ALAN Pardew challenged his Newcastle United to follow Chelsea’s example – and park TWO buses at Anfield.
Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge is all but over after the club’s dramatic 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park on Monday night, which was watched by United manager Pardew.
The trophy is now Manchester City’s to lose after Crystal Palace’s late comeback.
But under-pressure Pardew – whose side ended a club-record six-game Premier League losing streak at the weekend – is still expecting a challenging afternoon on and off the pitch at Anfield, where Newcastle haven’t won a league game in 20 years.
There could again be chants against club owner Mike Ashley and Pardew, who has pointed to Chelsea’s recent 2-0 win at Liverpool, when they “parked two buses” according to Rodgers, as the blueprint for his team’s visit to Merseyside.
“It’s a tough call,” Pardew said.
“We need to make sure we stay in the game and try and get a lead like Chelsea did, and see it through.”
Rodgers conceded the title was beyond Liverpool after the Palace game.
Tickets for Newcastle’s visit to Anfield, sold out for months, had previously been changing hands for hundreds of pounds given that the fixture could have seen the club win its first league title since the 1989-90 season.
However, if second-placed Manchester City beat Aston Villa at home tonight, Manuel Pellegrini’s side will need just a point to win the league on Sunday.
United’s last league win at Anfield came in April 1994 when goals from Robert Lee and Andy Cole gave the club, then managed by Kevin Keegan, a 2-0 success.
The club’s only subsequent success at the stadium came in the League Cup in 1995 thanks to a stunning Steve Watson goal.
While it is unlikely that Newcastle will now have a final say in the title at Anfield, Pardew is conscious that game, which will be broadcast live on TV, will remain one of the main focal points on the final day of the campaign.
And United’s fans, having endured a tortuous few months, will demand a committed and cohesive performance from a team which had been in freefall before Saturday’s 3-0 success over Cardiff City.
“It’s a big game for the Premier League, and it’s a big game for us,” said Pardew.
“We need to be right. As much as we’re pleased, we’ve got a week’s work left. It’s an important week.”
Ninth-placed Newcastle are now guaranteed a top-10 finish. Stoke City, in tenth, are two points behind them, with 11th-placed Palace a further three points adrift.