Newcastle United threw away a 1-0 lead against 10-man Liverpool and there was certainly no love lost between Jurgen Klopp and Magpies assistant Jason Tindall.

How did Newcastle United lose this? Not only were the hosts 1-0 up following Anthony Gordon’s well-taken opener – the Magpies also had a man advantage for more than an hour against Liverpool. Such was the visitors’ frustration, an irate Jurgen Klopp had vented at Newcastle assistant Jason Tindall long before Virgil van Dijk was sent off at St James’ Park.

Tindall duly shushed Klopp in a gesture that quickly went viral. However, by the closing stages of this wild contest, it was the Liverpool boss who was smiling after substitute Darwin Nunez’s double late on. This was not the first time there were some choice words between both benches. It certainly won’t be the last.

“That’s always there – regardless of the opposition,” Eddie Howe told reporters after his side’s 2-1 defeat. “There’s always that fight for points between everybody.”

In truth, Newcastle only had themselves to blame for not going home with any points whatsoever after Howe’s side failed to press home a man advantage and missed a host of chances to kill Liverpool off. While Miguel Almiron was denied by a superb save by Alisson in the first half, and the post in the second, Newcastle were also wasteful late on when Harvey Barnes had an opening to make it 2-0 but elected to take it on himself rather than square it to fellow substitute Callum Wilson.

These are the fine margins at this level. Newcastle, who had 60% possession, 23 shots and twice as many efforts on target than Liverpool, should have put this game out of sight. Yet, the longer the game went on, the nervier Newcastle got.

Although this was only the first time since March that Newcastle had suffered back-to-back defeats, against treble winners Man City and a Liverpool side unbeaten in 14 games, the black-and-whites have to be more ruthless and be ‘more positive and direct’ in the words of Howe when ahead. As goal scorer Anthony Gordon told NUFC TV: “We just weren’t clinical enough and that’s what is going to separate us from the top teams.”

Gordon was among those who made way in the 72nd minute when Newcastle were 1-0 up after Howe turned to his bench, recognising that the momentum of the game was swinging Liverpool’s way. Howe positively affected the match with his substitutions against Aston Villa earlier this month, but a triple change did not have the desired effect this time around after Gordon and Sandro Tonali were taken off alongside Alexander Isak. Liverpool’s substitutes, in contrast, soon made their mark and it was Nunez who popped up with a quickfire double late on to turn the game on its head and stun St James’ into silence as Liverpool so often have.

This will now go down as the latest installment in a series of painful defeats for Newcastle against Liverpool and the Magpies’ wait for victory, somehow, goes on. In fact, the last time Newcastle triumphed, in December, 2015, Steve McClaren was in charge of the Magpies; Jack Colback was playing in the middle of the park with Vurnon Anita; and Lewis Hall was an 11-year-old supporter watching on from afar. It’s been a while, all right.

Howe has certainly found Liverpool a tough nut to crack; the Reds remain the only traditional big hitter the Newcastle boss has yet to take a point off since taking charge of the black-and-whites. In fact, more than half of Howe’s league defeats at St James’ have come against Liverpool.


Newcastle will have to regroup quickly and one of the secrets of this group’s success is how they have not got too high in the good moments or too low in the bad. While Howe may yet to be forced into changes for Saturday’s trip to Brighton, after Sven Botman hobbled off with an ankle injury late on, Anthony Gordon will surely keep his place after his most impressive outing yet for the club.

Gordon was electric from the off and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who had already been booked, was relieved to still be on the pitch after pulling the winger back in the seventh minute right in front of the bench. The atmosphere inside the stadium changed in an instant as referee John Brooks’ decision not to brandish a red was roundly booed.

This tense game appeared to be on a knife edge until Alexander-Arnold presented Newcastle with a gift in the 25th minute and uncharacteristically allowed Mo Salah’s pass back to him to roll under his feet. The alert Gordon pounced, raced through on goal and coolly finished through Alisson’s legs to take the roof off St James’. It was the kind of chance Gordon would have spurned in black and white last season, but the winger expertly slowed the game down and picked his spot.

It was about to get even better for the hosts. Rather than being content with a 1-0 lead, Newcastle poured forward again and Gordon threaded a ball through to Alexander Isak. However, Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk tripped Isak just as the Magpies’ record signing was about to latch onto the ball and have a clear sight of goal. The defender was duly sent off.

Newcastle’s tails were up and only a superb save from Alisson prevented Miguel Almiron from doubling the hosts’ advantage with a well-struck volley in the 36th minute as 10-man Liverpool hung on. However, crucially, Newcastle did not kill Liverpool off after the break and failed to make that man advantage truly count.


There was still only a goal in it and the game became nervy for Newcastle the longer that was the case. In fact, only a fantastic block from Sven Botman prevented Mo Salah from surely equalising just as the Liverpool star was about to pull the trigger from inside the area midway through the second half.


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