Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Craig Bellamy scored twice and Steven Gerrard added a late goal as Liverpool defeated Newcastle 3-1 to pull even with fourth-place Chelsea in English soccer’s Premier League with 34 points.
The Reds, who fell behind in last night’s game on an own- goal, remained unbeaten in 10 home league matches this season -- though they’ve won just four of those.
“The boys showed great courage and commitment to come back,” Liverpool coach Kenny Dalglish told reporters. “We thoroughly deserve the victory, but I think that game was the least chances we have created at Anfield and we score three goals.”
Defending champion Manchester United would take sole possession of first place today with a win or tie against last- place Blackburn. United and Manchester City, which plays at Sunderland tomorrow, currently are tied with 45 points.
Newcastle, which scored on an own-goal from Liverpool’s Daniel Agger, remains seventh with 30 points. The Magpies have won once in their past eight league games.
“We could have been better tonight, we should have been more positive in the second half,” Newcastle coach Alan Pardew told reporters. “Steven Gerrard gives them an impetus and lifted the atmosphere in the stadium.”
Newcastle opened the scoring when a shot deflected into the net off Agger’s shoulder in the 25th minute. Four minutes later, Liverpool tied the game when Bellamy smashed a shot through a crowd of players.
Bellamy broke the tie midway through the second half on a free kick from 25 yards out, and Gerrard added his goal with 12 minutes left by slipping a shot between the legs of Newscastle goalkeeper Tim Krul.
“Of late we haven’t got what we deserved, so it was really pleasing to get the three points tonight and three goals after criticism we haven’t scored enough,” Gerrard said.
--Editor: Nancy Kercheval
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