Just when it looked like Liverpool's title dreams would be destroyed, the Reds got a late victory to beat Newcastle 3-2 on Saturday to move back into first place in the Premier League. In an intense match that saw the team blow two leads and, it was a late winner from Divock Origi that pushed the team two points clear atop the table, shifting the pressure back on Manchester City, who plays Leicester City on Monday.
Here's what to know and see:
Liverpool was already without Roberto Firmino for this match, yet things started off well. Virgil Van Dijk scored 13 minutes in with a header, and despite Christian Atsu drawing level seven minutes later, the Reds were able to enter halftime up 2-1 on this goal from Salah. Check out Trent Alexander-Arnold's fine cross into the box, with Salah taking a skillful touch to put it away:
The second half is where things got crazy. First there was the equalizer from Salomon Rondon, who rifled home from inside the box 54 minutes in to make it 2-2. That's where the pressure was its heaviest on Liverpool as the club faced pretty much crashing out of the title race with anything other than a victory.
The team pushed and pushed for the equalizer, and things took a turn for the worst 68 minutes in when Salahwith a head injury. That's when Origi came on, and something quite extraordinary happened.
In the 86th minute, with a free kick setting up a big chance, Van Dijk ordered Xherdan Shaqiri to take the free kick instead of Alexander-Arnold. That's because the Swiss lefty's ball would be a bit more challenging as an in-swinger than Alexander-Arnold's, and it worked out. The ball found the head of Origi for the winning goal:
And despite eight minutes of added time, Liverpool hung on.
⚽ Liverpool - Van Dijk (13')
⚽ Newcastle - Atsu (20')
⚽ Liverpool - Salah (28')
⚽ Newcastle - Rondon (54')
⚽ Liverpool - Origi (86')
It was the late set piece, for sure. It's the winning goal that keeps this team in the title race with one game to go. It was at the perfect time and gave Liverpool a fighting chance for the title when things looked grim.
Player of the game
Van Dijk, and it's an easy choice. He opened the scoring, was brilliant in defense and was the leader late that ordered Shaqiri to take the free kick to set up the winning goal. The world's best defender at the moment.
The most telling statistic
Liverpool had its 22nd set-piece goal this season. As ESPNFC's Tom Marshall points out, that's more goals than Huddersfield had all season (20) in total.
Key coaching decision
It's a challenge to pinpoint just one. Jurgen Klopp was forced into putting Origi on, so to say he is a genius for that just isn't right because it's an obvious move to make. If anything, it was bringing James Milner on late to add his quality on the ball and leadership. Milner didn't have a fantastic performance, but he added stability in the final moments.
What the result means
Liverpool returns to the top of the table and will enter the last day of the season in first place if Manchester City fails to win on Monday.
Liverpool plays Wolves next Sunday at 10 a.m. ET. You can watch that game on fuboTV (Try for free).