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Darwin Nunez outburst speaks volumes as Liverpool star feels pressure

Darwin Nunez missed two big chances for Uruguay in the first half of their Copa America semi-final against Colombia and his frustrations were clear to see

Darwin Nunez screamed in frustration after a missed chance in the Copa America semi-final (

Image: FOX Sports)

Uruguay's striker Darwin Nunez, had a tough first half in the Copa America semi-final against Colombia, missing two golden opportunities - and a frustrated outburst after one miss indicated he knew how important they might be.

The Liverpool forward managed to bypass the Colombian defence and found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Camilo Vargas. However, he lacked the necessary composure and sent his shot wide of the bottom-left corner after 22 minutes.

Shortly after, Nunez was through again but hurried his effort and sent it over the bar. Nunez appeared to be in disbelief following his second crucial miss, having earlier expressed his anger after squandering a significant opportunity.

As he spun away in frustration, he screamed as it became clear he was feeling the pressure of leading the line for Uruguay in an enormous game, knowing Lionel Messi and Argentina await in the final. Within the first 30 minutes, Nunez had taken all four of Uruguay's shots but failed to challenge Vargas on any occasion.

Entering the semi-final, Nunez had scored two goals in four games at Copa America for Uruguay and was on a scoring spree ahead of the tournament. He had netted in seven consecutive games for Uruguay, totalling eight in ten, but his visibly frustrated reaction suggested he was perhaps feeling the pressure of the occasion.

The Liverpool forward had scored in Uruguay's first two games of Copa America, securing victories over Panama and Bolivia. Despite failing to score in a 1-0 win over the United States men's national team, he is still considered a superior option to Luis Suarez by head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Many supporters have been torn on Nunez since Liverpool club-record move from Benfica in 2022. He's netted 20 times in 65 Premier League matches.

Darwin Nunez has shouldered a lot of responsibility and felt the pressure for Uruguay

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Image:

2024 Robin Alam/ISI Photos)

Despite showing signs of being a top-tier striker, Nunez has been ridiculed by opposing fans for squandering key opportunities. He always seems to be in the right spot but occasionally lacks the killer instinct when presented with a golden chance.

Since making his Premier League debut, Nunez has taken 192 shots in 65 games, with 83 hitting the mark. While 20 of those on-target attempts have found the back of the net, he's missed 47 significant chances.

On average, Nunez misses a major opportunity every 0.72 matches, but he's also had a run of bad luck. No other player has hit the woodwork more than Nunez (14) since he arrived in England.

Fans are optimistic that new Liverpool manager Arne Slot can bring out the best in Nunez next season. His Copa America exploits are sure to have boosted his confidence before returning to pre-season - but the semi-final was a frustrating end to a tournament which saw him shoulder plenty of responsibility for his national side.

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