Liverpool Live Blog: Premier League Misery Continues, Reds Fall to Newcastle 2-0

Liverpool Live Blog: Premier League Misery Continues, Reds Fall to Newcastle 2-0Final, 2-0 Newcastle: Liverpool’s Premier League misery continues, as it falls to Newcastle. The Reds can only look on in envy at the success Newcastle has enjoyed this season.

The loss consigns the Reds to eighth place in the league. They trail the Magpies by 11 points with seven games to play. A top-six finish is nearly impossible at this point.

Cisse has set the league alight since joining the Magpies in January. Against LFC, he scored his sixth and seventh goals in seven games for Newcastle. 

Liverpool offered little resistance to its hosts. Cisse’s first was met with a momentary fight-back, but the Magpies improved over the course of the game and the Reds could not match their opponents.

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90th minute, 2-0 Newcastle: Ben Arfa is coming off, and Santon takes his place. 

86th minute, 2-0 Newcastle: Pepe Reina could face a three-game ban if this red card is upheld.

If he does, he would miss the FA Cup semifinal against Everton on April 14.

Enrique is playing goalkeeper, as LFC has used all three of its substitutions. 

81st minute, 2-0 Newcastle: There’s a bit of controversy on the field.

Reina is sent off for what looked like a head-butt on Perch. 

The LFC goalkeeper made a save, and ran out to throw it back into play. 

Perch tripped Reina, and the goalkeeper got up and had words with the Newcastle defender. He put his head down and Perch fell to the ground holding his face.

Referee Martin Atkinson consulted with his assistant and showed Perch yellow for diving. He gave Reina red for his role in the altercation.

80th minute, 2-0 Newcastle: Bellamy and Carroll are withdrawn. Kuyt and Henderson take their places. 

Carroll headed straight for the locker room, as his former supporters jeered and taunted him off the field.

78th minute, 2-0 Newcastle: Newcastle has been in full control fo the game since Cisse’s second goal.

THe heads of LFC players are dropping, and their body language does not say good things about their feelings.

76th minute, 2-0 Newcastle: Downing has come on in place of Shelvey.

74th minute, 2-0 Newcastle: Pardew is making a change, replacing a present-day hero with a cult hero. 

Ameobi comes on for the goal scorer Cisse.

65th minute, 2-0 Newcastle: Gosling comes into the game for Guthrie.

61st minute, 2-0 Newcastle: Krul nearly gifts LFC a goal. 

He raced off his line, but could not control the ball. It then fell to Suarez, who set to shoot into the open goal.

Perch intervened at the last moment, and saved his goalkeeper’s blushes.

59th minute, 2-0 Newcastle: Cisse adds to Newcastle’s lead. 

Ba picked up the play on the right side of the area. He attempted a square pass to Ben Arfa, but the French midfielder let it run. Flanagan slid to intercept it, but not prevent it from reaching the waiting Cisse.

All the red-hot striker had to do was blast it into the open net, but he beat a defender and slotted it into the near corner instead.

56th minute, 1-0 Newcastle: Gerrard finds space on the right, and creates an opening for LFC. 

The Reds’ captain sent what looked like an inch-perfect pass into the area, but Bellamy arrived a half second too late.

49th minute, 1-0 Newcastle: Gutierrez is down on the field, and he might be injured. 

He tried to clear a ball from the area and caught Shelvey on the follow-through.

He’s back on his feet, and looks like he’ll continue.

48th minute, 1-0 Newcastle: Williamson hits the bar with a header. The Newcastle defender was inches from scoring his first goal for the club.

Halftime, 1-0 Newcastle: The Reds find themselves behind after one half of play.

The home crowd created the atmosphere and set the stage for the hotly contested half.

Newcastle’s goal came on the strength of Ben Arfa’s trickery and Cisse’s top-class finishing ability.

LFC had a couple of chances to score, but have not created too many clear-cut chances.

Carroll could have done better on his chances, and the big man must keep his emotions in check. Suarez has been strangely absent from so much of the contest. Newcastle’s defenders have done well to contain the LFC star.

45th minute, 1-0 Newcaslte: Flanagan is booked for a tackle on Tiote.

The young fullback didn’t need to foul the Newcastle midfielder, as he (Tiote) was pinned back in his own end with few, if any, options.

41st minute, 1-0 Newcastle: Cisse sends his header  just wide of the goal.

Shelvey hustled to save it from going over the touch-line, but could not control it. 

Guthrie picked it up and delivered an accurate ball into the area for Cisse. 

The goal-scorer rose and headed it down, but could not direct it on target.

34th minute, 1-0 Newcastle: But Newcastle remains dangerous. The hosts push forward on the counter and almost catch LFC for the second goal. 

Ba tested Reina from distance. It took a deflection and nearly made its way to the inside of the post. 

The speed of Newcastle’s forwards will pose a constant menace, especially when LFC commits to sending men forward.

32nd minute, 1-0 Newcastle: Despite trailing, Liverpool has begun to take control of the proceedings. 

The Reds have used their speed on the flanks — especially through Bellamy on the right — to open up Newcastle’s defense. 

Carroll has been involved throughout, and the chances are there for him. The former Newcastle striker must keep control of his emotions and stay calm when that final ball comes his way.

28th minute, 1-0 Newcastle: Carroll spurns another chance, and this time it was with his head. 

Bellamy got in behind Gutierrez and provided the cross. A Newcastle defender tried to intercept it, but it deflected up into the air. 

Carroll ran onto it, but could not direct his header on target. It went over the bar.

24th minute, 1-0 Newcastle: The goal seems to have given Newcastle a bit of a boost.

