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Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle: Fabio Carvalho’s late goal seals comeback win for 10-man Reds

Liverpool and Newcastle produced another dramatic night under the Anfield lights as Fabio Carvalho scored the winner with the last kick of the game. Despite trailing at half-time and having Virgil van Dijk sent off, the Reds fought back to claim a hard-earned victory. The result put them four points clear of Newcastle, who are also vying for a top-four spot.

Newcastle had invested heavily in the summer, signing ¬£60m striker Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad, who marked his debut with a goal to give Eddie Howe’s side the lead seven minutes before the break. The Swede had a second goal ruled out for offside before Liverpool mounted the comeback that ended with a familiar Anfield finale.

Liverpool were far from their best after Saturday’s 9-0 thrashing of Bournemouth but they kept up the pressure and were back on level terms just after the hour when Roberto Firmino sent a crisp finish beyond Nick Pope from Mohamed Salah’s pass.

And with only seconds left, substitute Carvalho pounced at the far post after Newcastle failed to clear a corner to give Jurgen Klopp a record-breaking 11th consecutive league victory over Eddie Howe.

Considering Newcastle’s spending and the fact that both teams are rivals for a Champions League place, it is likely that they will become bitter enemies in the Premier League in the coming years. Newcastle did not miss any opportunity to provoke their opponents, as assistant coach Tindall clashed with Klopp on the touchline and made a shushing gesture at him after Trent Alexander-Arnold escaped a second yellow card for fouling Anthony Gordon early on. However, Klopp and Liverpool had the last word with their strength on the pitch, as they showed resilience after playing with 10 men for two consecutive games.

Although they lost the game, Newcastle dominated Liverpool in terms of possession and shots. Even without taking into account their numerical advantage, they had 60% of the ball and 23 shots to Liverpool’s nine, relying on their physicality and quality in midfield. The same three-man midfield that looked more fluid than Liverpool’s.

Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle: Fabio Carvalho’s late goal seals comeback win for 10-man Reds

Klopp also saw the problem in his own midfield. In the 58th minute, he made his first substitution, replacing Wataru Endo with Harvey Elliott. The Japanese midfielder had only two tackles and one clearance, and no long passes. He could not provide the interceptions and one-on-one defense that Liverpool needed.

Endo was a product of Stuttgart’s academy in Germany, where he was known for his hard tackling and wide coverage. But at Liverpool, he played more like a deep-lying defender, staying behind the two center-backs and not joining the high press. This was not because Klopp was conservative, but because Endo’s ability was not suited for the Premier League. He tried to close down Isak once, but the striker easily dribbled past him with a change of pace.

This exposed a flaw in Germany’s soccer education system, which focuses more on team play than individual skills. This has its benefits, as players have good tactical awareness and can fit into any system. But it also has its drawbacks, as players’ personal abilities are often neglected. In recent years, many German midfielders have moved to the Premier League, but most of them have struggled with one-on-one defense: Xhaka is always late to tackle, Gundogan can’t play as a single pivot, Keita lacks defensive discipline‚Ķ

Focusing on team efficiency and ignoring individual technique seems to be Germany’s Achilles heel. When Douglas Costa joined Bayern Munich in 2015, he exposed all the Bundesliga’s full-backs with his dribbling skills. He was an exceptional player, but he also revealed Germany’s lack of technical quality. After reforming their coaching system, Germany produced the Weisweiler Academy, but their recent failures at international level show that tactics can’t make up for technique. In terms of developing individual skills, Germany is far behind other countries.

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