Later News Jul 22

Memes dry up as Darwin Nunez scores four for Liverpool in pre-season friendly


Just like that, the memes on social media mocking new Liverpool signing Darwin Nunez for his resemblance to Andy Carroll – both in terms of looks and overall lack of footballing ability – have disappeared.

 

All it took was for him to score a mere four goals against RB Leipzig in a pre-season friendly, which Liverpool eventually won 5-0.

 

WATCH: Darwin Nunez's first day at Liverpool

 

What arguably made the Uruguayan’s four goals more impressive was that he took all of 45 minutes to score them, as he came on as a substitute in the second-half to break the hearts of Manchester United-supporting meme creators everywhere.

 

Mo Salah, who had just signed a contract extension with Liverpool, was the other name on the scoresheet, but nobody really cares about that, do they? After all, Salah scores goals, that’s just what he does. But Nunez? He was – in the minds of United fans, at least – supposed to miss gilt-edged chances, and air-kick the ball like Bambi on roller-skates.

 

And of course, United fans cannot throw out the excuse that it’s only a friendly, considering that they have hyped up their pre-season performances to the point where one might think Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho are this generation’s Ronaldo (not that one), Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho.

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was naturally pleased for his club record £85m (S$141m) signing, as he hailed a ‘perfect night’ for the 23-year-old.

 

WATCH: Darwin Nunez's first Liverpool interview

 

When asked what he thought about the brickbats thrown at Nunez on social media, Klopp said: “That's the best way obviously to stop all these discussions.

 

“We always think that if you pay a lot of money then the players feel no pressure or whatever. They are all completely normal human beings and the first touch is not perfect then all of a sudden. This generation of players read social media, which is really not smart, but they do. All of a sudden you get in a rush and these kinds of things.

 

“He's a different striker to what we have or what we had, but he's a really good one. That's of course a perfect night for him.”

 

Nonetheless, Klopp was not all too pleased with his side’s performance, especially in the first-half, when they failed to put more than one goal past Leipzig.

 

“In the first half, there were good moments, lesser-good moments, not enough movement, we need to get used to how hard it is to play 50, 60, 70 minutes – and in the end 90 or 120,” Klopp mused. “The human body is like this, you need to get used to it again.

 

“When we struggled a little bit it was always after three minutes' break we played football again, then a deep breather and play football again. And I wanted us to be a bit harder with ourselves, go over that point, it's pre-season. And move more. I think we did that second half obviously.”

 

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