Kenny Dalglish denied he will have a selection problem for Liverpool's next game, against Manchester City on Tuesday, with Luis Suárez available again after suspension, though he did concede it was ironic to score three times against Newcastle in a game where very few chances were created.
Liverpool's story for most of this season has been just the opposite, with chances being created but not accepted and a number of disappointing draws as a result. "That was probably the game where we created the least chances but we ended up scoring three goals," the Liverpool manager said. "I was delighted to see Steven Gerrard score the third but I thought we were pretty much in control anyway."
Alan Pardew did not disagree but suggested the game may have turned on a couple of incidents within a few minutes of each other. The Newcastle manager thought Cheik Tioté had won the ball fairly when he was penalised for the free-kick from which Craig Bellamy scored Liverpool's second goal, then Newcastle were denied an equaliser when Martin Skrtel reacted brilliantly to turn Demba Ba's goalbound shot off the line and prevent an equaliser.
"We might have got something out of the game had we been a little more positive but overall we can't complain," Pardew said. "We've still had a terrific year. I think we've only had 12 defeats in the calendar year and that's pretty good when we have not only changed the team but our style of play. We are not quite where we want to be yet, we still have to beat a big team rather than just matching them for parts of games, but we have shown we can be a force."
Liverpool's 3-1 victory contained a couple of potential flashpoints: when Craig Bellamy took an elbow in the face from Fabricio Coloccini and had to be withdrawn for stitches in an eye wound; and when Yohan Cabaye appeared to stamp on Jay Spearing's ankle but went unpunished. "If anything untoward took place I am sure the authorities will act appropriately," Dalglish said. "But I'm not saying anything did because I haven't had a close look at either incident yet."
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © Eamon Curry
Have something to tell us about this article?