After a dominant first half for Liverpool against Bournemouth of Wednesday in the League Cup, it would have been easy to think the game was all but over in spite of the relatively narrow 1-0 scoreline in the Reds’ favour.
The second half, though, made clear the role weather had played. As the Cherries struggled in the first, Liverpool struggled in the second, with manager Jürgen Klopp later reflecting on an at times difficult match won only thanks to Darwin Nuñez heroics.
“We knew it, we talked about the weather because it was clear it will be a storm, wind will come,” Klopp noted. “So you know it but still it’s really different to then play football in it, but the boys took it completely in stride.
“It was a difficult game. Bournemouth did really well, had their moments. In life, in football, from time to time you need luck and tonight, for sure, in one or two moments Bournemouth could have finished situations but it’s an inch [the other way].
“Then Darwin shows his class and put the game pretty much to bed for us. An unbelievable goal. We had much bigger chances in whole game—like five, six, seven—but that was the goal we needed and he did it.”
Liverpool’s early attempts in the second half to play the ball in the air nearly ended in disaster due to the wind, forcing them to largely keep play on the ground—which their opponents reacted to by stepping up their press and equalizing.
Nuñez, though, as he so often has this season, picked his moment to unleash a spectacular strike—whether aided by the wind or simply in a moment when it had let up is hard to say—and sent the team and fans home happy.
“Everybody was really working extremely hard and that’s what you want,” Klopp added of the effort and eventual result. “Now we drive home, a long trip but we would have had to do it anyway—and going to the next round it feels much better.”