Fábio Carvalho strikes at death to give Liverpool dramatic win over Newcastle | Premier League

Newcastle have come a long way fast under Saudi ownership but cannot escape the feeling of last-minute despair at Anfield. To Stan Collymore in 1996 and Robbie Fowler in 1997, they can add Fábio Carvalho 2022 to the list of Liverpool tormentors. Eddie Howe will find solace in the performance once the pain eventually subsides.

Five minutes of stoppage time were signalled at the end of an engrossing, fractious affair at Anfield. Liverpool’s young substitute Carvalho, who turned 20 on Tuesday, extended his birthday celebrations with the winner in the 98th minute. Additional time was added to the additional time due to treatment to Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope and time-wasting from his teammates.

Liverpool thought it poetic justice that victory should arrive with the final kick of a frequently interrupted game but that did not excuse the reaction of those in both dugouts. Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg made a bee-line for the Newcastle bench after objects – water bottles perhaps – appeared to have been thrown by the visitors’ backroom staff.

Howe’s team got under Liverpool’s skin throughout, with new record signing Alexander Isak scoring a superb opener on his debut, but through sheer persistence, will-power and excellence in front of goal Jürgen Klopp’s side prevailed at the last. Liverpool will hope the manner of victory launches their season. Newcastle will hope the nature of their first defeat does not define theirs.

With Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Bruno Guimarães all injured, and the Home Office clearing his work permit hours before kick-off, Isak went straight into Newcastle’s starting line-up after his £63m transfer from Real Sociedad. Alan Shearer was in the directors’ box to witness the centre-forward’s debut and must have appreciated the emphatic, clinical way that the Sweden international launched his Newcastle career.

Isak’s first sight of goal came when he received Joe Willock’s pass on a counterattack, cut inside Joe Gomez and sliced wide from 20 yards. The striker, tireless in his running, needed to be patient for his next opportunity. He made the first repayment on the record fee when it came.

Liverpool were careless in the first half, resorting to hit-and-hope punts too often and regularly opened up by Newcastle’s intelligent play. The breakthrough was a prime example. Trent Alexander-Arnold conceded possession with a mis-hit cross-field pass straight to Willock. Miguel Almirón and Kieran Trippier took over and when the full-back crossed low along the face of the penalty area Jordan Henderson’s attempted intercept found Sean Longstaff. The midfielder pierced Liverpool’s defence with an inch-perfect ball into Isak, who swept a blistering shot over the advancing Alisson and into the roof of the net.

Alexander Isak celebrates with Joe Willock (right) after scoring on his debut.
Alexander Isak celebrates with Joe Willock (right) after scoring on his debut. Photograph: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United/Getty Images

Klopp cut an increasingly irate, wild figure on the sideline. Referee Andre Marriner’s perceived leniency, the tendency of Newcastle’s players to stay down for treatment and the Liverpool performance could all have been responsible. He was in the face of fourth official David Coote at one point and extremely fortunate not to receive a yellow card.

Isak thought he had doubled Newcastle’s lead early in the second half. His “second” goal in black and white would have been superior to the first had it stood. Released down the left by Ryan Fraser as the visitors caught Liverpool on the break, the striker sauntered into the area where he cut inside Andy Robertson’s lunge, sold Gomez another dummy and beat Alisson with a thunderous shot once again. The assistant referee’s offside call was confirmed by VAR, however, and Newcastle celebrations were silenced.

Anfield was growing increasingly restless as Howe’s resolute team contained Liverpool with some comfort. The hosts did not have a shot on target until Harvey Elliott tested Pope on the hour. That came in the midst of a more urgent, incisive spell from Klopp’s side, however, and moments later they levelled through a fine team goal.

Newcastle’s resistance was broken with 10 touches and in 12 seconds, the time it took from Alisson’s clearance at one end of the pitch to Roberto Firmino’s cool finish at the other. Henderson split the visitors’ midfield with a threaded pass to Elliott, who sent Mohamed Salah scampering into space against Matt Targett on the right. Salah rolled a perfect assist into the box for Firmino and the Brazil international swept his shot low into Pope’s far right-hand corner.

Liverpool dominated the closing stages as Newcastle visibly tired. The final act saw Gomez win a header from a corner, Longstaff and Willock fail to clear under pressure from Salah and Carvalho sweep a loose ball into the roof of Pope’s net. Pandemonium ensued. Yet again.

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