Sturridge secures an equaliser for the Reds…
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Newcastle United played for an hour with only 10 men but still managed to hold visitors Liverpool to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining Premier League encounter on Saturday.
Yohan Cabaye put the home side ahead with a fine long-range strike, but Steven Gerrard claimed his 100th league goal from the penalty spot to equalise after Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa had been sent off for holding back Luis Suarez.
Young defender Paul Dummett, sent on to shore up the home defence following Yanga-Mbiwa’s dismissal, crowned his home league debut with a 57th-minute goal to restore Newcastle’s lead.
But Suarez crossed for Daniel Sturridge to head in an equaliser 18 minutes from time, taking the England striker’s tally of league goals to seven and provisionally lifting Brendan Rodgers’s side above Arsenal at the top of the table.
Newcastle, beaten 6-0 in the corresponding fixture last season, climbed one place to ninth.
Prior to kick-off, hundreds of Newcastle fans marched through the city centre protesting about owner Mike Ashley’s management of the club.
The supporters are disgruntled about the appointment of the unpopular Joe Kinnear as sporting director and the club’s failure to significantly improve the squad during the close season.
Kinnear defended himself in the match-day programme, writing that Newcastle “cannot compete commercially with the very biggest global brands in football because the hugely lucrative deals will go their way”.
As if to illustrate his point, Liverpool enjoyed the early running at St James’ Park, with Suarez and Martin Skrtel both threatening from corners, only for the hosts to take the lead in the 23rd minute.
Cabaye was given space to advance down the inside-right channel and from 30 yards he dispatched a vicious, dipping shot that flew past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet into the bottom-left corner.
An exchange of chances saw Mamadou Sakho and Suarez go close for Liverpool, with Cabaye shooting over and Mignolet saving from Moussa Sissoko in reply, before the visitors equalised three minutes before half-time.
Yanga-Mbiwa was adjudged to have held back Suarez as he raced in on goal and from the resulting penalty, Gerrard steered a shot into the bottom-left corner.
The goal saw Gerrard become the 24th player to have scored 100 goals in the Premier League era, following in the footsteps of his former Liverpool team-mates Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Robbie Keane, Nicolas Anelka and Emile Heskey.
Yanga-Mbiwa’s dismissal appeared to hand Liverpool the initiative and Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul had to claw away a low strike from fit-again visiting right-back Glen Johnson early in the second period.
However, it was Newcastle who struck next, with substitute Dummett ghosting in behind the Liverpool defence to volley a lofted free-kick from Cabaye past the exposed Mignolet.
Dummett, 22, had never previously scored for Newcastle, where he has been since the age of nine.
Krul saved from Suarez as Liverpool pushed for an equaliser, but the Uruguayan would not be discouraged and in the 72nd minute he crossed from the left for Sturridge to head in a close-range equaliser.
Sturridge appeared to have squandered a glorious opportunity to put his side ahead moments later when he slid the ball wide of an open goal, only for an offside flag to spare his blushes.
Still Liverpool came, Suarez clipping the bar with a powerful half-volley and Sturridge miscuing from 12 yards before volleying wide from a deep Gerrard cross.
A foul on Suarez by Mathieu Debuchy gave the Liverpool number seven an opportunity to claim a dramatic winning goal deep into stoppage time, but his curling effort was palmed away by Krul.