Kenny Dalglish hailed the influence of captain Steven Gerrard after he came off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Anfield on Friday night.

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard celebrates a goal during Friday's
EPL match against Newcastle. Pic/Getty Images

Gerrard came on as a 59th-minute substitute and injected fresh impetus into Liverpool's performance, culminating in a trademark goal 12 minutes from time that sealed the three points.

Kenny Dalglish

It was Gerrard's second appearance since returning from an ankle infection and he ended the year on a bright note after being dogged by injury for much of 2011.

"When Steven is not playing he is influential so I suppose you can add the word 'hugely' for when he is playing," Dalglish said.

"It's great to see him getting a reward because he has worked really hard to get where he is. It was a freak injury and the boy deserves a bit of luck.

He is a hugely important player, everyone has admiration and appreciation for what he has done for the club, and he has a wee bit more mileage in him yet."

Craig Bellamy scored twice against his former club after Newcastle had taken the lead through an own goal by Daniel Agger.