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Season 2011-12
Liverpool (h) Premier League

in association 

Sunday 1st April 2012, 1.30pm
Live on Sky Sports

 St. James' Park




Newcastle United


2 - 0



19 mins A tremendous arcing right wing cross from Hatem Ben Arfa dropped beyond Martin Skrtel and allowed Papiss Cisse to steer a perfect header back across goal, beating Reina and going in off the near post at the Gallowgate end. 1-0

Half time: Magpies 1 Reds 0

59 mins
 A mazy run from Ben Arfa saw him exchange passes with Yohan Cabaye and receive the ball back from Demba Ba as he advanced into the Liverpool area. Choosing to continue on rather than shoot, Hatem touched the ball past John Flanagan and reached Papiss Cisse, whose first touch with his left foot dragged the ball back infield and took Reina out of the picture entirely.

A steadying touch with the right boot then set up our number nine to slot home from four yards, finding space between the sprawling Skrtel and the post. As he wheeled away with a two-fisted salute, Cisse looked (to us anyway) uncannily like our former favourite Andy Cole. 2-0

Full time: Magpies 2 Reds 0

We Said

Alan Pardew commented:

"A fantastic result - our fans were brilliant today, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It didn't go great for Liverpool in a lot of ways but for us it was a great game and we put in some fantastic performances. 

"If someone said, ’You are going to be in the Europa League’, I would snap their hands off. We've been 10 points ahead of the group below us all season and we need to see it home, we want to take this club into Europe - the fans deserve it. It will be a disappointment if we don't get there now.

"For us and Chelsea it is about winning the next game and seeing what happens. The two above
(Spurs & Arsenal) have their destiny in their own hands so they're favourites, but we'll keep plugging away.

"I've seen it
(the penalty claim) three times now - it hits him (Danny Simpson) high on the shoulder. I'd be very surprised if the referee gives that.

"Our flair players decided it, we could have had four goals In the end we deserved to win - we were in control for long periods of the game.

"We have got some great players here - and actually, some of the players I inherited were the ones who won us the game today.

(Mike) Williamson and (James) Perch were probably the two best players on the pitch and if we owe victory to any particular players, it was probably those two.

"It is not a surprise with James - he has that professionalism to do the best he can do."

On Cisse:

"I'm sure Alan Shearer will be purring about his performance. He is no mystery to German football and he won't be to ours now. He's a good player.

"His English isn’t great – I think he’s only had one lesson since he’s been here. 

"We had Africa Day at the training ground on Friday with the food, that probably helped him. He had some curried goat and maybe that was why he was fuelled up today."

On Ben Arfa:

"With the ball at his feet, he's magic - as magic as Suarez or Messi at times. We had to work with him to understand exactly what he's about. He has got a special talent, we know he's special.

"When you have a player who has a special talent, sometimes they look at you as a manager and they want to play.

"He was fit, but not match-fit, not really sure of how we played and in the Premier League, the transition of play, where he should be and where he shouldn't be.

"He has taken on board and he has listened to me and he as listened to my staff and he has been very, very diligent. 

"That's why nothing would give me more pleasure than for him to make the French squad
(for Euro 2012) and I think he can.

"He has got some individual ability that I would be very surprised if France has that in the squad in terms of what he can do to a team.

"Even if he was to be taken as an impact player, he's got a great opportunity and he is in great shape."

On Carroll:

"I felt for Andy today, I did - he’s a terrific lad and he’s having a tough year. But he will come back. 

"It was always going to be tough for him, but the dive didn’t help him in his case. I was disappointed that he did that – it’s unlike him.

"Andy needs a game plan that is going to work for him and Liverpool struggle with the players they have.

"When we had him here we were probably more direct than we are now. He was magnificent and he will be again. It is just a question of getting that right."

Those near the front of the Milburn Stand witnessed a rather less benevolent Pardew giving Carroll a volley of abuse shortly after the dive. The response from the misfiring ex-Mag involved two expletives beginning with "F" and "C"....

It's difficult to imagine the two were all smiles and handshakes after the final whistle.

Late news: new footage of Carroll penalty incident is now online here

They Said

Miserable Kenny said:

"There's no point in feeling sorry for ourselves.
We've just got to realise that if we stick together and believe in what we're doing, then we've got a better chance.

"The boys have shown a wee bit of frustration and disappointment because of results. That's probably why Pepe was sent off. It was the frustration of being behind. When Andy Carroll comes off and runs up the tunnel, it's purely disappointment and frustration.

