After The Match 


Liverpool-Newcastle 2-0 (1-0)           20.09.06                    PL
Goals: Kuyt (29), Alonso (79)
Team: Reina, Finnan, Aurelio, Agger, Carragher, Sissoko, Alonso, Gerrard, Garcia, Kuyt, Bellamy
Subs: Crouch (Kuyt 82), Gonzalez (Gerrard 86)
Not used: Dudek, Hyypia, Warnock
Yellow: Garcia (48)                Moore (62)
Red: None
Referee: Mark Halsey
Attendance: 43,754
Shots on target: 8-4
Shots off target: 9-6
Possession: 54.9-45.1
Fouls conceded: 13-14
Corners: 8-6
Offsides: 4-4
Yellow: 1-1
Red: 0-0
HEADLINES "I've not professionally scored one like this in Spain..."
       Xabi Alonso

2409: Bellamy hits back in Newcastle row
2109: McDermott confirms Bellamy row
2109: Rafa plays down Bellamy bust-up
2109: Xabi hails repeat feat
2009: Benitez never worried
2009: Roeder slams referee
2009: Xabi cracker seals Reds win 


Bellamy hits back in Newcastle row


Craig Bellamy believes there are people at Newcastle who do not want him to be successful - and has hit back at Toon coach Terry McDermott.

The Liverpool striker was branded an "upstart" by McDermott - himself a former Anfield favourite - after the midweek clash between the clubs.

The pair were involved in a tunnel row after Liverpool's 2-0 victory on Wednesday.

And after Liverpool moved up to sixth place in the Premier League on Saturday with another fine home win - this time over struggling Tottenham - Bellamy revealed he feared "something would happen" when he came up against Newcastle again after his acrimonious departure from Tyneside a year ago.

Bellamy has had support from Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez over the showdown with McDermott, and again after the Spurs game when he had failed to score for the eighth game in succession.

Benitez said: "I have talked to Craig and as long as he is running hard and moving, and doing his job well, it's fine by me. He will have my backing."

Bellamy talked of his desire to do well for his new club, but believes Newcastle are "hurt" by his arrival at Anfield.

Bellamy said: "The circus was in town on Wednesday. There was always going to be something from them (Newcastle), but it doesn't bother me. Not at all.

"I was half expecting something because I know they are hurting, my being at Liverpool is hurting them.

"This is the club I have always wanted to play for and maybe there are people who are not too happy about that.

"I'm sure there are people there (at Newcastle) who don't want me to succeed here, because it reminds them every time.

"It was a ridiculously cheap fee I went to Blackburn for, it's not nice for me to be remembered for that. What was it, about 3.75million? That hurts. I know that, but that is the game we play."

Bellamy had fallen out with former Newcastle boss Graeme Souness and spent six months on loan to Celtic before what he clearly believes was a cut-price move to Blackburn ahead of his summer transfer to Liverpool.

Now he wants to repay Benitez and impress his new fans, even if goals are eluding him.

He forced Paul Robinson into one excellent save and even hit a post from a couple of yards before Mark Gonzalez rammed home the rebound to put Liverpool on their way to an emphatic win.

Bellamy's strike partner Dirk Kuyt grabbed his second of the week before John Arne Riise's piledriver in the final minute.

Bellamy underlined how anxious he is to get on the goal trail, admitting: "That's the way it is at the moment, the ball keeps going the other side of the post or hitting it. It happens, but I have had times like this in my career before.

"I am maybe too excited to score. You want to do so well and you are snatching at chances, and when you do that as a forward you find the chances slip away.

"In some ways it is different for me. It's the club I supported and there is an extra determination to do well.

"I'm putting extra pressure on myself, but then I always do that, it is how I play football. I demand high standards of myself and I don't worry about missing chances.

"But the one thing I don't like is when anxiety creeps in and it affects my game a bit. That's something I can't handle.

"Probably that is how it is at the moment. Okay, the people around me are scoring and I feel the rest of my game is going all right, making runs, helping create chances for others.

"But at a club like this you are judged on goals, and that is one thing you want to achieve. But at that's life, I have to keep going.

"The chances will come at a club like this because there are such good players around who will create them. I am still enjoying it all."

McDermott confirms Bellamy row

Clubcall Sports

Newcastle coach Terry McDermott has confirmed he had a tunnel bust-up with the club's former striker Craig Bellamy after the 2-0 loss to Liverpool.

McDermott claims he was talking to the referee after the game when the Welsh international insulted him.

