Sunday, December 6, 2015 11:01 pm
Twenty five-year old Georginio Wijnaldum, Gini for short, inspired struggling Newcastle United to a 2-0 win over in-form Liverpool at St James’ Park in the Barclays Premier League.
The midfielder from Rotterdam, Netherlands 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. They also saw a sensational volley from Alberto Moreno that would have been an 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 forward in search of a late leveller.
Christian Benteke spurned Liverpool’s best chance from five yards out midway through the first half and they remain seventh having passed up the opportunity to draw level on points with fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Newcastle offered the ideal response for Steve McClaren, their head coach, after the 5-1 loss at Crystal Palace last week and they only remain inside the relegation zone on goal difference.
When asked to explain what went wrong following his side’s 2-0 by Newcastle United at St James’ Park Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said, “The start, the middle and the end.”
The Merseysiders went into the match on a fine run of form, having won seven of their previous eight matches in all competitions, but they struggled to get their pressing game going against the Magpies, who emerged triumphant following an own goal by Martin Skrtel and Georginio Wijnaldum’s late strike.
“This was obviously not a really good football game,” he said. “It was an open game, no rhythm from our side. Our midfield pressing wasn’t good, I couldn’t see our offensive pressing – we were not creative enough.”
Newcastle coach Steve McClaren hoped the victory will prove to be “the lightbulb moment” that turns his side’s fortunes around.
“It was a deserved win,” he said. “We looked nervous at the beginning, but we said before the game the one thing we had to do was outwork Liverpool and if you outwork a team like Liverpool you have a chance of winning.
“We hope that’s the lightbulb moment that turns it around and we do that week in, week out.”
Wijnaldium, the Dutch international, who made the victory possible put everything to team work.
Gini was a youth product of Feyenoord and made his professional debut in 2007 as the youngest player ever to represent the club.
He played 134 matches for them in a five-year period. He also played four seasons at PSV Eindhoven, winning the KNVB Cup in the first and the Eredivisie in the last.
A full international with over 20 caps since 2011, Wijnaldium was a member of the Dutch squad which came third at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
According to his bio published by Wikipedia, he was born 11 November, 1990 and raised in Rotterdam, South Holland. At the age of six his parents divorced and his mother moved to Amsterdam. Wijnaldum decided to stay in Rotterdam and moved in with his grandmother, where he lived the remaining part of his childhood. Both his parents are of Afro-Surinamese descent.