Liverpool crush Newcastle to take fifth place

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Goals from Maxi Rodriguez, Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez helped resurgent Liverpool move into fifth place in the Premier League after a crushing 3-0 win over Newcastle at Anfield on Sunday.

The build-up to this game was all about Liverpool striker Andy Carroll and whether he would start against his old club, but that issue was overshadowed by a brilliant performance from Kenny Dalglish’s team.

The victory never really seemed in doubt as the Reds jumped above Tottenham into fifth place on goal difference.

They now hold the Europa League spot, although Spurs still have a game in hand against Manchester City.

Carroll moved from Newcastle in a ?5 million move at the end of the January transfer window, but he was not fit enough to start this encounter against his old side because of a knee injury picked up in the recent draw with Arsenal.

Newcastle have struggled for goals since Carroll left but have still done enough to avoid getting sucked into the perilous relegation battle that has affected so many sides in perhaps the tightest ever Premier League.

This was still not a good time for Newcastle to be visiting Anfield however as Alan Pardew’s men have won only one of their last seven away league matches and that was back in February against Birmingham.

During that similar timeframe, Liverpool interim manager Dalglish has remained unbeaten at Anfield following his return to the club in January as Roy Hodgson’s temporary replacement.

A run that had brought 27 points from a possible 39 before this game means it is just a matter of time until Dalglish is rubberstamped as the permanent Liverpool manager.

The rejuvenating affect he has had at Liverpool was again evident in this encounter as Rodriguez grabbed his fourth goal in just two games within 10 minutes of the opening.

Mike Williamson’s poor headed clearance landed at the midfielder’s feet and he rifled past Tim Krul, courtesy of a deflection off Danny Simpson.

The goal followed the hat-trick he scored against Birmingham last week as Rodriguez’s recent form mirrors the general improvement that has taken place at Anfield since Dalglish took the reins.

A Shola Ameobi header was well blocked by Dirk Kuyt as Liverpool defended in numbers, while a Kevin Nolan effort also flew over Pepe Reina’s crossbar as Pardew’s side struggled to find a decisive finish.

Straight after the interval, Joey Barton had Newcastle’s best chance to equalise when he was unmarked at the back post, but he side-footed tamely wide.

A Rodriguez cross ended up hitting the bar after 56 minutes but Krul’s blushes were saved as it bounced away to safety.

However, Liverpool soon benefited thanks to some great vision from goalkeeper Reina and the hard work of Suarez.

Reina banged a huge kick downfield which Suarez chased and although his efforts appeared to be in vain, he brilliantly wrestled the ball from Williamson who then fouled him in the box and that allowed Kuyt to convert from the penalty spot.

Liverpool were not finished there either as Newcastle fell to pieces at the back just five minutes after Kuyt’s goal.

That allowed Suarez to grab a goal that his work-rate and enthusiasm deserved with a cool finish from Kuyt’s pass.

Carroll then appeared from the bench and was repeatedly booed by his fans of his former club.

But the manner of Liverpool’s victory gave Carroll the final bragging rights.

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