Darwin Nunez missed an incredibly straightforward chance during Liverpool’s Europa League clash against Union Saint-Gilloise. Jurgen Klopp’s reaction to this moment speaks volumes.
Liverpool entered the match with the intent to build on their promising performance in the competition, having previously defeated LASK 3-1. In contrast, their Thursday night opponents had settled for a 1-1 draw against Toulouse in their initial group stage match.
The Reds were also looking to rebound from a disappointing Premier League encounter with Tottenham, where Luis Diaz had a valid goal disallowed due to offside. A VAR mishap on Saturday failed to correct the offside decision, and the subsequent release of audio by PGMOL revealed the chaos that ensued.
How good has Nunez been this season?
In an effort to recover from a disappointing weekend and strengthen their position as frontrunners in Group E, Klopp entrusted Nunez with the role of leading the attack. Nunez hasn’t had consistent opportunities to start this season, but he has demonstrated good form for his team whenever he’s been given the chance.
In eight matches in all competitions, the 24-year-old has bagged four goals and has also registered two assists as well. Although he failed to come off the bench in the recent match against Tottenham, he did manage to score in Liverpool’s previous Premier League fixture against West Ham United, and scored twice against Newcastle to secure three points. Having scored 15 goals in all competitions for his club in his debut season, his decent start provided hope that this year could be even better.
Klopp can’t believe Nunez missed an early chance
And early in the tie against USG on Thursday night, Nunez had a golden chance to open the scoring for Liverpool. But he somehow managed to find a way to miss from just a few yards out.
Harvey Elliott surged forward for the home side in the 17th minute and played an excellent through ball to Mohamed Salah on the right side of the pitch. The winger then played a pass inside the box across the face of goal to the unmarked Nunez, with the forward having most of the goal at his mercy.
He only needed to nudge the ball forward, but somehow managed to get his feet in a muddle, misdirecting the ball past the far post and out for a goal kick. The Anfield home crowd could only gasp in disbelief about what they had seen.
Nunez looked slightly shocked that he had not scored his fifth goal of the season, but nowhere near as shocked as his manager was on the touchline. Klopp and the Liverpool bench could barely believe that Nunez hadn’t scored, with the German coach turning around and holding his hands up in puzzlement. You can watch Nunez’s miss and Klopp’s reaction for yourselves below.
Watch: Klopp can’t believe Nunez misses sitter
Darwin Nunez puts it wide of the post!
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) October 5, 2023
Fortunately for Nunez, his miss did not prove to be costly, with Ryan Gravenberch opening the scoring after a goalkeeping error. Nunez was withdrawn after half-time, but the Reds barely had to get out of first gear in the second half. Diogo Jota made sure of all three points with a goal in added time.