EPL

Van Dijk senses turning point for Liverpool with Newcastle win

By Sports Desk February 18, 2023

Virgil van Dijk suggested Liverpool's win over Newcastle United could mark a turning point in the Reds' season.

The Magpies had not lost a Premier League game at St James' Park since April last year – coincidentally also against Liverpool – but came unstuck on Saturday.

Darwin Nunez's clinical strike and Cody Gakpo's close-range finish had Liverpool 2-0 up early on, and Nick Pope's red card for handling the ball outside his area in the 22nd minute seemingly doomed Newcastle.

Eddie Howe's side put up a good fight and hit the crossbar twice, but Liverpool did enough to take the points as they completed a double over their hosts.

Liverpool's win followed on from Monday's Merseyside derby victory over Everton and means they will be just three points behind fourth-placed Newcastle if they win their game in hand next weekend.

Asked if it was a significant result for the Reds, Van Dijk told Sky Sports: "Let's hope so.

"We have had results in the season already where we felt like now is the time to kick on, but this feels a little bit different.

"I think coming away from the big win against Everton, it was important for us to keep going, find a way to win, show your intensity, particularly in the beginning.

"The red card changed the game a little bit for them, also for us, and we could've done better.

"But to win here…there's a reason we are the only team so far this season that has beaten them [in the Premier League], so I'm very proud of the boys."

Trent Alexander-Arnold concurred with his team-mate, the right-back adamant Liverpool needed to follow up the derby victory with another positive result if beating Everton was to mean anything.

"It's massive for us. This was a big one," the England international added.

"We got our win against Everton, I think that was massive as well, but it wouldn't have meant anything if we'd not come here and backed it up with another win.

"That's what we came to do. They're a tough side to beat, very tough, but we picked them apart with two good goals, then obviously the red card settles the game down for us, makes it even harder for them.

"It was tough, it's a tough place to come, not many teams win here, so we are delighted to take the three points home."

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