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Season 2015-16
Liverpool (a) Premier League

In association 


Saturday 23rd April 2016, 3.00pm


Conditions: Improbable

Admission: £47




Newcastle United

2 - 2




2 mins A long punt forward from the left found Daniel Sturridge inside the area with Paul Dummett and Jamaal Lascelles in close attendance. He controlled the ball and turned before hitting it on the half-volley past Karl Darlow for his seventh goal against Newcastle in as many starts. 0-1

30 mins Alberto Moreno turned in from the left and found Adam Lallana in far too much room inside the "D". He had time to take a touch before curling the ball into the top corner of the net. 0-2

Half time: Reds 2 Magpies 0

 mins Andros Townsend found Sissoko down the right and he laid the ball back to Anita who lofted a high cross that Mignolet dived under, leaving Papiss Cisse to head the ball into the unguarded goal. 1-2

66 mins Townsend floated the ball back into the box from the right and Gini Wijnaldum's attempted jump did enough to make Dejan Lovren glance a weak header into an unattended space. 

Jack Colback
arrived and
having shouted to deter the lurking Cisse from trying to latch on to it, made sufficient contact to find the corner of the net via a big deflection off Lovren. 2-2

Full time: Reds 2 Magpies 2

We Said




"I think the players have the belief now. They know we can change things and now it is easier for me to change the positions of the players when we have to: to press here, to press there - maybe play counter attack. They have a better idea but still you need time.

"I hope we have momentum now. There are three important games to play and if we can play like we did in the second half at Liverpool then fine. I know we have to improve on the ball but if we have the same spirit we can keep the momentum.

"You have to forget the table and concentrate on the next game. We have to win the next three games. We have to do our job and see what happens with the other games but at least we showed character and the belief is still there, which is crucial for us.

"Nobody is expecting to concede a goal in the first two minutes like we did to Sturridge. After conceding the second goal the problem we had was very difficult. We had to chase things.

"I'm really pleased we have the point. The first half was a little bit concerning about the mistakes we were making but the reaction is the main positive thing we can take from this game.

"I changed the shape of the team. It was more or less the same idea. The credit has to go to the players for reacting. They knew we had to do better and put it right on the pitch."

When asked about his half-time team talk he said:


"I have answered this question a lot of times.

"We knew the first half was not the best and we needed to react so I told them similar to what I said in the past: 'Nothing to lose'. We had to fight and show more character and I think the players had a fantastic reaction. 

"Liverpool were playing well and it was difficult to stop them but this was different
(to Istanbul)

"That was a final, one game, and now it is a race in which we have to keep going. Hopefully it will be the same and I will be really pleased. I am pleased with the point against a very good team and hopefully they can do well in the Europa League.

"Hopefully Liverpool can go in the right direction
(under Klopp). He's got great experience and is a lovely person, someone who the players and the fans will enjoy. Hopefully, next year we can play Newcastle and Liverpool again in the Premier League.”

Reflecting on his second return to Anfield as a manager:

"It is very emotional; the fans, the city and the club. 

"I have a very good relationship with Liverpool and my family still live here. It was emotional because the Liverpool and Newcastle fans were singing my name. It was really pleasing."

They Said

Jurgen Klopp said:

We did really, really well in the first half against a highly-motivated side in their situation. Now they are happy with a point but before the game they maybe thought they could win against Liverpool at Anfield.

"In the first half we were clearly the better team and we were clearly the better team in the second half too, only not around the two goals we conceded. Two shots on target and two goals – it sounds not too good and is not too good. But in this moment we have to accept it.

"We really did well in a lot of parts of the game. We cannot think about the reason (why we didn't win) too much, to be honest. We have to carry on and work.

"Today, especially the first half was really good. In the second half after the draw, usually the game can change but it didn’t. We were still dominant and we played football. In an intensive game, after an intensive game, against a rested opponent, we did really well.

“But you then need a little bit of luck in decisive moments; it’s an inch on the boot and the ball goes there. We had this penalty situation – I think it was a clear penalty.

"2-2 feels not too good but we have to accept it and we can accept it.” 


Rafa Benitez became the first Magpies boss to see his side go two goals behind in a Premier League away game but avoid defeat since.....JFK. The biggest plonka it's ever been our misfortune to employ was in nominal command of United on the other side of Stanley Park in October 2008 when we fell 0-2 behind to Everton but recovered to draw 2-2.

Since then United have salvaged 2-2 away draws after trailing 0-2 in the Championship at Bristol City in March 2010 and in the Europa League at Club Brugge in October 2012. The last time they recovered a two goal deficit anywhere was at home to Hull City in September 2014.

This was Newcastle's 21st unsuccessful attempt to win a PL fixture at Anfield since a 2-0 success in April 1994 and it's now also 21 games and 20 years since our last victory of any description there - 1-0 in the League Cup in November 1995. 

United's worst-ever run of Premier League away defeats was halted at nine, while this draw meant that our record number of away league losses in a season cannot now be emulated. With one game to play we've been beaten 14 times this season - the record was 16 in 1929/30.

Avoiding defeat also ensured that the class of 2016 didn't equal the club's record run of 10 consecutive away league losses, set during the 1931/32 season.

Finding the net in their final away game at Aston Villa would see United equal their previous low away scoring tally in a PL season. That figure of 13 came in 1997/98 - we've scored 12 so far.

Since scoring our first trio of away goals before the interval, our subsequent nine strikes on the road this season have all come during the second half.

Regardless of the outcome at Villa Park, this season will see Newcastle set their new low Premier League away points tally, with the current eight point haul four off the previous low of 12 that came during 2008/09.