"We felt that at the start of the second half we felt that we should have two stonewall penalties something which was backed up by the TV replays and in the first instance by Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez," McDermott told the Newcastle Chronicle.

"I was talking to the referee at the edge of the tunnel when Bellamy appeared on the scene and suddenly started calling me names. I thought he was just joking and I put my arm around him, but he kept on calling me names and that's when it all kicked off.

"I had my say and when he got to the top of the stairs he started shouting at me again, but of course he had security guys around him.

"I was talking to the referee. It had nothing to do with anyone else and I take exception to little upstarts like him (Bellamy). I do not like it when people like to think they are bigger than clubs.

"When he was at Newcastle he thought he was a big cheese. When he went to Blackburn he caused trouble there and everywhere he has been he has been in bother and it is all starting again at Liverpool. There was no need for it at all and he was 100percent out of order."

Rafa plays down Bellamy bust-up

Sporting Life

Rafael Benitez has played down a tunnel bust-up involving Craig Bellamy after Liverpool's 2-0 win over Newcastle.

Reds striker Bellamy, a former Newcastle player, was involved in a row with his former coach Terry McDermott.

The Welshman, who had a plastic bottle thrown at him by a Magpies fan, clashed with McDermott as tempers flared after the final whistle at Anfield in the Premiership clash.

There had been suggestions that punches had been thrown but Benitez played down the row.

"I could hear something but I couldn't understand what happened," said the Spaniard. "I really couldn't see. It was over in maybe two seconds. I think it was shouting, nothing else."

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder defended the role of McDermott.

He said: "I'd be the last person to disagree with Rafa Benitez.

"Terry's a very experienced coach and I'm sure he'd be way above getting involved in something like that representing a club like ours."

Xabi hails repeat feat


Xabi Alonso has hailed another wonder goal as his strike from inside his own half against Newcastle United emulated his effort at Luton Town in last season's FA Cup.

The Spain international chanced his arm with a spectacular long-range attempt and profited when Steve Harper, standing in for Shay Given, slipped and failed to keep the shot out.

It added to Dirk Kuyt's opener and ensured Liverpool picked up the three points from a 2-0 triumph.

"At the beginning, I was looking for the pass but the ref was in the way of me getting it to Stevie [Gerrard] properly," he told Sky Sports afterwards.

"So I looked up and saw the keeper off his line and so I thought I'd have a go for it.

"I think that it was better because the Luton goal bounced a few times and went straight.

"It was different but I was very happy to score this goal.

"I practice all the time in training and sometimes the coaches shout at me for losing a lot of balls but it's something I like doing and I'll always try to keep on doing it.

"I've not professionally scored one like this in Spain and I'm delighted to have done it twice in England."

Benitez never worried

By Paul Higham - Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was delighted to see his side back in the winning groove against Newcastle, but insisted he was never worried about their form.

The Reds had lost their last two Premiership games but bounced back with a 2-0 success over Newcastle at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Benitez says his side have been creating chances despite a recent goal drought, which was broken by Dirk Kuyt's first goal for the club followed by Xabi Alonso's audacious strike from well inside his own half.

The Spanish coach was happy to be back winning and said he is happy with his rotation system he has employed so far this term.

"For me the good thing was not just the two goals, but the chances we created, we had a lot of clear chances," said Benitez.

"When a new striker starts it's always good for him and good for the team to score and Kuyt will have a lot more confidence now.

"We can change the players though, we can use Fowler, we can use Crouch, it's not a problem because they all know what to do when they play."

"I said before we were creating a lot of chances, even the away games we were creating more than the local teams but now at home we have scored twice and we could have had three or four.

"We have always had confidence and I've always said that now is not the time to be looking at the table and the important thing is that you keep on improving and I think we are definitely doing that."

Benitez praise Alonso for his wonderful strike, and said it could the classy midfielder out of some criticism from the bench.

"I was waiting to say something to him because Gerrard was free on the right but when it went in I thought it was a great goal.

"It was one of the best goals we have seen here."

Benitez admitted that Newcastle should have had a penatly for handball, but also said that the home side should also have been given a spot kick themselves.

"I have seen some replays and I think that the handball with Carra was a penalty and also the other one with Babayaro was also a penalty.

"So I think there was one at each end but it was difficult for the referee."

Roeder slams referee

By Paul Higham - Sky Sports

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder says referee Mark Halsey cost them the game at Liverpool for his failure to give them a second half penalty.

The Magpies went down 2-0 at Anfield but Roeder was fuming that, at 1-0 down, they were not given a penalty for handball against Jamie Carragher.

