"Mentality Monsters" was on the lips of analysts and experts as they tried to break down the series of events that led to Liverpool FC doing the unthinkable, yet again, by coming from a goal down to defeat high-flying Newcastle United another defeat of the new campaign. To pile on the misery at Tyneside, the Reds were down to 10 men after skipper Virgil van Dijk was shown a straight red card for denying a clear goal-scoring chance to Alexander Isak, a decision which became one of the major talking points of the match.
Both teams started off brightly with Liverpool keeping things tight against a Newcastle team that secured Champions League football in the previous season.
The initial exchanges pitted Anthony Gordon of Newcastle against Trent Alexander-Arnold on that side of the pitch making it a mouth-watering duel for the fans. A push on the latter by Gordon was overlooked by the referee, who instead showed a soft yellow card to Trent for throwing the ball away, much to the groans of the travelling away fans.
Moments later, Trent was in all sorts of trouble as he appeared to put his arms across Gordon's face as the latter tried to wriggle free and have a run at the Liverpool goal. However, the referee John Brooks decided to keep his cards in his pocket this time, perhaps with the previous yellow card brandished to Alexander-Arnold in the back of his mind.
As a fresh looking Newcastle team tried to put the pressure on the Reds, a moment of madness from newly named Liverpool vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold saw Anthony Gordon make a dash and finish past Alisson on goal to put Newcastle 1-0 up.
Minutes later, things turned from bad to worse as Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk saw a straight red card for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Alexander Isak was through on goal when van Dijk challenged and got the ball, as evident in video footage of the incident. However, he was deemed to have fouled Isak, whom he touched before getting the ball. The VAR failed to overturn the onfield referee's decision which meant Liverpool were reduced to 10 men for the remaining part of the game.
In a reaction to the red card, Jurgun Klopp opted to take attacker Luis Diaz out of the game in exchange for a defender in Joe Gomez.
Liverpool had to play out of shape after going down a man and the advantage became evident as Newcastle piled on the pressure. However, despite several opportunities to put the game to bed with a second goal, Newcastle fluffed their lines repeatedly presenting Liverpool with the opportunity to get something from the game.
Jurgen Klopp brought on attackers Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez, which positively impacted the game, and suddenly Liverpool started to pile on the pressure on the opposition. Right after his introduction, Darwin Nunez got the opportunity from a defensive error of their own from Newcastle United. Through on goal in a flash, Nunez finished brilliantly past Nick Pope as the travelling away end erupted. Liverpool were level from being a man down.
Up until that point, even the ardent Liverpool faithful would have been happy with a draw and handing the "player of the match" to Alisson Becker whose numerous jaw-dropping saves kept the away team in the match, most notably from Miguel Almiron to keep Newcastle at bay.
However, Darwin Nunez had other plans altogether. The hunger in the Reds' marquee signing from the previous summer was on show as another well-timed pass from Mohamed Salah put him through on goal and Nunez finished again in a similar fashion to his first goal to send the away fans wild.
Nunez scored in the 81st minute and again deep into stoppage time leaving no chance for the opposition to come back. Newcastle were handed their second defeat of the season already by the mentality monsters.
After the match, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that he had never experienced anything like the 'super-special' 2-1 over Newcastle United at St James' Park.