Darwin Nunez will be told by Jurgen Klopp that he must maintain his self-control after the new Liverpool striker was sent off on his home debut for a headbutt on Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen.
The Uruguay international, who arrived from Benfica this summer for a potential club-record £85million fee, was dismissed in the 57th minute of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw in the Premier League. Klopp pointed to the provocation his forward had received but accepted there were no excuses for his reaction.
Nunez will be banned for forthcoming league games against Manchester United, Bournemouth and Newcastle United; and the Liverpool manager said that will give the 23-year-old the opportunity for reflection.
“There was provocation but it was definitely the wrong reaction,” Klopp admitted. “He will learn from that. Unfortunately, he has now three games to do that. It is not cool for us but it is how it is.
“Of course I will speak with him. I came in [after the game] and wanted to see the situation [on television]. In the game I could not see anything so I could know what happened. I saw Andersen on the floor and Darwin walking away. That was my picture. Then I saw it – yes it is a red card. Wrong reaction in the situation. Andersen wanted that, he got it but he [Nunez] made a mistake. Of course I will talk about it with Darwin but not yet.”
Klopp’s team actually improved when they went down to 10 men and a brilliant goal from Luis Diaz, firing into the bottom corner after cutting in from the left wing, cancelled out Wilfried Zaha’s first-half breakaway goal for the visitors.
However, losing Nunez only adds to Liverpool’s personnel woes. Their injury troubles continue to grow with Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino missing against Palace and Joe Gomez on the bench as he was not fit to play a full game. With midfielders Thiago Alcântara, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, defender Ibrahima Konate and forward Diogo Jota all unavailable, Klopp could have done without the self-inflicted suspension.
“The week was crazy; I have experienced a lot of weeks but that was like we had a witch in the building,” added Klopp. “Honestly, like every day somebody else pulled out [of training] for the craziest reasons
“Joel will be two weeks. We will see with that. Joey didn’t start because he only trained yesterday again as at the start of the week, [he had] a little issue. Bobby (Firmino) couldn’t make it. Hendo [Jordan Henderson] this morning, we got the information there was a little concern about something if he plays too long, so he didn’t play that long. That’s the situation. It was not too cool.”
'I'm pleased with quality we showed'
For Palace, this marked another hard-earned point against one of the Premier League’s so-called ‘top six’. Last season Patrick Vieira’s team collected 14 points against the top-flight’s glitterati and the manager was satisfied with a draw, having seen his side manage just 27 per cent possession and three shots on target.
“We could have won it. We could have lost it as well,” he said. “Of course I’m pleased with the point but even more with the quality that we showed today. We showed sides of the game that we need to show more often.”