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Newcastle United 2 Liverpool 0: Wijnaldum fires strugglers to surprise win

Georginio Wijnaldum inspired Premier League strugglers Newcastle United to a 2-0 win over in-form Liverpool at St James' Park.

The Dutch midfielder played a pivotal role in breaking the deadlock when his 69th-minute shot forced Martin Skrtel to put through his own goal.

Liverpool struggled for fluency throughout, despite coming into the match on the back of seven wins from eight outings in all competitions, although they were entitled to feel aggrieved when Alberto Moreno had a sensational volleyed equaliser ruled out for offside.

Wijnaldum, who scored four when Newcastle beat Norwich City on home turf earlier in the campaign, made sure of the points in stoppage time as Jurgen Klopp's team streamed forwards in search of a late leveller.

Christian Benteke spurned Liverpool's best chance from five yards around midway through the first half and they remain seventh having passed up the opportunity to draw level on points with fifth-placed Tottenham.

Newcastle offered the ideal response for under-fire boss Steve McClaren following the 5-1 loss at Crystal Palace and they only remain inside the relegation zone on goal difference.

Siem de Jong made his first Premier League start of the season for Newcastle in place of Ayoze Perez – the only alteration to the XI that was humbled at Selhurst Park.

Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge scored five of Liverpool's six goals in Wednesday's League Cup demolition of Southampton, but both strikers dropped to the bench as Jordon Ibe and Roberto Firmino supported Benteke in attack.

The visitors forced a flurry of three corners during the opening minutes, although clear chances were hard to come by.

Newcastle were still not fully attuned to Liverpool's set-piece threat when they failed to deal with Moreno's 21st-minute corner – Joe Allen knocking down for Benteke to prod wastefully over from close range.

Papiss Cisse managed to manufacture a fruitless penalty box scramble when he appeared to have a clear sight of goal before the match belatedly stirred on the stroke of half-time.

Chancel Mbemba headed over from Cisse's flick-on and Ibe sent a venomous drive just over at the other end.

Wijnaldum could not turn home Moussa Sissoko's low cross and the hosts were in the ascendency when the Dutchman saw his shot on the turn deflected wide after 55 minutes.

Benteke's frustrations with a poor individual showing were clear when he and Firmino made way for Sturridge and Adam Lallana after the hour, but Klopp's double change did not turn the contest in his favour.

Wijnaldum failed to control inside the Liverpool box, but his anticipation earned a touch of fortune in the game's pivotal moment, leaving Skrtel to reflect on a seventh own goal of his Premier League career.

Moreno was every bit as unfortunate as his defensive colleague when the referee's assistant chalked off his sensation strike, before Sissoko fed Wijnaldum on the break to seal Klopp's second defeat in the English top flight.