KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

Was Michael Owen right about Darwin Nunez? Viral Divock Origi clip says yes

Michael Owen’s comments earlier in the season over Darwin Nunez‘s finishing were not universally backed, but may now be better received by Liverpool fans.

Nunez produced one of the finishes of the season as he dinked Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken during the Reds’ 4-1 win back in February.

With the goalkeeper caught halfway in the box, the striker raced onto Diogo Jota‘s flick-on, took two touches and lifted it over Flekken from the edge of the area.

It was a sublime goal, in a campaign that has seen Nunez score 18 so far in all competitions.

But after that victory, Owen was both complimentary and critical of the No. 9’s approach, describing it as “madness to even consider that finish.”

“It’s a one-in-10, two-in-10 finish at best,” Owen wrote on Twitter.

“Learning to slot, dink or go round the goalkeeper is a far more productive way to score and will increase his chances to four or five in 10, thus massively increasing his end return.”

His advice was met with mixed reactions from Liverpool supporters, but the months that followed have suggested Owen was correct.

That was no more apparent than when Nunez was sent through one-on-one with the goalkeeper via Curtis Jones‘ through ball in the early stages of Thursday night’s clash with Atalanta.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 11, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez walks off the pitch as he is substituted during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and BC Atalanta at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Nunez again opted to attempt the chip, but this time the ball sailed tragically wide as he wasted one of the best chances of the game.

Liverpool went on to lose 3-0, having missed all three of their big chances, with Nunez withdrawn for the second game in a row while his side were chasing a result.

Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota were also unable to convert big chances, per FotMob, but no player had more shots on goal than the No. 9 (four).

The opportunity in question has become the subject of a viral clip doing the rounds on social media, comparing Nunez’s failure with a similar chance taken with aplomb by Divock Origi.

Origi was sent through in the same position during the Merseyside derby in 2019, but rather than look to dink it over Jordan Pickford, he took it round the goalkeeper and slotted in with ease.

Nunez can, of course, boast a better strike rate than Origi, with the Uruguayan scoring every 155.6 minutes on average for Liverpool while the Belgian managed one every 169.5.

But taking a more broader view when it comes to Owen’s take on his fellow striker, it certainly seems as though he has a point.