From Kenny Dalglish's diary
- From Kenny Dalglish's diary: "Our first appearance on live television this season was at Newcastle in front of the BBC cameras. Media attention has been focused on Peter Beardsley’s return to his native Tyneside to face his former club – and on the home debut of Francisco Ernandi Limada Silva, the Brazilian who prefers to call himself Mirandinha. It was a bold decision by Newcastle to sign him. Every transfer is a calculated risk but with a foreigner, especially a non-European, that risk is even greater. The extra factors of acclimatization, environment and the rigours of English season have to be considered.
Mirandinha has started well, scoring both goals in last week’s 2-2 draw at Manchester United. His appearance today, and Peter’s undoubtedly added something extra to an already attractive fixture. We decided to keep the side that had finished our game against Charlton in such breathtaking style. Mark Lawrenson started a match for the first time since March and Steve Nicol - Chico as we call him - was on the right of midfield, with Nigel Spackman and Paul Walsh as substitutes.
It proved to be quite an afternoon for Steve Nicol who stood out as the star of an entertaining team performance. John Barnes combined with Peter Beardsley in the 21st minute to send in a cross that deflected off John Anderson for Nicol to open the scoring. We went two up in 38 minutes when Barnesie’s header down from Barry Venison’s cross gave John Aldridge his chance to make it seven successive matches in which he has scored – one more game than the best sequence Ian Rush put together for Liverpool. We are not really interested in statistics of this nature and I doubt if it is high on Aldridge’s list of priorities. He - like us - is just happy to score.
A couple of minutes before half-time, we put the ball in the net again: Nicol curled it superbly over goalkeeper Gary Kelly, but we were desperately unlucky to see it chalked out for offside. Fortunately, though, we did not have to wait long for another that did count and, fittingly, Steve Nicol was the scorer, three minutes after the interval. Peter Beardsley, underlining his unselfish talent as a creator and provider, supplied the final pass.
Despite our domination of the game, Mirandinha impressed me with his speed and close control. His chances of proving an asset to Newcastle – and the First Division appear very good. One of his runs resulted in a Newcastle penalty in the 61st minute, when referee Keith Hackett decided that Gary Gillespie had fouled the Brazilian. A harsh decision perhaps, but the referee’s word must always be final. Neil McDonald scored from the spot to make the scoreline 3-1. Five minutes later we restored our three-goal advantage thanks to a great goal by Steve Nicol which clinched his hat-trick and his sixth goal of the season. He ran on to John Aldridge’s pass and chipped the keeper brilliantly. The final score was 4-1, making us the only unbeaten team in the First Division. Although we are pleased with the way things have been going we do not intend to fall into the trap of looking too far ahead, only as far as the next game."
Copyright - Kenny Dalglish