Liverpool picked up its first Premier League win in nearly a month on Saturday. They rocked Newcastle 6-0 at St. James' Park behind the strength of two early goals by Daniel Agger and Jordan Henderson, and the finishing touches applied by forward Daniel Sturridge.
Clearly, it didn't matter that Liverpool was without the Premier League's second-leading goal scorer in Luis Suarez on Saturday.
Agger wasted little time putting the visiting Reds ahead in the third minute, knocking a header past Newcastle goalkeeper Robert Elliot. Minutes later, it was Brendan Rodgers' young midfielder, Jordan Henderson, putting Liverpool ahead 2-0 with over 70 minutes left to play.
Fifteen minutes have been played at St James' Park and Liverpool capitalised on a fine start to lead 1-0 through Agger's header. #NEWLIV— Premier League (@premierleague) April 27, 2013
After nearly 40 minutes of scoreless play (a stunning happening given the result), the Reds' Philippe Coutinho delivered a gorgeous assist for Daniel Sturridge, who beat Elliot to make it 3-0 Liverpool.
ASSIST Phillippe Coutinho gets the assist with a brilliant chipped through ball for Sturridge to slam home. Newcastle 0-3 Liverpool #NEWLIV— Premier League (@premierleague) April 27, 2013
Six minutes later, Sturridge poured in another, and the rout was on. Fabio Borini and Henderson would both score late to make it 6-0. Assisting Liverpool's goal-scoring party was Mathieu Debuchy's 75th minute red card, which knocked Newcastle down to just 10 men.
In the end, six is all Liverpool would score, but it was more than enough to not only crush, but embarrass the Magpies in front of their home crowd, which headed for the exits much earlier than usual on Saturday.
Premier League presents the only stat you need to know regarding Saturday's blowout.
Liverpool's easy win ends a three-match non-winning streak that began at the beginning of April. Meanwhile, the loss puts Newcastle in danger of being relegated at season's end and marks the second home shutout in the past three games for Alan Pardew's Magpies.
Daniel Agger, Liverpool: A
Daniel Agger's early goal gave Liverpool an early cushion and set the tone for the rest of the match as the visitors seemed to play with more purpose and aggression than Newcastle throughout.
In addition to starring on the attack, Agger was stout in defense, helping hold the Magpies to just three shots (one on goal) in the first 45 minutes. Newcastle would finish with just two shots on goal for the match.
Robert Elliot, Newcastle: F
Robert Elliot isn't solely to blame for Newcastle's defensive woes on Saturday, but the goalkeeper deserves most. He could have done much better to keep Liverpool off the board early and again in the second half.
If this had been hockey, Elliot would have likely been pulled before Liverpool had a chance to score its sixth goal of the day.
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool: A+
Jordan Henderson, 22, was impressive on Saturday, scoring his fourth and fifth EPL goals of the season and lifting the Reds to a seemingly insurmountable lead with his 17th minute score.
His 76th minute goal off of a free kick was just icing on the cake.
James Perch, Newcastle: D
Newcastle midfielder James Perch missed a golden opportunity to slice Liverpool's lead in half heading into the halftime break, knocking a header attempt wide in the 36th minute.
Who knows what happens if Perch scores there; maybe Newcastle is inspired and battles back to earn a draw. We'll never know.
Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool: A+
Two second-half goals in a six-minute span. You can't ask for much more from Daniel Sturridge. Although his 21st minute booking was a bit questionable, the new kid at Anfield delivered a huge performance when the match was still somewhat in the balance, turning a Liverpool clinic into an absolute rout.
Sturridge also chipped in with an assist, playing a key role in three of Liverpool's six goals.
In fairness to the rest of the Reds squad, though, there wasn't a single player who didn't shine in some way, shape or form for Liverpool on Saturday at St. James' Park.
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