Fabio Carvalho scored the game-winner in the 98th minute on the last kick of the game, off of a corner kick from Mohamed Salah, as Liverpool shocked Newcastle United 2-1 at the death Wednesday night at Anfield. With the match tied at 1-1, the fourth official had only allowed for 5 minutes of stoppage time to go up on the board, but time-wasting tactics by the Magpies kept the center referee from blowing his whistle. As Newcastle asked for the referee to blow for full time, Salah was awarded a corner kick. The cross pinballed off a few players in the box before falling to Carvalho, and the substitute put the ball in the back of the net sending Anfield into elation.
In the first two minutes of the match, Liverpool made a run into the attacking third. Luis Diaz's shot was blocked, however. That was a harbinger of things to come as the Reds continued to dominate possession in the first 10 minutes. A strong challenge by the Magpies in the 11th minute led to a counterattack, but the resulting shot from Alexander Isak was high. Ryan Fraser also put a shot wide in the 18th minute, but the chance proved that the visitors were going to provide a tough test.
Liverpool earned a corner in the 22nd and 25th minutes, but both chances were cleared to leave the match scoreless. Allison Becker came up with the first save of the contest when Kieran Trippier put a shot on frame from a free kick, but the Liverpool goalie was up to the challenge. In the 34th minute, Diaz nearly put Liverpool in front as he appeared to be in front of an open net, but he was slightly off balance, causing him to put the shot high.
That miss proved to be costly as Isak continued his good play with a right-footed strike from the top of the box in the 38th minute to give Newcastle a 1-0 lead. They carried that advantage into the locker room in spite of a flurry of late corners from Liverpool.
Liverpool picked up where they left off in the first half, earning another corner in the 48th minute, but they could not score. Another failed corner from the Reds in the 53rd minute after an Andy Robertson shot appeared to lead to a second goal from Isak. The Swedish striker was whistled for offside. Liverpool put their first shot on the frame at the hour mark on a chance by Harvey Elliott, but the save was made. Roberto Firmino did not take long to equalize from that point as he sent home a shot thanks to an assist from Mohamed Salah to tie the match at 1-1 in the 61st minute.
Newcastle dropped back into a more defensive position, giving Liverpool plenty of chances in the game's latter stages. Diaz put a pair of shots on frame (79th and 81st minute). Firmino nearly put home a header in the 82nd minute, but Nick Pope made the save. Liverpool had several more chances before the match entered stoppage time, setting up Carvalho's heroics.
LFC Globe Verdict
There have been many magical moments at Anfield in its long and storied history, but I',m not sure you could find one more dramatic than Carvalho's winner in the 98th minute to rescue a massive 3 points for the Reds. Yes, Liverpool dominated possession, corner kicks, and nearly every other stat, but the only one that matters is the final scoreline. Newcastle are a tough side and are adept at earning draws and they nearly had their fourth of the campaign, so it's a crushing defeat for the away side. For Liverpool, it means they continue to climb the EPL table in an attempt to chase down the early season leaders, Arsenal.
Man of the Match and What's Next
Is there really any other choice for man of the match than Carvalho? Scoring a game-winning goal in the 98th minute is the stuff of legend and the young striker has endeared himself to Reds supporters worldwide. Liverpool now has to put the euphoria of this victory behind them as they face Everton on September 3rd. Kickoff is set for 12:30 BST.