Darwin Nunez scores Uruguay hat-trick as Bielsa shows Slot how to get the BEST out of him

Darwin Nunez scored a hat-trick as Uruguay defeated Mexico in their final Copa America warm-up match on Wednesday night at the Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. 

The Liverpool striker hit two first-half goals from close range before another tap in after the break. 

The 24-year-old was replaced just before the 70 minute mark after alerting the bench to the effects of cramp. 

It shouldn’t hold him back, however, with Uruguay’s first Copa match slated for Sunday, June 23 against Panama in Miami. 

The Celeste also play Bolivia in East Rutherford and hosts United States in Kansas City during the group stages of the tournament. 

Coach Marcelo Bielsa must finalise his squad by June 15 at the latest and the indications are that Darwin will play a huge role. 

He was among 16 players who travelled to the US for the Mexico fixture while another 13 remained behind at Complejo Celeste to train under Bielsa’s assistant Pablo Quiroga. 

The full panel will now link up in Palm Beach, where Uruguay will be based for the Copa. 

Darwin's Bielsa connection

If Darwin’s current Uruguay form is anything to go by, he will be a good bet for top scorer at this summer’s tournament and Uruguay will certainly be among the contenders to lift the trophy. 

He has scored eight goals in his last seven caps under Bielsa who, more than ANY other coach, has unlocked the forward’s potential in front of goal. 

Darwin praised Bielsa back in November for helping get the best out of him in a goalscoring capacity, revealing the pair shared chats on Zoom calls and that Bielsa had made some key adjustments to his runs inside the box which was allowing him to find the target more often. 

He’s scored goals in victories against continental heavyweights Argentina and Brazil in the World Cup qualification sequence. 

Darwin's three goals against Mexico

On Wednesday night he demonstrated his poacher’s instinct, scoring his first goal from close range. Darwin stabbed home past Mexico goalkeeper Jose Rangel at close range while following up an initial effort which was saved. 

After Facundo Pellistri added a second, Darwin created the third, driving through midfield, exchanging passes with Maxi Araujo before applying another close-range finish. 

Manchester United’s Pellistri was in fine form down the right for Uruguay and he set up the fourth, and Darwin’s third, with a pass which found the Liverpool star sliding across the box. 

Bielsa shows Slot how to unlock Darwin

New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot would do well to take note on how Bielsa has turned Nunez into a killer in front of goal in international colours. 

While Darwin’s movement and goal threat has never been in doubt for the Reds, he has been unable to rack up a consistent tally of goals. 

In his nation’s shirt, he looks every inch the player Jurgen Klopp was minded to pay £85 million for. 

Share This Article