Alan Shearer admitted  to Setanta Sports he felt let down by Joey Barton after the midfielder was sent off at Anfield.

With Newcastle trailing Liverpool 2-0, Barton produced a disgraceful lunge on Xabi Alonso to leave the Liverpool midfielder on a stretcher, and Shearer was clearly seething at his hot-headed player.

As for the game itself, eventually won 3-0 by Liverpool, Shearer insisted the opening goal from Yossi Benayoun should never have stood – but he admitted his team were well beaten.

“I thought the first goal was offside but nevertheless that wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game. We were well beaten today by the better side. Now we move on to better things hopefully.

“It was always going to come down to our two home games, and they will decide our fate I believe.

“We were always up against it today, they’re a good side – even with Fernando Torres. 3-0, it could have been a few more, but we’ll regroup for next week.

“Time is running out, but we’ve still got two important home games. It’s a huge game against Middlesbrough. Whoever loses that will find it very difficult to come back. We know the stakes, we’ll be ready for it.”

Shearer left out Michael Owen for the striker’s return to his former home, Anfield, but the Newcastle boss insists he does not feel that decision cost The Magpies the game.

“I don’t have any regrets about leaving Michael Owen, he was bitterly disappointed to miss out – I wouldn’t expect it any other way, but we’ll look at what we can go with next weekend.

“I don’t feel powerless to stop this. I genuinely believe we can win these two home games.”

In the late game Sunday, Sunderland’s battle against relegation was dealt another blow as they lost 2-0 at home to Everton.

Ricky Sbragia’s side suffered their seventh defeat in their last nine league games as goals from Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini enabled Everton to rise to fifth spot, displacing Aston Villa in the process.