Liverpool Defeat Newcastle Despite Playing with 10 Men
Central defender Virgil van Dijk received a red card in the first half but Liverpool still came from behind to beat hosts Newcastle 2-1 in the highlight match of the third round of the Premier League.
Before this round in the Premier League, the three teams that received red cards all won. But few expected Liverpool to do that at St James’ Park.
Trent Alexander-Arnold made a mistake that led to a goal conceded, then Van Dijk was sent off in the first half hour, but Darwin Nunez shone with a brace in the closing minutes, bringing three points to the visitors.
Arnold had a day to forget with some amateurish handling in the first half. In the 6th minute, he was knocked down by Anthony Gordon on the sidelines but the referee did not blow the whistle. The English defender threw the ball back into play in a reaction and was immediately booked. A few seconds later, Arnold almost received a second yellow card for elbowing Gordon down to stop a counterattack. Newcastle’s coaching staff and fans shouted for referee John Brooks to send off the 25-year-old defender.
The nightmare did not stop there for Arnold. In the 25th minute, he miscontrolled a back pass from Mohamed Salah. Gordon pounced on the loose ball, raced through, and slotted past goalkeeper Alisson Becker to open the scoring. On the sidelines, manager Jurgen Klopp gritted his teeth as he saw his pupil’s mistake.
Liverpool faced further difficulties three minutes later when center-back Van Dijk fouled Alexander Isak outside the box. Referee Brooks immediately showed the red card to the Liverpool captain, although he explained that Isak was far from the goal at the time so Newcastle could not be considered to have been denied a goalscoring opportunity. However, Brooks’ decision remained unchanged, and VAR also did not intervene despite Liverpool’s coaching staff reacting angrily.
Newcastle fans were delighted with the developments, and they cheered loudly as Van Dijk left the field. This was the first Premier League red card the Dutch defender had received in a Liverpool shirt.
Klopp was forced to bring on defender Joe Gomez in place of Van Dijk and took off winger Luis Diaz. When he saw his number on the substitution board, Diaz pouted but also accepted leaving the field.
Newcastle played with an extra man but did not attack relentlessly, focusing on controlling the ball securely. They created two more good chances for Miguel Almiron but the first-time goalkeeper Alisson dived to palm the ball away beautifully, the second time the ball bounced off the post.
The fragile one-goal lead helped the visitors not lose faith, and Liverpool fans still cheered enthusiastically. Their efforts were rewarded in the 81st minute when defender Sven Botman miscontrolled a through ball from Diogo Jota. Nunez seized the opportunity to run into the box on the right and fired a low shot across the goal that deflected off the near post into the net. Liverpool fans at St James’ Park simultaneously jumped up to celebrate the equalizer.
Manager Eddie Howe looked worried but he did not expect the evening to get even worse for the home team. In the third minute of added time, midfielder Bruno Guimaraes misplaced a pass in his own half, allowing Salah to slip a through ball for Nunez to race into the box again. Once more the Uruguayan striker fired into the far corner to seal a 2-1 victory for Liverpool.
In the final minute, goalkeeper Nick Pope raced into Liverpool’s box for a Newcastle set piece. He headed Kieran Trippier’s cross but the ball flew well wide of the goal. The nightmare turned out to belong not to Liverpool but the hosts.
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