|image via guardian.com|
Liverpool picked up all three points at Anfield on Monday evening as goals from Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen gave the Reds their win. As the tabloids concern themselves with the extremely dangerous consequences of youngsters and helium balloons, Brendan Rodgers will surely be pleased with his side’s result as he aims to chase down Manchester City.
The game began with a poignant minutes silence to mark 26 years since the Hillsborough disaster. The minute was impeccably observed by both fans and the fight continues for justice for the 96.
The game got off to a very good start for Liverpool who quickly opened the scoring at Anfield in just eight minutes. A sublime finish from Raheem Sterling left Krul with no chance after he weaved his way into the box brushing defenders aside with ease. A goal was just what Sterling needed I think as no matter what is happening with his contract at the end of the day he’s just been a bit daft, he’s a young talented footballer and doesn’t need his own fans getting on his back, certainly not while he’s still at the club!
Scoring so early in the game, it looked as though Liverpool had got this one all wrapped up however things quickly began to slip for the Reds. Despite bags of chances and a lot of pressure on the Newcastle net, without an out and out striker Liverpool were struggling to convert. As the likes of Coutinho and Sterling continued to fall short of the end product Newcastle began to grow in confidence. Simon Mignolet was called into action on a couple of occasions but the scoreline didn’t change at the end of the first half.
The second half saw the Magpies continue their positive pressure, attempts from Obertan and Abeid early on ensured Liverpool had to remain alert.
Just before the hour mark Brendan Rodgers opted to bring on Fabio Borini. Now as we know, I’m all for playing a striker but to be honest I couldn’t understand why he didn’t just chuck on Rickie Lambert instead here. Luckily, it didn’t matter who Rodgers brought on because eventually Liverpool got their act together and found themselves a second goal.
Not before another humbling moment at Anfield though as Newcastle made a substitution bringing on Gutierrez for Obertan. After battling cancer and returning to football Gutierrez received a standing ovation from all in the ground and it was fantastic to see.
A few minutes after the substitution and Liverpool had scored their second goal of the game courtesy of Joe Allen. A shot from the centre of the box allowed the midfielder to celebrate with his teammates but this goal was definitely a big one. It felt like it was only a matter of time before Newcastle would equalise and dash any glimmer of hope left at grasping 4th.
The final real moment of note in the game was a horrific challenge by Sissoko on Lucas. Already booked for playing handbags with Glen Johnson, Sissoko went in with a rash challenge, studs up and straight into Lucas’ shin. It was bloody horrible. How he wasn’t given a straight red instead of a second yellow I don’t know but the main thing is, Lucas is ok.
It was an important win for the Reds who have to stay positive as you simply don’t know what will happen at the end of the season. Manchester City are capable of slipping but the Reds need to be on top form themselves.
Next up for Liverpool is the small matter of Aston Villa at Wembley in the FA Cup semi final!