The two sides entered the match separated by four points in the table, with Newcastle in 12th place on 24 points. Liverpool were in 9th place, but were suffering from the fallout of their recent Christmas party scandal, which reportedly included strippers and Jamie Carragher in a Hunchback of Notre Dame costume.
Newcastle took the lead with a 29th-minute blast from midfielder Nolberto Solano, but were forced into a defensive strategy a minurte later when midfielder Dietmar Hamann received his second yellow card and was sent off. Nevertheless, they were able to capitalize on a Liverpool defensive lapse in the second half and substitute Andreas Andersson put the visitors ahead 2-0.
Liverpool's comeback started deep into the second half when striker Michael Owen (pictured) deflected a Carragher shot into the back of the net. Five minutes later, striker Karl-Heinz Riedle equalized with a rebound after keeper Shay Given blocked his first attempt. After another eight minutes, Given blocked a shot by Owen, who also caught the rebound and slotted home the eventual game-winner. Riedle scored an insurance goal five minutes later to complete his brace.