Newcastle United 1 - 2 Liverpool FC
Newcastle: Gordon 25’
Liverpool FC: Nunez 81’ & 90+3’
Its only the third match of the season, but heading in with two players we thought wouldn’t make the trip east has buoyed feelings a little bit. Trent Alexander-Arnold recovered from the knock he received last weekend against Bournemouth, and Alexis Mac Allister successfully appealed the red card decision from the same match. Both players start at St. James’ Park today.
Wataru Endo also makes his first start in midfield, allowing Cody Gakpo to move into the central strike role, as opposed to midfield. There’s still going to be some troubleshooting going on with the squad, but the lineup appears solid for what we have.
What started quickly in the first minute cooled off just as quickly. Of course, you can take the kid out of Everton but can’t take the Everton out of the kid, as Anthony Gordon has already started diving. Newcastle has decided to come out swinging, directing most of their physicality at Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah in these opening minutes. Liverpool may have been riled up just enough to get sloppy on their second balls, which is what the Magpies would want.
ALMOST! Liverpool’s first real chance comes from the foot of Luis Diaz after picking up a peach of a pass from Dominik Szoboszlai. Diaz moves skillfully into the final third, twisting away from defenders to take a shot that is just barely saved. The Reds have slowed considerably into this part of the half, but another chance comes from Salah, only to have the ball go straight into the Nick Pope’s hands.
Trent’s first half has turned into a nightmare, as he misses a pass from Salah that leads directly to a goal for Newcastle. The previously mentioned villain of Anthony Gordon scores for the Magpies. Things quickly turned even more dire as once again Liverpool are shown an unwarranted red card, this time sending off newly appointed captain Virgil van Dijk, despite the defender winning the ball in the tackle. Liverpool are now playing again with ten men, and a goal down. Joe Gomez comes on to replace van Dijk, but we lose Diaz in the switch.
We are saved (once again) in these last ten minutes by Alisson Becker being one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and Newcastle’s inability to find the net, but the hosts getting so many chances to score is frustrating to watch, regardless of Alisson’s skills.
The second half gets underway, with predictably no changes. We’ve lost count of the amount of times that Joelinton has fouled a Liverpool player, but at the start of the second half its at least five and he has yet to receive a card. I don’t like to focus on the ref when the Reds are playing poorly but the Reds are playing poorly because Newcastle are being allowed to bully them all over the pitch.
Since taking off Diaz all of our attacking teeth have fallen out and Liverpool are playing purely reactive football, just trying to keep more goals from leaking out of this defense. There is very little control towards the final third to find an equalizer. Newcastle, despite their physical game, have done well to mark Salah completely out of the game. Harvey Elliott and Diogo Jota both come in the 57th minute for Cody Gakpo and Wataru Endo. Hopefully the two new attackers will inject some life into the offense for the Reds.
Liverpool finally get another chance around the 65th minute, with Salah going through on a clear path to goal but he’s denied by Newcastle. While things have settled considerably, Liverpool don’t look any closer to scoring than they did ten minutes before. Truly if we come out of this match with a point it may be a miracle. We’ve truly been saved by Alisson and Newcastle’s inability to see the net today - we’re certainly not doing ourselves any favors. Liverpool make their last two changes of the day, bringing on Darwin Nunez and Jarell Quansah from the academy for Joel Matip and Alexis Mac Allister.
FINALLY WE’RE LEVEL! Darwin Nunez takes advantage of an open goal just two minutes after coming on, scores, and we may be able to pull a draw out of this match if we can just hang on.
Five minutes of time added to the second half, but we may have to settle for the point. JUST KIDDING IT’S DARWIN AGAIN TO TAKE THE LEAD! Three minutes into stoppage time, Newcastle leave themselves bare once again and Darwin is happy to fire a rocket right past Pope once again. The ref once again is out of touch, as he lets Newcastle have a free kick out of the box just as the sixth minute of stoppage goes by but Liverpool are able to take all three points back to Merseyside.
LIVERPOOL DID THE THING. In spite of a ref and a team that threw the kitchen sink at Liverpool, it was Darwin Nunez’s specific brand of chaos that snatched the three points away from the Magpies.