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West Ham United
May 11, 2014
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 44724
D. Agger 63'
D. Sturridge 65'
M. Škrtel 20' (own goal)
That's all that we have time for as the curtain falls on another Premier League season, with Liverpool finishing second. Newcastle drop to tenth, somehow managing a top half finish despite having a horrendous 2014. Their fans aren't happy and nor should they be! I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time.
Martin Skrtel's own goal gave the away side a first-half lead, but in the end Newcastle just couldn't hold out, conceding two goals in two minutes to fall behind. Both Shola Ameobi and Paul Dummett received red cards for the visitors, who ended the game disappointingly with nine men.
FULL TIME! Liverpool turn around a half-time deficit, winning 2-1 at Anfield. The home side will feel as though it's a missed opportunity in terms of winning the Premier League, but they could have done no more today. Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge grabbed the goals.
90' + 3'
Man City have won 2-0 at the Etihad, meaning that the Citizens will lift the Premier League trophy. Manuel Pellegrini is the first non-European manager to do so in 126 years of the top flight competition.
90' + 2'
There's something of a party atmosphere in Anfield, despite the obvious disappointment of missing out on the Premier League trophy. The hosts retain the ball, inviting Newcastle to chase, but the visitors have had just about enough.
There are four minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half.
Now Lucas picks up a card, as Phil Dowd gives himself plenty to write in his refereeing report at the end of the game. There's no flow to this game at all, it's stop-start and full of scrappy challenges.
Yellow Card Lucas Leiva
Red Card Paul Dummett
RED CARD! Sammy Ameobi wins a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, but after a long wait the dead ball is rocketed into the wall. Liverpool look to break, with Dummett throwing himself into a cynical tackle to stop Suarez in his tracks. A strange decision, it certainly wasn't a terrible challenge.
Sterling drives down the left hand side yet again, before being forced to cut a pass back to the edge of the box. Lucas tries his luck, with his shot bobbling into the path of Sterling once again. From an offside position, the Englishman tucks the ball home from a tight angle, but the linesman had his flag held aloft.
De Jong is chasing shadows at the head of the Newcastle attack, as Liverpool control the game and enjoy the lion's share of possession. The away side have created absolutely nothing during the second half, Mignolet may as well go on his holiday early.
Less than ten minutes remain, with the game being slowed down in the form of several substitutions. Sturridge was replaced by Lucas, before Dummett slots into Newcastle's side in place of Tiote - who was suffering from cramp.
AGGER! Gerrard whips in a very inviting cross, which the goalscorer duly tries to meet on the edge of the six yard box. Despite having an essentially open goal ahead of him, the Denmark international glancing his header wide. Krul was at his mercy!
Pardew makes another change, replacing the tiring Gouffran with Sammy Ameobi - at least we've got an Ameobi back on the field on play. Liverpool are well on top now, with Newcastle camped on the edge of their area.
Liverpool are happy to retain possession, with Newcastle fans now turning their attentions to showing their distaste towards the way their club is being run. It's another poor result for the Toon army to swallow, especially due to the manner in which they threw away their lead.
A quarter of an hour remains and it appears that Liverpool can now do nothing but pray for West Ham to find three goals from somewhere. The second half has been an improvement for the Reds, but they're certainly not at their free-flowing best.
Luuk de Jong
Steven Taylor is sacrificed in light of Ameobi's dismissal, with Luuk de Jong being deployed as the lone striker and Newcastle switching to a back four. That should leave plenty more space for Rodgers' side to exploit.
Newcastle are essentially playing without a striker, with this game looking more like a training exercise for the Toon to practice their defensive shape. There are a few tired legs out there now for Pardew's men.
The atmosphere has brightened here, with the home side exerting control and showing real confidence now. What a bizarre turnaround, from being in the doldrums Liverpool are looking likely to put Newcastle to the sword. Sturridge tries to curl home from the edge of the box, but his shot is blocked by his own player.
