Steven Whittaker

Newcastle 6-2 Norwich: Magpies grab season’s first win

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  • Five goals in a 20-minute stretch in the first half
  • Georginio Wijnaldum with first Newcastle hat-trick since 2011, nets 4

Newcastle picked up its first win of the league campaign by downing Norwich City 3-2 at St. James Park behind four goals from Georginio Wijnaldum.

Defending was optional as two of the leakiest Premier League clubs proved they need work at the back on multiple occasions, with Norwich looking completely lost.

Newcastle was dangerous from the start, and they’d pick up the opener in the 15th minute as Norwich failed to clear. Moussa Sissoko resisted the urge to pop off a shot from the top of the box, instead releasing Wijnaldum through the back line who touched home to the far post for the lead.

[ MORE: Watch full match replays ]

The visitors were galvanized after conceding, and Robbie Brady crashed an impressive strike into the post from a long way out just minutes later. That was the warning shot, as Norwich would pull level on the 20-minute mark. Martin Olsson clipped in a first-touch delivery across the face of goal and Mbokani was there to touch it home with a flying high boot.

Unfortunately for Norwich, their equalizer wouldn’t last long either. It was deja vu for the visitors as Sissoko took the ball in traffic on the touchline and sent in a deep, pinpoint cross that met the head of Wijnaldum, who rose above Steven Whittaker to retake the lead on 25 minutes.

The chances kept coming for both sides. A corner to Norwich in the 26th minute saw a big penalty appeal by the Canaries when Daryl Janmaat tugged Johnny Howson down by the shirt to prevent him from heading home at the near post.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score

The Magpies would strengthen their position with a third past the half-hour mark thanks to Ayoze Perez. The 22-year-old Spaniard burst forward on the counter, seeing his initial shot blocked before picking up the rebound and sending the ball through the defender’s legs into the net.

Norwich pulled one back as Olsson again picked out an open man from the left touchline, this time Nathan Redmond was all alone at the far post and he struck the cross first-time for Norwich’s second.

The second half proved just as exciting as well as shambolic at the back. Newcastle sealed things with a fourth goal just past the hour mark as Sissoko released Aleksandar Mitrovic with a brilliant ball, leaving the Serbian to hammer it home on the run. Wijnaldum completed his hat-trick for Newcastle’s fifth after finding Janmaat open on the right, who crossed back to the Dutchman for a point-blank header.

The final came with five minutes to go as Wijnaldum cut inside at the top of the box and flashed a shot that clipped Brady’s outstretched foot and found the top corner. The win sends Newcastle to six points, off the bottom and two points shy of departing the relegation zone. Norwich lays dormant on nine points, dropping a place to 16th thanks to the four-goal differential today.

Watch Live: Liverpool vs Norwich City (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Daniel Sturridge makes his Liverpool return as the Reds are looking for their first win in a month as they host Norwich City at Anfield live on USA Network at 11:00 a.m. ET and live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

The England international has not appeared since April 4 due to a host of injury problems but finally makes his way back into the starting lineup straight away after returning to fitness. He’ll start alongside Christian Benteke, supported by Coutinho and James Milner. The Reds have not won in any competition since August 17, the second of two wins to start the league season for Liverpool.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, what goes up must come down, and going down is Jordan Henderson who will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken foot. That forces Brendan Rodgers to move Emre Can back into midfield alongside Lucas.

WATCH LIVE: Liverpool vs Norwich City live online at NBC Sports Live Extra

Norwich pair Gary Hooper and Youssouf Mulumbu remain injured and unavailable, but otherwise the squad is healthy. Andre Wisdom, on loan from Liverpool, is not an option today against his parent club, but Steven Whittaker returns to the starting lineup from his one-match suspension after a pair of yellows in the 3-0 loss to Southampton before the international break.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Milner, Coutinho, Benteke, Sturridge
Subs: Bogdan, Lovren, Firmino, Gomez, Lallana, Ings, Ibe

Norwich City: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin, Bassong, Brady; Redmond, Dorrans, Tettey, Jarvis; Howson; Jerome.
Subs: Rudd, Grabban, Mbokani, Hoolahan, Olsson, R Bennett, O’Neil.