This was a game to watch. A BIG ONE AT THAT! Quite a few story lines with Andy CRYoll returning to Tyneside, greeted by a flurry of "boos", as well the Magpies trying to hold onto the possibility of European football. I have never been anti-Liverpool, but I must admit that for the more neutral observer (Obviously speaking when they are NOT playing Newcastle) they are becoming a very easy team to pull against. Every quality plot needs a protagonist that everyone loves to hate, and the Premier League is no different. With their constant flopping (thanks for the laughs Andy) and the Suarez incident, it is very easy to find yourself cheering for them to fail.
As for the Newcastle, I thought they played incredibly well. Especially considering we were missing our captain. The 4-3-3 is beginning to figure itself out as the boys make room for each other's styles up top. I think we should all be excited going forward.
This week the boys weren't all a twitter, so I got some whines from some of the Reds as well as a few extra quotes. Hope you enjoy!
|Krul||6||Had a couple of reaction saves that were quite impressive early. One on a Carroll effort in the 9' was ideal. Found himself out of sorts in the 62' when he left his line and came running like a mad man. Luckily Perch cleared out the following effort. Let's just chalk that one up to him getting bored by a lack of Liverpool pressure, and give him a pass.|
|Guitierrez||5.5||A fan favorite week in and week out, but I'm affraid (though in theory it seems perfect) Spiderman is not a great LB. Maybe with some more experience, he would improve but for this match he was simply out of position too much to be considered as a mainstay back there. There is hope, however, as he has shown he can be a very solid on ball defender.|
Man of the match. He was magnificent. Did not seem to miss a tackle and always appeared at the last second to help out. Cleared a would be goal off the line which may have changed the game. Did he go down easily when Reina headbutted him? Yes, but the fact is that Reina headbutted him. There is a difference between a flop or dive (see and Carroll) and going down easy, when there is actually a foul committed. I guess he too offense to his rating last week as he played like a man possessed this week.
|Williamson||6.5||Some people seem to think he had a great game. I disagree. Going into the match, I felt like this game was tailor made for Williamson, as Liverpool lack pace and he can bang with the biggest. But somehow at times, he even made Andy Carroll look quick and technical. Everyone points out Carroll's dive but they forget that Carroll absolutely embarrassed Williamson in the open field to get free. Though Williamson did seem to grab hold of the game in the second half, it is only because to two near goals (a snap header right at Reina, and a chipped header off the post) that he has the rating that he does.|
|Simpson||6.5||I'm still gaining confidence in this man. Simpson, we are off your back. I am not saying he is magnificent, but he has now shown that when he can focus on one aspect of the game (defending or attacking), he can be an asset. There were claims for a handball on the corner kick, but I never saw an angle where I was convinced. He was not on the commentators mouths a whole lot but that is usual not a bad thing if you are a defender. Suarez played mostly over on his side and I didn't hear a whole lot out of him . . . which is also usually a good thing if you are a defender. It will be interesting to see what happens with his contract extension, as the year comes to an end.|
|Cabaye||7||While Ben Arfa and Cisse get all the headlines, Cabaye continues to play extremely well. His distribution has been good, unfortunatly it has been a while since we have been able to see him release the kraken. If this were Hockey, he would have a lot more assists.|
|Guthrie||6||With Cabaye and Tiote as mainstays in at CM in this new 4-3-3 formation, Guthrie has done just enough to hold onto this spot. No incredible performances but no howlers either. He did send in a couple of tasty crosses during this run out. It will be interesting to see what Pardew does with the LB position because Guitierrez may have proven he is just too good to leave off the pitch. That is never a bad problem to have.|
|Tiote||6.5||Mr. T looks like he is back on track. I thought it took him a few games after he came back from Afcon to reconnect, especially with the Cabaye partnership. I think this was the first game when they both were firing on all cylinders and connecting well through the midfield.|
|Ba||6.5||Although we are starting to hear muttering about him not scoring in five games, I am not worried. The fact is, he is no longer playing as our target man, Cisse is. Cisse has done brilliant, but out of the 5 goals he has scored, which one could Ba not have put in the back of the net? So let us not get too worried as he is doing exactly what he is supposed to. I would like to see him get a goal though, just so I can yell DEMBAAAAA again. But it is not like he has missed any opportunities.|
|Cisse||7.5||His first goal was due to a combination of ball watching by Skrtel and beautiful positioning by Cisse. His second, though yes it was offsides (see I can admit it) was due to incredible composure in the box. We could buy 3.5 Cisse's and Ba's for the one Carroll we sold. Yes please!|
|Ben Arfa||7.5||Assist on the first goal was a perfect ball sent in which Cisse finished off beautifully. Nearly had a goal of his own on Cisse's second goal but he couldn't get a toe on the ball. Defenders are starting to back off of him and respect his technical ability, and he has rewarded them with putting in some brilliant crosses. He reminds me of a guard in basketball that players play off of because he is so quick and can dribble so well, but then you can't do that because he can open up your defense with a brilliant lobbed pass or a 3 pointer. Every game he shows us something else that he can do.|
|Gosling||6||On for Guthrie in the 66th. I think he gave a very similar performance. He may be a little stronger, but not quite as pacy and technical. Sent in some solid balls, though, so I think he did what he was supposed to.|
|Ameobi||6||I feel like I can just cut and paste every week for Ameobi. He is sent in to hold the ball up and dominate possession and he does a solid job every week. Big Smooth is Newcastle's equivalent of a closing pitcher in baseball.|
|Santon||-||Came on in 90' for Ben Arfa. Too late to do anything except allow the fans to cheer for Ben Arfa as he came off.|
Alan Pardew on the game
"Fantastic result. The fans were brilliant today. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It didn't go great for Liverpool but for us it was a great game and we put in some fantastic performances."
on Andy Carroll (via Goal.com)
"I felt for Andy today. He is a terrific lad and he is having a tough year but he will come back . . . I think Andy is a player that needs to have a game-plan that is going to work for him and I think Liverpool have struggled to find that game-plan for him with the players they have."
"For a team like Liverpool with the players that they've got, they are a massive club and we have put ourselves in a good position today. It was a massive game and to out play them the way we did, the whole game we were relatively comfortable and to be honest I felt like we could have scored at any time. We just really out played them today"
"We've just got to stick together. Some of the football we played in the first half was good and exciting. We needed a lot more composure, then we could have been in front. The goal we lost we can learn off. But you've got to stick together because you want to get it right. So the best way to do it is to stick together and believe in what you are doing."