Soccer

Liverpool routs Newcastle in first game of Suarez's ban

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Associated Press
4/27/2013 3:31:04 PM
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LONDON -- As Luis Suarez began a 10-match ban, Liverpool showed it still has bite up front by inflicting Newcastle's worst home loss since 1925 in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Making the Newcastle fans pay for their constant chants of "Luis Suarez -- he bites who he wants," Liverpool produced a ruthless display to win 6-0 at St. James' Park as the hosts finished with 10 men.

Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson each scored twice, while Daniel Agger and Fabio Borini also found the net to demonstrate the attacking resources available at Liverpool as Suarez begins his hefty ban for biting Chelsea defender Bransilav Ivanovic in a match last Sunday.

"Very happy with this great win!!!" Suarez wrote on Twitter. "Congratulations to all my teammates!!!!"

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was glad to shift the spotlight away from the fight with the Football Association and show the team's unity.

"It's been a very, very difficult week," Rodgers said. "It was a real test for us."

The win lifted Liverpool's spirits but not its position in the standings, where it remains seventh -- five points and a place below neighbour Everton, which beat Fulham 1-0 through Steve Pienaar's goal.

Tottenham remains fifth after missing a chance to move back into the four Champions League places by drawing 2-2 at Wigan and relying on Emmerson Boyce's own goal to earn the point.

Tottenham is level on points with Chelsea, but its London rival has a superior goal difference and a game in hand in fourth. The London rivals are still to play each other with the season drawing to a close.

Manchester City strengthened its grip on second place, the only thing it can aim for after seeing Manchester United seize the trophy on Monday. Yaya Toure's late curling strike clinched a 2-1 win for City over West Ham.

Charlie Adam eased Stoke's relegation fears after by securing a 1-0 victory over Norwich, while Southampton was a point behind after losing 3-0 to West Bromwich Albion.

At St. James' Park it took just three minutes for Agger to head in Stewart Downing's cross, and Henderson's first came in the 17th after Sturridge squared the ball into his path.

Liverpool had to wait until nine minutes into the second half to score again, with Philippe Coutinho picking out Sturridge to blast the ball in.

Sturridge was on target again on the hour, and Borini in the 74th. Newcastle was reduced to 10 men a minute later after Mathieu Debuchy received a second yellow card for a challenge on Coutinho.

And a minute after that Henderson wrapped up the rout from a free kick, leaving Newcastle just five points above the drop zone with three games left.

"It was an awful performance by us," Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said.

At the opposite end of the standings, Tottenham is in danger of throwing away fifth place unless it produces victories in its final four games.

The visitors had made the perfect start at Wigan with a bizarre goal. Dithering by Maynor Figueroa and Joel Robles led to a poor attempted clearance hitting Bale and cannoning into the net.

The elation lasted just two minutes, with Boyce heading home from Shaun Maloney's corner.

Callum McManaman put Wigan in front four minutes into the second half, blasting in his first league goal. Wigan was on course to climb out of the relegation zone until Aaron Lennon's low cross went into the net off Boyce in the 90th.

Nearby in Manchester, a stoppage-time goal counted for little -- apart from leaving City goalkeeper Joe Hart red-faced.

Andy Carroll's shot squirmed through Hart's legs but City had already safeguarded the victory.

Sergio Aguero put City ahead in the 28th after being set up by Samir Nasri, who cut through the West Ham defence by playing a one-two with David Silva.

Toure curled the winner into the top corner of the net in the 83rd after also being teed up by Nasri.

"I think Joe's back spasmed as he kicked a ball," City assistant manager David Platt said.

There were dismissals and goals aplenty on the south coast.

Marc-Antoine Fortune and Romelu Lukaku had put West Brom 2-0 in front by the 67th at Southampton before the red cards came out.

Referee Robert Madley sent off both Fortune and Southampton midfielder Gaston Ramirez three minutes later. Fortune pushed Ramirez having been upset by the Uruguayan's elbow on Shane Long.

It was Long who struck the third for West Brom before Southampton lost another man when Danny Fox was red-carded for a two-footed challenge on Steven Reid.

Daniel Sturridge  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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