It was another error that handed the Magpies the only goal of the game as Alberto Moreno failed to deal with a pass inside the box, gifting the ball to Ayoze Perez, who smashed it home from close range.
You can read how it all unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.
11.45amGood morning! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole's live coverage of the Premier League clash between Newcastle United and Liverpool. These two sides have a rich and entertaining history in the top flight, so hopefully we will be treated to another classic here today. It is certainly an intriguing encounter given recent results, so we should have a good game on our hands. Let's start with a look at the hosts...
11.47amIt has been a tough start to the campaign for Newcastle fans, but things are beginning to look a lot brighter for the Magpies now. A fine run of results has completely changed the complexion of their season, and having lifted themselves out of the bottom three last weekend, they would move themselves into the top half and to within a point of Liverpool with a victory today.
11.49amIt has been some turnaround from Alan Pardew, who was reportedly one game away from losing his job following the defeat to Stoke City in September. However, Newcastle have not lost since that dismal showing, and come into today's match on the back of a three-game winning streak in all competitions. The most recent of those victories came in the League Cup on Wednesday as the Magpies stunned Manchester City to pick up their first win at the Etihad and send the holders crashing out in the process. Such a result will give Pardew and his side huge confidence that they can beat the big boys going into today's match.
11.51amWhile things were looking incredibly gloomy for Newcastle just a month ago, they have actually only lost two of their last eight Premier League matches and have won their last two. They were forced to wait until their seventh match of the campaign to pick up a victory, scraping past Leicester, but last weekend they showed great character to come from behind and beat Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane to lift themselves out of the bottom three.
11.53amThe results may have been lacking, but character is certainly not something Pardew can accuse his players of missing so far this season. The Magpies have come from behind to take at least a point from a game in four of their last seven league matches, and have only scored the opening goal once so far this season - in their 1-0 victory over Leicester. Of course, Pardew would never want his side to fall behind in a match, but the fact that his players respond in that scenario will be pleasing for the manager.
11.55amThe pressure is no longer on Pardew's shoulders following this recent run of results, and the manager has recently insisted that the wins are proof that he does know what he's doing. There was major opposition to his reign earlier in the campaign, with banners being brought to games by fans pleading for his sacking, but victory today would give him three consecutive league wins for the first time in almost a year, and even the most anti-Pardew fan would have to admit that he's done well to turn things around.
11.57amPardew is going back to where it all began for him at Newcastle today, incidentally. As he approaches his four-year anniversary as Newcastle boss, he will remember his first match at the helm with fondness as Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll and Joey Barton netted to give the Magpies a 3-1 victory over Liverpool. Of course, none of those players remain at the club, and both sides have changed significantly since that result, but Pardew would bite your hand off if he was offered a repeat display this afternoon.
11.59amIt has been a rather mixed bag for Newcastle in terms of home form this season, with the Magpies having won one, drawn two and lost one in front of their own fans this season. Their last outing at St James's Park resulted in their first league victory of the campaign against Leicester, but high-scoring draws against the likes of Crystal Palace and Hull were slightly disappointing results. However, only Manchester City have left here with a victory this season, so Pardew will at least be content with knowing that his side are tough to beat in front of their own fans.
12.01pmHe will be pretty confident about getting something out of this match today as well, with Liverpool still yet to find the devastating rhythm that served them so well last season. The Reds have been disappointing in the current campaign, with their 3-0 victory over Tottenham the only real time they have shown the sort of performance that made them such an attractive team to watch last term. Injuries have certainly not helped Brendan Rodgers in that regard, but he will know that there is something else missing as well.
12.03pmDespite the Reds' indifferent form, they have been grinding out results here and there. I mentioned Newcastle's character earlier, and that is certainly something Liverpool have shown in recent weeks as well. The Reds hung on in the first half of their match against QPR and responded to two late goals with strikes of their own that put them straight back into the lead, even if they did require a bit of luck to get the winner via Steven Caulker's own goal.
12.05pmThat resolve was evident once again in midweek as Liverpool, like Newcastle, booked their place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup. It looked like being another disappointing night at Anfield - and a third consecutive home game without a goal, but two late strikes saw the Reds overturn a deficit to win the match in dramatic style. The performance, once again, was poor, but Rodgers will be happy that his side seem to be finding a way to win matches despite being far short of their best.
