Liverpool came back from a goal and man down to beat Newcastle 2-1 with two late goals from Darwin Nunez
- 04:00, 28 AUG 2023
Jurgen Klopp says he has never experienced a match like Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Newcastle on Sunday in a managerial career that has spanned over 1000 games.
And the Reds boss believes the comeback was even better than the famous Champions League semi-final win over Barcelona in 2019 when his team came back from a first-leg 3-0 deficit to triumph at Anfield.
Substitute Darwin Nunez struck twice late on – including a stoppage-time winner – to cancel out Anthony Gordon’s opener after the visitors played over an hour with 10 men following Virgil van Dijk’s red card at St James’ Park.
Nunez’s match-winning intervention spun the result on its head in a game where Newcastle dominated for large spells and Klopp was delighted with spirit and character shown by his charges.
Klopp surpassed the 1000-game barrier back in January of this year and believes he has never experienced anything like Sunday’s win in any of his posts at Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund or Mainz.
“[It means] absolutely everything for today. In my 1000-plus games as a coach, I never had a game like this, that is the truth,” Klopp said. “It is not that we never changed games, we did that, but with 10 men, in an atmosphere like this, against an opponent like this. It’s not that I can’t remember, I am pretty sure it never happened.
“These moments are rare and super special. I thought the boys deserved it today.
With 10 men we played better and gave Newcastle a proper game. Before then it was obviously a bit wild. At 1-0 we didn’t play calm enough and felt under pressure.
“At half time we showed the boys one situation where Trent Alexander-Arnold passed the ball behind the line to Cody Gakpo, where he comes behind the line and has a finishing situation.
“Two things were clear at half time: We cannot concede a second and Trent cannot get another yellow card. And if that happens we have a chance.
That is what the boys did, they were ready to work super hard.
“I think before Darwin scores we already have chances, Diogo Jota passes to Mo Salah and that is important.
Last season we were in a similar situation [against Newcastle] where we were 2-0 up and then a red card (for Nick Pope) and it is not easy.
We forgot to play football after that. I can imagine what Eddie and Newcastle are feeling. My boys kept believing and I am really happy.”
On comparisons with that famous Barcelona result, Klopp said: “It was much more difficult than the Barcelona game because that was at home, we played a sensational first game and lost 3-0, today is completely different.
“We didn’t start well, we conceded a goal and got a red card and then we played better from then on, we were much more controlled.
We were more compact and fought really hard and at half-time we thought something special was on with a super effort and attitude, desire, passion and all these kinds of things.
I don’t think we needed too much luck, we calmed the game down.”
Klopp added: “The other boys just worked extremely hard.
That is super intense for so long. We made the changes early to do that and that is why it is like that.
“Diogo is a top player but he was ill two days ago and he might have started but he is a top player coming on and Harvey throws his heart on the pitch.
He played as a double six when we brought Darwin on.
In a position like this he hasn’t played often, I am pretty sure
“Darwin gets the headlines rightly because without that whatever we did before, if he is not playing, we sit here losing 1-0 and going home with no points and it is a different feeling. That is how it felt for so long.
Newcastle didn’t get through really but we had the Diogo and Mo [chance] everyone [supporting Newcastle] in the stadium thought: ‘We have to be careful’.
We had our little moment, so it was super special for us. Super special.”