Jamie Carragher has said that Newcastle United would have come away with a draw on Saturday if they hadn’t been reduced to 10 men against Liverpool.
Speaking on CBS Sports after Liverpool’s crushing defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday night, Carragher was in no mood to be complimentary about his beloved Liverpool’s recent performances, particularly the defence.
“Newcastle with 10-men created chances”
The former Liverpool and England defender kicked off his rant by referencing Saturday’s game at St James’ Park, where the Reds emerged with a 2-0 victory. Carragher doesn’t believe that Liverpool would have taken all three points were it not for the red card bestowed upon Nick Pope mid-way through the first-half.
“Newcastle with 10 men created chances,” said Carragher, “if Newcastle had 11 men they’d have got back to 2-2 I’m convinced of that.”
I believe he’s got a point here. For large spells of that game, Newcastle were the better side, even after the sending off. While Liverpool’s goals were good in terms of the finishes, both were as much down to Newcastle’s defensive errors as Liverpool’s attacking prowess.
Did that extra man make all the difference?
Newcastle had their chances but didn’t take them – an all too familiar story this season. Dan Burn hit the bar and Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson all had efforts saved by an in-form Alisson either side of Pope’s dismissal.
So looking back, you have to admit that Carragher is probably right, even though I believe he was just using our game as a stick to beat Liverpool with. Having that eleventh man available to create that extra space might have been what we needed to turn those chances into goals and that has to be picked up on by Eddie Howe as a huge positive as he tries to lift the team ahead of Sunday’s cup final.