12.07pmThey could not find a way through last weekend as they were held to a frustrating goalless draw against Hull at Anfield, but even with that disappointing result they remain just two points off the top four. Indeed, victory this afternoon would see them climb into the Champions League places, which may now be their number one aim with Chelsea looking so impressive at the top of the table. Should Liverpool still harbour any hopes of challenging for the title then they could do with winning today, as defeat and a win for Chelsea would leave the Reds 12 points off the pace.
12.09pmGoals were never an issue for the Reds last season, but the departure of Luis Suarez and the injury to Daniel Sturridge have changed that this season. None of their available trio of strikers this evening have scored a Premier League goal this season, and their tally of 13 goals for is the joint lowest in the top half of the Premier League table. It really is vital that they get Sturridge back as soon as possible, as much for the energy he spreads around the team as the goals her would also provide.
12.11pmFor all Liverpool's continued struggles to reach the high standard they set last season, the Reds have not actually lost a domestic fixture since September. Only Real Madrid have beaten Liverpool in their last five outings, but the 3-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham United was the most recent defeat for the Reds in either the Premier League or the League Cup. Madrid await again on Tuesday, before the Reds host leaders Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday. Today's match si the start of a very tough week for Liverpool, then.
12.13pmDefence continues to be the biggest issue for the Reds, with the goalless draw against Hull bringing them just their second clean sheet in 14 outings this season. At the other end they rarely have problems, and they have actually scored in every single away match in the league since a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal a year ago tomorrow. They boasted the best away record in the division last season, but this time around Liverpool have lost three of their five matches on the road in all competitions.
12.15pmTEAM NEWS: The teams are in for both sides, and the good news for Newcastle is that Papiss Cisse has recovered from a knee injury and starts the match for the hosts. Sammy Ameobi also starts following his goal last weekend, while there is a first Premier League start for Mehdi Abeid in the absence of the injured Tiote. Liverpool, meanwhile, start with Balotelli up front, while the likes of Gerrard, Sterling and Skrtel also return to the side following their League Cup exploits. Full team news for both sides coming right up...
12.21pmWhat can we make of those two sides, then? Well, as far as Newcastle are concerned it is a huge boost to have Cisse back available following his knee injury. The Senegalese striker was a major reason behind the Magpies' resurgence in form with a couple of braces in quick succession, and despite Ameobi and Ayoze both getting on the scoresheet recently, he remains the undoubted number one striker at the club right now.
12.23pmIndeed, Ameobi's heroics straight from kickoff against Spurs last weekend, coupled with the fine performance of a number of fringe players against City in midweek would have given Pardew plenty of selection dilemmas this afternoon. However, the likes of Aarons and Perez, who scored in recent victories, are relegated to the bench today, with Obertan and Ameobi selected to give Cisse support up front.
12.25pmThere is a place for Sissoko in midfield as expected, and Pardew will be hopeful that the Frenchman can continue his recent improvement in form. He scored a fine goal against Manchester City in midweek, and appears to be getting back to the sort of form that he showed when he first joined the club, providing a vital link between midfield and attack. Question have been asked about Gerrard for Liverpool this season, so Sissoko will be looking to test the opposition captain's legs this afternoon I'm sure.
12.27pmAs for Liverpool, the likes of Mignolet, Skrtel and Moreno return in defence as expected, and they will once again be looking to get an elusive clean sheet. Defence really has been the major problem for Liverpool in recent times, and it is an issue they simply must sort out if they do have genuine title ambitions. Lovren should be full of confidence coming into the game having scored the winner against Swansea in midweek, but he needs to do his job at the other end first and foremost - something that hasn't always happened this season.
12.29pmGerrard is once again expected to be deployed in his deeper role this afternoon having flirted with a return to the second striker role recently. He was played further forward in the first half of the QPR game without being effective, and was soon returned to his more familiar role - at least in recent times - where he was able to have more of a say on the game.