From looking fairly solid, Newcastle have hit self-destruct at Anfield. Conceding twice in as many minutes, Shola Ameobi's protests have now left his team a man light too. A rather difficult remaining 20 minutes for the Magpies now.
Yellow/Red Shola Ameobi
Yellow Card Shola Ameobi
RED CARD! Well, in the aftermath, Shola Ameobi has been sent off for the away side! It appears to have been for some kind of dissent, as plenty of Newcastle players wanted that goal chalked off due to Suarez being in an offside position.
Yellow Card Yoan Gouffran
Assist Steven Gerrard
Goal Daniel Sturridge
GOOOOOOOOAL! LIVERPOOL TAKE THE LEAD! Two goals in two minutes for the hosts, with two free-kick deliveries putting Newcastle to the sword! It's nearly a carbon copy of the first, meaning that Pardew will be rather unimpressed with that defending.
Goal Daniel Agger
GOOOOOAL! DANIEL AGGER STEERS HOME AT THE BACK POST! Gerrard delivers brilliantly from a free-kick, allowing for the Denmark international to stab the ball underneath Krul and into the back of the net from a tight angle!
Assist Steven Gerrard
Yellow Card Vurnon Anita
Coutinho is involved straight away, earning his side a corner and flighting a couple of well-placed crosses into the box. Despite missing out on Brazil's World Cup squad, the former Inter midfielder has still got a point to prove this afternoon, as the likes of Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson have shown real improvement this season.
Another change for the hosts, as Coutinho replaces Allen, as Rodgers opts for a bit more flair and creativity. Sturridge tries his luck from 30 yards, but the former Chelsea striker drags his effort well wide, earning himself a few jeers from the home crowd.
SUAREZ! The Liverpool hitman takes the dead ball himself, but slips upon making contact with the free-kick. It remains on target, but Krul is easily able to gather up the loose ball. Newcastle fans decide that misfortune merits a chant of "He's going to cry in a minute."
Williamson is penalised for the visitors, as the physical defender is forced to outmuscle Suarez as the Uruguayan looked to race through on goal. There wasn't much in it, but Liverpool have a free-kick on the edge of the area.
SKRTEL! It's a fantastic ball in from Gerrard, but Skrtel can't get any contact at the back post! Krul is in no man's land, with the England international's free-kick flashing across the face of goal and behind for a goal kick. All that needed was the slightest of touches!
Luis Suarez is fed possession 20 yards from goal, with Steven Taylor coming through the back of the Uruguay international in an overzealous attempt to win the ball. Liverpool have a free-kick in a very dangerous area and Gerrard will be the man to take it.
Johnson clips a cross towards the penalty spot from the right, as Newcastle's shape again forces the hosts to go direct. Krul is quick off his line to claim the delivery under no pressure whatsoever.
A few boos and jeers from the home crowd, as Newcastle hold onto possession for a couple of minutes. The Anfield faithful are not pleased with their side's showing this afternoon and they've got every right to be disappointed. Krul hasn't had a great deal to do.
Liverpool still have 40 minutes to end the season with a win, but only Sterling and Suarez look as though they want to take the game to Newcastle. The away side are sat in their shape solidly, with the Reds really struggling to penetrate their silver banks.
It only gets worse for the home side, as Man City have gone two goals up over West Ham at the Etihad, with Vincent Kompany grabbing it in the aftermath of a corner. It appears that Manuel Pellegrini has his first Premier League trophy sewn up.
STERLING! Liverpool win an early corner, as a Sterling shot is deflected narrowly behind by a Newcastle defender. Suarez takes the set piece quickly, but fires his cross straight into the first man. Gerrard whips a cross into the box from deep and Agger looks to be shoved, but Phil Dowd waves away the Reds' penalty claims.
