Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed his side for their perfect response in coming from behind to beat Newcastle United 2-1 at Anfield.
The Reds trailed 1-0 to Newcastle at half-time thanks to Alexander Isak’s debut goal and looked to be on their way to their worst Premier League start in 10 years, with just five points from their opening five matches.
Roberto Firmino equalised on the hour-mark but again it didn’t look to be enough as the game went into five minutes of extra time, with six points from five matches Liverpool’s worst start to the season in eight years. But in the eighth minute of extra time, Fabio Carvalho scored the winner for Liverpool, his second Premier League goal in as many games the day after his 20th birthday.
The goal lifted Liverpool up to fifth and continued their turnaround after a disastrous start to the season which saw them go winless in their opening three matches – including a defeat to Manchester United. But they have now won back-to-back matches and, came from behind to secure at least a point for the third game this season.
After Carvalho’s winner, Newcastle fans and their bench were unhappy with the game going 2:09 beyond the initially indicated minimum of five minutes of extra-time, but Klopp believes it was the perfect moment for the win.
“The perfect moment to win this game because it was a difficult game, very passionate, aggressive defending,” he told BT Sport.
“It’s difficult to pick up the rhythm from a game where everything clicked immediately and you find yourself in situations where it isn’t clicking immediately.
“Even before we were 1-0 down we looked in situations a little bit desperate. We had to force ourselves to keep calm a little more and keep going. In the end we forced it and what a wonderful goal from the birthday kid.
“This is the best way to win a football game. I think that we scored after 90+8 is the perfect response. I’m really happy about that.”
Klopp also likened Carvalho’s winner to another late goal scored by Divock Origi, a cult hero at Anfield who left for AC Milan in the summer. While it was not “Corner taken quickly…” or his late winner against Everton in 2018/19, Origi did score late on in a 3-2 win over Newcastle back in May 2019 which put Liverpool top of the table.
Although the Reds did not go on to win the title that season, it remained a moment on which Liverpool could build, and Klopp is hoping Carvalho’s strike will have the same effect this year.
“It’s massive, massive we will remember it for years and years,” he added.
“We had once a 3-2 at Newcastle where Divock Origi scored late. I’m not 100% sure they all believed until the end but from now on we have to as we showed again it is possible.”