The Uruguayan’s moment of madness cost his side dearly as their slow start to the season continued against Crystal Palace at Anfield
Darwin Nunez was sent off on his first Premier League start as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Crystal Palace at Anfield.
The Uruguayan was shown a straight red card after shoving his head into Joachim Andersen, the Palace defender, following a clash 12 minutes into the second half.
Liverpool trailed 1-0 at the time, Wilfried Zaha having given the visitors the lead with a clinical finish from Eberechi Eze’s superb pass after 32 minutes.
But Jurgen Klopp’s side rallied with 10 men and levelled when Luis Diaz cut inside to lash an unstoppable 25-yard strike home in front of the Kop.
Liverpool pushed for a winner, but it was Palace who came closest when Zaha hit the post sliding in to meet Odsonne Edouard’s cross.
The result means Klopp’s men have now failed to win their first two games of the campaign for the first time since 2012-13, and they head to Old Trafford next to face Manchester United.
Talk about stepping up in the hour of need. Liverpool were in danger of collapsing completely, 1-0 down and reduced to 10 men after Nunez’s moment of madness. How would they respond?
The answer was provided by Diaz, who collected the ball on the left and danced his way between three Palace defenders, then cut inside another before smashing a quite brilliant 25-yard strike past Vicente Guaita.
It was a moment of pure brilliance from the Colombian, and it ignited the crowd, who had been stunned by Nunez’s dismissal and their side’s low-key start to the second half. Diaz is a winner, and his attitude makes him an ideal player for this Liverpool side.
They needed all of his spirit and belief here.
The best player on the field was wearing white. Eze put in an outstanding display as Palace left with a point and nearly headed home with three.
His slide-rule pass created the Eagles’ goal for Zaha, and his ability to evade challenges allowed him to glide through midfield and threaten Liverpool’s backline throughout.
Having seen last season ruined by injury, this is a big campaign for the 24-year-old, and he looks ready to seize his opportunity.
Liverpool’s medical department
Well, at least they’ll be getting paid plenty of overtime at the moment. We can add Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino to a lengthening absentee list, and Joe Gomez wasn’t deemed fit enough to start the game either.
A boost is badly needed, whether from Matip or Firmino, Diogo Jota or Ibrahima Konate or Thiago Alcantara.
At least they have a full week before their next game, against Manchester United.