Darwin Nunez explodes into life with four-goal blitz sparking heavy Liverpool rout of Leipzig

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson celebrating with Darwin Nunez in pre-season after scoring four goals against RB Leipzig Credit: PA Images
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson celebrating with Darwin Nunez in pre-season after scoring four goals against RB Leipzig Credit: PA Images

Darwin Nunez silenced the critics after plundering four goals in a second-half blitz to help Liverpool rout RB Leipzig 5-0 in pre-season.

Jurgen Klopp named a strong side for their third pre-season clash against RB Leipzig. The back four was the same as the one that lined up in the Champions League final, while Roberto Firmino was flanked in the front three by Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah. New record signing Darwin Nunez began on the bench with hopes high he could click into gear after a slow start thus far.

Liverpool started brightly with Mohamed Salah in particular looking lively down the right. Unsurprisingly, it was the Egyptian who broke the deadlock with less than 10 minutes played.

Virgil van Dijk’s booming header found Thiago Alcantara up field. The Spaniard’s deft flick caused havoc in Leipzig’s backline with several defenders trying and failing to clear the ball.

Firmino picked up possession before his perfectly weighted lay off fed Salah who showed great composure to tuck his side-footed finish beyond Peter Gulacsi,

Salah was all over the Leipzig rearguard with Marcel Halstenberg in particular struggling to cope. The forward then latched on to a superb ball over the top and raced towards goal before failing to nutmeg Gulacsi from close range.

At the other end, Leipzig were restricted to just one long-range effort inside the opening 30 minutes.

Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate were mopping up anything that came their way, though Liverpool’s high press smothered the Germans and ensured the defenders had very little to do early on.

A mistake in possession from Luis Diaz did spark a brief surge from Leipzig as the first half came to a close. Dominik Szoboslai hared down on goal, though was crowded out by Andy Robertson and Van Dijk before making up his mind.

Van Dijk and Konate were finally given a true test in the 45th minute. A two-v-two saw the ball break to Christopher Nkunku after Konate only half-cleared a dangerous cut-back. Thankfully for the Reds, Adrian was on hand to keep the clean sheet in tact.

Darwin Nunez silences the doubters

Darwin Nunez was given a chance to impress when replacing Firmino at the break and within seconds, Liverpool doubled their advantage.

A simple long throw into the box found Jordan Henderson who’s immediate headed flick gave Diaz a sniff. But before the Colombian could tap home Gulacsi roared off his line and brought the forward down.

Nunez was entrusted with the resulting penalty and opened his account for Liverpool, though it could so easily have been a different story.

His kick was firm and true, though Gulacsi got a hand to the ball with the strike at a nice height for the keeper. Fortunately for Nunez, Gulacsi could only parry the effort into the side netting.

A big smile rose across the Uruguayan’s face with the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders. What’s more, just two minutes later he was on the scoresheet again.

Thiago snapped into a tackle deep in Leipzig’s half with the ball breaking to Alexander-Arnold. He fed Nunez who hared towards goal before finishing clinically into the bottom corner. After a pair of false starts in pre-season, Nunez was up and running.

Klopp rung the changes with the younger elements and fringe players of his first-team squad seeing action.

Both Fabio Carvalho and Harvey Elliott came close to making it four with Liverpool threatening to make the scoreline ugly. But there was only one man destined to notch the fourth and it was that man Nunez.

The 23-year-old took up a superb position inside the area and was on hand to guide Elliott’s pull-back in off the far post. With that, a 20 minute hattrick was completed.

Nunez saw his bid for a fourth denied by Gulacsi after getting his head to James Milner’s cross. Carvalho’s influence also began to grow with the ex-Fulham youngster’s movement and close control running Leipzig’s defence ragged.

Milner then rifled a pass into the path of Nunez whose first touch got away from him slightly. Yet the service continued to come and with the last kick of the game he notched his fourth and Liverpool’s fifth after converting Carvalho’s lay-off.

The article Darwin Nunez explodes into life with four-goal blitz sparking heavy Liverpool rout of Leipzig appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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