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Nunez arrives & Bajcetic takes chance – 6 talking points from Leipzig 0-5 Liverpool

Liverpool hit five past RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena, with Darwin Nunez netting four goals in less than 45 minutes! Here are six talking points from the Reds’ third friendly of pre-season.

RB Leipzig 0-5 Liverpool

Pre-season friendly (3), Red Bull Arena
July 21, 2022

Goals: Salah 8’, Nunez (penalty) 48′, Nunez 51′, Nunez 69′, Nunez 90′


 

Hello, Darwin Nunez!

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the fourth goal, completing his hat-trick, during a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Pandora’s box is open,” Jurgen Klopp said to LFCTV after his new £85 million striker opened his Liverpool account in emphatic fashion.

After a week of rival fans desperately trying to convince themselves that the Reds had made a poor signing, this time, the Nunez compilations will be doing the rounds on social media for all the right reasons.

This was a glimpse of what the Uruguayan can offer Liverpool in the years to come.

Last week, Klopp said he was “completely convinced” about Nunez’s ability and believed it was only a matter of time until his teammates learned how to play to his strengths.

It’s not often you’ll see Mohamed Salah let someone else take a penalty!

It’s only pre-season, but after the first went in, the relief on Nunez’s face was clear. That took the weight off his shoulders, and his link-up play with the likes of Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho was excellent thereafter.

He’s arrived!

 

Salah sharp again

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates with team-mate Andy Robertson (R) after scoring the first goal during a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If this is a sign of things to come from Mohamed Salah this season, then we really are in for a treat.

The Egyptian was razor sharp in the 45 minutes he played against Crystal Palace last week, and it was the same again today.

He was heavily involved from the off, opening the scoring in the eighth minute after combining well with Roberto Firmino.

Leipzig left-back Angelino really did have his work cut out.

Salah struggled towards the end of 2021/22, as the uncertainty over a potential new contract rumbled on.

Now it’s signed and sealed, and with a well-earned, extended rest over the summer, could we be set to see the best Salah yet?

 

Nunez AND Firmino vs. Fulham?

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino during a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

At half-time, a lot of the talk on social media was about an impressive first half showing from Roberto Firmino.

Could his inclusion in the starting lineup alongside Salah and Luis Diaz suggest he’s on track for a start at Craven Cottage on August 6?

Maybe… until those four second half strikes from Nunez!

What if Klopp made room for both? It’s certainly possible. There’s been a lot of talk about a switch to a 4-2-3-1 system for the upcoming campaign and, while we’re yet to see it in pre-season, it will certainly be something Klopp will consider.

Firmino looked super sharp in the first half and, if he manages to avoid injuries this season, could be set for more involvement than many think.

A front four of Firmino, Salah, Diaz and Nunez? We’re fully on board!

 

Pressing masterclass

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (C) during a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Yes, it’s only pre-season, but the gulf between the two sides here really was noticeable.

Leipzig are a side who finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season and have competed well in the Champions League in recent years, but Liverpool made them look extremely ordinary.

You could say they play into Liverpool’s hands with their pressing system, or, you could acknowledge how the Reds were better than them in every department.

We’re only three games into pre-season, but the Reds were bang at it from the off and completely played Leipzig off the park in their own stadium.

One thing’s for sure, there should be no concerns about fitness levels or the team press!

 

Bajcetic gets chance to shine, and does

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Monday, July 11, 2022: Liverpool's Stefan Bajcetic during a training session at the Rajamangala National Stadium on day two of the club's Asia Tour ahead of a friendly match against Manchester United FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When Klopp made a host of changes in the second half, it was interesting to see Stefan Bajcetic get the nod to replace Fabinho.

Tyler Morton was also on the bench, while James Milner could easily have slotted into midfield with Isaac Mabaya or Sepp van den Berg at right-back.

The decision to give Bajcetic more minutes at the base of midfield is perhaps a sign of just how highly they Spaniard is rated by the first team coaching staff.

He certainly didn’t do himself any harm with his performance. It was his high press and interception that led to Nunez’s third goal.

At just 17 years of age, Bajcetic certainly has time on his side, but his selection here could suggest he’s in line for plenty more opportunities under Klopp this season.

 

Nunez steals the show, but another new signing shines

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Fábio Carvalho (R) celebrates with Harvey Elliott (L) after a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

All the talk will be about Darwin Nunez, and rightly so.

But another of Liverpool’s summer additions also produced a very impressive second half showing.

You can certainly see why Fabio Carvalho was a player that appealed to Klopp and his coaching staff when they made the decision to sign him from Fulham.

Here, he was introduced on the left-side of the attack in the second half, and he really did look the part.

It was Carvalho that single-handedly set up Nunez’s fourth goal, with a clever header into space before a driving run forward and pass on the edge of the box.

Fabio looks every bit a class act.

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