It always seems to be the hard way, no matter who plays or who is in charge—historically, Liverpool like to do things in the hardest of ways.
The penultimate league clash of the season against Newcastle was no exception.
It looked like the night might be a stroll: the Dutchman claimed his fourth Premier League goal of the season while Trent fired across his 10th assist.
Liverpool then allowed the Magpies back into the fixture, Christian Atsu taking full advantage of some lackadaisical marking in the box—Alisson had no chance.
The Reds looked shaky and Newcastle almost grabbed another, the frame of the goal sparing any further problems for a side who were aiming for a return back to the league’s top spot.
Daniel Sturridge was chosen to fill the hole left by an injured Roberto Firmino, and it was his backheel that allowed Alexander-Arnold to grab his second assist of the evening—putting him level with Andy Robertson on 11 in the league.
Trent whipped another cross in, Mohamed Salah then expertly helped the ball into the net with the deftest of touches, and the forward knew just what to do to register his 22nd goal of the season.
Liverpool then pressed the self-destruct button once again.
Dejan Lovren lost Salomon Rondon and the Newcastle player was left free to smash a shot home from close range. Once again, there was nothing Liverpool’s goalkeeper could do.
So followed the most nervous of times for all watching Liverpool fans, a draw wasn’t good enough to heap the pressure back onto Man City—the Reds began to force the issue, it looked destined to be points dropped at the absolute worst of times.
Salah clashed with Martin Dubravka in the box and then fell heavily, head first, on the turf.
After a six-minute delay, the Egyptian left the field on a stretcher—Divock Origi took his place.
Then, with the clock rapidly approaching the 90th minute Liverpool found a winner. Fabinho won a free-kick that Alexander-Arnold stepped up to take.
Van Dijk wasn’t happy: the defender wanted an in-swinging delivery.
Liverpool’s opening goalscorer motioned for substitute Xherdan Shaqiri to take the set-piece. He got his way and the Swiss winger curled a dangerous ball into the Newcastle box.
The delivery landed on Origi’s head and the striker flicked it into the net—somehow the Reds had found a winner.
Liverpool just about held on to overcome a resolute Newcastle side, the result took Klopp’s men back to the top of the table.
At full-time the reactions of the players and staff told their own story.
Klopp revealed after the game that Salah was able to watch the rest from the dressing room, allaying fears that his injury may not have been as bad as initially feared.
Liverpool will now move their focus to Barcelona, who lost 2-0 to Celta Vigo on the same evening—but the Catalans did change their entire starting lineup.
Another memorable night will be needed if the Reds are to overcome a 3-0 deficit on Tuesday.