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By ESPN Staff

Alonso vows to repeat party piece

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso intends to try to score more goals from inside his own half after a stunning effort against Newcastle on Wednesday night.

The Spain international put the seal on a 2-0 win which sent Liverpool back into the top half of the Premiership when he struck from 65 yards with 12 minutes remaining at Anfield.

It was the second time Alonso had pulled off that trick for Liverpool, having done so in an FA Cup third-round tie against Luton in January.

'I think this was better,' said the 24-year-old, who had not scored since his Kenilworth Road strike.

'The Luton goal bounced a few times, this one went quite straight.

'The Luton one was left-footed - it was different - but I am quite happy to score the goal.

'I love to practise it with the trainers. Many times they shout at me because I throw a lot of balls away but it is something I like and I will keep trying.'

Alonso doubled the lead given to Liverpool by Dirk Kuyt's first goal for the club when he spotted Steve Harper off his line.

Harper, deputising for the injured Shay Given, stumbled as he tried to get back and Alonso admitted the goalkeeper was unfortunate.

'It was vital that he slipped, maybe if he hadn't he would have saved it,' Alonso added on Sky Sports News.

The goal was no more than Liverpool deserved, having dominated throughout and created a number chances, particularly in the second half.

The win was only Liverpool's second in the Premiership this term and eased their anxiety after back-to-back losses to Everton and Chelsea.

Kuyt, signed from Feyenoord last month, opened the scoring after 29 minutes when he turned in a cross from Steve Finnan after a smart through-ball from Alonso.

Chances for Newcastle were few and far between but they did have three second-half penalty appeals turned down, two of them for handball against Jamie Carragher.

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder said: 'The second one is a blatant penalty, handball. It was probably the best save of the night. The defender moves his arm enough to stop the ball.

'We would have liked a penalty at that stage, assuming we would have taken (scored) it. At 1-1, it's game on again and we could have come out with a hard-earned point.'

Roeder, however, had no complaints about Alonso's effort.

He added: 'It was a marvellous effort by Alonso but without doubt if Steve doesn't slip over it would have been a great long pass into his arms.'

Both Roeder and opposite number Rafael Benitez played down suggestions of an incident involving Liverpool's former Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy and United assistant manager Terry McDermott in the tunnel after the game.

Bellamy left Newcastle in acrimonious circumstances last year after a public bust-up with previous manager Graeme Souness.

Benitez said: 'I heard some shouting but it was only two or three seconds. It was nothing more than that.'

Roeder said: 'I'm not aware of anything. Terry McDermott is an experienced coach and that would be way beneath him to get involved in anything like that when he represents a club like ours.'