This report is brought to you by Ginsters
2nd September 2002, 8pm
and dry, except in the back of the away end under the stand, where a
remake of Tenko could have been staged - positively
Half time: Liverpool 0 Newcastle 0
54 mins A hasty thrown
clearance from Given found Solano just outside the Newcastle penalty area
and he was instantly set upon by two Liverpool players. Gerrard robbed him
of the ball and knocked it into the feet of Hamann who rammed it
into the net from an angle. 1-0
73 mins Dabizas ended up towering over a non-jumping Hyppia and with
the adjacent Kop bellowing for a spot kick, Poll duly obliged. No great
protests from the toon players and Owen duly slipped the ball past
80 mins The comeback began. Robert scampered away down the left
away from two defenders and found the onrushing Bellamy. He twisted into
the box and had the presence of mind to pull the ball back to the unmarked
Speed who blasted in after changing stride to hit it with his right
88 mins Amid scenes of great excitement from the toon fans,
Robert bludgeoned over a corner from the left at the Anfield Road end and
a memorable jump and header from Shearer powered the ball past
Dudek and Traore on the goal line. I have no idea what happened for the
next 90 seconds, but several bruised ribs and a big lump on the back of
the head may provide some clues....2-2
Full time: Liverpool 2 Newcastle 2
I always knew we had
more than £30m worth of talent in reserve should we need it."
going to come on if we'd been in control but we ended up in trouble. I was
forced to make the changes and they had a sudden impact.
"At one point
we looked like we were dead and buried but with four internationals
waiting in the wings I could always give my players a pick-me-up.
"I know they
had many more chances than we did but, in the end, I thought we might have
won it. Only an excellent interception denied Alan Shearer at the
"We just played
with the kind of tremendous spirit which earned us so many points on our
travels last season.
"We never gave
it up but for most of the game they had the attacking edge and we were
hanging on. The game was never beyond us but I must pay tribute to Aaron
Hughes. He was absolutely outstanding and made at least four vital
"We went 2-0 down and we never gave it
up - we needed to score a goal, which we did.
"We were back in it at 2-1 and,
after that, it could have been anybody's game.
"We always had belief. I always
felt there was something in it for us."
"Three games (played so far),
two away from home, and four points is not so bad."
On the penalty award:
"I would think that would be a good decision."
"We're doing everything we can to stop Craig from playing for Wales.
"He's played 20
minutes in seven months and he's nowhere near ready for an international.
If he goes to link up with his country and comes back injured, my chairman
would go ballistic.
Craig and the Welsh Football Association he's simply not fit.
"I'm not a
manager who takes away players and as soon as he's fit he'll have my
blessing to play for his country. Until then I'm sending him to Morecambe,
where he will play for the reserves."
"He is also
feeling pain in his shins again."
Alan Shearer chipped in:
"The manager has got this attitude that we're never beaten.
"And we've got a point and it's a
great result for us in the end."
great spirit in the side, we never stop trying and running. It wasn't a
vintage performance but the introduction of some fresh legs made all the
"We showed last
year that we have a never-say-die attitude which got us back into games
that we looked likely to lose. We did the same against Liverpool when it
perhaps looked over."
While Speed took the blame for a
second half on-pitch falling out with Dyer:
"To be fair it was my fault.
It was all in the heat of the moment.
"I gave the
ball to Kieron and said something to him and he thought I was blaming him
but I wasn't.
"It was my
fault and I take full responsibility for it but at least it got us going
again. When all this was happening we were having a bad time and I was the
"I had a torrid
20 minutes when I gave the ball away and that's what we did when they
scored their opening goal. We did think it was a penalty, that is apart
from Nicos Dabizas, but the way we came back showed we have not lost any
of our fighting spirit.
"We came here
expecting to get something but when you are 2-0 down you can be excused
from thinking that you are not going to get anything.
made some inspired substitutions and they got us back into it.
"Our crowd got
a little buzz when they came on."
"The best thing I
can say about the game is that the tradition of Liverpool-Newcastle
fixtures was upheld.
"It was a great
game of football but we just didn't get the three points which I felt we
"We had more
fluency in the team than Newcastle and I felt they rode their luck. We
created as many chances as it is possible to create and could well have
scored 10 on another night.
"But Bobby made
three clever substitutions and we were drawn into an attacking game in the
closing stages when we should have shut up shop. The Liverpool team were
more ambitious than their manager.
