Núñez sent off as Liverpool draw 1-1 with Palace in EPL
LIVERPOOL, England (AP):
LIVERPOOL OVERCAME the sending-off of Darwin Núñez for a headbutt on his home debut by salvaging a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace in the English Premier League (EPL) on Monday thanks to a brilliant individual goal by Luis Díaz.
In his first competitive start for Liverpool, Núñez lost control after jostling with Joachim Andersen and thrust his head into the face of the Palace defender, earning the Uruguay striker a straight red card.
Even down to 10 men, Liverpool still managed to dominate the game at Anfield and Díaz earned his team a point by cutting in from the left, slipping between two defenders, and curling a shot into the far corner in front of the Kop.
Palace relied almost exclusively on the counter-attack and it was from that means that Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring in the 32nd minute, breaking the offside trap to latch on to Eberechi Eze’s through-ball and curl a finish into the far corner.
Liverpool have now drawn its first two games – Jürgen Klopp’s team was held 2-2 by Fulham on the opening weekend – and is already four points behind Manchester City and Arsenal, the early pacesetters.
Their third match will be at Old Trafford next Monday against a beleaguered Manchester United team that has lost both of their games.
And Núñez will be suspended for it.
He earned his first start after a couple of impressive, goalscoring displays off the bench in the Community Shield against Manchester City and then against Fulham, and also because Roberto Firmino was missing through injury.
Núñez, an offseason signing from Benfica, missed a presentable early chance against Palace by miscuing a volley at the back post from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, and then hit the post in the final minute of the first half.
Maybe some frustration had set by the time he was red-carded. As they jostled at the edge of Palace’s penalty area, Núñez appeared to aim a headbutt at Anderson. Then, when confronted moments later by the defender, he turned into Anderson and butted him square in the face.
Palace still played on the counter even with a man extra and Zaha almost snatched a win when he stretched to meet a cross and hit the post.