Well, that was unpleasant. I harbored no illusions of revenge for 4-3 or even for taking our players today - all I asked for was a good showing that would justify Newcastle's position in the table or even improve it. Instead, the Magpies played on their back foot for 90 minutes, allowing Liverpool to boss the play and Craig Bellamy to celebrate like he's never scored a goal against his former team before.
There weren't a lot of positives, if you're a Newcastle supporter (Andy Carroll's continued scoring drought does nothing for me, anyway). Ryan Taylor was continuously abused by Stewart Downing, Danny Simpson played some sort of weird tactic on a free kick that led to Bellamy's second goal, and Demba Ba disappeared for very long stretches. Even Tim Krul, who has reliably played the part of superman for the majority of this season's first half, looked average, conceding a goal on a Steven Gerrard shot that, while well taken, was nevertheless at an extremely acute angle.
Newcastle don't even have the injury excuse we've relied on recently - aside from Steven Taylor, who is gone for the season, Alan Pardew basically had his pick of first team players (though I would question the selection of Haris Vuckic over Hatem Ben Arfa). The saddest part of this whole day is that since January is around the corner, this could be the very last time these players are seen together, and Liverpool's lineup was a constant reminder of that fact. A disheartening day, indeed.