Roeder's men also had a penalty shout turned down for a foul on Shola Ameobi, while Liverpool also thought they should have had a penalty when Celestine Babayaro handled.

"We do feel aggrieved by the result," said Roeder.

"Not many teams come here and attack as much as Liverpool and have as much possession as them.

"We had a game plan to be solid and keep it tight.

"Yes, Liverpool had a fair amount of pressure but really Stevie Harper didn't really have much to do in the first half.

"For us tactically it was a bad first goal. Our strikers know that a deep lying midfielder like Alonso should not have that space - no-one got near him and it was a lovely ball to set up the goal.

"The second was a lovely strike but a freak, if Harper doesn't slip over he just catches it.

"I don't think people realise how hard it is to strike the ball over such a long distance so accurately but there is no doubt about it that if Steve didn't slip it would have been a long pass into his hands."

Aside from his thoughts on the goals, Roeder's main gripe was towards referee Halsey for not giving them a penalty.

"I've had a chat with Mark Halsey and I believe even Rafa Benitez agrees that the first handball should have been a penalty.

"It was the best save of the night from Shola's shot which I thought was arrowing into the corner of the net.

"Goals change games and assuming we scored the penalty then we are back in it at 1-1.

"Shola went down which I thought was another penalty but mark says he was offside anyway so the handball one is the one that has cost us.

"I feel let down by Mark Halsey because that decision has cost us."

Xabi cracker seals Reds win

By Paul Higham - Sky Sports

Liverpool got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win against Newcastle at Anfield, thanks to Dirk Kuyt's first goal for the club and Xabi Alonso's spectacular effort from inside his own half.

Rafa Benitez's men went into the game needing to avoid a third straight Premiership defeat, and they did that with two special goals against The Magpies.

A deserved opener came via Kuyt's first goal for his new club in the first half, and the three points were sealed in blockbuster fashion as Alonso scored from his own half for the second time, embarrassing the stumbling Steve Harper with a glorious strike from just outside the centre circle.

Harper was called into action quickly as he got a rare start in place of the injured Shay Given when he had to race off his line to clear the ball ahead of Craig Bellamy breaking through.

Luis Garcia was providing some nice touches and he turned well before slipping Bellamy in down the left, but the Welshman always looked uncomfortable on that side and his attempted curler with his right foot was easily saved by Harper.

Fabio Aurelio's free kick hit the wall and fell for Garcia who spun and shot quickly, but his toe-poke went straight at Harper - who also saved the crafty Spaniard's effort a minute later.

The Reds went ahead for the first time this season on 29 minutes when Xabi Alonso's slide-rule ball released Steve Finnan down the right and he centred for the arriving Kuyt to knock in a real finisher's goal to open his account for Liverpool

Shola Ameobi went down looking for a penalty five minutes after the interval under Daniel Agger's challenge but referee Mark Halsey was not interested.

Alonso's free kick flew into the back of the net on 53 minutes but it went in off Garcia's hand, and he was booked for his troubles.

Kuyt wasted a good chance to double the lead a couple of minutes later when Garcia found him with a fine cut-back from the left, but the Dutchman stabbed his effort poorly wide.

Newcastle were furious two handball shouts for penalties were turned down just seconds after each other, while Emre's free kick from a dangerous position just outside the box struck the wall.

Bellamy's p ace get him on to a charged-down clearance ahead of Craig Moore but after racing in on Harper he dinked over the keeper only to watch the ball float wide of the mark.

Harper had to scramble moments later to turn Aurelio's fine free kick aside when it was heading to the bottom corner.

Garcia was only denied a second Liverpool goal by the woodwork 15 minutes from time when he brought down a long ball superbly before his instant hit rebounded off the post with Harper helpless.

Liverpool had a handball shout of their own turned down when Celestine Babayaro handled at the near post from Bellamy's cross but again it was waved away.

Kuyt again wasted a good chance after a nice step and cross from Aurelio on the left gave him a close range header which he planted wide when he should really have scored.

Liverpool's second did come in the 79th minute, and in the most spectacular fashion as Alonso embarrassed Harper with a sublime goal from well inside his own half.

The Spaniard was already scored from his own half once, and he repeated the trick when he spotted the keeper off his line and fired forward from the edge of the centre circle in his own half.

Harper was caught out and he stumbled as he tried to get back to his line and could only dive despairingly from the floor as he watched Alonso's effort find the back of the net.

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Thor Zakariassen