Liverpool 5-1 Toulouse: A dazzling Grafenberg, Nunez’s crazy six seconds – and a headed goal

Liverpool have made winning at Anfield look obvious this season, and it was no different against Toulouse.

Jurgen Klopp’s side maintained their perfect record in the Europa League this season with an emphatic victory over the Ligue 1 side in an entertaining encounter.

Our experts break down the big talking points from another satisfying outing for the Merseyside side…

Gravenberch’s big night

When Liverpool went shopping in Germany for the final item on their list this summer, they were sure Ryan Gravenberch was the answer.

Endo ends dry scalp

It was a difficult period for Wataru Endo.

Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis McAllister have quickly adapted to life at Liverpool, earning places in Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice midfield. In recent weeks, fellow summer signing Grafenbrech has increasingly looked on that side.

However, Endou was watching from afar. An unused substitute against both Brighton & Hove Albion and Everton, the trip to Newcastle United in August remains his only Premier League start since his shock £16.2m move from Stuttgart, with McAllister being Klopp’s preferred option as a No.6.

The Japan international has been desperate to prove that he deserves more game time and this was a big night for him.

Endo scores his first goal for Liverpool (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

Through tackles and closing down space, Endo protected a much-changed back line. In possession, he raised his head early and repeatedly helped turn defense into attack by dishing out pinpoint points. Endo completed 67 out of 70 passes (96 per cent) and won 11 out of 15 duels (73 per cent) in addition to making six tackles and three interceptions.

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After Thes Dalinga took advantage of Liverpool’s high line to cancel out Diogo Jota’s brilliant opener, the 30-year-old put the hosts back in control.

A short corner routine between Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones ended with Endo heading past Restes from a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross.

Not only was this his first goal for Liverpool, it was also the first headed goal of the season for Klopp’s side. And Liverpool’s first headed goal since Joel Matip scored against West Ham in April. Ironically, it was provided by the 5ft 10in (178cm) midfielder.

His dazzling smile lit up Anfield as the Kop chanted his name for the first time.

Headed goals in all competitions 2023-24

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He almost scored the second goal after the break when he passed the ball to Niklas Schmidt, but he blocked his shot wide of the goal. However, Endo could hold his head high.

James Perse

Six seconds summed up Nunez

Darwin Nunez was substituted to loud cheers from an appreciative Anfield crowd after a moment of madness contributed to Liverpool’s fourth goal. He was smiling, but he almost couldn’t believe the play that preceded his exit had passed.

In six seconds of utter chaos that summed up his Liverpool career so far, Núñez surged forward…

He dribbled past the Toulouse defender with ease.

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Then he passed the goalkeeper…

…before somehow smashing the post instead of turning it into an empty grid. Typical Nunez.

Even after Gravenberch put the finishing touch on the move, Nunez was on the floor cursing, wondering how another glorious opportunity in front of the Kop could ever beg again.

However, he is still very likable. The fans stood behind the big Uruguayan all night, praising his hard running and composed play while cheering after every impressive moment. After all, he scored from a tight angle in the first half, which made his miss in the second half even more curious.

There is a true champion if he can only find shooting boots consistently.

Greg Evans

A proud evening for the Academy

The Europa League is not where Liverpool want to be, but it at least gives Klopp the luxury of being able to utilize his squad.

Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Kostas Tsimikas, Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis McAllister and Luis Diaz spent the night off, while Mohamed Salah – who scored Liverpool’s fifth goal to become the player with the most goals in Europe for an English club – appeared before Sunday’s match. In the English Premier League with Nottingham Forest.

The Europa League offers some fantastic opportunities for the club’s youngsters, and 19-year-old left-back Luke Chambers, who has been on the books since he was six, was the latest to earn his full debut.

Luke Chambers impressed by Liverpool (Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

With Andy Robertson sidelined for almost 12 weeks after undergoing surgery in Manchester on Wednesday, Klopp must ease the burden on Tsimikas. The Greek international cannot play every game in such a busy schedule.

Chambers, who enjoyed a productive loan spell at Kilmarnock last season, has settled in well after some early nerves.

In the second half, there were first starts for fellow teenagers Callum Scanlon and James McConnell. What an experience for them on the big stage; It should whet their appetite.

There have also been more minutes for Jarrell Quansah, who has benefited hugely from Liverpool’s decision not to buy another centre-back this summer.

Callum Scanlon came on as a substitute in the second half (Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

Add to the mix Alexander-Arnold wearing the captain’s armband and Jones pulling the strings in midfield, and it was a proud night for the club’s academy staff.

James Perse

(Additional reporting: Mark Curry)

(Top image: Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

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