Newcastle United hung around with Liverpool on Sunday, but the Reds finally were able to even the score for a 1-1 draw in a sloppy game at Anfield.
Although they were dominated in shots and possession, the Magpies used timely opportunities to hold off Liverpool down the stretch, and the draw has to be considered a positive for Newcastle, especially as the visiting club.
After the first 45 minutes, Liverpool doubled Newcastle's shots and was up 60-40 in possession. But Yohan Cabaye put in a line drive off a beautiful cross from Ben Arfa in the 43rd minute to give the Magpies a 1-0 advantage.
Luis Suarez brought the Reds back in the second half with a brilliant goal, taking a long pass from midfield and turning it into the equalizer. Liverpool had several chances to score late, including a free kick that bounced just over the top of the crossbar as extra time ran out.
Defenseman James Perch had to leave the match with an apparent hip injury in the 25th minute. He was replaced by Danny Simpson, who moved to the back right with Vurnon Anita moving to the middle. Demba Ba also limped off in the 48th minute.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini was red-carded in the 84th minute for the Magpies when he couldn't stop his momentum in going after Suarez. The contact wasn't there, but it was an odd play for an experienced player like Coloccini, which is likely why he drew the red.
It was a game that Liverpool should have won, but careless mistakes from both sides (namely early missed chances by the Reds) helped ensure this game would end in a draw.
Let's take a look at some of the highlights from the game, including two beautiful goals and some game grades.
Here's a look at Cabaye's sweet volley off the cross just before half.
Suarez was able to put in the equalizer with this nifty move past two defenders.
Luis Suarez, Liverpool: A
The Reds' best and most versatile attacker was at it again on Sunday, making things happen to get his club in position for a win.
A brilliant stretch in the first 15 minutes of the second half was keyed by Suarez's efforts. He took a half-length pass from a Magpie giveaway, raced past the defender and tapped the ball past goalkeeper Tim Krul for the equalizer.
On the ground for most of the first half, Suarez responded by setting up opportunities in the second. The Reds should have taken a 2-1 lead on his slick ball-handling maneuver, but Shelvey didn't hit the ball correctly.
Tim Krul, Newcastle: A
Krul came up big for the Magpies when they needed him most, despite almost allowing the game-winning goal in the 94th minute. He stopped several shots on the day that preserved the tie, including a shot from Suarez that went wide and a late header from Shelvey.
Despite the Reds playing very well and controlling the ball for 66 percent of the day, Krul held his own, with the only blemish being the long Suarez goal after a careless Newcastle turnover.
Steven Gerrard, Liverpool: C
It was supposed to be Gerrard's day from the start, but the 600th game for the talented captain was no more meaningful than any other of his former contests.
He wasn't able to get anything going out of the box, and had most of his attempts blocked before they could even come close to finding the net. It wasn't the award-type day Gerrard expected, but when you've played as long as he has, it comes with the territory.
James Simpson, Newcastle: D
Frankly, the Magpies missed Perch in this match.
His exit forced Anita into the middle, and Simpson wasn't that great down the stretch, either. He carelessly crossed balls into the Liverpool end to no avail in the first half, and wasn't exactly great down the stretch, either.
Simpson did have a big play in the 90th minute, cutting off Suarez from getting to the net. But when Alan Pardew looks back at this one, I think he'll see plenty of missed opportunities involving his back right defender.