Another belter from Yohan Cabaye and Paul Dummett’s first senior goal denied high-flying Liverpool as Newcastle United earned a hard fought draw following the sending of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Steven Gerrard scored his hundredth Premier League goal, a penalty and Danny Sturridge rescued a draw for the visitors to St James’ Park.
Both teams fielded attacking sides in order to maintain this fixture’s history of producing thrillers. Newcastle welcomed back Haten Ben Arfa to lead the supporting cast behind in-form Loic Remy.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers favoured French pair Mamadou Sakho and Aly Cissokho ahead of Daniel Agger and Jose Enrique in his back five. Glen Johnson returned at right wingback.
Liverpool enjoyed the better possession and forced several corners in the first 20 minutes, but they were unable to make their pressure count. Alan Pardew’s Magpies thus took the lead against the run of play with a wonder-strike from Cabaye.
The France international picked the ball up half way inside the visitors’ half and unleashed a 30-yard rocket that flew past Simon Mignolet.
Newcastle’s confidence had clearly grown after the goal, but all their hard work was undone when they conceded a penalty a few minutes before half time. Yanga-Mbiwa hauled down Luis Suarez in the box after the Uruguayan got on the end of a floated ball.
Magpies defender Yanga-Mbiwa had to go as he was the last man was rightly. Gerrard dispatched the spot kick to bring the Reds level.
Despite being a man down Newcastle remained competitive, cheered on by the Toon Army who had protested against owner Mike Ashley before kick-off. Young substitute Dummett put the hosts ahead at the back post just before the hour with Cabaye creating the goal.
Rodgers changed things around tactically by moving to a 4-4-2 formation and replacing Sakho with Luis Alberto. This change of formation and strategy worked as the Magpies were suddenly stretched in wide areas.
Liverpool’s deadly duo Suarez and Sturridge to combine for an equaliser. Suarez pulled his marker out of the middle and crossed for partner Sturridge to head home.
Further pressure on the home goal followed, but Pardew’s team played out this dramatic draw. This result was better for Newcastle than Liverpool, who could lose ground on Arsenal.