There were four minutes of normal time to go when the ball flicked off the head of Divock Origi and bulged the net.
High, high in the Leazes Stand behind the goal, a guttural roar of relief and exultation exploded from the Liverpool fans stationed there and spread out across the city of Newcastle below.
It felt as if the roar came from the skies. After a night when all seemed lost, their team was still alive.
After a night when the relentless title race between Jurgen Klopp’s side and Manchester City finally seemed to be coming to an end, when everything seemed to be going wrong for Liverpool, when their season seemed to be collapsing around them, they refused to let the dream die. And so one of the greatest of all English title races is going down to the wire. Right down to the wire.
Liverpool had gone ahead twice at St James’s Park but twice Newcastle had pegged them back and as the Gallowgate choir found its voice, Rafa Benitez’s side had begun to sense victory. Then Liverpool’s goal machine, Mohamed Salah, was felled in a collision with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka
and was carried off on a stretcher.
After the 3-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, this felt like Liverpool’s Armageddon. Everything was fading. Defeat would have meant City could clinch the title with victory over Leicester at the Etihad tonight. A draw would have meant that City only needed four points from their final two games. It would have been over.
But then the two substitutes intervened. As Liverpool teetered on the brink, Xherdan Shaqiri curled in a free kick from the right, Origi flicked it on, and even though it deflected off the head of Jamaal Lascelles, it flew beyond Dubravka.
And so Liverpool fight on. And so this team that have been locked in such a compelling duel with City will host Wolves on the final day still in with a chance of overhauling City, who will be at Brighton. After all that has passed in this season where they have lost only once, it is the least they deserve.