Liverpool, England: Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen scored in each half to give Liverpool a 2-0 win over Newcastle in the Premier League on Monday that puts the club four points from the last Champions League place.
Sterling opened the scoring in the ninth minute when he downed a long cross on the left edge of the area and dribbled past two defenders before slotting a neat finish inside the far post.
Newcastle had a penalty claim waved away near the break when Dejan Lovren tripped Ayoze Perez in the area during a good spell for the visitors, but Liverpool dominated after the interval and Allen volleyed in the second in the 70th.
Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko was then sent off in the 83rd for a second booking after lunging in recklessly on Lucas. It was Newcastle's fifth straight loss but the club is still nine points clear of the relegation zone in 13th place.
Liverpool was coming off two losses to top-four rivals Manchester United and Arsenal but bounced back with a convincing display that keeps its hopes of Champions League football alive. The club is now four points behinds fourth-place Manchester City, which lost to United on Sunday.
"We knew we had to put (those losses) right, and I think tonight we did, so it's a great result for us," Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson said. "We've still got ground to make up, but we just have to keep going, keep getting results."
Sterling should have scored a second just before the hour mark when Henderson sent in a cross from the right and Ryan Taylor scuffed his clearance. The ball fell perfectly for Sterling but he fired wide from close range. Still, Sterling was given a big ovation from the Anfield crowd when he was substituted near the end, despite having unsettled some fans by refusing to sign a new contract.