[Newcastle 1 – 2 Liverpool].

I find myself so flabbergasted that I am struggling to write this column. How to describe what we just witnessed? How to express the sense of utter astonishment and disbelief? This will likely come as too strong of a statement, but I will make it anyway: this comeback, with ten men, after losing our captain and defensive anchor in the 28th minute, being a goal down off a downright atrocious error by our vice-captain that compounded a stupid one that almost got him sent off, too… it was so remarkable that I find it right up there with the big ones. Like that impossible Barca comeback that ultimately named this column. Newcastle is a serious team these days, if still a bit naive.

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That naivete cost them big time today.

There is no way Darwin Nunez doesn’t get man-of-the-match, which I was all set to hand to Joel Matip before our chaos agent came on the pitch. Matip was primarily responsible for the Toons’ failure to run up the score – with Alisson providing what surely will be a contender for save of the season. The expected goal (xG) on that save must have been around two out of one. But sometimes, it’s the, uhh, impact sub that changes games, and boy, did Nunez deliver in that regard.

Those two strikes were each absolutely fabulous. This is what he was brought in for, what Klopp saw when he convinced the club to shell a record transfer fee for the Uruguayan. Are we finally witnessing the arrival of Nunez? Is the system finally going to suit him better? Remember the two years when Torres was unstoppable? It seems to be pointing that way, as the new midfield setup seems more inclined to provide Nunez with the kind of opportunities where he can shine. We’ve seen plenty of misses in these moments, from many strikers all over the world. But Nunez came off the bench and finished not just one, but both. The finishes had to be emphatic, clinical, powerful and pinpoint accurate. Most importantly, each one was timed perfectly to catch Pope in two minds, and in those tiny moments of hesitation – BLAM! KAPOW! – and it was all over.

On TV, they look easy. In real life, these were works of art.

He was this close to a hat-trick, too, when the Toons were losing their heads.

I’ll fully admit that I had lost hope after the red card, fully prepared to see us conceding two or three more. With Konate out and the midfield still not fully sorted, we started the game with Endo – I feel for him, as this was not the ideal game to have his first start, and while he didn’t shine, he did fine – and ended with Quansah’s first premier league appearance. He also did fine, and even nipped one potentially dangerous opportunity in the bud. But what a scary place and circumstances to play your first premier league minutes. St. James’ Park is a noisy, difficult place to visit, and the way this tricky match unfolded in the first thirty minutes, you couldn’t dream up a more difficult way for Liverpool to start off.

Coming back this way was beyond impressive, but there is surely still a big concern for Klopp, seeing as both his captain and vice captain seem to have lost their heads. It also looks like the league is actively urging referees to issue a lot more red cards for borderline situations (I’ll avoid adding “… for certain teams, anyway”). But that’s his problem to solve, not ours. We get to enjoy the elation of another legendary, nigh impossible comeback from our Reds and love them a bit more.

The heart is where the heart is, or something.

Oh, and in a small personal win, I managed to avoid all the Darwin evolution jokes.

What would I do without those Sunday ‘toons?

Another Monday of looking for answers as we look at the recent struggles but put all of it in perspective as we talk about the 35th anniversary and what it means to us
  1. The Drought
  2. Let's Stare At The Eclipse
  3. Generational Dutch Oven
  4. Build-A-Manager
  5. Patreon Days
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