An entertaining first half between a Champions League contender and what is basically a cup team sees the Champions League contender, Newcastle, leading. Liverpool can perhaps be aggreived that they didn't receive a penalty when Mike Williamson inadvertently headed towards his own goal, with the ball striking Danny Simpson's upper arm. Since, then however, Liverpool have been thoroughly outplayed, with Hatem Ben Arfa constantly beating Jose Enrique.
Liverpool, though, could've taken the lead inside 10 minutes. Andy Carroll did extremely well (yes!) to beat Williamson and Perch, and took the ball around Tim Krul, before going down. Instead of getting a penalty, he was rightly booked for diving, as Krul had brought his hands back. It was a ludicrous decision from Carroll, as the Newcastle goal was completely empty.
Newcastle's current #9, Papiss Cisse, opened the scoring on 18 minutes. On the right, Ben Arfa got away from Shelvey before delivering a peach of a cross that Cisse headed back across goal, beating Pepe Reina. That same combination almost delivered another goal for Newcastle 3 minutes before halftime, with Ben Arfa again producing a brilliant cross for Cisse, who, this time, headed just wide.
Liverpool, though, have had a few chances, with Craig Bellamy getting lots of space on the Newcastle left. Demba Ba is theoretically the left winger, but he's more often than not drifted into the middle, with most of Liverpool's attacks going down their right as a result. Bellamy's cross was deflected to Andy Carroll, but with Tim Krul challenging him in the air, he headed over.