Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle United
Steven Gerrard inspired Liverpool to a comeback victory over Newcastle United at Anfield on Sunday, but it was not enough to claim the Premier League title from Manchester City.
A Martin Skrtel own goal had given the Magpies a 19th-minute lead to flatten the atmosphere for the home crowd.
But Gerrard delivered two perfect free-kick deliveries in three second-half minutes, which were converted by Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge, to give the Reds all three points.
Newcastle saw Shola Ameobi and substitute Paul Dummett dismissed in the second period as the visitors finished with nine men.
But it was the story of "What could have been" for Liverpool and Gerrard, as the title celebrations began at the Etihad Stadium.
In a fairly quiet start to the game, there were few clear-cut chances, although Ameobi twice missed two half-decent opportunities.
In the 11th minute, Liverpool were looking for a penalty when Raheem Sterling went down under a challenge from Mathieu Debuchy, but referee Phil Dowd waved away the appeals.
But this remained a relatively sedate start for the Reds after their early goal blasts at Anfield in previous matches.
However, Liverpool were dealt a major blow in the 19th minute as the Magpies took the lead.
Anfield defender Skrtel was the unfortunate victim when he turned a Yoan Gouffran cross beyond Simon Mignolet and into his own net to give Newcastle the lead.
Liverpool attempted to hit back as the half progressed, but Luis Suarez and Sturridge were out of sorts.
However, the Reds fought their way back into the game courtesy of two Gerrard free-kicks in three second-half minutes.
In the 62nd minute, the England captain swung over a set piece and Agger was on hand at the far post to slot home the equaliser.
Three minutes later, from almost the same spot, Gerrard again provided the assist with a free-kick, which Sturridge gratefully converted.
In the wake of that strike, Ameobi was considered to have said too much, and Dowd dismissed the Newcastle striker.
But with news of Manchester City leading the way against West Ham at the Etihad Stadium, the atmosphere at Anfield remained flat.
There was still time for the Newcastle substitute to make his mark on the game. He entered the fray in the 82nd minute and promptly left it five minutes later after receiving a harsh red card for a foul on Suarez.
But the story was "What could have been" for Liverpool as they paraded around Anfield after the game.
Selected player ratings
Steven Gerrard: A-
Always looking for the chance to open up Newcastle from deep, and his accuracy from free-kicks earned Liverpool the win.
Luis Suarez: B
Liverpool striker was clearly out of sorts for the game, and his touch was off from the start. Not the way he would have wanted to finish the season.
Daniel Sturridge: A
Another player who deserved better, but the winner on Sunday and a standing ovation will inspire him for next season.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will begin preparations for next season and another assault on the Premier League title this summer.
The future for Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew is less certain after a poor second half to the campaign this year.
Brendan Rodgers asked what his first thoughts are after the game. He responds: "Congratulations to Manchester City."— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) May 11, 2014
A wonderful season at Anfield ends in anti-climax and, despite the fact they have over-achieved, a gnawing sense of what might have been— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) May 11, 2014
Crazy to think Liverpool didn’t win it after the momentum they built. Unfortunately that Gerrard slip image will last forever.— Nick Akerman (@Nakerman) May 11, 2014