Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool: Player ratings as Nunez brace seals incredible comeback win

Liverpool remarkably came from behind with only ten players to beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St James’ Park in the Premier League, with Darwin Nunez scoring twice off the bench late on to seal the victory despite Virgil van Dijk’s early red card.

Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon had scored first in a game where chances for either side were few and far between in the opening stages. The biggest flashpoint during those early moments came as referee John Brooks decided not to send off Trent Alexander-Arnold for a foul only moments after being booked for throwing the ball away.

Joelinton later put the ball straight into Alisson’s arms from a good position, while Luis Diaz forced Nick Pope into a near post save at close range as both began to flex some muscles.

Alexander-Arnold might have been wishing he had been sent off when his mistake directly led to Gordon’s composed finish to put Newcastle ahead, with a lapse of concentration seeing a simple pass go under his foot and send the winger through on goal.

It almost immediately went from bad to worse as Gordon spotted Isak’s run and the Swede was taken out by Van Dijk. The Liverpool skipper argued vociferously that he won the ball, but that fell on deaf ears because he went flying through Isak’s right leg to do it.

Only Alisson’s heroics stopped Liverpool going 2-0 down before half-time, palming a powerful chest and volley from Miguel Almiron onto the bar and then beating away the rebound. The Paraguayan missed the target with several more chances both before and after the interval. Gordon later went much closer to the target after leaving Alexander-Arnold in his dust.

Down to ten players, it was always going to be difficult for Liverpool to take the game for Newcastle without leaving themselves vulnerable to conceding, although a last ditch Sven Botman challenge might have been the difference in Mohamed Salah not equalising midway through the second half.

The game did end up being more stretched in the final stages, with Liverpool having no choice but to do something. Meanwhile, Almiron, having hit the bar courtesy of Alisson’s hand in the first half, hit the post with a curling shot from the edge of the box at the end of a lung-busting run.

That moment became vastly more significant when the visitors took advantage of a chance that presented itself to Nunez. It was good work from fellow sub Diogo Jota, but it needed a mistake from the otherwise excellent Botman to fall for the Uruguayan, who fired Liverpool’s first shot on target since Van Dijk was sent off into the far bottom corner of the goal.

Newcastle huffed and puffed trying to get back ahead without truly testing Alisson and the Liverpool defence, but few would have then seen what happened in the 93rd minute coming. It was again a Magpies error, this time from Bruno Guimaraes, that allowed the chance to happen and Nunez made no mistake with a similar finish to his first – low across the goal into the bottom corner.

Anthony GordonAnthony Gordon

Former Everton winger Anthony Gordon scored against Liverpool / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

GK: Nick Pope – 5/10 – Wasn’t tested for large parts of the game given Liverpool’s lack of creativity.

RB: Kieran Trippier (c) – 7/10 – A good outlet on the right and always looking to move the ball forward.

CB: Fabian Schar – 6/10 – Liverpool didn’t test him in a traditional sense.

CB: Sven Botman – 6/10 – Made important challenges just as Liverpool were starting to build a head of steam, but it ended up being his mistake that led to the equaliser.

LB: Dan Burn – 6/10 – Managed to keep Salah relatively quiet but it mattered little.

CM: Sandro Tonali – 7/10 – Willing to burst forward from midfield and it caused Liverpool problems.

CM: Bruno Guimaraes – 5/10 – Sloppy turnover in the closing stages handed Liverpool their chance.

CM: Joelinton – 7/10 – Made sure Liverpool knew he was there with a few crunching tackles.

RW: Miguel Almiron – 8/10 – Hit the bar after a wonder save from Alisson and later the post as well, although his radar was a bit askew with a few others attempts.

ST: Alexander Isak – 7/10 – Pace and movement was the reason Van Dijk was sent off.

LW: Anthony Gordon – 9/10 – Knew he had Alexander-Arnold’s number as soon as the right-back was booked and grew in confidence. Took his goal really well and was a constant threat.


SUB: Callum Wilson (72′ for Isak) – 7/10

SUB: Harvey Barnes (72′ for Gordon) – 6/10

SUB: Sean Longstaff (72′ for Tonali) – 6/10

SUB: Elliot Anderson (82′ for Joelinton) – 5/10

SUB: Matt Targett (87′ for Botman) – N/A

Subs not used: Dubravka (GK), Livramento, Lascelles, Murphy


Eddie Howe – 6/10 – Everything looked to be going right. Will be disappointed his team couldn’t finish the job off against 10 players.

Virgil van Dijk was given his marching ordersVirgil van Dijk was given his marching orders

Virgil van Dijk was given his marching orders / LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

GK: Alisson – 8/10 – Kept Liverpool in it in the first half after going behind and made other important interventions when Newcastle were pushing for a second.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 4/10 – An early booking left him vulnerable and could easily have been sent off inside seven minutes for a cynical foul. At fault for Gordon’s opener.

CB: Joel Matip – 5/10 – A tough reintroduction to the Premier League.

CB: Virgil van Dijk (c) – 3/10 – Can have no arguments about his red card. although he certainly tried. It was a rash challenge in the worst area of the pitch to do it.

LB: Andrew Robertson – 6/10 – Not particularly influential but stayed calm under pressure.

CM: Dominik Szoboszlai – 5/10 – One super long-range shot was about the extent of his input.

CM: Wataru Endo – 5/10 – Making his full Liverpool debut after a substitute appearance last week. Not a good day for it.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – 5/10 – Avoided a suspension for this games thanks to an overturned red card, but couldn’t make his presence or influence felt.

RW: Mohamed Salah – 7/10 – Not his busiest afternoon but in the mix when both goals were scored.

ST: Cody Gakpo – 5/10 – Back up front. Didn’t get the service and saw very little of the ball.

LW: Luis DIaz – 6/10 – Forced a save in the first half but was sacrificed following the red card.


SUB: Joe Gomez (33′ for Diaz) – 7/10

SUB: Diogo Jota (58′ for Gakpo) – 8/10 – Made a significant impact in comparison to Gakpo, changing the course of the game in the final stages.

SUB: Harvey Elliott (58′ for Endo) – 6/10

SUB: Jarell Quansah (77′ for Matip) – 7/10

SUB: Darwin Nunez (77′ for Mac Allister) – 9/10 – Incredible impact off the bench turned the game in Liverpool’s favour.

Subs not used: Kelleher (GK), Tsimikas, Bajcetic, Doak


Jurgen Klopp – 8/10 – On the verge of losing his temper at one stage and somehow avoided a yellow card. But substitutions eventually got his team back into it in challenging circumstances.

Player of the match – Darwin Nunez (Liverpool)


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