Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool
Premier League (3), St James’ Park
August 27, 2023
Nunez 81′ (assist – Jota)
Nunez 90+3′ (assist – Salah)
It took less than six minutes for the weekend’s marquee clash to become about the referee, with Trent Alexander-Arnold booked for rolling the ball away after a foul on the touchline.
The incident seemed the affect the right-back – operating closer to his natural role in a 4-3-3 – as he struggled to hit his passes, and Newcastle piled pressure on his flank.
A woeful mistake from Alexander-Arnold handed Newcastle the opener, missing the ball completely and allowing Gordon to drive through and finish.
Then it went from bad to worse for Liverpool as Virgil van Dijk was adjudged to have brought down Alexander Isak as the last man, with the controversial red card seeing tensions boil over.
Another game to settle into with 10 men, the Reds looked more secure in their rejigged setup, but it was a fraught half at St James’ Park.
HT: Newcastle 1-0 Liverpool
Newcastle were unsurprisingly confident after the break and kept the pressure on a hapless Alexander-Arnold, with Joelinton setting up a big chance for Miguel Almiron which he should have done better with.
Despite the numbers disadvantage, Liverpool still had opportunities to level, with the guile of Jota on the left flank key, the Portuguese laying on a chance for Mo Salah that was blocked.
Almiron produced a moment of brilliance only to strike the post with his effort, while Klopp shuffled his pack with a debut for Jarell Quansah and the introduction of Nunez.
Fired up and with a point to prove, Nunez was the man who brought Liverpool back, latching onto an error at the back, taking the ball into his path and blasting in for 1-1.
Then another. A ball lost, a Salah through ball, a Nunez burst and a sumptuous finish. 2-1. Heroic.
TIA Man of the Match: Darwin Nunez
Referee: John Brooks
Newcastle: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman (Targett 87′), Burn; Guimaraes, Tonali (Longstaff 72′), Joelinton (Anderson 82′); Almiron, Gordon (Barnes 72′), Isak (Wilson 72′)
Subs not used: Dubravka, Lascelles, Livramento, Murphy
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip (Quansah 77′), Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo (Elliott 58′), Szoboszlai, Mac Allister (Nunez 77′); Salah, Diaz (Gomez 33′), Gakpo (Jota 58′)
Subs not used: Kelleher, Tsimikas, Bajcetic, Doak