NEWCASTLE: Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool’s comeback down to 10 men at Newcastle was his best ever win as a manager – a dramatic encounter he has never experienced.
Darwin Nunez scored two late goals after coming on as a substitute for Liverpool, who lost Virgil Van Dijk in the first half for a foul on Alexander Isak and missed a late strike from former Everton man Anthony Gordon.
Klopp, who had appeared dissatisfied with the referee’s decision throughout the game, said it was his best win in two decades in charge.
“He was more difficult than the Barcelona game (Liverpool came back from losing 3-0 in the first match back). In 1,000 games as a coach, I’ve never had a game like this.
“With 10 players in this atmosphere and an opponent like this, I’m sure it never happens. These moments are rare and very special.
“At the break I told the players that at the moment maybe it’s something we can tell our grandchildren about. We can’t concede a second goal, Trent (Alexander-Arnold) can’t get a second yellow card – and we’ll have opportunity,” said Klopp.
According to Klopp, scorer of the winning goal, Nunez was eager for action after not starting the game and used this opportunity to prove his worth.
“He’s not happy but you can’t have more than 11 players playing all the time, so you need stability. Players are not happy. We need to invent a new way of playing football and Darwin can be a big milestone for him,” he said.
Klopp was also furious with the referee’s decision to send a red card to Van Dijk. The German controller said the defender’s mistake was too light.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe was disappointed his side lost to an opponent playing with 10 men.
“It’s the same as last year’s game at Anfield (defeat at the end). I think the boys did well, good start.
“The second goal (for Newcastle) would have changed everything and we didn’t get it. If Nunez came on they were looking for one goal and got two,” said Howe.