Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was impressed with the impact that £85m summer signing Darwin Nunez made off the bench as the Reds beat Manchester City in the Community Shield.
Liverpool sealed the win in the closing stages after City forward Julian Alvarez had cancelled out Trent Alexander-Arnold’s earlier opener. Mohamed Salah scored form the penalty spot in the final few minutes, with Nunez eventually going on to seal the 3-1 victory deep into stoppage time.
Klopp had opted not to start with his newest star, seeing enough promising signs to be optimistic for the season ahead, and indeed every Liverpool player who was involved as a substitute, including Naby Keita, James Milner and Harvey Elliott.
“It is clear [Nunez’s impact] will get better with time,” the boss said, via LiverpoolFC.com.
“We live in a world where everybody gets judged on first sight and that’s not helpful for nobody, but it happens constantly. We were today – both teams – not at 100 per cent of their physical, usual situation, if you want.
“But in the first few games [of pre-season] we were not even close to the fitness level of today. Then when [Nunez] came on, we passed each ball for him to chase it and after the third ball he was completely killed and then everybody judged his first touches and these kind of things.
“It’s just a joke, but we have to live with that, he will deal with it brilliantly, we are patient, and we know he can do good stuff. I liked his impact today; I liked the impact.
“Probably one of the highlights of the game was the impact from the bench – really exceptional. Everybody who came on was immediately in the game – very, very, very helpful. A top sign.”