It is a pretty safe assumption that nobody expected this match to be close, let alone turn out the way that it did. For once, Newcastle's players stood up and refused to be overrun by a team expected to pass them off the pitch and dazzle them off the pitch at St. James' Park. Steve McClaren's Grand Gamble of dropping Ayoze Perez in favor of Siem de Jong worked in combination with that refusal to lay down and Liverpool do their thing and got the match to halftime at 0-0.
Nerves were still high, however, as the second half has not exactly been a strong suit for McClaren's Newcastle squad. Instead of those gutless, rudderless displays the likes of the Man City match Newcastle provided more of the same. Somehow they were possessed with confidence with the ball at their feet. Papiss Cisse managed to approximate a hold-up game as the single striker. They played positive stuff while the defensive line (Coloccini included!) played a very solid match.
In a season filled with terrible efforts and unlucky bounces, it was ultimately a lucky bounce that followed all of the positive effort as a Wijnaldum ball squared across the front of the goal deflected off of Martin Skrtel put Newcastle in the lead which could not be described as undeserved. Liverpool decided at that point to really really start playing and put Newcastle on the back foot for a long stretch of time before being caught on the break by another lovely Sissoko-Wijnaldum combination. A brilliant long diagonal from Moussa to Gini was finished with aplomb giving the Newcastle fans (who were brilliant all match long) exactly what they deserved on the night.
It would be a stretch to say that Liverpool were at their best, and there was the small matter of the Moreno goal which was not really offside... but this was a victory well-earned by Newcastle. *This* result is one to kick on from.