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Ten-man Liverpool rescued a late victory over Newcastle United at St. James' Park on Sunday, where they won 2-1 thanks to a brace from Darwin Nunez. The hosts took the lead in the 25th minute when Anthony Gordon picked up the ball following a giveaway from Trent Alexander-Arnold, and then things went from bad to worse for Liverpool when Virgil van Dijk was sent off for denial of a goalscoring opportunity in the following minute.

Newcastle's dominance gave way to a nervous second-half performance that saw the hosts eventually concede twice in the last 10 minutes. Nunez scored from an angle in the 81st minute, just four minutes after he came on, and then clinched a game-winner in the third minute of stoppage time with another fine hit from a similar position. 

There was plenty of food for thought for both teams following the dramatic result and room for improvement as both aim for top-four finishes this season.

Here are three takeaways from the match:

Nunez bails out inconsistent attack

Liverpool's lineups have been attack-heavy this season with the match against Newcastle being no different -- Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz all started on Sunday, as did attack-minded midfielders Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai. Despite the promise that such a group brings, Liverpool struggled going forward for much of the game. The team registered nine shots on target in total, four of which were on target, and an expected goals tally of just 0.84 through the 90-minute performance.

Nunez, though, was able to do what his colleagues did not in just a 13 minute cameo. He took just nine touches and two shots, both of which went in the back of the net. It nearly replicated his showing against Chelsea, when he came on late and nearly found a game-winning goal on the opening day of the season. That match, though, eventually finished 1-1.

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The Uruguay international is making a case that he deserves a larger role in the team after coming off the bench in all three games so far this season, but it is not the only question surrounding Jurgen Klopp as it pertains to Liverpool's attack. The offensive effort faded quickly against Chelsea with similar personnel in the lineup despite scoring first, which may require personnel and tactical fixes if the Reds aim to rebound from last season's fifth-place finish.

Mismanagement from Newcastle

Nunez's heroics may take a lot of attention off Newcastle's performance, but Eddie Howe's side completely squandered the chance to pick up an impressive early-season win on Sunday. The hosts were up a goal and a man after van Dijk's 26th-minute red card until Nunez scored in the 81st minute and completed the capitulation in the third minute of stoppage time.

Newcastle did well to take the lead against Liverpool in the first half when Gordon gave the hosts the lead. They had eight shots, four of which were on target, and 54% of possession and were poised to maintain that advantage if they picked up where they left off in the second half. Instead, they took their foot off the gas and did little with the opportunities they had.

They had even more of the ball -- 60% -- and racked up 15 shots, but just four were on target. Newcastle seemed uncomfortable with the ball, which allowed Liverpool a chance to get back into the game despite their obvious deficits. This is a worrying habit for a team that is trying to prove that last season's top-four finish was more than just down to an injection of cash from their new owners.

Liverpool's defensive woes

Klopp will not only be faced with questions about Liverpool's attack ahead of next week's clash against Aston Villa. Van Dijk's red card means the team will be without the center back for the next game and will likely miss Ibrahim Konate again after he picked up a muscle injury before the Newcastle game.

Joe Gomez came in for Diaz soon after van Dijk's red card and is the leading contender to start against Villa, while Joel Matip took Konate's place against Newcastle and could do so again next week. The 20-year-old Jarrell Quansah is also an option after he came on for Matip in the 77th minute on Sunday.

Though Klopp has contenders in both center back positions, the conundrum is quite the contrast from his attacking quandaries. He is spoiled for choice up top and is expected to find a combination that works for the team sooner rather than later, but van Dijk and Konate are clearly the first choices in their positions. The question for Liverpool's center back pairing next week is if they can step up to the challenge, especially as the Reds look for their first clean sheet of the season.