Premier League
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Liverpool 2-2 Newcastle United

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport
Jack Colback (left) scores
Jack Colback's goal was his first of the season

Newcastle boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League by coming back from 2-0 down to claim a point at in-form Liverpool.

Daniel Sturridge's goal after 76 seconds and Adam Lallana's finish meant the Reds were cruising at the break.

But Papiss Cisse headed United back into contention early in the second half before Jack Colback pulled them level with a deflected shot.

They stay in the bottom three but are now a point behind 17th-placed Norwich.

Rafael Benitez's side have played a game more than the Canaries and two more than north-east rivals Sunderland, who are a place above them in the table, but are showing fighting spirit just when it is required.

This was their first away point of 2016 and the fifth point they have earned during what could be a pivotal week in their attempt to remain in the top flight.

LISTEN: Newcastle come from two down to draw

Liverpool in cruise control

Liverpool celebrate Daniel Sturridge's opening goal
Liverpool scored from both of their shots on target in the first half

Liverpool came into this game as arguably the top-flight's form side following four successive wins in all competitions, during which they scored 14 goals.

They also had a striker returning to top form in Sturridge, so it was negligence of the highest order for Newcastle's defence to gift the England forward the time and space to chest down Alberto Moreno's free-kick, turn and fire home his third goal in as many games with just over a minute gone.

It would only get worse for the away side, who were out-worked, out-manoeuvred and picked off with ease as Lallana collected a square ball from Moreno before curling home from the edge of the box in the 30th minute.

It was just the half the home side needed after the news that defender Mamadou Sakho was being investigated by Uefa for a failed drugs test.

It ended without Newcastle having tested home goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and with Liverpool using as little energy as possible ahead of their Europa League semi-final first leg against Villarreal on Thursday.

Benitez's side dig deep

Jack Colback's goal
Jack Colback (4) was perfectly-placed to finish after Dejan Lovren (6) had failed to properly clear Andros Townsend's (25) cross from the right

In Newcastle's last away game they went down without a fight, losing 3-1 at Southampton to extend their away form to nine successive defeats.

Since then, though, the Magpies have shown spirit and resilience to beat Swansea and draw with Manchester City in back-to-back home matches and, to their credit, they re-discovered this in the second half at Anfield.

Credit must go to Benitez, who spent six successful years as Liverpool boss and master-minded another impressive result at Anfield, this time from the away dug-out.

They were given a helping hand by Mignolet, who rushed out and missed Andros Townsend's cross to gift Cisse the goal that sowed seeds of doubt in a Liverpool team that have been inconsistent for much of this season.

United also survived a penalty shout for a foul on Sturridge by Cheick Tiote in the box and a Roberto Firmino close-range finish which was ruled out for offside against the Brazilian.

They grabbed the point their renewed application deserved when Colback picked the right moment to join the attack and fire in a deflected shot following Dejan Lovren's inadequate clearing header.

The result may yield only a point for Newcastle, but, more importantly, it gives them belief before the three games they have left to save their season.

Man of the match - Alberto Moreno

Alberto Moreno (left)
Alberto Moreno provided assists for both Liverpool goals - as many as he has managed in his previous 57 Premier League appearances

What they said

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "I think we did really well in the first half against a highly-motivated side. I think they are happy with the point.

Liverpool 2-2 Newcastle: Liverpool denied 'clear penalty' - Klopp

"The first half we were clearly the better team and in the second half also, apart from the two goals we conceded.

"Two shots on target, two goals sounds not too good and it is not too good."

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez: "We knew the first half was not the best and we needed to react so I told them similar to what I said in the past: 'Nothing to lose'.

"We had to fight and show more character and I think the players had a fantastic reaction.

Liverpool 2-2 Newcastle: Magpies could have won - Benitez

"I am pleased with the point against a very good team and hopefully they [Liverpool] can do well in the Europa League.

"We have to do our job and see what happens with the other games but at least we showed character and the belief is still there, which is crucial for us."

The stats you need to know

  • Newcastle have kept only one clean sheet in their past 35 league trips to Anfield, conceding 83 goals in that period
  • Daniel Sturridge has netted seven goals in seven Barclays Premier League starts against Newcastle United
  • Sturridge's goal (1:07) was Liverpool's second quickest in the Premier League this season after James Milner's strike against Aston Villa in September (1:06)
  • Liverpool have scored more goals from outside the penalty area (14) than any other Premier League team this season
  • Jack Colback netted his first away goal in the Premier League since Feb 2014; his last five Premier League goals had been scored in home matches
Adam Lallana

What's next?

Liverpool travel to Spanish side Villarreal for the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday before returning to Premier League action at Swansea next Sunday.

The first of Newcastle's remaining three league matches is at St James' Park next Saturday against Crystal Palace.

Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

  • 22Mignolet
  • 56RandallSubstituted forCoutinhoat 71'minutes
  • 6Lovren
  • 4K Touré
  • 18Moreno
  • 35Stewart
  • 7MilnerBooked at 53mins
  • 24AllenSubstituted forLeivaat 72'minutes
  • 20LallanaSubstituted forOjoat 83'minutes
  • 15Sturridge
  • 11Firmino

Substitutes

  • 10Coutinho
  • 21Leiva
  • 33Ibe
  • 37Skrtel
  • 44B Smith
  • 52Ward
  • 54Ojo

Newcastle

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Darlow
  • 8Anita
  • 18Mbemba
  • 15Lascelles
  • 3Dummett
  • 24TiotéBooked at 22minsSubstituted forShelveyat 83'minutes
  • 4Colback
  • 25Townsend
  • 7Sissoko
  • 17PérezSubstituted forWijnaldumat 45'minutes
  • 9CisséSubstituted forMitrovicat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 10de Jong
  • 12Shelvey
  • 16Aarons
  • 41Woodman
  • 43Mbabu
  • 45Mitrovic
Referee:
Andre Marriner
Attendance:
43,837

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamNewcastle
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home13
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 2, Newcastle United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Newcastle United 2.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United).

  4. Post update

    Foul by Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

  5. Post update

    Paul Dummett (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Paul Dummett.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sheyi Ojo.

  8. Post update

    Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Jack Colback (Newcastle United).

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Lucas Leiva.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Jonjo Shelvey replaces Cheick Tioté.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Sheyi Ojo replaces Adam Lallana.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Roberto Firmino with a cross.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Cheick Tioté.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kevin Stewart (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Karl Darlow.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

  19. Post update

    Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Aleksandar Mitrovic replaces Papiss Demba Cissé.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester342110359332673
2Tottenham341911464253968
3Man City35197966343264
4Arsenal34189758342463
5Man Utd34178942301259
6West Ham341414657431456
7Liverpool341510958451355
8Southampton351591149371254
9Chelsea341211115346747
10Stoke35138143751-1447
11Everton34914115348541
12Watford34118153340-741
13Bournemouth35118164261-1941
14Swansea341010143445-1140
15West Brom341010143142-1140
16Crystal Palace35109163645-939
17Norwich3487193560-2531
18Sunderland3379173957-1830
19Newcastle3579193864-2630
20Aston Villa3537252569-4416
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