12.31pmThere is no place for Lallana in the starting XI, with Henderson, Coutinho and Sterling the trio of midfielders chosen further forward. The latter of those has become Liverpool's most important player since the injury to Sturridge, and despite being a little quieter in recent weeks, Newcastle will know that stopping the teenager goes a long way to stopping Liverpool as an attacking force. Coutinho certainly has the ability to unlock the defence, but he has blown rather hot and cold this season, so it depends on what sort of form the Brazilian is in today.
12.33pmUp front, it is no surprise to see Mario Balotelli once again given the nod following his goal off the bench to spark Liverpool's comeback in midweek. There has been a lot of talk since that goal that it could kickstart Balotelli's Liverpool career, and both club and player will be hoping that is the case. The Italian went more than 11 hours without finding the back of the net and only has one goal in his last 23 Premier League appearances, none of which have come for Liverpool.
12.35pmPREDICTION: We're 10 minutes away from kickoff at St James's Park, which means that it is time for a prediction! Newcastle resurgence and Liverpool's continued struggles make this quite a tough one to call today. It wouldn't be a major shock if either side were to win, but for me this one is too close to call. Newcastle may have momentum on their side, but Liverpool have the superior quality, and I think the two sides will cancel each other out. I'm going for a 2-2 draw.
12.37pmThe Sports Mole Sofa was also of the view that Liverpool won't win this game, with a Newcastle victory and a draw predicted. You can see what the panel had to say in our preview below:
12.39pmThis is, of course, one of the traditional blockbuster games of the Premier League season. No fixture has yielded more goals than the 129 seen in this one, and there has been no shortage of classic matches between the two sides. Indeed, there has never been a goalless draw in 40 Premier League meetings between these two sides, with the last coming way back in February 1974.
12.41pmLiverpool boast the superior record overall, with 80 victories in their 167 victories compared to Newcastle's 47. That is also true of recent meetings, with Liverpool having won four and lost just one of their last seven Premier League clashes with the Magpies. They are unbeaten in their last four, winning two and drawing two, while Newcastle have had five players sent off in their last four matches against the Reds.
12.43pmRight, we're almost set for kickoff at St James's Park, with the players out on the pitch and just about ready to go. Let's have another classic please, folks!
1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then! Liverpool get us underway in the weekend's first Premier League match as they look to climb into the top four, while the hosts aim to move into the top half.
3 minConfident start from Liverpool as they knock the ball about nicely in the opening exchanges. The visitors are playing an interesting formation here, with Balotelli starting on the right and Coutinho through the middle.
4 minHalf a chance for Cisse as the ball is knocked down for the striker inside the box. He has to take his shot quickly and does get an effort away, but it is well blocked and goes behind for a corner. That was an important block from the defence.
5 minSterling breaks forward for Liverpool and looks for support inside the box, but Balotelli is behind a number of black and white shirts, making it impossible for the winger to find him. Sterling does eventually put a low cross into the middle, but it is comfortably cleared by the home defence.
7 minGood start from Newcastle as they take control of the ball early on, knocking it about nicely and patiently probing for a way through. That Cisse half-chance remains their only sight of goal, but you can tell that their confidence has grown due to recent results.
9 minPENALTY SHOUT! The hosts want a penalty as Obertan races down the right flank, beating Lovren to the ball to skip into space. He puts his pass into the middle and finds Sissoko, who nips in before Allen and goes to ground under the Welshman's challenge. He looks to Andre Marriner, who correctly waves the claims away.
11 minSkrtel floats a lovely pass over the top of the defence for Moreno, whose first-time volleyed cross doesn't find a red shirt. Moreno is playing very far forward right now, with the visitors playing more of a 3-5-2 formation when in possession.
13 minIt has been a solid start to the match from both sides here, without either goalkeeper really being tested. The game has been played at a fairly slow tempo thus far, but I imagine that will change as the game goes on.
15 minLiverpool have been a little sloppy in possession so far, and their attacking build-up has been fairly laboured at times. Both sides need to up the tempo if they are to find a way through, and it looks like Gerrard has been pushed a little further forward in an attempt to force that.
