Darwin Nunez showed why Jurgen Klopp signed him on Sunday as Liverpool went back to basics to score against Arsenal.
The Uruguayan striker won his second Premier League title against Arsenal when he leveled his side by finishing off a quick and simple Liverpool attack. Nunez has struggled in form since joining from Benfica for £67.5m in the summer, starting just four times and not scoring since the opening weekend of the season before his last goal.
However, he silenced his critics in the 34th minute of Sunday’s game with his movement creating space for Luis Diaz to grab a long ball from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Nunez then broke away to find space in the middle as Diaz moved down the right side before playing a low cross for his teammate, who slid in to push the ball past a defenseless Aaron Ramsdale.
The goal was only the third for the Reds, with Núñez scoring in the Community Shield and on the opening weekend against Fulham.
However, a straight red card against Crystal Palace on his home debut saw Núñez miss three league games through suspension before returning to the team.
He had scored a staggering 34 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions for Benfica last season, which saw him win the Liga Portugal golden boot.
The 23-year-old has come under intense criticism in recent months due to his slow start at Anfield, with fans and pundits constantly commenting on his performances.
His relationship with Klopp has also been complicated due to the language barrier between the two. Nunez is not yet fluent in English, while his manager does not speak Spanish.
Nunez revealed last week that those issues mean he doesn’t understand everything Klopp says during his team talks, telling ESPN Live: “The truth is, honestly, I don’t understand anything when he [Klopp] talks in team talks.
“Of course, I ask my teammates to see what he said, but I think he is very clear about his style of play.”
Klopp praised his center forward after the midweek Champions League win over Rangers, telling reporters on Tuesday: “We can see that. To be honest, the way the guys in the front moved together was extremely good for a single session.
“We never did it before. We now had a session and that with low intensity because we only played recently. You saw how good a striker he is [Nunez] it’s constantly being in those situations. Everyone saw tonight that this will happen. So all good.”