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Jurgen Klopp defends Darwin Nunez

Jurgen Klopp praises the ‘special’ assist by Darwin Nunez and defends the Liverpool striker despite his missed chances.

Jurgen Klopp praised Darwin Nunez for his “special” contribution in Liverpool‘s victory over Newcastle. He dismissed concerns about the striker’s difficulties in front of goal.

Liverpool secured a 4-2 victory at Anfield on New Year’s Day, moving three points ahead at the top of the Premier League. All six goals in the match were scored in the second half, turning the encounter into a thrilling spectacle.

Despite Mohamed Salah’s first-half penalty miss, he netted twice in the second half, including a successful penalty kick. Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo also contributed to the scoresheet, securing a 4-2 victory for Liverpool and preventing frustration from goals by Alexander Isak and Sven Botman.

Liverpool displayed a remarkable attacking performance, recording an xG figure of 7.53, the highest ever in a Premier League match. Darwin Nunez played a significant role, taking eight shots and forcing Martin Dubravka into five saves. However, he struggled to capitalize on clear-cut opportunities, showcasing wastefulness in front of goal.

Klopp: Nobody has to worry about Darwin Nunez

Nunez broke his goal drought with a goal on Boxing Day against Burnley, but that remains his only goal in his last 14 matches for Liverpool.

Despite his struggles in front of goal, Darwin Nunez played a crucial role in Liverpool’s opening goal, providing an assist for Salah. Jurgen Klopp expressed full praise for Nunez’s contribution.

“What’s extremely special is Darwin Nunez had a couple of chances, and in this moment I would say 99.9% of players would have tried to finish the situation off themselves.” Klopp said.

“But he passed, he squared the ball. That’s really special, I have to say. Wow.”

While acknowledging issues with clinical finishing, Klopp emphasized Darwin Nunez’s overall performance and the challenges he posed to Newcastle’s center-back pairing.

“Football is a pretty simple game. Put the ball in the back of the net. But besides that the boys have to do a lot of stuff.” Klopp said.

“We were talking outside about the fact that it was 100% the right decision to bring Darwin today, because he kept [Sven] Botman and [Fabian] Schar together, that gave us the space for everything else. It is completely different if Cody is there.

“As long as Darwin has all these moments that he had today, it’s all fine.”

He added: “Nobody has to worry about Darwin Nunez. He played a really good game and decided the game in the right direction with an incredible, unselfish pass to Mo to score the goal.”

Alex Lundy
Alex Lundy
A lifelong football fan, Alex loves to dabble in its history, especially FIFA World Cup. But his love for sports doesn't end at football since he loves watching NBA and Formula1 too. Reading novels and watching classic films takes the rest of his time.
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