Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson were both impressed by Darwin Nunez’s debut from the bench in Saturday’s 3-1 Community Shield win against Manchester City.
Trent Alexander-Arnold opened the scoring at the King Power Stadium with a wonderful curled effort from the edge of the area in the first half, before Julian Alvarez scored his first Man City goal from the bench to equalise after the break.
With under ten minutes remaining, Ruben Dias was penalised for a handball and Mohamed Salah restored the Reds’ lead from the spot, before Nunez made sure of victory with a stooping header in stoppage time.
With the score at 1-0, Nunez missed a glorious one-on-one chance when he tried to dink the ball over the onrushing Ederson, but the Brazilian ended up denying the striker with his face.
Speaking to Liverpool’s club channels post-match, Robertson didn’t blame Nunez for that miss, but was understandably delighted to see him eventually get on the scoresheet.
“He also had the chance [before that] but, to be honest, I don’t think he did much wrong, I just thought it was a magnificent save by the ’keeper. A great start for him,” Robertson said.
“He’s going to need time, he’s still young and we will be patient with him but what a 30 minutes he had. To get his first goal makes a huge difference and I’m sure he will be delighted with his half an hour’s work. It just means that the first goal is away, all that pressure has gone and hopefully there’s many more to come.”
Jurgen Klopp spoke of his happiness with Nunez’s impact on Saturday, while club captain Henderson has since praised Nunez’s ability to make himself a nuisance, adding: “I thought [Nunez] was really good when he came on, putting himself about and always looked a threat. Thankfully he got a goal as well so that will do his confidence the world of good.”
Liverpool take on Strasbourg at Anfield on Sunday in their final pre-season friendly before opening their Premier League campaign away at Fulham next Saturday.