WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 2006
Live match commentary on Newcastle World TV, followed by highlights and exclusive interviews
Ian Willis reports
UNITED went down 2-0 at Anfield on Wednesday evening with Dirk Kuyt and Xabi Alonso doing the damage with a goal in each half.
The Magpies had kept their hosts quiet in the opening exchanges, but Kuyt broke the deadlock just before the half hour when he poked home a low cross from Steve Finnan from close range.
After the break, Newcastle were infuriated to see two penalty appeals from Shola Ameobi and another from Obafemi Martins flatly refused by referee Mark Halsey.
Liverpool sealed the points 11 minutes from time with a goal that is sure to be replayed time and time again as Xabi Alonso launched the ball goalwards from 60 yards, and an unfortunate slip from Steve Harper six yards out meant he could only watch the ball sail into the Kop net.
90+3 N'Zogbia won a corner on the left, but Liverpool cleared their lines as the game petered out.
90m Three minutes of time were added on at the end, and with one minute of that elapsed Rossi tried to get in behind Carragher but Liverpool cleared.
86m Mark Gonzalez replaced Steven Gerrard for Liverpool.
84m Parker fouled Alonso 25 yards out. A short free kick was played to Gerrard, and his low curler was saved by Harper. Newcastle broke to the other end and N'Zogbia swung in a cross from the left which saw Sibierski send a diving header wide.
82m Newcastle replaced Ameobi with Sibierski in their third and final change, while at the same time Liverpool sent on Crouch for Kuyt.
81m Parker volleyed over the top from 25 yards.
79m LIVERPOOL GOAL (2-0) Charles N'Zogbia was stopped in his tracks by Alonso midway inside the Liverpool half, and the Spaniard pushed it forward but was still a good 10 yards inside his own half when he launched an audacious effort towards the Kop goal. Harper was retreating to deal with it, but crucially slipped and lost his footing on his six-yard line and despite diving in vain he couldn't keep the ball out.
77m Martins was replaced by Giuseppe Rossi.
76m Aurelio's cross from the left saw Kuyt head wide.
74m Bellamy got down Liverpool's left and crossed low to the near post, and Babayaro bundled the ball behind for a corner with Liverpool claiming he had used an arm.
73m Gerrard cipped the ball up the right flank and Garcia stole in behind Ramage, but his shot came off the post as United had a lucky escape.
69m Charles N'Zogbia replaced James Milner. Moments later Craig Bellamy clattered into Steve Harper as he tried to clear a backpass, but there was no booking.
67m Parker won a corner off Carragher that Emre delivered from the right, and after a scramble in the box Moore hooked the ball straight at Reina.
66m Parker did well on the United right to win a corner off Aurelio. Emre curled the ball in and Ramage leapt before the ball dropped to Duff, and his shot on the turn was straight at Reina.
62m Moore was booked for upending Kuyt 20 yards out just to right of centre, and when Aurelio swerved the ball up and over the wall Harper made a good diving save to turn the ball around his left hand upright. Gerrard's corner was flicked on by Garcia, but the ball ran for a throw in.
59m Newcastle won another corner after Emre's free kick from the right saw Ramage and Ameobi challenge in the air, but the ball went behind off a red shirt. Liverpool had a scare at the flag kick before Reina claimed it.
58m A long ball forward from Newcastle was won by Ameobi 20 yards out. Martins quickly picked up on it and tried a snapshot from 25 yards but his effort cleared the crossbar.
56m Ramage's clearance was charged down by Gerrard and Bellamy broke free into the box, but when he clipped the ball over Harper the ball drifted wide when it looked easier to score.
53m United won a free kick midway inside the Liverpool half on the left. Babayaro pumped it towards the box and Martins latched onto it on the edge of the box and fater going down under the challenge United won a free kick. Emre took the free kick, but his strike clipped the wall and went for a corner, which was cleared.
51m Ameobi picked up the ball on the inside right and cut in to shoot, and his effort hit the right arm of Carragher but again more loud penalty appeals were ignored. Moments later Martins picked up the ball on the opposite side of the box and his cross hit Carragher on the arm again, but this time a corner was given. The corner from the left was taken by Emre, Ramage headed goalwards but Reina saved.
50m Garcia popped up on the left flank and got to the byeline where he pulled the ball back to Kuyt, but he sidefooted wide across goal from 15 yards.
48m Liverpool won a free kick 30 yards out on the left. Alonso knocked the ball into the box, and Garcia used his hand to deflect it into the net but the referee spotted it and yellow carded the Spaniard.
47m Milner picked up the ball on the right level with the edge of the box and played in Emre, who flicked a header to Ameobi. He turned away from Agger and as he moved into a shooting position he claimed he was fouled, but mark Halsey waved away apot kick appeals.
46m A long ball from Gerrard on the right looked to play in Bellamy, but the flag was up for offside.
FIRST HALF UPDATES
45m Garcia got free down the Liverpool left and crossed to the far post where Gerrard controlled and saw his cross back into the middle blocked by Moore.
44m Bellamy won a corner on the right off Ramage. Gerrard floated the ball in deep, and Kuyt tried an ambitious overhead kick which flew high and wide.
42m Ameobi played in Milner on the right flank, and he got to the byeline before crossing deep into the middle. Martins got up for the header but it lacked power and ran through to the goalkeeper.
