- Liverpool 3-1 West Ham: Nunez’s fine strike helps Reds secure home win
- Nunez put them ahead with an angled volley from Alexis Mac Allister’s clipped ball
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Darwin Nunez has made huge strides in his Liverpool career and his much-criticised defensive work is the reason for his growing chances in the Reds’ starting XI, says Jurgen Klopp.
The Uruguayan was criticized by rival fans in his first season on these shores, with his manager saying defensive dirty work was Nunez’s ‘ticket’ into the first team. The striker scored a goal on Sunday to put Liverpool back in the lead in a difficult match against West Ham.
Mo Salah and Diogo Jota scored, but it was Nunez who gave Klopp rave reviews. “He has made enormous strides in recent weeks,” the German said. ‘He’s a threat. You all saw the goal, that was probably pretty good, right? That was really strong.
‘He was always available, it’s super important for us now that we have a ball player, chip the ball, get it on the chest and play from there, that’s how we scored the third goal at Wolves, super important for us.
‘The defensive work he puts in is probably the most important difference. He always wanted to (do it), but it was less coordinated. Now it looks much better.
Darwin Nunez’s brilliant strike proved crucial in the 3-1 home win over West Ham
Nunez put them ahead with a tricky corner volley from Alexis Mac Allister’s clipped ball
Jürgen Klopp’s team is now second in the Premier League with five wins from six games
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“We found a way to do it around him, Curtis (Jones) and Dom (Szoboszlai) help a lot, how flexible they are in that. It’s really good, definitely.’
Klopp added that it was a difficult match but he was happy with his side’s response. “As expected it was a difficult match,” he said. “Very good moments in the first half, but we didn’t have enough control to deny them completely. We played well in different phases. I lost some balls that we shouldn’t have.
‘When they scored, I wasn’t completely surprised. We could have defended it better. The most important thing was that we stayed in the game, gave them a good challenge, caused problems and scored a super goal. I can’t wait to see it properly again.
‘The third goal was a top play that we all know how important it is. Everyone should know how good they (West Ham) are at that. Macca (Alexis Mac Allister) lost the first ball but then started playing, Dom similar. Joel Matip with a super performance against (Michail) Antonio.’
David Moyes said: ‘We did quite well in the first half. We made a few, we were always under pressure, but there are a lot of positives to take from the game. We had to gamble on 2-1 to find the second goal.
“If you come here, I’ve been here so many times, I come out of here too often and say the same thing. I’m a little tired of saying it. We had moments, Micky (Antonio) headed, Tomas (Soucek) had a great save from the keeper.
‘Our start to the season has been very good. We have only played two home games and those were Chelsea and Manchester City. It was a difficult start and we did well. I take great courage from the things we have seen.’