Only the one change at the break, as Jon Flanagan is replaced by Aly Cissokho. The former Valencia man will add a bit more pace and power on the left hand side, with the switch possibly coming due to a couple of niggling mistakes from the young defender in the first half.
We're back underway in the second half! Liverpool trail 1-0, needing three points to even stand a chance of winning the league title, should Man City throw away their lead. Luis Suarez has been the only bright spark for Liverpool, with Mignolet ensuring that the hosts still have a chance to end the season with a win.
Be sure to rejoin me in ten minutes time for all of the second half action, as Brendan Rodgers' men will at least look to turn things around in order to send their supporters home full of optimism for next season. The Reds have already impressed during the current campaign and possibly over-achieved, but the opening 45 minutes this afternoon have been very uninspiring.
To refresh your minds, Liverpool need a win this afternoon to even stand a chance of lifting the title. Man City can make do with a point, but it doesn't seem as though the Reds are going to push their title rivals all the way to the end. Shola Ameobi has been excellent for the away side, as the Magpies have looked to break incisively.
HALF TIME! Newcastle head back to their dressing room with a slender 1-0 lead, as everything has gone wrong for Liverpool. Martin Skrtel's own goal put the home side on the back foot, before news filtered through from the Etihad that Samir Nasri has given Pellegrini's men a presumably unassailable lead against West Ham.
45' + 1'
STURRIDGE! Gerrard clips another ambitious diagonal ball forward, with Sturridge able to race onto it and flick a header towards goal - all while under heavy pressure. It's very, very tame and Krul gathers it up easily.
There are two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half.
Shola Ameobi provides yet another excellent pass to release Haidara on the far side. The left-back tries a couple of step-overs, before Johnson robs the Frenchman of possession. The atmosphere has gone incredibly flat.
It's all gone very quiet at Anfield, as news filters through that Man City have taken the lead at the Etihad, as a Samir Nasri strike proved too hot to handle for Adrian. Liverpool need the mother of all turnarounds with a dash of luck if they're to claim the Premier League title this afternoon.
STURRIDGE! Henderson cuts a good cross back to the edge of the six yard box, putting the ball on a plate for the onrushing Sturridge. He gets contact, but it's too fleeting, meaning that his attempt flashes wide of the target.
Sterling plays a well-weighted ball in behind Taylor, but Sturridge can't manage to steer the pass home from a very acute angle. Krul manages to make the block, but has to concede a corner - which Newcastle defend well.
Sturridge looks to get on the end of a looping ball forward from deep, but Taylor rises well to nod the pass back to Krul. Newcastle are looking fairly comfortable, if they can keep tabs on Suarez then there's a good chance that Rodgers will need to reshuffle his system at the break.
Ten minutes until half-time and the Magpies continue to hold firm. Man City are still unable to find a breakthrough at the Etihad, but the onus is on Liverpool to turn this deficit around - given that Man City can still take the title with merely a point this afternoon.
Yellow Card Mathieu Debuchy
Newcastle are continuing to frustrate the home side, with Luis Suarez the only man looking capable of pulling something out of nothing. The Uruguayan dances past the challenges of Coloccini and Taylor, before placing a low strike too close to Krul.
Liverpool win a free-kick 25 yards from goal, but Suarez cannons a low drive into the wall. Gerrard picks up the pieces, spraying possession wide to Sterling with a looping header, but the Englishman's back post delivery is claimed well by the gangly frame of Krul.
We're past the half hour mark, with Anfield quickly becoming a cauldron of unease. The home fans aren't enamoured with what they've seen from their side thus far, as Newcastle have been able to break upfield at will. Shola Ameobi, of all people, is pulling the strings.
GOUFFRAN! He nearly makes it two again! Shola Ameobi uses his strength to muscle Flanagan off the ball, before flicking a through ball again into the path of Gouffran. The French midfielder races into the penalty area, but scuffs his effort across goal, resulting in the ball bobbling into Mignolet's control.
