Rafael Benítez returned to Anfield Stadium in Liverpool today (Saturday) as Newcastle flirt with being relegated to the secondary league. He received a magnificent reception from the Liverpool fans but after the respectable cheers, all bets were off.
In the match the more dominant Liverpool, just over a minute into game time, caught Newcastle by surprise when 26-year-old Daniel Sturridge scored a magnificent goal from a kick in and he surprisingly remained onside. Sturridge has scored 7 goals in 11 games against the Magpies. It was truly a wonderful finish.
The entire first half on the pitch – Newcastle was under siege. 21-year-old Congolese international footballer Mbemba did some excellent defending for Newcastle during the entire stretch of the game.
Ivorian footballer Tioté and Senegalese Cissé were essentially non-factors in first half play. With Tioté even getting a yellow card, call it spirit or aggressive defending but the call was very valid.
In just under 30 minutes it was another forward rush from the Reds that left the two footed 27-year-old Adam Lallana space for what was arguably one of the most beautiful shots of the game, shooting just under the goal bar, with his left foot.
At the start of the second half many were counting the Geordies out. But things took a different turn, when Anfield Stadium was made to remember how Benítez and his excellent executive decisions drew him to be known as the coach that left Liverpool in the best position, before his move to Newcastle.
Cissé took the opportunity to land a beautiful header (very non-aggressive chip in) with the sleepy Liverpool’s lack of defense in the 48th.
26-year-old Jack Colbeck settled the game 2-2 with an electrifying goal in the 66th after Liverpool failed to shut down a beautiful cross in my 24-year-old English footballer Andros Townsend.
At the end of 93 minutes in stoppage time Newcastle had staved off Liverpool enough to maintain their match draw.