Liverpool v Newcastle: Live matchday blog
Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw against Rafael Benitez's Newcastle United at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Scroll down to see our live coverage and click the links below for more.
That's all from our coverage at Anfield, thanks for following today. We'll be back next week as the Reds travel to Spain for the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Villarreal.
Not the second half Liverpool expected or wanted and it ends in a draw at Anfield, with Rafael Benitez's Newcastle striking back after half-time to secure a point in the Barclays Premier League.
Three minutes of stoppage-time to be played...
Almost! Sheyi Ojo creates space for a cross from the right and picks out Philippe Coutinho, whose attempt is blocked on its way to goal by Vurnon Anita.
Final subs - Sheyi Ojo on for Adam Lallana, former Red Jonjo Shelvey replaces Cheik Tiote.
Half a chance for Kevin Stewart there as a clearance bounced out to the edge of the box - but the midfielder blasts high over the crossbar on the half-volley.
A quarter of an hour left for the Reds to restore their lead. Come on!
Now Newcastle introduce Aleksandar Mitrovic for Papiss Cisse.
Double change called by Jürgen Klopp - Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Leiva replace Connor Randall and Joe Allen.
Goal for Newcastle - Jack Colback. The visitors are level as Andros Townsend's delivery at the end of a counter-attack causes problems inside the area and the midfielder pounces to send a deflected effort over Simon Mignolet. 2-2.
43,837 fans inside the stadium today - thanks for your support.
The Reds have the ball in the net - but it's offside. Karl Darlow keeps out Joe Allen's header from James Milner's cross into the six-yard box, and Roberto Firmino is flagged as he converts the rebound.
James Milner is cautioned.
Action at either end as Daniel Sturridge sees a decent penalty claim rejected after tumbling under a tackle from Cheik Tiote, and Papiss Cisse breaks clear at the other end but Andros Townsend ultimately skies a shot into the Kop.
Goal for Newcastle - Papiss Cisse. Rafael Benitez's team have a lifeline as Simon Mignolet misses Vurnon Anita's swinging cross to the back post from the right flank, and their No.9 nods into an empty net.
And the visitors get the action underway for the second half.
Half-time change by the Magpies - Georginio Wijnaldum is on for Ayoze Perez.
A satisfying opening 45 minutes for the Reds, who are on course for a fifth consecutive victory thanks to the goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana.
Three minutes added on at the end of the first half.
Only an outstanding tackle by Chancel Mbemba denies Roberto Firmino there after the Brazilian had flicked Dejan Lovren's pass forward around the defender and tried to reach it to finish. So close for the No.11.
That's a superb finish from Adam Lallana, who controls a square pass from Alberto Moreno, sorts his feet and sends a left-footer dipping underneath the crossbar to double the lead. Quality.
GOAL!! Adam Lallana!!
Sturridge shoots... and scores!
Cheik Tiote is booked for a late challenge on Joe Allen.
Daniel Sturridge is in the mood here and he just crashed a swerving strike over the bar from 20 yards after Kevin Stewart's intervention around the halfway line had got the Reds on the front foot.
Pleased to report that Dejan Lovren has returned to the pitch and is able to carry on.
Now a concern for Dejan Lovren following a tussle with Papiss Cisse. The Liverpool defender is down in some discomfort at the moment.
Some lovely footwork by Adam Lallana threatens to open up the Magpies again but his eventual diagonal ball is too heavy to find Daniel Sturridge inside the area.
A brief lull in play here as Alberto Moreno requires treatment. The Spaniard is back on his feet, though, and looks fine to continue at left-back.
The home side are in front after just 58 seconds as Daniel Sturridge controls an Alberto Moreno chip forward on his chest, holds off two defenders and drags a low finish into the far corner. What a start!
GOAL!! Daniel Sturridge!!
It's the Reds who get us underway at Anfield, attacking towards the Kop in the first half. Come on, Liverpool!
The two teams are out warming up at Anfield, which is bathed in sunshine this afternoon.
15 minutes to kick-off here.
Reds arrive at Anfield
An old friend returns
And the opposition
Newcastle: Darlow, Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Townsend, Tiote, Colback, Sissoko, Perez, Cisse.
Subs: Woodman, Mbabu, Shelvey, Wijnaldum, Aarons, De Jong, Mitrovic.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Randall, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Stewart, Allen, Milner, Lallana, Firmino, Sturridge.
Substitutes: Ward, Skrtel, Smith, Lucas, Coutinho, Ibe, Ojo.
Liverpool FC have released a club statement - click here to read.
Did you know?
There has not been a goalless draw in the last 61 league meetings between Liverpool and Newcastle United.
For more interesting facts like that, click here.
Can we make it five wins on the spin? https://t.co/pNwbYrT3T9— LFC (Liverpool FC) 23rd Apr 08:33
A new feature on Liverpoolfc.com now. Paul Wilkes has taken a more in-depth, tactical look at today's opponents, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses under Rafa Benitez.
So what did Rafael Benitez have to say at his pre-match press conference yesterday? Well, when asked to make comparisons between his former club and his current one, the Spaniard was in good form.
"I see the similarities between the cities and the fans," he said.
"It’s a city of workers, the fans support the team, they have passion – so they are very similar. That is good for me.
"I’ve been in Spain I’ve been in Italy. But the experience of Liverpool was fantastic because the fans are behind you no matter what you do."
This Is Anfield
Divock Origi won't be featuring for the Reds today due to injury, but you can at least catch a glimpse of him on the cover of the matchday programme!
We've also got an exclusive extract from the manager's notes to whet your appetite, which you can access by clicking the image below. Just don't forget to grab a copy if you're at Anfield today.
It's not just the fans who will be enjoying the return of Rafa Benitez this afternoon, but also a select group of players.
Lucas Leiva is one of those, having been brought to Liverpool by the Spaniard during his time as manager - though he won't have any split loyalties come kick-off.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: "Rafa always supported me and was very important for me in the time he was here. I will always be grateful for what he has done for me, but when the game starts we have to play for our shirt, our fans and our club.
"After the game finishes, for sure we will be able to talk and share good moments again."
For more, click here.
The sun is out in Liverpool but it's a relatively nippy eight degrees outside which, if you ask me, is still coat weather.
Bear that in mind if you're heading to Anfield later, though it looks unlikely you'll need an umbrella as the chances of rain are low.
It's matchday! ⚽️ #LFC v @NUFC 📍 Anfield 🏆 @premierleague 👻 lfc 📺 @LFCTV: 14:00 BST ⌚️ Kick-off: 15:00 BST https://t.co/UQsYiXtBZA— LFC (Liverpool FC) 23rd Apr 07:35
Allen on Newcastle test
Joe Allen is among the players vying for a return to the starting XI this afternoon and, fortunately enough for us, we were able to speak exclusively to him earlier this week.
The Welshman's season has been somewhat disrupted by injury but he believes that could be a positive as we enter a busy run-in.
Good morning and welcome to Liverpoolfc.com's live matchday blog for today's Barclays Premier League meeting with Newcastle United at Anfield.
The Reds are looking to make it five wins on the spin in all competitions as former manager Rafa Benitez returns, and we'll have all the build-up, the first look at the teamsheets, every kick and the reaction throughout the day.
There's no need to refresh the page as it'll auto-update, so don't go anywhere!