Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dalglish Delighted With Return Of Steven Gerrard In Newcastle Defeat

Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, prayed Steven Gerrard's wretched luck is over after seeing a brilliant cameo from his skipper inspires victory against Newcastle.

Gerrard's appearance as a second-half substitute in the 3-1 win at Anfield proved to be the game's pivotal moment, bringing a miserable 12 months for the 31 year-old to a satisfactory conclusion.

The England midfielder, playing only his second game since returning from a two-month absence due to an ankle infection, scored his side's third and was instrumental in providing the cutting edge Liverpool have missed in his absence.

While Gerrard admitted the last year has been 'terrible', his manager said he deserved a goal for the strides he has made in regaining fitness.

"It's great to see him getting the reward because he was worked really hard to get back," said Dalglish. "It was a freak injury that got him in trouble in the first place. The boy deserves some luck, so maybe 2012 will bring him that.

"Steven has put the pressure on himself now by getting the goal. Even when he's not even playing he's still influential. He's getting back to full fitness and that's fantastic for him."

Gerrard admitted he'll be glad to see the back of 2011, when groin and ankle problems kept him on the sidelines, saying: "I've had a terrible year and I can't wait to put it behind me, but it's great to be back, to be back playing with the lads and getting on the scoresheet,"

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew felt his side could have claimed a point, and argued a poor refereeing decision by Lee Probert prior to Liverpool's second goal on 77 minutes was the key moment.

"The second goal was the turning point. It was never a foul and I don't know why the referee has given it," said Pardew. "We made an error on the line but we shouldn't have been in that position in the first place.

"We could have been better tonight, more positive. But we have done brilliantly in 2011. We have some very good players who are all fighting for each other."

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