Everything was set up for another Anfield disappointment. Liverpool had drawn 6 of their 9 home games so far this season, stumbling against the likes of Sunderland, Blackburn and Swansea, but on Friday night Liverpool went against their home form and produced a convincing display. Newcastle took the lead but Liverpool stormed back and equalised a couple of minutes later. Once they were equal the result was rarely in doubt.
Newcastle United, who recently took a point from Old Trafford against last season’s Premier League Champions Manchester United, took the lead thanks to a slightly controversial goal. A cross into the box was met, at a glance, by Yohan Cabaye, before a slight deflection, probably off of Daniel Agger but possibly off of Demba Ba, directed it past Jose Reina in the Liverpool game. Newcastle were ahead and silence surrounded Anfield.
Minutes later, however, Liverpool were back in the match. Craig Bellamy finished impressively. It was his third goal of the season for Liverpool. In the second half the Welshman managed to score his fourth goal for Liverpool this season. From a free kick close to 30 yards out the attacker decided to try to take advantage of some confusing defending by Danny Simpson – the defender was unsure if he ought to be on the goal line or in the defensive shielding wall – and he squeezed the ball between the Newcastle defender and the goalkeeper Tim Krul, putting Liverpool ahead for the first time in the encounter. Soon after Steven Gerrard scored an impressive third. Gerrard had been introduced with about thirty minutes of the match left with the scores still tied and was powerful and authoritative from the start. He took a hold of the game and created opportunities for his team mates. Andy Carrol, with more composure, ought to have scored two goals himself from Steven Gerrard’s work. One time the forward, formerly of Newcastle, contrived to mis-control the ball just 8 yards out from goal thus squandering a very good goalscoring opportunity. Not long after he managed to get his head to a Steven Gerrard cross but he could only find the woodwork, not for the first time this season, and was thus unable to bring the Anfield crowd the goal they so desperately wanted to see their number 9 score.
At the games end the Anfield crowd still went home happy knowing they club had finally returned to winning ways at their home stadium and that, all in all, it was a good year. 2011 had most definitely been an improvement on 2010.