Magpies swoop for three points against Liverpool
Matt Haynes | December 6, 2015
Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool
- Lacklustre Liverpool come up short
- Wijnaldum gives Magpies welcome three points
- Benteke off the pace in front of goal
Newcastle responded to a poor recent run with a much-needed victory at St James’ Park against a Liverpool side high on confidence.
Frenetic Reds start
You would be forgiven for thinking there was ‘Fog On The Tyne’ in the first half of this highly anticipated match, obscuring both sides’ sights at goal, though on a serious note, the hosts could well have done with their former star and ex-wannabe popstar Paul Gascoigne on the field.
It was Jurgen Klopp’s side who started the brightest though and it was possibly their best opportunity to gain an advantage on the match, with Newcastle who will want as many points as they can get before a hectic Premier League festive schedule seemingly still in their dressing room. Heavy attacks kept the Magpies caged in for at least five minutes, though couldn’t make their possession count as both managers looked on.
Liverpool’s best chance of the half unquestionably fell to Christian Benteke, who snatched at a knockdown from a corner to lash over the crossbar, while on an earlier occasion he was nowhere to be seen as Alberto Moreno guided an inviting cushioned cross into the area.
Newcastle ease into match
The visitors’ majority of possession and territory restricted McClaren’s men to operating on the counter-attack and while they offered plenty of resistance they found it hard to carve out openings.
When Papiss Cisse seemed certain to score after pulling away from Nathaniel Clyne in the area, his delightful juggling display was redundant after flashing wide on the volley, though mainly because he was penalised for a push on the right back.
The best effort of the half for Newcastle was Chancel Mbemba’s header over the bar just before the interval, though Reds winger Jordan Ibe responded arrowing his effort just over as the whistle blew.
Despite this being pantomime season, Newcastle clearly hadn’t read the script. Many predicted a thrashing by Liverpool at St James’ Park, though with Georginio Wijnaldum deciding to ‘ad lib’, this certainly wasn’t the case.
Although Klopp’s men, 10/1 with Coral to win the Premier League, kept up their retention of possession, they couldn’t do anything with it and Benteke looked more and more sluggish as the game progressed.
Newcastle by contrast, seemed to be countering with purpose, and Wijnaldum’s late run into the area saw him connect with a cross, sidestep his marker and cannon a strike off Martin Skrtel and into the net.
Liverpool’s best chance to go level was when substitute Daniel Sturridge broke free from his marker, though isolating the goalkeeper, he could only drag his shot wide with it looking increasingly likely that it wouldn’t be the Reds’ day.
This was confirmed on the third minute of injury time, when Newcastle countered again and Wijnaldum latched onto a through ball to dink deliciously over Simon Mignolet into the net to seal the result.
An ideal early Christmas present for Newcastle fans and it probably won’t be long before they’re singing “Walking in Wijnaldum’s wonderland” on Tyneside.
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