Magpies see off hapless Liverpool
Papiss Cisse showed £35million man Andy Carroll how to do it as Newcastle increased their advantage over Liverpool to 11 points with a 2-0 win at St James' Park.
The Senegal international struck with a 19th-minute header and then added a second from close range 14 minutes after the break to ease the Magpies 11 points clear of the Reds, who had goalkeeper Pepe Reina sent off for headbutting James Perch, in the race for sixth place in the Barclays Premier League.
Carroll, who was booked for diving after just nine minutes, headed over from six yards before the break on an afternoon when the visitors were unable to make the most of the possession they enjoyed.
The game was billed as a significant showdown in the race for sixth place with the Magpies enjoying an eight-point advantage over the big-spending rivals ahead of kick-off.
However, it was the visitors who started well as Tim Krul had to tip a Craig Bellamy cross on to the bar and full-back Danny Simpson bundled the ball off the line after the Dutchman had spilled Steven Gerrard's cross. But when the home side broke, they did so at pace, and to great effect after 19 minutes.
Hatem Ben Arfa skipped away from Jay Spearing and then Jonjo Shelvey to send the perfect cross to the far post for Cisse to rise and head past Reina.
The woodwork came to Liverpool's rescue within three minutes of the restart when Mike Williamson climbed highest to head Danny Guthrie's cross against the foot of the post.
As the half wore on, it was Liverpool who started to gain the upper hand with their host`s carelessness in possession hurting them but when the game's second goal arrived, it did so at the other end, and it was Cisse who again did the damage.
Demba Ba stabbed the ball across goal where Ben Arfa helped it on to Cisse, and he calmly stepped inside Reina before firing home.
Dalglish's men continued to fight for salvation as the clock ran down, but their efforts grew increasingly laboured. Carroll was withdrawn to a chorus of boos and went straight down the tunnel, and Liverpool`s hopes were finally dashed when Reina senselessly headbutted Perch nine minutes from time as was sent off.