Match winner: Darwin Nunez scored the only goal in Liverpool's 1-0 win over West Ham
Darwin Nunez has not scored a goal in 10 straight games for Liverpool | Photo: AFP AFP News

Former Liverpool FC striker John Aldridge has criticised Darwin Nunez for his performance in the goalless draw against Manchester United.

Nunez started alongside Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah in Liverpool's frontline against Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday. Nunez, who has gone 10 games without scoring a goal for the Reds, has "zero confidence" when Liverpool need him to deliver in big moments, according to Aldridge.

What Darwin Nunez did was 'absolutely crazy'

Pointing at a particular instance in the 0-0 draw between Liverpool and Manchester United, Aldrige said that when Diaz's shot was stopped, Nunez stopped to appeal for a penalty, instead of shooting again.

"My biggest problem with Nunez was the chance he had after Luis Diaz saw a shot saved by Onana and, instead of shooting, he stopped to appeal for a penalty. That was just an absolutely crazy thing to do in that position. You have got to play to the whistle, that's one of the first things you are told as a footballer growing up," Aldridge wrote in a column in Liverpool Echo.

Aldridge, who played for Liverpool in the late 80s, further slammed Nunez, saying the playmaker's "liveliest moment of the match was when he got a booking from the referee, which is not great when you are the man leading the line and expected to deliver big moments".

"He has zero confidence at the moment and is in desperate need of a goal," the Liverpool-born former footballer added.

Aldridge: Dominik Szoboszlai is also struggling

Aldridge, who won the English First Division League with Liverpool in the 1987-88 campaign, has repeatedly stated that Jurgen Klopp's current set-up does not suit Nunez's style. The former player also believes that Liverpool's summer signing, Dominik Szoboszlai, is also struggling.

"It's not only Nunez who doesn't look right, Dominik Szoboszlai is having a torrid time at present. He started the season in remarkable style but his form has dipped badly of late," added Aldridge.

Liverpool signed Nunez during the 2022 summer window from Benfica at a club-record transfer of £85 million. The 24-year-old striker had a decent maiden season with the Reds, where he scored 15 goals and provided four assists in 42 appearances in all competitions.

In the ongoing 2023-24 season, Nunez has netted seven goals and seven assists in 24 competitive matches for Liverpool.

Manchester United's defenders left Liverpool frustrated as the goalless draw saw the Reds slip to second place in the Premier League table. Erik ten Hag and Co became the first team to take a point at Anfield this season in all competitions.

After the match on Sunday, Liverpool captain Virgil Van Dijk took a dig at the visiting side by saying "only one team was trying to win the game" and the Red Devils would "be buzzing with a point".

"If you see how we played the game, we had most of the ball and created some opportunities. There was only one team trying to win the game. We want to win every game of course and that is why it is frustrating... sometimes we shot too easy and could have passed on the overlap. The right decision was sometimes lacking," Van Dijk said in a post-match interview.

A frustrated Van Dijk also confronted Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana and accused him of using time-wasting tactics. "Because of you we only played a half-hour game," Van Dijk said to Onana in the players' tunnel. Onana, who made eight saves against Liverpool, simply smiled back in response and walked away.

Liverpool's upcoming match is the League Cup quarter-final against West Ham on Wednesday. Following this, they have a big game against Arsenal and the winner of the game will claim the top spot in the Premier League table. At present, the Gunners are the table-toppers in the league but are just a point clear of Liverpool.