The hosts are passing the ball freely through the midfield, and it almost lead to another chance, as Ben Arfa tried to find Ba with a through-ball into the area.

19th minute, 1-0 Newcastle: Cisse puts the hosts ahead with a sublime finish. 

Ben Arfa was the creator, as he twisted and turned himself free of Spearing on the right side. 

He floated a cross to the far post that only Cisse could reach. It lofted over Shelvey and the Senegalese striker headed it across the face of goal. 

It eluded Reina and bounced off the inside of the post.

16th minute, 0-0: Newcastle escapes unpunished after Simpson handles the ball on the goal line. 

The Newcastle fullback was manning the post on the ensuing corner, and it bounced into his arm. 

LFC was protesting, but the referee was not interested in awarding the penalty.

15th minute, 0-0: Bellamy’s cross nearly puts LFC ahead. The LFC winger hit it with pace, and Krul tried to parry it. 

Krul didn’t tap it over the bar. His attempt saw it bounce off the crossbar instead.

Ninth minute, 0-0: Carroll did so much good work to create his own scoring opporunity, but he ruined it in the end by diving. 

He was in alone on Krul, tried to take it around him, and dove when the Newcastle goalkeeper rushed off his line to stop him.

Ninth minute, 0-0: LFC is unfazed by the atmosphere. 

Skrtel comes close with a header from close range. His attempt flies over the bar.

Seventh minute, 0-0: Ben Arfa tumbles in the box after trying to dribble past Enrique. No penalty was given. There was never going to be one there. 

The game is off to a lively start, as the Geordies at the Sports Direct Arena are roaring their heroes on.

Third minute, 0-0: If anyone was wondering what kind of reception Bellamy would get, his first touch was greeted by boos … thousands of them.

It’s a hat-trick of Newcastle welcomes for the ex-Magpies on display.

Third minute, 0-0: If anyone was wondering what kind of reception Enrique would get, his first touch was greeted by boos … thousands of them.

Second minute, 0-0: If anyone was wondering what kind of reception Carroll would get, his first touch was greeted by boos … thousands of them.

Pregame: Dalglish does some unexpected reshuffling of his decks ahead of the clash with Newcastle. 

Shelvey and Bellamy will start for the Reds. The Welsh wizard Bellamy has been sorely missed in recent weeks, but he has recovered from the undisclosed ailments that kept him out of action. 

A number of Championship clubs wanted Shelvey to join them on loan, but Dalglish wanted to keep him close by. He’ll make his second league start of the season. 

For Newcastle, Perch will try and fill the massive void left by Coloccini’s injury. Gutierrez will drop into the defense, but he will bomb forward at any moment.

8 a.m.: Here are the lineups

Liverpool

Pepe Reina (25), goalkeeper
Jon Flanagan (38), right back
Martin Skrtel (37), center back
Jamie Carragher (23), center back
Jose Enrique (3), left back
Jay Spearing (20), midfielder
Steve Gerrard (8), midfielder
Jonjo Shelvey (33), midfielder
Craig Bellamy (39), forward
Luis Suarez (7), forward
Andy Carroll (9), striker

Substitutes

Doni (32), goalkeeper
Sebastian Coates (16), defender
Fabio Aurelio (6), defender
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Stewart Downing (19), midfielder
Maxi (11), forward
Dirk Kuyt (18), forward

Newcastle United

 Tim Krul (26), goalkeeper
Danny Simpson (5), right back
Mike Williamson (6), center back
James Perch (14), center back
Jonas Gutierrez (18), left back
Hatem Ben Arfa (10), midfielder
Cheik Tiote (24), midfielder 
Yohan Cabaye (4), midfielder 
Danny Guthrie (8), midfielder
Demba Ba (19), striker
Papiss Cisse (9), striker

Substitutes 

Rob Elliot (35), goalkeeper 
Davide Santon (3), defender 
Ryan Taylor (16), left back
Dan Gosling (15), midfielder
Shane Ferguson (31), midfielder
Haris Vuckic (29), midfielder
Shola Ameobi (23), striker

12:00 a.m. ET: On Sunday, Liverpool faces one of the great surprises of the 2011-12 Premier League campaign. The eight placed Magpies host the Reds, who sit two places below, in a game that will go some way toward setting both teams’ final Premier League position.

Newcastle shot to the upper reaches of the standings in August. Rather than falling back into the chasing pack as many predicted, it has remained among the top six teams for nearly eight months. 

Manager Alan Pardew has turned the Magpies into one of the best home teams in the leauge. They have won eight and drawn five of their 15 league games at Sports Direct Arena and are unbeaten since December.

Senegalese strikers Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba have shouldered the scoring burden for Newcastle. Ba has 16 goals this season but is scoreless in his last six games. Cisse has picked up the slack, bagging five goals in his last six games.

Pardew will have to reshuffle things at the back, as defensive rock Fabricio Coloccini has been ruled out with a torn hamstring.

LFC is mired in a league slump. It has won just one out of its last seven league games since Jan. 31. Boss Kenny Dalglish has cited the strain of nonstop play as the main reason for the club’s recent struggles. But the Reds will take the field Sunday with the benefit of a full week of preparation.

Andy Carroll and Jose Enrique will return to their former home as LFC players for the first time. Carroll played 91 times for his hometown club Newcastle, scoring 33 goals. Enrique moved to Newcastle in 2007 and played 129 games as a Magpie.

The Reds will depend on their skipper, Steve Gerrard, to help provide some scoring punch. If the LFC captain scores Sunday, it will be his 150th senior goal for the club. IT would also mark his eighth against Newcastle.

Join us right here at 8:30 a.m. for Newcastle-Liverpool. We’ll have all the action.

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