Virgil van Dijk has suggested that Liverpool’s victory over Newcastle United could be the turning point of the Reds’ season.
The Magpies haven’t lost a Premier League game at St James’ Park since last April – coincidentally also against Liverpool – but failed on Saturday.
With a well-placed shot from Darwin Nunez and a close shot from Cody Gakpo, Liverpool took a 2-0 lead, and Nick Pope’s red card for possession outside his box in the 22nd minute seemed doomed to Newcastle.
Eddie Howe’s team put up a good fight and hit the crossbar twice, but Liverpool did just enough to score points with a brace over the hosts.
Liverpool’s win follows Monday’s Merseyside derby win over Everton and means they will be just three points behind fourth-placed Newcastle if they win their game in the reserves next weekend.
Asked if this was a significant result for the Reds, Van Dijk told Sky Sports: “Let’s hope so.
“We already had results in the season when we felt it was time to start, but now the feeling is a little different.
“I think after the big win against Everton it was important for us to keep going, to find a way to win, to show our intensity, especially in the beginning.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 18, 2023
“The red card changed the game a bit for them and also for us and we could have played better.
“But to win here… there is a reason we are the only team this season to have beaten them so far. [in the Premier League]so I’m very proud of the boys.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold agreed with his teammate: Liverpool’s adamant right-back needed to seal the derby win with another positive result if the victory over Everton was to mean anything.
“It is very important for us. It was a big event,” added the England international.
“We beat Everton, I think that was great too, but it wouldn’t mean anything if we didn’t come here and back it up with another win.
“This is what we came to do. They are hard to beat, very difficult, but we singled them out with two good goals and then obviously a red card calms the game for us, makes it even more difficult for them.
“It’s been tough, it’s not an easy place, not many teams win here, so we’re happy to take home three points.”