If it wasn’t for Liverpool’s new youngster, Fabio Carvalho, Jurgen Klopp would have come up with some new excuse about their failure to win against Newcastle United in the post-match press conference.
All credits to the 20-year-old lad to keep the Kop pumping and Klopp on his toes for the next encounter.
The battle against Newcastle had to be won at all costs for Klopp. Taking only five points from the first four matches isn’t the ideal start for any team challenging for the Premier League title.
Anfield brought its A-game and supported their players, but the record signing of Newcastle, Alexander Isak scored on his debut and silenced the Kop for a bit.
The Reds had to wait until the second half for Roberto Firmino to slice the ball to the back of the net courtesy of a delicate assist from the Egyptian king, Mohamed Salah.
The Magpies tried hard to fight the relentless intensity of Klopp’s men, but the fans and the staff on the bench did not appreciate their tactics.
Delays with set plays, kicking balls away and players going down with injuries or cramps that might not even exist.
Newcastle’s goalkeeper, Nick Pope, went down in stoppage time and took his own time with the treatment.
In the end, referee Andre Marriner had no option but to extend the allocated stoppage time from five minutes to eight. And then the miracle arrived.
Liverpool’s last corner of the game found Salah in the box. The ball bounced off his shoulder and Carvalho struck it with grit into the roof of the net, winning the game for the Reds in the 98th minute.
The stadium went into absolute pandemonium and the Newcastle players fell to the ground in disbelief.
It was at this moment that the Reds were able to snatch victory after trailing again, but while celebrations went berserk on the pitch, a slight altercation on the sidelines that started after the second goal turned sour.
The goal came in so unexpectedly that the Liverpool bench erupted in joy with all the coaching staff and players jumping together.
The Magpies’ manager, Eddie Howe, and his team, who were already unhappy about the extension of the added time, didn’t receive it well. They were fuming, and their actions were in line with what they were feeling.
One Newcastle staffer immediately stood up and hurled a few objects towards the Liverpool bench that might have missed everyone.
On closer inspection, it looks like a water bottle thrown in an attempt of clear frustration, but the fans have demanded strict action from the Premier League authorities.
Newcastle defender Fabian Schar had to be withheld at the touchline after he was charging furiously towards Klopp’s assistant coach, Pep Lijnders. The hostile reactions from the opposite dugout enraged the Liverpool staffers as well.
Their goalkeeping coach, John Achterberg, showed the opposition bench the naughty two-finger salute while fitness coach Andreas Kornmayer waved the staffers of Newcastle away after they couldn’t help but control their rage.
Tempers flared, but Klopp and Howe strayed from this drama and embraced each other like professionals at the end of the game. The debate will prevail whether Liverpool was awarded more time or did Newcastle eventually pay the price for wasting time?
But at this hour, Liverpool avoided an enormous setback that could have pushed them down further in the table and the foundation of Klopp’s empire would have seen a crack coming slowly making its way from one corner to the other.
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