Fabio Carvalho snatched a 2-1 victory for Liverpool against Newcastle United with a stunning volley five minutes into stoppage time that ended the visitors' unbeaten start to the season and kept Jurgen Klopp's team in touch with the early Premier League pace-setters.
Alexander Isak's debut goal for Newcastle had given Eddie Howe's team a first-half, but Roberto Firmino's second-half equaliser looked to have earned a draw for Liverpool before summer signing Carvalho sealed the win by volleying in off the crossbar in the 98th minute.
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Here is our reaction to Wednesday's Premier League clash at Anfield.
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1. Late drama gives Reds another key result
Fabio Carvalho's heroics not only ended Newcastle's unbeaten start to the season but also kept Jurgen Klopp's team in touch with the early Premier League pace-setters. After Alexander Isak's first goal for Newcastle have given Eddie Howe's team a first-half, Liverpool seemed destined for a draw following Roberto Firmino's second-half equaliser.
But Carvalho's goal sealed the win, which sparked wild scenes in the stands and also on the touchline, where coaching staff and substitutes' from both teams clashed during the celebrations. The joyous scenes reflected the importance of the win for Liverpool. With a mounting midfield injury crisis and record signing Darwin Nunez serving the final game of a three-match suspension, Liverpool risked falling worryingly far off the pace at the top of the table with more dropped points.
Saturday's 9-0 win against AFC Bournemouth had been their only victory of the season, so even at this early stage, another failure to win would have left Liverpool with plenty to do to catch leaders Arsenal and champions Manchester City. But Carvalho's winner will have changed the mood at Anfield ahead of Saturday's Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park and it could prove to be a key moment in the season for Klopp's team.
2. Isak impresses in Newcastle debut
A dream start to his Newcastle career by scoring on his debut following a £58 million transfer from Real Sociedad. But for a tight VAR offside decision which ruled out another goal in the second-half, the Sweden international would have hit two goals and, if not for that late game dramatics, would have potentially emerged as a match-winner.
Having only received a work permit in the hours before kick-off, Isak was a late addition to Howe's squad at Anfield, but the 22-year-old forward gave Newcastle an instant upgrade in the attacking third of the pitch. Callum Wilson's patchy fitness record and Chris Wood's lack of goals have left Newcastle lacking an edge up-front, but Isak looks like being the solution to their problems.
Aside from scoring with a crisp finish from Sean Longstaff's pass, Isak led the line like a traditional centre-forward and gave Liverpool defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez a real work-out throughout the game. He brought physicality, movement and work-rate to give Newcastle an energetic first line of defence. By the time he was replaced by Wood on 64 minutes, Isak had run himself into the ground, but he more than made his mark.
3. Alexander-Arnold a cause for concern once more
There is no middle ground in the debate about Trent Alexander-Arnold. Depending on your point of view, he is either a world-class modern full-back who is crucial to Liverpool's attacking play or he is a defensive liability. Jurgen Klopp is firmly in the positive camp when it comes to the right-back, but England manager Gareth Southgate has other ideas and there are no guarantees that the 23-year-old will even make it into his country's World Cup squad later this year. This was a night, however, when Alexander-Arnold's critics were given more evidence of the defender's shortcomings.
Quite simply, he was exposed time after time as Newcastle targeted his area of the pitch for attacking raids. Winger Ryan Fraser regularly had the beating of the Liverpool man and Newcastle's first-half goal was a direct result of Alexander-Arnold trying a reckless crossfield pass which conceded possession to the visitors and led to Isak scoring seconds later.
In contrast, Newcastle's Kieran Trippier gave a masterclass right-back performance for Eddie Howe's team, offering reliability and awareness whenever Liverpool attacked. Alexander-Arnold somehow needs to add some of Trippier's defensive discipline to his game, but by doing so, he may have to sacrifice some of the qualities that make him so important to Klopp's system.
Liverpool: Alisson 6; Trent Alexander-Arnold 5, Joe Gomez 5, Virgil van Dijk 6, Andy Robertson 6; Jordan Henderson 6, Fabinho 6, Harvey Elliott 8; Mohamed Salah 7, Roberto Firmino 7, Luis Diaz 6.
Subs: James Milner 6, Konstantinos Tsimikas 6, Fabio Carvalho 6.
Newcastle United: Nick Pope 7; Kieran Trippier 7, Jamaal Lascelles 7, Dan Burn 7, Matt Targett 7; Joelinton 6; Sean Longstaff 6, Joe Willock 6; Miguel Almiron 7, Alexander Isak 7, Ryan Fraser 6.
Subs: Chris Wood 6, Jacob Murphy 6, Elliot Anderson 6.
Best and worst performers
BEST: Harvey Elliott, Liverpool
The youngster is taking full advantage of the midfield injury crisis at Anfield, with manager Jurgen Klopp handing the 19-year-old the chance to prove his worth in the absence of more established teammates and he once again played a significant role for the team. Elliott's pass to Mohamed Salah led to Roberto Firmino's second-half equaliser. But for a serious injury last season, Elliott might now be on course for England's World Cup squad.
WORST: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool
Alexander-Arnold was the least impressive performer for Liverpool, but Joe Gomez also had a worrying night at the back. Gomez and Alexander-Arnold form the right side of the back four, but their communication and concentration will be a concern for Jurgen Klopp.
August 31, 2022
Good vibes all around Anfield after that thriller.
After the match: What the managers, players said
"I was just in the right area. Look at this, these fans they kept us going...Without the fans this wouldn't be possible. We just kept going and a well deserved three points." -- Liverpool's Fabio Carvalho, to BT Sport
"That's the pain of football. That's the horrible side of it when your team has given everything. It is a sickener for us but it is part of the game. We just didn't deal with the corner."-- Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, to BBC Sport
"I was thinking it was going to be a dream debut. It has been a hectic few days. I am happy I got my first minutes today ...You can see the boys, very disappointed but we have another game right around the corner and I think we have to use this feeling we are feeling as energy for the next game." -- Newcastle's Alexander Isak, to BT Sport
Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)
- Fabio Carvalho's goal is Liverpool's latest game-winner (90'+8) in Premier League play.
- Roberto Firmino has three goals in his last two Premier League games after having just one goal in his previous 16 league games.
Liverpool: The Reds travel across Stanley Park to face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday for the Merseyside derby. Liverpool then travel to Napoli for their Champions League group-stage opener next Wednesday.
Newcastle United: Back to St James' Park to host Crystal Palace on Saturday.