cross from Pongolle

89m Ameobi plays the ball in to Shearer, and when he feeds Solano on the right the Peruvian's low cross is cleared

88m Gerrard shoots wide again as Liverpool press for a third goal.

87m Gerrard shoots over the bar after Morientes made the space to create a shooting opportunity for his skipper.

86m Luque is replaced by Shola Ameobi

82m Liverpool get forward through Gerrard and he feeds Cisse who had pulled away from Boumsong, but Given made a superb save to claw the ball away.

79m Josemi replaces Finnan

75m Alonso's forward ball to Cisse results in the French striker firing into the Kop.

72m Crouch is replaced by Cisse

70m Gerrard delivers a left wing corner to the far side of the penalty area, where Finnan lays it back into the path of Alonso and his low 25 yard drive is held by Given.

67m Kewell is replaced by Pongolle

65m BOWYER RED CARD Pandemonium breaks out after Bowyer catches Alonso late near the dug outs. Ugly scenes involving players from both sides follow, and Crouch races over the push Bowyer to the ground. When order is restored, Bowyer is shown a straight red card - the second season in a row he has been dismissed at Anfield - then Crouch is booked for his part in the fracas..

63m Solano plays the ball into owen, but he is well shadowed by Carragher and has to settle for a corner. Liverpool half clear the flag kick, and when Luque crosses back in The Reds eventually clear.

61m Garcia's clever flick sends Finnan away down the right, but Bramble gets ahead of crouch to boot the ball away.

60m Solano plays the ball into the path of Shearer inside the box, and he immediately turns and shoots but his angled effort goes wide

57m Bowyer makes a good last ditch tackle on Gerrard as he tries to break forward, and Given races out to clear the danger.

50m Liverpool have loud appeals for a spot kick waved away when Solano appeared to handle Morientes' header on the line after a left wing corner from Garcia.

46m Souness makes a change, with Charles N'Zogbia being replaced by Nobby Solano. Solano moves over to the right, with Bowyer slotting into the middle.

FIRST HALF ACTION UPDATES

45+1m Garcia should have made it 3-0 with the last kick of the half, but he couldn't keep his shot down from inside the six yard boix after Crouch had expertly controlled a cross from Morientes and turned Boumsong to fashion the chance.

43m LIVERPOOL GOAL Kewell's cross is headed downwards by Crouch towards the bottom corner, and although Given manages to get a hand to the ball to push it onto the post, but as it rolls back past him it just crosses the line before either the goalkeeper or Bramble could clear. The referee's assistant flags for a goal and TV replays prove the decision to be correct.

40m Kewell wins two corners on the Liverpool left off Ramage. The first sees Hyypia send a header straight at Given, and the second comes to nothing.

36m Kewell releases Gerrard down the left, and he drills the ball across to Garcia 25 yards out, but he fired high and wide.

30m Boumsong fails to deal with a long ball downfield which allows Morientes to steer it into the path of Garcia. The Spaniard goes past Babayaro on the edge of the box and is pushed over by the left back, who gives away a free kick in a dangerous position on the dee. Gerrard's low strike around the Newcastle wall is superbly pushed away Given who dives low to his left, and when Finnan fires the ball across the face of goal Bramble clears.

28m Agony for Steven Taylor as he is hurt in an aerial clash with Morientes. It looks as though it is a receurrence of his shoulder problem, and he is substituted by Titus Bramble in the 29th minute.

24m Luque has time and space on the left to cross for Owern, and Riise has to get back to nod the ball away for a corner from inside his six yard bos. Reina has to back pedal and tip Luque's inswinging corner over his bar for another flag kick on the left. This time the Spaniard's set piece goes out of play.

20m Kewell shows great skill to skip past former Leeds team mate Bowyer on the left wing, then cuts inside Ramage before crossing for Crouch. His downward header was booted to safety by Taylor.

18m Bowyer's free kick is flicked on by Faye on the edge of the box, but Liverpool manage to clear their lines through Hyypia.

16m Shearer back heels the ball into the path of Bowyer, and his cross across the face of goal is gathered by Reina who got there ahead of Owen in the middle.

14m LIVERPOOL GOAL Crouch lays the ball into the path of Gerrard after a cross from Garcia. The Reds skipper takes a touch to go past Taylor before drilling the ball past Given.

13m Faye is lectured by referee Mark Halsey after a foul On Gerrard, but escapes without a caution.

11m Luque's diagonal ball for Owen is overhit, then moments later Ramage's attaempt at a cross loops into the arms of Reina.

08m Luque floats in a deep cross from the left which Reina punches clear from the edge of the box ahead of Shearer. The ball is worked back to Owen and he wins a free kick when he is fouled by Riise, but Luque's delivery is immediately cleared.

06m Owen is booed by The Kop when he gets his first touch of the ball down the inside right channel.

05m Given makes a great block to save at the feet of Moreientes after the striker skipped between Taylor and Boumsong. Faye put the loose ball out for a corner when Moreientes tried to head it back into the middle, and when flag kick was played short, Alonso crossed to the back post where Crouch rose to head into the path of Kewell and his well struck effort was somehow kept out by Given. The ball eventually fell to Gerrard on the far side of the box, but he drilled the effort wide.

03m Kewell has the first strike at goal, but his effort from Morientes' pass after a flick on by Crouch was well off target.

00m Liverpool get the game underway, with Newcastle attacking the Kop End.

TEAM NEWS

GRAEME Souness rang the changes for the Boxing Day clash with Liverpool at Anfield, making no fewer than five changes to the side that won 4-2 at West Ham in their last outing.

One of those changes was enforced due to Scott Parker's one-match suspension, so Charles N'Zogbia returned from a broken hand to line up in the centre of midfield.

Steven Taylor was fit to return after his shoulder problem, so he replaced Titus Bramble in the centre of defence, while Celestine Babayaro was recalled at left back in plkace of Robbie Elliott.

Nobby Solano and Shola Ameobi were the other two players to drop out, with their places on the right and left flanks respectively being taken by Lee Bowyer and Albert Luque.

Solano, Bramble, Ameobi and Elliott all had to be content with places on the substitutes bench alongside regular goalkeeping number two, Steve Harper.

Liverpool, in Premiership action for the first time since December 10 when they played host to Middlesbrough, made two changes to the side that won that match 2-0, with John Arne Riise and Peter Crouch replacing Stephen Warnock and Mohammed Sissoko.

TEAMS

Newcastle United: Shay Given, Peter Ramage , Jean Alain Boumsong, Steven Taylor (Titus Bramble 28), Celestine Babayaro, Lee Bowyer, Charles N'Zogbia (Nobby Solano 46), Amady Faye, Albert Luque (Shola Ameobi 86), Alan Shearer, Michael Owen
Subs (not used): Steve Harper, Robbie Elliott

Liverpool: Jose Reina, Steve Finnan (Josemi 79), Sami Hyypia, Jamie Carragher, John Arne Riise, Harry Kewell (Florent Sinama-Pongolle 67), Steven Gerrard, Luis Garcia, Xabi Alonso, Peter Crouch (Djibril Cisse 72), Fernando Morientes
Subs (not used): Scott Carson, Stephen Warnock

Referee: Mark Halsey

Attendance: 44,197

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