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Premier League

  • 11 December 2010
  • • 17:30
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 50137

Newcastle United 3-1 Liverpool: Pardew overcomes fan protests to earn dream start thanks to Nolan, Barton & Carroll

Newcastle United 3-1 Liverpool: Pardew overcomes fan protests to earn dream start thanks to Nolan, Barton & Carroll

New boss off to flyer as Reds lose away from home again

Late goals from Joey Barton and Andy Carroll gave Alan Pardew a dream start as Newcastle United manager and condemned Liverpool to their third consecutive defeat away from home.

The hosts picked up a morale-boosting 3-1 victory thanks to the two late strikes which draws a line under another highly controversial week in the North East after Chris Hughton's sacking.

Following the tumultuous events that had preceded this game for the home side, it was no surprise they conceded control of the match in the opening ten minutes, as the Reds enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory.

After Maxi Rodriguez’s wayward long-range effort in the first two minutes, Sotirios Kyrgiakos produced the game’s first shot on target five minutes later. However, the Greek defender could only direct his strike straight at Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul after finding himself with space inside the penalty area following a Liverpool free-kick from the right.

Newcastle’s most threatening moment of the opening exchanges came when Fernando Torres gave the ball away in midfield, allowing Jonas Gutierrez to slide a ball through to Andy Carroll, but the England international could not stretch far enough to gain proper control of the ball as the potential opening slipped away.

The home side did not have to wait much longer to break through the visitors' defence though, as Pardew’s side took the lead within the opening quarter of an hour. After winning the free-kick, Carroll nodded Barton’s chipped ball across the six-yard box for Kevin Nolan to stab the ball past Jose Reina for his eighth league goal of the season.

Liverpool will feel aggrieved that not only did the goal come against the run of play, television replays also showed Carroll to be marginally offside as he headed the ball.

Newcastle almost doubled their lead following another set-piece, although despite finding himself between the Liverpool defence and Reina, Sol Campbell could not get a meaningful touch as it sailed just over his head.

Almost immediately, Liverpool wasted a good chance of their own up the other end of the pitch as Rodriguez put his header over the bar from Glen Johnson’s cross.

The game seemed to be opening up as Johnson continued to provide the greatest threat for the visitors, whilst Cheik Tiote was intelligently breaking up attacks and manoeuvring play in the Newcastle midfield.

After half an hour, Newcastle came the closest to conceding an equaliser as they would in the opening half as a Martin Skrtel hook across the home side’s penalty area found Raul Meireles, but Jose Enrique was on hand to block the Portuguese international’s shot on his own goal-line.

Liverpool were settling into their passing game at this point, whilst Newcastle were relying on a longer-game directed at the aerial threat of Carroll and Shola Ameobi.

However, the visitors were unable to find a break-through and their desperation was summed up when Rodriguez threw himself to the floor in search of a penalty just before half-time, despite the apparent absence of any contact on the Argentine midfielder.

It was left to Kyrgiakos to waste Liverpool’s brightest moment of the opening period just before Lee Mason signalled for the break, as he put his header wide of the post following a corner.

A new era | Nolan put his side on course for morale-boosting victory

Despite physically reappearing on the pitch, the Newcastle players' thoughts still seemed to be in the dressing-room during the opening moments of the second half.

Indeed, it was a defensive lapse by Sol Campbell that allowed Liverpool to equalise just five minutes after the break. The former England international allowed a long ball to hit his back, conceding possession to Dirk Kuyt who drove into the box. The Dutchman’s subsequent strike took a big deflection off Steven Taylor and dribbled past Krul to put the Reds back on level terms.

Campbell again lapsed defensively as he and Jose Enrique were at fault, allowing Torres to latch on to a ball unnoticed in the Newcastle box just three minutes later. However, despite being one-on-one with Krul, the Spaniard couldn’t find a way past the goalkeeper.

Newcastle’s poor start to the second period continued as David Ngog wasted another great chance to put the visitors ahead as he could not find the net with his header on the six-yard box.

Nile Ranger, on as a substitute for Ameobi, should have made Liverpool rue their missed opportunities with almost his first touch of the game. The young striker collected Carroll’s flicked header and drove into the Liverpool box, but put his shot wide despite having only Reina left to beat.

The game turned into a slightly ill-tempered affair as both sides began to over-zealously challenged for the ball, coming at the expense of any meaningful action.

However, Carroll was continuing to win his every header for the home side and it was this aerial dominance that allowed Newcastle to regain the lead.

The England international flicked on a long goal-kick by Krul, which the Liverpool defence failed to deal with. As a result, Barton was able to pounce on the ball behind the indecisive Liverpool defence and guide his strike past Reina.

Carroll then wrapped up victory for Newcastle in fantastic style as his stunning strike from outside the box found the far corner and ensured that Pardew began his managerial reign at St James’ Park in happy fashion.

However, Roy Hodgson will continue to be concerned by Liverpool’s form on the road, as his side suffered their sixth league defeat out of nine games away from home this season.

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