Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez purple carded for Zinedine Zidane-like headbutt in Anfield debut

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez had an eventful Anfield debut on Monday towards Crystal Palace. Klopp inserted the Uruguay worldwide into the beginning XI for the primary time this season “because we have no other striker,” however solely noticed him on the pitch for below an hour as a consequence of a uncommon lapse of judgment. With frustration constructing in a match the place Liverpool had been down 1-0 from a purpose from Wilfred Zaha, Nunez was purple carded for a headbutt on Joachim Andersen — not in contrast to the Zinedine Zidane headbutt within the 2006 World Cup closing — within the 56th minute. 

Regardless of trailing on the time of the purple, Liverpool had been dominating the match and it felt like a second-half turnaround was within the playing cards. As an alternative, they had been compelled to settle right into a 1-1 draw of their first residence recreation of the season due to a superb purpose from Luis Diaz to rescue some extent. 

It is a outcome that sees the Reds drop factors of their first two video games of the season and already leaves them 4 factors behind Manchester Metropolis within the battle for the Premier League title. With Roberto Firmino not obtainable for choice and Diogo Jota nonetheless coping with an damage picked up in preseason, Diaz needed to play as a makeshift ahead to maintain issues ticking.

Patrick Vieira arrange his Crystal Palace staff in a again three to take care of Liverpool crosses into Nunez and his plan could not have labored higher. Nunez solely had 19 touches in a recreation the place he most likely felt remoted because of the bodily defending from the three Palace central defenders. And whereas he took 5 pictures himself, two had been blocked and the opposite three did not even take a look at Crystal Palace keeper Vicente Guaita.

Nunez misplaced his cool when he was shoved by Anderson and retaliated by headbutting the Danish middle again in return.

Liverpool had been capable of reply by discovering an equalizer by way of a beautiful solo strike by Diaz within the 61st minute, however it wasn’t sufficient to rescue a victory within the match. Your entire Liverpool assault flowed by means of Diaz, who was creating possibilities on the dribble, however the Palace protection held sturdy and the staff nearly obtained a winner from Wilfred Zaha. After the match, Zaha stated that the prospect got here too quick for him to take it on his left foot. It is arduous for Palace to not be happy with how issues went. 

 United States worldwide Chris Richards got here on in reduction of Tyrick Mitchell — who saved Mohamed Salah in verify — to make his debut at Anfield in a stress cooker. The Reds threw all the pieces ahead and Richards saved issues tidy and even made an interception to dam a shot and received all 4 of his aerial duels.

Whereas Richards could not slot immediately into the lineup within the subsequent match for Crystal Palace, it was a promising debut after the membership made a dedication to him with a five-year contract. He confirmed his versatility and carried out towards probably the greatest groups within the league, which is one other nod to Viera having his staff ready. All 16 gamers who featured knew their roles and had been capable of carry out them completely to get their first level of the season.

For a Liverpool aspect that has lacked depth to start out matches, they should discover a technique to push by means of regardless of the regarding variety of accidents effervescent up. Though they’ve produced loads of pictures, together with 24 on Palace, they have been predictable. Just one discovered the again of the online and it took a second of brilliance for that to come back to fruition. 

To be clear, the Reds are right down to their fifth-choice middle again, fourth-choice midfielder and are caught with backup choices at ahead. That’s actually a significant problem for Klopp, however it’s a problem he has overcome previously. Though we’re solely two weeks into the season, we will not neglect the title race was determined by one level final season. These dropped factors could also be extra essential than a looming three-game suspension to their star striker.

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