RB Leipzig 0-5 Liverpool: Player ratings as Darwin Nunez nets four in romp
By Tom Gott
A strong Liverpool side cruised to a comfortable 5-0 pre-season victory over RB Leipzig on Thursday, with summer signing Darwin Nunez stealing the show with four goals.
Jurgen Klopp went all-out with his starting lineup, with only Alisson, Nunez and Jordan Henderson not involved from the get-go.
It took Liverpool just eight minutes to take the lead. A nice one-two between Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino left the Egyptian one-on-one with Peter Gulacsi, and he kept his cool to slot home from close range.
Gulacsi came out on top a few moments later, getting down well to claim Salah's strike at the near post.
It got a bit ugly after that, with Liverpool stroking the ball about lethargically without making much of their possession, although they needed Virgil van Dijk to save the day with a nice block to stop a counter shortly before half-time.
Adrian also chimed in with a smart stop to deny Christopher Nkunku, who had the half's final chance as he profited from a sloppy touch from Ibrahima Konate to get a shot off.
The second 45 got off with a bang as Luis Diaz went down in the box, allowing Nunez to step up and net his first (unofficial) Liverpool goal from the spot.
Just moments later, Nunez was celebrating again. The big-money man got through on goal and made no mistake as he sent the ball crashing into the bottom corner.
A wave of second-half substitutes, which often slows a game down, actually had the opposite impact for Liverpool as the Reds really came to life, and Nunez had his hat-trick shortly before the 70-minute mark as he prodded home a cut-back from Harvey Elliott.
Elliott and fellow youngster Fabio Carvalho were both impressive, nearly getting on the scoresheet themselves, while Nunez thumped a header goal-wards ten minutes from time that needed a smart save from Janis Blaswich.
Nunez's fourth did eventually come in the dying embers of the game. His strike definitely should have been saved by young Blaswich but the Uruguayan definitely won't care.
Nunez is here.
Liverpool player ratings vs RB Leipzig
GK: Adrian - 6/10 - Wasn't particularly busy but did make a smart save to deny Nkunku late in the first half.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold - 8/10 - Fast. Very fast. We know what he's been working on this summer.
CB: Ibrahima Konate - 5/10 - Sloppy at times. Gifted Nkunku of all people a great chance late in the first 45. Doesn't look ready yet. Replaced at the break.
CB: Virgil van Dijk - 7/10 - Some excellent passes and flashed some impressive recovery pace as well.
LB: Andy Robertson - 7/10 - Still not good at shooting, but everything else was great. Looks ready to go after his 45 minutes.
DM: Fabinho - 4/10 - Really off it in the first half but not helped by the fact he slipped over probably 1,000 times. New studs needed.
CM: Naby Keita - 6/10 - Definitely doesn't have the legs just yet. Pretty lethargic but nothing too awful in his 45.
CM: Thiago - 7/10 - Actually profited from the slow tempo of the game. Had more time to pull the strings.
RW: Mohamed Salah - 7/10 - The liveliest of the front three. Could have had a few more goals to add to his early strike.
ST: Roberto Firmino - 6/10 - Nice early link-up play but drifted out of the game before being replaced at the break.
LW: Luis Diaz - 6/10 - Not involved a whole lot but did well to win the penalty. Still, 6 feels a bit generous.
SUB: Joel Matip (46' for Konate) - 6/10
SUB: Kostas Tsimikas (46' for Robertson) - 6/10
SUB: Jordan Henderson (46' for Keita) - 6/10
SUB: Darwin Nunez (46' for Firmino) - 10/10
SUB: Harvey Elliott (60' for Salah) - 8/10
SUB: James Milner (60' for Alexander-Arnold) - 7/10
SUB: Joe Gomez (60' for Van Dijk) - 6/10
SUB: Harvey Davies (60' for Adrian) - 6/10
SUB: Curtis Jones (60' for Thiago) -7/10
SUB: Fabio Carvalho (60' for Diaz) - 8/10
SUB: Stefan Bajcetic (60' for Fabinho) - 7/10