Liverpool defeated Norwich City 5-2 at home in a match from the fourth round of the FA Cup. This was the first game for the “Reds” after the shocking news that manager Jurgen Klopp would leave the club at the end of the season, which rocked Merseyside at the end of the week.
At Anfield, the hosts started strongly and took the lead in the 16th minute when young James McConnell assisted Curtis Jones for the opening goal. “The Canaries” equalized shortly after through central defender Ben Gibson, but Darwin Nunez restored Liverpool’s lead in the 28th minute. After the break, Diogo Jota and Virgil van Dijk sealed the success for Merseysiders, and in injury time, Ryan Gravenberch scored the fifth goal for the team, with substitute Borja Sanz scoring the second goal for the guests before that.
This way, Liverpool qualified for the FA Cup round of 16 and continues to be in the battle for four trophies this season. Other good news for the “Reds” included the return to play of left-back Andrew Robertson, who came off the bench in the second half after a long absence due to injury, as well as the return of Dominic Solanke and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
In the next round of the tournament, Liverpool will face the winner of the Watford vs. Southampton clash, which will be replayed after a 1-1 draw. Watford took the lead in the 5th minute through Mateus Martins and was close to victory, but in the last minute, Stuart Armstrong equalized for “The Saints,” leading to a replay of the match according to the tournament rules. Armstrong’s goal saved Southampton’s unbeaten streak of 22 consecutive matches in all competitions, with their last defeat dating back to September of the previous year.
On Sunday, it was Liverpool’s first game since Jurgen Klopp shocked the football world by revealing that he would leave the club at the end of the season. A different atmosphere was expected at Anfield than usual, and it can be said that it was achieved.
As the chant “I’m so glad Jurgen’s Red” echoed in the stadium, there was a sense that Liverpool would vent their frustration in this match. It wasn’t the perfect game, but after every setback, a resounding response came, shattering Norwich’s hopes.
It is evident that the team has the desire to send Klopp off the way he deserves—with trophies. Yesterday was the first step toward that goal.
Lately, Darwin Nunez has been in fantastic form, and the match against Norwich was no exception, with the “chaotic” Uruguayan scoring another goal. He found the net after a brilliant individual effort by Bradley. This made Nunez the first player with double-digit goals (10) and assists (10) without penalties in all competitions this season in the top five European leagues.
He can boast three goals and three assists in six games since the beginning of the year, confirming his development in a Liverpool shirt. To say that Nunez is still considered a disappointment or failure under certain circumstances is a massive understatement. He is an essential part of Liverpool’s revamped squad this season, a team ready for its 20th title in the Premier League.
For a while, fans of the team pondered on how Nunez benefited the squad even when he wasn’t scoring as many goals. His role as the “Captain Chaos” elevated Liverpool’s attack to another level, making things much more challenging for opposing defenders. However, now that he has started to score goals regularly and provide assists, he has become a significant force in Liverpool’s frontline and perhaps someone irreplaceable.
Nunez is one of the best-performing forwards on the continent. While many hoped he would be a prolific scorer in the mold of Erling Haaland, he has actually become one of the most versatile forwards in world football. When looking at his overall contributions since joining Liverpool, he ranks among some of the greatest attackers for the Reds.
Comparing players with at least 20 goals or assists in all competitions during the Premier League era, Nunez ranks third in the goal contribution standings – he scores or assists a goal every 106 minutes. He sits behind only Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah in this regard.