Gary Neville heaped praise on Darwin Nunez after the Uruguayan came off the bench to score two goals and rescue 10-men Liverpool a dramatic victory against Newcastle.
The Reds rallied after initially going behind to Anthony Gordon’s first-half strike as Nunez fired in two late goals to stun St James’ Park.
The Liverpool striker struck in the 81st minute to pull the visitors level before firing in a stoppage time winner that gave them a surprising three points on the road against the odds.
Commentating on Sky Sports, Neville insisted Nunez had finally ‘arrived’ for Liverpool after his goals turned the match on its head.
‘Absolutely incredible moment in this match. You can imagine the scenes in the top of that match. Down to ten men and looking dead Liverpool and that man Nunez.
Gary Neville has heaped praise on Darwin Nunez (pictured) after inspiring Liverpool to a comeback victory against Newcastle
Nunez (left) scored two quick-fire goals to complete Liverpool’s comeback against Newcastle
‘Well, I’ll be heading back north because I wont be stopping at the services on the way back that’s for sure,’ said Neville.
‘It’s a brilliant pass from Mo Salah. The left centre back and the centre back get disconnected again and Darwin Nunez he’s been prone to snatch at his chances but not today a huge huge moment in that man’s Liverpool career.
‘They looked all over the place in that first half but they were patient, they waited they stayed in the game and they waited for that man. [Nunez] They’ve been waiting for him for 12 months and he’s just arrived.’
Nunez had to wait until the 77th minute to make his introduction after Jurgen Klopp decided to start with an attack consisting of Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz.
He struggled to get the ball out of his feet when an opening opportunity presented itself, but improved and showed his quality to fire Liverpool level.
The 24-year-old capitalised on an error from Newcastle defender Sven Botman to score his first of the afternoon with a brilliant finish across goal against Nick Pope.
The 24-year-old (right) celebrated emphatically after scoring the winning goal on Sunday
Nunez (right) finished his chances brilliantly to give Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope (left) no chance
Neville (pictured) celebrated Nunez’s success in coming through a difficult period
Nunez then made no mistake in stoppage time after being played through by Salah to seal victory with a similar strike.
Neville further celebrated Nunez’s attitude from coming through a difficult spell on the bench by signalling his importance to Klopp.
‘Nunez has been going through the misery of the last few weeks of having four other players in front of him. Jota, Gakpo, Salah , Diaz,’ said Neville.
‘He eventually gets on the pitch and you wonder whether he misses that first touch whether it’s the same old story. Something’s just changed for him there and that will do him the world of good.
”Absolutely incredible and there will be one Liverpool man more delighted than any one else and that will be Virgil Van Dijk in the dressing room. Jurgen Klopp and Darwin Nunez,’ he added.
‘It’s been tough for him. Huge price tag. Huge expectation. Compared to Erling Haaland and it just hasn’t happened for him. Well today it has.
‘He had that chance through on goal where his touch wasn’t quite right. But two after it. He’s given Jurgen Klopp an amazing victory against an excellent Newcastle team,’ said Neville.
Nunez, speaking through an interpreter in the form of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, explained after the match that he has had to work ‘really hard’ for these moments.
‘He says he’s very happy. He says the team did a really good job when we were one less player on the pitch.
‘Virgil got the red card and we work really hard for these kind of moments and he said that mainly that he is very happy to come in to help the team with two goals. It was a great performance from the team and he’s really happy.’