Thursday 21 November 2013
Andy Cole hit a hat-trick in the first half-hour as newly promoted Newcastle United earned a comfortable win over Liverpool.
All three goals came from left-wing crosses and meant Cole had 21 goals from the first 17 matches of the season, 15 of which were in the Barclays Premier League.
His first goal against Liverpool came in the fifth minute, when Robbie Elliott released Robert Lee, who he crossed for Cole to slot home.
It was 2-0 in the 16th minute as Peter Beardsley found Scott Sellars, who set up Cole to double the lead and it was Sellars who also created the third for Cole on the half hour, this time after being sent clear by Lee.
Liverpool brought on John Barnes and improved in the second half. Neil Ruddock headed just over and Jamie Redknapp blazed over after Mike Hooper had denied Robbie Fowler, but there were few other chances for them to get back into the match.
"The first half was the best 45 minutes we have played in my time here," Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan said. "We were 6-0 up at half-time in one Division One game last year but this was the Premiership.”
Liverpool manager Graeme Souness lamented a long injury list.
"What was out there and sitting on the bench today were the only fit players at Liverpool Football Club," he said. "We have had to call off two games this weekend because we have 23 professionals in the squad who are unfit."
Newcastle went on to finish third in the table with Liverpool back in eighth.