Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle: 6 Things We Learned
A scintillating match at Anfield saw Liverpool draw 1-1 with Newcastle, and here we bring you our customary reaction piece.
Liverpool dominated proceedings but was unable to crack a tough Newcastle defence more than once.
What did this epic showdown teach us about how both sides are playing? There were some hair-raising moments for both managers to mull over.
Pardew Learnt Nothing from Sir Alex
A few weeks ago, Newcastle was demolished 3-0 at St. James' Park by Manchester United.
It was the first time Sir Alex Ferguson rolled out his midfield diamond and it took the initiative quickly—three goals were scored before Alan Pardew did anything tactically to change his team's fortunes.
So against possession-based teams, Newcastle struggles, as it did at Anfield. Liverpool dominated the encounter right from the first whistle, and it was only the club's lack of cutting edge that meant the Magpies weren't buried quickly in a similar fashion.
Why doesn't Pardew change his team's shape when it's struggling?
Borini Faces a Struggle
Fabio Borini's injury, which will keep him sidelined for a few more weeks yet, harmed Brendan Rodgers' efforts to install his footballing blueprint at Liverpool.
It was expected that the Italian would waltz straight back into the Reds' lineup on return, but Suso's good form leaves that idea in jeopardy.
The young Spaniard is a little lightweight at the moment, but his promising play has encouraged many a fan.
He's turning into the play-making winger Rodgers wants—the one Scott Sinclair was for Swansea.
Sterling Is Everything He's Meant to Be and More
Another weekend, another superlative performance from young Raheem Sterling.
He's not even old enough to legally drink in England, but he continues to put Stewart Downing to shame on that left side.
Charlie Adam, speaking before the game, labelled him a potential England star. Those who hadn't seen too much of the winger may have thought he was being generous, but the former Liverpool midfielder was quickly proved right.
This was one of his best performances yet against seasoned Newcastle full-backs.
Cisse-Ba Partnership Continues to Struggle
Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba have still failed to score a goal each in the same game.
The truth is, they're the same player, and two identical players never perform well together. It's no coincidence that Cisse grabbed all the goals from January to May, while Ba's scored them all so far this season.
They both try too hard to work together and play as a tandem—should Alan Pardew just buy a fast poacher and pair him with one of the two?
Suarez = Genius
Love him or hate him, praise or malign his actions, Luis Suarez is a footballing genius.
Is it something we've "learnt"? Probably not, but for most, it's something they've remembered.
The dark cloud over the Uruguayan's head has been garnering hatred from every corner of the earth in recent months, with many failing to remember he's one of the most talented players in the world.
His sublime goal should jog a few minds.
Rodgers' Revolution Is a Step Closer
Brendan Rodgers' mantra is to pass around teams until they cannot come at you any longer.
It was a genuine surprise to see Newcastle players walk off that pitch. If it were me, I'd have been crawling.
Sixty-five percent possession to the home side along with 438 completed passes certainly lays credence to the idea that this team is finally starting to settle into its new bosses' blueprint.
More than double the amount of chances Newcastle had also suggests that their passing does not negate a goal threat. Jonjo Shelvey could have easily won this game for the Reds.