Darwin Núñez ‘unstoppable’ despite frustrations in front of goal, says Klopp | Liverpool

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Jürgen Klopp reiterated his confidence in Darwin Núñez after Liverpool’s 3-1 victory at Aston Villa, praising the Uruguay striker’s unselfish streak and insisting his £85m record signing is an “unstoppable” force despite his frustrations in front of goal.

Mohamed Salah equalled Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool goalscoring mark to open the scoring with his 172nd strike for the club. Núñez missed a golden chance to get on the scoresheet but played a pivotal role in the buildup to the 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic’s first Liverpool goal, which capped the scoring.

“It’s not as though he can close his eyes and hit the ball in,” Klopp said. “The scoring in the beginning is not so important. I am not since yesterday in the business and so I know. When you look back, you cannot imagine how many big chances [other strikers] they made in the beginning. We are completely calm.

“What I really love and what is so special is that in the third goal pretty much everyone in the room, we would have all hammered the ball down and tried to force it. The workrate he put in, the depth he creates for us, he is unstoppable in the moment, there is no defender who can really catch up speed-wise. I know all of the stories around, it is completely fine. He played an exceptional game tonight and we won 3-1, that’s all that counts.”

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Klopp said Liverpool must remain a “pain in the backside” for their top-four rivals after they moved within five points of fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand after recording a third straight league win. Klopp described the Spain-born Bajcetic, whose Serbian father, Srdan, played for Red Star Belgrade, as “cheeky like hell”. Bajcetic joined Liverpool from Celta Vigo two years ago.

Andy Robertson registered his 54th Premier League assist after teeing up Salah’s fifth-minute opener, eclipsing the former Everton defender Leighton Baines’s record. Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose outside-of-the-boot pass to Robertson was the catalyst for the goal, is third on the list with 45 assists.

“I’m not into individual things but when you put that in the Premier League against some unbelievable defenders it is always nice to see yourself at the top,” Robertson said. “Full-backs have evolved a lot – it’s about being a defender but going forward is a big part of our game.

“It was perfect for us. Our away form has not been good enough this season. We got a big result against Tottenham before the break [a 2-1 win] and it was important to back that up.”

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