NEWCASTLE (Sporting Alert) — Substitute Ayoze Perez scored midway in the second half to earn Newcastle United a 1-0 victory over Liverpool at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Newcastle, who were in the bottom three a fortnight ago, collected their third English Premier League win in a row and now moved into the top 10, while Liverpool suffered their fourth league defeat on the season.
They only dropped six games in total in the 2013-14 season.
Perez, who came on at halftime for Papiss Cisse after the forward failed to shake off an injury, blasted home from close range in the 73rd minute to give Newcastle the lead and the victory.
The home fans were delighted to see the remarkable turn by their team and even lifted supporting “Pardew back from the dead” banners to the once under pressure manager.
Liverpool were poor on the day and in the end had no response, while striker Mario Balotelli, who took most of his shots from outside the penalty box, was again heavily criticized for his display on the day.
The Italian frontman also ran on the pitch seconds before the second half kick-off, but his manager didn’t see it as a problem.
“We were punished for a mistake and that is what cost us the game,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told BT Sport.
“We passed the ball well. The options in front of the ball were good but we probably lacked that little bit in the final third of the field. We did not create as much as we would have liked.
“It is not about Mario Balotelli, it is about the team. We lost the game today. We collectively lost as a team and we are disappointed at that.”
Liverpool must now pick themselves up ahead of the Champions League trip to Real Madrid next Tuesday, as well as get ready for the big Premier League clash with Chelsea next weekend.