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Liverpool vs Chelsea: What did Jurgen Klopp say about Darwin Nunez’s missed chances?

Liverpool were at their scintillating best on Wednesday night, as they eased past Chelsea 4-1 in the Premier League. It was an utterly dominant performance by the Reds at Anfield. Diogo Jota opened the scoring for the hosts in the first half before Conor Bradley scored his first goal for the club. Dominik Szoboszlai made it 3-0 after half-time before Christopher Nkunku reduced the deficit. Soon after, Luis Diaz guaranteed the victory by scoring the fourth. The Reds could have scored more if they had been clinical in the final third.

Jurgen Klopp on Darwin Nunez

Darwin Nunez – in particular – had an off day in front of goal after hitting the woodwork on multiple occasions while also missing a penalty. However, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp came to Nunez’s defence as he praised his overall contribution against Chelsea in the Premier League contest. “An insane first half, unbelievable, I would say not to defend. Outstanding, really good. Why do we speak about Darwin? Obviously because he has so many situations where he missed but it was the first game since we count that a player hit the woodwork four times in a game,” Klopp, quoted on the club’s website, said at his post-match press conference.

He added: “Now think you are in his boots, how that feels. Missing a penalty, you could see it at half-time, he was really upset with himself. Then missing the header from close range, but then setting up a goal. He stays in the game. There was never a striker who barely could walk and everybody asks, ‘What is he doing?’ and he became then the final picture of himself, but this is the way how it works. It is just crazy that he creates that many.”

The Liverpool manager feels the fourth goal set up by Nunez was extremely important for the team at that point. “Imagine for a second he would take them all… the numbers would be absolutely insane to the extent where you wouldn’t understand it anymore, so it’s normal. For us it is important because we scored four goals, who cares if we could have scored a fifth or a sixth? It is really not important. We need to win football games – and he will score. He scored already. Then setting up in a really important moment the fourth goal, because 3-2 or 4-1 is a big difference, that makes him really the player he is for us. The rest will come, definitely,” he explained.

Jurgen Klopp on Conor Bradley

Klopp also showered praise on talented full-back Conor Bradley after the youngster continued to perform at a high level. Asked whether he already knew how good Bradley is, Klopp replied, “Yeah, I know it for a while because in the left ear is Pep Lijnders and in the right ear is Vitor Matos. I remember Pep sat in my office and said, ‘I’d put both hands in fire for him!’ I loved him from the first day, I didn’t need a lot of convincing. The thing is, Conor showed up extremely good in pre-season, did extremely well at Bolton [on loan]. Comes back, looks top in pre-season, wow, and then is out for five months [or] four months, [with] like these kind of issues that only young people have, but thank God then time can sort it.”

He added: “At our age it would not get better but in that age group it gets better. Since he is back, it is a joy to watch him. It is all credit to the Academy because, how I said, Conor, Jarell, James, Bobby [Clark] and the others we don’t have to mention… it’s top. Kaide Gordon coming back after a long, long injury, even longer. Stefan Bajcetic still out, these kind of things. It is not cool but we were counting with Stefan before the season because we know how good he is. Then he cannot play and that’s obviously not helpful. The Academy is doing an incredible job.”

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