Newcastle United match winner Georginio Wijnaldum felt his team-mates could be proud of Sunday’s battling display that secured a much-needed 2-0 Premier League win over Liverpool.
Steve McClaren’s team suffered a humbling 5-1 loss at Crystal Palace last weekend and faced the daunting prospects of taking on a Liverpool side rejuvenated under Jurgen Klopp and buoyed by seven wins from their previous eight outings in all competitions.
But the visitors struggled for their usual fluency and Newcastle had the breakthrough when Wijnaldum’s 69th-minute shot took a decisive deflection off Martin Skrtel.
Liverpool full-back Alberto Moreno had a sublime volley wrongly ruled out for offside before Wijnaldum capped a fluid counter-attack to seal the points in stoppage time.
“It’s a really big result because, of course, we have a few difficult weeks behind us,” he told Sky Sports. “We had to react from the last game because the performance was not so good.
“We trained hard together and kept faith in each other.
“It is difficult to win the games but if you give all you have you can be proud. Today we fought to win this game and we were lucky that we won.
“It was difficult for Liverpool to create chances. We learned from the last two weeks where the performance was not good.
“When you play at home you want the fans behind you and you must give them something back.”
Wijnaldum now has seven goals in an impressive debut season at Newcastle since joining from PSV, with Sunday’s opener being officially credited as a Skrtel own goal.
“Sometimes you need luck to score,” he said.
“Someone touched the ball and it goes in – at that moment you are happy because you work hard and we’ve trained hard to get the result.”
Although he conceded to some fortune, the Netherlands international was not willing to agree with the official verdict.
“I don’t think so, he touched it but I think it’s my goal,” a smiling Wijnaldum added.