Nunez red card cost Liverpool

20 Aug 2022 | 08:34 | Football

Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez was shown a red card by referee Paul Tierney against Crystal Palace at Anfield in the Premier League on Monday. Photo: Reuters


Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez was shown a red card by referee Paul Tierney against Crystal Palace at Anfield in the Premier League on Monday. Photo: Reuters

Liverpool fought back with 10 men to prevent their first Premier League defeat in front of fans at Anfield since 2017 when Darwin Nunez was sent off in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday.

Luis Diaz’s strike saved a point for the Reds after Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring for Palace in the first half.

In just the first two games of the season, Liverpool are four points behind leaders Manchester City with their new €75m (£63m, $77m) striker largely to blame.

Nunez scored in his first two appearances against City in the Community Shield and picked up a point as a substitute in the 2-2 away draw against Fulham last weekend.

But the Uruguayan’s headbutt into Joachim Andersen just before the end of the hour left his side with a tough test of the game and growing ground to build the race to the title. .

Jurgen Klopp said when asked if Nunez had let his teammates down.

“Of course it was a red card. He was provoked but that’s not how he should behave.”

Liverpool have somewhat dug themselves out of the hole thanks to Diaz’s superb equalizer and Klopp said he was proud of the way 10 men reacted after a difficult week due to the injury crisis at the start of the season.

Roberto Firmino, Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate are all sidelined, while Joe Gomez is fit enough to come off the bench.

Nat Phillips was forced to make his first Premier League appearance since the last day of the 2020/21 season at centre-back, while Klopp had no option to refresh his attack late in the game.

‘The Witch in the Building’
Klopp added: “The real feeling I have right now is pride. “With the week’s preparation, we’ve got that unbelievable. It’s like a witch is in the building, every time someone else has a problem.”

Klopp has criticized his side for a slow start that cost them two points to newly promoted Fulham at the first weekend of the season.

This time, Liverpool unleashed traps, but were unable to turn their early dominance into goals.

James Milner, Nunez and Mohamed Salah all failed to hit the target, while Harvey Elliott’s shot on goal was saved by Andersen.

Palace were barely outnumbered in the first half hour, but Patrick Vieira’s game plan was perfected to open the scoring.

Eberechi Eze wriggled away from Liverpool’s defense to play the ball precisely behind for Zaha to break the offside trap and cross the corner past Alisson Becker into the far corner.

Liverpool should still have leveled the gap before the first half ended when Nunez took an unfortunate opportunity and the ball went wide of the post.

His nightmarish home debut was complete in the 57th minute as he hit Andersen with a headbutt that will also cost him upcoming games against Manchester United, Bournemouth and Newcastle.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Liverpool have refused to boast their proud unbeaten record at home both behind the closed era of coronavirus restrictions.

Diaz led the fight with a superb individual run and shot with an arrow into the far corner to level the score in the 61st minute.

The red card did not prevent Palace from planning to play deep and counterattack, and it almost worked.

Zaha should have won the game when his shot hit the post from Cheick Doucoure’s cross in the 12th minute.