GOUFFRAN! That could be a very important save from Mignolet! Liverpool are susceptible to the break, with Shola Ameobi picking out a gorgeous through ball to put his French teammate through on goal. The Belgian goalkeeper stays on his feet and remains big, with Gouffran's eventual shot cannoning off his chest and into the path of Anita. The former Ajax midfielder fires the rebound high and wide.
As we approach the half hour mark, Liverpool begin to try and turn the screw a little bit. Newcastle are sat back in their own half, inviting plenty of pressure on, while trying to spoil the party on the break. Rodgers' men are starting to settle down and get into their rhythm, but Sturridge has been anonymous.
AGGER! Gerrard whips in a beautiful corner delivery, with the Denmark international planting a firm header into the ground from eight yards out! It's straight at Krul, who gets down smartly to smother it on the line.
Liverpool have responded to going behind well, with Suarez on a one-man mission to level the scoreline. He twists and turns in the visitors' penalty box, before winning a corner. If the Reds are to turn this deficit around, you'd think the former Ajax man will have a big part to play.
Suarez wins possession deep in the Newcastle penalty area, before cutting back a pass to Sterling. The young England international pokes an effort towards goal, with Haidara slicing the cross-cum-shot away desperately at the back post!
Own Goal Martin Skrtel
GOOOOOOOAL! NEWCASTLE TAKE THE LEAD AT ANFIELD! After Suarez thought he'd put the hosts ahead, Gouffran outpaces Gerrard before whipping a low cross into the penalty area! Skrtel can't turn the delivery away from goal and slots the ball beyond his own goalkeeper!
Suarez thinks he's scored, but Phil Dowd had already pulled back play! The Uruguay international looked to take a free-kick quickly, but the ball was in motion as the forward struck it. From 25 yards out and from an outrageous angle, the ball dips over Krul and in - but it won't count!
Perhaps wanting to write their own controversial script for the final day, Newcastle are knocking the ball around rather nicely at the moment. A few slick midfield triangles haven't really got the Magpies upfield, but the travelling Toon army won't be too disheartened by what they've seen thus far.
A quarter of an hour has slipped by, with neither Liverpool nor Man City able to find the breakthrough goal in their respective games. Anfield has gone a little bit quiet, with some nerves setting in. It's understandable, given that this is the first time the Reds have been in title contention on the last day of a Premier League campaign.
The opening stages of the game haven't gone exactly to plan for Liverpool, with Newcastle able to stay in shape and remain hard to play through. Sissoko and Gouffran have been able to deliver early crosses from deep areas, with Shola Ameobi involved more often than Rodgers would like.
Liverpool want a penalty, but Phil Dowd waves away the hosts' claims! Henderson thinks that he's body checked on the edge of the area, but advantage is played and Sterling drives into the penalty box with the loose ball. The young Englishman can only poke a poor attempt into the grasp of the onrushing Krul.
AMEOBI! Sissoko whips a near post cross into the penalty area, with the Newcastle forward rising above Agger to nod an effort at goal from eight yards. It's tame and straight at Mignolet, with the Belgian goalkeeper barely having to move in order to collect the loose ball.
Gouffran muscles Johnson off the ball on the far side, before the Frenchman whips in a near post cross which Skrtel has to deal with. Pardew's men are throwing some dangerous deliveries into the penalty area early on!
Brilliant challenge by Agger! The Danish defender reads a Sissoko pass excellently, stepping in ahead of Shola Ameobi to stop a Newcastle counter-attack in its tracks. Sturridge is fed in behind the visitors' defence by Gerrard, but the former Man City man is caught offside.
Plenty of chants being thrown around with regard to Steven Gerrard, with the travelling support keen to remind the England international that his slip versus Chelsea looks to have proven costly. Anfield responds in support of their captain. No chances for Liverpool as of yet.