40m Ameobi did well to battle for possession on the right and he laid it off to Parker who broke forward. He tried to cross low for Martins, but Finnan came across to sweep the ball away to safety/
39m Parker saw Garcia's shot clip off him for a corner on the left, and when Aurelio swung the ball in Babayaro cleared. Duff tried to break, but he was chopped down by Carragher in the centre circle.
37m Moore had to head another cross from Finnan away from the edge of the box as Liverpool started to turn the screw going into the last few minutes of the first half.
35m Agger's long ball down the left saw Bellamy race away, and he was wiped out by Moore right in front of the travelling fans. Gerrard whipped the free kick into the near post, but Moore headed away.
33m Milner and Aurelio battled for possession down by the corner flag after Carr's ball down the channel, and the young winger was adjudged to have fouled his opponent so Liverpool regained the ball with a free kick.
29m LIVERPOOL GOAL (1-0) Alonso picked up possession wide on the right and laid it off to Finnan who had overlapped down the wing, and his low cross was poked home by Dirk Kuyt from close range.
29m Alonso's pass was intercepted by Emre and he laid it off to Duff, and when he moved forward and shot his drive was easy for the goalkeeper.
27m Garcia picked up thr ball 35 yards out and took a touch before getting his shot away, but Harper saved low to his right.
25m Parker got a great challenge in on Sissoko as he shaped to shoot 20 yards out, and when the loose ball fell for Alonso he picked out Gerrard and his low cross was easy for Harper. Newcastle broke quickly, and Milner did well against Aurelio to whip a cross in but Reina made the catch.
23m Babayaro's foul on Bellamy saw Liverpool awarded a free kick 25 yards out in a central position. Gerrard and Aurelio stood over the set piece, and Aurelio's left footer hit the wall and fell for Garcia but his shot on the turn was straight at Harper.
22m Aurelio pumped in a deep cross from left back, and Kuyt got up with Moore but headed straight at Harper.
21m Gerrard got away from Babayaro on the Liverpool right and crossed low where Moore chested the ball away from the edge of the area. The ball was then worked over to the left where it dropped for Aurelio, and his effort from distance was cut out by Parker.
20m Ameobi rose above Agger to get on the end of Harper's clearance, but Carragher got the flick on before Martins could get there. Moments later Emre's effort from 25 yards was easily dealt with by the Liverpool backline.
19m Sissoko dragged a 25 yard drive well wide of Harper's right hand upright after robbing Emre in the centre circle and creating space for a shot.
16m Bellamy tried to mount an attack from the right but was shackled by Ramage, and when United broke Alonso was fortunate to escape without a caution when he deliberately obstructed Milner as he tried to race away down the right.
13m Garcia turned in midfield and played Bellamy in down the left channel, but he fired straight at Harper from an acute angle.
13m Ameobi did well to control a high ball and turned inside Alonso and Aurelio, but he was unable to get a decent connection his shot and Liverpool cleared.
12m Moore robbed Kuyt on the halfway line and laid it off to Martins, but Aurelio intercepted his through ball which was intended for Ameobi.
10m Aurelio had to slide in to poke the ball out for a throw after Milner tried to skip past him on the United right when Ameobi flicked on a Harper clearance. The Magpies eventually won a corner when Babayaro picked up a loose ball and saw a low drive deflected wide. Duff took the set piece, and when Sissoko headed out as far as Parker the skipper saw his half volley saved by Reina.
7m Moore was adjudged to have clipped Aurelio to give the hosts a free kick on the left side about 25 yards out. Gerrad curled the ball into the danger area, but Ameobi stretched to head clear. When Liverpool regained possession, Kuyt laid a pass from Aurelio into the path of Sissoko but his cross was overhit.
4m Kuyt lofted a ball into the box after good work from Gerrard and Garcia, but Harper was again alert to come out and make an easy collection.
2m Liverpool's first attack saw Kuyt win the ball in the air from Moore, and when it dropped he turned and tried to release Gerrard but Harper was quick off his line to get there ahead of the England midfielder to clear downfield.
1m Liverpool got the game underway, with Kuyt and Bellamy starting the match with the hosts attacking the Anfield Road end where the travelling fans were housed. Carr played a ball down to Ameobi down the right channel, and Carragher shepherded the ball back to his goalkeeper Reina.
STEVE Harper made his first Premiership start for 18 months for Wednesday's game against Liverpool at Anfield.
Harper came in for Shay Given, who is still in a London hospital after picking up abdominal injuries in Sunday's 2-0 win over West Ham at Upton Park.
That change between the sticks was the only alteration to the side that won on Sunday, with Tim Krul replacing Harper on the bench.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was looking for his side to bounce back from successive defeats against Everton and Chelsea, and he named former Magpies striker Craig Bellamy in his starting line up alongside one-time United target Dirk Kuyt.
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Stephen Carr, Craig Moore, Peter Ramage, Celestine Babayaro, James Milner (Charles N'Zogbia 69), Emre, Scott Parker, Damien Duff, Shola Ameobi (Antoine Sibierski 82), Obafemi Martins (Giuseppe Rossi 77)
Subs (not used): Tim Krul, Nicky Butt
Liverpool: Jose Reina, Steve Finnan, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Fabio Aurelio, Luis Garcia, Steven Gerrard (Mark Gonzaelez 86), Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt (Peter Crouch)
Subs (not used): Jerzy Dudek, Sami Hyypia, Stephen Warnock
Referee: Mark Halsey