Liverpool With just 10 players, Liverpool staged a hardly credible comeback to defeat Newcastle 2-1 at St. James’ Park. Here are all the statistics from a remarkable game.
Liverpool Ten-man Darwin Nez came off the bench to help Liverpool pull off an incredible comeback victory against Newcastle.
After Virgil van Dijk was dismissed in the 28th minute for fouling Alexander Isak while he was the last man, Liverpool played the most of what was a turbulent game with one fewer player. Just two minutes earlier, Anthony Gordon had given the home team the lead, but Liverpool fought back and eventually scored the goals to maintain their undefeated streak against Newcastle. As a consequence of this outcome, they have won 10 and tied four of their previous 14 games against Newcastle, dating back to December 2015.
Early on, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Gordon had established the mood for a spirited first half. The Liverpool right-back was shown a yellow card just six minutes into the game for his response to being denied a foul after being elbowed in the back by Gordon while chasing down a ball that was bouncing out of play. A few minutes later, Alexander-Arnold used his arm to stop Gordon from advancing past him, and it is debatably lucky that he was not sent off.
These events heated things up among the crowd at St. James’ Park. Jürgen Klopp and Eddie Howe reconnected in the dugouts, and across the pitch, the players engaged in physical altercation. The first half of this game had 16 fouls, which is the second-highest total in a Premier League game this season. When it comes to games with a lot of fouls, Newcastle is the common denominator; there were 17 in the first half of their 5-1 victory against Aston Villa earlier in the season.
But as the drama continued to escalate, Alexander-Arnold could have begun to wish he had been truly dismissed. When he briefly turned away from a straightforward Mo Salah pass, the ball slid underneath his foot, and in an instant, Gordon—who was quickly emerging as Alexander-Arnold’s archrival—raced through to give the hosts the lead. After scoring the first goal, Newcastle will have begun to hope they could break their losing streak against Liverpool since they knew they hadn’t lost any of their previous 26 home league games under Howe.
When Van Dijk was expelled shortly after for killing Isak, their confidence would have increased even more. In 164 Premier League games for Liverpool, it was his first red card.
As a result, Liverpool was forced to play with 10 men for a second consecutive week, marking the first time in their previous 139 games that this had happened.
However, Liverpool made an incredible comeback in the second half. With one less player on the pitch, Klopp made attacking substitutes and his team tried to get back into the game, but with only five second-half shots, they were forced to spend a lot of time chasing the ball and had 33.9% control.
Newcastle had opportunities to end the game and appeared more likely to score a second goal. When replacements Harvey Barnes and Callum Wilson ran through, Barnes was unable to either shoot or locate a pass to his teammate who was yelling for the ball. Gordon shot an effort straight at Alisson in the Liverpool goal. Miguel Almirón hit the post with a beautiful curling effort.
They paid the price for not taking a chance.
As his team sought an equaliser, Klopp added strikers Diogo Jota, Harvey Elliott, and Darwin Nez. Liverpool must have thought their chances of salvaging a point were gone when Salah waited for too long when he was barely yards away and enabled Sven Botman to go back and make a challenge.
Nez, however, had other plans. Nez, who is so frequently wasteful in front of goal — only two players in the Premier League last season missed as many clear-cut opportunities as the Uruguayan (20) — was in a deadly frame of mind here.
He first scored a goal that appeared to have saved a point from certain defeat after Botman made a mistake, but in the dying seconds of the second half, he raced onto Salah’s through ball to score the most unlikely of victories. His brace made that Liverpool kept up a remarkable streak, keeping them winless in their past seven Premier League contests after receiving a red card.
With this victory, Klopp broke the Premier League record for the most consecutive victories one manager has against a particular opponent, having defeated Howe in 11 straight games. Klopp has defeated Howe more frequently (12 times) than any other manager in top-flight league games during his managerial career.
It was an absurd outcome on an absurd St. James’ Park afternoon, and it will give Liverpool genuine faith that their remodelled team can launch a title push this year.
The Opta match centre for the encounter is shown below. It contains information on the team and player metrics, predicted goals, passing networks, an Opta chalkboard, and more. It provides you with all the information you need to do your own game analysis.
The official Opta data for the encounter are also available below the match centre.