Returning skipper Steven Gerrard sealed victory over Newcastle following two Craig Bellamy goals as Liverpool rose to fifth in the Premier League.

Gerrard, who made his second appearance since returning from injury, capped a fine cameo when he tucked in late on.

Bellamy had earlier fired in a low shot to level after Daniel Agger diverted Ryan Taylor's cross past Pepe Reina.

And the former Magpie gave Liverpool the lead from a free-kick before Gerrard scored from a tight angle.

His goal was fully merited after a performance which invigorated Kenny Dalglish's side just as Newcastle were beginning to claw their way back into the contest.

The defeat for Newcastle means they have won once in their last eight league outings and perhaps it was a surprise that Liverpool had not added a third goal sooner, such was the quality of Gerrard's deliveries into the box.

Liverpool attitude and commitment pleases Dalglish

But unfortunately for them, Andy Carroll had another night in which he failed to find the target despite crashing a header against the bar from a superb Gerrard centre as he extended his run without a goal to nine matches.

After a period in which Liverpool struggled to turn chances into goals and drew six of their nine games at Anfield, Gerrard's return following an ankle problem that had kept him out since October will have given them a huge lift as they embark on their quest for a Champions League spot.

And it will also give them hope that they can sustain that challenge should leading goalscorer Luis Suarez's eight-match ban for alleged racist comments towards Manchester United's Patrice Evra be upheld.

With the Uruguayan banned for making a gesture towards Fulham's fans in a separate incident, Bellamy took his place in the side and the Welshman was a constant threat down Liverpool's left as he looked to support lone striker Carroll, who was also up against his previous club.

GERRARD FAST FACTS

  • Steven Gerrard has made just 15 Liverpool appearances in 2011
  • Gerrard has scored seven goals in his last nine Premier League games against Newcastle United.

While the two former Magpies were full of endeavour, their willingness to be involved in the build-up meant there were several occasions when there was no-one in the box to finish their good work.

And in keeping with their promising season thus far, Newcastle withstood the early pressure to pounce from an isolated attack on 25 minutes.

Top scorer Demba Ba has lit up the Premier League this season with 14 goals in his last 13 games and his presence had a hand in the goal as Ryan Taylor's cross from the left was nodded on by Yohan Cabaye and with Ba in close quarters the ball diverted off Agger past Reina.

Having been on top up until that point, Liverpool were stung into life by that goal, although the visitors almost looked like they had cleared the danger.

Cheick Tiote cleared Charlie Adam's low cross from the right, but with men lined in front of goal, Bellamy found the bottom corner.

Dalglish's side pressed further after that and Martin Skrtel went close with a near-post header from a corner, with Adam also inches away from diverting it into the net.

Pardew frustrated by 'cheap' free kick

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew introduced Davide Santon at the break and it seemed to stem the flow down Newcastle's left as the Magpies began to improve their ball retention and their status in the game.

That was enough for Dalglish to bring on Gerrard, and the Liverpool skipper was involved straight away on his 15th outing of 2011, twice picking out Carroll, with the striker being let down by a poor first touch on the second occasion when he was unmarked in the box.

Fortunately for him and Liverpool, they took the lead on 76 minutes though they were a tad lucky to be given a free-kick when Tiote challenged Agger.

Bellamy stepped up to curl a delicious free-kick in, but Danny Simpson made a real hash of defending the line by deflecting the ball past Tim Krul.

Newcastle came close to equalising soon after when Ba somehow clipped the ball past Reina from Cabaye's cute pass, with the French midfielder perhaps fortunate not to be punished for an earlier tackle on Jay Spearing, but Skrtel's goal-line clearance was equally impressive.

Carroll then smashed a header against the bar from Gerrard's cross, but the returning talisman showed his team-mate how to finish when he collected Jordan Henderson's through ball to finish from a tight angle.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina
  • 02 Johnson
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 05 Agger
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 14 Henderson
  • 19 Downing
  • 20 Spearing
  • 26 Adam (Gerrard - 59' )
  • 09 Carroll
  • 39 Bellamy (Kuyt - 74' )

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni
  • 23 Carragher
  • 34 Kelly
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 11 Maxi
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 18 Kuyt

