Klopp praises Nunez and his ‘big heart’; reveals Liverpool star was ‘surprised’ by miss

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp thinks Darwin Nunez was “surprised” that Roberto Firmino passed him the ball before his terrible miss against Ajax.

The Uruguay international hit the post just before half-time when Roberto Firmino squared the ball to him in the area with the goal at his mercy.

It was poor miss but the 23-year-old made up for his error by scoring a lovely header in the second half to bag the Reds’ second goal in a 3-0 win in the Netherlands.

Speaking to BT Sport about his side’s performance, Liverpool boss Klopp said: “They had a top half an hour from a specific moment where they created a lot of pressure and did really well and we had to defend with a lot of passion.

“We scored a goal which was exceptional. The second half we had a really good start and controlled the game from then on.

On Nunez’s miss, Klopp added: “I think even he was surprised! [when Firmino passed for the shot on the woodwork]. He had a really good game in both directions, helped defending and played with a big heart today so hopefully we took him off early enough!

Reflecting on the game further, Klopp continued: “We changed system again a little bit, we had to. We thought it would make sense. Ajax are a good football team and full of confidence always and you have to adjust. We did that and fine.

“It is clear. We are through to the knockouts and I will never take that for granted. Really helpful for the club, of course it gives the lift. Tonight we all feel great and we have a few days to prepare for Leeds.”

Mo Salah and Harvey Elliott scored the other two goals for Liverpool and left-back Andy Robertson also had his say on the victory in Amsterdam.

Robertson told BT Sport: “We knew they had to win. They tried to start fast and I don’t think we calmed down quickly enough but the important thing was we didn’t concede. We managed to keep it tight and then it was about getting the first goal.

“We got the goal and in the second half we came through. Nice to get through before the last game.

“We had control. Darwin was really angry with himself at half time. I sat next to him at half time and told him I would put a cross in to his head for him to score.

“Three nil at this place, a really tough place to come and the clean sheet is so important for us now.”

READ MORE: Ranking the average age of Premier League XIs: Arsenal youngest and Liverpool oldest bar Fulham


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