Chris Sutton believes that Liverpool’s stirring win against Newcastle can be the catalyst for a title challenge this season.
Liverpool overcame the sending-off of Virgil Van Dijk in the 28th minute and a erratic first-half performance from another key player in Trent Alexander-Arnold to claim their second three points of the season with ten men.
It is the first time that Liverpool have had back to back red cards in the Premier League since March/April 2015 (against Man Utd and Arsenal) and in the following 139 league games prior to last Saturday, have only had two sending offs in total.
Many questioned what kind of Liverpool we would see this season after a steep decline in performance where they slipped out of the top four and if this team had played their best football under Jürgen Klopp.
What did happen during the summer was a large turnover of players that were large part of the golden era of success.
While it is always tough to see favourites depart, it is a necessary part to evolve and begin a new cycle.
Last season Sutton was one of more vocal critics of Klopp in the media, wondering whether his tank was empty, questioning whether he had a Plan B and very critical of his behaviour on the touchline.
While it is exceptionally (and some would say unreasonably early) to make lasting statements to carry through into the following nine months, the former Blackburn and Celtic striker told the BBC Monday Night Club that he likes the spirit and signs of intent that he sees from Liverpool.
“I think in terms of, they went down to 10 men at Bournemouth last week and saw them off pretty well, but to do it at Newcastle, I thought that was a major statement.
“They are probably the ones who I think can push Manchester City the most.
“I still think City will win the Premier League, but Liverpool needed that yesterday and will go from strength to strength - if they can keep hold of Mohamed Salah."
What gives Sutton some cause for optimism regarding Liverpool’s chances is the talent of their front line.
“If you look at Liverpool's frontline and the fact they can leave Jota [and Nunez] on the bench, that's a formidable frontline.
"It's hard to think of another team in the Premier League who have that strength in depth.
"Diaz was out for a large part of last season, Jota was out, Salah has always been super reliable. Nunez, it was a strange season, but you saw signs there was player there.
“You wonder if the nature of [Nunez's] goals, with both goals clinically taken, if that will give him the boost and really kick Liverpool on. He's physically strong, he can run, he looks a handful."
Sutton also believed the incoming talent was an upgrade of those who departed.
“We've all spoken about Liverpool's signings, Szoboszlai and Mac Allister. They're an upgrade on Henderson and Fabinho - Liverpool have a more creative midfield."