Darwin Nunez is starting to look the part for Liverpool after netting a fine header in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Ajax, with Rio Ferdinand highlighting the five big factors that ensure he will continue to grab goals for the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp’s side went into the match at the Amsterdam ArenA needing a draw to guarantee their passage to last 16 of the Champions League. But it was the hosts who started on the front foot, with Steven Berghuis missing their best opening. But goals either side of half-time from Mohamed Salah, Nunez and Harvey Elliott earned the visitors victory.
Summer signing Nunez showed his insticts by powering home a header off the post. It was his sixth goal for Liverpool in his 13th appearance, showing he is finally starting to find his feet.
But the header went some way to making amends for another poor miss from the striker. With just moments left in the first half, the Uruguayan was guilty of missing an open goal from just six yards out. That came after a swashbuckling Liverpool move saw Roberto Firmino play the ball across goal for Nunez, but his first-time shot cracked the base of the post.
It was certainly one of those moments when it looked easier to score. However, he refused to let his head drop and Klopp was quick to talk up the player at full-time, explaining why he has a “big heart”.
And Ferdinand was certainly impressed with the striker’s never-say-die attitude at full-time. While he feels he had a mixed night after another miss, his record now in front of goal, statistically, for Liverpool is starting to read well.
Ferdinand on why Darwin Nunez will score goals for Liverpool
Now the pundit has reviewed his performance and named his five best assets.
“There were good and bad moments for him,” Ferdinand explained.
“He had a bit of an indifferent night. There’s moments with him where you’re just scratching your head but then he scored which is what you’ve bought him for.”
Listing his best qualities, Ferdinand told BT Sport: “The thing with him is he always tries to get in the box and score goals, his head never drops, he’s tenacious, he wants to graft and fight. That’s definitely a plus, you want that in your side.
“He’s never going to be the cleanest of strikers but he will be an effective striker in the long run; an effective striker who scores goals at this football club.
“As a defender he would be hard to play against, he will give a lot of defenders a hard days’ work.”
Klopp earlier had defended Nunez for the miss, saying: “I think even he was surprised [when the ball came to him]!
“He had a really good game in both directions, helped defending and played with a big heart today so hopefully we took him off early enough.”
Ajax boss laments defeat
Alfred Schreuder, meanwhile, has lamented his Ajax side’s failure to take their early chances and admits Liverpool ultimately exposed the difference in class.
They were the brighter side in the early exchanges but failed to capitalise while on top. The defeat means they are now likely to drop into the Europa League by finishing third in Group A.
Reflecting on those chances, Schreuder shared his thoughts via the Liverpool Echo.
“The first 35-40 minutes we saw a really all right Ajax. We showed a completely different face than in Liverpool in the first game. But we had to score one of our chances. We had three obvious chances to go ahead. But after their 1-0 they had even bigger chance to make it 2-0.
“Then after half-time the corner goal (from Nunez) was too quick. Then you immediately see it will be a very, very hard game against an experienced team. They showed how good they are. The positive thing is the squad stayed together but the difference in level was simply too big in the second half.”
Schreuder added: “If you look at the second half and how professionally they played it out, that’s what I mean. Liverpool played it really well. It was a very hard game against a very hard opponent.
“We were playing at an equal level for 35-40 minutes. As long as you do some things better than Liverpool then you can play against a team like them.
“The first half was a lot better than at Anfield, which was a big step forward. But the result wasn’t good enough.”
Jurgen Klopp reveals anger at Liverpool missing out on Ajax forward he ‘loves’ from time in Premier League
Liverpool transfer news LIVE: Wilfried Zaha and Youssoufa Moukoko latest, update on Naby Keita
The article Rio Ferdinand names five major assets Darwin Nunez boasts as Ajax boss makes Liverpool admission after defeat appeared first on Teamtalk.com.