Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was delighted to see the returning Steve Gerrard net the crucial goal in victory over Newcastle United.

After two Craig Bellamy goals had put the hosts ahead, following Yohan Cabaye’s deflected header, Gerrard made his second appearance since his comeback from an infected foot, to seal the three points late on.

Fears had grown that the severity of the injury would prevent Gerrard from returning to his very best form, but Dalglish is expecting plenty more years from his 31-year-old captain.

"When Steven's not playing he's influential,” Dalglish said. “So I suppose you can add the word hugely influential when he is in the team.

"He's getting back to fitness which is a fantastic reward for him and everyone who has worked with him; to get him back to the level he's at now. He'll continue to work on his fitness.

"He's always been a huge asset for the football club and he's got a lot of years to go yet and we'll look forward to that.

"I think we were pretty much in control anyway (before Gerrard's arrival). They had a bit of possession at the start of the second half without really threatening. But obviously, him scoring the third goal helped us."

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