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Klopp hails ‘massive’ strides made by Nunez

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Jurgen Klopp said Darwin Nunez has made “massive” improvements in his second season at Liverpool after the Uruguayan’s stunning goal helped the Reds to a 3-1 win over West Ham on Sunday.

After a sharp decline in standards last season, Liverpool look more like their old selves in the early weeks of the new campaign as five wins and a draw in their first six Premier League games sees Klopp’s men sit two points adrift of Manchester City at the top of the table. Nunez’s double off the bench to beat Newcastle last month played a major part in that points tally and he produced another moment of quality for the decisive goal against the Hammers.

Alexis Mac Allister’s dinked pass opened up the West Ham defence and Nunez volleyed home first time for his fourth goal of the season. The 24-year-old struggled to live up to a 75 million euro price tag during his first season at Anfield and did not start the season as Klopp’s preferred option up front.

Massive steps in the last few weeks. He is a threat. You all saw the goal. The defensive work he puts in now, that’s probably the main difference. He always wanted, but it was less coordinated. Now that looks much better and we found a way how we can do it around him,” said Klopp. Liverpool have come from behind in four of their opening seven games of the season.

This time they went in front through Mohamed Salah’s penalty but were pegged back before half-time by Jarrod Bowen’s diving headerNunez restored the lead on the hour mark and Diogo Jota sealed the points five minutes from time. And Klopp is heartened by the character his side is showing as they bed in an entirely new midfield.

These boys are good footballers and when they have a great day they are extremely good. But when it doesn’t start as well that’s why I liked the development into the game,” he added. “This time we didn’t concede first but we conceded anyway. It feels the same, to be honest, not great. But again the reaction was really top and that’s for us in the moment the most important thing because we have to become this kind of team where it is really difficult to deal with.”



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Samuel Kwame Boadu