• And with only seconds left, substitute Carvalho pounced at the far post after Newcastle failed to clear a corner to give Jurgen Klopp’s side victory.
• “It’s massive,” said Klopp. “We will remember it for years and years. I’m not 100 per cent sure they all believed until the end but from now on we have to as we showed again it is possible.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Fabio Carvalho’s last-gasp winner against Newcastle at Anfield will be “remembered for years and years”.
The visitors’ new £60m striker Alexander Isak crowned an impressive debut with a goal to give Eddie Howe’s side the lead seven minutes before the break.
The signing from Real Sociedad, who only received visa clearance to play hours before kick-off, had a second ruled out for offside before Liverpool mounted the comeback that ended with a familiar Anfield finale.
Liverpool were never at their best after Saturday’s 9-0 thrashing of Bournemouth but they maintained the pressure and were back on level terms just after the hour when Roberto Firmino sent a crisp finish beyond Newcastle keeper Nick Pope from Mohammed Salah’s pass.
And with only seconds left, substitute Carvalho pounced at the far post after Newcastle failed to clear a corner to give Jurgen Klopp’s side victory.
“It’s massive,” said Klopp. “We will remember it for years and years. I’m not 100 per cent sure they all believed until the end but from now on we have to as we showed again it is possible.”
Liverpool have a long history of late Anfield winners and this was another one to add to the list as victory was snatched from a disappointing draw.
Klopp’s side struggled to mount any momentum in the face of Newcastle’s stubborn resistance, as well as what the Liverpool bench and Anfield regarded as blatant time-wasting tactics. That made it even more ironic that the winner came so late.
It was Carvalho, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Tuesday, who scored the headline-grabbing winner but it was another Liverpool youngster, Harvey Elliott, who took the fight to Newcastle as Anfield’s anxiety mounted.
The 19-year-old was always probing, demanding the ball, driving Liverpool forward when his more experienced and illustrious colleagues could not make an impact.
“Harvey Elliott was the best player on the pitch, without a shadow of a doubt,” added Klopp. “It was nice to see he picks up from where he was before the bad injury.”
Even Virgil van Dijk was not safe from Anfield’s ire when he played a couple of lazy long passes in the second half but all was well that ended well as Carvalho emerged from a scramble to fire home the winner.
It may only be five games into the season but it was enough for Klopp to bring out his trademark fist pumps in front of the Kop. However, it was not all perfect for Klopp as captain Jordan Henderson went off with a hamstring injury.
Newcastle’s attempts to halt Liverpool’s rhythm and momentum may have provoked fury from the Anfield crowd and Klopp — leading to some angry exchanges at the final whistle — but there was much in this performance to satisfy manager Howe.
He will rightly state it is not his job to send out a team to play in a manner that will please the opposing manager and supporters, and if this game had ended a few seconds earlier the satisfaction would have been all his.
Instead Howe, along with his backroom staff and players, were the picture of despair as Carvalho fired in the injury-time decider.
When the dust settles, however, Howe will be pleased with the manner in which his Newcastle team defended with such organisation and maturity in front of their excellent goalkeeper Pope.
And on first sight, Newcastle have added real quality up front in new striker Isak. The 22-year-old Swede showed pace, a tireless work-rate and serious threat, scoring one goal and showing real composure for what he thought was a second until the offside flag was raised.
Newcastle’s performance was even more creditable as it was delivered without talisman Allan Saint-Maximin, main creator Bruno Guimaraes and last season’s top scorer Callum Wilson.
The result was a disappointment for Howe but the performance will not be.
“That’s the pain of football,” said Howe. “That’s the horrible side of it when your team has given everything. It is a sickener for us but it is part of the game. We just didn’t deal with the corner."
“I thought we played well in the first half. Naturally, when you are 1-0 up here you are not going to be the dominant team and you are going to have to withstand pressure. It is difficult to defend against this team.”