Jurgen Klopp has sensationally declared that his side’s late 2-1 win over Newcastle United was “much more difficult” than their 4-3 comeback against Barcelona in the Champions League in 2019.
Liverpool’s season has started off, largely, on the right foot. In the three games they’ve played so far, they’ve won twice and drawn once – but have had two men sent off – with the draw coming in their opening game against Chelsea.
They then beat Bournemouth 3-1, but looked to be heading for defeat against Newcastle United the following match. Indeed, the Magpies opened the scoring and held their 1-0 lead until the 81st minute, when Darwin Nunez – introduced minutes earlier – hammered past Nick Pope.
In the third minute of added time, Nunez was slotted through by Mohamed Salah, and rifled past Pope for a second time to complete a stunning turnaround, with the game finishing at 2-1.
In recent history, the Reds have completed some fantastic turnarounds, most famously coming back from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate in the Champions League semi-final in 2019.
Klopp has sensationally declared this win eclipsed that historic comeback in terms of difficulty.
“It was much more difficult than the Barcelona game. Today was different,” he told Sky Sports.
“We didn’t start the game well, we conceded a goal and got a red card. Then we played better. At half-time the feeling was there that something was possible. Nunez with a super performance.
“I don’t think we needed too much luck. We calmed the game down and brought on Darwin, he was obviously fired up from not starting. We had really good football moments. It was a super mature performance.”
Nunez was obviously the hero, having bagged both Liverpool’s goals, and Klopp felt his star was not happy with not starting, but the amount of talent in the forward ranks makes it hard to fit everyone in, and Nunez made his short stint on the pitch count.
“It’s clear he’s not happy. It’s early in the season, we need to find stability and results. He will play, there’s no doubt about that. We need everyone. We need to find a way of playing,” Klopp added.
“This is a new team with new key players. It needs time. He scores two goals and can’t get the smile off his face. For the team, it was super important. You need these things together. You cannot force it. I enjoyed that in the last second.”