Liverpool 3 Newcastle United 0

Last updated : 08 March 2008 By Footymad Previewer
Liverpool sent Newcastle United further into the relegation mire with a crushing 3-0 win at Anfield.

Goals from man-of-the-moment Fernando Torres, skipper Steven Gerrard, and Jermaine Pennant killed the Magpies off with just 50 minutes on the clock as the Reds made it four league wins in a row.

Newcastle now lie just three points above 18th placed Bolton Wanderers having played a game more and the defeat leaves Kevin Keegan still looking for his first win since returning as manager in January.

But his team almost took a shock lead in the eighth minute when Damien Duff's corner was met by a powerful header by Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye, but Pepe Reina saved well at the near post.

The early scare pushed the Reds into action as a minute later Torres tested Newcastle keeper Steve Harper with a stinging drive.

Then Gerrard hit a 20-yarder straight at Harper before a brilliant block by Steven Taylor denied Torres.

But it was far from one-way traffic and the away side looked threatening on the break with Michael Owen doing his best to put one over his old team with some dangerous runs.

Gerrard was doing his utmost to wake the Reds from their slumber and he went close with a fierce shot that stung Harper's hands on 35 minutes

Newcastle looked like they had done enough to be holding Liverpool at half-time when the Reds hit them with a double hammer blow from nowhere.

First hapless Newcastle full-back Jose Enrique's clearance rebounded back off Pennant over Harper's head and into the net with three minutes remaining on the clock.

Then on the stroke of half-time Gerrard put Torres through with an exquisite left-foot pass and the Spanish hot-shot brilliantly fooled Harper with a drop of the shoulder before firing into an empty net.

The rampant Reds sprung out the blocks in the second half and five minutes in it was game over.

Torres returned Gerrard's earlier favour with an inch-perfect through ball and the skipper lifted the ball over Harper's despairing dive for a brilliant third.

The deadly duo were on fire and they combined again minutes later only for Harper to brilliantly tip over Gerrard's close-range shot.

Newcastle tried to claw themselves back into the game as substitute Geremi fired a shot straight at Reina and then Obafemi Martins struck the bar with an audacious 30 yarder.

But Rafa's men were in cruise control and the Spaniard could even afford the luxury of taking off star men Gerrard and Torres for Tuesday's crunch European clash with Internazionale.

Still the shots rained in on Harper's goal with John Arne Riise twice forcing smart saves, while Dirk Kuyt was denied by a brilliant stop in the final 20 minutes.