Darwin Nunez had enjoyed a good start to the 2023/24 season for Liverpool, but the striker hasn’t been praised universally.
Liverpool legend Steve Nicol was very angry by criticism of Darwin Nunez during the Reds’ win over Aston Villa on Sunday that he wanted to ‘smash the TV’.
The reds beat Villa 3-0 at Anfield, with Nunez making his first start of the season after coming off the bench to bag a match-winning brace away to Newcastle a week earlier.
And the Uruguay forward produced another strong performance, coming close to scoring again – only to see his first-half effort hit the post and ricochet into the net off Villa defender Matty Cash, putting the Reds 2-0 up – and setting up Salah for the third goal.
Nunez was criticized for his lack of goals in 2022/23, having joined Liverpool in a club-record £85m move from Benfica last summer.
But he has looked sharp so far this term, prompting Nicol – a key member of the Reds’ highly successful sides of the 1980s – to defend the 24-year-old in the face of what he saw as unfair stick on US television. Appearing on ESPN FC, he told presenter Shaka Hislop, the former Newcastle and West Ham goalkeeper:
“You’re worse than the guy who was commentating today.
“All he kept saying any time Nunez did something was ‘Well, he got 16 goals last [season], but he could’ve had more’ and ‘Oh, what Nunez have we got this week? Is it going to be the Nunez of last week?’.
“I’m like, ‘Leave the guy alone!’ Seriously, I felt like smashing the telly. Every five minutes, he was criticising Nunez. Leave the guy alone…”
Liverpool sit third in the Premier League going into the international break, having taken 10 points from their first four games of the campaign.
Klopp, Nunez and co. return to action with a trip to Wolves on Saturday 16 September.