Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez has been in the mood to prove his doubters wrong of late, but the South American produced another howler just when his side needed a breakthrough at Luton.
Just when everything seemed to be coming together for the Uruguayan, Nunez sent a reminder of his more wasteful ways.
Liverpool’s frontman came into Sunday’s visit to Kenilworth Road with seven goals in 14 appearances across all competitions. However, he was unable to add to that tally in the 70th minute against Luton despite having a gaping goal in front of him.
It was enough to give Reds supporters PTSD as they were reminded of the £85million signing’s more forgettable moments from his debut season at Anfield. And the margins weren’t even close as he skied his attempt just three yards out from the Hatters goal.
The breakthrough was there to be had after Mohamed Salah controlled Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross into Nunez’s path at the back post. And with Luton goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski scrambling to get back from the other side, a Liverpool lead looked assured.
But the away end was left with heads in hands as Nunez sliced his side-foot attempt high over the bar. And Liverpool’s woes were compounded minutes later when Tahith Chong went up the other end to send Luton into a shock lead.
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“Most overrated player in the Prem,” commented one critic on X, while others described the forward as ‘so bad’. “Typical Darwin,” remarked a third, who was unsurprised to see the star spurn a sparkling opportunity.
And others echoed that sentiment regarding Nunez’s penchant for profligacy as one social media user laughed: “There’s enough of these [mistakes] to make a 20-minute [compilation], no replays.”
Nunez may have initially thought his blushes had been spared after the linesman raised his flag to indicate Salah was offside in the build-up. However, replays confirmed the Egyptian was in fact just onside, meaning the goal would have stood.
Luckily for him – and Liverpool – the returning Luis Diaz came off the bench to score in the 95th minute despite still not knowing whether his kidnapped father is safe. And others among the Reds squad could perhaps do with taking notes on how to finish under pressure.