Gary Neville believes that while Liverpool were poor in their defeat at Arsenal on Sunday, did have 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 clear of the Reds who are languishing in 10th after a dreadful 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 that all three points went Mikel Arteta’s way.
There wasn’t much to write home about for ’s side however, though Neville was keen to highlight the performance of Nunez who has received much criticism since his £67million 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 centre forward. [Sadio] Mane leaving, Firmino, I think people who watch him far more than I do say he was dropping off a little bit, so they had to revitalise that front three.
‘They needed a centre forward, when they signed Nunez there was this comparison between [Erling] Haaland and Nunez. I remember the headlines around that time [after the Community Shield], we all should and look at us now three months later, but that was a debate.’
Nunez came off the bench to score on his Liverpool debut in the Community Shield victory 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 then, with the Uruguayan infamously getting sent off during the draw with Crystal Palace, something that seriously hurt his integration into his team and English football.
‘That sending off he had against Crystal Palace has knocked him, I think there’s no doubt,’ Neville added.
‘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, pressing.
‘But something’s missing, I know Liverpool fans say it’s their midfield. They’re having to play four up front now I think to compensate for the fact they haven’t got the energy in the midfield anymore to try to get the press on and that press 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 that second half was the biggest problem for me, with Arsenal looking better, stronger and fitter.’
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