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Loris Karius set for dramatic return the big-time after Liverpool win at Newcastle

Nick Pope’s Wembley dream went up in smoke as Liverpool put themselves back into the race for the top four with a 2-0 win at Newcastle.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Darwin Nunez of Liverpool scores the team's first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park on February 18, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Former Liverpool keeper Loris Karius looks set to be handed a chance to redeem himself on a huge stage as he looks set to star for Newcastle in next weekend’s Carabao Cup Final against Manchester United.

Nick Pope’s Wembley dream went up in smoke as Liverpool put themselves back into the race for the top four with a 2-0 win at Newcastle.

The England goalkeeper was dismissed 22 minutes into a pulsating Premier League contest at St James’ Park for handling outside his penalty area and will be suspended for Sunday’s clash with Manchester United at Wembley.

With Martin Dubravka having already played for United in the competition during his loan spell earlier this season and Karl Darlow on loan at Hull, former Liverpool keeper Karius looks set to be handed a Newcastle debut he could not have expected, with Mark Gillespie the other option for Newcastle.

"They've started games away from competitive action in several friendlies and training games. I'd say they're match ready,” said Newcastle boss Eddie Howe of Karius and Gillespie.

"I would have confidence in them, that's what they're in the squad for. They've both been very competitive and part of our group all season. I have full confidence.

"There's been games where Nick [Pope] has had very little to do, there have also been moments where he has stepped up and made world-class saves for us. But we need to make sure we go into next week with the mind set that we protect our goal, as we have done all season, regardless of who the goalkeeper is. That doesn't change our focus on the defensive display.

Loris Karius

"We've got to digest this quickly and look forward to what is an exciting week for us."

However, the Magpies’ hopes of extending their unbeaten league run to a club-record 18 games had already been fatally wounded by goals from Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo inside the opening 17 minutes as the visitors – the only side to beat Newcastle in the league this season – ruthlessly exploited the space behind central defenders Fabian Schar and Sven Botman to run out 2-0 winners.

Victory saw Jurgen Klopp’s side move just six points behind their fourth-placed opponents with a game in hand.

"Winning and keeping a clean sheet against a side who have only been beaten once this season – it was well deserved,” declared Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.

“Obviously there were moments were we could have done better, but to come away with three points and a clean sheet and to be back in the team, I’m incredibly happy. I’m very proud of the guys.

"This season has been challenging. We’ve conceded too many goals – that’s part of football sometimes too, unfortunately.

"They have quality players, but we could have scored two or three more as well. If you finish the game off, that dents their confidence further.

"Winning gives you confidence. The turnaround is so quick. We’ll do everything necessary to be ready for Real Madrid. That’s how we’ve been preparing for these last few years."

Klopp played down his side’s revival, after a week that also saw them win the Merseyside derby against Everton.

"It's too early to say we are there again. But of course we will keep fighting and we will see,” he declared.

"Against 10 men for that long time you could of course create more and score more but we lost in that moment a little bit of momentum and didn't get it 100% back and left the door open for Newcastle.

"In the end, with our situation, someone told me the last time we had a clean sheet away from home it was in April, so I'm happy.

"The goals we scored were perfect against 11. We played really well, but then against 10 we lost for a moment the grip and couldn't get it back. But we still had our moments where we should have scored more in the second half.

"After you score a third one it's definitely over. We didn't so we had to fight until the end. And we needed the long leg of James Milner who was outstanding again.

"We are a step further forward. Both goals were outstanding. The pass from Trent (Alexander-Arnold) for Darwin (Nunez) and from Mo (Salah) to Cody (Gakpo) was top class. A bit more of that would have been really great, but for today it's absolutely fine.

"When you are not in your best moment you have to fight for this, and that's what we did we got our second win in a row. It feels great to be honest. We haven't had this for ages so it's a good day.

"We will see, we face one of the best teams in the world on Tuesday so it's difficult. But it's at Anfield so let's go.”

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