17 minHalf a chance for the visitors as Moreno floats the ball into the box, which Gerrard nods down to the edge of the box. Coutinho can only move it across to Balotelli, who fouls Colback to relieve the pressure on the hosts.
18 minThe Reds come forward again as Skrtel plays a lovely pass behind the defence with the outside of his boot. Sterling races onto it, but he can't get enough on the cross to cause Newcastle any problems.
20 minThis really is a fluid formation that Liverpool have employed this afternoon. At times Gerrard is going forward and others he is staying back, while the back four changes to a back three when they are in possession. It must be tough for Newcastle to figure out exactly what Liverpool are doing as they are constantly changing at the moment.
21 minReally good play from Ameobi as he skips down the left wing before putting a dangerous cross into the middle that Liverpool have to deal with. The visitors have a chance to break, but the counter comes to nothing as Newcastle win the ball back quickly.
23 minWorrying moment for Newcastle here as Obertan goes down clutching his thigh when chasing a ball. There was no contact with any opposition player, and is looks to be a pulled muscle at the very least. It doesn't seem as if he will be able to continue here.
25 minIndeed, he will need to go off, with the physio signalling to Pardew that Obertan is unable to continue. That is a big blow for the winger, who was starting to find a bit of form but now looks like he could be out for a few weeks at least.
27 minNEWCASTLE SUB: Here is that change, with Rolando Aarons the man chosen to replace the stricken Obertan. The youngster gets a warm reception from the home fans.
28 minAarons's first involvement is a good one as the youngster rolls away from Johnson before using his pace to get in behind the full-back. He goes to ground fairly easily under the challenge of Johnson, but the referee awards the free kick.
29 minFrom the resulting free kick the ball almost drops to Colback just inside the penalty area, but he drags his shot and the ball is cleared by the Liverpool defence. Another half sight of goal, but nothing really substantial in this game so far.
31 minObertan has not even been able to limp away here, with the stretcher coming out to take him around the field. He will be hoping that it is only a strain rather than a tear, but it isn't looking good for the winger right now.
33 minWe've had more than half an hour now, and still neither goalkeeper has been tested. It has been more of a tactical battle than anything else right now, and that is preventing the game being the sort of thriller we usually associate with this fixture.
35 minAarons bursts through the middle before being sandwiched by Gerrard and Allen, earning a free kick in a good position. However, there is still no shot on target as Abeid's drilled effort is deflected behind for a corner. Gerrard makes a mess of clearing the subsequent delivery, but Ameobi skies his effort from 25 yards out.
37 minOFF THE LINE! Finally, a bit of goalmouth action! It goes the way of Newcastle as Mignolet comes charging off his line to get a corner, only to completely miss the delivery. It falls to Cisse, who turns it goalwards, but Johnson is in the right place to nod it off the line.
39 minNewcastle are starting to apply a bit of pressure here, winning a few corners in quick succession. Both sides are still struggling to find a way through in open play, but given Liverpool's recent trouble with set pieces, corners may be the best bet for the hosts.
40 minCHANCE! Speaking of corners, Liverpool create their first chance of the match from a corner, and Skrtel really should have done better. He meets the ball at the front post, but gets too much on his header and plants his effort past the post. He should have at least hit the target there.
42 minLiverpool enjoy a little bit of possession as they knock the ball about at the back, but it is all too slow to cause Newcastle any problems. The atmosphere is rather flat inside the stadium right now, and that is a by-product of what has been an underwhelming game so far.
44 minYELLOW CARD! The first card of the afternoon goes to Skrtel, and he can have no complaints having tripped Sissoko on the edge of the box. It was a cynical one from the centre-back, and now the hosts have a free kick in a good position.
45 minYELLOW CARD! Before the free kick is taken, Taylor gets a yellow card for standing right in front of Mignolet and trying to prevent him from lining up his wall.
45+1 minAfter a big delay, Cisse finally takes on the free kick duties, but curls a poor effort well over the crossbar. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates a minimum of two minutes added time.
1.42pmAndre Marriner brings an end to the first half, and it has certainly not lived up to expectations so far. It has been a rather dull, uneventful match, with neither side creating any clear cut chances from open play. Surely, there must be an improvement after the break.
