Papiss Cisse was on target once again
Rafael van der Vaart gave Spurs the lead
The European ambitions of Newcastle and Tottenham were boosted on Sunday, following a day that could prove harmful for Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool.
Two goals from the increasingly prolific Papiss Demba Cisse lifted Newcastle to an important 2-0 victory over Liverpool at St James' Park, in a game that saw Pepe Reina sent off late on for the visitors.
On an afternoon that saw Andy Carroll ridiculed by the St James' Park crowd throughout, the man who inherited his No. 9 shirt on Tyneside showed a clinical edge in front of goal to score either side of half-time and put Alan Pardew's side 11 points ahead of the Reds in the Premier League table to keep their hopes of Champions League qualification alive.
Cisse beat Reina with a pinpoint header from Hatem Ben Arfa's deep cross in the 19th minute to break the deadlock, before profiting from the linesman's inability to spot he was offside to round the goalkeeper and slot home after John Flanagan failed to clear just before the hour-mark.
The match eventually got worse for Dalglish and his team, with goalkeeper Reina given his marching orders by referee Martin Atkinson in the final ten minutes after aiming a headbutt at James Perch following a disagreement; although replays showed contact between the two players was limited.
Subject to a potential FA appeal, Reina will now miss Liverpool's next three games - including the forthcoming FA Cup semi-final against Everton.
Reina's late transgression added to Dalglish's anger - with Liverpool perhaps unlucky not to be given a penalty with the game still goalless after Danny Simpson appeared to handball on the line, before replays later confirmed they had every right to feel aggrieved by the build-up to Cisse's second strike.
The visitors had their chances, however, with Carroll picking up a booking in the opening 20 minutes after diving over Tim Krul with the goal seemingly at his mercy. Mike Williamson hit the post in between Cisse's two goals, before Perch got his body in the way of Luis Suarez's goalbound effort to prevent a comeback being initiated - with Krul once again stranded.
Carroll - whose first-half header dropped just over the bar in what was perhaps the best chance for an equaliser - was substituted with just under 20 minutes remaining, to gleeful abuse from the Newcastle fans. An irate Reina would follow him soon after - along with any lingering Champions League hopes Liverpool may have had.
Tottenham ended their five-game winless run in the Premier League to move level with Arsenal in the hunt for Champions League places following a 3-1 win over Swansea. Crucially, victory restores Spurs' five-point cushion over fifth-placed Chelsea as they attempt to hang on to a top-four finish.
What was once a title challenge has become an increasingly concerning scrap for a ticket to the Champions League at White Hart Lane, but Harry Redknapp will be feeling easier about the situation after Spurs showed an extra touch of class against an easy-on-the-eye Swansea side.
The Swans made a cultured start but it was Rafael van der Vaart who had the first real chance, set up superbly by Emmanuel Adebayor with his back to goal, only for the Dutchman's first-time effort to be deflected wide.
There was nothing stopping Van der Vaart's next effort in the 19th minute, though, after Gareth Bale had caused Swansea to retreat with a burst down the left flank. The attempted cross was blocked, but the ball fell to the edge of the area where Van der Vaart simply opened his body and caressed a classy strike past Michel Vorm.
Swansea never looked out of their depth, continuing to play their stylish brand of football, and they found an equaliser just before the hour through Gylfi Sigurdsson - at the second attempt. The midfielder's first effort, a glorious 20-yard curler, was superbly saved by the diving Brad Friedel, but his second gave the American no chance as he drilled home on the volley.
The equaliser set up a frantic final half-hour but the winner arrived 15 minutes from time when Van der Vaart once again played a key role, crossing this time for Adebayor to tower above the Swansea defence. Adebayor then scored a carbon copy in the 86th minute from the returning Aaron Lennon's centre.
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Haway the Lads! Poor old alkie-faced red nosed "och aye the noo"...How much spent so far? 'Andrea' Carroll with her curling hair..must have tripped over her flowing locks in the box & the ref shud have booked her for impersonating a footballer...With diving like that, she shud enter the Olympics with Tom Daley!
I bet she shed tears, as she limped off to the dressing room after being subbed...
As for Reina...with a headbutt like that, he wont ever be auditioning for the part of 'Yosser Hughs' in the remake of 'Boys from the blackstuff' Then again, he may soon have to perfect Yosser's line "Gizza job"
Great acting by James Perch...went down like a lezza at a hen party...
What a FANTASTIC game! :)
I worked on Liverpool docks in the early to mid 80's and i can honestly say i've never met more genuine people than those scousers i worked with. They helped put food on our table when things were grim. They also never gave me a hard time when Liverpool were on top and we were nowhere. Good natured banter was always welcome.
I read these forums from time to time and can't believe the purile rubbish that some so called UTD fans print here. I am proud to support UTD but i can safely say that you are a disgrace to our club. I have also had the priviledge on a few occasions to have met SAF and can also say that he would not suffer fools like you gladly. Do us true UTD fans a favour and keep your disgusting and ill thought out remarks to yourselves. It's the same names time and again. Why not try getting a job and some sort of life other than on here every day.
jess, he shouldnt of no, and thats exactly why he got a yellow card!
reina should not of thrown a headbutt should he, and quite rightly got a red do u not agree?
or in your rules can a liverpool player not be sent off?
jess, so perch forced reina to throw an headbutt did he? is reina not responsible for his own actions?? the worst perch should of got was a yellow and thats exactly what he got!!
reina shouldnt of reacted to it, hes a mouthy twit that got what he deserved!
what is it with liverpool fans and not accepting truths!
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