Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could not hide his delight with Fabio Carvalho’s last-gasp winner against Newcastle United on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old came off the bench to fire in a 98th-minute goal to give the Reds a 2-1 win at Anfield, as they came from behind having conceded to Newcastle debutant Alexander Isak in the first half.
Roberto Firmino equalised after the break before Carvalho’s late winner as he slammed in a loose ball off the crossbar following a corner.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Klopp conceded his team had not been at their best as the visitors tried to stifle them, with Liverpool having just five shots in the first half.
“During the game we should have played more football,” he said. “We told the boys in the first half, always when we played football it looked really good, we were dangerous, that was fine.
“Newcastle did really well how they put us under pressure; they had to invest a lot and I think we could see it was really a lot in the last 20, 25 minutes when they started struggling a little bit with the intensity. But we should have done better.
“So we scored the equaliser and then it was just a difficult game to play because we didn’t play a lot. All of your colleagues asked me now about it, that’s why I mention it, everybody asked me about it – it was just interrupted constantly for some reason and that doesn’t give you the momentum. There was no chance to gain any kind of momentum.
“In the end, I was really happy in the moment when we got this last corner in the 98th minute. What Mo [Salah] and Fabio made then of it was obviously absolutely outstanding, a wonderful goal. A perfect moment; that we scored it after 98 minutes, I thought, is the perfect response to everything that happened during the game.”
Carvalho joined Liverpool at the end of last season from Fulham and the goal came just four days after his first strike for the club in the 9-0 hammering of Bournemouth, and a day after his 20th birthday.
“He scored now twice in the last two games,” Klopp added. “Yesterday, birthday. So it’s probably a better week.
“He is an outstanding player, wonderful talent, very mature in a lot of departments already. So I’m really happy for him. Harvey [Elliott] was the best player on the pitch and Fabio decides the game. That says a lot about the talent of the boys.”
The German coach did not have everything to smile about though as he revealed his captain, Jordan Henderson, went off with a hamstring injury.
Liverpool are already without Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita from their options in midfield, while Curtis Jones was named on the bench for the first time this season, though was not brought on after only just coming back from injury himself.
Klopp had previously indicated he wanted to sign a midfielder before the end of the transfer window, which closes on Thursday, but seemed pessimistic about doing so in spite of losing Henderson to injury.
“I don’t think so,” he said when asked about making a signing on Thursday. “But as long as there is time we should not close the door completely.
“Obviously Hendo is injured, he got a hamstring [injury], which is absolutely not helpful.
“[It was] that serious that he couldn’t carry on, so it was no tactical change [when he was substituted for Carvalho].”
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