The vast majority of Liverpool’s match away to Newcastle would not be what one would call an instant classic. A match marred by an early mistake leading to a Newcastle goal and a red card to Virgil van Dijk has most Liverpool supporters feeling like the Reds were heading to a dreary result.
Enter the agent of chaos, Darwin Núñez. The Uruguayan striker came on as a substitute in the 77th minute, and almost immediately changed the tenor of the match. Always a willing runner in the channels, Núñez streaked past Sven Botman as the Dutch defender attempted to intercept the pass. The ball took a lucky bounce for Darwin, but he showed his class with the fantastic far post finish.
Núñez made an almost identical run two minutes into extra time to get on the end of a feed from Mohamed Salah. He again showed fantastic composure as he hit a first-time shot to the exact same far post location to win the match for the Reds.
It should come as no surprise that Núñez was given the Player of the Match award. In his comments after the match, Núñez gave credit to his Liverpool teammates for how well they battled despite playing down a man.
“I feel very good. Very happy for the team, for the dedication of my teammates. They fought very well after the red card, which meant we had to play with 10 players.”
“It’s very difficult to keep a game like that, even more losing 1-0. The truth is that we had mental strength and we could control the game. I am very happy and very satisfied. But I would like to congratulate my teammates.”