Ex-Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa gives Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp a huge boost
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Nunez, 24, starred for his country last night as they beat Brazil for the first time since 2001, and he played a vital role in the victory.
That victory saw them move to second in the South American World Cup qualifiers and Nunez was instrumental on the night, scoring and assisting in one of his best ever performances for his country.
Up against Arsenal’s Gabriel and Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos, he produced an excellent display against a strong Brazil side. Most notably, his all-round display was brilliant, as he demonstrated his improved link-up play, close control and technical skill - and it has certainly no coincidence that he has displayed such improvements since Bielsa’s arrival.
What was most remarkable was that Nunez had just 29 touches in total. He was as efficient as he’s ever been, similar to how he was able to net twice against Newcastle earlier this season after coming off the bench in the 77th to earn a stunning late comeback victory.
His first goal saw him link-up on the left before racing into the box, where he held a clever position away from the Brazilian defenders before comfortably heading home the cross from Maximiliano Araújo to give his side the lead.
The second goal saw him create something out of nothing - a trait that top strikers all possess. A throw-in into the box saw him immediately confronted by two defenders but he showed terrific fortitude to fashion an opening.
Managing to retain the ball from the throw-in, showcasing his improved close control, he then spun in behind Gabriel (who was absolutely brilliant recently against Erling Haaland before the international break) using his strength to muscle past and find a cross for Nicolás de la Cruz to volley home.
Earlier in the international break, he also fired in a late penalty to salvage a point against Colombia and it’s clear he is enjoying life under the ex-Leeds United gaffer.
He has started less games than Cody Gakpo in the league so far this season and he will be hoping to become Klopp’s number one option down the centre and add to the four goals and three assists he has managed so far at club level.
With the veteran duo of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani now out of the picture at international level, Nunez is now the hope for an entire country when it comes to their striking options, and that relationship with Bielsa is proving to be a match made in heaven as the chaos of Nunez meets the strategy and tactics of the Uruguayan manager.