MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 21:48:14| >> :120:9963:9963:
Apr 23, 2016 at 3pm UK at Anfield
Attendance: 43,837
Liverpool
2-2
NewcastleNewcastle United
Sturridge (2'), Lallana (30')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Cisse (49'), Colback (66')

Result: Rafael Benitez guides comeback as Newcastle restrict Liverpool to a draw

Rafael Benitez guides Newcastle United to a comeback 2-2 draw against his former club Liverpool at Anfield.

Newcastle United came from two goals down to restrict Liverpool to a 2-2 draw this afternoon on Rafael Benitez's first return to Anfield since taking over the North-East club last month.

Jurgen Klopp's men looked in control in the first half after Daniel Sturridge put them ahead after 68 seconds and Adam Lallana doubled their lead on the half-hour mark, but the club's former manager launched a comeback.

Papiss Cisse headed home four minutes into the second half and Jack Colback pulled the game back to level terms 17 minutes later.

Jurgen Klopp greets Rafael Benitez during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Newcastle United on April 23, 2016© Getty Images

The hosts had some unwelcome news prior to the match as it was announced that Mamadou Sakho would not be available for selection while UEFA investigated claims of a doping offence.

However, on the field, it was the perfect start for Liverpool when Sturridge scored inside the first two minutes after using his chest to bring down a long ball from Alberto Moreno.

The England international netted his fourth goal in five games by taking a touch and then drilling the ball across goal, into the bottom far corner of the net.

The visitors were shell-shocked and struggled to respond as they wasted numerous corners and despite getting some minutes on the ball, they were unable to create any meaningful chances for the first 20 minutes or so.

Daniel Sturridge celebrates his opener during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Newcastle United on April 23, 2016© AFP

Roberto Firmino created an opening for the home side when he fired a shot from the box after Moreno pulled the ball back following an overlapping run on the left, but the Brazilian's effort was blocked.

Sturridge came close to earning a second goal in the first half when he unleashed a 25-yard attempt, but instead of dropping into the centre of the goal, the ball glided just over the crossbar.

Liverpool's domination on the pitch paid off with a second goal on the half-hour mark, and this time it was Lallana who found the back of the net.

The midfielder showed great skill on the edge of the area to curl the ball past Karl Darlow after latching on to a pass from Moreno, who combined well with Firmino in the build-up to the goal.

Adam Lallana celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Newcastle United on April 23, 2016© Getty Images

There were penalty appeals at both ends within one minute of each other - the first came from Liverpool when Firmino's cross hit the arm of Paul Dummett in the box, and the second from Newcastle when young Connor Randall caught Ayoze Perez while attempting a low headed clearance.

After referee Andre Marriner waved both appeals away, Newcastle improved slightly and Vurnon Anita tried to make things happen by crossing into the box to find Cisse, whose header missed the target but would have been ruled out due to offside anyway.

The Magpies' best chance of the game occurred in the 45th minute when the ball, from a cross, dropped to the feet of Anita, whose first-time shot from a tight angle went over the bar.

After the break, Newcastle showed signs of a comeback when Papiss Cisse headed home, but it was partly down to Simon Mignolet's goalkeeping error.

Mamadou Sakho watches on from the stands during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Newcastle United on April 23, 2016© AFP

The Belgian came off his line to meet Anita's cross, but he missed it completely and Cisse was well placed to head the ball into an empty net in the 49th minute.

Shortly after conceding, Liverpool had a second penalty appeal denied after Sturridge went to ground following a challenge from Cheick Tiote, and Newcastle almost scored immediately on the counter-attack.

Cisse laid the ball off to Andros Townsend, who went for glory from the edge of the box, but his attempt went high into the stands at Anfield.

Liverpool weathered a brief storm and looked to have found a third when Firmino tapped it into the net after Darlow palmed away Joe Allen's header, but the Brazilian was rightly flagged offside.

The Merseyside outfit were in trouble from the 66th minute when Colback drew level at 2-2 after unleashing a shot in the box, which ended up past Mignolet after a big deflection.

The move was started by Townsend, who turned on the edge of the area before chipping in a cross. The ball was then nodded down for Colback, who slammed it home.

The visitors had a spell of dominance as they looked to ride the momentum of drawing level, while Liverpool struggled to find that clinical touch in the final third.

The match was end-to-end in the final five minutes, with Newcastle looking dangerous on the counter-attack, but neither side could find the winner.

Newcastle remain in the relegation zone, one point off 17th-placed Norwich City with three games left to play, while Liverpool are seventh, four points adrift of a European spot and have an extra game.

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Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

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