Darwin Núñez Key in Liverpool’s Hunt for the Quadruple

Liverpool thrashed Sparta Prague 6-1 in Prague last Thursday in the second leg of their round of 16 tie in the Europa League. Darwin Núñez scored the first goal of the match and now has 17 goals in 41 matches this season. More importantly, the 24-year-old Uruguayan striker has now scored in four consecutive matches for the Reds. However, he was not able to score in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City the previous weekend.

He enjoyed a somewhat indifferent form during the first half of the season, but seems to have regained his touch as it draws to an end. He has already overtaken his last season’s tally of goals with his marker on Thursday.

Núñez’s shooting prowess came to the fore once again

Núñez is one of those strikers who enjoy scoring with powerful shots from outside the box. The fact that he is very comfortable playing as a left winger in a 4-3-3 underlines his ability to play well outside the opposition penalty box.

In this regard, he is a lot similar to a few strikers of the past like Gabriel Batistuta, Alan Shearer, Francesco Totti and Wayne Rooney, all of whom enjoyed scoring with powerful shots from outside the penalty box. In fact, Núñez is probably more comfortable scoring from outside the box than he is from within it. While he is still quite young, the Uruguayan marksman is showing all of the potential to have a career reminiscent of the previously mentioned strikers.

Núñez’s explosiveness also makes him dangerous from counter-attacks

Núñez thrives by having ample space inside the opposition half and can be dangerous from counter-attacks. In comparison to his teammate Luis Díaz, who is a better dribbler and enjoys having the ball on his feet, Nunez is more powerful and explosive and enjoys it more when his team plays direct football.

He also has an uncanny and extremely useful trait of being able to score in the dying moments of a match. The latest such instance came in the Premier League match against Nottingham Forest, which saw him score the only goal in it with a header in the 99th minute.

He also scored a brilliant brace against Newcastle United after coming in as a substitute to guide his team towards a victory. With the likes of Díaz, Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo in the squad, he has found it difficult at times to make it to Liverpool’s starting XI. As the talismanic Mohamed Salah plays on the right flank, the competition is effectively between the rest of the forwards for the remaining two spots in the Red’s frontline.

However, of late, Núñez has been making the most of the opportunities which have come his way. Liverpool are now second in the Premier League table and have already won the EFL Cup. They are also in contention for the title at FA Cup and the Europa League. Núñez, therefore, will have to continue his good run in order to help his side move towards a very rare quadruple. It remains to be seen whether he is able to do that.

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