Liverpool overcame the loss of Mohamed Salah to a heavy knock to the head to beat Newcastle 3-2 thanks to a late goal by Divock Origi and return to the top of the English Premier League on Saturday.
Origi’s header at an 86th-minute free kick glanced off the head of Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles and into the net as Liverpool earned an eighth straight league win, which put the team two points clear of Manchester City.
City, which plays Leicester on Monday in its game in hand, will retain the title by winning its last two matches.
Salah appeared to be in tears when he was carried off the field on a stretcher in the 73rd minute after smashing his head against the ground following a collision with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. He might not be available for the second leg of Liverpool’s Champions League semifinal against Barcelona on Tuesday.
Salah, with his league-leading 22nd goal, put Liverpool in the lead for the second time in a thrilling game at St. James’ Park off a right-wing cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was the center of attention in the first half.
Having also set up Virgil van Dijk for Liverpool’s opener in the 13th minute, Alexander-Arnold blocked the ball on his own goal line with his elbow moments before Christian Atsu equalized in the 20th minute. The referee could have chosen to award a penalty and send off Alexander-Arnold, but the right-back stayed on the field and wound up assisting Salah for his goal eight minutes later.
Salomon Rondon equalized in the 54th for Newcastle, but Liverpool - playing just 72 hours after losing to Barcelona 3-0 at the Camp Nou Stadium in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals - showed its fighting qualities to eke out a win that keeps the pressure on City.
Liverpool is seeking its first top-flight title since 1990, and 19th in total.
Before its final league game at home to Wolves a week on Sunday, Liverpool will attempt to overturn the deficit against Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.