I am very pleased with the result, the all important 3 points which has repelled us up into joint 4th - and created a 4 point gab to Newcastle.
I was pleased with the performance, not our best, not by a long way, but we more then deserved the win and it ended up being a very comfortable evening after we got the scored the crucial second goal, other than Ba's brilliant attempt which Skrtel produced a miracle of a recovery - deserves a lot of recognition for that. A lot of our draws this season should have ended up into victories like today so i hope today's result - gives us the confidence to continue that trend against the teams we should be beating.
34 points after the first 7 games - thats very promising compared to last year. That is with Gerrard injured for most of the season, missing too many penalties, easy chances and general bad luck have cost us points against some weaker sides. That's without mentioning hitting the post more times then anyone else, by a large margin.
Their goal was lucky - an in-swinging cross from deep and Cabaye gets a flick on with his head, only for the keeper to move in anticipation of saving it - only for it to deflect onto Agger's arm and land in the empty side of the net. Unable to do anything - which was very unfortunate.
The turning point in the game was defiantly Steven Gerrard's appearance - what a player !! He delivered in 3 cracking deliveries which Carroll should have done better with his touch on the first one - should have been stronger for the second attempt - and third brilliant cross, Carroll rocketed against the crossbar, unluckily, once again.
We were playing well beforehand - but Gerrard added that extra quality and that cutting edge which was needed.
Another big moment was Bellamy's first goal - once he scored, we gained the momentum and we looked like the only side capable of creating and scoring a goal.
Bellamy was my of the match - he was the only one really trying hardiest to create and score before Gerrard's arrival. He ran his socks off, caused Newcastle's defence so many problems and he scored two fantastic goals. He looks as fresh as anyone in our squad - and his hunger and performances must be admired. Been a true revolution in his short time here - really wish we could play in every game. His passion to play is immense.
His second goal, the free kick was brilliant - hit with power and swerve. A big thanks is in order for Carroll who distracted Taylor and Krul. I think Krul would have saved the shot. But who cares? Craig scored a beauty and that was the all important goal which won us the game.
Defensively we were very strong once again - other then that goal which was rather unlucky, Newcastle never put us any real pressure. They were all very solid, and we kept a good line.
Enrique had an easy game against Obertan - he proved to be no threat whatsoever. His distribution was excellent, as expected. But he didn't really fly down the wing like he usually does, maybe he was told to sit slightly deeper and watch for any counter attack.
One of the more underrated performances was, Glen Johnson. I thought he was one of the best players out there today - he had his full back in his pocket, won us 2/3 free kicks in good crossing positions and he was a big threat from wide. He just runs past defenders like they aren't there and it's a true joy to watch and experience. Sometimes, the final ball can be lacking but there weren't many options available, especially in the first half - Carroll was drifting away from the box too often and Henderson and Adam looked way to deep, one of them need to be 10-15 yards up the pitch.
Our centre half's were perfect in everything they did today. I think they're probably the best centre back pairing in the premier league, i could easily say they're the best centre back partnership in Europe. Heading, tackling, slide tackling, distribution - everything they did was simple and brilliant which has given us such a rock solid defence.
Agger does have a rare gift with being so defensively gifted, but also having the ability to glide past players - he just picks up the ball, glides past 2 players and looks unstoppable in full-flight. He won the free kick which resulted in our second goal - it's just such a great option to have a player with his ability defensively - and with the ball at his feet. Shows such confidence and is willing to do things create chances. First time he's manage 10 premier league games in a row. I hope he's gotten over his injury woes - he deserves too.
We should be thankfully they only scored one. Skrtel should earn a great deal of admiration by every Liverpool fan - the game was 2 - 1, Ba hit a shot out, flicks it over the keeper, it looks certain to be a goal - hearts in our mouths - Skrtel just amazingly manages to get his stretched foot around it and clears the almost inevitable goal, incredibly. That was a massive moment in the match - they score then, it could have ended a 2 - 2 stalemate. Game saving defending.
Those two are defiantly two of the best centre backs in premier league, and the world. Continue to improve game on game.
Our defensive midfielder, Jay Spearing played one of his best games in a red shirt in my opinion. He was quiet in his ways - but when he needed to, he tackled very well and very hard. I think after his first hard tackle - a lot of Newcastle's players hid away. His passing was exceptional - he was spraying the ball and changing the interplay of our attacks very well, and i don't remember him losing possession too many times. If he can continue that sort of performance - then Lucas will struggle when he returns.
Although, that dirty player Cabaye could have easily pulled his leg away and it did look like there was some intention. Just glad he's fit and ready - real useful and underrated player to have.
Our other two central midfielders, before Gerrard's brilliant arrival - looked lost, and Adam looked particularly tired. Probably a good decision to sub him off, and i hope he gets a rest against City on Monday.
I think that when we have possession - on an attack, i think one of them two should push 10-15 yards forwards - give the wide players more options and if we had one of our midfielders making runs into the edge of the box - it'd force the Newcastle defenders to have more worry about then Andy alone. Would help him our massively - they just look motionless, and like scared to push forward into the box trying to get into goal scoring positions.
Practically every offensive threat in the first, and second half came from wide positions - we need to be creating more through the middle and we need the attacking midfielders to be making runs forward to give us more options.
Again Henderson looks too negative - numerous time he gets into good opportunities to make a forward pass, so we can create something - but he doesn't take it and plays a much simpler ball which will let us retain possession, but won't create any goal scoring chances - which can be frustrating.
His movement and intelligence has impressed me - he finds pockets of space extremely well and he gives quick one-two lay offs. He just needs the courage and belief to try taking risks, long range shots and making forward runs, looking to score. The only thing hindering him, is himself and once he starts getting the confidence - i believe he'll be a big success. Once Gerrard came on, he looked a lot more assured and comfortable - Henderson does think very highly of Stevie, but i guess who doesn't? Just a testimony to him as a player.
Downing was okay - he looked good when he was attacking - his final ball was disappointing and frustrating today. Many times he could have done better. He looked a threat and his performance has defiantly improved in recent weeks - well it had to really.
Sadly, he still looks lethargic and lazy at times, gave Johnson little help and he must work harder and be more proactive. I remember one incident where we could hear Daglish shouting at Downing, "Stewart, Stewart; wake up"!
The one who we were all wondering whether or not he'd play - big Andy Carroll. First half i thought he was very poor - he was in the wrong positions, the crosses into him were off poor quality, and when he got a touch of the ball, before Gerrard's arrival - neither Adam or Henderson made any strong attempt to be an available option to him in support.
Second half he improved greatly - Andy stayed in the box more often. Once Gerrard came on (the amount of times, i've wrote that just shows how much of a difference he made), Gerrard put some gorgeous balls into the box for Andy. He should have done better with the first cross, but he got very unlucky with the other attempt and snacked the post. I have faith in him and think he'll be a good signing - just early days for him and he's shown promise.
I am very happy with the result, the performance and the manner we came back from behind to win. I think the last time we came back from defeat in the league was against Bolton - when ironically, Joe cole, who was talking pre-match and we were shown highlights of that Bolton match.
So onwards and upwards REDS !!!! This should roar up our confidence and give us the belief. Comfortable win, in joint 4th and Gerrard's getting closer to full fitness.
I've really enjoyed our football in 2011 - the return of the king, the legacy of Suarez and the fans finally coming as one. Lets keep progressing and improving and I'm sure we'll have great time next year.
Praise the lord !!!