Newcastle 2-0 Liverpool: Georginio Wijnaldum and Martin Skrtel own goal boost Steve McClaren
By Lewis Jones
Last Updated: 07/12/15 8:13am
Newcastle United eased the pressure on manager Steve McClaren with a 2-0 win over in-form Liverpool on Super Sunday.
Georginio Wijnaldum was the difference between the teams, playing a big part in Martin Skrtel's opening own goal after the break before wrapping up the points in injury-time with a classy finish.
The hosts had conceded eight goals in their last two league games but kept a clean sheet against a previously rampant Liverpool, who lost their unbeaten run away from home under Jurgen Klopp.
The visitors, victorious in eight of their last nine games in all competitions, were lacklustre in attack but did have a goal controversially disallowed for offside at 1-0 when Alberto Moreno volleyed home a diagonal cross.
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McClaren lost his job within days the last time he faced Klopp while Wolfsburg manager but Sunday's win was a much-needed boost to his prospects on Tyneside, Newcastle still third from bottom but now level on points with Norwich and Bournemouth.
The former England manager had spoken before the game about wanting his team to "go back to basics" after being embarrassed 5-1 at Crystal Palace and his team made life tough for the visitors with some high-tempo pressing off the ball.
Christian Benteke, who was one of six changes for Liverpool from the team that hammered Southampton in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, managed to break free of Newcastle's defensive shackles on 21 minutes but spooned an effort from close range over the bar following a corner.
The hosts grew in confidence as they became aware that Liverpool had little answer to their well-organised shape and Chancel Mbemba should have done better from eight yards on 43 minutes after latching onto a Papiss Cisse flick-on.
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Roberto Firmino and Joe Allen both fired tame long range efforts wide of the post in the early stages of the second half as Liverpool continued to struggled to work clear openings.
Klopp sensed his team needed a spark and sent on both Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana in search of some inspiration on 63 minutes.
However, it was the Toon Army that upped the intensity and their effort was rewarded on 68 minutes.
Wijnaldum received a ball in the penalty area, worked the ball into a shooting position and although his shot was well struck it was headed wide of the post until Skrtel inadvertently deflected the ball over his own goalkeeper and into the net.
Sturridge was released into space by Lallana on 74 minutes but he scuffed his shot wide of the far post.
Liverpool's next attack did end with the ball in the back of the net but the goal was ruled out for offside.
A long ball to Moreno at the back post was skilfully volleyed over goalkeeper Rob Elliot by the Spaniard and into the top corner, but the referee's whistle had already been blown as the linesman flagged the full-back offside despite him looking level with the last defender.
That was as close as Liverpool came although Dejan Lovren had two headed efforts in the closing stages, the defender failing to finish the chances with any conviction.
The same couldn't be said about the way Wijnaldum netted Newcastle's second goal in injury-time.
He finished off a flowing counter-attack - spearheaded by Moussa Sissoko - by cheekily chipping a first-time effort over Simon Mignolet from 10 yards, a surprise result sealed with style.
Newcastle: Elliot (6), Janmaat (7), Dummett (6), Mbemba (7), Coloccini (7), Sissoko (7), de Jong (6), Colback (7), Anita (8), Wijnaldum (8), Cissé (6)
Subs: Gouffran (6), Perez (6), Thauvin (6)
Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Clyne (7), Skrtel (5), Lovren (6), Moreno (6), Lucas (5), Allen (7), Milner (6), Ibe (7), Firmino (6), Benteke (5)
Subs: Sturridge (6), Lallana (6), Origi (6)
Man of the match: Georginio Wijnaldum