Magpies blown away by the Anfield effect

THE question of whether Anfield should be the subject of naming rights has recently cropped up so here is a suggestion: rebrand the stadium as the ‘Stanley Park Medical Centre’.

Because, as this match again proved, Anfield prescribes two forms of medication at the moment — adrenaline for the home side and anaesthetic for the visitors.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of Alex Ferguson at Manchester United has been the way his side have, throughout the years, built up such a formidable reputation that visiting teams, by kick-off are already a goal down inside their heads.

They may deny it afterwards and say all the right things publicly but that is a matter of fact.

Teams visiting Old Trafford are usually always listless, fearful, ponderous and willing to accept their fate before their fate has even been determined.

It would be foolish to suggest Kenny Dalglish has managed to have quite the same impact at Liverpool in the brief time he has been back in charge but there is little doubt that his side are heading in the same direction.

Newcastle showed up and tried their damnedest but they did not even begin to start playing until they were a goal down, courtesy of Maxi Rodriguez’s fourth goal in two games, while further goals for the reborn Dirk Kuyt and a deserved finish from Luis Suarez ensured Liverpool moved above Tottenham into fifth place.

That means they have gone from 12th to a Europa League position under Dalglish, a feat made all the more impressive by the fact they have played such good football recently without £35m signing Andy Carroll.

Confidence is so high at Liverpool at the moment that the Reds never missed £35 million signing Andy Carroll for a moment so he could afford to sit back on the substitutes bench, apply the suntan lotion — and some earplugs if he had any sense — and watch his side defeat a Newcastle outfit that were never blown away but who never really threatened either.

Dalglish was full of admiration for how his forward line showed Newcastle how it was done and he reserved special praise for Suarez who was simply magnificent.

After Rodriguez’s 10th minute volley put Liverpool in front to make it four goals in two games, Newcastle slowly inched their way back into the encounter before Suarez ended their hopes shortly after the break.

He chased down a huge Pepe Reina kick and somehow wrestled the ball off Mike Williamson before Williamson compounded his error by bringing him down in the penalty area.

The Uruguayan’s hard work meant Kuyt could double the lead from 12 yards out before Suarez calmly collected one for himself at the Kop End from close range soon after to seal it.

Dalglish added: “Luis’s always getting in there and is always a threat and it fell kindly for him.

“He’s a good person as well and is bubbly and just loves playing football.

“As a player and as a person he would not find it hard to settle anywhere and that is great credit to him. He will be the same next year.

After the interval, Dalglish switched Glen Johnson and John Flanagan because the youngster had struggled in the first half against Jonas Gutierrez but the tacit acknowledgment that Gutierrez had won his duel was the only victory Newcastle had all day.

A poor Joey Barton effort from close range just after the break could have changed the tie had it gone in. But it did not.

Everything is running in Liverpool’s direction and who’s to say they will not administer more of the same before this season is out?

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