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Season 2022-23
Liverpool (h) Premier League


Saturday 18th February 2023, 5.30pm
Live on Sky Sports

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Calamitous





0 - 2





10 mins A ball forward over the top went between the centre halves to Darwin Nunez who controlled on his chest before firing past Nick Pope. There was a surprisingly lengthy VAR check for offside and then handball but neither looked close. 0-1

17 mins Mo Salah's dinked ball forward found Cody Gakpo in space on the penalty spot and after a touch he was able to shoot under Pope into the Gallowgate net. The VAR check was again surprisingly long and the time taken to draw the lines suggested someone was using an etch-a-sketch. The still image used clearly showed Gakpo was just onside.

Having said that, a frame or two further forward would have clearly showed Gakpo to be offside. The choice of frame on a VAR check like this is absolutely crucial and seems to be decided immediately without debate. Rocking the frames forward and backwards (as you could do on VCR machines in the 1980s) could have easily ruled it out. The role of the VAR pause presser is a powerful one. Let's hope they didn't have Liverpool sympathies....

Half time:
Magpies 0 Reds 2

Full time: Magpies 0 Reds 2

We Said

Eddie Howe said:

"I thought it was actually a good performance in the main. We started really well. We had a good early chance and the crowd were in the game, the tempo was good and we were set for a really good match.

"I thought they were clinical with their chances when they came and obviously Nick Pope's sending-off changed the game.

"I've not had a proper word with him but I've seen him and he looks visibly upset. He's been outstanding for us this season.

"It was probably technically handball but I don't know the rules on red cards outside the box.

"For me it was a harsh reaction but I understand if it's in the rules. It's harsh for Nick because he's been magnificent for us and to miss the next game is a huge blow for him.

"There was real quality, we opened Liverpool up at times and created some real chances. That's the difference, they took their chances and we didn't take ours.

"A lot happened in the game, a good start from us and we had the first chance in the game. We conceded two goals which is unlike us. I was disappointed with the goals, I thought we need to look back at them.

"I thought the reaction to that sending off was brilliant from the team. I thought we stayed in the game and were competitive, we created chances and I felt if we could get the next goal we had a route back into the game but that never happened.

"I've had spells like this in my managerial career where you create chances and the goals don't come. But I back the players to come out of it, we've got too much quality not to."

On Karius/Gillespie:

"We've had a big team of goalkeepers this year. Loris Karius and Mark Gillespie will become our 'keepers for the next game.

"I've got trust in both of them - they've trained really well for us. Loris has obviously got a lot of experience behind him, so he's ready.

"They've started games away from competitive action in several friendlies and training games. I'd say they're match ready.

"I would have confidence in them, that's what they're in the squad for. They've both been very competitive and part of our group all season. I have full confidence.

"There's been games where Nick (Pope) has had very little to do, there have also been moments where he has stepped up and made world-class saves for us.

"But we need to make sure we go into next week with the mindset that we protect our goal, as we have done all season, regardless of who the goalkeeper is. That doesn't change our focus on the defensive display.

"We've got to digest this quickly and look forward to what is an exciting week for us."

On Saint-Maximin:

"Allan was excellent today. That's him at his best, really. I thought he was good out wide - he started the game really well and was giving them problems in that area. When he went central, when we reshuffled, he gave them problems on transitions."

On Joelinton:

"We hope he's OK. He wanted to carry on - I wanted to protect him for the games ahead. We hope it's not serious."

On Trippier:

"I think he's OK. It was more precautionary, just to make sure we didn't lose anybody for next week. It was the same for Joelinton. We hope they are just the normal things you get during a game, but I just wanted to be ultra careful."

They Said

Jurgen Klopp said:

"Massive result, clean sheet, two wonderful goals and space for improvement. I thought we did really well - the red card probably would have been a wonderful goal as well if Pope hadn't got his hand on the ball.

"Against 10 men we didn't react particularly well. Newcastle had nothing to lose anymore. You could see they're a top team with top character - they threw everything on the pitch. And we gave them too many set pieces.

"The most negative thing was that Darwin
(Nunez) had to go off. We have to see how serious that is - hopefully not too much. We have to fight through these things. A third goal would have been extremely helpful, but we had to fight until the end.

"The relief of the 2-0, the red card, and all of a sudden one step less and the rhythm was gone. I wish we'd have done that better, but in the end I'm really happy we got it over the line.

(Jota) could have scored. Bobby (Firmino) started really well and then lost two or three balls that pretty much gave them counter-attacks. Getting through this is the next step for them. Virgil (van Dijk), playing 90 minutes was hard for him. All the rest was really good."


Newcastle's unbeaten home start to a PL season ended at 11 games, their best start since the 13 game run of 1995/96. Including the win over Arsenal in May, that 12 game sequence was the longest in the PL at SJP during a season since the 14 games of the 2002/03 campaign.

The Magpies were unable to set what would have been an all-time club record of 18 league games without defeat. Instead, their run ended at 17, emulating the record sequence set in the 2009/10 Championship season.

Newcastle have now failed to win any of the six PL games that Bruno Guimaraes has missed this season, drawing four and losing the other two. Sven Botman meanwhile finished on the losing side in the Premier League for the first time in his 21st game.

Failing to win their last game before a domestic final is hardly a novelty for NUFC, managing that feat on just four occasions from a possible 15:

1904/05 Nottingham Forest (h) won 5-1
1905/06 Woolwich Arsenal (h) drew 1-1
Boro (a) lost 1-2
Liverpool (h) lost 1-3
Blackburn Rovers (h) drew 2-2
Aston Villa (a) lost 1-6
Portsmouth (a) lost 0-6
Manchester United (h) lost 0-2
1951/52 Aston Villa (h) won 6-1
Spurs (a) lost 1-2
1973/74 Burnley (a) drew 1-1
1975/76 Bolton Wanderers (n) won 2-1
Blackburn Rovers (a) lost 0-1
1998/99 Blackburn Rovers (h) drew 1-1
2022/23 Liverpool (h) lost 0-2

Nick Pope
is the third Magpies 'keeper to be dismissed in the Premier League, with his red card the fifth to be shown:

1993/94 Pavel Srnicek (Coventry City a)
1994/95 Pavel Srnicek (Spurs h)
1994/95 Pavel Srnicek (Leicester City a)
2012/13 Rob Elliott (QPR a)
2022/23 Nick Pope (Liverpool h)

Reds @ SJP - Premier League era:

2022/23 Lost 0-2
2021/22 Lost 0-1
2020/21 Drew 0-0
2019/20 Lost 1-3 Gayle
2018/19 Lost 2-3 Atsu, Rondon
2017/18 Drew 1-1 Joselu
2015/16 Won 2-0 og(Skrtel), Wijnaldum
2014/15 Won 1-0 Perez
2013/14 Drew 2-2 Cabaye, Dummett
2012/13 Lost 0-6
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



A traumatic Saturday night at St.James' Park ended with Newcastle surrendering their seventeen game unbeaten PL record, suffering a first home loss of the season and preparing for an unexpected cup final debutant.

Losing again to the only side to have defeated them in 25 games may not have been a massive shock, but the prospect of facing Manchester United in the League Cup Final without Nick Pope was rather more unlikely.

Those scenarios unfolded over a nightmarish 13 minutes during a first half that had begun with the hosts tearing into the visitors as home fans roared their approval, Miguel Almiron spurning a glorious chance early on.

Against the run of play, Jurgen Klopp's side profited from their first meaningful excursion over halfway when Darwin Nunez ran through to score on ten minutes - a VAR check for offside following, although it looked more like the possible offence was handball.

Seven minutes later Nick Pope was again fishing the ball out of the Gallowgate End net, this time after Cody Gakpo firing home following Mo Salah's defence-splitting pass - VAR again refuting hopeful offside claims.

A disaster then threatened to become a calamity when Liverpool poured forward again five minutes later, Pope coming out of his box to deny Salah but deliberately handling the ball after his initial attempt to head it failed.

Off he went, leaving his side a man short, home fans in a state of shock and Martin Dubravka to replace the luckless Elliot Anderson, who was making his first PL start after Joe Willock dropped out with hamstring trouble. One of the home staff also went to brief the ballboys and girls at the Gallowgate End, presumably asking them not to act with undue haste....

Realisation quickly dawned that not only would Pope miss the League Cup Final, but Dubravka's ill-fated Old Trafford loan also disqualified him after featuring for the Red Devils in that competition.

With Karl Darlow out of contention on loan at Hull City, that leaves Eddie Howe with Loris Karius and Mark Gillespie as his goalkeeping options at Wembley; a 45 minute outing against Al-Hilal in December his only pitch time in a Newcastle shirt to date.

As to why Dubravka was on the bench today rather than Karius, the only reason that makes sense is that Howe treated this Premier League game in complete isolation and picked his strongest possible 20 man squad.

Where the eleven men of United had fallen short though, ten players succeeded in keeping a clean sheet. Lesser Newcastle sides - and managers - have folded in circumstances like this, but this was rather more than a defiant rearguard action and had one of their chances gone in, then this game would have been rather more of a contest than it ultimately was.

Giving his best display since torturing Manchester City here in August, Allan Saint-Maximin saw his shot touched onto the crossbar, Dan Burn headed against the same bit of woodwork and Fabian Schar's header whistled just wide of the target after the break.

The most glaring miss of all though came on 82 minutes, when substitute pair Anthony Gordon and Callum Wilson linked up, but the number 9 was denied by Alisson's trailing leg.

A third successive failure to find the net here against Jurgen Klopp's side did little to boost the mood and our lack of form in front of goal is of increasing concern - heightening the anticipation that Bruno Guimaraes will prove to have been the missing link when he returns next week.

At the other end, Liverpool belatedly sought to increase their lead but did so in fairly unconvincing fashion - struggling to make their numerical advantage count against a Magpies side who coped admirably despite being short-handed.

Both Joelinton and Kieran Trippier were withdrawn as a precaution, the latter having taken an accidental boot on the head after challenging Nunez.

Songs of tribute to both Sir Bobby Robson and Christian Atsu during the game gave way to Wembley-related ones after full time, as home fans sought to lift the players ahead of their next game.

While there's despair for Pope though, an incredible opportunity has arisen for our as-yet-unseen German custodian to become part of Tyneside folklore.  

Next Sunday's soundtrack may yet include one more familiar at Twickenham, with the line "coming for to Karius home..."


Page last updated 20 February, 2023