The manager of Bournemouth, Andoni Iraola has lauded Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez for his winning goal last night.
Nunez was the match-winner for the Reds, bending in a beautiful long range effort to send Liverpool into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at Bournemouth’s expense.
The goal came with the Cherries firmly on top, having equalised just six minutes earlier. And speaking to the Bournemouth Daily Echo after the game, Iraola admitted that Nunez’s ‘amazing’ strike came as something of a sucker punch.
“I think we were really close,” the Spaniard bemoaned. “It looked in one moment, especially in the second half, the game was going in our side. We had the advantage of the wind in the second half, we were struggling in the first half, it was really difficult with the wind. We couldn’t kick it long and both teams were struggling to build up.
“At that moment we were putting on a lot of pressure and it looked like we could have scored a second one and win the game.
“But at the end they made the difference with Darwin’s goal. I think it was an amazing strike and probably when they were in their worst moment of the game, it gave them the winning goal.”
Iraola is pretty on the money in his assessment of the way things ultimately went last night.
His team were indeed well on top at the moment of Nunez’s goal. Had you been forced to call it one way right at that point, you’d have said the Cherries would be the ones going through.
Amid tough weather conditions, Liverpool looked like they might just buckle. The manner of Justin Kluivert’s equaliser – Caoimhin Kelleher misjudging the flight of a corner, the forward unmarked at the back stick – added to the unnease.
It was at precisely that time that the Reds needed someone to pop up with something from nothing. Darwin duly obliged.
The way the evening had gone, it was always going to take something special to win this game for Liverpool.
With a sodden pitch and gale force winds, the Reds couldn’t play their usual slick passing football.
As Bournemouth players and fans started to grow in confidence, a home winner felt almost inevitable. But then up popped Liverpool’s No.9.
Nunez has already scored some lovely goals this season, but this one will be hard to beat. Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez, this echoed of great Reds strikers of the past. Keep this form up, and Darwin is on his way to becoming another on that list.