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Newcastle 2-3 Liverpool: 5 Talking Points

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
3.74K   //    05 May 2019, 12:20 IST

Divock Origi wheels away to celebrate his last-gasp effort, snatching all three points for Liverpool
Divock Origi wheels away to celebrate his last-gasp effort, snatching all three points for Liverpool

Divock Origi's 86th-minute header proved vital as Liverpool snatched a late away victory against a stubborn Newcastle side on Saturday evening. 

The win sees Jurgen Klopp's men return to top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester City's trip to Brighton on Monday night, with this season's title race set to go down to the wire after a dramatic finish at St. James' Park. 

Goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool a slender advantage at the break after Christian Atsu's controversial strike levelled the scoring 20 minutes in. Despite an excellent finish by Salomon Rondon to equalise once more ten minutes after the restart, Origi - a second-half substitute for the injured Salah - headed home from fellow sub Xherdan Shaqiri's free-kick, snatching all three points in a five-goal thriller.

With all of that in mind, here's a look at five talking points from the Reds' latest win in contentious fashion:


#5 Trent Alexander-Arnold, that handball and his match-defining reaction

Trent was lucky not to be sent off after a deliberate handball in the first half, before a defiant response
Trent was lucky not to be sent off after a deliberate handball in the first half, before a defiant response

It was an eventful performance and then some from Trent Alexander-Arnold, on his return after being dropped for their 3-0 Champions League defeat by Barcelona. Klopp opted for the more defensive-minded Joe Gomez, and although the selection didn't help them avoid a heavy deficit ahead of Tuesday's return leg on Merseyside, Trent responded with a memorable display - for many reasons.

He created two first-half assists, teeing up an unmarked Virgil van Dijk from a corner after 13 minutes before delivering an inviting cross for Salah to restore their slender advantage, though shouldn't have been on the pitch to create his second of the evening.

He deliberately handled the ball on the goalline, blocking Rondon's goalbound effort, only for the ball to fall for an alert Christian Atsu to slot home a close-range rebound. Fortunate to stay on the pitch, the fact Atsu scored moments after his handball was match-defining: if they hadn't equalised from that chance, he would have been rightly sent off for a deliberate handball and given away a penalty in the process - double jeopardy.

With the game moving as quickly as it was, Trent certainly got away with one and thus technically shouldn't have been on the pitch to produce his second assist. The match would have taken a completely different turn, had he been dismissed and Liverpool down to ten men, although in his post-match interview he said there was a foul on him in the build-up near the halfway line.

Instead, he recovered well and showed his class on both ends of the pitch - two assists equals Andy Robertson's 11 for the league season, while delivering six defensive interventions over the 90 minutes and displaying his excellent passing range to boot.

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