Newcastle United vs. Liverpool  0 - 6


Newcastle lash out at squad row reports

2 May 2013 03:43

Newcastle United have rejected claims made in the media of a dressing room split at the struggling Premier League club.

Following Saturday's humiliating 6-0 home defeat to Liverpool, the Daily Telegraph alleged on-field problems were being compounded by players undermining manager Alan Pardew.

It was also suggested the presence of many French-speaking players was having a negative effect on squad harmony, but managing director Derek Llambias has strongly refuted the speculation.

"The club is determined to turn things around and everyone is working together to secure that goal. (But) it is not helpful when people try and distract the team and the manager with false rumours," he said in a statement.

Newcastle players Papiss Cisse echoed Llambias' summary of the situation, with the striker insisting there is a strong bond among the players and manager at the club.

"Every player is together," he said.

"We are totally focused on Saturday's game at West Ham and the two games after that.

"We have a strong bond and we want the best for our club, our manager and our wonderful fans. We are not happy about recent results.

"Nobody is happy when they lose, but this has only made us stronger as a group and we will come through this together. There is no divide in the team."

Midfielder Cheikh Tiote added: "We want to let the fans know that all of the players are committed and we are in this together. We will fight to get out of this problem and we know our fans will help us to do that. They are incredible."

Newcastle demanded the Daily Telegraph remove the story from their online pages and commission an apology or face a ban from all matches and media opportunities, but the newspaper rejected the demands.

The newspaper's statement read: "We regret the club's decision to ban the Telegraph from attending matches and press conferences, but will not allow it to prevent us providing the most incisive, trustworthy Newcastle coverage, rather than pandering to what the club want you to read."


Newcastle ´devastated´ about poor season, says Taylor

28 April 2013 15:53

Newcastle defender Steve Taylor has claimed his team-mates are "devastated" at the predicament they find themselves in this season.

The Tyneside club almost secured a top-four spot in the Premier League last term but, after eventually finishing fifth, they have struggled badly this season and are still not safe from the threat of relegation.

"It's a sick feeling. At this moment in time, it feels like a family member has died, if I am being honest with you," Taylor said.

"In the dressing room, looking around everyone was devastated and realised the situation we are in. We have got to accept what's coming our way, and that's going to be the criticism this weekend leading up to the West Ham game.

"We have just got to put that to bed and focus on ourselves. Everybody is going to be criticising the team, the manager, everybody, but we have to stick together.

"We have heard those words a lot in the past six months, but that's vital now. The last three games are going to be like cup finals for us."

Things went from bad to worse for Alan Pardew's men on Saturday, as they were demolished 6-0 by Liverpool in their first home game since an embarrassing reverse to local rivals Sunderland at St James' Park.

With Newcastle sitting just five points above the bottom three, Taylor was quick to apologise to the club's long-suffering supporters and challenged his colleagues to pick things up in the final three games of the season.

He added: "We have to apologise, first and foremost, to the fans, for everybody who came here and watched the lads, and hold our hands up because we know we let them down.

"We are devastated with it, it wasn't acceptable and we all hold our hands up. It wasn't good enough.

"But we have to stick together and get on with it, and make sure next week we put this to bed and get the three points that we need. It's vital."


Premier League: Newcastle 0 Liverpool 6

27 April 2013 20:27

Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson struck twice as Liverpool produced a superb performance to thrash Newcastle United 6-0 on Saturday.

Early goals from Daniel Agger and Henderson gave Liverpool the advantage at St. James' Park and Sturridge made sure of the win with a pair of second-half strikes in front of England manager Roy Hodgson.

With Brazilian Philippe Coutinho sensational in midfield, the visitors refused to relent and Fabio Borini and Henderson also netted, as Newcastle ended with 10 men after Mathieu Debuchy was sent off for a second yellow card.

Sturridge started for Liverpool with Luis Suarez serving the first of his 10-match suspension for biting, while Ivorian midfielder Cheikh Tiote returned from a hamstring injury for the hosts.

Liverpool burst out of the blocks and took the lead after just three minutes thanks to Danish defender Agger, who made the most of a ball over from the top from Stewart Downing as Newcastle failed to clear a corner.

Agger was in acres of space and, with goalkeeper Rob Elliot stranded, he made the most of his free header to give the visitors the perfect start.

Sturridge, who was incorrectly flagged for offside, had an effort turned over by Elliot, before Coutinho – who was relishing in the freedom and space afforded to him in a more central role – created the second goal with a sublime pass.

Sturridge charged forward after laying off to Coutinho, and the Brazilian's perfectly-weighted ball set him free and forced Elliot to come out of his area.

With the Newcastle goalkeeper committed, Sturridge composed himself and played Henderson in, allowing the midfielder to pass a simple left-foot finish into the back of the net after 17 minutes.

