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Van Dijk senses a turning point for Liverpool with Newcastle win



Virgil van Dijk has suggested Liverpool’s victory over Newcastle United could mark a turning point in the Reds’ season.

The Magpies hadn’t lost a Premier League game at St James’ Park since April last year – including, coincidentally, against Liverpool – but found themselves cornered on Saturday.

Darwin Nunez’s precision strike and Cody Gakpo’s close-range finish gave Liverpool an early 2-0 lead and Nick Pope’s red card for playing the ball outside their penalty area in the 22nd minute seemed destined for Newcastle.

Eddie Howe’s side fought hard, hitting the bar twice, but Liverpool did enough to take the points as they netted a brace against their hosts.

Liverpool’s victory follows Monday’s victory in the Merseyside derby against Everton and means they will be just three points behind fourth-placed Newcastle if they win their game next weekend. Asked if this was a meaningful result for the Reds, Van Dijk told Sky Sports: “Let’s hope so.

“We’ve already had results in the season where we felt it was time to move on, but it feels a bit different.

“I think after the big win against Everton it was important for us to keep going, to find a way to win and above all to show our intensity at the start.

“The red card changed the game a bit for them, for us too and we could have done better.

“But to win here… there’s a reason we’re the only team to beat them [in the Premier League] so far this season, so I’m very proud of the guys.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold agreed with his team-mate that the relentless Liverpool right-back needed another positive result to follow up the derby win if victory over Everton was to mean anything. “It’s huge for us. It was important,” added the England international.

“We got our win against Everton, I think that was huge too, but it wouldn’t have meant anything if we hadn’t come here and backed it up with another win.

“That’s what we came to do. They’re a tough team to beat, very tough, but we left them with two good goals, and then the red card obviously ends the game for us, it makes things even more difficult for them.” . “It was tough, it’s a tough pitch to come here, not many teams win here, so we’re happy to get the three points.”

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