Darwin Nunez: Liverpool ‘can’t afford to relax’ after thrashing Manchester United


Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez described Mohamed Salah as “an absolute star” as his understanding with him and Cody Gakpo develops.

Darwin Nunez says Liverpool “can’t afford to relax” after their 7-0 win against Manchester United, and must attack their next game against Bournemouth “like lions”.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have had a turbulent season but a recent revival saw them beat their old rivals at Anfield last week to put them back in contention for the Premier League’s top four.

Nunez has scored 14 goals and provided four assists in 31 games for Liverpool since his big-money move from Benfica last year, including scoring twice in Sunday’s win over United.

Liverpool travel to Bournemouth on Saturday having thrashed the Cherries 9-0 at Anfield earlier in the season, but the Uruguay striker knows they cannot be underestimated.

“We can’t afford to relax now just because we beat Manchester United 7-0,” he told Liverpool’s official website. “We have to go into this game with the same mentality and the same desire to win to bring home the three points – which is what we want to climb the table.

“We beat them 9-0 in the first game [this season] against [Bournemouth] if I’m not mistaken, but this is a different game now. We have to go there and try to beat them again.

“It’s like what happened with Manchester United, they beat us [2-1 at Old Trafford] but then it was a different game and we managed to score seven goals. That’s football – things can turn around. We have to go there and be strong with the same positive mentality.”

In August’s 9-0 rout, Bournemouth sacked Scott Parker as head coach, who has since been replaced by Gary O’Neil, and Nunez was impressed with their effort in last Saturday’s 3-2 loss to leaders Arsenal at the last minute.

“They come into this game in decent form and you can see the changes they’ve made in their performances,” he said. “They did a great performance against Arsenal for example and were unlucky to concede in the last minute – but that’s football for you.

“Now we have to go play against them and go there with a positive mindset, don’t let up for a minute and go out there like lions from the first second.

Nunez has slowly developed a partnership with Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo since his arrival at the end of last season and Gakpo’s in January, with the trio scoring six of the seven goals against United (two each).

“Salah is a completely different thing – he’s an absolute star,” Nunez said of the Egyptian. “And Gakpo, he came here when we weren’t in the best shape and he also had to settle in. We needed time to train together and now you can see that we are developing into a better understanding.”

“I hope it will continue in the same way and that those who are at the front will bring a lot of happiness to the fans because they deserve it.”

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