"We had plenty
of chances to score a third goal - we are disappointed with the result. We
created a lot of chances and we were unlucky not to score more goals.
"Every game we show a little bit
better. We have only got two points in the last two games but those games
were better than our first two games."
All time Premiership: P353
W158 D89 L106 F558 A422 Points=
Robson NUFC (all competitions): P147,
W71, D35, L41
We've conceded 155
league goals at Anfield in 68 games while scoring 74.
Our first point on this ground since a 2-0 victory under Keegan
in 1993-94, and our first draw since December 1985 - a 1-1
Alan Shearer notched goal number 123 for Newcastle, adding to his
header in front of the Kop in March 2000 with another one off the slightly
balding pate at the Anfield Road end.
Our number nine has now scored in 4 games against Liverpool for
Newcastle, but is yet to finish on the winning side.
Gary Speed's goal was United's 1,700th
in the top flight away from home.
Were this match to be a cheesy 1980's pop hit, it would be "Against
All Odds", or a gallic arthouse movie, "Breathless."
Whatever spurious reference point gets dragged in to the equation however
can only hint at the rollercoaster ride of a game that these two sides
once again played out in front of a goggle-eyed telly audience.
Comeback kings for once at Anfield were the visitors, and it was the home
fans left looking bemused at the final whistle. Thankfully.
In front of messrs Keegan and Dalglish, the two architects of the infamous
4-3 losses, Bobby went one better and although we didn't snaffle all three
points, this felt like an almighty victory of the moral variety.
While we undoubtedly dug deep into our well of fighting spirit though and
battled manfully to contain the red menace, on another night we could have
been severely mauled and shipped goals by the bucketload.
For once Michael Owen left his shooting boots elsewhere and seemingly only
his reputation and habit of scoring against us saw him remain on the field
when his litany of missed chances suggested an early bath.
He did beat Given from the spot of course, but otherwise was something
approaching a weak link as Hamann once again prospered in the space that
has existed in our midfield since he defected from Tyneside to
On such a momentous night, it's probably worth going through those that
Given - penalty saves not a
speciality (see World Cup) but some valuable blocks without the
eye-catching saves that he's pulled off in other games.
Hughes - tried to augment the attack in the first half but had his
hands full with raids down the flank from the tricky and talented
Liverpool midfield. Probably reminiscent of playing for his country, when
threats come from all sides.
Dabizas - had a point to prove to fans, manager, media and probably
himself. Penalty was only major rick in a gutsy display when he managed to
stop himself from leaping in to tackles and over-committing himself.
Bramble - the odd error but some well-timed interceptions, and
importantly he looked to have the stomach for the fight and seemed to be
enjoying himself. Settling in continues.
Bernard - again less than wonderful, but seemed to be singled out by
Poll for particularly unfair treatment. One or two of his little runs and
jinks were evident, which may hopefully point to a resurgence.
Solano - running on empty. Crossing has dried up and looked as if he
was coming to the end of a hard campaign, not beginning one. It's starting
to become clear why Bobby has been looking at right-sided
Viana - unlucky to come off and could have played a crucial role in
a more central position. Unfair to expect instant match-winning prowess in
an arena like this, but no complaints about him knuckling down.
Dyer - looked a little lad playing with big boys. Later revealed to be
under the weather and claiming sore shins.
Speed - involved in a spat with Dyer and openly abused by sections of
the away support, notably when we wasn't replaced during the triple
substitution. Got the goal but seemed to lack mobility and often came
under pressure with the consequence that passing quality was variable.
LuaLua - 45 minutes of pure graft to try and stem the tide heading
towards our goal, reminiscent of a similar singular contribution in one of
his early games at Highbury. Less of a threat in the second half -
Shearer - not a great deal of goal threat to be frank, until that
magic last few moments when he struck once, and almost won it. Predatory
Robert - stark contrast with his virtuoso display of shirking the last
time we played here. Looked motivated, committed and of course
prodigiously talented. Seeing Viana playing in the middle with Robert on
the wing to receive those wonderful passes is a truly mouth-watering
Bellamy - back in the groove within a nanosecond of getting on the
Jenas - unfamiliar wide role, but those all-important fresh legs were
Had we lost this game, we would have had to stew in our own juice until
Leeds (who have their own problems) came to toon. As it is, both players
and crowd can take heart and draw strength from the late rally and
And as for the return of the Welshman and the Frenchie? Not a moment too
soon. We will need their talent if we're to take the Champions League
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