Garth Crooks claims Liverpool man plays worse without Darwin Nunez in the team

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Liverpool were far from convincing in their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates and paid the price as an array of mistakes in the second-half were exposed by their hosts.

Matters weren’t helped either by the absence of Darwin Nunez for most of the tie, with Garth Crooks noting Diogo Jota appeared to miss ‘the physical presence’ of his fellow forward.

“He [Gabriel] never gave Diogo Jota a kick, who looked like he missed the physical presence of Darwin Nunez. Meanwhile, Gabriel’s partnership with William Saliba reduced Liverpool’s chances to a minimum,” the BBC Sport pundit wrote in his team of the week column.

That was epitomised by a complete failure to register a single shot on target in the first half of action.

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The forward line can be blunt without Nunez

We can respect Jurgen Klopp trusting in the talents of Cody Gakpo, though we do feel the occasion called for our No.9 – if he was fit enough to take to the pitch in the first place.

Nunez’s ability to incite disarray in opponent backlines and create chances for himself and his teammates is virtually irreplaceable. Certainly so whilst Mo Salah continues to recover on the sidelines.

Nunez is on 22 goal contributions this term – (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

We can only hope our former Penarol ace will be back in the starting-XI for the foreseeable future.

In such a close title race, it looks like we can’t afford to be without our Uruguayan international.

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