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RB Leipzig 0-5 Liverpool: Four things we learned as Darwin Nunez shines in Reds win

Nunez trains with Liverpool ahead of Crystal Palace friendly

Liverpool had a second-half Darwin Nunez masterclass to thank for inspiring them to a comfortable win over RB Leipzig in their final pre-season friendly clash on Thursday night. Jurgen Klopp named a surprisingly strong squad to take on the Bundesliga heavyweights and the German manager’s heavy hitters managed to get the job done with a show of encouragement over the 90 minutes.

Liverpool went in search of a quick start and managed to secure one through Mohamed Salah, who finished calmly after being played by Roberto Firmino with a deft kick into space. The Merseyside giants dominated the ball for much of the game but were tested numerous times by Leipzig, with the German side relishing the counterattack as the interval approached.

Nunez then doubled Liverpool’s advantage from the penalty spot after half-time to score his first goal since joining Liverpool from Benfica earlier this summer. He scored again moments later with a perfectly struck effort to complete a quick attacking move before an impressive hat-trick as he returned the ball from close range under pressure.

The Uruguay striker notched a fourth with the game’s final spot-kick to score a solid away win for the visitors against a top European opponent, but Klopp and his coaching staff will no doubt be looking to fine-tune a handful of aspects. on the training ground ahead of the new Premier League season.

Here’s what we learned from another comfortable pre-season win for Liverpool.

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Darwin Nunez scored for Liverpool with a stunning hat-trick against RB Leipzig (Image: GETTY)

Nunez has indeed arrived

Nunez has been criticized for a number of missed singles during Liverpool’s pre-season tour since his recent arrival from Benfica. The young striker was able to live up to his high expectations against Leipzig, however, scoring a brace in seven minutes after being introduced as a substitute at half-time.

He managed to open his account for Liverpool by converting a kick after Luis Diaz was brought down with a heavy challenge inside the box. The striker’s second goal proved exactly why he could be one of the most feared strikers in English football for the next few years, with his low finish coming after an electrifying burst of speed to get away from his marker.

Nunez then netted a brilliant hat-trick as he stretched his leg to sink Harvey Elliott’s drilled cross shortly after the hour mark, before adding a fourth in the dying seconds with another well-placed effort. His arrival on Merseyside was arguably overshadowed by Erling Haaland’s move to Manchester City in the grand scheme of things, but Nunez could well have the quality to usurp the Norwegian as the Premier League’s top summer signing if things are going well in his first season with Liverpool.

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Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for Liverpool in the first 10 minutes

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for Liverpool in the first 10 minutes (Picture: EXPRESS)

Salah gets better with age

Mohamed Salah’s recent decision to extend his five-year stay at Liverpool could arguably be the club’s best internal deal in recent years. The Egyptian magician led the charge for the Reds last season with 31 goals in all competitions and could match or even beat his tally next time around asking if his performance against Leipzig is anything to go by.

He led the show from the first whistle, finishing coolly in the bottom corner to give Liverpool an early lead before becoming the focal point of his side’s attacking play as he so often does. He took on a slightly narrower role than usual and looked a real threat every time he was on the ball, with his dazzling display evoking memories of his incredible form in the first half of the previous campaign.

However, Salah’s goals dried up at the end of the season and they are widely expected to be boosted to this year’s Ballon d’Or by Karim Benzema. However, it remains to be seen whether he will be able to replicate his early season efforts over the course of an entire year when competitive action finally resumes.

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Roberto Firmino was impressive for the duration of his first half

Roberto Firmino was impressive for the duration of his first half (Image: GETTY)

Firmino can still be crucial

Roberto Firmino’s long-term future at Anfield has been questioned by fans and pundits over the summer. The Brazilian ace has played a key role for the Reds in recent years but was on the bench for the vast majority of last season and managed to score just five Premier League goals.

He showed flashes of his old self against Leipzig, as he played the false nine role with as much expertise as you’d expect from a player of his caliber. Firmino was heavily involved in preparing Salah for Liverpool’s first goal, made a number of tricky runs to ask the Leipzig defenders questions and won numerous fouls in the opposing half by getting in the way with the ball at the feet.

The arrival of Darwin Nunez will almost certainly see Firmino resign himself to a second-choice spot once again when the new Premier League campaign begins. However, it looks like he’s still able to provide a healthy injection of the trophy quality that helped Liverpool win their domestic and European titles during Firmino’s days on Merseyside.

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Liverpool have won two and lost one of their pre-season fixtures so far

Liverpool have won two and lost one of their pre-season fixtures so far (Picture: EXPRESS)

Defensive lapses must be eliminated

Liverpool managed to secure a comfortable win over Leipzig but will be hoping to improve things at the back ahead of the next Premier League season. There were a few questionable moments in defense for the Reds, particularly in the first half, as Leipzig managed to drill through on goal on several occasions.

A back four of Andrew Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Trent Alexander-Arnold is enough to strike fear into the hearts of any elite team on the planet, but Leipzig were still able to counter with consistency as the game approaches. the interval. Liverpool got away with one as the ball raced into the box on the half-hour mark before Adrian made a solid save to deny Leipzig an equalizer on the stroke of half-time.

Liverpool conceded just 26 Premier League goals last season and fully expect to reach a similar level when domestic action resumes in early August. Improvements may need to be made to have a better chance of shutting out better teams than Leipzig on the bigger stages, based on mistakes that occurred against their German opponents on Thursday.

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