Liverpool, Steven Gerrard
Gerrard ended an injury ravaged year on a high. Picture - Reuters.

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Liverpool secured a convincing 3-1 win over Newcastle United, with Craig Bellamy scoring a brace against his former club at Anfield on Friday.

Much of the focus had been on Andy Carroll, starting in place of the suspended Luis Suarez, facing his former side, but it was Bellamy who did impress against his old side, consistently troubling the visitors' defence.

Liverpool were also boosted by their returning skipper Steven Gerrard who capped a typically energetic performance in his 30-minute cameo with a goal.

Daniel Agger's own goal on 25 minutes saw Newcastle edge ahead. But their lead lasted all of four minutes as Bellamy's shot from 16 yards found its way to the back of the net amidst a forest of players.

The scoreline stayed level till deep into the second half and it seemed as though the home side were heading for a fifth straight draw at home. However, Bellamy curled home a free-kick on 67 minutes to give Liverpool the lead.

Newcastle's most threatening player, Demba Ba, then had a shot expertly cleared off the line by Martin Skrtel after Andy Carroll saw his header crash off the crossbar.

However, on 78 minutes, Gerrard shot in from a tight angle to give Liverpool all three points and end the year on a high.