Newcastle's 2-0 win has big implications for both sides involved
Speculation was rife prior to Liverpool's visit to St. James' Park that a loss would see Steve McClaren lose his job at Newcastle United.
Liverpool travelled North with five wins in their last five games scoring 16 times in those games. Top four talk, which was even sprinkled with some title talk, had begun surrounding Jurgen Klopp's side but Georginio Wijnaldum had other ideas.
Newcastle outran their opponents on top of creating more clear cut chances and being more dynamic overall in a comprehensive 2-0 victory over their opponents.
The first half was somewhat forgettable but Newcastle did enough to convince themselves that they could have a cut at Liverpool in the second half. With Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson on the bench, Liverpool were timid in front of goal for the opening 45 minutes. Aside from Jordan Ibe's pace, Liverpool looked like a team lacking creativity. Philippe Coutinho is expected back next week and Liverpool sorely missed the Brazilian's input today.
Sturridge and Lallana were sprung from the bench on the hour mark but just minutes later, Georginio Wijnaldum drove at the Liverpool defense before being pushed wide. A seemingly harmless shot was deflected off Martin Skrtl's knee and beyond Simong Mignolet to make the score 1-0. Liverpool were reeling and Newcastle's momentum was building.
Alberto Moreno side-footed a lovely volley past Elliot in the Newcastle goal but the linesman had, wrongly, ruled him offside. The replays showed he was at least a yard onside and the linesman had taken Divock Origi into account when deciding whether to put his flag up. The Belgian was coming back from an offside position but was not involved in the play and the goal should have been allowed. It wasn't and Liverpool soldiered on to no effect.
Wijnaldum settled things after another powerful run that saw him one on one with Mignolet. The Dutch midfielder calmly chipped the Liverpool goalkeeper and Newcastle and Steve McClaren proved there is life in them yet.
McClaren was believed to have been considering resigning his position as the manager of Newcastle prior to the game. It may have been a case of jumping before he was pushed, but with a very important win under their belts, McClaren and Newcastle can build upon this as their relegation battle begins to heat up.
They currently sit in 18th place with just two points separating them and Chelsea in 14th place.