NEWCASTLE, England, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Darwin Nunez came off the bench to score twice as Liverpool snatched a sensational 2-1 Premier League win at Newcastle United on Sunday, with the visitors bouncing back from a straight red card in the first half for captain Virgil van Dijk.
The Uruguayan came on in the 77th minute before grabbing the limelight with two superb finishes, his first Premier League goals since scoring against Leeds United back in April.
The 24-year-old, who had seemingly fallen down the pecking order among Liverpool’s attacking talents, stole the thunder of Newcastle winger Anthony Gordon, who looked set to end his side’s 13-game league run without a win over Juergen Klopp’s side.
Having picked up an early yellow card, Trent Alexander-Arnold was lucky to stay on the field when he pulled down Gordon, but he gifted Newcastle the opener in the 25th minute when he mis-controlled the ball, allowing Gordon to run onto it and slot it past Alisson Becker.
Van Dijk was sent off just over two minutes later, with referee John Brooks showing him a straight red card for fouling Alexander Isak on the edge of the box, and the VAR backed his on-field decision.
That prompted a period of dominance from the home side, with Alisson pulling off a brilliant save to push Miguel Almiron’s powerful volley onto the crossbar in the 36th minute.
Almiron fired another golden opportunity over the bar five minutes into the second half as Newcastle made the most of having an extra player, and he hit the post in the 76th minute.
The introduction of Nunez proved a game-changer and he got the equaliser when Sven Botman fluffed his lines, allowing Nunez to rifle the ball across Nick Pope and in at the far post.
With the game heading for a draw, Nunez struck again three minutes into stoppage time with an almost identical second to leave the home fans crestfallen as the visitors, led by coach Klopp, celebrated wildly on the pitch.
“I feel very happy for the team to be able to help them,” a beaming Nunez told Sky Sports, with keeper Alisson acting as his translator.
“After we went a man down, the team played really well. We work really hard for these moments, and I am happy to score the two goals to help the team,” he added.
Reporting by Philip O’Connor
Editing by Toby Davis
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