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(Video) Liverpool 1-0 Newcastle: Sterling goal gives Reds perfect start

Raheem Sterling put all the recent criticism behind him by giving Liverpool an eighth minute lead against Newcastle at Anfield.

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The England forward has been earned public rebuke for both refusing to sign a new contract and for the photos of him smoking a shisha pipe that emerged last week.

Still, some excellent work from the midfield gave skipper Jordan Henderson the ball and the space to get his head up, and notice an unmarked Sterling on the left-hand side.

Henderson calmly played a fantastically-weighted cross-field pass to find his teammate. The 20-year-old then used his notoriously quick feet to dance through the Magpies defence. He clearly only had one thing on his mind, and duly curled a lovely effort past Tim Krul and into the corner.

It was the perfect start for the Reds who need to win to keep the pressure of the top four. A win for Brendan Rodgers’s men will move them to within four points of Manchester City.

Has Sterling silenced his critics with this moment of magic?

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