Sturridge rescues point for Liverpool at Newcastle
NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Daniel Sturridge earned a point for Liverpool in a 2-2 draw with 10-man Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, maintaining the England striker’s prolific start to the season.
Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was red-carded for hauling down Luis Suarez in the 40th minute, allowing Steven Gerrard to convert a penalty for his 100th league goal and make it 1-1.
Substitute Paul Dummett restored the lead for Newcastle against the run of play in the 57th but Sturridge headed home Suarez’s cross 15 minutes later, meaning he has scored in seven of Liverpool’s eight league matches this season.
Yohan Cabaye had put Newcastle ahead with a dipping shot from long range after 23 minutes.
Liverpool provisionally leads the league by a point from Arsenal, which plays Norwich later Saturday, but will rue not fully capitalizing on having an extra man for 50 minutes.
The balance of the game changed on the sending-off of Yanga-Mbiwa, who was only playing because of an injury to captain Fabricio Coloccini on international duty with Argentina. The France international lost Suarez as the Uruguay striker ran in behind the defense to meet a lofted pass from Sturridge, and was clearly pulled back just inside the area.
After a long wait while Newcastle players remonstrated, Gerrard coolly slotted home low to Tim Krul’s right to become the 24th player to reach triple figures in goals in the Premier League, and third for Liverpool after Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.
Up until that point, Newcastle had made arguably its best start to a match this season, harrying its opponents in possession and deservedly taking the lead when Cabaye sent a fierce shot from 30 yards past Simon Mignolet’s despairing dive.
Although it was a different story after the break, with Liverpool dominating territory and the busy Suarez coming more into the game, Newcastle still managed to go ahead again.
Cabaye floated in a free kick that brushed the top of Kolo Toure’s head and landed at the feet of Dummett, who had come on at center back following Yange-Mbiwa’s dismissal. The young local kept his composure to steer in a volley at the back post.
Sturridge grabbed Liverpool’s second equalizer by heading in from close range after good play down the left by Suarez, who grazed the crossbar with a volley soon after.
Liverpool’s best chance in the final 10 minutes fell to Sturridge, but the England striker misjudged a volley from Gerrard’s cross.
Newcastle’s battling performance may appease a section of home fans who showed their dissatisfaction with the regime of owner Mike Ashley by marching in protest from the city center to St. James’ Park before kickoff.