In a gripping title race, Liverpool showed they are ready to push Manchester City right until the final seconds of this season with their spirited 3-2 win at Newcastle United, Reuters reports.
An 86th minute header from substitute Divock Origi secured the victory but in many ways it was also the willpower and guts of Juergen Klopp’s side that made sure of the three vital points.
The result leaves Liverpool with a two-point advantage over Manchester City but Pep Guardiola’s team have two games remaining, including Monday’s home match with Leicester City, while Liverpool have just one — their final game at home to Wolves.
No Premier League table has ever looked like this with a eight days of the season remaining — Liverpool have 94 points and City 92 — third place Tottenham are more than 20 points behind.
A Liverpool draw would have given City a margin for error in their final two games - and it is hard to imagine they would have let it slip with a trip to lowly Brighton on the final day.
But Liverpool were not going to let this season, during which they have been beaten just once in the league, end at St. James’ Park against the club’s former manager Rafa Benitez.
“What the boys did is unbelievable,” said Klopp, who appeared moved by what he had witnessed.
Enough had gone against Liverpool this week that a little deflation could have been forgiven.
Liverpool started without injured Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino and then in the second half lost their talismanic Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah, who was carried off on a stretcher after an aerial clash with Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka.
All this is coming after the 3-0 loss to Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final, first-leg on Wednesday.
But instead of doubts, in place of surrender, came an eighth Premier League win in a row that keeps Klopp’s side right in the race and puts the pressure back on City.
The night began in relatively routine fashion — Virgil Van
Dijk headed Liverpool in front in the 13th minute, after losing his marker and meeting Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner with a thundering header.
Seven minutes later though Newcastle drew level with Salomon Rondon’s shot cleared off the line by the hand of Alexander-Arnold but before the referee had time to award a penalty — and surely punish the defender — Christian Atsu fired home the loose ball.
Newcastle were now full of belief and energy and when the lively Ayoze Perez rattled the Liverpool bar with a fierce drive, the momentum seemed to have shifted.