Football

Reds cruise past Magpies

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Liverpool pushed 10-man Newcastle closer towards the Coca-Cola Championship while keeping their own title hopes alive with a 3-0 win at Anfield.

Newcastle were outplayed as the Reds kept the pressure on leaders Manchester United with first-half goals from Yossi Benayoun and Dirk Kuyt, and a late header from Lucas.

Newcastle's plight worsened when Joey Barton was sent off for a bad tackle on Xabi Alonso with 11 minutes left.

The seriousness of Newcastle's position in the table was evident from their vibrant start to the game - but the closest they came was when Barton put Peter Lovenkrands clear in the box but Alvaro Arbeloa blocked.

Liverpool were on top and the pressure finally produced a goal after 22 minutes when Kuyt collected the ball and squared for Benayoun to slide home despite appeals for offside.

The goal was the 300th in the Premier League under Rafael Benitez, and they have now managed the highest league tally in a season under him.

The second came six minutes later when Kuyt was afforded a virtual free header from a Steven Gerrard corner and gave Steve Harper no chance.

Alonso twice struck the bar before being on the receiving end of a two-footed lunge from Barton in front of the Kop which saw one midfielder sent off and the other carried off.

And Lucas headed the third from Fabio Aurelio's free-kick after 88 minutes to complete the scoring.

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Topics:
Joey Barton
Yossi Benayoun
Football
Championship
Steve Harper
Lucas
Premier League
Xabi Alonso
Manchester United
Dirk Kuyt
Fabio Aurelio
Steven Gerrard
Peter Lovenkrands
Alvaro Arbeloa
Liverpool

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