Alexander Isak lived up to the hype on his Newcastle debut with two exquisite finishes against Liverpool – one denied by VAR – as Toon legend Alan Shearer watched on… Eddie Howe’s men may have lost at the death but their £60m recruit made a lasting impression
- Alexander Isak scored on his Newcastle debut in the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool
- Swedish international is already being compared to great Newcastle number 9’s
- The £60million signing had a second goal ruled out by VAR at Anfield
High up in the director’s box, Alan Shearer sat on the front row and the look on his face told us he was enjoying what he saw.
Shearer was a snapshot of 3,500 Newcastle fans in the Anfield Road End, who had come south hoping to see something special from the man whose name has dominated every conversation on Tyneside for much of this past week.
Many had set off not knowing whether Alexander Isak would be able to make his eagerly-awaited debut but midway through the afternoon, the green light had arrived. Newcastle’s record signing — all £60m and 6ft 3in of him — had received his work permit and was ready to launch his new career.
Alexander Isak scored just 38 minutes into his Newcastle debut at Anfield on Wednesday
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer was a watching spectator for Isak’s debut against Liverpool
The sight of Shearer here reminded you once more that Newcastle is a club desperate to embrace a modern-day hero and the potential for Isak to be that figure is limitless in this era when the funds are in place to finance their dreams.
Being Newcastle’s centre forward carries great expectation and Isak will find as he adjusts to life in a goldfish bowl that everything he does will be scrutinised, every facet of his performance will be analysed.
Isak had only been able to train for a short period with his new team-mates and in the opening 30 minutes, you could see this Sweden international was taken aback by the ferocity and pace of this match.
Really, for that opening half-hour, he barely got close to being involved. His first attempt to get on the ball saw Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson squeeze him out, a knockdown for Joelinton went nowhere, a challenge with Joe Gomez left him startled as the Liverpool defender took the ball and the man.
All eyes will now be on Isak to see if he can follow in the footsteps of Newcastle’s great strikers
Then, though, Alexander-Arnold was lackadaisical and, in the blink of an eye, Sean Longstaff was able to nudge a ball forward for Isak to run into a channel.
Back came Isak’s right foot and he unleashed a drive that sped beyond Alisson and ripped into the net. There was bedlam behind the goal and your mind immediately drifted back to when Shearer or Les Ferdinand or the mercurial Faustino Asprilla had scored in this stadium.
An even better finish followed in the second half, when Isak galloped away from Robertson and cut inside Gomez, but that one was cancelled out by VAR.
The goal did not stand but the impression Isak made was lasting, despite Newcastle’s heartbreak at the death.
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