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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Liverpool v Sheffield United: Nunez goal punishes goalkeeper Grbic’s ‘absolute gift’

Darwin Nunez accepted an “absolute gift” from goalkeeper Ivo Grbic to ease Liverpool’s nerves as they attempt to hold off Arsenal and Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Bottom side Sheffield United started the game at Anfield nine points from safety but made a bright start before coming under increasing pressure.

There appeared to be little threat from the hosts, though, when Grbic fired a routine clearance from just inside his penalty area straight at the leaping Nunez.

With no other players nearby, the ball richocheted back past the Croatian and rolled into the back of the net for the 17th-minute opening goal.

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Former Leeds forward Lucy Ward felt sympathy for the Blades’ boss as she watched him drop his head while Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp celebrated.

“I’m just watching Chris Wilder in his technical area,” Ward observed on TNT Sports. “He just did a big sigh.

“There’s not much you can do about that. You can’t legislate for those sort of mistakes. That is an absolute gift.”

Nunez goal v Sheffield United

Grbic was making his sixth Premier League appearance of the season, having only featured in the top flight for the first time in place of Wes Foderingham following United’s 5-0 capitulation at home to Brighton & Hove Albion in February.

The 28-year-old had conceded 15 times across his previous matches, including six at home to Arsenal on March 4 and three against Fulham at Bramall Lane on March 30.

Liverpool began knowing that victory would move them two points above the Gunners and three clear of City at the top of the table.

Klopp’s players were pursuing a second consecutive league win following their 2-1 comeback win at home to Brighton on Sunday and dominated possession as the half wore on.

Nunez’s fortunate goal was his 18th of the season – and the Uruguay international might consider it his easiest of the campaign.

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