Liverpool recorded one of their most important wins of the season by beating Newcastle, with the media assessing what could be a major turning point in the top-four this season.
Jurgen Klopp‘s men produced a professional performance at St James’ Park on Saturday evening, beating their top-four rivals.
Goals from Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo were enough to get the Reds over the line, while Nick Pope’s first-half red card also helped hugely.
Here’s a look at how the watching media reacted to Liverpool’s win, on a big night in the Champions League battle.
This was a massive win in Liverpool’s season…
The Telegraph‘s Luke Edwards avoided discussing fake rivalries and admitted the Reds’ class shone through at St James’:
“This must give Jurgen Klopp and his players a spring in their step. Newcastle had not lost at home since Liverpool were last here back in April 2021 but they were sliced apart by some precise, clinical attacking play.
“This was Liverpool’s trademark, this was their thing. They did it as well as any side in Europe. Both their goals came from delicious passes, the first from Trent Alexander-Arnold, the second from Mo Salah.
“Both had picked up little pockets of space and found the perfectly timed runs of Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo. It was Liverpool at their lethal best.”
On Twitter, The Athletic‘s Caoimhe O’Neill felt the manner in which Liverpool showed more mental fortitude stood out:
So much better from Liverpool again. Two incredible assists, two confident finishes. Alisson superb as ever.
Game didn't all go to plan for #LFC. Some really uncomfortable defending at times but they didn't crumble under #NUFC's pressure.
Next up, Real Madrid…
— Caoimhe O'Neill (@CaoimheSport) February 18, 2023
ESPN‘s Mark Ogden felt this was a statement victory for Klopp’s side:
“Make a note of the date as this was the day that Liverpool’s faltering season finally clicked into gear.
“Monday’s 2-0 win against a poor Everton team at Anfield was a big one for the morale at Liverpool, but this was a more significant victory because they did it against a Newcastle side that had been unbeaten at home all season.
“Newcastle is a tough place for any team to visit, but Liverpool made easy work of the game, which was already won before goalkeeper was sent off for the home side in the 22nd minute.
“From this point on, Liverpool know they have the top four within sight and with players returning from injury, such as Virgil van Dijk and Diogo Jota, they are only going to get stronger.
“And after looking tired, ageing and disinterested at times this season, Liverpool’s players look to fresh and ready to go again.
“After this win, Liverpool are the best bet to finish fourth this season.”
Alisson and Nunez were the Reds’ standout players…
James Pearce took to Twitter to wax lyrical lyric over the unrivalled Alisson:
A celebratory hug/headlock for Alisson. Big saves at crucial times tonight. During a season when so many key players have struggled for consistency he’s been immense. #LFC pic.twitter.com/zJIWC7u9ct
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) February 18, 2023
Tom Victor of the Mirror was impressed by what he saw from Nunez:
“Ahead of the World Cup, Darwin Nunez appeared to have found some form in front of goal. The break – and a dismal tournament for Uruguay – dented his momentum and it has taken him some time to get back up to speed.
“It hasn’t been for want of trying, with the former Benfica man taking plenty of shots but failing to find that killer instinct in the league.
“His confidence appears unaffected, too, and we saw the finish of a supremely self-assured striker to break the deadlock.”
This Is Anfield‘s Mark Delgado also heaped praise on the Uruguayan:
“The man does not know how to have a zero per cent performance, does he? Everything with Darwin Nunez is excellent, extravagant or eminently forgettable.
“On this occasion it was again the good and the bad, though not as it has so often been – great industry and impact, but poor end product.
“No, this time it was very good as an outlet and an expertly taken goal – but the downside came in the form of a second-half injury.
“If Nunez is sidelined it would be a real blow; he has been a polarising figure outside of Anfield perhaps, but few match-goers have any doubts as he’s serenaded every move, every week.”
Have Klopp’s men well and truly turned the corner?
The Guardian‘s Louise Taylor feels there were still flaws on show from Liverpool:
“Newcastle remain fourth but Liverpool, who beat them at Anfield in August, are now only six points and four places behind with a game in hand.
“Not that such encouraging statistics necessarily mean Jürgen Klopp’s side are exactly renascent, let alone set to win the race for Champions League qualification.
“Perhaps significantly there were long periods when the visitors and prolonged possession appeared strangers and their pressing was much more Euro-pop than heavy metal.”
On Twitter, David Lynch was bullish about Liverpool finishing in the top four:
It's been obvious since August that Liverpool will struggle to consistently control matches this season, especially against teams unbeaten in 24 at home. However, they are now looking like they have the firepower to mitigate that flaw, which gives them hope in the top-four race.
— David Lynch (@dmlynch) February 18, 2023
Finally, BBC Sport‘s Phil McNulty was another who talked up the Reds getting into the Champions League places:
“Liverpool showed signs of recovering their old menace in the comfortable 2-0 win against Everton in the Merseyside derby.
“The trick was to follow that up against what has been a formidable Newcastle side this season given the inconsistency that has dogged the Reds’ campaign.
“This is why Klopp will be elated with the outcome, not simply because it means Newcastle will feel the threat of Liverpool moving closer to the top-four place the Toon Army also have their eyes on.
“This has been a very good week for Liverpool after so many disappointments this season, with successive victories providing the perfect tonic before the meeting with the side that beat them in last season’s Champions League final.”