Darwin Nunez provides a rescue act and a reminder when Liverpool needed it most

Final August, it was Darwin Nunez who misplaced his head. A yr on, as Liverpool’s captain and vice-captain led by the flawed form of instance and as they threatened to unravel at Newcastle, Nunez served as rescuer.

A person down, a objective down, virtually two adrift, a first loss in 14 league video games beckoned for Liverpool. Enter Nunez, the £64m afterthought, the participant despatched off on his Anfield debut for headbutting Joachim Andersen. Now the fifth-choice ahead, he clinched an unbelievable comeback; a swift brace turned a damaging setback into a seminal victory. Immediately, the extra pricey of two meltdowns was Newcastle’s.

They contrived to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. They will mirror on two moments to remodel the temper at St James’ Park and the texture of their begin to the season. The primary, when Diogo Jota’s go bounced off Sven Botman and Nunez drilled a shot previous Nick Pope. The second, when Bruno Guimaraes misplaced the ball, Mohamed Salah offered a slide-rule go and Nunez once more turned executioner.

His ending might be erratic however twice it was unerring: this was what Liverpool paid what might turn into a club-record payment for.

As it is, their document purchase had lengthy since departed: Virgil van Dijk, typically the cool cat of defending, was raging bull when he noticed purple. His selection of phrases to referee John Brooks and fourth official Craig Pawson could add to his sanction. And but, on the day, it was Newcastle who had been punished.

The dimensions of the missed alternative was large: they completed the sport dealing with Liverpool’s fourth- and fifth-choice centre-backs, with Jarell Quansah making a debut within the closing phases. He was not the most vital substitute – that mantle rested with Nunez – however Liverpool received 2-0 with the rookie on the pitch.

Certainly, they triumphed 2-0 within the time after Van Dijk’s dismissal. Newcastle twice virtually doubled their lead, Alisson making a excellent save to show Miguel Almiron’s volley towards the crossbar and then the Paraguayan hanging the upright once more after a mesmeric solo run.

And but they misplaced their impetus within the second half; Liverpool had mislaid their composure earlier than the break and regained it as the sport went on, resulting in a credibility-defying climax.

(Getty Photos)

The early excellence of Anthony Gordon grew to become in useless, an Evertonian struggling his newest defeat to Liverpool.

For Newcastle, Klopp’s facet stay the ultimate frontier: they’ve had flagship outcomes towards nearly everybody else however they’ve now suffered 5 dwelling league defeats below Eddie Howe: three of them to Liverpool.

This was the most illogical triumph of all of them. It had formed up as a chastening afternoon for the boys promoted to exchange the departed Jordan Henderson and James Milner. The brand new skipper Van Dijk was despatched off, although solely after his deputy, Trent Alexander-Arnold, might have been. As a substitute, his enduring presence on the pitch benefited Newcastle when his error allowed Gordon to open the scoring.

The centre-back had one deal with to rue – or seethe about, given his response when he noticed purple; the right-back had a totally different sort of torment, failing his trial by Gordon. Alexander-Arnold might have been dismissed after six minutes: unlucky to be cautioned, he was then lucky to keep away from a second yellow card. A blatant examine on Gordon was a bookable offence, however he had already had his identify taken.

Gordon was a waspish irritant however he’s an irregular scorer. Simply the ninth objective of his senior profession got here with an unlikely supplier. Salah was so as to add to his surfeit of assists for Liverpool. He inadvertently offered a objective for Newcastle, overhitting a go to Alexander-Arnold. The suitable-back ought to nonetheless have managed it: as an alternative it rolled away from him, into the trail of Gordon, who slotted a shot previous Alisson. Kissing the Newcastle badge could have gone down badly with each halves of Merseyside.

(Getty Photos)

He could but show well-liked on Tyneside, nevertheless. The agent provocateur proved he can play. This was one of the best efficiency of his temporary Newcastle profession and he equipped the go to Alexander Isak when the striker was challenged by Van Dijk. The Dutchman argued he acquired the ball; referee Brooks thought he went by means of the striker first, rendering it a goalscoring alternative. Exit – ultimately, after his protests – Van Dijk, and Liverpool’s possibilities seemingly disappeared with him.

But a second half provided a second likelihood. Liverpool had been reconfigured in a 4-4-1 formation. Klopp’s modifications made an affect. Howe could remorse his personal substitutions, significantly eradicating Gordon. Free of his clutches, Alexander-Arnold acquired a trace of redemption with a go within the transfer that led to Nunez’s equaliser. And, after a chaotic recreation, Nunez, the agent of chaos, could have been a unusually becoming match-winner.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button