Darwin Núñez, Sir, You Got Owned

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When a stud player takes a big step from one of the top European leagues and joins a Premier League side, English pundits are happy to talk about what a difficult transition it will be as the player tries to adapt to the pace and Power Of The Best League In The World. I usually find these warnings exaggerated – the best Premier League teams are pretty good at scouting, and if a man is a truly world-class player worth a high transfer fee, he usually doesn’t have much trouble getting into a groove. Just look at Luis Díaz, who came to Liverpool from Porto last January and almost immediately became one of the team’s best players.

Ah, but then look at Díaz’s newest team-mate, Uruguayan striker Darwin Núñez, who was plucked by Liverpool for a huge sum from Benfica last summer, and who is relied upon to boost Liverpool’s attack enough for the Reds to keep pace. can keep up with Manchester City. During Monday’s game against Crystal Palace, Nuñez gave some credence to the idea that not everyone is built for instant success in the Premier League.

Núñez failed to capitalize on some great chances in front of goal, and in the second half, trailing his team 1-0 and struggling to defend Crystal Palace, he went and did this:

Oh, friend, you can’t do that!

What’s more telling than the headbutt itself is everything that led to it. Here you can see a handy collection of clips showing exactly how Palace defender Joachim Andersen systematically drove Núñez into a Zidane moment. Núñez didn’t just suddenly lose his cool; Andersen spent nearly an hour slowly working out his opponent’s patience, hoping things would end exactly as they were.

What’s remarkable about those clips is that they don’t show Andersen doing anything out of the ordinary. He’s certainly annoying and goes out of his way to clash with Nuñez whenever he can, but that’s exactly what central defenders do in the Premier League, especially in games where one side is a massive underdog. To be a star striker in one of the top two teams in the league, you have to be a man who has to deal with a big galoot who steps on you and sends forearm shivers every weekend. You just have to deal with it!

Fortunately for Núñez, it was Díaz who came to the rescue a few minutes after the elimination to capture the game and save a point for Liverpool:

Liverpool will be fine and will certainly rack up another obscene points tally this season, but their start to the season couldn’t have gone much worse. They played a 2-2 draw with a freshly promoted Fulham side in the first week and needed what will become one of the goals of the season to escape a home defeat to Crystal Palace. And now their big-money striker is being banned for the next few games, which in itself wouldn’t be such a big deal were it not for Liverpool’s other notable options, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota, both dealing. with injuries. It feels silly to worry about two consecutive draws and a suspension, but only until you remember the narrow margins Liverpool face each season. Twice in the last four years, Liverpool have missed out on the Premier League title by a one-point margin between them and Manchester City, and this season City have Erling Haaland close by to complete their tally. Liverpool go into each season with a title in mind and City as their biggest obstacle to achieving that, and that’s a combination of circumstances that leaves little room for error. Núñez made a big one, but at least he has this ahead of him: Liverpool will face Manchester United next week.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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