Summary: Liverpool scored six without reply to inflict Newcastle’s worst defeat at St James’ Park since 1925 and plunge them deeper into relegation trouble.
The Magpies were challenging for a top-four position at this stage of last season but have struggled to hit the same heights in the current campaign and hit a new low as Brendan Rodgers’ men ran riot on Tyneside.
Just a fortnight after being humbled by fierce rivals Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby Alan Pardew’s men needed to muster a reaction but found themselves behind after three minutes as an unchallenged Daniel Agger sprung the offside trap to head Stewart Downing’s lofted cross past Rob Elliot.
It got worse just past the quarter hour as Phillipe Coutinho released Daniel Sturridge and he slid a pass through a fractured Newcastle defence to former Black Cats midfielder Jordan Henderson to tap in to an empty net.
James Perch then headed wide Massadio Haidara’s left wing cross from close range in home sides only real opening of the half before Pardew introduced Yoan Gouffran and Hatem Ben Arfa at half time.
The change didn’t have the desired effect as Ben Arfa was dispossessed by Coutinho on the half way line and the Reds winger played in Sturridge to blast the ball beyond an overexposed Elliot. before grabbing his second and Liverpool’s fourth on the hour after Steven Gerrard and Henderson set him up to finish.
Substitute Fabio Borini capped his comeback from injury by poking the ball into the net just 60 seconds after coming on with Newcastle were then reduced to 10-man after Mathieu Debuchy was handed a second yellow for fouling Coutinho. Henderson completed the rout from the resulting free kick to leave Pardew and his players staring into the abyss.
Alan Pardew post-match…“They were very good and we were very bad. There is nothing we can do about it, we can’t turn back the clock. We have to put it right and the only way to do that is 10.30am at training on Monday morning and everyone sticking together.”
Brendan Rodgers post-match…“As a manager you take great pride in watching your team play like that. Our concentration and focus as well as our quality was outstanding and you have to give credit to the players for that.”
Good day for…Daniel Sturridge: The Liverpool frontman proved there is life without Luis Suarez, for the next 10 games at least. A ruthless strikers performance gleaned two goals and an assist for Sturridge, who proved a constant threat to the home side and should have left Tyneside carrying a match ball or two.
Bad day for…Newcastle United: You only have to glance at the scoreline to discern what a catastrophic afternoon it was for the Magpies. Hapless at the back, creativless in midfield and a chronic lack of potency in the final third contributed to their worst home defeat since 1925 and leaves Alan Pardew sweating over his employment status.