Darwin Nunez a doubt for Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal after playing through injury

Darwin Nunez is a doubt for Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal on Sunday as Jurgen Klopp praised him for playing through the pain barrier in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Chelsea.

Klopp revealed that the Uruguayan striker left Anfield in a protective boot after an evening when he hit the woodwork four times, including from a penalty, but set up Luis Diaz’s late goal.

The Liverpool manager said the £64m forward was affected by his penalty miss and said his willingness to keep on going was all the more admirable as he suffered a foot injury in the first half.

Klopp said: “A little side story you don’t know, I don’t know if Darwin will be available or not because after 20 minutes, someone stepped on his foot. [It was] very painful after the game. He only took the boot off after the game because he didn’t want to see it before. He knew there was something. He left the stadium in a boot and it was not a football boot.

“Nothing broken, X-ray clear, but swollen. We have to see if he can get his foot back in a football boot or not. That takes time. I didn’t see him this morning so we have to wait a little bit.”

Nunez had 11 shots without scoring against Chelsea and spurned a spot kick on the stroke of half time. “It impacts him of course, he is a human being,” added Klopp.

“If it didn’t affect him, that would be strange. But he knows he will have another chance. The penalty he missed, that hit him definitely. But going through this game with the pain he had, that shows so much more. I don’t judge Darwin because of the crossbar moments. I judge him for the assist for Lucho.

“It was late in the game and super decisive for us, super important for us. The run he makes, gets in front of the defender, he sees Lucho coming and puts the ball in so Lucho can finish it off. That is outstanding football-wise, not being bothered about your own bad luck. Just staying in the game, and that is what he did.

Nunez broke a Premier League record by hitting the woodwork four times against Chelsea (Getty Images)
Nunez broke a Premier League record by hitting the woodwork four times against Chelsea (Getty Images)

“I am more than happy with him. It’s an interesting story, I get that 100 perc ent. Breaking the record for the crossbar is not a record you want to have but if you have it, it just shows you are as close as it gets to scoring. That is exactly Darwin’s situation. He will score.”

Klopp faces other selection dilemmas at Arsenal, with first-choice full backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson in contention to make their first starts since returning from injury but Joe Gomez in fine form and Conor Bradley having had the best match of his brief career against Chelsea, when he scored one goal and made two more.

“It is the first moment in the season where we have a luxury problem, more players available than we can start,” Klopp added. “It is no problem, it is good.”