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Is Nunez injured? Klopp explains why he subbed Liverpool match-winner after first Anfield goal for Uruguayan

2:38 PM SGT 20/10/22
Darwin-Nunez
Jurgen Klopp has explained why Darwin Nunez was taken off after scoring his first Anfield goal in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over West Ham.
  • South American striker on target vs West Ham
  • Was replaced after less than an hour
  • Reds taking no chances on forward's fitness

WHAT HAPPENED? The Uruguay international striker registered his fifth effort for the Reds when helping them to edge out the Hammers in a Premier League encounter on Merseyside. Nunez is now up and running on home soil, having faced plenty of questions regarding his ability to justify a £64 million ($75m) price tag, but the 23-year-old is considered to be still be working his way towards full match fitness and sharpness after starting only four top-flight fixtures.

WHAT THEY SAID: Klopp told reporters when pressed on why Nunez was substituted after less than an hour against West Ham: “He felt a little bit the muscles at half-time but it was all fine and after five minutes [of the second half] I was just a bit concerned about long sprints for him and balls where he stretches his legs. I thought, 'Come on, we cannot take that risk' and that's why we changed. But then because West Ham are a set-piece team as well so we needed to make sure we had enough players who can withstand that, so that's why the two other changes came as well. In the end, when we changed another two times, then we controlled it again.”

Asked directly if Nunez’s fitness is a concern, Klopp added: “No, no, no. I think we caught it at the right moment.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Nunez is working himself up to speed at Liverpool, with the Reds convinced that he will deliver an immediate return on the sizeable show of faith made in him.

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DID YOU KNOW? Liverpool have now recorded 33 Premier League wins against West Ham, their outright most against a single opponent, 20 of which have come at Anfield. Indeed, the Reds are now unbeaten in their last 29 Premier League fixtures on home soil (W22 D7).

WHAT NEXT FOR NUNEZ? Liverpool, who are now up to seventh in the Premier League table, will be back in action on Saturday when taking in a trip to Nottingham Forest.