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Andy C Legs Newcastle Report, April 2015

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:00 pm
by andy c legs
Newcastle Utd H
Coutinho Steals the Show.
Just prior to the game there was an impeccable one minute silence observed, in memory of the 96 Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough.
On the pitch, the home side lined-up in a loose 4-4-2  formation with Lovren and Can as a centre-back pairing. Moreno and Johnson occupied the full-back positions. Coutinho played almost behind Sterling, as Ibe occupied the right wing, on his return from injury.
Newcastle did not start very well and after a little while, the home side got into some sort of rhythm and after 9 minutes, scored the opening goal.
A cross-field ball by Henderson, just outside the left of the Newcastle area, found Sterling who cut inside the area and jinked his way into a shooting position. He let fly with a low, right foot shot, which flew into the bottom left hand corner of Kruhl’s goal! It was a majestic strike and calmed any Liverpool nerves.
On 12 minutes Moreno was found, following a long ball and his shot, from inside the 6 yard box, was saved by a grateful Kruhl, down at his left post. Moreno could have done better.
The reds were playing some delightful attacking stuff and Coutinho was the architect of most of it. In the 21st minute, the little Brazilian showed that he could be worth a bumper contract, when he sneaked into the left of Kruhl’s area and fired across an inviting ball which Sterling failed to get his toe end on.
Three minutes later, a bustling Ibe was fouled outside the area and from Henderson’s free-kick, Coutinho could only produce a dribbled shot which was followed quickly up by Sterling, who made Kruhl produce another save.
Coutinho was enjoying himself so much that he then produced a deft back-heel, as he was surrounded by a cul-de-sac of defenders, just inside the area. If Liverpool are to secure anyone’s long term future then it surely must be his, for when he shines, the whole team does.
For all the home team’s dominance, they failed to add to their slender lead and on 30 minutes the visitors, under caretaker boss, John Carver, paid notice that they too were in the game. From Obertan’s cross on Liverpool’s right, Mignolet, up to then a spectator, saved a close range shot, which went down his throat.
On 35 minutes Ibe won another free-kick. Henderson again took it and delivered a good ball in which Lucas, of all people, powerfully headed. For all intents and purposes it had ‘Goal’ written all over it but Kruhl produced a rabbit out of the hat trick, with a superb reflex save, tipping the ball over the Anfield Road bar, with his left outstretched arm.
On 37 minutes Liverpool had their hearts in their mouth’s as Newcastle were denied a clear penalty, after a rash challenge by Lovren on Perez
went un-punished. As the Kop held it’s collective breath, the ref waved play-on. It was a real let-off.
Liverpool responded with Ibe having an effort, from in the 6 yard box go just over Kruhl’s left hand post and Coutinho had another mazzy dribble through the middle, leaving defenders in his slip-stream but there was no end product as his final ball to Henderson, did not match the build-up play.
Just before the break, the Kop again nearly cringed when Perez was allowed a criminally free header which Mignolet was alert to, tipping the ball away for a corner, to his right post. Then Abeid shot high over, from a good position.
It was Liverpool who were happy to see half-time come, as they held onto their early lead.
Half-time:- Liverpool 1 v Newcastle Utd 0.
The away side showed more fighting spirit just after the break as Mignolet was again called on to show his reflexes as he punched the ball away, for a corner. The visitors were threatening and Liverpool needed another goal.
They should have scored it in the 56th minute as Henderson burst down the reds right and flung in a low cross which was not cleared by Taylor. It left Sterling free in front of the goal and he contrived to put the ball to Khrul’s right post when half the Kop, and Rodgers, were already celebrating. It was as bad a miss as any (including ‘Rosie’s v Villa in 92).
Ibe, cup-tied for the up and coming semi on Sunday, was withdrawn for the forgotten Borini, who surely has no Anfield future? He looked buzy did the Italian but as so often is the case, without great effect.
Coutinho then put the after burners on to show more fleet of foot and beat not two, but three defenders but the move tailed off. Was it no wonder that he was voted man-of-the-match (though Mignolet would surely figure in the running?).
On 66 minutes, both sets of supporters warmly applauded the introduction of Newcastle’s Gutierrez for Obertan, for the player had beaten Gesticular cancer.
In the 69th minute, the home side all but sealed the three points.
From Henderson’s corner, on Kruhl’s left, the ball was not cleared and was played square by Can. It fell to the un-likely Joe Allen whose initial shot rebounded off fellow Welshman Williamson and with lightening Suarezesque reactions, Allen rifled the ball into the right-hand side netting of Kruhl’s goal! It was an excellent strike and it marked Allen’s first goal at Anfield. 2-0.
On 72 minutes, from Coutinho’s corner on the home sides left, Lovren put a powerful header just over and eight minutes later the visitor’s night got worse when Sissoko went in dangerously on Lucas to earn himself a second yellow and subsequent red card. It really had not been that sort of game.
In the last five minutes Henderson put another decent ball in from a set-piece to put Sterling clean through. However, the youngster, still to sign a contract extension and having been caught smoking something illegal in the week, fluffed his lines and put the ball clean over the bar!
With three minutes left Rodgers made another pointless substitution bringing on Lambert for Sterling. Surely it would have been better to have brought ‘Lambo’ on much earlier and rested Sterling much more ahead of Sunday?
Full-time:- Liverpool 2 v Newcastle Utd 0.
Win put LFC back into 5th place, 4 points behind 4th placed Man City, who have a far superior goal difference. Southampton are 6th.
Other results:-
Man U 4 v Man City 2, QPR 0 V Chelsea 1; Burnley 0 v Arsenal 1; Spurs 0 v Villa 1, Swansea 1 v Everton 1; Sunderland 1 v Palace 4; WBA 2 v Leicester 3.