Newcastle United 0 Liverpool 6 match report: Daniel Sturridge fills gap to pile agony on Alan Pardew

Even without Suarez Liverpool inflict worst home defeat for 87 years

st james' park

When they stopped counting the goals that inflicted on Newcastle their worst home defeat in a top-flight League game for 87 years, Alan Pardew's future looked more precarious than Luis Suarez's.

But as a statement of intent for their banned striker, there was no doubt what the Liverpool players thought: Daniel Agger and Lucas Leiva both dedicated the win to Suarez on Twitter. He in turn tweeted his delight at the victory.

There are few ways out of a crisis for a football club that involves one of your players biting an opponent, but facing the hapless Newcastle United in the following game would be pretty high up the wish-list of any slightly tuned-in member of the public-relations industry.

Liverpool have spent a week under siege, and quite rightly so for what it is still worth, after last week's game when Suarez bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and was subsequently banned for 10 games.

They have fought a self-induced storm this week, and backing their player will always raise questions given the severity of the offence. It may yet be something that historically they regret, but the club was as focused on doing it the right way yesterday as much as one of their players was focused on doing it the wrong way last weekend.

That Liverpool were so good without such a talented but troubled player was also intriguing. Brendan Rodgers has nailed his colours well and truly to a precarious mast this last week in the support that has rightly or wrongly been shown to Suarez. Jamie Carragher seemed surprised to admit the performance was the best of the season. Rodgers drew issue with the notion of a one-man team and the team did the same in their performance.

The Liverpool manager called it a traumatic week and an outstanding performance and it was reassuring that a bright man was calling it correctly after the chaos that his Uruguayan forward thrust upon him. There has been all kind of arguments, many spurious, put around this week. It is still undeniable that Suarez dropped all over his manager. He has done very well to hold on to such support. The support for Rodgers came yesterday from a group of players who were so much superior that it bordered on embarrassing.

"We were absolutely brilliant today," said Rodgers. "To come to St James' Park and win six-nil is very impressive. It's been a traumatic week for the football club. We accepted that. Luis did wrong, he takes his punishment and we move on. We had to move on with a performance.

"We were so clinical. It was a terrific start for us. We were really aggressive and the pressing was really good. We talked during the week about our penetration. We have some wonderful technicians and we also have pace and youthfulness. Coutinho is a master technician. Daniel Sturridge can prove to be one of the top strikers in Europe in the next three years, you can see his pace and his power and his finishing. It's been a very difficult week, I have to say. It was a real test for us all."

Yesterday was not.

From the first moment, Liverpool blew Newcastle away. The opening goal came after three minutes, when Steven Taylor failed to push out with the rest of his team-mates, allowing Agger a free header past Rob Elliot from 10 yards. The second came in the 17th minute. Sturridge and Coutinho were the architects, Jordan Henderson was the scorer, delighting in his goal by running past the corner of the Gallowgate End. These are happy times for Sunderland supporters at St James' Park. By the time the third went in, nine minutes into the second half, the white flag came from Pardew's side. Sturridge benefited from Coutinho this time, striking his shot past Elliot. The same player scored a fourth six minutes later, from closer range, with less resistance. Some supporters left. At least they had turned up. Unlike their team.

Fabio Borini had been on the pitch for 35 seconds when he struck the fifth with his first touch of the game. One minute later, Mathieu Debuchy was sent off for a reckless challenge on Coutinho, his second yellow of the afternoon. From the resulting free-kick, in the 76th minute, Henderson crossed and nobody from the Newcastle side could even muster a touch as it curled into Elliot's goal. Coutinho had a shot tipped on to the bar. There could, as Rodgers said, had been a seventh, an eighth or a ninth but the humiliation was complete.

For Pardew there is a week of hell to come. The Newcastle manager insisted afterwards he is still the man to lead the club forward. It is becoming increasingly less his choice. Newcastle had already conceded seven at Arsenal earlier this season. They were humiliated by Sunderland on their last outing at St James' Park before the rot continued yesterday. Pardew's standing has never been lower among Newcastle fans but he stressed there is still the resolve to turn the situation (five points above a relegation place) around.

"Yes absolutely I will carry on and fight through this," he said. "We haven't become a bad staff or a bad set of players overnight. We need to roll our sleeves up and make a real good fist of these last three games but it was an awful performance."

Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Elliot; Debuchy, Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara; Perch, Tioté; Sissoko, Cabaye, Gutierrez; Cissé.

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique; Gerrard, Lucas; Downing, Coutinho, Henderson; Sturridge.

Referee: Andre Marriner.

Man of the match: Sturridge (Liverpool)

Match rating: 6/10

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele
news5 News's Andy Bell visited the killing fields of the Great War, and his ancestor - known only from his compelling war diary - came to life
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel