Premier League: Super-sub Nunez grabs 2-1 win for 10-man Liverpool against Newcastle

Newcastle dominated possession but failed to kill the game off, and in the 81st minute Nunez pulled Liverpool level before scoring an almost identical second in stoppage time to snatch the three points.

Published : Aug 27, 2023 23:17 IST , NEWCASTLE - 4 MINS READ

Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring their second goal with Joe Gomez.
Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring their second goal with Joe Gomez. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring their second goal with Joe Gomez. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Substitute Darwin Nunez scored two late goals, including a winner in the third minute of stoppage time, as Liverpool recovered to beat Newcastle 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday despite playing more than an hour with 10 men after Virgil van Dijk’s sending-off.

Newcastle took the lead in the 25th minute through Anthony Gordon and, when Van Dijk was shown a straight red card three minutes later, it looked to be a damage-limitation exercise for Liverpool.

However, Uruguay striker Nunez led an unlikely rally from Liverpool, equalizing in the 85th minute and then scoring an almost-replica finish in added-on time at St. James’ Park to earn a second straight victory and stay unbeaten.

“It was something special out there today,” said Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who made a mistake for Gordon’s goal and played almost the whole match under pressure after a sixth-minute yellow card.

“We had to do it the hard way. The very hard way ... It was something for the ages.”

Newcastle was left to reflect on missed chances — Alisson Becker produced a stunning first-half save to deny Miguel Almiron, who later hit a post — but Jurgen Klopp’s men fought impressively to ensure their unbeaten run against the Saudi-owned hosts extended to 14 games.

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Klopp celebrated wildly in front of the home dugout and on the field after the final whistle as the home fans among a crowd of 52,214 trudged away barely able to believe what they had witnessed.

While Liverpool has claimed seven points from a possible nine and is two points behind leader Manchester City, Newcastle has lost two of its opening three games of a season when the team makes a return to the Champions League.

Alexander-Arnold walked a tightrope throughout after picking up a needless booking for throwing the ball away, and he was perhaps fortunate to escape further punishment after Gordon went down under his challenge seconds later.

Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope, who was sent off in the corresponding fixture last season, endured a testing start and he came for — but failed to connect meaningfully with — two early corners. He did, though, repel Luis Diaz’s near-post strike after a mazy 17th-minute run.

After Pope comfortably claimed Mohamed Salah’s curled 24th-minute effort, Liverpool’s game plan was torn apart seconds later.

Alexander-Arnold miscontrolled Salah’s pass, allowing Gordon to get in behind the Liverpool defence and race away before sliding a shot through the legs of the advancing Alisson. Worse was to come for the Reds when captain Van Dijk fouled Alexander Isak on the edge of the box three minutes later and was dismissed because he was the last man.

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Only Alisson’s brilliance prevented Newcastle from doubling their advantage nine minutes before the break when he somehow managed to claw Miguel Almiron’s volley onto the underside of his crossbar.

With defender Joe Gomez having replaced the sacrificed Diaz before the break, the Reds returned knowing they needed something special to force their way back into the game, but Gordon continued to trouble Alexander-Arnold and it was Newcastle who looked more likely to score again.

Almiron skied a shot after Joelinton surged into the penalty area before crossing but Liverpool was increasingly comfortable with 10 men largely sitting deep.

Dominik Szoboszlai and substitute Diogo Jota helped to ease Liverpool back into the contest as the home side was finally forced to defend, and although Gordon blazed a 64th-minute drive just wide of Alisson’s left post, it took a superb intervention by Sven Botman to prevent Salah from making the most of an exchange of passes with Jota.

Almiron was unfortunate to see a 76th-minute shot come back off a post with Alisson beaten, and Liverpool capitalized on that stroke of good fortune with nine minutes remaining when Nunez seized on Botman’s error to fire past Pope.

With Newcastle pushing for a winner, the Uruguay international repeated the finish in stoppage time after running onto Salah’s through ball.

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