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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 24 May, 2018


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Chelsea 0-1 QPR (FT)

Liverpool 3-0 Sunderland (FT)

Newcastle 1-2 Everton (FT)

Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

I’ll have all the team news for you in a moment.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s two 7.45pm kick-offs:

Liverpool: Reina, Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Downing, Suarez, Sterling. Subs: Jones, Sahin, Carragher, Allen, Fernandez Saez, Shelvey, Robinson.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, Cuellar, Kilgallon, Rose, Johnson, Larsson, Colback, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher. Subs: Westwood, Bardsley, Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Vaughan, Bramble.

Chelsea: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand, Luiz, Lampard, Marin, Oscar, Moses, Torres. Subs: Hilario, Cole, Ramires, Mata, Hazard, Ferreira, Piazon.

QPR: Julio Cesar, Onuoha, Nelsen, Hill, Da Silva, Mbia, Derry, Hoilett, Granero, Taarabt, Mackie. Subs: Green, Ferdinand, Park, Cisse, Wright-Phillips, Dyer, Faurlin.

And here’s the team news for the 8pm game:

Newcastle: Krul; Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Tiote, Anita; Cisse, Marveaux, Obertan; Shola Ameobi. Subs: Elliot, Ferguson, Tavernier, Abeid, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Ranger.

Everton: Howard, Baines, Heitinga, Distin, Jagielka, Pienaar, Osman, Neville, Fellaini, Naismith, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Anichebe, Gueye, Vellios, Duffy.

It’ll be interesting to see how Chelsea get on without both Mata and Hazard in their side.

Nonetheless, playing at home to QPR, it should be a straightforward win.

Alan Pardew has told Sky Sports that Demba Ba’s move to Chelsea is “done” and there’s “no uncertainty”.

He adds that their preparations have been affected, as he originally intended to start Ba in the side.

Brendan Rodgers is back in the Liverpool dugout this evening, after he was too ill to attend their game with QPR.

John O’Shea, meanwhile, is not fit enough to play tonight.

The 7.45pm games are underway…

It’s been a quiet enough start at Anfield.

Gerrard has just attempted an ambitious pass to Sterling, but it’s overhit.

(Liverpool’s new signing Daniel Sturridge in the stands – Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

A Suarez free-kick has been parried away for a corner by Mignolet.

He then saves a weak Henderson header from the ensuing corner.

The Newcastle-Everton game is now underway…



Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland: Suarez hooks the ball over the Sunderland defence, and Sterling beats the offside trap and produces a lovely finish, lofting the ball over the keeper and into the net (18 mins).

Shortly thereafter, McClean drags the ball wide poorly, when played through on goal.

Newcastle 1-0 Everton: Cisse gives Newcastle the lead with a looping header (4 mins).

Who needs Demba Ba?


Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland: Luis Suarez shrugs off the challenge of Cuellar and runs through on goal, slotting it between Mignolet’s legs (24 mins).

The Uruguayan looks as confident as usual tonight.

Newcastle seem as if they’re trying to prove that there’s life after Demba Ba.

Obertan, in particular, has looked a threat on the left.

Reina has to make a good save from a Kilgallon volley, after a dangerous cross into the Liverpool area.

The hosts are far from home and dry yet.

Liverpool break quickly and Downing’s cross narrowly eludes the onrushing Henderson.

If Sunderland aren’t careful, they could be on the end of a hammering.

Liverpool’s confidence is evident at the moment.

They’re passing the ball around like Barcelona right now.

Meanwhile, an Oscar shot is well saved by Cesar at Chelsea, and James Perch’s header from a Newcastle free-kick hits the post.




Everton 1-1 Newcastle: It’s an absolute wonder strike from Baines, whose powerful free-kick from about 40 yards out gives Krul no chance, curling past him and finding the top corner (42 mins).

Obertan didn’t exactly cover himself in glory in the wall, turning his back when he could’ve got a block in.


The second halfs of both the 7.45pm games have begun…

Moses narrowly fails to connect with a cross, after great work by Marin in the build-up.

Chelsea are knocking at the door…

Sterling chips a one-on-one just wide, after being beautifully set up by Suarez, as he was for the first goal.

Liverpool are continuing to dominate this game.


Liverpool 3-0 Sunderland: Gerrard plays through Suarez, and the Uruguayan makes no mistake with the finish (52 mins).

What a season he’s having!

A rare QPR attack ends, when Turnbull comfortably saves Granero’s shot.

In addition, Hazard has replaced Marin for Chelsea.

Mackie is played through on goal from a Taarabt pass, but Cahill recovers to make a goal-saving tackle.

QPR look a different side to the team that were beaten all too easily by Liverpool the other day.

(Mignolet reacts to a Liverpool goal – Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Frank Lampard smashes the ball into the net after a free-kick falls to him, but it’s ruled out for offside.

It was a debatable decision, as replays illustrate.

Sunderland really are all over the place right now.

Luis Suarez runs through on goal, but Mignolet gets down well to save.

It’s a disappointing finish by the Uruguayan’s standards, and he’ll feel he should have a hat-trick right now.

Hazard has made a bit of a difference for Chelsea, who continue to pressurise their opponents’ area consistently.

QPR are defending very deep at the moment, and are playing a dangerous game.

And to make matters worse for Harry Redknapp’s side, Mata has just come on for Chelsea.


Everton 2-1 Newcastle: Anichebe makes an immediate impact after coming on, converting Jelavic’s cross (60 mins).


QPR 1-0 Chelsea: Wright-Phillips comes back to haunt his former club, striking it into the corner from the edge of the box (78 mins).

There have been several shock results already this season, but this would be among the most surprising if it stays as it is.

Liverpool are still well on top at Anfield.

Steven Gerrard has just volleyed the ball well over from distance.

Chelsea earn a free-kick on the edge of the box following a needless foul by Clint Hill.

David Luiz, however, can’t reproduce his Aston Villa magic, hammering the ball straight at the wall.

An Ivanovic header from a Mata cross goes inches over.

Surely Benitez is regretting not playing the Spaniard from the start now.

The wonderful Taarabt, who set up Wright-Phillips for the goal, is replaced by Dyer in the dying seconds.

The Moroccan attacker has arguably been the best player on the field tonight.



Incredible scenes, as QPR celebrate wildly, while Chelsea fans boo their team off the field.

Questions will consequently be asked of Rafa Benitez’s decision to rest some of his star players.

Moreover, Torres looked especially inept, and so, the club badly need Demba Ba on the basis of this performance.

Just under five minutes remain at St James’ Park, as Newcastle press for an equaliser.

(Queens Park Rangers’ Shaun Wright-Phillips (second right) celebrates with team-mates after scoring his team’s opening goal – Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Six minutes of added time will be played at Newcastle.

The hosts are currently struggling to even get the ball into the Everton half though.

Leighton Baines has been named Man of the Match, largely owing to that masterful free-kick (see 20.57).


Speaking to Sky, Leighton Baines says he only took that stunning free-kick because “no one else wanted it”.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy