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Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool: Darwin Nunez turns Liverpool savior

The Uruguayan equalised in the 81st minute and then fired in a dramatic stoppage time winner as the Reds overcame the dismissal of captain Virgil van Dijk which came shortly after Anthony Gordon had put Eddie Howe’s team ahead midway through the first half to claim a memorable three points.

Nunez had only been on the pitch for a matter of moments prior to his brilliant leveller and the No.9 was not done there as, three minutes into added time, he produced another nerveless finish to spark unbridled scenes of celebration on the pitch and in the away end.

Wataru Endo made his full debut for Liverpool – the midfielder replacing Diogo Jota in the starting XI – while Joel Matip came in for the injured Ibrahima Konate as Jürgen Klopp made two changes from last week’s win over AFC Bournemouth.

Joelinton and Luis Diaz traded the first efforts on target around the quarter-hour mark, with the Reds’ No.7 creating an opening for himself via a direct surge inside that ended with Nick Pope turning his shot wide.

But the balance of the contest swung significantly in Newcastle’s favour during a three-minute period that included Gordon’s goal and Van Dijk’s sending-off. First, a misjudgement from Trent Alexander-Arnold saw a pass creep under his foot, which enabled Gordon to race clear and finish.

Then, Liverpool’s skipper was issued with a straight red card when he was adjudged to have denied Alexander Isak a clear goalscoring opportunity with a foul on the edge of the penalty area.

Klopp’s subsequent reshuffle saw Joe Gomez come on for Diaz, with Cody Gakpo filling in on the left and Mohamed Salah operating as a lone striker. And the visitors made it to half-time without sustaining further damage thanks to a wondrous Alisson Becker save, the Brazilian showcasing lightning-quick reflexes to palm Miguel Almiron’s blast onto the underside of the crossbar.

After Gomez had done well to intercept Gordon’s cross from the left, Almiron spurned a clear-cut chance to extend Newcastle’s lead when, unmarked, he cleared the bar from close range.

Klopp introduced Jota and Harvey Elliott just before the hour and an impressive period of play followed from Liverpool, with the hosts indebted to a last-ditch block from Sven Botman that foiled Salah after the Egyptian and Jota had combined beautifully.

Almiron then curled an attempt off the post as Newcastle sought to reassert themselves but, soon after, Nunez crashed in the equaliser. The Uruguayan, fresh from the bench, latched on to Jota’s pass and, from a tight angle, drilled a precise low hit beyond Pope.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Reds smelled blood and Nunez would have the final say deep into the five additional minutes as he coolly slotted beyond Pope to complete an incredible turnaround.