Liverpool News: Darwin Nunez took a long time to leave the field after losing his head. It won’t help, but perhaps his eventual, disgraceful exit gave Liverpool some inspiration.
After Nunez’s moment of insanity, Jurgen Klopp’s team almost avoided a loss thanks to a worldie from Luis Diaz. But make no mistake, the Mersyside team is not looking like challenging City with their early form.
Nunez will now be sidelined for the next three games, and Jurgen Klopp’s team is searching for their best form. This wasn’t according to the script for Klopp’s men as the world celebrated the Premier League’s 30th anniversary.
Had Patrick Vieira’s team not been in a rigid defensive mode, the festivities may have started off with more energy. However, a lot of that was necessary as Liverpool conducted themselves with a lot more urgency and directness than they had in their first game at Fulham.
Liverpool News: Early jolt for the Reds
Nunez pounced on their best opening opportunity, laying the stage for some rather shoddy penalty area effort from Liverpool’s offensive unit. They were forced to pay soon after the half-hour mark when Wilfried Zaha timed his run flawlessly, picking up Eberechi Eze’s pass in his stride, and finishing with serious aplomb.
The precise shot was Palace’s second contact with the Liverpool box. Ironically, Zaha might have increased the visitors’ advantage minutes later had his touch been better. However, a bad touch allowed Alisson to make the save.
The leeway he had for his second chance, though, brought attention to a problem in the centre of Liverpool’s defense. Nat Phillips was partnering with Virgil van Dijk for the first time in more than a year.
Zaha was the only threat for Palace, although there were many for Liverpool. Harvey Elliott, who, like other brilliant young players, lost his cool under pressure. The time-wasting tactics of the Eagles also made it difficult for Liverpool.
His departure just before the hour mark may have been motivated by exasperation, or he may have become tired of getting worked up by Joachim Andersen, who deserved to receive a yellow card for inciting Nunez. However, there was plainly no justification for the Liverpool striker’s headbutt, and other defenders are sure to have taken note of his response.
Nunez’s red car pumped up Klopp’s men
The irony is that Diaz, who had rarely put a foot right, raised the roof by overcoming a few poor Palace challenges before burying a ferocious right-footer, and the Nunez red card only served to enliven an otherwise dull Anfield.
Zaha should have won it on the break but could only fire a sitter against the outside of a post. Liverpool still had the better of the final few minutes despite being down a man. Even though a Palace victory would have been unfair to the home team, Klopp will still be worried.
Even while it’s still early, things are looking a little concerning for the guy who is typically considered Pep Guardiola’s sole real rival.