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The Reds captain came off the bench to score in the 3-1 win as the Merseysiders finally found form in front of goal at Anfield

Kenny Dalglish hailed the influence of captain Steven Gerrard after he came off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Anfield on Friday night.

Gerrard came on as a 59th-minute substitute and injected fresh impetus into Liverpool's performance, culminating in a trademark goal 12 minutes from time that sealed the three points.

It was Gerrard's second appearance since returning from an ankle infection and he ended the year on a bright note after being dogged by injury for much of 2011.

“When Steven is not playing he is influential so I suppose you can add the word 'hugely' for when he is playing,” Dalglish said.

“It's great to see him getting a reward because he has worked really hard to get where he is. It was a freak injury and the boy deserves a bit of luck.

“He is a hugely important player, everyone has admiration and appreciation for what he has done for the club, and he has a wee bit more mileage in him yet. He has put pressure on himself now by scoring a goal.”

Striker Craig Bellamy scored twice against his former club after Newcastle had taken the lead through an own goal by Daniel Agger.

Dalglish was 'delighted' with his side's display as Liverpool finally found form in front of goal at Anfield after drawing six of their Premier League home games this season.

“It's probably the game that we have created the last chances at home,” Dalglish added. “I'm not relieved, just satisfied.

“I thought we thoroughly deserved the victory. We showed great courage, desire and commitment to get back into the game after conceding the opening goal.”

Several Liverpool players were furious in the second-half when Newcastle midfield Yohan Cabaye made a dangerous challenge on Jay Spearing, catching the Reds youngster with his studs.

Dalglish admitted he did not see the incident but called on the FA to take action if referee Lee Probert missed a clear red card offence.

He said: “I haven't seen it but if there's something untoward then I'm sure the governing body will act appropriately.”

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