1.44pmThere has been one chance apiece so far, both of which came towards the end of the half. The closest we have come to a goal so far came as Mignolet got nowhere near a corner having come out to claim it, with the ball dropping to Cisse at the back post. The striker turned it goalwards, but Johnson was on the line and well placed to nod it away.
1.46pmLiverpool's only chance, meanwhile, came shortly afterwards as Skrtel latched onto a corner and nodded his effort wide of the near post. In truth, for a defender who has a decent goal record considering his position, he really should have done better. He got a free head on the ball and could have picked his spot, but he got too much on it rather than glancing it towards the far corner.
1.48pmAnd that really is all that has happened in the match so far. It has not been anywhere near the standard of entertainment we usually expect from this fixture, which has seen a Premier League-high 129 goals over the years. I do expect an improvement in the second half - if only because it can't get much worse - but right now it is hard to envision a repeat of some of the thrillers that have gone.
1.50pmNewcastle did have a minor penalty shout in that first half as Sissoko went down under the challenge of Allen inside the box. Marriner was quick to shake his head at the appeals, and that was the right decision as the Newcastle man went down far too easily.
1.50pmNEWCASTLE SUB: Pardew opts to make a change at the break as Ayoze Perez replaces Cisse. The departing player may have a problem with his troublesome knee there.
46 minKICKOFF: Newcastle get us underway again at St James's Park as both sides look to improve from a dire first half. More entertainment please!
48 minAnother ambitious penalty shout from the hosts as Ayoze and Aarons link up on the edge of the box. The latter tries to take on Lovren, but the Liverpool man gets a good challenge in before the youngster goes down.
49 minYELLOW CARD! Sissoko becomes the latest name in the book for a poor challenge on Allen, and he can have no complaints at being shown a yellow there.
50 minSAVE! Liverpool finally have their first shot on target as Balotelli lines up the free kick, drilling an effort towards goal from 30 yards. It is fairly central, but there is movement on the ball that makes it a little more difficult for Krul. Even so, he holds onto it well.
52 minInterestingly, Balotelli was late out onto the pitch for the second half, trotting onto the field literally as the hosts were taking the kickoff. Very strange scenario.
54 minStill no breakthrough for either side, with not much changing from the dull first half right now. There is simply not enough tempo about either side's play at the moment, with both looking very toothless in attack.
55 minSAVE! Finally we have a shot from open play, but it is a comfortable one for Krul to deal with. Balotelli picked the ball up around 20 yards from goal before curling his effort goalwards, but Krul moved early to his left and made the save.
57 minThis is more like it from Liverpool. Gerrard floats a cross into the area from the deep right channel, which Coutinho latches onto with a decent header towards the corner. Krul makes a superb stop to deny the Brazilian, but the flag is up so it wouldn't have counted anyway.
59 minThis game needed someone to grab it by the scruff of the neck, and Gerrard has taken steps to make that happen in the last few minutes. The two shots in quick succession was a better spell than we saw throughout the entire first half, and the tempo appears to be rising a little now.
60 minSHOT! Dummett looks to provide the sort of goal that this game doesn't really deserve as he lets fly from 25 yards. He gets plenty behind his effort, drilling it towards the top corner, but it is just too high and wide.
62 minYELLOW CARD! Ridiculous challenge from Janmaat as he clatters into Balotelli following a tightly-contested period of play. It really was a poor tackle, and there is a question over it perhaps being a red, but I think the referee has got it right only flashing the yellow card.
64 minColoccini is not moving too freely right now, which will be a worry for Pardew. He has already made two changes today, but it doesn't look like he will be forced into a third as the captain is trying to run it off.
66 minLIVERPOOL SUB: The visitors make their first change of the afternoon, and it is an attacking one from Rodgers as Allen makes way for Fabio Borini, who scored a couple of times against Newcastle for Sunderland last season.
67 minNEWCASTLE SUB: Newcastle respond with their third and final change as Remy Cabella comes on to replace Ameobi. Both managers looking to make something happen in the final third, then.
69 minWe have just over 20 minutes remaining now, and the tempo is slowly creeping up right now. The final ball is still not good enough from both sides, but Liverpool in particular are beginning to try to make things happen a little more than they have been.
