Pep Lijnders ‘explains’ why Darwin Nunez was substituted in Liverpool’s draw against Chelsea
Darwin Nunez was back in the Liverpool side for the 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.
The forward was restored to the Reds’ starting line-up at Stamford Bridge, having previously been suffering with a cut to the ankle.
Nunez, like many of his team-mates, endured a frustrating evening as the Reds dropped more points in their pursuit of a Premier League top-four finish. However, Nunez did carry more of an attacking threat than most of Jurgen Klopp’s squad and registered two shots on target.
But when Mo Salah was introduced from the bench - after being dropped following the 4-1 loss to Manchester City - it was Nunez, who is the club’s second top scorer this season with 14 goals, withdrawn rather than Diogo Jota or Roberto Firmino.
However, according to The Athletic, Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders revealed that the Reds felt the summer signing from Benfica’s energy levels had dropped.
The report said: “It seemed strange that Nunez rather than Jota was taken off but Pep Lijnders explained that they felt the Uruguayan was running on empty.”
Nunez could keep his starting spot when Liverpool welcome Premier League leaders Arsenal to Anfield on Sunday (16.30 BST).
The draw against Chelsea leaves the Reds in eighth in the table and seven points outside of the Champions League spots.