Not just the goal: Neil Jones loved one thing Darwin Nunez did against Brentford on Saturday

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Darwin Nunez treated us to a sublime finish during Liverpool’s 4-1 win at Brentford on Saturday, although that wasn’t the only thing from the Uruguayan which had Neil Jones singing his praises.

The 24-year-old’s casual chip over Mark Flekken came about from a clearance up the pitch, with Diogo Jota watching the ball all the way before nodding it into the path of his teammate, who ran on to cap the move in sumptuous fashion.

The Reds’ number 9 has been castigated over his finishing this season – he was even questioned by Michael Owen for not choosing a simpler option with which to score at the weekend – although Jones was full of praise not just for the finish, but also the striker’s anticipation of the eventual assist.

Speaking to EOTK Insider, the journalist said: “Sometimes it will go wrong and sometimes it will go right. It went right on Saturday – it was a brilliant finish!

“I think the anticipation from Nunez as well to see the ball go up – he’s the only one really on the move anticipating it might reach Jota who might then turn it into his path – he banks on Jota’s brilliance and gets his reward, so I think there’s so much to admire about it, even if you imagine the things that could have gone wrong!

“I think if you look at his numbers this season (13 goals, 11 assists), I think we’re seeing far more good than bad from Darwin.”

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Jones is absolutely right to highlight the intelligence from Nunez in anticipating the possibility of Jota getting on the end of Virgil van Dijk’s booming clearance, when other strikers mightn’t have shown the same gumption to get into a position from which they could subsequently score.

Imagine how frustrating it would’ve been for the Portuguese attacker if his perfect reading of the ball to cushion it into an inviting area of the pitch was made redundant by none of his teammates getting forward to duly make use of it.

This is the side of the Uruguayan’s game that many pundits lazily ignore when berating him for missing chances he’d be expected to finish. Some centre-forwards might be expert goal poachers but wouldn’t have the vision or determination to get onto the ball in the way that the 24-year-old did for his goal on Saturday.

From anticipating the header by Jota to finishing the chance so exquisitely, it was a magnificent passage of play on so many levels for Nunez, who delivered another defiant response to his critics in Liverpool’s emphatic win at the Gtech Community Stadium.

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