Jurgen Klopp reacts to Darwin Nunez missing ‘slapstick’ open goal in Liverpool rout

The Uruguayan caused chaos against Toulouse.

Jurgen Klopp reacts to Darwin Nunez missing ‘slapstick’ open goal in Liverpool rout
Jurgen Klopp reacts to Darwin Nunez missing an open goal
The Uruguayan impossibly missed from eight yards (Pictures: Getty / TNT Sports)

Jurgen Klopp has praised Darwin Nunez for his performance in Liverpool’s thumping 5-1 victory over Toulouse in the Europa League despite missing a ‘slapstick’ open goal.

The Merseysiders got off to a fast start at Anfield on Thursday night, with a mazy run from Diogo Jota opening the scoring, but were pegged back when Thijs Dallinga netted minutes later.

A quick-fire double saw Liverpool reassert their control around the half-hour mark, with Wataru Endo bagging his first goal for the club with a superb header before Nunez rifled a close-range effort into the roof of the net.

The Uruguayan caused problems for Toulouse all night and looked certain to bag an incredible second goal after turning a defender inside out and rounding the goalkeeper with a brilliant piece of play.

But, almost impossibly, Nunez managed to slice his effort against the post with the goal gaping and immediately collapsed to his knees in disbelief – though Ryan Gravenberch was on hand to collect the rebound and stroke the ball home.

The five-goal rout was rounded off by Mohamed Salah in stoppage time but Nunez’s miss was the talk of the match, though Klopp laughed it off afterwards and had nothing but praise for the £85million signing from Benfica.

Asked about the striker’s display – and his miss – Klopp replied: ‘He played incredible. Honestly, in this moment I don’t think I could care less that he hits the post in that moment because everything before was super convincing.

‘He was absolutely clear, how he took the defender away, how he passed the goalkeeper, it was a perfect situation.

Liverpool FC v Toulouse FC: Group E - UEFA Europa League 2023/24
The Anfield crowd couldn’t believe Nunez had missed (Picture: Getty)

‘He played really good, the goal he scored, the situation he was involved, dropping into midfield, staying on the ball, all these kind of things. So there were a lot of good things and he is in a good moment, and obviously for us that is important.

‘So really pleased for him with the performance. Yes, it’s a bit of slapstick that the ball doesn’t go in but Ryan finished it off and then it’s cool.

‘But, as I said before the game, he’s a happy boy – or man – at the moment and you can see that everyday and now we have to make sure that it stays like that.’

Klopp also singled out Endo for praise, adding: ‘I liked a lot of individual performances but I would like to mention Wataru Endo.

‘I’m not sure if people think it’s that spectacular or whatever, but the forward passes he played tonight were absolutely incredible and how often he broke lines with one touch that was absolutely insane.

‘And then he scores a wonderful goal, which helps each player even a more experienced player. So that’s really cool. He would have got a similar hug [as Gravenberch] had I taken him off but he had to play through.’

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