BOSS Alan Pardew bemoaned three minutes of madness – and blasted referee Phil Dowd – after Newcastle United’s season ended with another defeat.
Newcastle led until the 63rd minute thanks to an own goal from Martin Skrtel, who had turned a Yoan Gouffran cross into his own net in the 20th minute
But the Magpies’ performance unravelled midway through in the second half.
Daniel Agger got on the end of a free-kick to level the scores.
And Steven Gerrard found Daniel Sturridge in the 65th minute with another inswinging set-piece after Cheick Tiote was controversially adjudged to have brought down Philippe Coutinho in the same area of the pitch.
Out-of-contract striker Shola Ameobi, on what was likely to be his last appearance for the club, was shown two yellow cards for dissent in the wake of the goal.
Newcastle substitute Paul Dummett was unjustly sent off later in the game after his trailing leg inadvertently caught Luis Suarez, who he had challenged just inside the Newcastle half. “It all hinged on a three-minute spell,” Pardew said.
“And you can argue that the referee played a part in our downfall.
“There’s no way Shola should have got sent off. He should have managed that situation better.
“We were all moaning about it (the free-kick).
“But Stevie Gerrard’s hit two fantastic balls in that were almost undefendable.
“We perhaps could have done better with the second. The sending off took away what response we could make.
“When you concede two goals like that, you need to settle yourselves and have a response.”
Pardew – whose side ended the campaign in 10th after Stoke City beat West Bromwich Albion to climb above them – insisted Ameobi had not sworn at Dowd.
The 52-year-old added: “Shola’s not sworn at him – how aggressive can a guy be if he’s not swearing or not making any gesture?”
Suarez’s reaction to being caught by Dummett appeared to influence Dowd.
On the bizarre dismissal, Pardew said: “It looked ugly. His trailing leg kind of flipped to the side.
“He’d just come on and his adrenalin was flowing. I just wanted to give him a little piece (of action).
“It wasn’t our day, but the referee has played a big part.”
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Flanagan (Cissokho 46), Gerrard, Henderson, Allen (Coutinho 59), Sterling, Sturridge (Lucas 80), Suarez. Subs not used: Brad Jones, Toure, Aspas, Sakho. Booked: Lucas. Goals: Agger 63, Sturridge 65.
Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Steven Taylor (De Jong 73), Williamson, Coloccini, Haidara, Sissoko, Anita, Tiote (Dummett 82),
Gouffran (Sammy Ameobi 78), Shola Ameobi. Subs not used: Santon, Yanga-Mbiwa, Elliot, Satka. Sent Off: Shola Ameobi (66), Dummett (87). Booked: Debuchy, Anita, Gouffran, Shola Ameobi. Goals: Skrtel 20 og.
Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).