Brendan Rodgers' side were in complete control and created regular space through their skill on the ball, while Newcastle were restricted to speculative attempts on goal from long range.

The natives were getting restless and it was not just the supporters, with Newcastle defender Mathieu Debuchy clashing with Sturridge in an incident that saw them both booked.

Sturridge had a long-range effort saved by Elliot and, although the hosts slowly worked themselves back into the match before the break, the best they had to show for it was a wasted header by James Perch.

The heated nature of the contest continued as Tiote and Johnson were also involved in an ugly exchange on the stroke of half-time, while replays appeared to show the former standing on Sturridge.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew introduced French attackers Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran in place of Jonas Gutierrez and James Perch at the break, and the hosts were livelier in the early stages of the second half as a result.

Gouffran headed straight at Reina but his side lacked the composure to create clear chances, and their unlikely hopes of a comeback were snuffed out by Liverpool's third goal, which came in the 54th minute.

Coutinho was again the creator, robbing Ben Arfa of the ball on the left before storming forward and delivering a delightful assist to Sturridge, who buried his left-foot finish with aplomb.

Liverpool were celebrating again six minutes later when a great Steven Gerrard ball played in Henderson, and he returned the favour to Sturridge with an unselfish cutback, allowing the striker to tap in from close range.

The visitors added gloss to the scoreline when Borini, who had been on the pitch for a matter of minutes, grabbed his first Premier League goal for Liverpool by converting Downing's neat assist before Henderson saw a free-kick from the left float in without being touched for the sixth.

And Debuchy was given his marching orders for a frustrated lunge on Coutinho, who missed out on a deserved goal due to the woodwork.

But this was a performance to remember from Coutinho as Newcastle's heavy defeat saw them remain in relegation danger.


Ben Arfa: I am 100 percent fit

26 April 2013 17:21

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa says he is "100 percent fit" ahead of Saturday's crucial Premier League clash with Liverpool.

Alan Pardew's side have won just one of their last five league fixtures and, as a result, have slipped to 16th in the table, just six points above the relegation zone.

They still have breathing space ahead of 18th-placed Wigan and a home win against Liverpool should secure their top-flight status for another season.

Newcastle's hopes will be boosted by Ben Arfa's availability, with the creative Frenchman – who has made three substitute appearances in the past fortnight – set to make his first league start in 2013 after being dogged with a hamstring injury.

"My hamstring is completely fine now and I feel happy that the injury has gone and I can return to full fitness. I am 100 percent fit," Ben Arfa told Newcastle's official match programme.

"I'm happy that I have come back into the team slowly and gradually. The manager and the doctor have put in place a programme to ensure I return gradually rather than rush back and get further problems in the future.

"I am happy with the work of the backroom staff and the manager because this was my first muscular injury and it was important that the healing ran its course."


Premier League Preview: Newcastle United v Liverpool

25 April 2013 12:34

Newcastle and Liverpool will both be keen to shake off some poor late-season form when they clash at St James' Park on Saturday.

Alan Pardew's Newcastle side still have a faint chance of being relegated, sitting six points above 18th-placed Wigan, while Liverpool are at long odds to secure Europa League football next term - in seventh place and 10 points behind Tottenham in the qualifying spot with just four games to play.

While it is likely Newcastle will be playing in the Premier League next season, they need a couple of wins in the final weeks to make their situation comfortable.

Newcastle have won just once in their past seven matches in all competitions, and were held to a 1-1 draw by West Brom in their most recent league game.

Similarly, Liverpool have looked like a team with one eye firmly on their end-of-season holidays - drawing their past three games and needing an injury-time equaliser from Luis Suarez to secure a point in a 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Sunday.

The last time the sides met, a second-half goal from Suarez cancelled out Yohan Cabaye's opener in a 1-1 draw at Anfield in November.

Suarez is set to be unavailable for the trip to Newcastle, with the Uruguayan banned for 10 games by the FA following his bite on Branislav Ivanovic, pending Liverpool's decision on whether to appeal his punishment.

That is not the only selection headache facing Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers with Joe Allen out with a shoulder problem, although striker Fabio Borini is nearing a return from his dislocated shoulder.

Raheem Sterling missed the Chelsea game with a hip problem, and Martin Kelly is a long-term casualty with a knee injury.

Pardew, meanwhile, has seen his squad decimated by injuries.

Goalkeeper Tim Krul is out for the season with a dislocated shoulder, while Davide Santon (hamstring), Fabricio Coloccini (back), Cheick Tiote (hamstring), Sylvain Marveaux (groin) and Ryan Taylor (knee) are all facing spells on the sidelines.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25
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