Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez’s first Anfield goal capped an impressive individual performance as a 1-0 win over West Ham was secured thanks to Alisson Becker’s penalty save.
The 23-year-old, a summer arrival in a £64million deal which with add-ons could eventually make him a club-record signing, has had a disjointed start to his Liverpool career but is already becoming something of a cult figure.
His willingness to shoot on sight offers Jurgen Klopp’s side unpredictability in the final third and West Ham experienced that first-hand in a showreel 45 minutes from the striker, one of five changes from Sunday’s win over Manchester City.
It helped extend Hammers boss David Moyes’ winless run at Anfield to 19 matches and the club’s woeful record to one victory since 1963 and just 10 points out a possible 111.
The second half produced more of the same, although Nunez was withdrawn just before the hour to a standing ovation, with Jordan Henderson lofting a shot over, Aaron Cresswell deflecting Roberto Firmino’s toe-poke behind and the woodwork coming to the rescue again as Zouma turned Henderson’s cross onto the bar.
But, with such a slender lead, Liverpool remained vulnerable and they were fortunate when Alisson produced a brilliant close-range stop from Gianluca Scamacca five minutes from time. As always a match like this produced the best odds out there with its interesting plays.