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Liverpool’s Nunez involved in clash with supporters



Liverpool’s Nunez involved in clash with supporters

Liverpool striker Darwin Núnez was involved in an ugly altercation with Colombian supporters in the stands after Uruguay’s Copa America semi-final loss.

Nunez climbed railings to get into the stand at the Bank of America Stadium in North Carolina and exchanged blows with supporters as the police tried to intervene, TV footage showed.

Other Uruguay players were reportedly involved in the incident, with Uruguay captain José María Giménez claimed that they were protecting their families.

Governing body CONMEBOL has opened an investigation into the incident.

Uruguay coach Marcelo Bielsa said his side had more talent in their ranks than Colombia and therefore he should be the one taking responsibility for the defeat.

Jefferson Lerma scored the winner as 10-man Colombia claimed a 1-0 win to progress to Sunday’s final against Argentina.

“Uruguay was in a clear condition to win this match if you assess the individual talent in each squad,” Bielsa told reporters.

“I manage the team that, in my opinion, had the stronger individual talent vis-à-vis the opponent, and we weren’t able to make the difference that I thought we were going to make if you compared both formations.

“I am personally liable for not achieving the result, despite having these players that were capable of being superior than the opponent.

“We were not able to seize our extra man advantage, and when a team wins with less individual talent, logically, the manager that is coaching the weaker team shows that he is superior than the coach that had the best players.”

Colombia coach Nestor Lorenzo was delighted that his gamble to stay on the attack despite going down to 10 men paid off.

Colombia took a 1-0 lead before having right back Daniel Munoz sent off in first-half stoppage time.

Down a man for the whole of the second half, Lorenzo opted to keep two forwards on the pitch to create chances instead of sitting back and ‘parking the bus’.

“One of the main topics we discuss is that we never want to be one man down. It is almost impossible to maintain performance with 10 players on the pitch,” Lorenzo said.

“Teams that were dominating their opponents when they were one man down were eliminated from the tournament. We really analysed that situation.

“With the formation, we only had two options of 5-4, 5-3-1 or to keep it 4-3-2 and create opportunities. We chose that one and God favoured us. Some of their opportunities didn’t go in, but we also missed some goals and we made it.”

“To beat Bielsa, you need to walk many miles”

Colombia could have doubled their lead at the end when Mateus Uribe missed two chances, but Lorenzo was just relieved to get the better of Uruguay coach Marcelo Bielsa.

“I think that to beat Bielsa, you need to walk many miles. He is a reverent coach and I really admire him as a person. It was our turn to win, that’s all,” he added.

Lorenzo also refused to criticise Munoz, who picked up a second yellow card after elbowing Uruguay’s Manuel Ugarte.

“Daniel is feeling a bit sad because he’s a lion on the pitch and once more he got a bit emotional,” he said.

“I hugged him and I told him that without him we wouldn’t be where we are, so he has to hold his head up high.”

Colombia’s victory also set a national record of 28 matches unbeaten and Lorenzo paid tribute to former boss Francisco ‘Pacho’ Maturana, who went 27 games without defeat.

“Pacho and his group, they gave us a very important legacy. They left it for us and that was the foundation for Colombian football,” he said.

“So I’m not superior to him, this benefits Colombian football.”

Additional reporting: Reuters

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