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Media baffled by Darwin Nunez’s “red mist” as Liverpool drop more points

Darwin Nunez‘s nightmare home debut for Liverpool was the clear talking point for the onlooking media, as the Reds could only draw 1-1 with Crystal Palace.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side were rarely at their best at Anfield, even though they created plenty of chances throughout the evening.

Wilfried Zaha and Luis Diaz traded goals, but it was Nunez’s senseless red card that proved to be the standout, and pivotal, moment.

The draw means Liverpool are already four points behind Man City after just two matches, adding early complexity to their Premier League title hopes.

Here’s how the media reacted to the Reds’ latest slip-up.

 

Nunez’s red card was criticised by many…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez reacts after being shown a red card and sent off during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goal‘s Neil Jones was left baffled by the striker’s moment of madness:

“Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What was the Uruguayan thinking?

“With Liverpool 1-0 down, Anfield edgy and cool heads needed, Nunez did exactly what his side didn’t need him to do. He reacted to a bit of provocation from Joachim Andersen and left the Palace defender in a heap.

“Paul Tierney had no hesitation in showing the red card, and Nunez had to be escorted from the field by James Milner.

“It cost his side here, and it will cost them in the coming weeks. There will be no Nunez at Old Trafford next week, nor against Bournemouth or Newcastle after that. With resources already stretched, Klopp could well have done without a moment of sheer stupidity from his new big-money centre-forward.”

Andy Dunn of the Mirror rued Nunez’s costly error on the Premier League‘s 30th anniversary:

“After Darwin Nunez lost his head, it took him some considerable time to leave the field. It will be no consolation but maybe his eventual, ignominious departure somehow inspired Liverpool to a point.

[…]

“Nunez will now miss the next three matches and Jurgen Klopp’s side are scratching around for their top form.

“As a 30th birthday party for the Premier League, this was hardly a swish bash – more beer and sandwiches than champagne and caviar.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez walks off after being shown a red card and sent off during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This Is Anfield‘s Mark Delgado was similarly unimpressed with what he saw from the Uruguayan:

“It was supposed to be Darwin’s day, his home debut and an expectant Anfield crowd after his big impact off the bench at Fulham.

“Fair to say it didn’t quite go to plan though, as Nunez missed a couple of early chances and then was shown a straight red before the hour mark, a stupid reaction seeing him throw out a headbutt in reaction to being pushed.

“Idiocy of it aside, it’s very, very not what this team has been about under Klopp when needing a big reaction to frustrating moments.

“He’ll need to learn that immediately.”

 

Liverpool were not at their best, regardless…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (R) takes on Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Mirror‘s Nathan Ridley was critical of Liverpool’s newfound penchant for going behind:

“For the past three years, you’d be hard-pressed to find any damning statistics about Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side have largely been imperious at home, rampant on the road and their players have come up trumps on countless occasions. But now the Reds boss has something seriously worrying staring him in the face.

“Rather surprisingly, Liverpool have now gone behind in their last six Premier League games, dating back to April.

“Having trailed against Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Southampton and Wolves at the back end of last season, Fulham and Palace’s bright starts mean that the Reds must get better at coming out of the blocks – or it’s going to be a nervy campaign at Anfield.”

The Liverpool Echo‘s Paul Gorst believes the Reds must now dip back into the transfer market:

“The Reds pride themselves on their stability and unwillingness to panic when it comes to recruitment, but on this evidence, something needs to be done to bolster the ranks.

“An injury crisis is already threatening to engulf them just two games in.

“After hearing demands for a new midfielder all summer, injuries to Konate and Matip have seen headaches at centre-half re-emerge.

“The sight of Nat Phillips making his first Premier League start since May 2021 said it all there. But it is up front where the most immediate concern is now.

“With Firmino potentially out injured and Jota still absent with a hamstring problem, just who will lead the line at Manchester United next week? It never rains but it pours.”

 

What does this mean for the title race?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jones gave a fairly negative assessment of the situation:

“Two games in, four points dropped. It feels almost absurd to say, but that looks a long way back, given the standards set at the top of the Premier League in recent years.

“More worrying, however, is the fact that Liverpool don’t look anything like the team we’ve become so used to seeing, and the fact their injury list is longer than any other side in the league.

“Without the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate, they are a far weaker proposition – and Manchester City will be delighted by what they’ve seen so far.”

Richard Jolly of the Independent was of a similar mindset, given Man City‘s brilliance:

“The title race may not be over but, even with 108 points to play for, it is hard to make up such a deficit to Pep Guardiola’s side, especially when the eventual winners end up around the 95-point mark.

[…]

“And so Liverpool head to Old Trafford next week when the two most successful clubs in the history of English football are both still looking for a first league victory of the season.

“The serial winners have become the winless.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Finally, Gorst was another who was feeling negative after a poor start to the season for Liverpool:

“While there is some merit with how a depleted squad responded to going behind and Darwin Nunez‘s red card, there must already be serious questions of whether Liverpool are able to once more match Manchester City stride for stride at the summit of the English game.

“That might sound like foolish hyperbole to some at this early juncture, but given the slender margins that have kept Liverpool’s name off the Premier League trophy in 2019 and 2022, a four-point advantage is far from ideal already.”

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