Paul Tomkins, Andrew Beasley, Daniel Rhodes and other TTT regulars will give their thoughts on the match for 24 hours after the game, so the article received via email is unlikely to be the final version. There's statistics from the match and videos too.
Nick Pope started the Anfield game by going down after 30 seconds claiming a headache; I’ve had girlfriends who took longer to fake one of those.
So tonight (dear), when he tried to head the ball on the ground outside his area and, having failed, used his hand, the aspirin might actually have been needed. Face-plant indeed. (Karma is a bitch.)
At that point, Liverpool 2-0 up from great goals and looking for a third, simply stopped playing.
I refuse to believe that if it wasn't a game against Real Madrid in just three days' time, the hunt for more would not have continued.
Instead, Liverpool looked sloppy, slow and complacent, as in the earlier half of the season; while young Stefan Bajcetic looked leggy, as you'd expect after the effort the kid put in the other day.
But the damage to Newcastle had been done.
That's the point. You cannot remove that context: game-state, and the looming presence of the next game (which is about as big as it gets in terms of opposition, and a desire for ‘revenge’).
And it was clearly an energy-conservation policy that could have backfired, but after the derby earlier in the week, to have to play Everton, Newcastle and Real Madrid in the space of eight days is not easy. The game-state was 2-0 up, and the Madrid game is in just over 72 hours.
And this is not yet the peak-energy Liverpool. The subs who came on included two who are being rushed back after missing many months – to get minutes in their legs again; and another teenager, plus a guy who's 37.
I'd prefer to focus on the game until Pope got sent off, albeit it's interesting to at least examine why Liverpool looked so bad thereafter – even if I think it was purely situational.
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