Gary Neville: Darwin Nunez was Liverpool’s best player against Arsenal | Football

Darwin Nunez scored Liverpool’s first goal against Arsenal (Photo: Getty)

Gary Neville believes that while Liverpool were poor in their defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, Darwin Nunez had a “really good” game.

Arsenal beat Liverpool 3-2 at the Emirates to move back to the top of the table and go 14 points ahead of the Reds, who are languishing in 10th place after a terrible start to the season.

Goals from Nunez and Roberto Firmino had twice pegged the Gunners back, but a penalty from Bukayo Saka just 14 minutes from time ensured all three points went Mikel Arteta’s way.

There wasn’t much to write home about Jurgen KloppBut Neville was keen to highlight the performance of Nunez, who has received much criticism since his £67m move from Benfica in the summer.

‘I thought he [Nunez] was really good, even in the difficult parts of the game for Liverpool he was their best player, his runs were good, the Manchester United legend said on the Gary Neville podcast

Liverpool needed a center forward. [Sadio] Mane leaves, Firmino, I think people who watch him a lot more than I do say he fell off a bit so they had to revitalize the front three.

‘They needed a center forward, when they bought Nunez there was this comparison between [Erling] Haaland and Nunez. I remember the headlines around that time [after the Community Shield]we should all and look at us now three months later, but it was a debate.’

Nunez came off the bench to score on his Liverpool debut in the Community Shield win over Manchester City, before scoring one and assisting one on his Premier League debut against Fulham.

But his strike against Arsenal was his first since the Uruguayan was infamously sent off during the draw against Crystal Palace, something that seriously damaged his integration into his team and English football.

“The sending off he had against Crystal Palace has hit him, I think there’s no doubt,” added Neville.

‘But I thought there were really good signs from Nunez [against Arsenal]I thought he looked a real handful up there making good runs in behind and pushing.

– But there is something missing, I know Liverpool fans say it is their midfield. They have to play four up front now I think to compensate for the fact that they no longer have the energy in midfield to try to get the press going and that pressure fell away.

Nunez wasn’t the problem today, he wasn’t the problem. There were other areas in the team. I thought the physical drop off in the second half was the biggest problem for me, with Arsenal looking better, stronger and fitter.’

MORE : Danny Murphy says Arsenal duo ‘would cause problems for any defense in world football’ after Liverpool win

MORE : Why didn’t VAR ask Michael Oliver to look at Arsenal’s penalty decision against Liverpool

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