Nunez has arrived! Liverpool winners, losers and ratings as Darwin and Alisson secure win over West Ham

Darwin Nunez Liverpool West Ham 2022-23
Liverpool fans have a new firebrand Uruguayan striker to enjoy, with the £64m signing impressing, and proving decisive, in a 1-0 win over West Ham.

Liverpool’s season is officially up and running, and so is Darwin Nunez’s Reds career.

The Uruguayan was the matchwinner at Anfield on Wednesday night, his first-half header securing a second 1-0 win in the space of three days, this time against West Ham.

It was Nunez’s first home goal for his new club, and he might have had a hat-trick on the night, hitting the post with one fierce strike and seeing Lukasz Fabianski deny him two on further occasions.

The Hammers, meanwhile, can reflect on Jarrod Bowen’s penalty miss, just before half-time, as a crucial turning point.

The England hopeful was denied by Alisson Becker having been felled by Joe Gomez, and West Ham failed to capitalise on a nervous home crowd in the dying stages, with Gianluca Scamacca and Said Benrahma wasting chances, and a combination of Alisson and James Milner somehow denying Tomas Soucek a late equaliser.

For Liverpool, it is only the second time this season they have managed back-to-back wins in the league.

They move up to seventh in the table, and on Saturday have the chance to give their campaign further momentum, with a trip to bottom club Nottingham Forest.

  1. The Winners

    The Winners

    Darwin Nunez:

    You can say what you like about Liverpool's £64-million man, but you don't want to take your eyes off him. It's been a while since Reds fans had a firebrand Uruguayan striker to enjoy, but Nunez, like Luis Suarez before him, looks like he has the tools to be a firm favourite at Anfield. He's certainly box office, a magnet for shots and a ball of energy whenever he steps onto the field. And here, for the first time for his new club, he was the match-winner, his superb first-half header settling an attritional, at times nervy contest. Nunez might have had three or four goals in the first half, denied superbly by Lukasz Fabianski early on and then clattering the woodwork with another stunning, instinctive left-foot strike. He clearly has talent, and he looks like he has bundles of belief as well. His work ethic has endeared him to his new supporters, and though his game ended, rather surprisingly, early in the second half when he was replaced by Harvey Elliott, he can reflect on a good night's work. Another one.

    Alisson Becker:

    The roar from the Kop at the end said it all. "Alisson, Alisson, Alisson," they chanted. They know how important their Brazilian No.1 is, and they know what a huge contribution he made to this win. It was his penalty save from Jarrod Bowen, right on half time, which preserved the Reds' advantage and ultimately secured the points. He has faced 13 penalties in his Premier League career, Alisson, and only seven have been scored. Later in the game, he was to make another crucial intervention, spreading himself to deflect Tomas Soucek's effort wide. As good as a goal. As good a goalkeeper as there is.

    Kostas Tsimikas:

    Liverpool's first-choice left back was superb in the win over Manchester City on Sunday, but Andy Robertson's deputy isn't bad either. Tsimikas has had plenty of opportunities to shine so far this season, and he certainly took this one. The Greece international was prominent in the first half, offering a constant outlet in blustery conditions. And when he got the chance to deliver, 22 minutes in, he did so beautifully, his curled cross buried by Nunez for the only goal. There were other dangerous deliveries, mainly from set-pieces, but just as pleasing was Tsimikas' defensive work, as he battled well against Bowen all evening, rarely letting the West Ham man get his own way. Robertson came on to finish the job, and will probably return to the starting XI at Forest on Saturday, but for Jurgen Klopp it must be comforting to know he can rotate with safety in that position.

  2. The Losers

    The Losers

    Jarrod Bowen:

    Liverpool are long-time admirers of West Ham's No.20, and they'll like him even more after this. The England World Cup hopeful fluffed his lines in front of the Kop, and it would cost his side dearly. Bowen, in fairness, had won the penalty himself, bundled over clumsily by Joe Gomez, but he telegraphed his spot-kick, allowing Alisson to make a sprawling save low to his right. His impact otherwise was minimal, losing his battle with Tsimikas and managing only one further effort on goal. He's a good player, Bowen, but he'll see this as an opportunity missed, in more ways than one.

    David Moyes:

    This really isn't his ground, is it? Nineteen times the Scot has visited Anfield as a manager, with Everton, Manchester United, Sunderland and West Ham, and on each occasion he has failed to win. Only Sir Bobby Robson has been here more times as a manager (23) without tasting victory. Moyes felt his side had chances to take a result here, particularly in the final 20 minutes, but he will rue their lethargic, passive start to the game. By the time they'd woken themselves up, Liverpool were ahead, and with Bowen & Co. wasteful, the Hammers could have few complaints in truth.

  3. Liverpool Ratings: Defence

    Liverpool Ratings: Defence

    Alisson Becker (8/10):

    A couple of dodgy kicks early on, but a superb penalty save to keep his side in front before half time, and a brilliant touch to deny Soucek late on.

    Trent Alexander-Arnold (6/10):

    More than decent for 70 minutes but faded in the last 20, when he seemed to lose his bearings defensively.

    Joe Gomez (6/10):

    Clumsy in conceding the penalty on Bowen, and it seemed to affect him thereafter. Not bad, but not as dominant as against Manchester City.

    Virgil van Dijk (7/10):

    Largely in control, and won some big headers in his own box late on.

    Kostas Tsimikas (8/10):

    Terrific delivery for Nunez's opener and defended stoically.

  4. Midfield


    Thiago Alcantara (7/10):

    Ran the show in the first half, playing between the lines, keeping the ball and dictating the tempo. Replaced early in the second half.

    Jordan Henderson (6/10):

    Average first half, where he tried to play safe more often than not. A few good forward runs in the second half, though, and defended well.

  5. Attack

    Mohamed Salah (6/10):

    Back wide after a more central role Sunday and less of a threat as a result. Kept going until the end, without reward.

    Roberto Firmino (6/10):

    Linked the play well, and almost grabbed himself another goal. Off-the-ball work was crucial second half.

    Fabio Carvalho (7/10):

    Confident and bright, he looked the part before being subbed early in the second half.

    Darwin Nunez (8/10):

    An absolute whirlwind, peppering the West Ham goal with shots. Superb header to open the scoring and might have had another two or three goals.

  6. Subs & Manager

    Subs & Manager

    Fabinho (5/10):

    Slow to get into it and looked leggy.

    Curtis Jones (6/10):

    First appearance since July. Didn't do much on the ball, although was denied a goal by a good Rice block.

    Harvey Elliott (6/10):

    Got through a load of work on the right, protecting Alexander-Arnold.

    Andy Robertson (6/10):

    Came on to provide fresh legs.

    James Milner (7/10):

    A couple of massive interventions in his own box, and a couple of runs down the left wing which rolled back the years.

    Jurgen Klopp (6/10):

    Faith in Nunez was rewarded, as were his calls to start Tsimikas and Carvalho. Subs didn't really make the team any better, though.