Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool: Magpies halt Reds at St. James Park

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Georginio Wijnaldum starred as Newcastle outran the in-form Liverpool to earn a 2-0 win at St. James Park.

The Reds will feel aggrieved, however, with a 79th minute equalizer from Alberto Moreno wiped away thanks to an errant offsides flag.

Wijnaldum forced a Martin Skrtel own goal with 21 minutes remaining, and then scored his own in added time to seal the three points.

With Liverpool well on top throughout the opening 20 minutes, the Reds still struggled to create much in front of goal despite their heavy pressing. After earning numerous corners, the Reds produced a 21st minute chance on their fourth of the day as Christian Benteke got on the end of a loose ball in front of goal, but he could only lash it over the bar.

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Following the chance, Newcastle built themselves onto the ball and earned a chance as Papiss Cisse flashed wide just over the half-hour mark.

Both sides had moments just before halftime. Cisse had a second opportunity five minutes before the break but he was beaten one-on-one by Martin Skrtel in a scrap in the box. The hosts’ first corner produced a chance as well a minute later, with Chancel Mbemba rising high but heading just over the bar. Liverpool earned themselves one more good effort ahead of the whistle too, as Jordan Ibe cut inside and curled one just over the bar.

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Newcastle had most of the half-chances early in the second half, but were missing the final ball. Lucas had scuffed opportunity on 52 minutes, but the Magpies continued to push forward, growing the excitement at St. James Park. Tension grew as both sides pushed for the opener, and things truly opened up past the hour mark, but the build-ups remained sloppy and few true chances were created by either team.

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Finally, as was fitting for this game, the breakthrough came from an own goal after 68 minutes as Georginio Wijnaldum cut a ball across the face of goal, and as it reached the near post it deflected off the shin of a sliding Skrtel and into the back of the net.

Liverpool pushed forward following the opener as Jurgen Klopp threw on Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana. They appeared to have the equalizer with 11 minutes to go, but Alberto Moreno was flagged for offsides despite skillfully volleying the ball into the back of the net. On replay, it appeared the referee’s decision was quite blatantly wrong.

Despite five minutes of added time, Newcastle would put the game away as Wijnaldum broke free after good work from Moussa Sissokho, dinking the finish over Simon Mignolet for a 2-0 lead.

The victory pushes Newcastle up level with Bournemouth on 13 points, only in the drop zone on goal differential. The win is only their third of the season and sixth this calendar year. Meanwhile, Liverpool has its four-match winning streak across all competitions stopped in its tracks, and remains in seventh on 23 points.