"It's all very well and good having frustration and disappointment, but we have to manage that and make sure we channel it in a proper way.

"I don't think it was a penalty and I also don't think he went down deliberately to get a penalty. He said he never went down, he stumbled over. It wasn't a penalty."

About Simpson's goal line clearance:

"I think you need to go to Vision Express if you don't think that was a penalty. We never got it, maybe we were not vocal enough with the referee, I don't know.

"We can't do too much about the refereeing decisions but we can do a lot about ourselves and we will work really hard to do something about ourselves."

Funnily enough none of the Liverpool players, bar Carroll, or their bench appealed for the penalty so perhaps it's a group appointment at the opticians while Carroll goes to get his hair cut....

The only camera angle shown so far seems to suggest it hits the very top of Simpson's arm, or even his shoulder - neither a penalty.


The long-haired loser from Liverpool: 

Andy Carroll
has five goals from his thirty six Liverpool appearances in the Premier League to date (21 starts). He's played 2,035 minutes.  

Papiss Cisse
has seven goals from his seven Newcastle appearances in the Premier League to date (six starts). He's played 504 minutes.


"I'll be your clown or your puppet or your April fool"
(with apologies to Little Jimmy Osmond)


This was the first time that we've achieved back to back home wins over Liverpool since the 1971/72 & 1972/73 seasons. 

Old boy Craig Bellamy was unable to net for the fifth successive time against us, having scored twice at Anfield earlier this season. The 2008/09 season saw him net in back to back games for West Ham and Manchester City and struck for Liverpool at SJP in February 2007 but his side lost.   

With three games remaining on home soil, we've won nine, drawn five and lost just twice in the Premier League here this season.

Reds @ SJP - Premier League Years:

2011/12: Won 2-0 Cisse 2
2010/11: Won 3-1 Nolan, Barton, Carroll
2008/09: Lost 1-5 Edgar
2007/08: Lost 0-3
2006/07: Won 2-1 Martins, Solano (pen)
2005/06: Lost 1-3 Ameobi
2004/05: Won 1-0 Robert
2003/04: Drew 1-1 Shearer (pen)
2002/03: Won 1-0 Robert
2001/02: Lost 0-2
2000/01: Won 2-1 Solano, Dyer
1999/00: Drew 2-2 Shearer, Ferguson
1998/99: Lost 1-4 Guivarc'h
1997/98: Lost 0-2 (LC)
1997/98: Lost 1-2 Watson
1996/97: Drew 1-1 Shearer
1995/96: Won 2-1 Ferdinand, Watson
1994/95: Drew 1-1 Lee
1993/94: Won 3-0 Cole 3

Full record against the Reds:
  P W D L F A
SJP 76 31 23 22 113 91
Anfield 76 11 14 51 77 175
League 152 42 37 73 190 266
SJP(FA) 4 4 0 0 6 1
Anf/W 5 0 1 4 3 13
SJP(LC) 1 0 0 1 0 2
Anf 1 1 0 0 1 0
Cup 11 5 1 5 10 16
Tot 163 47 38 78 200 282



"Jose Enrique - We're in the top six!"

That was the song that rang around a triumphant St. James' Park on Sunday, as miserable 'King' Kenny did more to entertain the Geordie faithful than during his whole managerial career on Tyneside, thanks to his April fools.

It was an afternoon when absolutely everything went wrong for Dalglish and his staff packed full of ex-Magpies and chief clowns were Andy Carroll, who had an awful afternoon and Jose Enrique who ended up in goal!

Reds 'keeper Pepe Reina was dismissed for a senseless head-butt on James Perch, meaning our former defender Enrique had to go in goal but it was Carroll storming off down the tunnel after giving Kenny and former Newcastle coach, Steve Clarke, a mouthful of abuse that caused most hilarity. 

The suspicion remains that like Villa boss John Gregory when he hauled David Ginola off here back in 2001, the visiting manager was intent on making the former Magpie walk the plank as punishment for his performance.

It's amazing that Dalglish as manager seems to be doing so much to dismantle everything he and others created as players at Anfield. His signings (not just Carroll) have been enormously over-priced and hugely over-rated and are, at the moment, massively under-performing. Like Graeme Souness, his reputation as player is being destroyed as manager and both managed to do that spectacularly here.

