LIVINGPOOL’S ANFIELD — Following a red card for summer signing Darwin Nunez, Crystal Palace held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw, prolonging Liverpool’s shaky start to the Premier League season.
On the first day of the season, the Reds had already fallen behind likely championship rivals Manchester City, surrendering two points as they fought out a competitive draw against newly promoted Fulham.
They made another mistake upon returning to Anfield, putting them four points behind Pep Guardiola’s champions after only two games.
Of course, things might have been worse for the hosts, who trailed after a composed Wilfried Zaha goal on the break in a half they had controlled.
Nunez’s careless headbutt on Joachim Andersen, which was justified in getting him sent for an early bath, made their work even tougher.
However, a superb Luis Diaz solo goal in the second half saved a point for Jurgen Klopp’s team, albeit it is not a performance the manager will especially appreciate.
Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace final score
PAL WILFRIED ZAHA (JAMES MILNER), 32nd minute
LUIS DIAZ (JAMES MILNER), LIV — 61st minute
After the headbutt incident, Nunez had no defence.
Although it is easy to label Nunez’s headbutt as a “moment of madness,” doing so would ignore the fact that the Uruguayan only made contact with Andersen once, on the second try. Nunez lost his composure when making his complete Premier League debut for his new team at Anfield, going for his opponent twice in rapid succession as referee Paul Tierney was nearby.
His teammates pressed for a victory late on despite their numerical disadvantage, so any sorrow he originally felt when the red card was displayed will only have intensified. If the Reds hadn’t been down a man for so long, they would have won without a doubt. Their high-profile summer acquisition would be well to keep that in mind the next time a level head is called for in a tight game.
Has the Premier League title race already concluded?
Okay, saying that anything has already been settled after just two games of a new Premier League season is absurd.
It doesn’t change the fact that Manchester City’s four-point edge over their steadfast championship opponents is a vitally important one, regardless of the season. These two teams have consistently amassed 90+ points along the way to sharing this hardware in recent years because they make mistakes so infrequently.
As such, two games in or not, Liverpool have already given themselves a mountain to climb in terms of overhauling Pep Guardiola’s men.Therefore, whether or not Liverpool has played two games, they have already given themselves a mountain to climb in order to overtake Pep Guardiola’s team.
Jurgen Klopp is once again satisfied by Luis Diaz.
Nunez is sometimes referred to be Sadio Mane’s immediate successor due to Mane’s brief six-month stay at centre forward prior to leaving Liverpool. The reality is that the Senegalese only departed his usual left-wing position last season due to Luis Diaz’s excellent play, who was brought in as a January acquisition.
The Colombian was one of the few bright spots for the Reds on a depressing night, and with a bravura goal that sealed a share of the spoils, he demonstrated that he has every potential of maintaining his strong start. Whatever Klopp’s team faces this season, Diaz will undoubtedly be a significant player.