AMEOBI! The Nigeria international manages to rise well enough to meet Newcastle's first corner of the afternoon, but can only deflect the delivery high and wide of the target. Missing opportunities like that won't convince the Magpies to renew the striker's contract.
Just to act as a reminder, a win is all that will do for Liverpool this afternoon. The hosts start composedly, stroking the ball around well and looking to find the likes of Sterling in between the lines. Suarez is played in behind, but the pass to the Uruguayan is too heavy and Krul collects.
Newcastle are donning their new away kit this afternoon, which is entirely silver - something a bit different. Liverpool will be hoping that they can blow the visitors out of the water early on, to pile the pressure onto Man City's shoulders.
We're underway in the first half! You'll Never Walk Alone reverberated around the stadium moments ago, there's a real sense of occasion this afternoon! 90 minutes remain for Liverpool to try to stamp their name on the Premier League trophy!
The players are streaming out of the tunnel and into an expectant Anfield. The Reds know what they need to do, while hoping that Sam Allardyce's West Ham do them a huge favour. We're moments from kick-off now!
The title is very much in Man City's hands, but we've seen stranger things happen in the top flight in recent years should Pellegrini's men throw it away. Sergio Aguero's late goal to win the Citizens their first Premier League title is a memorable moment in the competition's history, but Liverpool will be hoping they can have their own dramatic success story this afternoon.
With ten minutes remaining until kick-off, be sure to stick around for all of the action as Brendan Rodgers' side look to push Man City all of the way. The hosts are winless in two games, but Newcastle have had a rather bleak 2014 and have little to play for this afternoon aside from pride. The return of Jordan Henderson is a welcome boost, with Liverpool likely to triumph at home yet again.
Liverpool fans can be forgiven for starting to dream, as the Premier League title is still within their reach on the final day. If Brendan Rodgers' men win, with Man City losing to West Ham, the Reds will lift the title. Should the Citizens draw and Liverpool pick up three points, it will go down to goal difference - in which case the Anfield faithful will need to see their side find 14 goals to jump into first.
Newcastle substitutes: Elliot, Santon, Yanga-Mbiwa, De Jong, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett, Satka.
Newcastle starting line-up: Krul; Taylor, Williamson, Coloccini, Haidara; Debuchy, Anita, Tiote, Gouffran; Sissoko; Shola Ameobi.
Liverpool substitutes: Jones, Toure, Aspas, Coutinho, Sakho, Cissokho, Lucas.
Liverpool starting line-up: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Flanagan; Allen, Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling; Sturridge, Suarez.
TEAM NEWS: Star striker Loic Remy misses out through injury for the away side, as Massadio Haidara and Steven Taylor come into the starting line-up - meaning that Paul Dummett drops to the bench. Shola Ameobi starts as a lone striker, with the mercurial Moussa Sissoko the link between midfield and attack for the Magpies. Pardew's line-up has the potential to be either a back four or five.
TEAM NEWS: Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez are deployed in attack, as Brendan Rodgers looks to put a shaky travelling Newcastle to the sword with a continuation of his offensive system. Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel are central defensive partners, as Mamadou Sakho drops to the bench. Philippe Coutinho is among the substitutes, with Joe Allen preferred, and Jordan Henderson returns following his suspension.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action, as Liverpool fans collectively hope that Manuel Pellegrini's City side slip up this afternoon. Despite picking up a 3-0 victory last time out against Cardiff, Alan Pardew's men are in horrific form - leading to plenty of fans calling for their manager to be relieved of his duties. The hosts know that they need to complete their end of the deal to stand a chance of winning the Premier League, so don't expect them to underestimate the Magpies.
Hello and welcome to one of the Premier League's last clashes of the season, as an out of sorts Newcastle visit Anfield, with Liverpool hoping to get their hands on some unlikely silverware by the end of play. Brendan Rodgers' side need to take three points from today's contest, while also being dependent on Man City's fixture against West Ham. As far as the Reds are concerned, the title race is still on!
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