But it's Dalglish's appalling dealings with the press that are doing more than anything to rapidly turn Liverpool into one of the most hated clubs in the Premier League. The Suarez saga was handled dreadfully and even the most perfectly reasonable questions are treated with utter disdain and a level of obtuseness that just makes him look petty and childish.

Ironically, within a year of taking over from Roy Hodgson he has won silverware but in limping past Championship opposition via penalties to claim the Carling Cup, even managed to turn that into something regarded as a failure - had he done that at Newcastle he would still be revered....

All of this made today's events even more delicious and walking away from the ground, most black and whiters were beaming from ear to ear - if not still chuckling - at witnessing something they could barely have scripted any better - vengeance, villains and victories all inside 90 minutes of high drama and farce.

Amid the pantomime performance from the visitors came two more goals for Papiss Cisse and another pair of assists from a player rapidly becoming our match-winner in Hatem Ben Arfa. The duo combined in either half to secure the three points that took us back level with Chelsea and put us out of sight of the Scousers (that's Everton and Liverpool).

Without captain, Fabricio Coloccini (who also missed last season's win over the Reds), our defence was superb with Mike Williamson standing up to the aerial bombardment and James "Perchinho" Perch once again outstanding, blocking everything that the Reds threw at us.

Williamson also came closing to breaking his scoring duck early in the second half when his header hit the foot of Reina's upright, but was cleared away to safety. 

We also had the same goal frame to thank in the first half for keeping out a deflected cross that Tim Krul did well to tip onto the bar and the post initially appeared to keep out a Carroll effort, although Danny Simpson's arm may have been responsible for keeping our former forward out.

Extensive TV replays also captured Williamson grappling with Carroll in the area as a cross came over, but referee Martin Atkinson failed to emulate his colleague Mike Dean in the derby match and chose not to blow - Atkinson also somehow managing not to penalise Suarez for his endless moaning, attempts to claim that he'd been elbowed and bouts of sarcastic applause directed at the officials.  

Carroll was booked early in the game for a disgraceful attempt to win a penalty and get Krul sent off, when it looked inevitable that he would opening the scoring. Thankfully though, his dive was as poor as the rest of his play and he was rightly cautioned.

And after Cisse had made the Liverpool defence look like idiots to double the lead, Kenny delighted the home crowd by withdrawing Craig Bellamy and Carroll who stomped off down the tunnel, removing his shirt halfway down.

Better was to follow with Reina over-reacting to a kick by Perch as the 'keeper shaped to clear upfield. Atkinson went straight to his back pocket but hesitated before showing Perch a yellow and red-carding Reina.

With Liverpool already using their full substitute quota, the irate 'keeper had to return to the field (having left amid great hilarity as he appeared to invite Perch to settle the matter on Barrack Road) and peel off his shirt for Jose Enrique to don as he went between the posts.

Ironically, the 'keeper will miss the FA Cup semi-final against Everton which we need Liverpool to win to prevent the Toffees claiming a Europa place.

But with 53 points already on the board, who's to say that we'll need that extra place with Chelsea in our sights for the fifth spot that would qualify outright?

Perhaps struggling to contain their merriment, Newcastle failed to test their old boy's prowess wearing the gloves, but saw out the closing minutes in possession - save for one indiscreet late challenge by Perch in added time that could conceivably have resulted in a second booking.

There were some nuggets of comedy gold throughout the game; the Strawberry Corner taking the opportunity to barrack Luis Suarez for his recent racial controversies as the Uruguayan collected the ball during a break in play. 

Another priceless moment followed from the same section, as a further Carroll failure saw him serenaded by taunts of "you should have stayed at a big club". The closing stages meanwhile saw visiting fans streaming out of Level 7 as their messiah endured "sacked in the morning" calls.    

Topping them all though, were the "in the top six" chants that rang out reminding Enrique of his Twitter quotes. Days like these don't come along very often - and are to be savoured. 

Jose Enrique Twitter quote, July 25th 2011:

The club is allowing all the major players of the team to go. Seriously, do you think it is the fault of the players? This club will never again fight to be among the top 6 again with this policy.'

Premier League table, April 1st 2012:

Pos Team Played GD Pts
1 Manchester United 30 47 73
2 Manchester City 31 50 71
3 Arsenal 31 21 58
4 Spurs 31 20 58
5 Chelsea 31 17 53
6 Newcastle 31 4 53
7 Everton 31 0 43
8 Liverpool 31 3 42

Niall MacKenzie

This report is respectfully dedicated to the late Denis Ingoe.

Page last updated 24 January, 2013