Newcastle

  • 26 Krul
  • 02 Coloccini
  • 05 Simpson
  • 06 Williamson
  • 16 R Taylor Booked (Santon - 46' )
  • 04 Cabaye
  • 18 Gutierrez Booked
  • 24 Tiote
  • 25 Obertan (Sa Ameobi - 84' )
  • 29 Vuckic (Ben Arfa - 65' )
  • 19 Ba

Substitutes

  • 35 Elliot
  • 03 Santon
  • 14 Perch
  • 10 Ben Arfa
  • 20 Best
  • 23 Sh Ameobi
  • 28 Sa Ameobi
Ref: Probert
Att: 44,372

Match Stats

Shots

15 5

On target

7 2

Corners

7 0

Fouls

7 11

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:03 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.

90:00 +2:59

Shot from long distance by Stewart Downing goes over the bar.

89:07

Glen Johnson has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the goal.

88:43

The ball is delivered by Sanchez Jose Enrique, clearance by Mike Williamson.

86:56

Sanchez Jose Enrique crosses the ball, Fabricio Coloccini manages to make a clearance.

83:42 Substitution

Substitution (Newcastle) makes a substitution, with Sammy Ameobi coming on for Gabriel Obertan.

82:13

The ball is delivered by Glen Johnson, save by Tim Krul.

81:48

Andy Carroll concedes a free kick for a foul on Cheick Tiote. Free kick taken by Cheick Tiote.

79:21

Glen Johnson produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the target.

79:15

The ball is sent over by Stewart Downing, Danny Simpson manages to make a clearance.

78:16

Foul by Martin Skrtel on Demba Ba, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Yohan Cabaye, Dirk Kuyt manages to make a clearance.

77:13

The assist for the goal came from Jordan Henderson.

77:13 Goal scored

Goal! - Steven Gerrard - Liverpool 3 - 1 Newcastle Steven Gerrard scores a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle.

76:10

Corner taken by Jordan Henderson from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Danny Simpson.

75:28

Steven Gerrard sends in a cross.

73:11 Substitution

Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Dirk Kuyt coming on for Craig Bellamy.

71:56

The ball is delivered by Steven Gerrard, Andy Carroll takes a shot.

71:49

The ball is delivered by Steven Gerrard, Fabricio Coloccini manages to make a clearance.

71:33

Jonas Gutierrez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stewart Downing. Stewart Downing takes the free kick.

69:54

Demba Ba takes a shot. Blocked by Martin Skrtel.

68:40

The referee blows for offside against Craig Bellamy. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.

66:48

Assist on the goal came from Daniel Agger.

66:48 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Bellamy - Liverpool 2 - 1 Newcastle Craig Bellamy hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle.

65:43

Free kick awarded for a foul by Cheick Tiote on Daniel Agger.

64:27 Substitution

Substitution Haris Vuckic goes off and Hatem Ben Arfa comes on.

64:01

The ball is crossed by Steven Gerrard.

61:56

The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard.

59:34

Jonas Gutierrez crosses the ball, Daniel Agger manages to make a clearance.

58:34 Substitution

Substitution Charlie Adam leaves the field to be replaced by Steven Gerrard.

57:31

Jay Spearing challenges Haris Vuckic unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Yohan Cabaye.

55:26

The referee blows for offside. Jay Spearing takes the indirect free kick.

54:56

The referee blows for offside against Craig Bellamy. Fabricio Coloccini restarts play with the free kick.

53:43

Davide Santon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stewart Downing. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Craig Bellamy, Foul by Andy Carroll on Mike Williamson, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Tim Krul.

48:56

Effort on goal by Stewart Downing from long range goes over the bar.

48:01

The ball is sent over by Haris Vuckic, clearance made by Craig Bellamy.

45:53

Inswinging corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the left by-line, Demba Ba fouled by Martin Skrtel, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.

45:38

Craig Bellamy delivers the ball, blocked by Mike Williamson.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Davide Santon comes on in place of Ryan Taylor.

45:00 +3:22 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

45:00 +3:06

Effort by Yohan Cabaye from a long way out goes over the crossbar.

45:00 +1:23

Foul by Haris Vuckic on Glen Johnson, free kick awarded. Martin Skrtel takes the indirect free kick.

45:00 +0:41

The ball is swung over by Craig Bellamy.

45:00 +0:21

Corner taken right-footed by Craig Bellamy to the near post, Danny Simpson manages to make a clearance.