70 minSHOT! Better from the visitors as Sterling shows good strength to chest a long ball down for Borini, around 25 yards from goal. The sub hits it first time, but his accuracy is off as he puts his effort a few yards wide of the post.
72 minYELLOW CARD! Henderson becomes the latest player in the book for a trip on Coloccini off the ball. Marriner allowed play to continue before flashing the yellow card at the next stoppage in play.
73 minThe game needed a goal, and we finally have one! It goes the way of Newcastle as Sissoko and Dummett link up down the left before the former plays a testing pass into the middle. Moreno prevents it from going to the back post, but only succeeds in gifting the ball to Perez, who slams an effort past Mignolet from close range.
75 minThat really was poor from Moreno, who showed the sort of indecisiveness that he was also guilty of in the defeat to Manchester City earlier in the campaign. It was a tricky pass to deal with inside the box, but the Spaniard should have done much better.
77 minCHANCE! What a chance this is for Newcastle to put this game to bed! Moreno is sold short with a pass in midfield, and his attempted clearance smashes into a Newcastle man, sending them through on the break in a two-on-one situation. They work it well as Cabella bears down on goal, but Mignolet makes a vital stop with his toe. Great save, but another poor mistake from Moreno.
79 minYELLOW CARD! Colback goes into the book for a trip on Gerrard, who had just skipped beyond the midfielder.
80 minLIVERPOOL SUB: The visitors make another change as they look to get back into the game, with Rickie Lambert replacing Coutinho. Now would be a good time for the new man to get his first goal for the club!
81 minSHOT! Cabella looks to make up for his earlier miss as he takes the ball down around 25 yards from goal before curling his effort towards the top corner. It is a good try from the Frenchman, but it is just a little too high.
81 minSAVE! Mignolet is called into action again here as Sissoko plays a one-two with Cabella, driving into the box to latch onto the reverse pass. He tries to find the bottom corner from a tight angle, but Mignolet gets down really well to make the save.
83 minLiverpool are playing virtually four men up front now as they go in search of an equaliser in these closing stages. In truth, they have not created enough to have warranted a goal so far, but they will surely pile the pressure on in the final 10 minutes.
85 minThis victory would send Newcastle into the top half of the table, remember, which would be some turnaround from a month or so ago. Three league victories in a row would certainly silence the boo-boys that were calling for Pardew's head not too long ago.
87 minSAVE! Balotelli drifts over to the left and tries to curl a cross into the box. Moreno is in there and tries to help it on its way with an acrobatic volley, but he can't get enough on it and Krul collects at the back post.
89 minLiverpool have, of course, left it late on a couple of occasions in recent weeks, with two goals in the closing stages against both QPR and Swansea. It is coming up to the time that Balotelli scored the equaliser in the latter match, and Liverpool could really do with another from the Italian here.
89 minYELLOW CARD! Lovren goes into the book for a trip on Cabella on the right side of the field, and he can have no complaints. Perhaps even more costly for the visitors, it gives Newcastle the chance to waste time in the corner.
90+1 minThere will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match. Can Liverpool provide more late drama here?
2.41pmAndre Marriner brings an end to the match, and there is a jubilant atmosphere around St James's Park as Newcastle climb into the top half of the table courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Liverpool. It was not the best game you will see this season, but the Magpies were sturdy in defence and just about did enough to win the match despite chances being few and far between.
2.43pmThe goal came from Ayoze Perez, who makes it two winners in the space of a week following his strike against Spurs last weekend. It came about via a mistake by Moreno, who hesitated too much inside his own box, gifting the ball to the Newcastle man, who lashed it beyond a helpless Mignolet from close range. It was going to take a moment of magic or a mistake to make the difference today, and unfortunately for Moreno it was the latter.
2.45pmRight, that is all we have time for this afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's match as Newcastle continue their remarkable resurgence with victory over Liverpool, making it four wins in a row in all competitions. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction, analysis and ratings. The 3pm kickoffs are not far away from starting now, and we have each of them covered for you too, so cbe sure to check that out. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!