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‘I’m disappointed’: Pundit singles out Liverpool star for poor performance during FIFA World Cup

Former England international Matthew Upson has criticized Liverpool superstar Darwin Nunez’s performance against Portugal in Uruguay’s second Group H match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Looking to earn their first win of the tournament, Uruguay took on Group H leaders Portugal at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Monday night (November 28).

The South American team failed to achieve their goal and ultimately succumbed to a disappointing 2-0 loss. Bruno Fernandes scored both goals for Portugal to guide them to the round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Liverpool ace Núñez, who was named in the starting XI against the 2016 European Championship winners, made no impact.

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He lost possession 13 times, came second in six of seven games and completed just 11 passes (68.8% accuracy). Unimpressed with his performance, manager Diego Alonso hooked him in the 72nd minute.

Upson was disappointed with the Liverpool striker’s performance against Portugal, saying the manager was right to take him out. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, the former England defender said (via the BBC):

“Tonight Darwin Núñez disappointed me. He hasn’t brought the energy and movement that Uruguay desperately needs, so it doesn’t surprise me that he has been replaced.”

After picking up just one point from two FIFA World Cup Group H games in Qatar, Uruguay find themselves in a difficult situation. They must secure a victory over Ghana in their last Group H match on December 2 to advance to the round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup alongside Portugal.

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Liverpool ace Darwin Nunez needs to get more involved to help Uruguay reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Nunez, who joined the Reds for an €80m fee in the summer transfer window, has been ineffective in both matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup so far. He has stayed on the sidelines, rarely using his physique and pace to take the fight to the opposition. Against Ghana, Núñez must get more involved to help Uruguay avoid a disastrous exit from the group stage.

Wearing this shirt, debuting in a World Cup, there are no words to describe what it feels like. Keep working for everyone’s dream! 🫡🇺🇾

The former Benfica man could work better as the focal point of Uruguay’s attack, rather than sharing the limelight with Edinson Cavani or Luis Suárez. The change in position could allow her to use his pace and passing prowess to become a more potent and direct goal threat.

Núñez must also learn to keep his cool in the Group H decider, having already been guilty of making the wrong decision several times.

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Edited by Sushan Chakraborty