45:00 +0:09

Jay Spearing takes a shot. Cheick Tiote gets a block in.

43:15

Sanchez Jose Enrique crosses the ball. Stewart Downing is caught offside. Tim Krul restarts play with the free kick.

42:52

Glen Johnson produces a cross, Fabricio Coloccini makes a clearance.

41:28

Centre by Stewart Downing, Haris Vuckic manages to make a clearance.

41:15

Stewart Downing decides to take a short corner.

41:08

Daniel Agger crosses the ball, clearance made by Ryan Taylor.

40:14

The ball is swung over by Craig Bellamy, Danny Simpson manages to make a clearance.

39:23

Shot by Haris Vuckic from a long way out goes over the crossbar.

38:11

Free kick awarded for a foul by Demba Ba on Jay Spearing. Martin Skrtel restarts play with the free kick.

35:50

Jordan Henderson produces a cross, Fabricio Coloccini manages to make a clearance.

35:23

Glen Johnson takes the direct free kick.

35:23 Booking

Booking Ryan Taylor is given a yellow card.

35:14

Ryan Taylor challenges Stewart Downing unfairly and gives away a free kick.

35:03

Yohan Cabaye challenges Charlie Adam unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Charlie Adam.

34:27

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Cheick Tiote by Charlie Adam. Cheick Tiote restarts play with the free kick.

33:01

Corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the left by-line to the near post, Close range header by Martin Skrtel misses to the right of the goal.

31:56

Foul by Charlie Adam on Cheick Tiote, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Tim Krul.

30:32

Unfair challenge on Craig Bellamy by Danny Simpson results in a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Craig Bellamy, clearance made by Mike Williamson. Stewart Downing takes a shot. Fabricio Coloccini gets a block in.

29:02

Assist by Charlie Adam.

28:57 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Bellamy - Liverpool 1 - 1 Newcastle Craig Bellamy grabs a goal from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle.

28:52

Sanchez Jose Enrique crosses the ball, Ryan Taylor makes a clearance. Centre by Daniel Agger, Fabricio Coloccini makes a clearance.

28:27

Yohan Cabaye gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jay Spearing. Sanchez Jose Enrique takes the free kick.

28:11

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Adam, clearance made by Haris Vuckic.

28:00 Booking

Booking Jonas Gutierrez is cautioned.

27:55

Foul by Jonas Gutierrez on Glen Johnson, free kick awarded. Charlie Adam crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Jonas Gutierrez gets a block in.

24:22

Assist by Yohan Cabaye. Blocked by Daniel Agger.

24:22 Goal scored

Goal! - Daniel Agger - Liverpool 0 - 1 Newcastle Own goal by Daniel Agger. Liverpool 0-1 Newcastle.

24:19

Ryan Taylor delivers the ball, Yohan Cabaye takes a shot.

24:09

The ball is delivered by Danny Simpson, Glen Johnson makes a clearance.

23:45

The ball is sent over by Demba Ba, clearance made by Daniel Agger.

22:09

The ball is crossed by Stewart Downing, save by Tim Krul.

21:42

Glen Johnson fouled by Ryan Taylor, the ref awards a free kick. Charlie Adam takes the free kick.

19:16

Stewart Downing takes a shot. Tim Krul makes a comfortable save.

18:19

Shot by Charlie Adam from a long way out goes over the net.

18:03

Andy Carroll takes a shot. Blocked by Craig Bellamy.

17:57

The ball is delivered by Stewart Downing, clearance made by Cheick Tiote.

14:51

Centre by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

13:02

The ball is swung over by Glen Johnson, clearance by Fabricio Coloccini.

10:58

Sanchez Jose Enrique crosses the ball, clearance made by Ryan Taylor.

5:49

Long range shot by Daniel Agger goes wide right of the goal.

2:32

The assistant referee signals for offside against Demba Ba. Jose Reina takes the indirect free kick.

2:06

Fabricio Coloccini sends in a cross, Glen Johnson makes a clearance.

1:17

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Stewart Downing, Haris Vuckic manages to make a clearance.

1:06

A cross is delivered by Daniel Agger.

0:58

Craig Bellamy delivers the ball, Mike Williamson makes a clearance.

0:29

The referee blows for offside. Fabricio Coloccini takes the free kick.

0:00

The referee gets the match started.

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