After The Match 


Newcastle-Liverpool 1-0 (0-0)              Sat Mar 5.        Premier League
Goals: Robert (70)
Team: Carson, Finnan, Hyypia, Carragher, Pellegrino, Riise, Gerrard, Garcia, Biscan, Baros, Smicer
Subs: Nunez (Smicer 75), Le Tallec (Pellegrino 83),
Warnock (Baros 88)
Not used: Dudek, Welsh
Yellow: Gerrard (57), Smicer (74)      Faye (32), Robert (34)
Red: None
Referee: H Webb (S Yorkshire)
Attendance: 52,323

                           MATCH-REPORTS & RESULTS 
Shots on target: 4-3
Shots off target: 9-3
Fouls conceded: 11-16
Corners: 5-4
Yellow: 2-2




"It was a game
without opportunities."
         Rafael Benitez


0503: Souness praises Robert
0503: Rafa dejected after loss
0503: Robert sees off Reds


Souness praises Robert

By Paul Higham - Sky Sports

Graeme Souness was delighted with Newcastle's 1-0 win over Liverpool, with special praise reserved for Laurent Robert.

The French winger was the match-winner against The Reds with a superb free kick that young keeper Scott Carson could only get his finger tips too.

"It was a good win for us today," said Souness. "I thought for the first 20 minutes Liverpool were better than us but after that we did a lot better.

"It was a special goal that won it and we know Laurent is capable of that. He had a few more decent ones that if he had got on target the keeper would have had problems.

"Their keeper did well to get a finger tip on the goal because it was a special effort.

"Robert had a good game apart from the goal and Alan Shearer was magnificent.

"We have a love-hate relationship with Laurent, sometimes I want to hug him and other times I want to bash him up.

"But he was out there chasing everything today and I think he even charged down a shot today."

Skipper Alan Shearer made his 400th Premiership appearance, and was delighted with the three points.

Shearer emphasised the point that Robert can be frustrating at times, but there is no doubts over his ability.

"We've had a good time of late - we've worked really hard and I think we got what we deserved today.

"We played really well and a moment of magic from Robert has settled it for us.

"He can be a frustrating at times but he has got a great left foot on him - better than most - and when he whips them in like that then they are hard to stop."

Rafa dejected after loss

By Paul Higham - Sky Sports

Rafa Benitez cut a downbeat figure after Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at Newcastle.

In what was a poor game, Laurent Robert's free kick was the difference between two teams who struggled to carve out any clear-cut chances.

Benitez was forced into a number of changes for the game due to injuries, with 19-year-old goalkeeper Scott Carson beaten by Robert on his debut.

"It is a disappointing day," said Benitez. "We only conceded one goal and there were only chances from set plays.

"It was a game without opportunities.

"We played well but did not get into the box enough. There were not a lot of opportunities at either end.

"They scored one good goal but did not create anything else."

Benitez refused to blame Carson for the goal, saying that his young keeper hardly had anything else to do in the game.

"I cannot say anything about out goalkeeper because he only had about two or three times when he had to catch the ball.

"We talked about Robert's free kicks but sometimes you can not stop some goals like that.

"I would never blame him for the goal."

Benitez hopes that Harry Kewell, Dietmar Hamann and Jery Dudek can return for their UEFA Champions League trip to Bayer Leverkusen, with the other absentee Fernando Morientes unavailable for that competition.

"Dudek couldn't play today. Hamann and Kewell also have problems and Morientes too was injured.

"Hopefully those plays can play because Harry and Hamann don't have big problems and should be able to play in the Champions League."

Robert sees off Reds

By Paul Higham - Sky Sports

Newcastle heaped more misery on Liverpool with a scrappy 1-0 win at St James' Park.

A poor encounter up in the North East saw little quality from either side, and in the end a Laurent Robert free kick was enough to settle the game in Newcastle' favour.

After their Carling Cup defeat on Sunday, Liverpool lost even more ground in their battle for fourth place with another lifeless away performance.

Newcastle looked short on ideas themselves and despite having the majority of the possession, debutant Scott Carson's only work of the afternoon was to pick the ball out of the net after Robert's winner.

Steven Gerrard tried to inject some life into a quiet opening ten minutes, when powering into the box after winning the ball, but his cross-shot went well wide with no Reds shirt in touching distance.

Both sides forced a number of corners - and this seemed the mostly likely way either would get close to scoring.

Newcastle did better with their corners, with Titus Bramble eventually volleying over after debutant Scott Carson had only punched the cross to the edge of the box.

Jean-Alain Boumsong's back-heel hit Sami Hyypia in the chest after Lee Bowyer had hit a shot from the edge of the box.

Shola Ameobi rose high at the far post to get a free header from another corner, but his effort was cleared by Igor Biscan.

Ameobi had another good chance at the far post from another cross, but this time he put his effort over the bar.

Robert fired a 35-yard free kick wide of Carson's right hand post near the hour mark, but both sides were struggling to carve out clear-cut opportunities.

John Arne Riise needed to get a good flick away from yet another dangerous Newcastle corner with Alan Shearer lurking.

The breakthrough came 20 minutes from time when Shearer managed to win a free kick out on the right for what was an innocuous tussle with Mauricio Pellegrino.

Robert stepped up and curled in the free kick that Carson could only get a faint touch on as it sailed into the far corner.

Rafa Benitez was short of options on the bench and his side looked to have little response to going behind.

Substitute Patrick Kluivert nearly made it 2-0 when he dragged his finish wide of the post after shaking Jamie Carragher off the ball late on.

Skipper Gerrard nearly rescued a point for his side in the last minute when he raced into the box but he flashed his shot wide of the far post and Newcastle hung on.

The win represented Graeme Souness' first win against Liverpool as a manager, and could have snuffed out the Anfield outfit's chances of finishing fourth.

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Thor Zakariassen