(Last Updated on August 16, 2022 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp left his expensive summer signing Darwin Nunez to sleep on the moment of wild indiscipline that saw him make an early and undignified exit from his home debut in the Premier League.
Nunez, signed from Benfica in a deal worth an initial £64m, will have a restless night before facing Klopp after making the worst possible introduction at Anfield.
The Uruguayan has made a fine early impression with goals in the Community Shield win against Manchester City and the opening league draw at Fulham, but this incident which saw him sent off demonstrated a side of his character that will alert the more mischievous Premier League defenders and ensure Klopp must deliver some home truths ahead of his forthcoming three-match ban.
If there is one thing Nunez can take from his embarrassment, it is that it is better to learn your lessons early in the Premier League, and the 23-year-old certainly suffered a harsh one here.
Yes, there was what may be politely termed ‘argy-bargy’ with Palace defender Joachim Andersen, but Nunez’s response was mindless – a headbutt that sent his opponent to the floor and referee Paul Tierney reaching for his red card.
It rules Nunez out of Liverpool’s trip to Manchester United next Monday for starters, even more costly as Klopp needs all hands on deck as he juggles injury problems. He will also miss home games against Bournemouth and Newcastle United.
Nunez had worked tirelessly but gave the impression of someone trying just a little to hard to make the big impression, volleying one good chance over at the far post then bundling another opportunity against an upright in the closing seconds of the first half.
There is no doubt that graphic illustration of a short fuse will see Nunez’s temperament tested now, but this chastening evening will surely form the basis of a vital learning experience.
Nunez has huge shoes to fill following the departure of Sadio Mane but Klopp is aware of the pressures and is more likely to adopt the arm around the shoulder rather than the big stick when it comes to handling his new striker, who looked shattered as he made his way to the dressing room.
Klopp, rightly, made no attempt to mount a defence or give an excuse for Nunez. It was an open and shut case.