Liverpool hit six past a tame Newcastle as the Anfield club barley missed the banned Luis Suarez.
Brendan Rogders arrived at St James’ Park in an all black suit, perhaps mourning the missing Suarez but out on the pitch, Liverpool barely missed him and dominated. They took the lead on 3 minutes after Stuart Downing’s looping cross was headed into the net by an unmarked Daniel Agger.
It got worse for the Toon as Jordan Henderson doubled the Red’s lead on 17. Phillippe Coutinho who stood out all evening with a stunner of a through ball which got Sturridge on his way, Sturridge then un-selfishly layed the ball to Henderson who tapped in for 2-0.
Newcastle’s fans who were understandably annoyed, after loosing the Tyne-Wear Derby to Sunderland last weekend, were looking for a response. The second half they did get one… from Liverpool.
It was 3 on 54 minutes, Coutinho again driving at the heart of the Newcastle defence before again splitting the Toon Army’s defence wide open, an incisive through ball into the box for Sturridge who finished emphatically. The fourth summed up Newcastle’s evening, Steven Gerrard with another trademark 30 yard pass picking out an unmarked Henderson on the far side who gently rolled the ball to Sturridge who in turn got his second of the game with a simple tap in.
At 4-0, Newcastle fans started to leave, there was still half an hour to play but many had seen enough. Liverpool were that comfortable Gerrard was replaced by Borini who within 60 seconds of coming on got on the scoresheet. Downing again with good work to wriggle past two challenges before setting up Borini who quickly adjusted his feet to make it 5.
Debuchy was then sent off in the 75th minute after two bookable offences, a rash double-footed challenge on Coutinho. Henderson stepped up to take the free kick, it was a delicious curler, nobody got a touch and it sailed into the net for 6.
Boo’s rang out at full time as Newcastle were pushed further into the relegation battle. The Magpies just 5 points above the relegation zone with 3 games left. Many would say Newcastle defended poorly but there was no denying the quality Liverpool brought to the table. Coutinho linking well with Sturridge and Henderson to inflict Newcastle’s worst ever home defeat and in turn maintain Liverpool’s hopes of a top six position.