Premier League
LiverpoolLiverpool2NewcastleNewcastle United1

Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle United

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport at Anfield
Daniel Agger scores for Liverpool against Newcastle

Liverpool beat nine-man Newcastle to finish the season on a high note, but their hopes of a first league title in 24 years were dashed as Manchester City beat West Ham to be crowned champions.

The Reds started the day trailing City by two points with a far inferior goal difference, meaning they needed to beat Newcastle and hope City lost at home to the Hammers.

Rodgers congratulates Man City

Liverpool did their job as Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge converted Steven Gerrard free-kicks to cancel out Martin Skrtel's first-half own-goal.

But the result at Etihad Stadium rendered that irrelevant and Brendan Rodgers's team were forced to settle for second place.

They can, however, comfort themselves with the knowledge they defied expectations by even challenging for the title, and passed 100 league goals for only the second time in their history.

And with Champions League football returning for the first time since 2009-10, there is renewed belief the good times could be coming back to Anfield.

It a position Newcastle can only dream of; they squandered a first-half advantage to finish 10th, with Shola Ameobi and Paul Dummett sent off, and fans calling for manager Alan Pardew to depart.

Liverpool's fans arrived more in hope than expectation, once again lining Anfield Road to greet the team bus and belting out an ear-splitting rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone before kick-off.

Liverpool fans
Liverpool fans were dejected as news of Manchester City's goals reached Anfield

But the Reds appeared nervous from the outset - careless in possession and weak in the challenge - and Newcastle took advantage.

Ameobi, out of contract in the summer after 13 years at St James's Park, signalled the threat with an early header.

Liverpool probed through Jordan Henderson, back from a three-game ban that many feel derailed his side's title charge, before a quickly-taken free-kick by Luis Suarez was disallowed.

Moments later, Yoan Gouffran broke clear on the left and delivered a cross that Skrtel sliced past Simon Mignolet - to the disbelief of most inside the ground but the delight of Newcastle supporters, who had been voicing their disapproval for Pardew.

Gouffran twice came close to doubling the visitors' lead as Liverpool produced one of their worst halves of football all season.

When they finally mustered some momentum, the out-of-sorts Suarez shot tamely at Tim Krul and Sturridge headed off target from a superb position.

News of City's opening goal against West Ham barely registered with the Liverpool fans - their own team's performance was of greater concern - and their afternoon suffered another setback when left-back Jon Flanagan was forced off at half-time.

City's second at Etihad Stadium seemed to coincide with a dropping of heads, but Rodgers sent Philippe Coutinho on in place of Joe Allen, and his side scored twice in the space of as many minutes.

Gerrard was the provider from almost identical positions, his first free-kick met with a back-post volley by a recalled Agger and the second poked in by Sturridge.

Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle: Alan Pardew says Phil Dowd at fault in defeat

The atmosphere was transformed, the name of Rodgers ringing out as he applauded all four sides of the ground, and Liverpool's path to victory was eased by two yellow cards in quick succession for Ameobi and a straight red for substitute Dummett following a rash challenge on Suarez.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew:

"I thought we were terrific, it was a hell of a performance in the first half but we had a couple of dodgy decisions that were unhelpful. I'm not particularly pleased with referee's explanation for sending off Shola.

"We've got to give our fans a lift in the summer by recruiting well. We need to recruit offensive players that are good enough for Newcastle and that is what we will focus on.

"Our fans are brilliant fans - they are just frustrated. For the first half of the season we were very good, but in the second half we were not as strong as we should have been. We made errors, myself included."

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 5Agger
  • 37Skrtel
  • 38FlanaganSubstituted forCissokhoat 45'minutes
  • 2Johnson
  • 24AllenSubstituted forCoutinhoat 59'minutes
  • 14Henderson
  • 8Gerrard
  • 31Sterling
  • 7Suárez
  • 15SturridgeSubstituted forLeivaat 80'minutesBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 4K Touré
  • 9Iago Aspas
  • 10Coutinho
  • 17Sakho
  • 20Cissokho
  • 21Leiva

Newcastle

  • 1Krul
  • 6Williamson
  • 27TaylorSubstituted forde Jongat 73'minutes
  • 26DebuchyBooked at 35mins
  • 19Haidara
  • 2Coloccini
  • 24TiotéSubstituted forDummettat 82'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 8AnitaBooked at 63mins
  • 11GouffranBooked at 65minsSubstituted forAmeobiat 78'minutes
  • 7Sissoko
  • 23AmeobiBooked at 66mins

Substitutes

  • 3Santon
  • 13Yanga-Mbiwa
  • 18de Jong
  • 21Elliot
  • 28Ameobi
  • 36Dummett
  • 37Satka
Referee:
Phil Dowd
Attendance:
44,724

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamNewcastle
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home13
Away8
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home8
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 2, Newcastle United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Newcastle United 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Aly Cissokho.

  4. Booking

    Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

  6. Post update

    Luuk de Jong (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Dismissal

    Paul Dummett (Newcastle United) is shown the red card.

  8. Post update

    Luis Suarez (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Paul Dummett (Newcastle United).

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Massadio Haidara (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Vurnon Anita.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

  12. Post update

    Sammy Ameobi (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Luis Suarez tries a through ball, but Raheem Sterling is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

  15. Post update

    Glen Johnson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Sammy Ameobi (Newcastle United).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Paul Dummett replaces Cheick Tioté because of an injury.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Steven Gerrard (Liverpool).

  19. Post update

    Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Lucas Leiva replaces Daniel Sturridge.