Wednesday 20th September 2006 20:00 pm @ Anfield

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GOALS: Kuyt 29, Alonso 79

LIVERPOOL TEAM: (4-4-2) - Agger kept his place over Hyypia, Aurelio replaced Warnock and Garcia replaced Pennant. Kuyt and Bellamy stayed, but Gonzalez returned to the reds bench replacing Gerrard with five minutes left.





Garcia ][


Alonso 79

(Gonzalez 85)


Kuyt 29
(Crouch 82)



Subs: Dudek, Hyypia, Warnock
][ = Yellow Card
Name = goalscorer and time(s)


The reds move up to 9th from 15th following this game.
Rafa has now got 7 points from his first 5 games in all three seasons as Liverpool manager.
Xabi Alonso scored his second goal for the reds from his own half in this game.
Dirk Kuyt scored his Liverpool debut goal.


Newcastle United: tba

Att: 43,754
Ref: M Halsey



Xabi Alonso scored a stunning goal from his own half to send Liverpool back into the top half of the Barclays Premiership tonight.

The Spaniard lobbed Newcastle's Steve Harper from 65 yards in the second half to secure a deserved win at Anfield.

Alonso's brilliant effort - the second time he has scored from his own half in his Liverpool career - doubled the lead provided by Dirk Kuyt's first goal for the club on 29 minutes.

Rafael Benitez again decided to tinker with his Liverpool side as they chased a much-needed Barclays Premiership win against Newcastle tonight.

The Reds boss, looking to secure only a second league victory of the season, brought in Luis Garcia in place of wideman Jermaine Pennant, while Fabio Aurelio replaced Stephen Warnock at left-back.

It remained to be seen whether the changes would allow captain Stephen Gerrard to switch from a role on the left to the right.

Newcastle made just one enforced change, with Steve Harper coming in for the injured Shay Given in goal.

Gerrard did line up on the right but that did not prevent him racing through the middle as Dirk Kuyt played an inviting ball in the second minute but Harper was alert to the danger.

Newcastle's first opportunity came in the 10th minute when Liverpool half cleared a corner but Jose Reina dealt comfortably with Scott Parker's shot.

Liverpool dominated the early possession and Craig Bellamy had an opportunity against the club he left in acrimonious circumstances last year when Garcia played him through in the 13th minute. Harper denied him from a wide angle.

Aurelio lined up a fierce shot from distance but Parker dived across to block and the Spaniard lost possession to the same player again soon after.

Aurelio tried his luck again from a free-kick but the wall did its job and Harper coolly collected Garcia's effort on the rebound.

Garcia was given a chance to shoot from 30 yards after 26 minutes but Harper was not troubled.

Newcastle were on the back foot and the hosts got the break they deserved in the 29th minute when Xabi Alonso played in Steve Finnan and the full-back crossed for Kuyt to score.

The strong-running Dutchman slid in and connected well to beat Harper from close range, the goal being his first since joining the club from Feyenoord last month and Liverpool's first in four games.

Kuyt tried to grab a spectacular second from a corner shortly before the interval but shot high and wide.

HT: Liverpool 1 Newcastle 0

Newcastle had a penalty claim turned down early in the second half when Shola Ameobi fell under pressure from Daniel Agger.

Liverpool responded by winning a free-kick outside the area but Garcia's cheeky attempt to push Alonso's cross into the net with his hand did not go unnoticed by referee Mark Halsey.

Garcia was booked for his moment of madness but the Spaniard was back to his best seconds later as he pulled the ball across goal but Kuyt shot wide.

Newcastle twice more claimed penalties for handball but Halsey was having none of it.

Bellamy missed a glaring opportunity to add a second on 55 minutes when Gerrard pressured Peter Ramage and the Welshman raced in on Harper.

The home fans were ready to celebrate as Bellamy - berated at every touch by the visiting supporters - lifted the ball over the keeper but to his horror it rolled wide.

Aurelio curled in a dangerous free-kick just after the hour following a foul on Kuyt by Craig Moore but Harper palmed it past the post.

Liverpool were creating chance after chance and were again unlucky when Gerrard chipped in a fine ball for Garcia - but the Spaniard shot against the post.

Celestine Babayaro escaped an appeal for handball when Bellamy pulled the ball back from the byline and Kuyt headed wide from an Aurelio cross.

A second goal was no more than Reds' play warranted and it came in remarkable fashion as Alonso struck from his own half of the field for the second time in his Liverpool career.

Alonso tried his luck from 65 yards out and Newcastle watched in horror as Harper stumbled, with the ball drifting over his head into unguarded net for the Spaniard's first goal since he scored from his own half against Luton in January.

Gerrard went close to adding a third but shot straight at Harper from a free-kick.

Newcastle had litle to offer in response and Liverpool shut them out to claim their first league clean sheet this season.

FT Liverpool 2 Newcastle 0

PA Sport

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BBC Sport
Reds 2-0 Newcastle United

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Match Report filed: 20th September 2006