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Full-Time: Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool

We’re moments away from kick-off and here are the teams. Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy and Jose Enrique all start against their former employers, and it will be particularly interesting to see the reception handed out to the Liverpool number nine.

For the Magpies, Fabricio Coloccini is out injured so James Perch moves into the centre of defence. Jonas Gutierrez moves to left-back.

The attacking trio of Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cissé and Demba Ba remain in place after being quite brilliant against West Brom.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Ba

Subs: Elliot, Santon, Gosling, Ryan Taylor, Shola Ameobi, Vuckic, Ferguson

Liverpool: Reina, Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Shelvey, Spearing, Gerrard, Suarez, Carroll, Bellamy

Subs: Doni, Aurelio, Maxi, Henderson, Coates, Kuyt, Downing

The first effort of the game as Jonjo Shelvey goes close. The youngster almost grabs his first Premier League goal for Liverpool.

Meanwhile, boos aplenty for Carroll and Enrique. That’s just not nice.

Minimal booing where Craig Bellamy is concerned. Graeme Souness clearly isn’t in the stands.

We’ve just been treated to our first Luis Suarez Black Swan impersonation. 8/10. From the resulting free-kick Carroll appeals for a penalty – he felt he was being held by Mike Williamson.

Big call from Martin Atkinson. Just when everyone thinks he’s going to point to the penalty spot for a foul by Tim Krul on Carroll, the referee books the Liverpool striker for the most appalling dive you will ever see.

For shame. As if he needed to look for new ways to be unpopular.

The second deflection that Tim Krul has to deal with, as he tips Craig Bellamy’s cross-shot off the crossbar. It’s all Liverpool in the early stages, we don’t remember seeing the ball in the Reds’ half.

Another booking: Jonjo Shelvey goes into the notebook for a scything tackle on Cissé.

Newcastle 1-0 Liverpool. Did we say it was all Liverpool? Well, Newcastle have the lead and it’s Papiss Cissé with the goal.

Ben Arfa is the architect as his curling right-wing cross takes Skrtel out of proceedings and Cissé guides his header expertly past Pepe Reina.

Funny how the Liverpool fans aren’t booing Danny Guthrie. Just a thought.

Anyway, the game has reverted to its pre-goal status with the Reds doing all the pressing but not having the slightest clue what that rectangular thing at the end of the field is.

This time, Carroll and Bellamy get in each other’s way and Carroll heads over under pressure from Krul.

Ben Arfa once again teases his way into the Liverpool box but this time Skrtel manages to clear the ball. 32 minutes have elapsed and we’re in a bit of a lull.

Chance! Demba Ba barges through the midfield and, when he sees Cissé drift offside, unleashes a shot that almost goes in off Skrtel.

John Flanagan keeps the ball in well and sends Bellamy away. The Welshman has loads of space to produce the worst cross of his career.

Shelvey keeps the ball from going out for a throw and Guthrie picks it up and fires a quite brilliant cross onto the head of Cissé. It goes wide, but only just.

Shelvey is a relieved man.

Despite that dive early in the first half, Carroll has actually been one of Liverpool’s better players. His header almost sets Suarez free but the Uruguayan – who has been poor – can not get to it.

John Flanagan is shown a yellow card for a foolish tackle on… someone we can’t make out. Three bookings for Liverpool in this half, and they’re a goal down.

Steven Gerrard is flagged offside as half-time approaches. That could be the first time he has appeared in the liveblog.

It is half-time. A goal from Papiss Cissé separates the sides and, while Liverpool have had more possession, Newcastle deserve their lead. Andy Carroll has been roundly booed by the home fans and a ridiculous dive in the opening minutes did not help.

He has, however, played reasonably well, unlike Messrs Suarez and Gerrard, who haven’t been in the game.

Mike Williamson hits the post! It’s almost 2-0 to Newcastle as the Toon centre-half connects brilliantly with a cross from the right. Liverpool are relieved. Meanwhile, Tiote is booked for a foul on Gerrard.

“Jose Enrique, we’re in the top-six,” sing the Newcastle fans. That’s got to sting.

Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool. Cissé scores his second goal of the game and his seventh for Newcastle. He was clearly offside when he received the ball but the flag stays down as the striker walks the ball into the net.

Depressing for Liverpool, who go up the other end and see Luis Suarez’ effort blocked by James Perch.

This seems more and more likely to be Liverpool’s seventh Premier League defeat in 2012. They can dress it up however they like, but they really have been awful in the league this season and the likes of Henderson, Downing, Adam and Enrique (of late) have been poor. Not to mention Carroll, who looks more and more like a souped up Tony Cascarino.

Meanwhile, it’s on DG for another as Dan Gosling replaces Danny Guthrie for Newcastle.

We’re into the final 20 minutes and Newcastle look comfortable. They still have Manchester City and Chelsea to face but you couldn’t bet against a side with, arguably, the best attacking trio in the league at the moment.

Gerrard tries one of his Hollywood balls. You can probably guess how that one worked out.

Cissé is replaced by Shola Ameobi. No hat-trick today for the former Freiburg striker. It won’t be long though.

Meanwhile, Stewart Downing replaces Shelvey. That should make all of no difference to the final result, then.

A stunning piece of control by Demba Ba, who releases Ben Arfa, but the Liverpool defence snuffs out the danger.

Dirk Kuyt and Jordan Henderson come on for Carroll – who stopped playing after the 30 minute mark, and Bellamy. It’s going to be a far less hateful place for the last ten minutes of the match.

Red card! Pepe Reina has been sent off for Liverpool for a headbutt on James Perch, after the Reds ‘keeper drops the ball. It all kicks off and Kenny Dalglish has to go on to the pitch to calm things down.

Enrique goes into goal for Liverpool, who have made all three substitutions.

Suarez wins a free-kick on the edge of the box and takes it himself. It’s shockingly bad, he fails to beat the first man.

Not to labour the point but this has been the worst of Liverpool. Their so-called best players Suarez and Gerrard may as well have stayed on the bus, Shelvey and Flanagan’s indiscipline has been exposed, Reina has had his worst afternoon in years and Andy Carroll’s career in the red shirt looks very short-lived altogether.

Conversely, Newcastle are a joy. Ba, Cissé and Ben Arfa were not as rampant as last week but they didn’t need to be, and the January signing in particular looks like a superstar.

And that’s that  – it has finished Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool, who had Jose Reina sent off in the second for violent conduct against James Perch. Papiss Cissé was the hero for a superior, disciplined Newcastle side.

Liverpool fans – is that the end for Kenny? Tell us your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter.

We’ll be back shortly for Spurs and Swansea.

Stay classy, San Diego.

Gavin Cooney
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