Jack Colback netted his first goal of the season to become United's 12th different PL scorer of 2015/16 (excluding own goals), while Papiss Cisse hit his third of the current campaign. 

The number 9 has now netted 37 times in the PL, drawing him level in sixth position on our all-time PL scorers list, along with Nolberto Solano. 

Dean Sturridge's 67 second opener was the quickest goal we've conceded this season, beating Diego Costa's five minute effort at Chelsea and Shane Long's four minute strike at Southampton. 

Magpies @ Anfield: PL era:

2015/16: Drew 2-2 Cisse, Colback
2014/15: Lost 0-2
2013/14: Lost 1-2 OG
2012/13: Drew 1-1 Cabaye
2011/12: Lost 1-3 OG
2010/11: Lost 0-3
2008/09: Lost 0-3
2007/08: Lost 0-3
2006/07: Lost 0-2
2005/06: Lost 0-2
2004/05: Lost 1-3 Kluivert
2003/04: Drew 1-1 Ameobi
2003/04: Lost 1-2 Robert (FAC)
2002/03: Drew 2-2 Speed, Shearer
2001/02: Lost 0-3
2000/01: Lost 0-3
1999/00: Lost 1-2 Shearer
1998/99: Lost 2-4 Solano, Andersson
1997/98: Lost 0-1
1996/97: Lost 3-4 Gillespie, Asprilla, Barton
1995/96: Lost 3-4 Ferdinand, Ginola, Asprilla
1995/96: Won 1-0 Watson (LC)
1994/95: Lost 0-2
1993/94: Won 2-0 Lee, Cole

Full record against the Reds:
  P W D L F A
SJP 80 33 24 23 118 99
Anfield 80 11 16 53 81 182
League 160 44 40 76 199 281
SJP(FA) 4 4 0 0 6 1
Anf/W 5 0 1 4 3 13
SJP(LC) 1 0 0 1 0 2
Anf 1 1 0 0 1 0
Cup 11 5 1 5 10 16
Tot 171 49 41 81 209 297






Two second half goals made it a memorable return to Anfield for Rafa Benitez as United carved out  what could prove to be another crucial point in their desperate fight for top-flight survival.

Anything other than a heavy defeat here seemed incredibly unlikely at half-time though, with the visitors two down and having shown nothing to trouble a home side strolling in the sunshine.

The Benitez game plan had gone out of the window after just 68 seconds when Sturridge controlled the ball in the box and turned to fire past the helpless Karl Darlow.

Things got worse after half an hour when Lallana curled one home from the edge of the area and a record-equalling tenth successive away loss for the white and blue clad Toon looked inevitable.

At that point the United boss could have been forgiven for seeking a hasty exit back to his home on the Wirral, but somehow he managed to galvanise his current charges into making a game of it and ultimately end our disastrous and damaging sequence of away defeats at the tenth time of asking.

Papiss Cisse got on the end of a Vurnon Anita cross soon after the break before Jack Colback amazingly hit a deflected effort to draw his side level midway through the second half.

Gini Wijnaldum replaced Ayoze Perez at the interval and it didn't take long for Cisse to head United back into the match in front of the Kop - his first goal of 2016.

Referee Andre Marriner thankfully waved away penalty appeals for Cheick Tiote's challenge on Sturridge and a rapid break from Wijnaldum ended with Cisse bearing down on goal and defenders frantically trying to get in front of him.

Cisse dallied however and eventually teed up Townsend who fired harmlessly over the crossbar and increased the grumbling from a discontented home following. Undaunted, United maintained the pressure and another Townsend centre saw Colback level to trigger absolute mayhem among the travelling support whose support of manager and players alike grew louder and louder.

Despite prolonged home pressure there were few clear chances, which is testament to some defensive displays that left absolutely nothing out - Chancel Mbemba seemingly relishing his task, while Vurnon Anita literally ran himself to a standstill for the cause.

Substitute Jonjo Shelvey almost broke clear against his old side but he and fellow replacement Aleksandar Mitrovic were more gainfully employed helping out the defence, than threatening a long overdue and famous victory on this ground.

If Benitez was able to ultimately coax and cajole his side to another positive result though, he's also breathed new life into fans over the last week - and God alone knows we needed something to cling to. If Leeds have resorted to bundling in a pie voucher with their seats, then free prescriptions for anti-depressants posted with away tickets would have been a valid option for Newcastle in 2016.

We may only have taken a point, but the euphoria generated by the team just demonstrating their commitment was almost tragic. The second half display, outcome and crowd response evoked memories of happier days on this ground when we were actually threatening and competitive. 

In particular this was reminiscent of a similar comeback in 2002, when goals from Gary Speed and Alan Shearer saved a point for Bobby Robson's side after they trailed 0-2. (Actually, that night was even more mental as we kicked towards the away end in the second half. Quoting from our report of Wor Al's leveller: "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.")   

Back to 2016 and ended here in handshakes and applause all round, Rafa replicating the result of his previous visit here when in charge of Chelsea, inspiring us to a result despite them looking like the ultimate lost cause - no wonder journalists spoke of Istanbul afterwards.... 

What continues to baffle and bemuse though is quite why we've been so dreadful for vast tracts of this season - and those now giving "100% for the gaffer" as Papiss Cisse commented were equally capable of posting lamentable displays cheating their supporters and employer week after week.

This could still be a massive point for us - not just the source of some fleeting joy - despite a point for the mackems 24 hours later. Victories against Palace and Villa remain essential to maintain a chance of survival going into the last game of the season, at home to Spurs.

The great escape is still possible, if improbable. If nothing else though, we're going down fighting and that's testament to the man in the away dugout inspiring greater effort on and off the field.


Page last updated 20 June, 2016